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Half Moon Bay: Rockfish steady for HMB boats

Salmon up and down

BY CAPT. DAVID BACON/WON Staff WriterPublished: Aug 20, 2019

HALF MOON BAY — Salmon were easy to come by one day and difficult the next, as is their nature, but Half Moon Bay boats had no trouble finding limit-style fishing for rockfish both along the coast and at Deep Reef. Shore anglers caught halibut, rockfish from jetties or perch and stripers from the beaches.

Salmon fishing was up and down in quantity, though the quality was nice with fish in the teens and twenties. Riptide tried her luck at Pedro Point over the weekend, pulling 13 salmon and a white seabass. Reel Screamer is a 6-pack boat now running out of Half Moon Bay Sportfishing. On a salmon trip during the week the boat scored 4 salmon for 4 anglers, meeting the favored fish per rod count.


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FULL FRAME RED — Huli Cat out of Half Moon Bay went rockcod fishing at Pescadero where Jason Stephan of Half Moon Bay caught his 5-pound vermillion in 50 feet of water while using shrimpflies.

Some of the commercial boats were switching over to spot prawns, because the salmon haven’t been consistent locally either in number or size. There may well be another body of salmon that moves through and elicits excitement again. Pen-reared salmon are expected soon and that will make Pillar Point Harbor a busy place.


Huli Cat out of Half Moon Bay went rockcod fishing off Pescadero in 50 feet of water. Norman Chan caught an 18-pound halibut on a swimbait. Wayne Locke got a 5-pound cabezon using shrimpflies, and Eric Chow took a 4-pound black rockfish with a swimbait. It was 12 limits for 12 anglers for the day. On another trip, Huli Cat fished off Deep Reef and Pescadero. First time ocean fisherman Joey Briseno from Casper, Wyoming, caught a 7-pound cabezon on a swimbait in 35 feet of water at Pescadero. Alex Li took a 2-pound copper in 220 feet of water at Deep Reef, and Easton DeGuara had an 8-pound lingcod caught on shrimpflies in 35 feet of water at Pescadero.


Queen of Hearts hammered the bottomfish. The boat scored full limits of rockfish and some long lings this past week. Partyboat trips were along the coast or on the edges of Deep Reef. Joshua Pence said that rockfish remained stable, with days ranging from phenomenal to average, but no bad days.


Stephanie at Half Moon Bay Sportfishing reported some inshore action saying, “Jetty fishermen are getting a few halibut and rockfish. People fishing the beaches were catching redtail perch and striped bass. The stripers were on bucktails, Mickey Jigs and Gulp! sandworms.”


Launching out of Pillar Point Harbor, Jay Friesen treated Capt. Mike baxter and WON Contributor Allen Bushnell to a wide-open bite. The boat returned to port by 11 a.m., with triple doubles… limits of salmon to 18 pounds and limits of bass to 12 pounds. Capt. Baxter caught the 18 pounder and Bushnell got the 12 pounder.


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