Northern CA Saltwater

Striped bass give Half Moon Bay and Pacifica folks something fun to do

BY CAPT. DAVID BACON WON Staff WriterPublished: Feb 07, 2017

HALF MOON BAY — Heavy seas for much of the week out of Half Moon Bay kept boats at bay and left harbor folks with only inshore portions of the jetties plus the public pier to work with. Kayakers and surf fishers found ways to coax bites from striped bass up to a whopping 31 pounds.

smallandtastySMALL AND TASTY — Sanddabs are small but very good eating, and the good thing is there’s no limit, so you can catch enough for a big meal or two. Mark Ortega from Daily City shows off a few caught aboard the Huli Cat out of Pillar Point Harbor this past week. The boat also pulled some Dungeness crabs to go with the sanddabs.

At Pillar Point Marina, party and charter boats were idle, waiting for a break in the swells and for sufficient anglers for perhaps a crab & ’dab trip. A happy exception to that rule was a very successful crab & ’dab trip aboard Huli Cat, with Capt. Michael Cabanas who said, “Ocean conditions were breezy with some mixed swells.” Commercial boats made it out to check their gear and pull some crabs, whenever the swells subsided just a bit.

Subsistence anglers worked the inshore portions of the jetty and scratched up some perch and smaller rockfish for dinner. Other folks who had crab snares affixed to long casting rods and could really pitch those baited boxes managed some rock crabs and a few Dungeness. The public pier inside the Pillar Point Harbor was also utilized and Eric at Half Moon Bay Sportfishing reported continued good sales of crab gear.

Pacifica Pier was open for much of the week, with the local authorities striving to give crabbers and anglers as much time on the pier as was safe between periods of very large swells. Crabbing was reported to be decent with some nice-sized units coming up.

Kayakers and shore anglers focused on striped bass and there were fat, feisty fish caught. Rob Chaney at Rusty Hook Bait & Tackle said, “My niece Miranda Bradley went out on her kayak and battled a 31-pound striped bass. The swells were pretty big and so was that bass, but she managed it. She also brought in the biggest crab I’ve seen all week.”

* * *

We hope you enjoyed this article on our no-charge website Of course, this site contains only a small fraction of the stories that Western Outdoor Publications produces each week in its two northern and southern editions and its special weekly supplements. You can subscribe to the print issue that is mailed weekly and includes the easy flip-page full-color digital issues, or you can purchase a digital only subscription. Click here to see the choice.

The Longfin Tackle Shop
The Longfin Tackle Shop