CALIFORNIA'S ONLY SPORTSMAN'S NEWS SINCE 1953

Northern CA Saltwater

Half Moon Bay: Crab counts great, rockfish steady

BY CAPT. DAVID BACON/WON Staff WriterPublished: Nov 13, 2019

HALF MOON BAY — Boat-based crabbing out of Half Moon Bay was excellent both in terms of quantity and quality, while shore-based crabbers in HMB Harbor got fewer crab but enough for dinner. Rockfishing was very good at most of the hotspots from Deep Reef to Pigeon Point. Beach fishing was good for barred surfperch and there were some stripers caught.

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POT O’ CRABS — Tyler Lewis from Fort Worth, Texas, and deckhand Donovan Ash, show an opening day Huli Cat Dungeness pot from 40 fathoms pulled west of Pillar Point Harbor and loaded with crabs.

Capt. Dennis Baxter on New Captain Pete out of Half Moon Bay Sportfishing ran back-to-back half-day crab only trips and found pulling limits to be easy. He said, “This morning’s crab-only trip was a charter by Coastside Fishing Club, which sponsored a trip for veterans. Capt. Baxter said, “Coastside does a lot of great work from politics of fishing to sponsored trips and I’m proud to have been a member since their early days.”


Half Moon Bay boats mostly ran combo trips for rockfish, lingcod and crab. For the rockfish, destinations were scattered from Deep Reef all the way down to Pigeon Point. The rockfish were hungry and there were some really nice lingcod hitchhikers. Lings were also taken on large baits and on lures like jigs, Lingslayers and large swimbaits on leadheads. In general, some of the nicest fish came from the far locations such as Pigeon Point because those spots do not get fished very often.


Huli Cat ran a rockfish/crab combo trip to Martins Beach, working in 90 feet of water. Jerry Otoshi caught a 17-pound halibut, Eric Chow got a 15-pound lingcod, Kyu Cho got a 4-pound red and Darren Seiji took a 3-pound cabezon. The final count was 24 limits of rockfish and 24 limits of Dungeness, plus some lingcod and a halibut.


Shore fishing from the jetty at Pillar Point harbor was good for rockfish, croaker and cabezon, according to Stephanie ay Half Moon Bay Sportfishing. Crabbers casting snares from the jetty or dropping hops from the pier and docks did okay on crab and were able to provide meals for their families.


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