Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Jesse Keilman of South Lake Tahoe caught this 31 pounder just north of Abbott's Lagoon in 55 feet of water. This was Jesse's second trip this year. The first trip we won't talk about, but this trip redeemed his confidence with limits of salmon. The salmon were hitting the white hootchies today. There are many boats working the area between Elephant and Abbott's and most of them are hooking up.  

Monday, July 28, 2014

The weekend fishermen did pretty well with most boats picking up at least one salmon. Trolling is starting to edge out mooching in overall success. The jellies are still bad in a lot of places but not everywhere. Shallower water from 60 to 80 feet, from Bird to the Keyholes, and down near the bottom seems to be where the fish are (Did you ever notice that the guys that sell tackle always say the fish are by the bottom? On the rocks? Why is that?). Halibut action was good for divers and slow for fishermen on the bar. FYI, there have been a few sightings of the "man in the gray suit" by Bird Rock and Tomales Point and at least one diver on the bar saw something that caused him to get back in the boat in a rush. 
One final note: Alec Bennett finally found a halibut in front of his speargun. You know, a man gets tired of fishing and not catching, and sometimes he gets fed up and takes a gun in his hands. I don't condone it, but I understand it. Nice shooting, Alec. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Scott from Auburn read the report and got a few tips, then headed out here to catch a halibut. Luckily he wised up, disregarded everything I said, talked to someone else and ended up catching this nice halibut by Hog Island on a shiner.

Alec Bennett took the Shrimp Boat out alone today and landed this 22 pound salmon on his new rod. He mooched it up off of the Trees on an anchovy. Alec says the secret weapon is the salmon colored hat. I'm not so sure. 

Ron Johnson landed a 60 pound limit of salmon today, this being the 34 pound larger fish. The trollers did well today, too, with some of the nicer limits being boated by the tackers. A few halibut were caught on the bar but divers did well enough to make most of the attempted halibut catchers pretty jealous. 

These sun- and windburned guys are showing off the 60 pounds of salmon they caught yesterday off of the Trees. Conditions were not perfect with the wind blowing just offshore making the water a bit agitated. After noon the wind slid in and chased most of the boats off the water. Most of the boats were mooching and maybe half caught a fish or more. There were a few trollers that dueled with the jellies and at least one found a pocket of clean water with a few fish in it. The bar had many halibut on it in the morning and the divers speared their limits then but the afternoon shift never saw a fish. The fishermen caught a few in the AM as well. A big school of anchovies came in the bay after the bottom of the tide and may have pulled some of those halibut with them further back into the bay. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Another day, another 31 pound halibut. Jim Russell of Watsonville speared this one. You could almost show a movie on the white side.The bar treated the divers well again today and even a few first-timers got to bloody their spears. Fishing for the halibut was tougher but a few were taken. Also tough was the salmon bite for most guys, although yet again a few boats returned early with limits. The successful guys were moochers just below Bird. There was also a good bite down in the land of jelly (Elephant/Keyholes) where guys snatched fish out of a scene from the rumored Ghostbusters 3 movie (I've been slimed!). The wind is picking up for a day or so, and that's probably a good thing if it cools the water off a bit. If the water gets much warmer you'll have to chum for salmon with ice. Maybe if you use frozen bait they'll bite?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

It's a short set of photos today due to the small amount of fish brought in. These guys caught some salmon off of the Trees but were the exceptions. There was supposedly a bite down by Elephant but the guys I talked to that tried in there said the jellies were thick. The water temp has been running up to 65° which seems a little high for salmon. Actually, it seems a little high for albacore. Dorado, anyone?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Brad Siefker caught this 20 pound salmon today while fishing with Don Whaley on the Wooden Duck. Don says, "Wish you were here, John." A couple of boats limited out on salmon today and one guy was a salmon short of a Grand Slam (halibut, salmon, lings and rockfish limits) but the majority of fishermen will be eating beans tonight. There are salmon in good numbers out in 370 feet of water off of Bodega Head, not as big as some of the ones coming from the shallows, but quantity has a quality all its own. Divers got some halibut from the bar again. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The newest fish to beat here this year is Enzo Buckenmeyer's 38 pound salmon. Visible at bottom left is part of his 32 pound salmon. Check out that steely glint in his eye. Fish fear this kid.

The Honebeins caught this 22 pound salmon trolling 30 feet down in 60 feet of water a little south of Bird Rock.

Even though Rob Ohnmacht is holding this fish, he just netted it. The gentleman on the left reeled it in. Rob did a nice job netting it, though. It was mooched up off of McClure's.

The halibut came from the bar, which dribbled out a few other fish for the anglers and divers today. The salmon came from off of the Trees. There was no big bite today, at least not for the inshore guys, but there were enough fish caught so at least you could watch someone else bring one in if you weren't catching. If anyone out there likes eating the Red Irish Lord sculpins, you should definitely come fish here. You can't keep them off your mooched bait when you drift inside of 50 feet. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Mike Gibson caught this 33 pound salmon off of the Trees in 60 feet of water trolling 30 pulls down with a 1 pound weight on a Brad's Cut Plug. 

Steve Freeman and Lou Zanardi caught 24 and 30 pound salmon while trolling at Elephant. The trollers and moochers had about equal success today. About half of the boats returned salmonless and a good part of the rest had one. There were still a few guys with limits. Pete Sequeira returned at noon with mooched limits from the Trees for he and his pal. Only a few halibut were speared on the bar today but the fishermen did pretty well. I heard of one boat catching 5 and talked to a guy with 3 and another with 2. The stripers turned to sardines today with a school of large sardines showing up on the bar for a while. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

The salmon fishing was okay for some, bad for others, and excellent for at least one guy (go Rob!). Most of the fish landed here came from Bird to the Keyholes in 60 feet of water or less, but on the radio there were more consistent numbers from points north. Trolling caught some but mooching seemed to work better for most. When some people gave up on the salmon they tried for halibut and came up with a few of those on the bar and at McClure's Beach. Divers did pretty well on the bar with better visibility giving the halibut nowhere to hide (except in the sand, which actually works pretty well for a flat, brown fish). The school of stripers were on the bar, too, but I wouldn't count on a second lightning strike. 

They say it's important to keep learning. These two gentlemen taught me two things today: One, that stripers like live shiners, and two, that there's a school of stripers cruising around the bay. Good things to know.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Steve Towne took Jerry Knedel out today for salmon limits to 33 pounds. These two in the picture went 22 and 28. They also released a thresher. The 33 pounder of Jerry's is now the board leader. The fish were trolled up "inside the jellies and south of Tomales Point."

I don't have any information on this picture, or if Herb even caught this fish, but any picture that Herb's not scowling in is a keeper worth sharing.

I believe that this is Dan Cole of Lodi with a 24 pound salmon, but if I'm wrong please leave a constructive comment and I'll fix it.

Tom Brodsky and (gasp) Mike Lawson went fishing today and caught a nice mix of critters including this 29 pound salmon, 23 pound halibut, and a thresher shark that was filleted and released. 

After the public shaming I gave to Mike Stahl, guess who got to go fishing again? Ron Stahl caught this 21 pound halibut and Judy Stahl caught this 25 pound salmon. Actually, Judy caught both salmon on the boat and she caught them with her new pink fishing rod. It's not a wide open bite out there, but anyone that's been waiting for the fish to move in close, now's the time. Most of these fish came from between Tomales Point and Elephant Rock but the radio was talking about points north as well. These fish have had shortbellies and squid in their stomachs and those shortbellies sure like to try to hide in the rocks, especially up by the Bodega whistle. 

The first fisherman to return yesterday was Jerry Knedel with a limit of salmon to 25 pounds. Jerry caught his on baiter-bladed herring while trolling inside the worst of the jellies, about 50 feet of water, off of McClures.

Nathan Porter and his assistant caught a 21 pound salmon mooching off of Bird. This fish had a belly full of shortbelly rockfish and squid.

The Boswell family caught this nice 16 pound halibut by Hog Island yesterday.

The new bragger-board-leading salmon is this 31 pounder caught by Tom Briggs. This salmon was mooched up below Bird.

These salmon were caught by mooching south of Tomales Point as well. The larger one was caught by Lori Treadway and weighed 26 pounds.

The south end of Ten Mile had these halibut to 19 pounds for Dennis Stokes and Dale Fortner on the Got One. We've already had one of the last boats launched return with his limit of salmon trolled at the Bodega Whistle (he said), so it sounds like maybe the fish are actually in the shallows. I realize that I've announced this a couple times this year and been wrong every time so far, but this time I mean it. They are definitely in today. Tomorrow?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Reyna Treadway caught this limit of salmon to 21 pounds off of the Bodega Buoy today. There were a few other salmon taken there as well, in around 100 feet of water. It's not the bite that happened there last year, but salmon in close sounds pretty good to me. There were more halibut taken on the bar yesterday, again mostly by divers although a couple of skilled anglers got a few to bite. Hog Island had a couple of biters as well. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The divers shot some halibut on the bar, even though the visibility was limited. The only ones I heard of caught by fishermen came from Ten Mile Beach. Only one boat caught a few, but any sounds pretty good to me. Most salmon fishermen struck out but there were a few caught. High boat today was the Predator with three salmon to 18 pounds. They lost the one for limits. They also released several silvers. They were fishing at 13 and 8 in 285 feet of water to start and finished in 320. The pictured octopus was caught in 250 feet of water, 60 feet down on the troll. I didn't know that was even an option.

Friday, July 11, 2014

The salmon bite at the Russian River fizzled out. A very few fish were caught there and on down to Carmet, but for the most part it was a bunch of guys in boats driving around watching other guys in boats watch them, everybody hoping to see a net fly and signal the start of the bite. Unfortunately, there was no green flag. By 10:00 you had to wait your turn to drift Fort Ross reef due to all the boats queued up to rockfish. There were a couple of salmon caught at 14 and 4 and a few halibut caught in the bay, and that's about it. Today there's a few boats out searching to the south. I hope that they find more than jellyfish.
Our friend Marty Medin passed away this week. Here's his picture from 2012 with a 24 pound ling that broke his rod. We'll miss you Marty, but the fish are relieved.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

While there are a very few scattered salmon around off of Tomales Point (one boat has been quietly catching 1 to 4 salmon a day at 14 and 4) most of the boats that tried out front caught nothing. The Russian River held fish for the local boats that ventured north with everyone from here catching either limits or one fish shy of limits. The bite was best early and most of the fleet was in 80 feet of water, although I heard of one boat picking up 3 salmon out in 220 feet. Maybe you don't have to fish the fleet to catch. There were a couple of halibut caught by Hog Island today but none from the bar. Seven divers worked the bar over pretty hard this morning and saw no halibut. Lots of needlefish, though, so they should be back soon. The south wind is pretty gusty in the afternoon making for a bumpy, wet ride home.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Adam Kotko shot this year's largest halibut yet at 31.5 pounds.  Steve Werlin, if you're reading this, Adam would like to wish you a great vacation in Ireland, and don't worry, he'll take care of your fish while you're gone.

David Gonzales finally shook off the skunk that had been riding him and caught this 24 pound halibut out in 100' of water while rockfishing. The man's luck changed dramatically. Most of the guys that went out salmon fishing didn't clobber them today, although there was a raging bite early in 80 to 120 feet  off of the Russian River. The boats that ran up from here got there as the bite was dying off but still caught a few. High boat here had four salmon at 14 and 4, 60 feet down, but other boats in the area didn't do nearly as well. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

This salmon came from 185 feet of water but most of the salmon today were hooked out deeper in 200'+. Most boats fished from Tomales Point to a little above Bodega Head. Most of the fish were smaller but we weighed several around 25 pounds. No magic bullets (that anyone would share with me, at least) but the usual suspects (RSKs, Krippled Anchovies, Anchovy Specials, Apex, etc.) seemed to produce OK. It was not the bite of last year, more like a couple of years ago when success was possible but not guaranteed.  I heard of some pretty decent rockfishing today but the halibut didn't do much. The tides are perfect for halibut but I guess that they don't read the tidebook.

Friday, July 4, 2014

The Predator caught salmon limits today, with Kevin Fogal catching the big one at 23 pounds. The fish came from sloppy, brown water, down 60+ feet in 210 feet of water. That's way closer than 300' of water.

Larry Laackmann of West Sacramento caught this 23 pound halibut on the bar today. She ate a live shiner. Not too many other halibut from the bar or Hog Island brought in yet, but there was a large white sea bass caught by Hog this morning. The story is that it weighed 45 pounds. The fact is that it made many people jealous.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

A 48 pound limit of halibut from the bar for Eddie in the Pooter. One on a jig, one on a shiner, and one on a Zoom Fluke. He must have been watching Roberto very closely yesterday.

Cody Hill and AJ slid this 28.5 pound halibut into the box while drifting the bar. They had to wait for the Pooter to leave so that they could get one. 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Some halibut action on the bar and back by Hog Island today. Not great action, but a few fish were taken in both spots. One boat caught three halibut on the bar while others watched in awe (or anger?) as an actual local legend demonstrated why he's a local legend (Not you, Gerard. I'm talking about Roberto.). Two halibut were speared on the bar,with Larry Nies' fish weighing in at 22 pounds. No salmon landed by anyone from here but there's fish coming over the rails for the guys that are heading out to 300' of water. A gentleman from further in the bay limited on salmon off of Bodega Head yesterday with his largest running over 30 pounds. Seems like there might be a salmon for a salmon derby after all.