HALF MOON BAY

 


Captain Tom Joseph 408 348-4866

Captain Dennis Baxter 650 726-6224

May 16, 2018    Headlines

Salmon Season Opens

Salmon Biting!
The weather has been calm for several days and the salmon fishing fairly solid down south. Dennis on the New Captain Pete was out on Saturday 5-12. He reported great conditions with brown water, krill and whales just south of Pigeon Point. His 23 anglers landed 11 salmon to the mid teens. On Tuesday 5-15 a handful of private boaters reported limits and near limits trolling between Ano Nuevo and Pigeon Point. Most of the fish are running a solid 8 to 12 pounds and are biting on the surface.
Rockfishing remains good on the nearshore reefs with  decent numbers of lings in the mix. Dennis on the New Captain Pete has space available for salmon trips daily. Until the local waters open on June 17th boats must south to Pigeon Point and beyond to target salmon.

This writer is sneaking off to our vacation home on the Kenai peninsula. We will be chasing kings on the local rivers and attending good friend Captain Steve Smith daughter's Kaylee wedding. We will be leaving the laptop at home and will return with full reports here on June 1st.
In the time being please contact our sponsors or visit their websites for current reports, information and bookings.
Until then... good fishing!
Mike Aughney


The salmon action was good over the weekend with several private boats seeing limits and party boats posting fish per rod to limit scores. On Sunday 5-6 Dennis on the New Captain Pete reported 14 fish landed, many lost for his group of 16 anglers trolling off Pigeon Point. Dennis was trolling 2 to 3 miles west of Pigeon Point in 50 fathoms. Most of their fish were big (for this time of year) 10 to 12 pound cookie cutters that feel for straight bait on the surface. Dennis said that private boaters have been doing very well the past two days with several taking 2 to 5 fish limits and that the party boat Ankeny Street had five limits early on Saturday. The weather conditions were good and there is lots of feed, whales and bird life in the neighborhood.  Dennis has room daily but for now his next trip in next Saturday.


The salmon came up off Pigeon Point the past two days with both private and party boats from Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz seeing good action. Out of Half Moon Bay, longtime friend and captain Dennis Baxter gave us the run down on Saturday 4-28. Trolling off Pigeon Point just below the line in 220 to 270 feet Dennis who owns the New Captain Pete reported 13 fish landed for 15 anglers with 10 to 12 other fish lost. Dennis reports "there was a rip line with jelly on the inside and tons of bird life, whales and krill on the west side". The salmon were biting in flurries of 2 to 4 at a time or typical action when fishing in the krill. While they hooked roughly 25 salmon Dennis said that several private boats from both Half moon Bay and Santa Cruz caught limits. The fish are holding at standard depths of 30 to 60 feet with most averaging 8 to 12 pounds. The weather was great with less than five knots of wind over a lazy 5 foot swell. Dennis has room all this week.
 


The salmon season opened south of Pigeon Point on Saturday 4-7. Due to the late and wet storm event on Friday there were just three party boats out of Half Moon Bay. Captain Dennis on the New Captain Pete reported overall slow action for the three boats. Dennis said they found great conditions 2 to 3 miles west of Ano Nuevo with blankets of krill and light winds over a 6 to 7 foot swell. Despite krill thick enough to gather on the lines. Dennis reported two fish to around 12 pounds. Both were caught by Dave Furgeson forever now knows as "Lucky Dave". The other two party boats reported a goose egg. The weather was good on Saturday but few private boats even tried to make the 20 plus mile run south from Pillar Point. The forecast calls for good weather on Monday and Tuesday. The New Captain Pete has lots of room available.

In Monterey Bay the opening day action was slow and picked on on Sunday. Long time six pack captain Tom Joseph was on the sidelines (but keeping score) recovering from a knee replacement. Tom said that on opening day the top sixpack score was three fish and many were skunked with the best action coming off Marina beach to the Soldiers Club in 200 feet. On Sunday 4-8 there was a morning snap again off Marina beach with the 10 to 15 private and sicpack boats seeing 0 to 3 fish each. For the boats that stuck it out the bite turned on around 2:PM and several boats had up to four limits. There is lots of feed and great sign in the central bay and the bite could turn on at any time.
 


With the local rockfish season opening on April 15th, and the opener of ocean salmon season in local waters in limbo until the completion of the meeting of the Pacific Fisheries Management Council on April 11th, party and private boats will have to make the long 18-mile run south below Pigeon Point for both rockfish and salmon. The salmon season below Pigeon Point opens on Saturday, April 7th, and there has been some optimism out of Monterey Bay with the massive amounts of anchovies and krill in the bay.

Captain Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat just returned from Washington D.C. from the National Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Summitt from around the continental United States, Puerto Rico, Alaska, and the South Pacific held by the NOAA. Mattusch will be running south of Pigeon Point for rockfish and also for salmon within the coming weeks, and he highly advises private fishermen to be conscious of rockfish regulations including the accurate reporting of any incidental catches of prohibited goldeneye rockfish.

Last year, there were a number of citations for both incidental catches of rockfish and coho salmon brought in by private boaters at Half Moon Bay, and violations such as these have a detrimental effect on recreational fishing regulations.

Mattusch is looking forward to making the run south of Pigeon Point as the depth restriction this year is the same at the beginning of last season at 40 fathoms or 240 feet in depth. Anglers can keep 10 rockfish including one canary, three black rockfish, and three cabezon in excess of 15 inches.

Out of Half Moon Bay Sport Fishing, the Queen of Hearts and Riptide will also make the run south of Pigeon Point for rockfish and/or salmon. Sherry Ingles of Half Moon Bay Sport Fishing reported a combined 50 limits and three ling cod on opening day, April 1st. She said, “We had a fantastic start to our rockfishing season with many quality rockfish. The ling count was low as the rockfish were biting before the baits could get to the bottom. Another good sign was the salmon-looking brown water south of Pigeon Point so there is optimism for the upcoming season.”

From the beaches, Ed Liu of Bay Tackle in El Cerrito continues to find great action for a wide variety of surf perch to 17 inches with Berkley Camo Worms, Gulp! Grubs, and also with live bait such as pile worms or sand crabs.

Captain Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat just returned from Washington D.C. from the National Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Summitt from around the continental United States, Puerto Rico, Alaska, and the South Pacific held by the NOAA. Mattusch will be running south of Pigeon Point for rockfish and also for salmon within the coming weeks, and he highly advises private fishermen to be conscious of rockfish regulations including the accurate reporting of any incidental catches of prohibited goldeneye rockfish.

CA Klamath – open 6/1 and close 9/3, with a 20 inch size limit

Fort Bragg – open 6/11 and close 10/31, with a 20 inch size limit

San Francisco – open 6/11 and close 10/31, with a 20 inch size limit

Monterey – open 4/7 and close 6/22, with a 24 inch size limit

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Alternative two – achieve 165,000 Sacramento adult escapees

CA Klamath – open 6/1 and close 9/3, with a 20 inch size limit

Fort Bragg – open 7/1 and close 10/31, with a 20 inch size limit

San Francisco – open 7/7 and close 10/31, with a 20 inch size limit

Monterey – open 4/7 and close 6/15, with a 24 inch size limit

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Alternative Three – achieve 180,000 Sacramento adult escapees
 

CA Klamath – open 6/16 and close 9/3, with a 20 inch size limit

Fort Bragg – open 7/21 and close 10/31, with a 20 inch size limit

San Francisco – open 7/21 and close 10/31, with a 20 inch size limit


The first attempt at holding the Maverick’s Big Surf Contest off of Pillar Point was postponed due to the anticipated southerly winds arriving in the area on Monday and Tuesday, January 15 and 16. The contest has been a boon for local party boats who take out spectators to observe the surfers at close range. The contest may be held anytime through the end of February if the conditions are right.
Captain Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat said, “The weather has been calm when it was predicted to be rough, and it has been rough when it has been predicted to be calm so we cancelled our crab/sand dab combination trips on Friday and Saturday. It hasn’t been calm enough to try for petrale sole, but we are hoping the conditions develop in the coming weeks. There is no depth restriction for the sole. The commercial crabbers have been moving on to more productive areas or stacking out for the year, and the crab counts have been improving. We ended up with 7 Dungeness and a few rock crab on our most recent trip.”  All party boats in the area will be running whale watching and nature trips during the winter months, and the Salty Lady, captained by Jerad Davis, will make their annual pilgrimage to Pillar Point for the whale watching season.
Further north at the Pacifica Pier, crabbing continues to be fair with snares from the pier, and more striped bass have been moving up and down the coastline.


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