Karl the Fog, Fishing Buddy

by Thomas Beutel

I go fishing twice a week, either at Crissy Field or Ocean Beach and I experience all varieties of weather. The other day it was just gorgeous! Not a cloud in sight, and the few wisps of fog disappeared as soon as the sun was up. It was warm, meaning that with all my layers and neoprene waders on, I wouldn’t have minded at all if a there was a breeze to moderate the low 60s temperature. It was nice to feel the warm sun reflecting off the water.

But I’ll admit something. I really prefer fog. A foggy morning at the beach is what I connect with good fishing. Everything seems a bit calmer, and at least in my mind, I seem to get more bites. Maybe the fish are a bit less wary when it’s overcast? I haven’t kept a record of sunny vs. foggy, so it’s just a feeling. But I think this is especially true when the water is gin clear, which it has been of late, especially during moderate tides.

I grew up on the west side of San Francisco. Karl the Fog was my constant companion during school vacation time, and I remember resenting him a bit. Why couldn’t be here during school days but gone in the summer? But that’s not the way our weather works. But now that I’m much older he’s a good friend and fishing buddy. I look forward to waking up and hearing the fog horns sounding in the Golden Gate. It means to me that a good morning of fishing it about to begin.