Northern CA Saltwater

Half Moon Bay: Shore fishers prevail

BY CAPT. DAVID BACON/WON Staff WriterPublished: Mar 04, 2020

HALF MOON BAY — Early week weather was decent, but not enough for Half Moon Bay folks to get the boats out, then over the weekend the weather was snotty. Pillar Point Harbor jetty saw some action by snare casters and hook and bait anglers. Surf fishing was good on local beaches.

AHI SOLE FISH — Mark Ortega from Daily City landed a 16½-inch, 1-pound petrale sole using an Ahi sanddab rig 14 miles west of Pillar Point Harbor in 280 feet of water while fishing aboard the Huli Cat.

At this time of year, it can be difficult to get weather and angler interest to align. Early in the week there were times when boats could get out for crab and ‘dab combos, but there weren’t enough people interested and boats couldn’t run. Then by the weekend when people tend to have time to go out, the weather made it a challenge. Consequently, there were no boats out for the week. Capt. Tom Mattusch on Huli Cat said, “I had to cancel a combo trip due to rough weather. Calm all week, sunny, mild, record temps. The weekend comes and dang it!”

Shore fishing and crabbing was a different story. The jetty at Pillar Point Harbor saw a good amount of action, for wintertime. Some folks stuffed snares with squid, anchovies and home-made or store-bought delicacies, then spent hours casting and slow retrieving for crabs. There were some Dungeness wrapped up in the snares, but the ratio was weighted in favor of red rock crab. People using hooks and baits pulled in a reasonable number of fish including cabezon, rockfish and perch.

Surf fishing was at times very good for surf perch from Linda Mar all the way up past Mussel Rock. The barred surf perch were going crazy at times, then it was redtail perch, as different schools of fish moved through. Top baits were Gulp! Sandworms and sandcrabs. No word on striped bass catches, but that may change when some real weather moves in with plenty of rain to get the streams flowing into the sea. That gets the bass to foraging more actively.

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