415 674-3474

April 25, 2017    Headlines

Salmon Munching!
Invest In YOUR Salmon Future

After the great salmon fishing on Saturday off of the Marin coastline, the action slowed down on Sunday 4-23 with two boats out of Sausalito bringing home 14 salmon to 21 pounds for 32 anglers trolling from Muir Beach to Duxbury. Just shows once again that just because the bite happened one day, it doesn’t necessary happen the next in the same area. Monday is another day, and let’s see if they can be found and bite once again.
Ocean salmon season ends this coming Sunday, April 30th, and it will resume again on May 15th with a 20-inch minimum size limit.

The salmon bite broken open on Saturday 4-22. There were actually two schools of fish, one off the Marin coast and a second bite south off Pedro point. Captain Jared on the Salty Lady was on a whale watching trip but passed along a Sausalito report. Two boats the New RayAnne and Hog Heaven had scores of near limits to 14 limits fishing off the Marin Coast. The Easy Rider out of Berkeley had 11 limits. The fish are a solid grade of cookie cutters running 8 to 12 pounds with fish to the high teens in the mix. Jared said the fish were close to home and that the best action was just outside of Duxbury. The second bite was down off Pedro Point where one of the Half Moon Bay boats located fish in 20 fathoms. Jared said that the is lots of hard bait over a very wide area and he is starting to get pumped up as the scores are starting to climb.
The Salty Lady has VERY light loads scheduled for the coming week and the forecast looks great on Monday and Tuesday. With the fish biting NOW is the time to go. Reservations for the Salty Lady can be made at 415 674-3474
The season ends on April 30th and then reopens on May 15th with a 20 minimum size limit. 
The rockfish bite at the Islands in solid with all party boats seeing limits of quality rockfish and a ling to limits of lings. The extra depth limits has really opened up a lot of territory that has not been fished in years.
The salmon action slowed down a tick on Tuesday 4-18 after the solid bite on Monday afternoon, but two boats out of Sausalito ended up with nearly a fish per rod on Wednesday 4-19 with 11 salmon to 20 pounds for 15 anglers trolling 7 miles south of the main Farallon Island.
The additional 10 fathoms of bottomfish territory is really making a difference for boats up and down the coast with the increased number of vermilions and coppers. The Sea Wolf out of Emeryville went to the Farallons on Wednesday for 29 limits of big rockfish along with limits of lings to 16 pounds.

The Salmon bit for the Half Moon bay / Golden Gate boats today or at least for the few party and private boats out there. On Monday 4-17 Roger on the Salty Lady passed along a report from John on the New Ray Anne out of Sausalito. John had ten limits to 15 pounds with most running 6 to 10 pounds. They were trolling 10 miles SE of the Islands of west of Pedro Point in 50 fathoms. Being the only boat in the area it took John awhile to get dialed but once on the fish they put in the second layer in less than an hour. Good action and the forecast looks good for the next couple of days.
The Salty Lady is running trips out of Half Moon Bay and had VERY light loads on the books at this time.

The PFMC passed the final sport regs Tuesday 4-11 and Option 1 was adopted. Option 1 calls for a season of April 1-30 with a 24" min. size limit. The season then closes for two weeks and reopens May 15th through October 31 with a 20" minimum size.

The salmon action was null and void with a few party boats making down along the San Mateo coastline and returning with minimal action on Sunday 4-9. There have not been many boats out and there is still a huge area of unexplored ocean to search out where they are hiding. The rockfish season opens next Saturday April 15th and this is add a good "plan B" on those slower action days.

Last night's Golden Gate Salmon Association Santa Rosa dinner was a great success. The venue was sold out and lots of money was raised for salmon. What does GGSA do with your donations? A lot of advocacy and lobbing to restore habitat, maintain adequate water flows and push hard for continued trucking and net pens.
A special shout out to those whom make this dinner a success... Ken and Pat Eli of the  Outdoor Pro Shop in Rohnert Park. They not only donate many of the prizes at the dinner, many of their customers sponsor tables. Rick Powers on the New Sea Angler deserves much thanks as he sells over a third of the tickets to the event every year. To all the volunteers that take an entire day to do the 100 tasks required to pull this dinner off. And to all those who come out and open your wallets to support the fishery we all love! THANKS!
GGSA has spent months advocating for net pens in Bodega bay and that will become a reality in May. The date is not yet set but Fish and Wildlife will be trucking 250,000 fish to Bodega bay to be released from net pens after a brief acclamation period. We expect this will happen in the first two weeks of May. If we can see a survival rate similar to the Coastside net pens on Half Moon Bay of 4% this equates to 10,000 fish that will imprint and return to the  ay Area waters three years from now.

On the MORE GOOD NEWS front: This writer got word last night that of the three salmon options on the table that the PFMC may select Option 1. In a nut shell this means the waters from Pt Arena to Pigeon Pt will be open the entire month of April with a 24" size limits. The season then closes for two weeks and reopens May 15th through October 31st with A 20" minimum size. We should have the official word no later than Thursday of the coming week,
That we have a season at all this year (or last) is due entirely to the advocacy of the Golden Gate Salmon Association. GGSA came up with the science and the modeling to show the State and the Feds that trucking salmon was the only way that hatchery fish could make it to the ocean over the past few years of drought. Those fish that were trucked in 2014, 2015 and 2016 likely make up a vast majority of the fish currently milling along the coast.
I urge all our readers to come out to a dinner or to at least buy a GGSA membership to support all that they do. After all we likely would NOT have a season this year if not for all their work. Donations are tax deductible.

There was decent salmon fishing on Wednesday 4-5 off of the San Mateo coastline by two boats out of the Bay Area fleet with one returning with 10 salmon to 16 pounds for 10 anglers while another scored 9 salmon to 21 pounds for 18 anglers. The weather over the next several days will keep the boats tied up to the docks before returning to search for the fish once again when the weather clears.
The rockfish season opens on April 15th.

Opening Day Salmon Wrap
The salmon opener was a blow out in the northern ports and there was just some very limited success in the southern waters. Here is a run down from the Bay Area ports.
Bodega Bay:
After three days of hard NW wind opening day saw slightly better conditions. Winds at the Bodega Bay weather buoy dropped to 20 knots over a 9 foot swell and dropped as low as 15 mid morning before ramping back up to 27 as of 4:PM Saturday. Rick on the New Sea Angler and Jeff on the Miss Anita both canceled the night before. The forecast calls for 15 to 25 knots of wind through Monday with much calmer weather returning on Tuesday and Wednesday. Private boaters are still pulling some crabs out of the Outer bay and this seems to be where most have been concentrating their efforts. Rick on the New Sea Angler will be running salmon / crab combos this week. The rockfish season opens April 15th which will add to the fishing possibilities. Jeff on the Miss Anita will be running salmon trips through mid month and will begin salmon rockfish and ling combos April 15th
Golden Gate:
Many party boats did cancel their trips due to the hard wind on Friday and the forecast for more of the same on the opener. The reality was that conditions south of Point Reyes were much better than expected at 15 knots in the outer waters and just 10 to 12 in the morning off the Marin Coast. Of the 8 to 10 party boats fishing the action was very slow with just one boat the Salmon Queen out of Emeryville scoring a single fish. With the rockfish season opening mid month this will give boats addition options on those slow salmon days.
Half Moon Bay:
This is where some of the best action was reported. Jared on the Salty Lady ran south this morning from Sausalito for a scheduled whale watching trip. Jared and his deckhand had just two rods out and trolled south of the radar station and released two shakers of 20 and 23 inches for just over an hours effort. Both would have been legal fish (if option 2 is adopted) after May 1st. Jared called in at 1:PM to say that the Ankeny Street and Hulicat had 3 and 2 keepers respectively and both had released several shakers (5 plus per boat most over 20") trolling at or just inside the Deep Reef. Private boaters reported up to three fish but many if not most were skunked. There are good feed conditions in the area so as the weather improves so could the action.
Tom on the Fish On canceled his trips this weekend due to the forecast and reported that he too heard of a few twos and threes but lots of goose eggs. The rockfish season is now open south of Pigeon Point.
Monterey Bay:
There were some scattered fish landed off Pajaro and at Soquel Hole. Lots of skunks but a few private boats managed 2 or 3 fish apiece. Chris' Sportfishing sent all their boats out for the rockfish opener but they will be running salmon trips on Sunday and next week.
It's just the first day of what could be a month long season or one of several months. We will know within the week on which salmon options are adopted by the PFMC. 

The salmon season opens next Saturday 4-1. Of the three options on the table all give us sport anglers the month of April to fish. The other two (option one) calls for a season of April 1-30 then reopening May 15 through October 31st. Option two calls for a season of April 1-30th and then June 15th to October 31st. The third option calls for a season of April 1-30th. From what we are hearing the NMFS is pushing for option 3 or April only. We have our fingers crossed that we see option 2 or the month of April and then June 15th through Halloween.
We expect most party boats from the Golden Gate to Half Moon Bay to head offshore to the 35 to 50 fathom curve. Top bets range from W to S  Buoy and out to the Islands and South to the Deep Reef.
Word from commercial crabbers and party boats on whale watching trips is that there is excellent sign of mostly anchovies with some scattered krill from north of the Deep Reef to below the Islands. One fellow member of the GGSA board who is a commercial crabber reported two weeks ago "tons of hard bait in 40 to 50 fathoms outside of S buoy and some salmon marking below the schools of feed on the meter". This is the first year where we will see the full results of trucking hatchery fish to the Bay and delta in 2014. If those fish survived we could be in for a surprise of better action than anyone expects. Party boats have lots of room available. Roger Thomas on the Salty Lady is whale watching weekends and running fishing trips on weekdays through May.
We will have party boat scores and updates next Saturday 4-1.

2017 Sport Salmon Season Options:
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The final 2017 salmon options for the upcoming season have been released. There have been changes in the past few days and the reason for the update to this story. For sport anglers they range from good (greater Bay Area) to Bad (Monterey bay) to Ugly (Eureka) which will be closed to fishing this year. The link at the bottom contains all the details and we are posting the general options below. The one concern is that in all areas the third option calls for just a 30 day season in April. We are hoping that overall we see options that are close to what the 1st and 2nd options call for.
For commercial anglers it's sadly all bad news with very limited openings and time on the water.

Sport Options
Cal / Oregon border to Horse Mountain: All three options now call for a full closure for the waters from the Cal Oregon border to House Mountain will be closed for the 2017 season

Horse Mountain to Point Arena:
Option 1: April 1st to 30th. Then May 15th to October 31st
Option 2: April 1 to May 31st and then July 1st to the 12th and then September 1 through November 12th.
Option 3: April 1-30th.

Point Arena to Pigeon Point:
Option 1: April 1-30th then May 15th to October 31st
Option 2: April 1-30th then June 15th to October 31st.
Option 3: April 1-30th

Pigeon Point to Point Sur:
Option 1: April 1- July 15th
Option 2: April 1 to June 30th
Option 3: April 1-30th

Here's a link to the proposed recreational seasons

Regulations for the MLPAs are now in effect from Pt Arena to Pigeon Point. Anglers need to know which areas are affected and the regulations and the boundaries of the different zones. Please use this link and be sure to print a map for these areas to carry with you.

Upcoming Events:
USAFishing proudly supports the many fishery and wildlife organizations that benefit anglers and hunters throughout Northern California. Does your organization have an upcoming event? Contact us at and we will gladly post your group's information on our reports pages.

Golden Gate Salmon Association

Golden Gate Fishermen's Association

Party Boat Contacts:
The Emeryville Sportfishing Center is currently booking salmon and potluck trips begin in late April. They have a great promotion that when you take six trips your "lucky" seventh trip is free. This is good on any of their boats. Reservations can be made at 510 654-6040.

The California Dawn / Berkeley 510 773-5511  

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5-day plot - Wind Speed at 46026

5-day plot - Wave Height at 46026



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