Northern CA Saltwater

Half Moon Bay: Spotty salmon re-opener due to weather

BY CAPT. DAVID BACON/WON Staff WriterPublished: May 22, 2019

HALF MOON BAY — High winds and seas hampered efforts of salmon fisherfolk and most trips were cancelled out of Half Moon Bay, and while some fish were caught, the action was spotty. Trips for bottomfish were also cancelled for much of the week. Surf fishing was excellent for stripers and perch.

Many private boat owners, partyboat skippers and charter operators cancelled salmon trips for the opening weekend because of fierce winds and rough seas. Capt. Tom Mattusch on Huli Cat said, “It’s been a little snotty the last few days. The commercial fleet was thick, running around looking for the silver beauties. Huli Cat will be running both rockfish/crab combos and salmon trips.”

jessicabuffunyJESSICA BUFFUNY OF San Jose hefts a 5-pound brown rockcod caught on shrimpflies during a rockcod trip aboard the Huli Cat out of Half Moon Bay while taking out young adults from Homestead High School, sponsored by Discovery Anglers.

Over the weekend, Joshua Pencek at Half Moon Bay Sportfishing noted that among the boats that did get out, salmon fishing was spotty. Much of that may have been because of the conditions.

Capt. Dennis Baxter on New Captain Pete said, “Last night 21 commercial salmon boats all came in from the west. That was kinda like a neon sign pointing towards the salmon.” Capt. Baxter plans to fish salmon 7 days a week, once the weather lets up. He reported that Ankeny Street fished Saturday morning before the wind got bad and a passenger caught a small white seabass with a red Fish Trap swimbait. He said no evidence of a squid spawn was seen, but schools of anchovies were moving into shallower water.

Rockfish trips were likewise limited, with only a couple of partyboat trips reported. Queen of Hearts went out Tuesday and put people over rockfish where those who could, hauled in plenty of fish. On Friday, Huli Cat made the run and pulled limits of rockfish before stopping to pull crab gear for limits of Dungeness. On Sunday, Stephanie Overbat got tasty browns and coppers on shrimpflies. Darren Seiji caught coppers and reds to 4 pounds and Jeanne Tognoni reeled up a good-size bocaccio.

Stripers have been doing phenomenally well in the surf, according to Marque Glisson at New Coastside Bait & Tackle in Pacifica who said, “They are biting mostly on metal such as Mickeys and Charlie Graves casting tins. Hairraisers are also doing good. All of Pacifica has been productive, just shy of 100 count from Tuesday through Thursday. The size has been great with 15 to18 pounders regularly reported.”

coppercatchCOPPER CATCH — Ken Yuen from San Jose caught a 2-pound copper rockcod while using a bar aboard the Huli Cat out of Pillar Point Harbor. All seven anglers aboard caught their limits of rockcod and crabs.

LATE CRABS — Believe it or not, the Huli Cat is still pulling pots and getting decent numbers of crab for its passengers, and Kurtis Yang and Kellie Yan of Santa Clara hold up a pot with 14 crabs in it. Limits of rockfish and some crabs were the take of the 11 anglers.

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