Tuesday, December 9, 2014

     At a quarter to 6:00 this morning a fiberglass boat ran into one of Hog Island Oyster Company's boats and sent two guys to the hospital (thankfully not to the bottom of the bay). Then the boat took off. If anyone saw a boat today with some recent front end damage I'm pretty sure that the Marin County Sheriff's Department would like to hear from you. Their number is (415)479-2311.
     Here's something fun. Can you name these critters? (Not Nick) They are tasty but usually too deep for most of us.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The rockfishing was great yesterday for the few boats that went outside. The best numbers were for the guys that went down to the reef off of Abbott's Lagoon and returned with about 50 pounds of lingcod between their two limits. They put some pots at the Keyholes for 14 Dungeness in a few hours, so there's still a few around down there. The outer bay provided near limits of Dungeness for one boat that found the right spot. Tomales Bay has slowed down but most of the boaters are catching at least a couple of keepers. The pier has been very slow with occasional flurries of decent action. On Thursday at the turn of the high tide I saw several Dungeness caught in nets, traps and snares on the pier.

Friday, November 14, 2014

The commercial boats started dropping pots this morning at 6:00 AM and by 9:00 AM they are already commenting on the radio about how hard it is to find a patch of water free of other gear. The rest of the ocean now looks like the outer bay with buoys everywhere. There will still be crab to catch on Ten Mile but it will probably be better in the outer bay, at least for a little while. The pier has had only a few Dungeness a day but boaters on the bay are catching partial to full limits when they find the right spot. Rockfishing is good with a lot of lingcod in the shallows. There's still a big pile of squid in 100' of water just south of the Trees.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Trip Plumb went down to Ten Mile this morning and was back by noon with limits of lings and jumbo Dungeness. Some rockfish found their way aboard, too. The rockfishing should stay good for a while but after tomorrow the numbers of crab will probably drop at Ten Mile, as the commercial fleet starts dropping pots at 6:00 AM on Friday. We've had our fun and now it's their turn. The outer bay usually doesn't get hit as hard at first, so that may hold a bit longer.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

This pot soaked for two and a half hours for 17 Dungeness, all over 6". Ten Mile has quite a bit of crab, at least for now. The outer bay is still going strong, although you need to be in the right spot to do well. The bay is still giving up some good crab but limits are hard to come by. The pier has had a few Dungeness every day but hasn't been impressive. The rockfishing is good at Point Reyes and gets slower as you get closer to home. I limited on lings and rockfish in to hours at Abbott's reef on Thursday. There's a big pile of squid just south of the Trees in 100 feet of water. I couldn't catch any sea bass in there but we did have crab-stuffed squid tubes for dinner. They're almost worth the time and effort.

Monday, November 3, 2014

I like it when I don't have to write anything. This was sent in by Kevin Fogal:

Another great day on the big pond with Captain Dennis Carter and Deckhand Kevin Fogal out on the Predator with up and coming Deckhand Gage Vogler, Kaitlyn Fogal, along with  Laura, Marisa, and Harolyn with full limits on Saturday and  41 jumbo Dungeness Crab on Sunday

Sunday was a much better weather day than Saturday and more boats tried the ocean for crab. The outer bay held, on average, more crab than Ten Mile. Pots in the outer bay were averaging a limit of keepers each on a 4+ hour soak. Even with plentiful crabs the pirates were out. I saw one pot from the outer bay that had the stainless wire netting cut to gain access to the crabs inside. Also, another tip: place your line leads about 20 to 30 feet from the buoy to sink your floating lines. Leading the pot end doesn't work. We had a pot "dropped off" at the boat launch that had the line wrapped around an outboard and came off when the boat got pulled from the water. The pot was returned to its owner, but don't lose your gear that way. The pier had a few crab but was slow, especially considering the number of people trying for Dungeness from it. 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

The Dungeness opener was pretty good for catching crabs but not so good for boating. A boat out of Bodega Bay turned over near Seal Rock. Four people ended up dead and a fifth was hospitalized. There will be better days to go outside. The crab in the picture came from inside Tomales Bay, so you don't have to risk the rough water to catch. A couple of boats returned with multiple limits from inside the bay by 9:30. Only a few boats ventured out to the ocean with the large seas rolling in. They caught  well outside, especially in the outer bay, but they had to fight for them in the swell and chop. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Dungeness opener is Saturday, so of course the forecast is for a large, dangerous swell. The National Weather Service is calling for 8 to 10 foot swells, while Stormsurf is calling for 14 foot high surf. If you want to crab in the ocean on Saturday you'll have to go someplace else. Sunday is supposed to be fine. The inner bay will be crowded but very fishable (or fishable but very crowded) and it looks like there's a lot of Dungies in the bay for the start of the season. How long those numbers hold remains to be seen. If you're going to work the bay, I recommend parking on your gear to make sure that you are the only one running it. Also, write your name on your buoys. There is no excuse for pulling gear with someone else's name on it, and Fish and Wildlife won't enforce the "check your own gear" law if they can't tell whose gear it is. Lastly, weight your lines so they don't float. It's a bit hypocritical to get angry at a guy for running over your crab pot rope if you left 50' of line floating at the surface. It's kind of your fault. Don't be that guy.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Only one boat launch today, but they came back with two salmon from Abbott's Lagoon. Bob Boyle landed a 20 pounder and Craig Dahl of Mill Valley caught a 14. Both fish came on "Bubba Bait" in 80 feet of water near the bottom.
Mike Nursement was first back with salmon yesterday. The other boats fishing the "north of Abbott's" area also picked up salmon. No birds yesterday to show the way but the fish were still in 100-130' of water. This one had anchovies, herring and squid in his belly. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

These two stripers came from the surf yesterday. There's been a few caught from the beach in the last week or so, and even the surfers are seeing them while they're paddling out. There were some salmon caught off of Abbott's Lagoon in 100' of water (look for the birds). A diver tried the bar today for halibut and saw nothing but large Dungeness crabs and lots of dead squid. That sounds like the squid have spawned again by the outer buoy. There ought to be a few of those sea bass critters around, too.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Between the wind earlier in the week and big swells now there's not much to report. One boat got out for some rockfish on Friday. Five divers worked the bar yesterday and didn't see any halibut (but one saw a personal best 14 angel sharks if you like those). They did see lots of large Dungeness crab. Red crabbers are doing well but also returning lots of big Dungies. Hopefully more to report later this week but the weather forecast is a bit flaky.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Finally, a halibut! Vic Shada caught this 21 pounder while he was mooching for salmon off of McClure's. He and his partner also caught three salmon. The only other boat that we launched today caught two limits of salmon on Ten Mile near Abbott's Lagoon and they were back by lunch time.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

This week's white sea bass was caught by Tom Cook. It weighed 47 pounds and was caught, I believe, off of McClure's Beach. Tom was actually targeting sea bass, so it wasn't an accident.

These are Friday fish caught by Tom Gerbi and Ed on the Shut Up and Fish. They came from 70 feet of water off of Abbott's Lagoon. There were more salmon caught there today but the bite slowed a bit for most of the trollers and the moochers seemed to do a little better. No halibut today but some nice rockfish came in.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Miller Time limited on salmon yesterday and today. His fish all liked his blue trolling heads and were caught by Abbott's Lagoon.

Ron Johnson limited yesterday and brought home one nice one today. He was trolling near Abbott's as well. There were about 40 boats fishing the area today and most guys came back with salmon.  
Hunter Hayes of Lodi caught this 36 pound salmon today while fishing with his father and Mike Gonzales on the Marisa Kay. They also limited on rockfish.

Friday, October 3, 2014

There is a good salmon bite going on Ten Mile from the north parking lot to almost the Keyholes. The best action is on the squid a mile north of Abbott's Lagoon in 70 to 100 feet of water. Today one boat returned in three hours with two limits of nice salmon. Yesterday's salmon had some of reddest flesh we've seen this year. No halibut to report but the rockfish are biting well.

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Pile brothers found three limits of nice salmon on Ten Mile today, not counting the five other salmon that broke off. They were trolling near the Towers and caught their fish before the wind finally came up and blew them off the water. There were some nice rockfish caught today as well.

Randy Hanks mooched up this 17.5 pound salmon on Sunday while fishing on the Bananas and Change with Stacy Hanks and Tom Brodsky. They had near limits of rockfish as well. The fish came from Elephant Rock. Divers speared a few halibut on Saturday but yesterday they saw nothing but a few angel sharks and lots of large Dungeness. Fishermen had worse luck on halibut than the divers. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Today's sea bass of the day is brought to you by Jake Showaker. Jake's 44 pound croaker was caught on the troll near the Keyholes. Jake modestly wants to confirm that, although chasing a fish in a boat that must be operated from the cabin while still fighting the fish alone is very difficult, he's up to the task. There were a few salmon picked up today too before the wind chased everyone in. The current forecast is for more wind for the next few days.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Yesterday three boats limited on salmon at McClure's and a couple of others caught nothing. Mooching was the technique used by all. Steve Towne was one of the limiters and apparently hooked Tuesday's sea bass but couldn't keep it attached. So, there's at least one out there. Today the weather was a bit less pleasant with only one salmon fisherman heading out. He did catch one nice one and returned before the bar shut down with 11 foot waves breaking all the way across this afternoon. Apparently, fall is here.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Vern Sasaki caught a 27.5 pound white sea bass yesterday, plus he and his buddy boated three salmon as well. They were mooching off of McClure's in 90-100 feet of water. There were a couple of other salmon trolled up there as well. Ten Mile has had a few salmon in 40 to 100 feet (the commercial fleet seems to be working the 80-100' area pretty consistently). There were a few halibut speared on the bar on Sunday but yesterday's divers and fishermen came up empty. Hog Island had one halibut for Scott from Auburn. The halibut bit his one and only live jacksmelt.

Saturday, September 20, 2014


Two white sea bass were brought in today, a 27 pounder by Gerald Bunch and a 31 pounder by Mike Stahl. Gerald caught his on a jig off of McClure's, along with a halibut.  Mike's bit a drifted herring at Elephant Rock. I am jealous of both of them. The halibut in the picture was caught from a kayak in the bay.
Salmon were caught from Bird Rock down to Point Reyes, with most of them coming from Ten Mile Beach. The beach also had a few halibut. I didn't hear of any particular spot that was better than any other. It was slow enough that the rockcod took a beating today. The Due Regard went on an albacore scouting run and found green water and lots of birds but no tuna outside of Cordell to at least the 123°40' line.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Dvir Brakha caught this 20 pound lingcod on Sunday.

Ron Johnson caught his limit of halibut and one salmon on the south end of Ten Mile yesterday. Ron's halibut liked blue label herring but the salmon took an anchovy.  A couple of other boats caught a few salmon down that way as well. I heard of one other halibut taken in the bay yesterday. It was caught on a 6" live jacksmelt.  

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Stacy Barton caught this 20 pound ling on his first drop at Point Reyes today. His boat ended up with four limits of rockfish and lingcod and they were back in time for his Seahawks game. Too bad for him, they still lost. He could have spent that time more productively by trolling for salmon. There were a few salmon caught today and a few more halibut from the big beach, but mostly boats returned with limits of rockfish. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

John Kuhlman put the hook in a 38 pound salmon today. He seems kind of happy about it.

Also happy was the crew of the Predator who landed several halibut today, including this 28 pounder. They were trolling Ten Mile, "all by ourselves".

This green cabezon weighed 14 pounds. That's 7 pounds of head! I kid, but it's not coincidence that cabeza means head in spanish. Supposedly the green color in the flesh of many cabezons and ling cod comes from eating lots of shrimp, so go easy on the endless shrimp platter at Red Lobster.

I'm not sure if this is a big vermillion or small model holding it, or both. Probably both. A lot of rockfish came in today but so did quite a few salmon, especially from the Tomales Point to McClure's Beach area. Halibut sounded like they were mostly caught on the south end of  Ten Mile but not everyone was talking. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Moochers picked up some salmon from McClure's to Bird in the last few days. Elephant Rock and Abbott's had a few as well. It is definitely winding down but still doable. Halibut fishing was slow in the bay but a few are coming from McClure's and Ten Mile.  Helmuth Himmrich caught a 30 pound flatty on McClure's yesterday.  I put three in the boat about a mile this side of Abbott's in 30 to 65 feet of water. We drifted live mackerel and mackerel scad and lost two other halibut. The mackerel schools are plentiful on Ten Mile. Good thing, because the big Dungeness crabs will eat most of your bait. Our bites were 4 to 1 crabs. I'm sure that the crab will be gone by November, but so will the halibut.  Rockfishing was good.

Monday, September 8, 2014

You can tell summer has passed when you only launch five boats and the wind isn't howling. Of those five launches, three limited on salmon, one had a half limit, and one had many bites but couldn't stick one. The best numbers came from this side of Abbott's in 60 to 70 feet of water but Bird Rock and McLure's had a few salmon as well. No halibut today, but that could be because nobody fished for halibut.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Poor Jeff Norton. He caught a salmon early in the day, then tried to get the second one all day but he never could. I can only imagine his disappointment when this 45 pound sea bass bit. I guess that makes a pretty good consolation prize. Jeff seems okay with it. Both of his fish came from 90 feet of water just this side of Abbott's Lagoon while mooching anchovies. The Miss Anita trolled by about the time Jeff was fighting the bass and they caught its twin. There were quite a few (for September) salmon caught this weekend. mostly from the south end of Ten Mile but still some on the reefs from Elephant to Tomales Point. The halibut showed pretty well too, with one boat catching six yesterday. The halibut are finally biting in the shallower water where they're supposed to be. Today there were a few in the mix but salmon definitely outnumbered them. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Sherrie Georgis caught this 33 pound salmon yesterday. The bite slowed but there were still several salmon brought in yesterday, although most of them were not close to this size. So far today one boat has returned with his salmon limit. Dennis Stocking put two halibut in the boat quick yesterday morning but couldn't get the third. He was fishing by Hog Island with shiners. 

Here's Randy Johnson's 36 pound sea bass from last weekend. It was too painful for me to get a picture of it, so I had to steal this one from Facebook. He was mooching for salmon off of McClure's Beach when he caught it.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Labor day weekend was a bit windy but there were still a few fish caught. Saturday had some pretty good salmon numbers and a 36 pound white sea bass. Sunday was pretty well blown out. Monday saw a few salmon caught but not too many. The water cooled off by 8 degrees to 56. It should be good for salmon but they might need a chance to acclimate before they get real bitey. Today six boats tried for salmon but only three fish were brought in.  The one boat that limited caught his in 50 feet of water, shallower than the fish have been but probably an appropriate depth for the new water temperature. Divers on the bar today had clear 54 degree water for excellent views of nothing but sand. Fishermen caught a few halibut back by Hog Island over the long weekend but the mouth of the bay was pretty quiet. The halibut may finally move into shallower water with the cooler temps but with all the squid out deeper I wouldn't bet on it. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Allen Evans caught this 47 pound white sea bass off of Elephant Rock on Thursday. On my day off. If he wasn't such a nice guy I'd think he was deliberately trying to hurt my feelings.

Julie Helminiak sent in this picture. I don't know the story behind it, but I think this is meant to hurt my feelings.

This is what it's all about. Rodbender Sportfishing sent over these pictures of the Discovery Hills Youth Group with their rockfishing limits. We've got to get these kids out on the water and rockfishing is a great way to do it.
    The salmon fishing is slowing but the fish are still out there and worth fishing for. The usual spots still, although a little deeper (100-130 feet of water) has been working better for some. Halibut is still slow but there's still some coming from the Hog Island area, not that large on average but keepers. Jigging along the weedline with white bucktails with a bit of squid seems a little better on average that even live bait. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Here's a couple of pictures from Brad White.  I know that I asked for them, but I'm still jealous. The salmon is from the 16th and the sea bass is from Sunday. With the salmon scheduled to start winding down, maybe sea bass should start being a target. I figure that I can get skunked on them just as quickly as I get skunked on salmon.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Julie Johnson caught this 21 pound salmon yesterday on a trolled purple haze hootchy. With the salmon eating so many squid, it seems like a good lure to both me and the fish.

Lance Bain sent in this picture from his trip on Thursday. He caught this 40 pound white sea bass while mooching at Elephant Rock. I've heard of several large sea bass caught recently but this is the first picture I've seen. It would be nice if some of you guys could send in some pictures. Some guys like you, Tom Baty. I heard about the fish but I want need to see it. Even though it makes me jealous.

The crew of the Fish Raider 3 clobbered the salmon on Saturday. They were trolling between the Trees and McClure's Beach in about 70 to 80 feet of water, at least when I saw them. 

These are also Saturday fish. Left to right, bottom photo is Wyatt Zanardi, Wade Amaral and Travis Amaral. The south wind made it difficult to troll and and even more difficult to (successfully) mooch, but most of the boats found salmon in the usual places. There were even a few more halibut caught out in 80 feet of water off McClure's.

Also on Saturday was the 3rd Annual Merle Lawson Memorial Salmon Derby. Third place went to Travis Amaral who caught this 23 pound salmon and won $700. He was trolling south of the Trees.

Second place was Tom Brodsky with a 24.5 pound salmon for $1200. He mooched and trolled for his fish.

First place and $1750 went to Brent Johnson and his troll-caught (on a purple haze hootchy?) 28 pounder. A special prize was also awarded to Tom Brodsky for taking Gage fishing more than I did this summer. Thanks to everyone that came out and fished and to everyone that came out with great food to the potluck after. Also, thanks to the Save Lawson's Landing group for donating $900.00 towards the prize purses. And thanks to the staff here for putting up with more work while I went fishing.