According to Tim Klassen of Reel Steel Sport Fishing, no one has found the salmon as of yet. “The ocean hasn’t been great, so there hasn’t been much effort,” said Klassen. “As far as I know, no one has really ventured south between the stacks and Trinidad. There’s a lot of water that hasn’t been fished yet, so we’re holding out hope they’re out there somewhere. We did find some really good signs outside of False Cape Rock a couple days ago. Tons of birds and bait and the water dipped to 49 degrees, but we couldn’t find any keeper kings.”
The rockfish bite north of the head remains outstanding for black rockfish according to Curt Wilson of Wind Rose Charters. “The weather has been a little chunky, but we did make it to Reading Rock a few days where we found a wide variety of rockfish and some nice lings,” said Wilson. “A few salmon are being caught daily off of the lagoons in 100 to 180 feet of water. The crabbing is starting to slow down as the crabs are molting.”
Salmon fishing has been pretty slow the last few days, reports Jake Mitchell of Sea Hawk Sport Fishing. “Boats are averaging about a half a fish per rod,” said Mitchell. “Most of the effort is happening right off the point in 40 to 50 feet of water. The rockfish bite has really been solid all week as well. The black rockfish bite has been wide-open close to the beach.”
Sport salmon season opened last Tuesday and there were a handful of salmon caught, including some bigger ones,” said Britt Carson of Crescent City’s Englund Marine. “There’s a handful of salmon being caught daily, mostly coming from the south. The rockfish bite remains solid, with limits reported by just about everyone. The California halibut bite is decent, with guys tossing swimbaits off the rocks and the kayaks catching a few each day.”
Rough weather has kept boaters in close while fishing for salmon out of Brookings, reports Andy Martin of Brookings Fishing Charters. He said, “Charter boats are getting a fish or more per rod, with some catching limits. Small anchovies trolled just below the surface are working best. Commercial boats are doing well offshore and a break in the weather could cause catch rates to jump for private boaters. Lingcod fishing is slow, but some are catching limits of rockfish near Bird Island and Twin Rocks. Halibut fishing is fair but windy weather is keeping boaters away from the most productive waters.”
Spring-run salmon have been caught daily in the estuary since the July 1 opener. Fresh kings are moving in with the tides and starting to stack up as the water temperatures are over 70 degrees. Anchovies rigged with a spinner blade has been the top producer so far. The best fishing has been on the incoming and a couple hours after the high.
“Salmon fishing hit peak season form on the Rogue Bay last week, with many guides getting limits and private boaters also getting a fish per rod or better,” said Martin. “Salmon are holding up in the bay because of warm water upriver. The fish are spread throughout the bay, with a good incoming tide bite. A few summer steelhead also are showing in the bay.”
The salmon bite has slowed down slightlyt out of Bodega Bay, but Captain Rick Powers of Bodega Bay Sport Fishing said, “I expect the salmon to erupt any day now, just like in the beginning. The weather was excellent on Thursday with no wind. Wind was called for, but it didn’t materialize.” They put in 15 salmon to 21 pounds for 22 anglers on Thursday along with full limits of assorted rockfish after posting 17 salmon to 16 pounds, one ling cod to 15 pounds, and 23 limits of assorted rockfish on Wednesday.
Half Moon Bay
Captain Dennis Baxter of the New Captain Pete went north between Mussel Rock to the Pacifica Pier on Thursday for 18 salmon for 10 anglers. He said, “The area from Devil’s Slide north is loaded with anchovies with all of the sign for salmon there, but there weren’t many fish at Pedro Point. There are still a few squid boats there, and an occasional white sea bass ended up in a squid boat net. Everyone is trying for the ghosts, but the numbers aren’t there. We got the information too late to make the run all the way north to the Towers, but we will start heading that way on Friday, stopping if anything looks too good on the trip north.”
Chris Arcoleo of Chris’s Fishing and Whale Watching in Monterey said, “Salmon fishing has been slow with only three and four fish on our last trip, and we have been limited to a medium-grade of rockfish since the weather hasn’t allowed up to run south. The local reefs are productive, but the best grade of rockfish comes from down south.” They have a few openings for a salmon trip on Sunday.
As mentioned earlier, the salmon bite off of the Towers in clear, green water, leaving one captain to remark, ‘Who would have thought we would have had our best day in these types of conditions?’
Captain Jerad Davis of the Salty Lady was one of the boats that found out about the action later in the morning, and they scratched out two fish shy of limits with a few over 30 pounds along with plenty of opportunities to put in limits. These are big fish, and many are being lost during the fight. Davis plans on heading to the same spot today although the salmon might not be there since there isn’t anything to hold them
San Francisco Bay
Most boats had to stay inside the bay until Thursday as the weather outside was rough. Captain Steve Mitchell took out Donoven Owen of Sonora, the young man who requires daily care for a debilitating health conditions. Owen had previously limited out on sturgeon with Mitchell after having to wait an extra day due to the weather.
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