Friday, July 31, 2015

These dapper gentlemen caught these two nice salmon today. Mike Mayry and Joe Downing hooked them off of the Trees, as I recall. 

Enzo Buckenmeyer is working on becoming as good a fisherman as his father and he seems to be doing a pretty good job. After carrying in these fish he even smelled like a fisherman.

Tanner Johnson caught this 21.5 pound halibut off of Bird Rock on a hootchy. Normally that would be a salmon report, but the halibut have been caught in some odd places and ways this year. I know of a couple of halibut that were caught in 90 feet of water recently, one on the troll yesterday. I guess the warm water lets them venture out a bit further. There was a better salmon bite today with a fresh influx of fish from offshore(?) coming in. Some of them had empty bellies but still had krill juice oozing out of their vents. They're still coming in to eat those calamari. Hog Island slowed a bit for the halibut guys but there were still fish taken. There was a radio report of a yellowtail being caught off of Tomales Point on a live squid. There were four yellowtail caught out of Shelter Cove yesterday(as well as six albacore), so this fish may have actually happened. If you know any more about it I'd love to hear the story.

There were some salmon taken yesterday but they required some effort. Fish were taken off of Bodega Head,  the Trees, McClure's, Elephant, and the Keyholes again, most of them feeding on the squid. The squid boats were working the piles of squid off of the Keyholes but there were still plenty of squid available for jigging up some live bait. Mooching and trolling worked or didn't, depending on the boat. We landed five salmon and lost five more off of McClure's Beach in 80 feet of water. Their bellies were completely stuffed with squid and they weren't biting aggressively at all. All of our action was on anchovies in blue/green Anchovy Special heads with long 10' to 20' leaders, no flashers and scraping bottom. We lost much gear. On halibut, a few boats had very good luck by Hog Island with catches up to six fish on jacksmelt. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

John Cooper of Roseville landed the largest halibut in this group, a 22 pounder. These fish came from Hog Island, as well as a few others. Outside the south wind drove most of the fishermen off the water early with only a few salmon landed. The guys that stuck it out didn't do much better with the extra time. There was a rumored afternoon salmon bite at Bodega Head but I saw no fish from it. One salmon fisherman ended up catching squid and using them alive to catch a few halibut on the bar. The squid boats are here, so if you go squidding don't get so wrapped up in it that you end up wrapped up in a net. It happened to a commercial troller last year. I think that there's probably better ways to meet new people.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

These guys are smiling because they were back by 11:00 with their salmon limits to 27 pounds. Other boats nearby did not do as well. Their secret? Aside from "good clean living," they were trolling anchovies in chartreuse and chrome Anchovy Specials. How come when I do that I can't catch? Must be that good clean living. There were lots of boats working the Trees to Keyholes corridor and a few of them did OK. Mooching seemed like it had a little better return than trolling and involved a little less dodging of other boats. There was a bit of action up by Bodega Head later in the day. The halibut bite was slow but not dead. A couple of boats watched a seal get eaten by a large shark off of McClure's Beach, close enough at one point that one boat got blood on it. Good news, divers; at least one shark is full. The large shark was later identified as a mako.

The Coopersmiths came up the bay from Inverness to get their main engine worked on and figured that they might as well troll since they weren't going very fast anyhow. It worked. This twelve pound halibut bit a herring under a hootchy by Hog Island.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Here's some photos I missed over the weekend. I had to steal them from Facebook. The halibut all came from Hog Island except for the largest one which was caught across the bay from the launch and weighed 21 pounds. I have no information at all about the salmon.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The weather started out way better than predicted today. The weatherman was eventually right, though, as the wind whipped up in the afternoon. The salmon bite was slower, and you could tell by how dense the boats were packed in a couple of spots, the middle of McClure's and the Trees. Probably there's more fish out there than that. Probably. Halibut was slow. Even the rockfishing was slow. Maybe they don't like the wind, either.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Kapulani/Hayes crew landed salmon weighing 27 and 24 pounds. They were trolling, but the only location I heard from them was that they were near these guys:

Travis, Jake and Stacy landed four salmon to 21 pounds and a 25 pound white sea bass. Right as they passed Kapulani they hooked the WSB. Jake's so good, he catches other people's fish. My guess as to their location would be somewhere between Elephant and the Trees, but that's where about a hundred boats were today. Many of those boats did not get bit. Hog Island had a few halibut again today but the bar was pretty empty, even for the divers. The weather was, lets say, less than optimal, but tomorrow looks worse. By midweek things look promising, though.

Kathleen Williams of Jackson caught this 22 pound salmon while mooching off of Elephant Rock in 90 feet of water. There were a number of other fish caught yesterday, from just south of Bodega Head to the Keyholes in 50 to 90 feet of water. There were a couple of small flurries of action but it was mostly a grind for maybe a fish. The moochers seemed to do a little better on average than the trollers but it was very possible to get skunked no matter what you were doing. The halibut bite in the bay continued on, just slower. Most of halibut have been 22" to 30" but there's been a few in the teens and 20s weighed in. There was even a 27" halibut caught off of the beach yesterday. You're still more likely to catch surfperch from shore, but a striper or halibut could happen. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Tom McHale caught this 30 pound white sea bass in 70 feet of water while trolling McClure's for salmon. The wind eased up for the morning today and some salmon came over the rails for many of the boats that took a chance. The salmon ranged from Bodega Head to Elephant at least. There were short flurries of action in 60 to 80 feet of water. Moochers and trollers both caught fish. We fished McClure's and saw several fish landed but only one salmon in on our boat.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Windy again. A couple of fishermen from here watched a few salmon come over the rail near Bodega Head today but didn't come home with anything more than some bruises and salt spray for themselves. Hog Island had a few halibut taken. Not too much to report with this weather.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

So, I guess internet fish and telephone fish are closely related to radio fish. The boats from here that went to the hot bite saw other boats trolling around, looking at each other but not catching. Like anything cool, by the time I hear about it, it's over. Rob Ohnmacht caught three salmon off of the Trees to 26 pounds, so there's more than one bite. Rob was mooching, "probably faster than I troll" in the wind. The three boats from here that fished at Hog didn't bring any halibut back but they did get to watch other boats catch fish. One boat caught and released an estimated 85 pound thresher shark by Hog.

The grapevine tells me that the New Sea Angler is currently on the fish off of Bodega Head. The weather is not good and you will pay for your fish with bruises at best, but a good salmon bite has been hard to find. With luck, this will be the start of a longer run.

Monday, July 20, 2015

The last boat in today was the one with fish. Greg Gartrell caught these two salmon, the larger one weighing 21.5 pounds. He was trolling off of Bodega Head. The wind made fishing difficult and catching even harder. There were a few halibut caught and speared on the bar and another couple of fish landed at Hog, and that's about it. So, here's some more pictures from last weekend:

The van Loben Sels family and friends did well on the clams this weekend, and even Taylor van Loben Sels got down in the mud. Actually, I think she may be muddier than the clam. There's one more set of decent tides in two weeks and then it's pretty well over until next spring.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

    The bite at Hog Island turned back on today, or at least it did for Mark van Loben Sels. He was using live jacksmelt and shiner perch but the halibut only wanted the smelt. I'm sure the perch were okay with that. Other boats joined him in the area between Hog and the yellow buoy and many of them caught a few as well.

    Pictures or it didn't happen, right? Here's the dozen halibut high score from yesterday. These fish were all caught on the troll with a mix of green label herring and live bait. The Bartons and Mr. Fitzgerald gratefully accept your applause with a polite bow.
    The salmon bite today was slower than yesterday (which wasn't very good) so we didn't see as many shiny fish. There were still a couple weighed in to 29.5 pounds and one skillful gentleman limited on salmon and halibut and returned before noon. Most returning fishermen didn't want to hear that story. 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Here's Dale Fortner with two salmon he caught on the Got One. I'm told he trolled them up off of Bodega Head in 90 feet of water on Thursday.

These salmon were caught today and weighed 21 and 24 pounds. The bite today, which has been neither fast nor for everyone, has been from Bird Rock to the Keyholes in 70 to 90 feet of water. Some boats have salmon and quite a few other boats have none, so no guarantees. I heard of as many as five on a boat but only witnessed a couple of boats holding more than one.
Will James picked up this halibut by Hog Island on a live sardine. The halibut bite has slowed a bit in the bay but not stopped. Ten Mile has been very good for some, with the high boat landing a dozen flatfish. 
Here's a picture from Wednesday that I missed. This is Jim Russel from Watsonville (on the right). His pal on the left weighed 22 pounds. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Better weather today, not great, but better. Boats made it outside and a few salmon were caught in 70 to 90 feet of water from the Trees to the Keyholes. Lots of squid hanging on the gear trolled through that area. A few halibut were caught by Hog Island but the infusion of colder water from the blow has slowed the bite. The salmon should be comfy for a little bit, at least.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Some of the local guys get a little bent when I put photos of halibut that were speared on the bar. So, these fish didn't come from there. He totally caught them at Hog Island. Yeah, that's the ticket. Only a couple of boats went out in the wind today and these were the only fish I saw. Tomorrow is supposed to be better.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Brandon Tenney of Redding caught half of the halibut landed here today. Even luckier, he caught the larger half. This one weighed 22 pounds and was caught by Hog Island. The other fish came from the bar. There were a few rockfish caught before the wind chased the boats off of the water but no salmon. Looks like wind for at least one more day, but the water could use a little cooling. Check out the water temp at the Bodega weather buoy:  

65º is a little too warm for salmon.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Rob Sereni found a few salmon off of McClures today. The big one weighed 25 pounds. It was nice of his buddy Jeff to let him catch all of the fish. I need to ask Jeff if he wants to go fishing with me. He takes great photos.

Mara Nursement caught her first salmon of the season and it weighed in at 20 pounds. Not a bad start at all. All told, I heard of nine salmon landed by boats from here. They caught them from the Trees to the Keyholes in 60 to 90 feet of water and there was no single hot spot (that they told me). From the radio, there's still a lot of effort and some catching of salmon at the Bodega Whistle/Jingle Bells reefs. The rockfishing was slower today. The halibut bite was slower, too, but there were still boats catching some. High catch for halibut went to Stacy Barton with five from Ten Mile.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

It would appear that Ron Johnson picked up a salmon in 70' of water off of the Trees this morning. No further messages from Ron, so this may have been a one-off. I heard of a boat landing nine salmon this morning but they wouldn't give me a location. He had been fishing the Bodega Whistle  earlier in the week but I don't think he was there today.

Kapulani Chong landed this 26 pound halibut on the bar today. He was one of the lucky few, as the bar didn't have nearly as good of a bite today as it did yesterday. Ten Mile was very good for halibut with one boat landing nine and another catching four in a couple of hours. 

Friday, July 10, 2015

This 11 pound salmon was caught by Thomas from Sonora yesterday.

Also yesterday, Chris Cortez from Sunnyvale got a limit of halibut, two of them weighing 20 pounds each. The halibut bite was better on the bar than by Hog Island and there were even a few stripers in the mix on the bar. Catches ranged from 0-3 halibut. The Bodega Whistle (buoy "12") salmon bite continues with a few boats catching limits but many boats going without a bite. Even though it's flaky it's still the best salmon bite we've had this year. Remember, it's trolling only in a good portion of the fishing area off of Bodega Head and no fishing at all in in another part. For a refresher, go here: or look at this smaller picture:

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Lorca Rossman of Olema caught this 22 pound (gutted) salmon today. I didn't get the info on where he caught it, but I'm sure nobody is interested in that kind of thing. My guess would be at Jingle Bells (the Bodega Whistle, Buoy "12" on your chart) where quite a few boats were trolling the bottom and some of them caught some salmon. It's not a red hot bite by any means, but there's a fair chance of success.

Wayne Gonsalves of Valley Springs caught the big fish of the day, a 29 pound halibut. Halibut were the number on catch today, with the bar, McClure's and the Keyholes being the most productive. The bar even had a few stripers in the mix to liven things up. 

Monday, July 6, 2015

I heard of a salmon caught today but I don't have any information on where or what caught it. Halibut and rockfish were the main catch again, although the rockfish bite wasn't as good as the rock fishermen would have liked  (Although, when is it ever, really?). The bar and McClure's were marginally the top producers but Hog Island gave up a few as well. Jack Ellis mentioned that he saw some salmon jumping near Bird Rock but couldn't get one to bite. Maybe the water was just so hot they were trying to get out of it, like crabs in the boiling pot.
EDIT: The salmon was caught off the Trees by Greg Gartrell while mooching. There are a lot of boats trolling the Jingle Bells for rumored salmon and maybe a few real ones.

Jack Ellis caught 25 pounds of halibut in these two fish. They bit tray anchovy  on the bar on the incoming tide.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

So, with the striper bite slowing down (but not stopping) the halibut have stepped in to fill the gap again (I'm looking at you, salmon). Two were landed and a striper was lost by one of the surf fishermen today. Another halibut was caught from shore yesterday, as well as a large striper. Halibut also came from Hog, the bar, McClure's, the Keyholes, and Ten Mile, so basically if there's sand there you've got a shot. There were a couple of salmon caught today by a gentleman who declined to mention his location, only that he almost ran out of bait shaking short lingcod to get his salmon. Sounds like he was bouncing rocks.

How about a 33 pound halibut from the green can across the bay from the boathouse? Jess King just caught it on red label herring.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Keeping with the bass theme, we now bring you white sea bass. The top one, caught by Nate Smith, weighed 49 pounds. Pete Sequeira caught the "little" 37 pounder. They were mooching for salmon and caught these instead. The feelings of disappointment have passed. These fellows are entered in the All Season Salmon and White Sea Bass Derby, but the entry deadline has passed. I'm sure a lot of people want to jump in to compete with a 49 pound contender, but I'm sorry, that ship has sailed.
This 22 pound halibut was caught today by Stephan Schampp of Woodland. Halibut and rockfish were the catch for most of the successful fishermen, although it required a bit more work today to get them. Even the reefs at Point Reyes were a bit stingy for the guys I spoke with. Halibut came from Hog Island and the beaches outside. Doran Beach had a few as well. The water temp is 61º F close to shore and it will probably get warmer in the next week if the forecast is correct. Lots of squid around, enough that the commercial squid boats are back and making wraps again.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Only a couple of halibut were caught by Hog Island today. Outside, a few boats clobbered the halibut while many others went without. Live bait seemed to be a common theme among the successful boats but at least one guy trolled up his limits. I didn't see any salmon but there were rumors  (radio fish) of salmon caught in 200' of water, 130' down OTW, as well as fish caught off Elephant Rock and Tomales Point. I hope at least one of the rumors is true. I didn't get out to the beach, so no striper stories. The rockfishing was difficult for some that tried for them.

The striper bite slowed down but the fish got bigger. These fish bit dressed Kastmasters, one with a bucktail and one with colored tubing. There were a few other fish hooked and lost. It surely wasn't the bite of a few days ago, but it's still way better than the normal striper bite here. I didn't hear of any salmon yesterday but there were some more halibut brought in from Hog Island.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Frank Sakaoka caught a 19 pounder on a topwater this afternoon. Frank's boat broke down and he couldn't go out to fish during his stay here, but he's starting to feel a little better. Only a little, though. 

The striper bite never blew up last night the way it had the night before, but there were still a few fish caught. This one was close to 15 pounds and was caught by A. J. Masters on my Hopkins spoon.

Cameron went fishless during the big bite, so this 10 pounder was extra sweet for him last night.

Nick caught this fish today around noon, so it's not just an evening bite.

This halibut and salmon, also held by A. J., were trolled up "down on the beach" yesterday. There were a few halibut caught back by Hog, too, but the midday south wind made fishing (and catching) difficult in the middle of the day.