Northern CA Saltwater

Rockfish trips work out well for Half Moon Bay boats

BY CAPT. DAVID BACON/WON Staff WriterPublished: Apr 09, 2019

HALF MOON BAY — Early rockfish season turned out well for boats from Half Moon Bay, where destinations both to the south and north were explored and bottomfish bit well in most areas. Combo trips were available to add crab to the mix and stripers bit for beach fishers.

Queen of Hearts from Half Moon Bay Sportfishing ran early week trips down to Pigeon Point area to fish deeper water for hefty reds, coppers and lingcod. During those southern trips, 4 salmon were hooked and released on rockfish dropper loops.

ROCKFISH SEASON OPENED up off much of the coast, and John Budrick from San Carlos with this pair of nice 4-pound yellowtail rockcod caught on shrimp flies aboard the Huli Cat out of Half Moon bay on the April 1 opener.

Then later in the week the boat fished 180 to 200 feet along edges of Deep Reef. Owner Sherry Ingles said, “We caught lots of fish of color like reds, coppers, canaries and bocaccios. We’re seeing a ton of baby lingcod that look like little hot dogs, kinda cute really. We also got some bigger units.” Joshua Pencek also reported lots of lingcod, noting that of the 60 lings brought up since opening day, about 50 were under 12 inches. He said that the deeper rockfish opportunities were making everyone happy.

Ten anglers went out on Huli Cat on a day when ocean conditions were breezy with some wind chop. That didn’t slow down the action. Capt. Michael Cabanas reported that it was a combo trip which tallied 3/4-limits of rockfish and full limits of Dungeness crab. The destination was San Gregorio and among the passengers were successful anglers Jeanne Tagnoni, Carlos Chavez and Manuel Garcia. Sunday’s trip was similar with limits of crab and nice sacks of rockfish.

Beach fishing heated up with the new season. Barred surfperch and redtail perch were both plentiful and some of the bigger fish of winter were still prowling and pouncing on baits. Striped bass showed up to add a kick to the action, with the best bites coming from up near Montera.

VERMILLION ROCKY — Vermillion rockfish are a top catch during rockfish season, which is now open! Matt Bernard fished aboard the Huli Cat out of Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay for this 5-pound vermillion that bit shrimpflies, then they pulled pots for their crabs.

POT PULLERS — Dan Morratti from Stockton and Andre Hadas from Orinda with a pot pulled up with 16 crabs, part of 20 limits of crab for 20 passengers were taken aboard the Huli Cat.

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