Wednesday, August 29, 2018

   Several boats went out of the Landing today, and they came back with mostly good news. They got some decent salmon today. It sounded like most boats focused on the stretch between Bird and Elephant. There was a pretty good amount of anchovies scattered around, with pelicans diving on them. Most of the guys I talked to wound up with two or three fish per boat, as well as a few losses, fishing between 40'-60' of water towards the bottom. That maroon water is definitely still going strong, and I heard the break between it and other waters was particularly bountiful. While that area put out more fish than it has lately, you might consider a run a bit further south to Abbot's. I spoke to one fellow who's been here a few days and getting limits down there most days in about 40' of water. He's been enjoying relative peace and quiet down there, but since he's leaving tomorrow he has no problem now with me shouting his success from the rooftops. Some highlights:

   Lou Zanardi came in with these three from the north end of McClures, in about 50' of water. Didn't get them on a scale, but that wasn't a small ice chest. He estimated he watched 6-8 fish come in on the couple of boats around him, with moderate bait all around. 

   I believe these two fish came in from around Bird, in around 40ish feet.

   In other news, a few more halibut came in today. Some came from south of the yellow buoy. A few came from the channel to the west of Hog. Boats from that area complained about a fast drift. If you didn't have a parachute or a trolling motor, you'd be looking at less fish.

   Finally, a few daring souls went out this morning in search of albacore. I was a lot less envious of them this evening than I was this morning. Three boats went out, returning with a grand total of two fish between them. They started in the general vicinity of where I went last Thursday, very roughly 38°31 by 124°15. Whereas the water had been a cozy 58-59°F, it dropped to about 54-55°F. About 20 miles to the south of that, in 60ish°F water, Nate Porter wound up with one peanut. 

   I don't remember where it was picked up exactly, but Tom Brodsky's boat picked up this 20+ lb albie. Nice fish, but they weren't as excited as they could've been after travelling 187 miles total. Consensus seemed to be that a run a little more straight out and a little less to the north might have been more fruitful. Oh well. Guess I'll be sticking close to shore for a bit.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

   There were some nice halibut caught this weekend. I talked to several folks who said they did well on the south side of Hog Island. Interestingly, it appears a trip back that far may not be totally necessary.

    Bill Kiene took one of our rental boats out and picked up this nice 15 lb halibut in time for lunch. He was fishing the channel straight across from the Landing and dragging dead anchovies.

   Mike Morgan went out with Frank Green two days in a row, and two days in a row came back with whoppers. First is Saturday's 25 pounder, followed by Sunday's 33 pounder, caught with live jacksmelt. They were caught "right out front." Do with that what you will.

   I have heard of a couple salmon coming in. Still scattered and on the move, but with some luck, and I'm sure no small amount of skill in this case, it is still doable. Per the report I received: "Hello, went fishing today 8/23/18. Brandi Martin caught this 25lb fish in 250' off bodega head." Nice work out there.

   Another report I received. Not that local, but why not? "In the absence of "keeper" lings locally, I thought I'd send this in. 44.5 inch lingcod caught just north of Fort Ross on live bait./swimbait combo in 110ish feet of water. I didn't have a scale. It was fun getting it in our 15 foot skiff, The Scoter Toter. The Tomales Outlaw stayed beached." In other news, I've heard rumors of a tuna run being planned for Wednesday, weather permitting. Sixty miles is a long run, though. In any event, I always appreciate the reports. Keep them coming if you've got them, guys.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

   First is another picture sent in by Nick Nichols of his boat's other fish from Sunday. For the most part this week has been a slow one. Spotty reports of salmon around the Keyholes and down to Abbots, and a couple near Bird too. None of these bites seem to stick for long, though. I suspect it's mostly a game of being in the right place at the right time. The leatherback pictured was working today to keep the waters off Ten Mile clear of the jellies, at least. The halibut report has been fairly slow as well, though one woman who's fished the pier for halibut three days now finally got one. I think that must be the third or fourth so far. That I know of.

   Nice picture, huh? Don't get too excited just yet. I ran out a whole 62 miles (one way) today to chase albacore rumors. We fished the area around 38°31 by 124°15. There were a few other boats from Bodega. It wasn't red hot, but it sounded like people were getting fair numbers. I have no cause to complain, with a total of 20, and at one point we filled all seven rods up. Not much size to ours, or anyone else's for the most part, but I heard one guy mention a 20 pounder. One of our larger ones weighed in at a whopping 8.5 lbs. While most were concentrated further out, it seems worth mentioning that the clear 58-9°F water we caught in stretched in another 10 miles, to the edge of the 124 line. So maybe you'd only have to run out 50 miles. Sounds a lot better, right? Right?

Sunday, August 19, 2018

 Bob Kalanatra of Fairfield caught this 22 pound salmon today.

  Nick  Nichols sent over a few pictures from the water. He had two salmon and one keeper ling between Buoy "02" and Bird Rock today. Yes, there's still keeper sized lings there, even though there shouldn't be.
 While there's still a few salmon being caught off of Bird this weekend, the best bite was out deep in 270-280 feet of water off of Bodega Head. The fish were up high on Saturday 18 to 30 pulls. On Sunday there were mixed reports of jellyfish moving into the the area but there were still guys able to get their limits after a bit of shorty sorting. There were a few halibut caught in the bay this weekend but it was definitely not on fire. 

Friday, August 17, 2018

   Scott Alexander caught this 26 pound salmon today off of Bird Rock. It was one of three for the boat, securely placing them at the top of the pack of boats fishing from here today. Next best was one salmon, then a lot of long faces. Faces that looked like my face yesterday. Yesterday there were some nice salmon caught between the Trees and Buoy "02" in 60 to 100 feet of water. The average boat had at least one nice salmon, teens or larger, with at least one boat catching four. A few of us caught none. This area is probably a good place to avoid if you want to catch a lingcod as there's now several hundred shorties in the area with sore lips. On the halibut front, well, if somebody is catching they're not talking to me. All I heard was sad stories. There has been fairly steady bat ray action, though.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

    First, this guy. You know that guy that sleeps in, hits the water around noon and then smacks their limit before their bait is even wet, while you got up early and worked the water into a froth trying and failing to catch a fish? This is that guy. Gage may have trolled for an hour before he caught a 21 pounder, dropped back in and hooked a 16 pounder before he could put the rod in the holder. Green Anchovy Special in 70 feet of water between Tomales Point and Bird Rock, 55 pulls with a 24 ounce weight, occasionally bouncing off the tops of rocks. And I gotta live with the guy.
    There were a few other fish caught in the same area today but, unless you were Gage, it was far from a wide open bite. There's an occasional small school of fish moving through but the rest of the time it's jellies, some seaweed, and once in a while a short lingcod. In the bay there's a few stripers being caught but not much happening with the halibut, at least today. If the wind stays away for a bit longer I think we'll see things bust open but as of now the water out front still looks like glacial meltwater.

    Mason Lessard sent me this photo yesterday with no additional info. I guess it's good enough to know that yes, there's some big 'uns out there. 

    Harvest Time was kind enough to send proof  of catch regarding the lings he mentioned in the comments a few days back. Nice fish, sir, and nice Crocs. 
    One other thing. I just read my email and found that on August 25 the depth for rockfish reverts back to 180 feet (30 fathom line) in this area. Too many yelloweye caught. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

    Brent Johnson, Ron Skaggs and Jerry Lehman caught limits of salmon in 80 feet of water off of Bird Rock today. They were fishing 50 pulls down with 2# balls and RSK's. The largest weighed 22 pounds. Very nice work, gentlemen. There were some others caught in the general area, Tomales Point to the Trees. 

   Zach Liddle (AKA the fishcounter) was the first to return with fish today. Zach caught his salmon in front of the outer buoy (02) in about 100 feet of water on a FBR/Big Al's Fish Flash combo.
   In the bay I heard of a little halibut action by Marshall and at least one striper roaming back there with a sore mouth.

Monday, August 13, 2018

    Here's a picture of all the salmon that I saw brought in today. The halibut are in the same photo. So are all the happy fishermen. What, can't see the fish? Neither did I. I heard of two 21" salmon caught by fishermen from the Landing. Maybe tomorrow will be better. All I know for sure is that if this keeps up the rockfish better watch out.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

    Tim Nelson and Mike Mack did well today with three fish to 22 pounds, all on the troll between Tomales Point and the Bodega Whistle. The water was better today, not nice but better than it was. It wasn't a great bite for most of the rest of the fishermen out there but there was probably a fish per boat or better. In the bay I heard of one halibut. One. Maybe tomorrow the fish will be hungrier. 

Saturday, August 11, 2018

    Yesterday's pretty decent weather changed to some fairly indecent weather today. By the afternoon the ocean was scary. Still, some fearless (and non-bruise-fearing) fishermen stuck it out into the afternoon and were rewarded with biting (if not always sticking to the hook) salmon, both in the outer bay near the Tomales Bay mouth and off of Tomales Point in 100 feet of water or so. A few early fish were mooched, for those so inclined. A few halibut were caught yesterday (a 21 pounder on the bar) but I didn't hear of any today. The weather is supposed to change for the better this week and we should see, if not more fish, more chances for fish by the end of the week.
   I received a picture of one of those 100 feet of water fish:"Here is a picture of Mike Mack today. Really rough water, we stayed out until 3 when the wind came up and forced us back into the bay... We also had another keeper around 10lbs and lost 3 good ones that came unbuttoned right at the boat..."

Friday, August 10, 2018

    Not all of the stripers have found the anchovies in the bay. The surf still has a few, like this one caught by Roger Xayavong on a SP Minnow. 

    Here's a couple of shots sent in yesterday:"My son Paolo had fun catching this shark and an endless supply of sabiki caught anchovies and jack smelt. 
Thursday my friend Rick landed this 39 inch beauty on a live anchovy somewhere out in the bay. " I only saw a couple of boats fishing by Hog yesterday afternoon and they seemed bored. Low tide in the morning would have had warmer water around the island and made the fish more active. After a failed salmon attempt I went back to Marshall for a couple of trolled halibut and a few other shorties. Our bites came on lures and herring.
    This photo was sent to me so I'd know what a salmon looked like if one somehow made its way into the boat. The "Evil Twins" took their mom fishing yesterday and between her luck and their skill they landed a couple of those fish I couldn't catch, including this 25 pounder. There were a few caught off of Tomales Point yesterday but if you hooked a fish and lost it, well, tears were acceptable.  Speaking of salmon, here's a report with a warning from Tony Alcocer on Wednesday:"Willy, I was out fishing for Halibut today up in the bay. Way too much bait to find any "still" hungry Halibut. I did find two Silver salmon that were! (Just North of Hog Island) Maybe it's time to post a "public service msg" on how to tell the difference and remind everyone that the Silvers are to be released. I did take a photo of them and the fish counter at Nick's confirmed they were Silvers.

PS...Thanks for keeping up this good honest fishing report site!

Tony" There was even a small silver salmon caught from our pier last week. If you aren't sure about identification, here's a link to click on to see a picture of two fishes' mouths (Spoiler: black is good). The easiest thing to remember when you you are fishing for halibut and catch a salmon is, if your hooks are barbed, you are supposed to let it go. It is hard to do.

Monday, August 6, 2018

    The salmon are still out there, patiently waiting for the water to lay down enough for the rest of  us to go get them. For those that can't wait, the fish are being caught out in about 60-70 feet of water if you can keep them hooked. If you'd rather wait for nicer weather we may get it starting on Wednesday. It's not good weather but, near the beach at least, it looks to be less bad. There were a few more salmon hooked on the bar this morning, too.

    Here's a couple pictures of would-be halibut fishermen Kelley Roy and Herman Rinkel. The flatties wouldn't cooperate but the stripeys did, back by Marshall on Sunday.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Ron Johnson's largest fish of the last two days is this 16 pound striper, but he also had four keeper halibut while trolling by Marshall in the bay.

   Steve Georgis emailed this fish from a few days ago:"Hey Willy, 
Here's a pic of my brother in law Darrel Hedge with his Striper caught on Tuesday. We were at Marshall using live anchovies."
     Top boat of the day today was Jesse Keilman and crew. They landed five salmon, four of them trolling in 60 feet of water off of Tomales Point and one mooching on the bar.  There's some debate on whether the fish were netted or washed into the boat by breakers, but either way, they got 'em. 

    Pretty slow fishing yesterday with the wind keeping most of the boats in the bay and the few that went out catching a couple salmon here and there among the whitecaps. "Here and there" included North of Bodega Head and from Tomales Point to the Trees. There were also salmon caught on the Tomales Bay bar and South of Hog Island inside the bay. These were single fish, caught in the schools of anchovies, but it gives one hope. Hog Island was very slow for halibut but further back near Marshall a couple of boats had some luck by trolling gear that looked nothing like a real fish. I guess that one way to set your offering apart from the million anchovies is to have something that is the opposite of "match the hatch." 
     I lost my fishing buddy yesterday. Tom McHale was my friend and father-in-law. He wasn't able to get out fishing in the last year or so but was fishing vicariously through Gage, Cameron and all of your fishing stories that I shared with him. This is him with his 30 pound white sea bass in 2015. I hope he's fishing with Merle again.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

    Sorry about the lack of reports, but to be fair I didn't miss much. Here's a report from last week  :"Haven't reported in a while, however the bite has been good.
Last weekend we pulled in 3 lings off Bird rock and a halibut south of Hog Island.
Weekend before it was 2 lings and 5 coppers.

Here are a some flat ones hauled in Friday south of Hog Island. 

In all three 29" stripers landed and released, 1 lost at the boat. 1 foul hooked on a laser minnow and the other 3 bit on live anchovie.
3 halibut, 7, 11 and 17 lbs. 
The 2 smaller took the laser minnow while the 17 pounder hit live anchovie.

   There have been some other fish caught in the bay (including a 28 pound halibut across from the pier) but by and large the bite has slowly fizzled along with the forecast. Today's high boat in the bay caught one striper. Outside there were a few boats that worked the water off of Bodega Head for a few salmon but they earned every fish. Seven foot waves every seven seconds is unpleasant at best. The forecast is for more of the same. I was hoping to post some good news, but nope.