Sunday, April 5, 2015

No salmon pictures from here for this weekend. I should post some pictures of kites or windsurfers. A couple of boats went of here out but didn't spend much time trying before they surfed back in. From the radio, a few boats had a couple of salmon but the action was sparse in the cold, churned-up water. Crabbing was pretty slow in the bay as well. I didn't hear of any leopard sharks caught, only a bat ray. I'm guessing that the leopards' fins were hard to spot in the chop. The surfperch did bite for the guys that didn't mind getting sand and salt blasted.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Salmon season will open here on April 4 with a limit of two per day, four in possession, and a 24" minimum size. After April there will likely be different regulations, but there won't be a decision on that until April 17. If history is any indicator the fish will be out deep, but other signs like warm water and continued squid spawning would seem to suggest that there may be some near shore fish. Today the beach had squid egg sacs scattered all over, so the spawning is definitely happening. If you come for the salmon but the wind is blowing (and really, what are the chances of that?) the surfperch are biting, at least. Also, I heard that some scuba divers speared three halibut by Hog Island this weekend. That would be three more than normal for this time of year but the water is not normal, so who knows? Never let the truth get in the way of a good story, I was told.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

It is now finally official; the new rockfish rules are in effect. Here's from the official press release : The open season dates and allowable fishing depths for the recreational Groundfish Management Areas are as follows:

"Northern - Open May 15 through Oct. 31, in 20 fathoms (120 feet) or less
Mendocino - Open May 15 through Oct. 31, in 20 fathoms (120 feet) or less
San Francisco - Open April 15 through Dec. 31, in 30 fathoms (180 feet) or less
Central - Open April 1 through Dec. 31, in 40 fathoms (240 feet) or less
Southern - Open March 1 through Dec. 31, in 60 fathoms (360 feet) or less
Staff from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) worked closely with recreational stakeholders to develop the regulations prior to submission to and approval by the Commission. "The changes are designed to allow as much fishing opportunity as possible while remaining within allowable catch limits," said Marci Yaremko, CDFW's State/Federal Fisheries Program Manager. "However, as we do each year, we will be closely monitoring catches up and down the state during the open season to ensure we don't exceed any limits."

Other changes include:
An increase in the lingcod bag limit from two to three fish
A sub-bag limit of five black rockfish within the 10-fish Rockfish, Cabezon, Greenling (RCG) complex bag limit
Statewide closure of the California scorpionfish fishery from Sept. 1 through Dec. 31
Take and possession of bronzespotted rockfish, canary rockfish, cowcod and yelloweye rockfish will remain prohibited statewide."

Keep in mind that depth limitation isn't actually about the depth but that special line I posted several weeks back and you'll be fine.  Also, looks like salmon should open on April 4th. Minimum size and limits to be determined. The summer salmon season looks like it will be a good one, better than last year, even. I thought last year was pretty good, so I'm excited for summer.
The crabbing has been mostly slow with occasional greatness for a lucky few. Most boaters have just been bringing in a few but every couple of weeks someone loads up. The outer bay was the hot spot a day ago. The perch are still running in the surf and a couple of stripers were caught as well. Schools of large jacksmelt are passing by the pier and they like the pink sabikis.

Monday, February 16, 2015

There are some surfperch biting on the incoming tide. These were all calico surfperch since the redtails they caught weren't big enough. Most of the fish came on prawns and clam necks but a few bit on the Berkeley Power Grubs. Note to prospective surf fishermen: Put your bait and lunch in a dog-proof container. These gentlemen had theirs eaten by beach walkers' dogs. My favorite quote of the day: "I hope he throws up in the car." 

Friday, February 13, 2015

The salmon preseason has started and the meetings to set the season have begun. Your chance to view or offer an opinion comes on February 25th at 9:00 am at the Sonoma County Water Agency at 404 Aviation Blvd in Santa Rosa. I believe that you can play along at home over the Internet. Links and other dates of meetings can be found here: http://www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/salmonpreseason.asp . For abalone divers and rockpickers, new rules are being created. Your opportunity to participate is also at hand. To fill out a questionnaire on your preferences for future regulations, go here: https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Fishing/Invertebrates/Abalone/Survey . It can't hurt, and maybe you can help direct where the regulations will be effecting. I know that I personally would enjoy the opportunity to choose the  color and composition of the rope with which I get hanged.
   The crabbing has been slow in the bay but there's still some Dungeness coming in. The pier has even given up a few crab dinners. The surfperch are feeding off of the beach if you're lucky enough to find the school. The leopard sharks are also doing the school thing inside the bay and if you're lucky enough to find them please let me know where. I was told "across the bay in a cove" but that wasn't enough info for me to find them.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

     The new rockfish regulations make repeated reference to the fact that you can't fish for rockfish west of a line of waypoints defined in the Federal regulations that describe the 30 fathom line. This map shows the line in our area. I also listed the waypoints on here, as they require a bit of searching to come up with them. Maybe they'll be included in this year's regulation book, but if not, you can find the waypoints (maybe) by clicking here: 50 CFR Part 660, Subpart G. The 30 fathom line definition starts on page 244. Enjoy. 
     The crabbing is still pretty slow everywhere. There's a few surfperch coming from the beach and a few big jacksmelt from the pier. There's schools of bait moving in and out of the bay with birds chasing them but nobody has gone out to see if anything interesting is mixed in with them. The leopard sharks are schooling in the shallows in the bay now, if you can find them (the schools have been moving around). Unfortunately, they aren't very hungry when they're schooling like that but they are fun to watch.  

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Aside from a limit of Dungeness caught off the pier by 10:30 AM yesterday, the crabbing has been very slow. With luck, yesterday's crabs are a sign of some fresh Dungeness moving into the bay. Other crabbers did catch a few, but not limits. The outer bay still has some crab to offer when you can get there. The beach had some surfperch and there's at least one striper out there with a Pencil Popper still in his mouth. The biggest catch recently was the Shrimp Boat's rescue of two people from an overturned canoe. The child was wearing a life jacket but the adult was not, nor could he swim. Alec got to practice the CPR he had just learned, and luckily he was successful. Another big save for the Shrimp Boat crew.