HALF MOON BAY/PACIFICA — Half Moon Bay and Pacifica filled with hungry people who had Dungeness crabs on their minds, where the weather cooperated, as did the equally hungry crabs. Rockfish and lingcod provided additional incentive and something to do while the crab pots soaked.
Capt. Tom Mattusch on the Huli Cat said, “Pillar Point Harbor was high energy, as recreational crabbers lined up for the start of the season. The lot was filled with campers. Coastside Fishing Club had their pre-season celebration Friday evening, and there were taillights at the launch ramp by 6 a.m. Anglers were seen walking up and down the pier with crab pots in search of a vessel to take them crabbing. Many vessels went out late Friday evening to stake their spots for the 12:01 a.m. opener Saturday morning.”
ROCKFISHING HAS BEEN excellent all up and down the coast this year, and Bennett Welch of Houston, Texas, is shown here with Huli Cat deckhand Jake Carrier with his first cabezon, caught using shrimp flies in 45 feet of water at Pescadero. The Huli Cat is out of Half Moon Bay.
Besides crabbing, the Huli Cat made the run to Tunitas to load up on rockfish and lingcod. Don Matthews of Mountain View caught a 22-pound lingcod on a bare shrimp fly. Kat Grasse of El Granada caught a 7-pound lingcod hitchhiker while her German short hair pointer, "Skyler," looked on, obviously amused. The Huli Cat stopped on a working group of birds for a customer to cast a squid jig in search of Humboldts, and William Odum cast an Ahi squid jig and loaded up on Market Squid.
Sherry Ingles of Half Moon Bay Sportfishing said, “I think we had the biggest day ever on Saturday. Cars were parked all the way up the main street of town. Crabbing is easy and limits were the rule on most boats. The weather is great and the fishing is easy.” The Queen of Hearts, Rip Tide and Ankeney Street found limits of rockfish on every trip all week long.
Up in Pacifica, crowds of people successfully deployed hoop nets and cast snares for Dungeness crabs. Consequently, there was little surf fishing activity.