CALIFORNIA'S ONLY SPORTSMAN'S NEWS SINCE 1953

Northern CA Saltwater

Crab opener good for Half Moon Bay from boats and from shore

BY CAPT. DAVID BACON/WON Staff WriterPublished: Nov 06, 2018

HALF MOON BAY — It was a good start to the crabbing season for Half Moon Bay boats and shore-based fishers, with limits fairly easy to obtain. Rockfish and lingcod trips down the coast were sack-stuffer affairs on partyboats and surf perch fishing was wildly good south of town.

Huli Cat ended the opening day with limits of crabs in spite of a short, sharp swell. Capt. Tom Mattusch said, “We got our limits of crabs on our combo trip and went fishing. The heavy swell made rockfish and crabbing tough, but our count included 10 lingcod, half limits of rockfish and full limits of crab.”


caughtarideCAUGHT A RIDE — The 13-pound lingcod caught by Brian Hiegert of Oakdale aboard the Huli Cat out of Half Moon Bay was a hitch­hiker on the back of a smaller rockfish. They were fishing off San Gregorio and ocean conditions were nice.


Sostenes Tovar got a 13-pound lingcod that hitchhiked on a rockfish according to Capt. Mattusch. Al Suplaban caught a 17-pound ling on a shrimpfly while fishing off Pomponio. On Sunday, Nhien Dang caught a whopping 20-pound lingcod, Sam Amicay got a 17 pounder with a live bait rig and a whole squid, and Jim Higuchi caught a 15 pounder in the same fashion, while fishing off San Gregorio.


Half Moon Bay Sportfishing’s tackle shop was a busy place. Sherry Ingles said that early in the morning she could see Coleman lantern glow spots along the breakwater as crabbers got an early start. By 7:30 a.m., there wasn’t a parking spot left open in the entire harbor area. Boats were packed, private boats were out, and shore-based spots were very busy. Folks who knew where and how to get them reported limits of Dungeness. One boater told Ingles that they pulled only half their pots after a few hours soak to get 100 crabs. Others didn’t fare as well unless they got lucky.


Queen of Hearts had 26 people onboard over the weekend although due to the big swells only about 15 people were actually fishing. Limits of rockfish were caught for all passengers and 26 lingcod to 14 pounds were added. “Nearly all of the lings were in the teens,” said Ingles.


Surfperch fishing was very good in general, for barred surfperch and for redtail perch. South of town the barred surfperch gathered up and went voracious, making it a fish per cast. The top bait was the Gulp! sandworm.


gangnionlingGANGNION LING — Nhien Dang from San Francisco caught this 20-pound ling while using shrimpflies on a Huli Cat rockfish Dungeness crab combo while fishing off San Gregorio.


starrycodSTARRY COD — The Huli Cat out of Half Moon Bay went rockcod fishing off of San Gregorio last week and Cody Caton from Escalon caught a 2-pound starry rockcod on shrimpflies to add some color to his bag.


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