Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Chris Prentice with a 34” halibut caught on a live sardine by the buoy west of Hog Island." Chris also mentioned in his email that Jeff Prentice caught a 40" leopard shark South of Hog Island on a live perch (not an arrow...). I also heard a couple of surf striper stories over the weekend.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

     These ladies caught the biggest halibut of the day. The fact that it was the only halibut we saw come through here today makes it even more special, I should think. This halibut bit a small diamond jig by Marker 7, near Hog Island.

    Let's change the subject.
    Zack the fishcounter (not his actual surname) showed me this picture today and I had to pass it on. This Pacific Bonito was caught yesterday by a salmon fisherman (notice the head by the bonito's tail) about 20 miles out of the Golden Gate in 53º water. Does it mean albacore are on the way? Or here? I hope so.

    These guys picked up some nice lingcod yesterday around Elephant Rock and down by Point Reyes. They even released a few keepers. Aside from a 7-8 pound halibut from Hog Island, those were all the fish that I'm aware of.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

  So, a few things. The conditions are right for salmon in about 200-225 feet of water, from Tomales Point down towards Ten Mile Beach. I saw a picture of an 18ish pound salmon caught today from Tomales Point, 220 feet of water, 65 feet OTW, Watermelon Apex. Tons of krill, brown water, a bit of fin bait, and a whale show better than Sea World to watch if you aren't catching. In the bay there's a couple schools of anchovies near Hog Island and the water is plenty warm (56º-62º) for the halibut to start doing the right thing and biting for the rest of us. The Dungeness crabbing has slowed down quite a bit with more females being caught than males (by 3-1 or more).  Last weekend a bowhunting boat did well on the leopard sharks but I hadn't heard of many actually taking the bait. The surfperch have been a bit slow but should start picking up, and Gage says the stripers will start really biting in the surf this weekend. He may be right... And even if he's not, worst case you get to see one of these:

Saturday, May 20, 2017

    This 12 pound lingcod was caught off of Tomales Point on Friday evening.

    Finally, another halibut. Brandon Tate caught this 16 pound halibut today by Marker 7 on live bait. There's been some effort for the halibut this past week but nobody I talked to had any to show me. Brandon is keeping the hope alive.

    Here's the only thing I've caught this year. A kite boarder lost his kite a few days ago and I helped him chase it down. At least I didn't get skunked.

Friday, May 19, 2017

I was informed today that the salmon smolts that were originally planned to be released in Bodega Bay are now going to be released at Fort Baker in San Francisco Bay. I guess that since many thousands of salmon come through that area to the ocean it makes it more difficult to fight their release. Honestly, I kind of don't care, so long as our chances of successful fishing trips go up. And a quarter of a million more chances seems like pretty good odds of that. Don't forget, it's our job as good stewards to catch those fish so that they can't go to the creek that some people think would be wrong. Thanks for the bonus fish, Golden Gate Salmon Association.
     No halibut landed here since early in the week. This weekend there will be quite a few boats out trying, so I hope to post a few photos. There's a reasonable chance for a salmon this weekend, too. Beautiful weather forecast on more upwelling than necessary should make for a decent shot at a king if you can find some bait.

Monday, May 15, 2017

 Richard Baratta sent in this pic and report from the weekend"Hey Willy

I found the stripers! They are hanging with the bats in Marshall eating oysters and drinking beer. At least They were this morning." Oysters, beer, and stripers sounds pretty good to me. I'd rather skip the bat rays, though.

    Here's a picture from a couple of months back. Apparently the flat ones have been around for a while. "Figured I'd chime in with a pic from Hog on March 15 2017 what malarchy 21 pound 4 ounce on the first bait that hit the bottom for the year. And its younger sister" I guess that sometimes these fish don't realize that the water is too cold and the season is too early for them. Good thing you were educating them.

     Cameron Vogler sent in this photo of the inflatable pool toy regatta that seems to happen every low tide. My count is eleven people between these two boats and not one life jacket. Seems legit.(Hint: That was sarcasm)

Sunday, May 14, 2017

    I was thinking that a day without a halibut being photographed is like a day without  wind. We haven't gone without either of those things since Thursday. This young man bagged this halibut a long stone's throw from the end of the seawall. Recognize the fellow behind the young fisherman? His boat caught 5 halibut during his stay here. Glad he came by to show us where the fish are. Luckily we didn't have to go without the picture for today (although I could have gone without the wind).

Saturday, May 13, 2017

     Kelly Goligowski of Citrus Heights caught this 14.5 pound halibut on live bait in 12 feet of water west of Hog Island.

     These halibut weighing 17 and 12 pounds were caught much closer to the pier. So close that Gage spent a significant part of his day staring at the fishing boats instead of getting his work done. He may have made a few casts during lunch. He didn't hook up, but these fishermen used live bait to connect with theirs.

Friday, May 12, 2017

    Here's some more of that "local knowledge." My bum knee is telling me that it may, in fact, be halibut time here.

    You'll notice that in yesterday's post I said, "no fish that I am aware of." I am now aware. Ruben Ledesma (@fishkraft on Istagram) sent in this report:
"Hi, I didn’t know how else to contact you so I thought I’d send this here. You published a picture a couple of weeks ago about a big halibut I  caught near Hog Island on an umbrella type rig. It was a Humboldt Dredge and I caught another one on it yesterday. This one was 30” and was taken just west of the island on the eastern edge of the channel in 17 ft of water trolling the Humboldt Dredge with a herring on a Rotary Salmon Killer trailing about 24” behind it.
Anyway, I love when folks share my catches and I’m sure its good for your business when the halibut start biting so here’s a picture for you.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

     Years of experience and local knowledge tell me that the halibut should be coming into the bay now. The angle of the sun, the first few flocks of pelicans flying by and the water color help. Those things, and the fact that I just saw a picture of a 20 pound-ish halibut caught less than hour ago about 200-300 yards from our pier. Probably the photo was the most helpful. Almost a year ago Sean Bottomley caught a 33 pound halibut in the same place. Coincidence? I think not. Seems like they might be moving into Bodega Harbor, too. A few boats have been trying near Hog the last couple of days for no fish that I am aware of, but it appears that a few are on their way there now. Here's the picture:
     The surfperch have been slow but the big sandcrab molt should be coming soon and it should bring in the perch and stripers on the beach. Dungeness has been slow but there's still some around to be caught. And for anyone that was worried, the wayward BBML buoy has been reunited with its loved ones.


Saturday, May 6, 2017

     I just heard that the 250,000 baby chinook may not be released in Bodega Bay this year due to concerns from some local environmental groups. I haven't got any independent confirmation on that but from my experience it sounds pretty believable. Apparently, the concerns are that a few of the released chinook may end up spawning in Lagunitas Creek, an important breeding spot for cohos. From what I read, they've already had a few chinook spawning in the creek. What kills me is that, if the creek had the ideal conditions for chinook it would already be full of chinook. They would have colonized it years ago. Sometimes salmon don't return to the same place from which they were spawned. That's why they live in more than one river. Successful species have a bit of a bit of fudge factor built into their programming to compensate for change. If they returned to only one river and that river was fouled by a volcano or landslide, bye-bye fishies. It's why chinooks spend one to eight years in the ocean instead of a fixed three year tour. They will go where the conditions allow, and if the conditions change to allow it, they'll be there, whether they were hatchery raised and released in a bay or naturally spawned in a river.
     I hope I just have some bad info, though.

   This just in: If you know the owner of this weather buoy (BBML, I'm looking at you) please contact us at Lawson's Landing (707)878-2443 to arrange pickup. We're kinda scared to move it since it looks expensive.
    The Marine Lab said to haul it up, so we did. Apparently everybody likes coming to the Landing to relax.

Friday, May 5, 2017

    FYI, it's finally striper time. At least, it was for this gentleman. May we all be so lucky.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

     So there were a few salmon around the north end of Ten Mile last week, out in 200 feet of water. Of course, the wind came back and upwelled the heck out of things, so when it stops and the salmon season reopens (which likely won't be the same time) it will likely be back to square one for finding fish. I heard of a short halibut caught near Hog over the weekend, so that's two halibut from there for the season. The water temperature looks good (56º to 62º) and there's some bait around, so all we need are actual fish. There's a few surfperch around and the size is getting better. The crabbing was slow in the bay this week, probably from the extreme tides and currents, but it should pick up a bit this week as the tides moderate.