May 27, 2017    Headlines

 Scratch Salmon 
Rockfish Limits

Bodega Salmon
The weather has been flat for the past week and lots of private and party boats were out enjoying the calm conditions on Saturday 5-27. Jeff on the Miss Anita ran north to Timber Cove. He reported "some of the best quality rockfish I have seen in the shallows in many years". Jeff was working the 50 to 120 foot depths and reported limits of huge platter size blues, blacks and a few vermillions adding limits of lings to 25 pounds. The lings were chomping and they had several hitchhikers throughout the day. Jeff said he heard of 4 or 5 salmon landed off Bird and Elephant Rock today.
Hunt Conrad,  long time writer who posts up the Healdsburg fishing report also ran up north today. He said " the weather was so calm we opted for rockfish first, knowing that we could run to any salmon bite if something developed". Hunt also said they had limits of BIG rockfish and several quality lings. From what he heard on the radio only a handful of salmon landed down south. Hunt said they had cold green water from Timber Cove to Mussel Pt where the water turned brown and conditions looked good for those seaking red meat.
Rick on the New Sea Angler reported 31 limits of all qualty reds and browns adding 34 lings to 21 pounds. Rick repotrs the entire area from the harbor to Pt Reyes has brown water, lots of krill and anchovies and whales. Exactly what any salmon angler hopes to findbut not a whole lot of fish in the area.

The salmon bite is slooooowly improving with lots of great sign showing over a wide area. Jeff on the Miss Anita targeted salmon all day on Wednesday 5-24. He started off on the .11 X .03 line  or the top end of Ten Mile and worked south. They had brown water, krill and blue whales. In the morning they landed a 16 pounder and lost a couple of others then had a quad that put one other fish in the box and three lost. Jeff said that other private boaters and sixpacks  in the area saw 1 to 3 fish scores with a few lost opportunities for most. Jeff emphasized that the amount of feed in the area is building and conditions are primed for the salmon bite to only improve.

The rockfish bite has turned wide open with our local party and six pack boats reported limits of both lings and rockfish. On Tuesday 5-23 Rick on the New Sea Angler was back down at Pt Reyes. Rick reported 23 limits of rockfish and 36 lings to 18 pounds. Rick says they have brown water and lots of feed over a wide area so it's just a matter of the main ingredient showing up. On the private boater front Mike M. reported one 22 pound fish for three anglers with a couple of other lost fish trolling three miles north of Pt Reyes. They finished off the day taking a few lings and half limits of rockfish.

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On Monday 5-22 Jeff on the Miss Anita ran north. Fishing off Timber Cove he put his six clients into limits of both rockfish and lings. He wrapped up the day pulling his crab pots of an additional bonus of 60 crabs or ten per angler. Jeff reports there has been a bunch of fresh schools of rockfish pushing into the shallows. The lings are following behind and many of their lings are hitchhiking their way into the fish box. On the salmon front Jeff said he heard of a couple of radio fish taken off Ten Mile but overall it's very slow despite lots of anchovies and krill holding over a wide are.

On Sunday 5-21 Jeff on the Miss Anita fished up at Timber Cove working the shallows in 80 to 120 feet. Jeff reported limits of rockfish and limits of lings to 15 pounds with over 20 others released. He said they had a steady parade of hitchhikers and this was by far the best bite he has seen this season. He wrapped up the day pulling his crab pots sending his six anglers home with a great bonus of ten crabs each. Jeff says that the shallows are holding big schools of rockfish where just a week ago they were metering very few fish.
Rick on the New Sea Angler for the second day in a row reported limits of lings and rockfish. Rick reported 28 limits of rockfish and 58 lings to 23 pounds. Rick says that he is seeing lots of great sign just not on the reefs but great salmon sign as he is traveling up and down the coast.
The salmon bite could turn on at any time as water temps warm and the food chain explodes.

Here on Saturday 5-20 the weather is flat calm. We are seeing just 2 knots of wind over a 3 foot swell. The weather forecast calls for calm weather through at least Wednesday so the "window of opportunity" is wide open. Water temps remain cold at 49 degrees at the weather buoy but with the multi day calm forecast we should see temps climb to the low 50s over the coming week. This should brown up the local waters and could turn on the salmon bite.
Rick Powers was out on Friday 5-19 and reported 17 limits of rockfish adding 26 lings to 19 pounds and 96 crabs. Rick says he is seeing lots of bait with scattered hard bait and whales working the 140 to 240 foot depths off Ten Mile. His internal radar says (as a 40 year party boat captain) "something is going to happen this week".
For you private boaters this is a great window to get out. You will want to hit the Outdoor Pro Shop or your favorite tackle shop and be geared up to target both salmon and rockfish. Don't forget the crab pots for the added bonus but don't expect limits.

Regulations for California’s popular red abalone sport fishery have changed in 2017. Due to concerns about the declining population, the season will be shortened and the take limit reduced.
The 2017 season will be shortened by two months, with the traditional opening date of April 1 now delayed until May 1. The fishery will also close a month earlier than usual, on Oct. 31.
The annual (calendar year) limit is changing from 18 abalone to 12. As in the past, no more than nine abalone may be taken south of the boundary between Sonoma and Mendocino counties.
The red abalone catch is being reduced because surveys conducted by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) found that red abalone populations in deeper waters are on the decline due to unfavorable environmental conditions. Over the past three years, growth of kelp — a major food source for abalone – has declined significantly. Dramatic increases in purple sea urchin populations have further reduced the food available for abalone. Details can be found at
Other regulations relative to abalone remain unchanged. Fishing for abalone will be allowed from 8 a.m. to one half-hour after sunset in waters north of San Francisco Bay. People may travel to fishing locations before 8 a.m. but may not actively search for or take any abalone before that time. The daily bag and possession limit remains at three. Parts of Fort Ross State Historical Park remain closed to the take of abalone. A map of the closed area can be found online at
Northern California’s recreational red abalone fishery is enjoyed by tens of thousands of divers along the Sonoma and Mendocino coast. A recent CDFW study estimated that approximately 31,000 abalone divers derived between $24 million and $44 million per year of recreational value from the fishery. The value of this fishery declined nearly $12 million after stricter regulations were imposed in 2014 following a harmful algal bloom that killed thousands of abalone in Sonoma County. Information about the study can be found at
The changes to the abalone regulations were approved by the Fish and Game Commission at their Dec. 7 meeting, under emergency rulemaking provisions that allow fast-tracking of the approval process when there is an urgent need for regulatory change.

Nearly all the salmon caught along the coast this year are there thanks to the Golden Gate Salmon Association. If not for their efforts to push both state and federal hatchery managers to truck fish over the past three years of drought we would have likely NOT had a season this year or next. I encourage readers to support this great organization and their efforts to return our salmon fishery to it's past glory. You can visit their website and see all that they are doing to make that a reality.

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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 the information on our reports pages.

California Waterfowl Dinners and Youth Events Calendar

Golden Gate Salmon Association Events Calendar

 Party Boat Contacts:
The Bodega Bay Sportfishing  Center is currently booking trips on the New Sea Angler. They also book the six pack Sandy Ann, Profishn't and during the summer the Predator. Reservations can be made at 707 875-3344.

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5-day plot - Wind Speed at 46013

5-day plot - Wave Height at 46013

Marine Weather
With the Point Arena, San Francisco and Bodega Bay buoys all out of service it's been tough to judge conditions. There are some land based weather stations, wave rider and even webcams that readers can use to assess current conditions.  The Point Reyes wind observations or wave conditions at the San Francisco wave rider buoy are good tools for Golden Gate anglers.  For Bodega Bay anglers you can use both the Point Reyes wind observations and the Bodega Bay Marine lab web cam at Horseshoe Cove and conditions at the Point Arena light house. For Monterey based anglers looking for conditions inside Monterey bay can use the Monterey Bay Aquarium buoy.




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