Umarex Gauntlet


Northern CA Saltwater

Bodega Bay: Jumbo catches featured on Bodega Bay boats

BY CAPT. DAVID BACON/WON Staff WriterPublished: Nov 19, 2019

BODEGA BAY — Rockfish ran large and so did the crab, with limits the norm for Bodega Bay party boats. Private boats also did well, too, and shore-based crabbing and fishing was good at the Harbor jetty. Surf fishing for perch was good on sandy beaches.

The week featured good weather and sea state, adding to the delight of heading out on a boat for rockfish and crab. Combo trips were hits with happy passengers on charter boats and party boats, as people pulled up large rockfish and commercial-grade Dungeness crab.

PT. REYES LING — Big lingcod are coming from newly-opened water depths, and Jason Graves caught his 17-pound lingcod out of Bodega Bay off Pt. Reyes while fishing in 100 feet of water using a swimbait while fishing on a friend’s sport boat.

On New Sea Angler, limits of quality rockfish and high-grade crabs was a daily ritual. Rockfish catches were mostly from down near Point Reyes. Tony Zura got the big fish of the week, an 18-pound lingcod and an 8-pound red. Mike Johnson had lings weighing 15 and 17 pounds and Mike Smith caught a 12-pound lingcod, an 8-pound bocaccio and a 6-pound copper rockfish among his limit.

Crab were pretty much everywhere one could find a muddy bottom. Some of the busy places were right out front of Bodega Bay Harbor, off Ten Mile Beach, Elephant Rock and Bird Rock.

Lingcod counts were down somewhat, according to Capt. Rick Powers who said, “We got some brown water, which isn’t good for lingcod fishing. We have some wind in the forecast though, so that should clear up the water and improve visibility. I’ve got to say that this is the best crab opener in years, and I don’t see any reason for it to change, especially since the weather has been awesome.”

There were some folks doing quite well for themselves along the jetty at the entrance to Bodega Bay Harbor. Casting a baited snare was a good method to pull in crabs. Baiting up a hook and line was good for rockfish and cabezon. Casting and retrieving a swimbait down deep in front of the rocks could mean taking home a keeper lingcod. Beach fishers did well on surf perches at Doran Beach and Dillon Beach.

Inside Tomales Bay the Dungeness crabbing has become difficult. Willy Vogler at Lawson’s Landing said, “A few guys have been able to get half limits, but most crabbers are going home with far more reds than Dungies. Squid and mackerel seem to be the favored baits. The rockfishing has been very good and a lot of lingcod in the teens have been caught, but our first big swell of the season has rolled in along with extremely foggy conditions making the mouth of Tomales Bay too hazardous to cross this weekend.”

kayakcrabsKAYAK CRABS — Annie Nagel of Ocean Kayaks and Rohnert Park ran a trap or two out of her ‘yak for a few nice Dungeness crabs off the coast with the Bodega Bay Kayak Club.

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