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Northern CA Saltwater

Fabulous crab season continues for Fort Bragg folks

BY CAPT. DAVID BACON/WON Staff WriterPublished: Jan 16, 2018

FORT BRAGG — Fort Bragg crabbers consider this the best season in recent memory and even shore-based crabbers did pretty well. Shore fishing was excellent when conditions allowed, though from one day to the next conditions changed.

With the commercial crab season not yet open, recreational crabbers had plenty of crabs to work with. Capt. Tim Gillespie on Sea Hawk reported limits every trip with crabs weighing 2 to 3 pounds. Private boaters and party boats alike enjoyed phenomenal results without much travel time and without long soaks.

John Gebers at Noyo Fishing Center in Fort Bragg Harbor said, “Crabbing continues in one of the best seasons in recent memory. Short soaks off of Ten Mile Beach are producing limits of commercial-grade crabs. Given good weather, the great crabbing should continue.” When commercial crabbers are able to work, it is expected that they will have good hauls and hopefully good prices.

Shore-based crabbers also had good results and plenty of crabs were caught by people working snares from Noyo Jetty and other good casting spots up and down the coast. When large swells rolled in or strong winds built messy seas, Noyo jetty provided the safe haven needed to keep on crabbing and fishing. People using hook and line caught their share of kelp greenling, black rockfish and cabezon. Nearby Dog Park was a good spot for striped perch.

When conditions allowed people to work spots like Old Mill, MacKerricher or Mendocino Headlands, lingcod were added to the list. Anytime you can catch a keeper lingcod from shore, it is a very good day.

Gebers also noted that steelhead are starting to show in the lower coastal rivers and they are busy trying to hide from the voracious sea lions while waiting for a bit more rain. A number of fish have been spotted at the Noyo River egg-taking station.

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