Northern CA Saltwater

Bodega Bay: Boats find the salmon

Halibut bit well, too

BY CAPT. DAVID BACON/WON Staff WriterPublished: Jun 19, 2019

BODEGA BAY — Salmon fishing turned on pleasingly for Bodega Bay boats and there were some bigger fish mixed in. Rockfish were hungry, adding to the sacks and halibut fishing inside Tomales Bay became steady. Striped bass and perch bit along the coast.

magicalkingMAGICAL KING — James McClendon of Rio Linda was fishing with his grandson, Luke, when he caught this 20-pound king salmon off Bodega Head while fishing aboard the six-pack boat Reel Magic.

Salmon fishing took a turn for the better and realistically could be termed excellent for boaters out of Bodega Bay, and Will Vogler at Lawson’s Landing said, “There’s a pretty good salmon bite from Point Reyes to Bodega Head, in 260 to 300 feet of water. Depending on who you ask, the fish are coming from 30 to 180 feet down with most of the catch coming from the deeper end of that range. Bait, hoochies and the ubiquitous watermelon Apex were the successful tools in use.”

Capt. Rick Powers on New Sea Angler on a weekend trip reported 37 limits of salmon for the day and folks were adding on a big pile of rockfish to further weight the sacks. On a couple of trips the boat got limits of salmon, limits of rockfish and limits of lingcod, plus some Dungeness crab. Waylon Murphy, 5 years old, had 3 lings to 16 pounds plus 15- and 17-pound salmon with a little help from dad Kaleb. Cayden Murphy, 15 years old, had lings to 18 pounds and salmon to 16 pounds. Their friend Dillon had a 16-pound lingcod. Dad, Kaleb Murphy had limits of salmon, rockfish and lingcod.

On another of the fabulous combo trips on New Sea Angler, 11-year-old Valerie Rice caught 4 lings to 18 pounds and a limit of salmon to 15 pounds. Rachel Raahauge had 10- and 16-pound lingcod and the jackpot was won by Josh Shields who got 3 lings to 21 pounds and a limit of salmon to 15 pounds.

Tomales Bay turned out some nice halibut catches, and the bite was steady. The action was good throughout the Bay except near the mouth, where the bite was quieter. Live anchovies worked best, but some boaters were trolling them up with the bounce-ball technique. Along with halibut, a few striped bass in the 12- to 17-pound range found their way into fish boxes.

Surf fishing was coming into its own, just in time for schools to be out and people hitting the beaches in bigger numbers. Vogler reported that surfperch have been biting well and a few stripers have been caught in the surf, including a 22-pound slug that took a topwater lure. Scott Heemstra of King’s Tackle in Guerneville reported some shaker halibut caught off the jetty by guys fishing for perch at Bodega Bay Harbor. The perch bite was good, with camo Gulp! sandworms being the best offering.

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