CALIFORNIA'S ONLY SPORTSMAN'S NEWS SINCE 1953

Northern CA Saltwater

Salmon go on the bite right outside of Pillar Point Harbor, Half Moon Bay

BY CAPT. DAVID BACON/WON Staff WriterPublished: Sep 13, 2017

HALF MOON BAY — Half Moon Bay private boaters enjoyed an awesome week of slammin’ salmon right outside of Pillar Point Harbor. The fish have not yet moved inside the harbor, but expectations are high. Party boats enjoyed great catches of high-grade rockfish at the deeper stones from Deep Reef on down to Pigeon Point. Stripers were caught from area beaches, with the evening bite providing the best action.

copperpairCOPPER PAIR — Sharon Ondry from Redwood City caught a couple nice copper rockcod while using shrimp flies aboard the Huli Cat with Capt. Michael Cabanas out of Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay.


Sherry Ingles at Half Moon Bay Sportfishing said, “Our private boaters have been enjoying an incredible treat. They head out of harbor and after about 30 seconds, slow down and begin trolling. Some are coming back in short order with salmon limits, though not every day is hot fishing. Some of the salmon have their adipose fin and some don’t, so it is a mix of wild and hatchery fish. Our locals are waiting expectantly for salmon to enter the harbor so they can cast to them from shore.”


The salmon outside of Pillar Point Harbor were mostly raised there in net pens before release.


Over the weekend, Huli Cat went for salmon and John Gallno boated an 18 pounder using a flasher and Apex.


Party boats Queen of Hearts and Huli Cat put the hurt on rockfish and lingcod, working deeper spots just available as of this season. Some trips were to Deep Reef, some off of Pescador and some down off of Pigeon Point. All three locales produced big reds, coppers, bocaccios and other fish that bulged sacks. Lingcod counts went up and down daily depending upon the talent onboard. When a number of anglers knew to pay close attention to their baits and jigs, working them aggressively within a foot of the bottom but not letting them lay on the bottom, then a boat’s lingcod count jumped way up.


There were some private boat attempts for offshore albacore and there was some success. Fish were found 20 to 25 miles offshore. The top score reported was 20 fish for a boat. Interestingly there were a few yellowtail swimming with the tuna and a few were caught. Yellowtail are generally associated with kelp paddies and other floating stuff, but that area doesn’t see many paddies so the fish were free swimming with the tuna.


Evening time was the best opportunity to work the beaches for striped bass, from below town on up to above Mussel Rock. Ingles reported that green Crocodiles were particularly popular late in the week and over the weekend.


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