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Half Moon Bay: Crab and sanddab trips produce for anglers

BY CAPT. DAVID BACON/WON Staff WriterPublished: Jan 14, 2020

HALF MOON BAY — On some days it was possible (and safe) to get out of Pillar Point Harbor to pull crab and fish for sanddab. Inside the Harbor, Half Moon Bay people worked the jetty for fish and crab, or they cast snares along local beaches.

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HULI ’DABS — John Hobson from Redwood City, pulled a few sanddabs on the Huli Cat during a sanddab/crab combo trip fishing in 284 feet of water 14 miles west of Pillar Point Harbor.

Huli Cat went on a sanddab and crab combo in 280 feet of water, 14 miles west of the Pillar Point Harbor. Capt Tom Matttusch said, “We have had to cancel several of our planned sanddab, petrale sole, Dungeness crab combo trips due to weather and high winds. We are fishing 280 to 300 feet of water and the high winds create too fast a drift to successfully work the bottom. We are seeing less crab gear as the commercials and recreationals pull out, as crab is thinning out following the commercial harvest. The biggest sanddab of the day was 11 inches, caught on an Ahi SD-700. The best crab pot had 12 crabs. Huli Cat had 135 sanddabs for 8 anglers and 10 limits of crab for anglers and crew. Huli Cat will continue to schedule trips, hoping for good weather windows.”


The Skipper also reported seeing grey whales on their southward migration, 14 miles offshore. Capt. Mattusch caught an 11-inch sanddab and John Hobson brought up a 9 incher.


Stephanie at Half Moon Bay Sportfishing reported thatQueen of Hearts, Riptide, Reel Screamer and New Captain Pete stayed tied to their docks. Capt. Dennis Baxter on New Captain Pete decided this is a good time to go waterfowl hunting and we can all wish him good hunting.


Stephanie said that the jetty has been popular, even with the questionable weather. Part of the reason for that is the public pier remains closed for repairs and upgrades. Snare casters along the jetty had good moments and some hours of casting and retrieving often resulted in a crab dinner for the family. Local beaches also saw snare casters, but not that many perch fishers.


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DAY OF LIMITS — Nate Lohman from Livingston caught this 3-pound copper on shrimpflies while fishing aboard the Huli Cat out of Half Moon Bay at the Deep Reef in 220 feet of water. The result? 13 limits for 13 anglers.

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BIG MOUTH BOCACCIO — Chris Hage fished aboard the Huli Cat out of Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay using shrimpflies in 230 feet of water on the Deep Reef to latch onto this 5-pound bocaccio before the rockfish closure.

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