Sunday, June 30, 2013

Team Barton caught four limits of salmon to 28 pounds today, five of them over 20. The first eleven boats to return limited out on salmon and the fish came from 50 to 60 feet of water south of Tomales Point. There are still fish out in 200 to 250 feet of water, but for those of us that like skimming our gear over the rocks, game on. The weather was less forgiving today and a lot of fish were lost just because of the poor conditions. The salmon have had krill, shortbelly rockfish, tomcod and squid in their stomachs, and with a smorgasbord like that they may not be leaving for a while. Dungeness season ended just OK, but there will still be quite a few crab dinners tonight.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Ron Johnson won bragging rights for the day with 36 and 28 pound salmon. Mr. Johnson was also sampling some new water away from the fleet.
Kaitlyn Fogal caught this 22 pound salmon today while fishing aboard Dennis Carter's The Predator with her dad. The boat returned with 8 nice salmon. The water wasn't very nice today but Kaitlyn kept fishing even though she didn't feel well. 
   The Dungeness crab was slow in the bay for most that tried; even Randy hasn't been doing too well. The outer bay was good and I heard about two pots on a two week soak off of Ten Mile that had 45 nice Dungeness in them. Tomorrow is your last chance for Dungeness until November 2. 

Larry Nies and Ed Parsons on the Shut Up and Fish returned with limits to 24.5 pounds. When asked where he caught them, Ed would only say, "We were all by ourselves." The water is much nicer than predicted, at least so far today.

The long-nosed lancetfish aren't the only inedible critters to wash up on the beach. This dead California gray whale washed up here after being towed out of the back bay by the Bodega Bay Marine Lab vessel, the Mussel Point. Apparently it was too stinky for the folks that live back there, but just right for us. They took a few samples before it was released to drift, as can be seen in the picture. Since this photo was taken a "whale autopsy technician" returned and disassembled the beast, making it less photogenic but slightly more aromatic. Great timing for a heat wave.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Here's a Wednesday fish of note, submitted by Fred Rodoni: We made it out about 11;00 and by 1:30 caught this whopper and two 16.5 lbs. The big boy was just a shade short of 40 pounds. We also hooked a 20 pounder sort that was hooked in the back. He put on an aerial show for twenty minutes, multiple consecutive leaps 3 ft. in the air as well as a 360 degrees. The catcher of the 40 pounder is Tim Cowman, Nate has worked on his boat, but yesterday we were on my 18 outrage. Thanks, Fred Rodoni 
When 40 pound fish are being landed in June, what comes later on? 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

   The salmon bite was a bit slower for some today but still really good for most. There were boats limiting early and others still trying for a first fish in the afternoon. The majority still did very well. The fog was thick for the first part of the day and made the guys without radar especially jumpy. Again, the bite was spread at times over an area from the 12 to 15 line and from 190 to 250+ feet of water. The fish came mostly on top but I heard of a few 100+ feet down on the wire. The water was warmer and had a lot of bait in shallower but everyone was working deep. 60 to 100 feet of water off of Tomales Point was 56 degrees, brown, and had lots of schools of bait, including what looked like squid spikes. It may be worth trying if you'd rather not dodge boats you can't see. The bar was also breaking periodically which is bad enough when you can see what's coming but is a whole new level of terror when beakers appear out of the fog.
   Attention abbers: here's part of a press release from the Department of Fish and Wildlife:

Fish and Game Commission Acts to Protect Red Abalone on California’s North Coast

The California Fish and Game Commission yesterday took action to modify abalone fishery regulations along the northern California coast. Specifically, the Commission voted to reduce the annual limit to 18 abalone (previously 24), with no more than nine taken from Sonoma and Marin counties. Other changes to abalone regulations included a coast-wide start time for the fishing day of 8:00 AM and a closure at Ft. Ross in Sonoma County. The changes are expected to go into effect for the 2014 abalone season.

So, basically, if you are a rockpicker that needs to go on really low tides (you know, the ones at 6:00 AM) I guess you need a new hobby.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

First boat back today was Shut Up and Fish with limits of 20 pound salmon. The fished 250 feet of water, thirty pulls down with 24 ounce leads. 

Roy and Mike Miller, fishing on the Miller Time, landed three salmon to 27 pounds today. When asked, they said they fished "the fleet." From the sound of things, the fleet covered several miles today, from at least the 12 line to the 15 line and from 200 to 250 feet of water. I did hear of a pair of salmon caught near buoy 2, so maybe a few fish are moving onto the beach. I also heard of a 2+ hour wait to launch at Westside in Bodega Bay this morning, so start early tomorrow. Crabbing in the bay was not too good with the strong currents in the A.M. but the outer bay had some decent crab for the guys that went outside.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Since there won't (or shouldn't) be any salmon pictures for today, here's one from yesterday. Team Barton claimed no problem with getting the fish to bite but keeping them attached was an issue. They fished off of Tomales Point in 200 feet of water. The clams took a beating again this past weekend but that's it for the really low tides on weekends until next year. The clams could use a break, and so could the rest of us. The crabbing is still holding up when the current isn't too fast.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

These fellows were heading out fishing when John Rosasco was putting his boat on the trailer and they still were back by 2:00 with limits. Mark Eres caught a 21 pounder and Pete Portlock caught a 20 pounder. Both men hail from Santa Rosa.
Steve Werlin and Eddie Parsons (along with Chris Wall) limited on salmon to 26.5 pounds. Not everyone was whacking them today but the majority of the fishermen did well.

John Rosasco and Mike Gonzales caught four salmon weighing from 20 to 27 pounds this morning. They couldn't go fishing yesterday because the boat trailer brakes were locked up and had to be removed. Today was worth waiting for, judging by the smiles. Two other boats have also come in with limits of salmon. The action for these guys seemed to be centered around the 38 13 line in 200 to 220 feet of water. Watch for crab pots but don't run away from them as the black gear tends to hold a few fish. 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The weather is not quite what one would hope for but the salmon are there. Boats returned to day with results ranging from limits for three people to nothing and seasickness. The most successful guy I spoke with fished out further than the average boat from here (200+ feet of water) and caught on his deepest line only. Tomorrow looks like a good weather window with less chance for mal de mer and more opportunity to concentrate on catching. Worst case scenario, you soak a few pots in the outer bay and come home with probably your last fresh crab of the season. The crabbing  is decent right now and only gets worse in a week. As a public service announcement, I'd like to remind people that, when launching your boat, stop backing up when the boat is floating. Float-testing your pickup truck is inadvisable and none will pass. Also, if you see an early 2000's silver Toyota Tundra for sale in the next week or so, don't buy it.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Brad Anglin of Winters caught this 22 pound salmon yesterday. There was at least one other in the boat but it wasn't as impressive. He's back out today, along with quite a few other boats. The weather is not good (it's already blowing 23 gusting to 27, 8' seas at 7 seconds at the buoy) and the forecast calls for 20 to 30 knots of wind , but the fish are close enough and hungry enough to justify the bouncy ride. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

I've heard of two halibut that were caught by Hog Island last Saturday and another one landed today, so maybe it's finally starting to be halibut time here. The wind was still blowing yesterday even though the forecast didn't call for it. Today it's just choppy outside. Too bad you can't salmon fish today or tomorrow. The crabbing on the pier slowed down over the weekend but should pick back up mid-week with the lighter pressure. In the bay it has been pretty good for most of the crabbers.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Al Matson of Auburn caught this 30 pound salmon this morning. It bit a Brad's Super Bait Cut Plug out by the number 2 buoy. Why was he fishing by the buoy? Because out deeper the ocean was trying to throw him out of the boat. 
Stacy Barton managed to stay in the boat out in 180 feet of water and put this 20 pounder aboard. Another fish was lost before it got too rough to continue. Several boats went for halibut in the bay and at least one flatty was taken on a live shiner by Hog Island. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Quick update: For those that fish for salmon, maybe Sunday if the forecast holds. Right out in front of Tomales Point the New Sea Angler clobbered the salmon in 180 feet of water before illness chased them in on Wednesday. For pier anglers, quite a few Dungeness are coming in lately. There have been some limits taken from the pier in the last couple of weeks. Also, the shiners are still biting when the water slows down.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Since much of the recent successful salmon fishing has been near the Head, it seemed like a good time to remind people that there is a closed area. On this map, the red area is closed to all fishing, period. The blue area is open only to "pelagic finfish" (effectively salmon) and Dungeness crab fishing by trap only (no ring nets or red crab). I've heard some secondhand reports of people fishing in the red zone. It probably is good fishing, but it is definitely a bad idea. There has already been a commercial fisherman that got to spend a little time in county jail for crabbing in an MPA further north. Probably you don't want to be his bunkmate. Check your GPS. If you are between 38 18 and 38 20.1 and in less than 250 feet of water you should probably stack your gear and get out of there. This is a good reason to learn how to read the numbers.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Pete Sequeira and his buddy Jeff caught these on Saturday at 16 and 4, basically 4 miles due west of the number 2 buoy off of Tomales Point. They bit herring at 30 pulls down with a 2 pound ball.

The final photo from the van Loben Sels family vacation. Mark and sons finished up their stay with some clams to go with their salmon and lingcod. There's even a few Washington clams on the lower left. Mark's toes are at the bottom of the photo.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Last year, Sue (on the left) had the biggest salmon on the big fish board for most of salmon season. While these fish aren't quite board-worthy, everyone should consider themselves on notice for this season. 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Here's a photo and report just in from Mark van Loben Sels:
Saturday June 8th.  Straight out front and slight north. 38.16 and 123.05 to 38.18 and 123.07.  190 to 240 deep. 60 Feet down. No flashers rsk and crippled herring 

Jerry Knedel found them a bit closer today, as in four miles out at 38 16 by 123 04. Jerry caught a 22.5 and 23 pound salmon today on green label herring on baiter blades, no flasher. Other boats are catching in the area as well, but it isn't a wide open bite. Pete Sequeira caught salmon up to 17 pounds about a mile south of Jerry's numbers, 30 pulls down with 2 pound balls and green label herring.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Jerry Knedel and Vern Sasaki put four salmon in the boat yesterday, the big one going 25 pounds. They caught them in 250 feet of water centered on about 38 04 and 123 04, 50 pulls down with 24 ounce balls (I don't know what that translates to in feet of downrigger wire), all while tacking north. The water had a little color to it. The folks from here that tried north had nothing. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Looks like there's a few Dungeness crab lurking off of the pier. Not all the pots looked like this one but some folks were thinking they might limit out today.

From the sound of it, there's a salmon bite off of Point Reyes and further south. It was scratchy, but a few fish are way better than none. Slow action on the rockfish.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Mark van Loben Sels (in the middle of the van Loben Sels clan, pictured) of Walnut Grove caught this 16.5 pound salmon off and a little north of Bodega Head in 220 feet of water. Other boats were putting a few in the box in the same area. A lingcod was put in the boat earlier while rockfishing close to the beach about a mile above Salmon Creek. The water is flat, cold and clear but should get some color and some warmth if the wind will just lay off for a bit. According to the radio there's a few salmon off of Point Reyes as well.

Monday, June 3, 2013

The longnose lancetfish are running in the surf! Or, at least one showed up there this morning. Today's got bludgeoned pretty well, but a good picture of another lancetfish from Dillon Beach is here. They are normally a deep water, offshore fish but my guess is that they occasionally they get carried inshore by the upwelling water. The spring winds have certainly provided us with a surplus of upwelling this year. No other fish of note landed here over the weekend. There were some crabs caught from the pier and bay, including a couple of limits of Dungeness from the pier on Saturday. The weather was pretty bad over the weekend and contributed to one fisherman out of Bodega Bay losing his boat but thankfully not his life. Here's the story in the Press Democrat:

UPDATE: Nick, the fisherman that grabbed the lancetfish, was kind enough to share with us in the shop. We grilled it. We now know why there is no commercial fishery for lancetfish. Thanks, Nick, but no more for us.