Northern CA Saltwater

Half Moon Bay: Boats struggle to get out for combo trips

BY CAPT. DAVID BACON/WON Staff WriterPublished: Feb 11, 2020

HALF MOON BAY — It was a tough week for partyboats as well as private boats of Half Moon Bay, due to winds and seas and lack of passengers. There were jetty visitors trying for crab and fish. Local beaches gave up decent numbers of surf perches.

jiggedupbutJIGGED UP ’BUT — Jerry Otoshi from San Francisco caught this 17-pound halibut while jigging a bar in 120 feet of water off of Martins Beach while fishing aboard the Huli Cat out of Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay.

Between the wind, seas and lack of gung-ho passengers, it was tough to get a boat out of Pillar Point Harbor. Huli Cat had one trip early in the week and the results were as expected with limits of Dungeness crab for everyone, plus about 10 sanddabs per person. The counts of sanddab related to how many the passengers wanted to catch and keep, not related to the quality of the fishing. People had the option of catching as many sanddabs as they wanted. Most folks are good about only catching as many as they can realistically process and eat among their families.

Jetty visitors did very well. Joshua Pencek at Half Moon Bay Sportfishing said, “A guy came into the bait & tackle shop around 3 p.m. on Tuesday carrying 3 cabezon, which were obviously in the middle of spawning. He said he was fishing for a few hours, but when the tide changed over, he got all three within an hour.” That tide change really kicked the bite into high gear. Lots of jetty folks were casting baited snares for crab, but bait soakers had their prime times, like that cabezon angler did.

Pencek reported that surf fishers did well. He said he knew from personal and current experience that crabbing from the surf is yielding much better results than from packed piers. Also, the perch bite has remained steady, with fish up to 2.5 pounds. Redtail perch to 14 inches were taken as well is barred surf perch to 13 inches. Johnny Sanchez from San Jose got the 14 incher.

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