Northern CA Saltwater

Half Moon Bay: Salmon slow, so boats target rockfish

BY CAPT. DAVID BACON/WON Staff WriterPublished: Jun 12, 2019

HALF MOON BAY — Much of the week out of Halm Moon Bay featured wind and swells, but early in the week and the weekend were better for boating and fishing. Salmon fishing was very slow, so most boats switched to rockfish. Shore anglers worked for striped bass.

Springtime weather can be rough, and rough it was for much of the week. Fortunately, the weekend was much improved, so boats made it out in good numbers. They found salmon fishing to be slow overall. The waters off Pacifica held tonnage of forage fish, but the top boat score was 3 fish on Riptide out of Half Moon Bay Sportfishing.

A FLAG ROCKFISH is beautiful, and John Kuo of San Francisco added this 3 pounder caught on shrimpflies to his bag of rockcod on a cod/crab combo trip aboard the Huli Cat out of Half Moon Bay to the Deep Reef in 220 feet of water. They also pulled pots for Dungeness crab.

Over the weekend, New Capt. Pete searched far and wide for salmon. Capt. Dennis Baxter said, “We started 14 miles west of the harbor. We saw humpbacks, haystacks of anchovies deep, but no dark water. We hopscotched all the way to Pigeon Point looking for the right color water. We caught 3 fish in 300 feet of water, 5 miles out from the light. We’re now waiting to intercept the next school of salmon.”

Huli Cat fished salmon off Mussell Rock early in the week before the winds picked up. Justin Sleasmon got a limit to 10 pounds, Tom Westphal got a limit to 12 pounds and Steve Reynolds took a limit to 18 pounds. Anchovies were the main bait.

Partyboats Queen of Hearts, Riptide and Huli Cat spent time on rockfish and lingcod. Huli Cat worked Deep Reef for a variety of rockfish and lingcod through Sunday. Then the crew pulled pots on days when time allowed, to send passengers home with crab as well as rockfish. Stephanie at Half Moon Bay Sportfishing noted that crab season is still going and still popular until the 30th. Over the weekend, Huli Cat fished off San Gregorio in 90 feet of water with DeMattei Construction Company. Those guys caught lots of rockfish and some lingcod.

In Pillar Point Harbor, jetty fishing for rockfish and pier hooping or snare casting for crab was popular. Along the beaches, folks caught barred surfperch, redtail perch and striped bass. Marque Glisson at New Coastside Bait & Tackle in Pacifica said, “Striped bass were biting at Linda Mar and Morey Point. We are catching them on Hair Raisers and Daiwa SP Minnows.”

yellowtailrockyYELLOWTAIL ROCKY — Huli Cat went out on a rockcod and crab combo off of Deep Reef in 220 ft. of water where Harvey Miller from Santa Clara caught his 3-pound yellowtail rockcod on shrimpflies.

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