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Northern CA Saltwater

Salmon move inside Pillar Point Harbor

BY CAPT. DAVID BACON/WON Staff WriterPublished: Sep 28, 2016

Shore anglers get rare opportunities

HALF MOON BAY — Locally-reared net-pen salmon from Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay continue to move into the port, delighting shore casters who have a unique opportunity to catch a salmon from shore. Party boats loaded up on rockfish and lingcod and excellent shore fishing for perch gave beach fishers a bonus.


SHORE ANGLERS AT Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay fishing for king salmon raised in net pens in the harbor thanks to the DFW and Coastside Fishing Club, and now returning. There are dozens of anglers trying for the kings — and catching them — every day! PHOTOS BY TOM MATTUSCH

Many of the salmon swimming into Pillar Point Harbor were missing adipose fins, causing locals to believe that these are returning fish that were reared by Coastside Fishing Club and others looking to improve the local salmon fishery.

Sherry Ingles at half Moon Bay Sportfishing said, “The catches I’m hearing about are mainly the bigger fish and they are nice fish up to 25 pounds. People on the shore are casting Corkies, floating Gulp! salmon eggs and spinners.” Private boaters also got into the game thanks to a decent pick at the fish outside the Harbor. The counts are not high enough to get the party boats and charter boats involved for the most part, but enough fish were caught to please private boaters.

Queen of Hearts pounded the groundfish off of Pescadero and Pigeon Point where the average grade of fish was considerably bigger than those from spots closer to harbor. Effective offerings included squid strips, anchovies, shrimp flies and small jigs. Huli Cat ran a salmon/rockfish combo trip, fishing right off of Pillar Point where Guillermo Bailey caught a 6-pound salmon on an anchovy, as reported by Capt. Michael Cabanas. Rockcodding picked up nicely with limits caught in 3 hours on a flat comfortable ocean. Over the weekend the boat ran a veterans charter and loaded up some sacks. Larry Farlin from Orangevale brought up a 3-pound copper on shrimp flies and squid, John Peener from Yuba City landed an 8-pound lingcod that was hitchhiking on a rockfish.

Ingles reported that perch baits were selling well and that backed up reports from Ed Lu at Bay Tackle who said, “Me and a buddy fished for surf perch on the coast of San Francisco down to below Pacifica and we released over a hundred fish, mixed red tail and barred surf perch. We kept only 5 apiece and the smallest one we kept was 16 inches.

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