Saturday, October 14, 2017

     In the midst of much turmoil, there's always rockfish. They're like the ocean's comfort food. Not much else happening now, just waiting for Dungeness season and a good rain. Hopefully the rain comes well before the crab.

Friday, October 6, 2017

     No pictures of Joe G. today, but there's a few salmon down on Ten Mile. The area around the Keyholes and to the south has had some salmon biting out in about 60 feet of water. Too bad the wind is supposed to howl over the weekend. It'll be beautiful the rest of the week, probably. Also in the news, the Department of Fish and Wildlife have announced the official new rockfishing depths to be in effect on October 16. It's basically back to what it was last year. For a more thorough description,  the press release follows (please note the suggestion towards the bottom to do your rockfishing somewhere away from the rocks, where the yelloweyes live):

Changes to Recreational Groundfish Regulations Effective Oct. 16

Yelloweye rockfish 
CDFW photo
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) announces new restrictions on recreational fishing for groundfish in waters north of Point Conception to the Oregon/California border. Changes to authorized fishing depths described below take effect Monday, Oct. 16 at 12:01 a.m.
, and will remain in place through the remainder of 2017.
The recreational groundfish fishery depth restrictions will be as follows:
  • Northern Management Area (Oregon/California border to Cape Mendocino): Take is prohibited seaward of 20 fathoms (120 feet) in depth. The 'all-depth' groundfish fishery slated for November and December 2017 in this area is canceled.
  • Mendocino Management Area (Cape Mendocino to Point Arena): Take is prohibited seaward of 20 fathoms (120 feet) in depth. The 'all-depth' groundfish fishery slated for November and December 2017 in this area is canceled.
  • San Francisco Management Area (Point Arena to Pigeon Point): Take is prohibited seaward of the 30 fathom depth contour (180 feet).
  • Central Management Area (Pigeon Point to Point Conception): Take is prohibited seaward of the 40 fathom depth contour (240 feet).
  • Southern Management Area (Point Conception to the US/Mexico border): Take is prohibited seaward of the 60 fathom depth contour (360 feet). No changes are slated for this area.
The 20 fathom depth restriction is described by the general depth contour (California Code of Regulations (CCR) Title 14, Section 27.20(a)). The 30, 40 and 60 fathom depth contours are defined by straight lines connecting the waypoints as adopted in federal regulations (Code of Federal Regulations Title 50, part 660, subpart G).
Based on recent bycatch estimates for yelloweye rockfish (Sebastes ruberrimus) from the California sport fishery, CDFW projects that the harvest guideline specified in federal regulation for 2017 (3.9 metric tons) will be exceeded unless changes are made. Pursuant to CCR Title 14, Section 27.20(e), CDFW has the authority to make modifications to the fishery to avoid exceeding the limit, and must issue notice of any changes at least 10 days in advance of the effective date.
Yelloweye rockfish is a long-lived, slow-growing shelf rockfish species that was declared overfished in 2002 and cannot be retained in the recreational fishery. It is currently managed under a strict federal rebuilding plan that has required significant cutbacks to West Coast sport and commercial fisheries for more than a decade, to allow the population to recover.
Although fishing for rockfish and other groundfish will remain open through the end of the year, CDFW urges anglers to avoid fishing in areas where yelloweye rockfish are known to occur (for example rocky outcrops and pinnacles). If taken, yelloweye rockfish should be immediately returned to the water with a descending device to minimize injury and mortality. CDFW also encourages anglers who encounter them to change fishing locations to prevent catching additional yelloweye rockfish.
For more information regarding groundfish regulations, management, stock status, fish identification tools, and current catch trends, please visit the CDFW Marine Region Groundfish website. For further information about how depth limits are defined, read this article published on the CDFW Marine Management News blogsite earlier this year.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

     Joe G. and his team mooched up some more salmon last week. Apparently, this is what they were doing while I was out burning fuel and chasing dreams of tuna. The wind over the weekend caused a lot of upwelling and has cooled off both the inshore and offshore waters, probably cooling my tuna fever as well (for now). 
     Cold water should also mean a minimal chance for domoic acid to shut down the Dungeness season, and with the current good test results it looks like we have a season. For you crabbers, remember to make sure your GOID numbers on your buoys are still legible and replace your cottons. Also, don't try to be cute and drop your pots early before Dungeness opens, as it is now illegal to use a trap a week before the Dungy opener. It appears to me that crab snares, referred to as "crab loop traps" in the regulations, are also not to be used during the trap closure. Crab nets may still be used for red crab during this period. 

Friday, September 29, 2017

    Eddie Kim found the halibut by Hog Island on Wednesday. Live shiner perch that he caught off of the Lawson pier were the ticket. The two larger fish weighed 13 and 14 pounds. Eddie caught limits of nice rockfish yesterday in about 200 feet of water near Elephant Rock. That said, be aware that the depth limits are going to change for rockfish, probably in the next week or so. Fish and Wildlife advises calling them at (831)649-2801 or check here before going rockfishing to know the current regulations. Basically, too many yelloweye rockfish are being caught and if they don't change the rules they'll have to close the season, period. The yelloweyes have been coming in shallower than 180 feet ( I caught and released a juvenile last year in 140 feet of water) so it would be good to know your fish. Here's Fish and Wildlife's flyer
     There's still a few salmon around with a few mooched up in the outer bay last week and a few more caught off of Ten Mile on the troll. The Ten Mile fish I heard of came from both ends of the beach, from 40 to 120 feet of water. More guys came back empty than were successful, but there's a few fish there for the skilled and lucky.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

     There were a few salmon caught at the Keyholes and the North end of Ten Mile today. It was not a hot bite, but fish are fish. They're still picking up a few halibut in the bay but you have to fight the weeds knocked loose by the wind. There's a lot of weeds. Rockfishing has been pretty good when you can get out. It sounds like there may be some boats running for tuna this week if the weather forecast holds for Wednesday and Thursday.