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I recently completed my 8th annual pilgrimage to Shelter Cove for the Gimme Shelter 11 Kayak Fishing Tournament.

This event is much more than a kayak fishing or diving tournament for me…it is about seeing great friends (many that I only see up there), being in one of the most beautiful spots I have ever been, gorging on amazing food, sharing drinks and laughs, and raising $$ through a raffle I help coordinate for the NorCal Kayak Angler’s Pay It Forward Fund and NorCal Heroes On The Water.

I charged up there Thursday afternoon and was up until well past midnight partying and getting caught up with friends.

Friday AM I paddled out with my good buddy Adam Sauve (who is an excellent NorCal diver), but the forecast was rougher than predicted, we couldn’t get to the areas where I have had the best luck before, and we had to “settle” for 9+ inch abalone instead of the coveted 10s. All good, cuz I didn’t get ANY abalone last year so I was stoked to just see the cool snails again!

Also got my first Shelter Cove Scallop, and Adam put his skills to work and pulled us a quick limit of fat urchins to bring back for the group.

Friday night we did abalone and scallops and uni bombs, and I ended the night partying past closing time at the local bar which is always fun. 😀

Saturday I was feeling a little “tired” but Adam dragged me out of bed and we paddled out into even sloppier seas…

Found a safe spot to anchor the yaks offshore and swam in to hunt for some meat.

I found a nice little cave down at 27 feet stuffed full of nice abalone.

With my heavy ab iron on the marker float line I was confident I would not lose the spot, so took one ab at a time leaving them on the floor of the cave until I had popped three then grabbed them all, swam to the surface, made an ab sandwich of all three, and swam back to the yak and we got the heck back to shore.

Went back to the Motel, showered and changed, had some world class Lumpia, rolled through camp to say hi to folks, got some beer and some ice and headed back to beach to hand out cold beers to landing kayakers and see the fishies being brought in.

Saturday night was the raffle (raised over $6,000!!) and potluck and partying, and more food, and more fun.

Sunday Am packed up, had some breakfast burritos, and poured myself into my buddy’s truck and woke up once he got me home. Gifted him two abalone for being a great buddy and for getting me up and back safe and sound. : )

Here’s a little vid of some underwater fun.

Thanks for looking!