Wednesday, May 30, 2018

    There was a 23 pound halibut caught just down the channel from the pier yesterday by Geoff Reed of San Francisco. He and his buddies arrived with live anchovies and rented a boat. It sounded to me like it was their only bite but they weren't (well, Geoff wasn't) complaining. For those of you that like to catch your own bait, the anchovies are coming into the bay and there's been a few large schools spotted back by Marshall Beach/Laird's Landing. The surf bite slowed as the wind sped up. There were still some perch and a couple of stripers caught at the end of the weekend but today a lure cast into the wind will be more likely to catch you than a fish.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

    Eddie Kim caught this personal best 21 pound lingcod today. It bit a P-Line Ling Cod Rig squid in glow green. Eddie's not saying where.

    Well, if you're only going to get one bite all day, this seems like a pretty good one. Tom Carter caught this halibut on a live jacksmelt. Apparently the fish was dieting, as this 42 inch long fish only weighed in at 26 pounds. Tom's not complaining, though. He was fishing near Hog Island and the water was only 50 degrees.

    There's been a rumor that the stripers may be following those schools of anchovies into the bay, and that there may be a few to catch on the bar or in the channels leading toward Hog Island. I don't know if it's true, but a good rumor should always be passed along. You never know.

   Here's another one of the stripers that was supposed to be mine. "Hey Willy, Another striper from from Friday night, hooked 2 but lost the bigger one. Also my son Evan caught several big redtail to 15 inches. Best action was 1 hour before dark. Later Tim Peelen" Thanks Tim. Good to know that I was in the right place at the right time, not catching.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

    Last night I didn't catch any stripers and now I know why. This was supposed to be my fish. Jim Reed caught this 16 pounder in the surf yesterday before I had a chance to get out there. There were some other stripers taken as well, mostly schoolies but a few others ran into the teens. Surfperch were also in the buckets yesterday. 

   Almost all of the halibut fishermen went without fish today, but these gents landed three keepers on the troll between Hog and Marshall. Dead bait worked fine for them. Better weather tomorrow should give the drifters a chance to get even.

Friday, May 25, 2018

   Joe Winn and crew had more difficulty catching the bait than the halibut. After spending "too much time" only to catch one livey they ended up fishing at Hog, the bar and off of Dillon Beach to catch their flatties. The big one (18 pounds) bit the only live bait, so it seems like it's the way to go, if possible. The cold water at this end of the bay has kept the shiners away, so if you want a perch for bait you'll need to look farther back. There's some schools of anchovies moving into the bay, probably heading for the tropics in the back bay, and the theory is that the halibut are following the bait in. I wonder who else might be chasing 'chovies? More striper stories from the beach today with a few more lost on perch gear and at least one 22 pound striper landed on a Cotton Cordell Pencil Popper. That's right, a topwater. 

   Gage was too sick to go fishing last evening so I went out and caught his fish. He says he's feeling better now. This one weighed eleven pounds and hit a four ounce Kastmaster with a white bucktail. It took four years for a fish to finally bite that thing. There were a couple other stripers caught near dark, and a few more hooked during the daylight hours, so it may be striper time in the surf. Also in the surf...
   ....are some really nice redtails. When the perch are biting striper gear it's probably time to fish for perch. The rockfishing sounded slow yesterday with some nice fish but not too many of them. The crabbing remains, well, slow.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Not big ones, but there's a few stripers in the surf. Gage and I caught four keepers tonight (one released), three on Daiwa SP minnows and one on a Berkley Gulp! Sandworm. Lost a couple more. The surfperch were biting before the stripers showed up. If you're coming out this way this weekend, throw a surf rod in with the rest of your gear. One never knows... Worst case scenario, you end up spending time on the beach at sunset. I'm guessing that it won't be the worst thing that ever happened to you.

    These guys heard me whining about not seeing any fish for a week, so they brought these in today. The big one, caught by Marty Reed of McKinleyville, weighed 33 pounds. All fish bit live anchovies that the fishermen brought with them when they rented our boat. All fish were also caught about a half-mile or less from the end of the pier in the clam channel. Nicely done, gentlemen.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

   It's not a halibut or a salmon but it sure looks good to me. Bear Franklin caught this 22 pound striper by Hog Island on a live shiner today. It would make me happier if there had been a halibut or two to go with it, but still. Aside from a few surfperch it's the first fish I've seen in a week. Nice job Mr. Franklin.

Friday, May 18, 2018

   No new fish pictures. A few boats tried for halibut from here, both in the way back and in the clam channel, but no fish to weigh in. There were some pretty good rockfish caught over the last week but the weather forecast for this weekend would seem to indicate that we won't be seeing any come in. The crabbing is still very slow for Dungeness. At least the surfperch still know how to bite. The gaper  (horseneck) clams have tested clean of the PSP but the Health Advisory on sport-caught bivalve shellfish remains in effect.

Monday, May 14, 2018

   Saturday's forecast looked good and the nice fish caught on Friday got everyone excited. Then the South wind came up and blew hard enough to swamp a couple of boats on the beach and chase everybody off of the water. Surfperch were about the only fish landed here on Saturday. I guess we shouldn't be too surprised. Friday's forecast was for a 6 foot sea and it actually peaked at 14 feet at the buoy.  Sunday's weather was better but the halibut slayers didn't get on the water until around 4:00 PM. They still ended up with at least one from the channel right in front of the seawall just after the low tide. The crabbing was okay for reds and very slow for Dungeness. The rockfish got a break, as Saturday's rockfishermen weren't out long enough to get very many.
   James Nunley of Grass Valley jigged up this 24.5 pound halibut this afternoon. If you are wondering where he caught it....

    ...look over Eddie Kim's head. Eddie sent in this photo of his rockcod limit on flat water today. He also gave away the "secret hole." You could almost cast there....

Friday, May 11, 2018

    I saw a 15 to 20 pound halibut caught near Marker 5 this morning. It looked like 30 pounds but my perception might by skewed by all the teensy ones I've seen. It is nice to see a larger fish on this end of the bay.
   The surfperch bite has been pretty good with the best bite being during the lower tide ranges instead of the usual high tide bite. I haven't seen any more stripers but I've been told about a few possible missed opportunities. The Dungeness crabbing has been painfully slow with the crab in the middle of the clutch (Clutch definition: When a boy crab and a girl crab love each other very much....). The weather wasn't any good for rockfishing this past week but is supposed to be good this weekend.
    Here's the fish that proves that the first one wasn't a fluke. Actually, this was caught on a fluke, jigging, about a long stone's throw from the seawall.
    I just walked out the door and got a hot tip that there's a few larger halibut around as well. Ben Miller caught the 24 pounder (left) and Morgan Young caught the 28 pounder. At least one of these fish bit a jig. And they didn't go as far back as Hog. Nicely done, gents.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

   The weekend reports were pretty good for the rockfish and pretty slow for keeper halibut. The rockfish were best from Elephant Rock to Point Reyes and out deeper. Just remember, the 40 fathom depth contour isn't the actual depth, it's a line of waypoints. You need to fish landward of the line. It looks like this:
   Zack the fishcounter had a nice photo of an 11+ pound yelloweye caught "North of the Farallones." There is fishable and unfishable water in that area and knowing one from the other is as important as knowing a yelloweye from a canary (hint: it's pretty important). Also, catching yelloweyes will not only earn you expensive tickets from the men and women in green, it also will kick the rest of us back to the 180 foot curb. Please pay attention, if not for your sake, then please, for me.
   For the halibut over the weekend, there were quite a few caught but not too many of them large enough to bring home. Looking at the temp chart from the Bodega Marine Lab's Tomales Bay Buoy, I think it't time to start looking at Marshall and closer to Hog. Perhaps we'll find something a bit larger there (or at least legal). 

Friday, May 4, 2018

Here's a report from the beach yesterday, from Steve Smith:"Thanks for the update on the striper caught by Gage. I fished yesterday afternoon and got 10 nice red tails all on sand fleas. Nice photo of the sand crab activity on the beach. Tons of em. Very healthy environment. Time to start tossing some plugs for striped bass!" I thought so too, and it worked out that I caught a striper on a Daiwa SP Minnow. Gage posed with it. It may even have been legal but we put it back.
    The halibut are still biting the trolled smaller baits in the "way back". Rockfishing was okay today but it got a little breezy in the afternoon.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

   Gage caught another striper last night. He and I disagree on the level of "epic"-ness of the bite, probably because I didn't catch one. Let's just say that catching seems to be a possibility. Surfperch are still the better bet and are eating the same things as the stripers, Berkley camo sandworms.

    The dark, ruffly patch on the beach in this picture is caused by thousands of sand crabs sticking their heads out of the sand to filter feed. When you stick your hand into the sand the sand wriggles, there's so many sand crabs. Some of them are soft-shelled. These are the only things I caught on my striper lures last night, but I caught a lot of them. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

    Its been pretty windy the last few days, but wind doesn't keep a true surf fisherman home. The pictured fisherman has been doing pretty well on the perch and has brought home some really nice sized redtailed and barred perch. Last evening's perch fishing was rudely interrupted by a striper that also liked the Berkley sandworms. There's still a few Dungeness around in the bay but they require quite a bit of effort to catch a few. The forecast is pretty decent for the next few days.