CALIFORNIA'S ONLY SPORTSMAN'S NEWS SINCE 1953

Northern CA Saltwater

Half Moon Bay: Salmon up & down, rockfish steady

BY CAPT. DAVID BACON/WON Staff WriterPublished: Jul 10, 2019

HALF MOON BAY — Half Moon Bay boats find the salmon on fire one day and then absent the next day, but when it is good, it is great. Rockfish have been the dependable target species and some lingcod were coming up with them. Surf fishers caught some striped bass and various surf perches.

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DEEP REEF KING — The Huli Cat out of Half Moon Bay went salmon fishing in 270 feet of water south of the Deep Reef where 4-year-old Weston Houston with the help of his father, Jessie Houston from Carmel Valley, landed an 8-pound salmon on an anchovy.

Salmon fishing was hot and cold, but potentially very, very hot. Joshua Pencek on Queen of Hearts from Half Moon Bay Sportfishing said, “One day you’ll hear from the guy that he limited out on salmon in 20 minutes after dropping the troll lines. Then the next day the same guy is telling you it is the worst season he’s ever seen. One day the fish are there and the next day they are gone.”


Huli Cat chased salmon Friday and had some happy passengers. Joe Odrzywolski got a 16 pounder on an anchovy. Eric Scott took a 12 pounder, also with an anchovy and Nick Hasse had an 8 pounder. All 12 passengers caught their limit of salmon.


Pencek also noted that rockfishing has been sensational with vermillion up to 10 pounds and lings up to 25 pounds. His reports back up what Stephanie at the landing reported. Riptide and Huli Cat also put time in on rockfish and lingcod with trips to Deep Reef and hotspots to the south such as Pescadero. Summertime bottom fishing was excellent pretty much everywhere the boat could hold over rocky structure and drop shrimpflies or squid strips on double-dropper loops.


Beach fishing was quite good for redtail perch and barred surfperch. While there were some striped bass caught, the new moon tidal phases didn’t help and the bite was off somewhat, as reported by Marque Glisson at New Coastside Bait & Tackle in Pacifica. Better tides after the weekend may well put the bass back on the bite.


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