Wednesday, August 31, 2016

     Instead of showing you photos of the kite surfers, how about some fish from the recent past. Luckily for all of us, Sam Morita sent in this report and photos. "
I have been surf fishing with my buddy Evan this summer. I got this one the first week of June. 22 lbder. Released it

I got this one two weeks ago. 16 lbder.

Last weds I got these two.

   Then this last weekend I got this one with Evan.

We have been fishing the high tides in the evening. I first started off throwing a bomber long a. Then switched to the sp minnow and caught the big one. Then caught the other decent one on a pencil popper. I recently just started throwing an a rig which is a total game changer. It gets bit when other thing won't. I throw keitech swimbaits on it.

U know why there is so much eel grass right know? I used to think it was because of the minus tides and wind but the last week there hasn't been and it has been terrible."

     Thanks for the tips. Eel grass tends to break off and drift away more when the water temps change significantly, like the warming that happened in the last couple of weeks. There's also been some very high tides to carry it around. I'm just glad it's getting someone else. I thought it just followed me! One thing, it tends to collect in rips and sluggish water along with baitfish, so sometimes the best water to fish is also the worst.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

     And this is what one of the stripers caught on Saturday looked like (pre-filet). This is Evan Peelen again, making the rest of us feel bad. I'm told that the determined-looking fellow in the background ended up with a larger one that we may get to see a photo of later. For today's news, seven divers speared four halibut and one salmon fisherman went out, bounced around, and caught one. Kites were flown. That's about it.

Monday, August 29, 2016

      Here's a late entry from yesterday:"Evan Peelen caught this 27 inch halibut,South end of the beach Sunday evening.Fish was caught on silver herring pattern SP minnow.No Stripers today,but Evan and Sam Morida landed 2 bass in the 5 to 10 pound range Saturday evening using A Rigs." Very cool, Evan. You made Gage pretty jealous.
     For those of us with tuna on the brain, Vern Sasaki sent a report from Fort Bragg:"We ran the iron man to Ft Bragg on Saturday leaving at 2:30AM.  My friend Ken Morita was the buddy boat on his 23 Striper and we pulled into a very quiet Noyo launch at 5AM.  We had couple of other scouts on Gradies heading west 60 – 70 miles, but we heard they found hot water, bait but no takers.  My engineer friend Nam studied Ripcharts so the plan was to head straight west 40 - 45 miles (40/30) hoping to intercept the fast moving temp break.  Ken decided to drop lines at our numbers (59 degrees) but we kept pushing west looking for the break but it kept getting colder dropping down to 57???, so we decided to go south to catch up with the break.  About 10 minutes, Ken has a double of nice fish.  We are now 4 miles outside and south from him, so we put in and we get a single in 60 degree, circle back to get to the cooler water and then get a double and lose the bigger one at the boat…now two fish low/mid teens.  Nothing else in the morning and the warm water fills in 60 – 61 degrees so we head east back to the canyons and we pick up another fish each, one close to 20. 

Our fish came on yellow/green zukes and flags.  Ken got his on cedars.  Everything came long, nothing short on the raps.  Long day, flat water but a good shakedown run and some nice sashimi."
     Today's report is that two boats went out and caught halibut and salmon in some choppy water. 

Sunday, August 28, 2016

     Beth Honebein finally broke the 20 pound mark for the Honebeins this year with this 21 pound salmon. It was their only bite on Friday.
     Joey Petrilla of Dutch Flat, CA., caught this 22 pound salmon on an anchovy in 30 feet of water near Point Reyes. Nice job, Joey!

     Tim Nelson of Sacramento caught this beautiful 28 pound halibut on a jacksmelt today.

     Lou Zanardi of Penngrove trolled up this 24 pound salmon. It was his only bite and he's pretty glad it stayed attached.

     Jim Alexander of Rocklin put this nice 22 pound halibut in the box on Ten Mile.

    Also from Ten Mile came John Brezina's 34 pound halibut. It looks like he can't believe he caught it, either. He also caught a 20 pound halibut, both while trolling.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

      There was a boys versus girls team event held today. The boys don't want to talk about it. Looks like someone fished the beach, though.

     Adam Farrow caught this 25 pound salmon while trolling in 80 feet of water off of McClure's Beach. There were a few other fish taken there, but it was far from red hot anywhere. 

Friday, August 26, 2016

     So,  maybe just finding the bait isn't good enough. I guess the salmon need to find it, too. Catch numbers dropped yesterday, probably because I was out fishing. There was lots of bait from Bodega Head down to Point Reyes, much of it pushed into water too shallow to safely fish in. The esteros had a good bite on Wednesday, but that evening you could watch the birds follow the bait over the reef and out of the outer bay. There's still some bait and salmon there but, like everywhere else, you need to work for them. Ten Mile had a good bite in shallow, and there's still fish to be caught along the length of the beach, but there's a lot of water between them. We caught three salmon and lost three yesterday, and every bite was just offshore of birds working a bait ball in the shallows. It seemed to me that the fish were coming for the bait schools but there's too many to choose from.
     The bait schools in the shallows are so thick that the thresher sharks can't tell when they've run out of water. This shark was found on the beach "gasping" yesterday and was returned to deeper water. That would be fun on a surf rod, eh?

     Scott from Auburn sent in this picture of his day yesterday. "Picked these two up on Wednesday, on some nice “candy bar “ size jack smelts, out in front of your place. A 28 inch and 36 inch, it was beautiful out there!  Doesn’t get any fresher!" The halibut fishing in the bay has been pretty good, and for the divers that have been asking me about the bar, the answer is yes.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

     Find the bait and the salmon will follow, I'm told. These fellows found the bait on Ten Mile and caught their salmon, so there may be something to it. There were schools of bait and marauding salmon scattered throughout the local area, from the outer bay down to Ten Mile, and salmon were caught by most anglers that located one of the schools. Mr Gerbi, in the photo here, had a bit of negative mojo going for a while, yet here he is with a smile and a limit, so things are looking good. Heck, I might be able to catch one. Well, maybe not that good.

     Here's a shot from yesterday. Kevin Fujimoto and friend limited two ways. They were rigged for trolling, and I'm going to guess their lines were close to the bottom in a sandy area.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

     Here's a report from last weekend:"Limits of 3 spices all off bird rock. Cotati Steve and his buddy Petaluma Pete" I'm not sure which one is pictured, but nice fish.
      Today's reports were mostly of salmon. A slow start for most turned into a boat race to the river for a radio bite. Those that stayed ended up with a few salmon, some by mooching and others by trolling. Charisse Corpe of Lodi landed a 25 pound salmon while trolling with Nathan Porter on Ten Mile. John and Carol Kuhlman caught their limits, a double while mooching at McClure's and later, another double landed while trolling at the Trees. 
      Syd and Sean Bottomley of Nevada City caught three salmon today, the largest being Syd's 28 pounder. I'm not sure how deep the water was where they caught, but I'm told they were in front of Bird and 80' OTW. No word today on halibut from Hog and only empty-handed striper fishermen on the beach.

Monday, August 22, 2016

     Jake Showaker couldn't make it out fishing this weekend, so "Local Legend" Gerard had to catch all the fish. These were caught "off of a beach" on "bait" while "trolling." The only physical clue I got as to his actual whereabouts was the it seemed like there was a lot of jellyfish slime on his boat. At least, I think that's what it was....
     Other people caught salmon as well, from Tomales Point down onto Ten Mile, from 25 to 140 feet of water. The baitfish schools seemed to be most prevalent around 80 to 100 feet of water and the salmon tended to be near the bottom. Now, I sell gear, so I always say the fish are at the bottom, but really, this time they are.
     On the crab front, the red crab testing has continued and the results stink. My prediction: No red crab here this year, and they may close it in some open areas that have reopened. They haven't tested Dungeness yet, but I am suddenly nervous after watching the red crabs' numbers surge from one of six crabs one part per million over the limit to four of six crabs up to 290 parts per million over the limit in about six weeks. They aren't testing the crabs here, and our water has been colder than where they're testing, but still, I sense very bad things......

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Did I mention stripers?

     Gage caught this one on a sardine Daiwa SP Minnow. He actually listens to me. I'd never have guessed.
     I went out and tried for seabass last night (don't worry, I left them all for you) and saw schools of bait all over, from Tomales Point down to Abbott's Lagoon. There were pelicans and murres feeding all over, and it looked like the fishing was about to bust open. Well, it didn't, but it did get a bit better. These salmon above were caught by the Honebeins off of McClure's Beach today. Other salmon (and a few halibut) came from there, as well as most of Ten Mile. Tomales Bay was not as generous with its halibut. There was a halibut reported hooked and lost by a striper fisherman in the surf. Considering that the grunion are running and the sand crabs just molted again, there should be a few more halibut and stripers coming from there, but maybe the schools of anchovies further out were too enticing. 

Friday, August 19, 2016


     Thomas Huddleston sent in this report and photos"Grandson wanted to go fishing two days before school started. First day 20#  2nd day 30# along with a nice Ling. Between Bird and Trees. Diego Franco, caught on 8/15 and 8/16"

      Here's Gage's fish from yesterday. We finally found baitfish schools in the outer bay and tried a few tacks through them. No salmon, but after 45 minutes of fighting it Gage landed this tail-hooked thresher shark. It was released unharmed. Turns out the salmon are still off of McClure's and Bird Rock, but there aren't many of them. Several were brought in today (at least two caught mooching!) by several boats, so there's a chance if you aren't me.

          Lou Gumm caught this hitchhiking ling cod at Bird Rock on Thursday.

   Oh yeah, almost forgot. Chad Davis of Manteca caught a little fishy. It only weighed 66 pounds. When asked where he hooked it, he said, "the mouth." I don't think he meant the mouth of the bay, but that's the only information he would part with. That's the biggest seabass I've seen here.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

     "Jigger" John Rosasco of Stockton caught this 22 pound halibut in Tomales Bay today. Despite his nickname, the fish bit a live jacksmelt. He and Frank Green had three halibut for the day. Most of the bay fishermen did not do as well.

     There were probably as many salmon caught today as halibut, which is a long way of saying there weren't many salmon caught, either. Some were caught, though, as shown in these pictures. The bite, such as it was, was scattered in little pockets. Should you be lucky enough to get a salmon bite you should tack back through the area of the bite immediately, if not sooner. These little groups of fish are on the bite for 10 or 20 minutes and if you find such a group you need to capitalize on it as fast as you can. As my dear, departed grandfather used to tell me, "Get those lines back in the water! We came here to fish!" 

       Joe Gantley picked up one of those leopard sharks last weekend as well. Now I, personally, don't really care for the taste of shark. For me, they have a kind of strange aftertaste, like the first time I tried a diet soda. That said, before the aftertaste it wasn't too bad, so long as the proper measures had been taken. I'm not sure that it's true, but it is my understanding that sharks urinate through their skin and care should be taken to gut them, chill them, and get them out of their skin (once ashore) if you want to eat them. Thresher shark meat used to sell for the same price as swordfish in the market, so somebody likes them pretty well.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

     First, the pictures. These were taken on Saturday and sent in by Mike C. "Fished the back of the bay by Inverness.  We got the two nice leopards and the baby sand shark.  Had two other nice fish hook up that ultimately bit through our line.  We had many strikes but it was a devil of a time getting a proper hook up.
     Second, today's report. I didn't see any salmon brought in but it sounds like there were a few caught, just not by boats from here. There were a few picked up in scattered locations in 50 to 90 feet of water and it sounds like a pretty fair bite for a few commercial boats out in 200' of water in front of Elephant. "Pretty fair bite" being relative to the fact that they haven't been catching very many at all. The halibut bite was better but not more consistent. Catches ranged from 0 to 5 fish, with the highest and lowest numbers coming from the area around Hog.

Monday, August 15, 2016

     Today wasn't very good day for catching. So, let's dwell on more of yesterday's wins. Michael Jones sent in this report:"Leza brought in her first ocean Salmon yesterday off Elephant.  Mooching herring…" All you moochers out there, I think he's trying to tell you something.

     Nick Bauer caught this one on a trolled VK Dying Minnow. Please note his location near a bunch of birds feeding on a bait ball. Coincidence? Maybe, but it's probably a good idea to put your bait near where the salmon are feeding. 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

     To start with, most people didn't do this well. That said, there were quite a few fish at the North end of Ten Mile this morning, but there's less now. T. J., Robert and Jake worked over the area pretty thoroughly in the last two days, but there may be a few scraps around for the rest of us. Gage went with Gerard for three halibut and a prematurely released salmon nearby, so there's hope. A few salmon were taken off of Ten Mile and the Trees by circling the schools of anchovies the salmon and birds were feeding on. The word I got from the bay fisherman was slow.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

     You always hear about Hog Island halibut and Ten Mile halibut. How about some Bird Rock halibut? C. J. Weber of Ione caught these two halibut just South of Bird Rock in 30-35 feet of water. The larger weighed in at 31 pounds. Halibut was definitely the fish of the day with one boat returning with 11 (Jake Showaker). Some of the other fishermen did almost as well. Salmon also found their way aboard many of the boats. Not too many limits of salmon, but enough salmon were caught to give a lot of people a taste of religion when the wardens checked them today. Multiple lines and barbed hooks are all well and good when you're halibut fishing, but when you hook a salmon and want to keep it you'd better be barbless and one rod per person. If you want to fish more lines just take more people fishing. My boat is usually SRO.

     Here's the photographic proof of Harvest Time's good day yesterday, sent in by Steve Wisniewski. "Erin Rice, Dave Alexander and I collected these today on the beach at McClure's. We also demolished superstition by eating bananas out there.  Harvest Time!" There may be a few boats working that area today. Also, we are now selling bananas in the bait shop.

Friday, August 12, 2016

     Here's Doug's halibut from Wednesday. This fish was caught with some help from Steve Towne. Also with Steve's boat and rigging. And driving. Steve may have hooked the fish, too. And reeled it up. It bit a smelt near Hog Island. Go Doug!

     Yesterday the clear, cold ocean water and the gusty South wind combined to make catching fish on the ocean very difficult. A slow bite got slower. Jake Showaker wisely headed for Hog Island and put a couple halibut in the boat, including this 25 pounder. 

      These guys dialed in the halibut bite ate Hog today. Six halibut on live jacksmelt. They bit steadily throughout the morning for John Rosasco and Frank Green. They seem pretty happy. 
      Also today, a bit of slightly warmer, slightly dirtier water slid in towards the North end of Ten Mile and in it were some salmon. The Harvest Time ended up with four salmon and nine halibut for their persistence. They weren't the only guys with some fish from down that way but they were the guys to figure them out the best, at least as far as I heard. Nice work, gents. I am jealous.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The salmon bite was red hot!!! Naah, I wish. The salmon bite sucked today. Cold, clear water slowed down a slow bite. I heard of one salmon witnessed being caught in 60 feet of water off of Tomales Point. A few halibut from Ten Mile, a few more from Hog Island, a few scattered rockfish picked up on the salmon troll, and that's the report.

Monday, August 8, 2016

     Jesse Keilman of South Lake Tahoe got out into the ocean before the wind came up to get this 20 pound salmon from 60 feet of water off of Tomales Point. 

     Scott Alexander from Rocklin caught this 35 pound white sea bass south of Hog Island today. He was trolling for halibut with Johnny Sandbar and local legend Gerard Fitzgerald. They did not catch any (keeper) halibut today but the WSB seemed to be a pretty good consolation prize. They also boated two thresher sharks. They may want to think about having the drags in their reels checked.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

     After last night's wind it was definitely a bay day. That worked out well for quite a few folks, including Mr. Mosby who caught this nice 24 pound halibut. Mosby's boat returned with full limits of halibut from Hog Island. Most fishermen didn't do as well but still mostly came back with fish.

      Sarah King caught this 13 pound striper in the bay while trolling for halibut with Nick Bauer. They also caught three halibut, all on lures South of Hog Island.