By Dan Bacher / Record Correspondent
Posted Apr 16, 2019 at 5:15 PM
BODEGA BAY — Recreational salmon fishing opened in the ocean waters from Horse Mountain to Pigeon Point on April 13, following the opening of fishing from Pigeon Point to the Mexican border the previous weekend. While fishing was productive out of the Bay Area and Half Moon Bay, Sonoma County coast anglers experienced the top action.
“It was a phenomenal salmon opener,” said Rick Powers of Bodega Bay Sportfishing, captain of the New Sea Angler and a board member of the Golden Gate Salmon Association (GGSA). “We had a hard northwest wind for seven days straight before the opener.
“But I was pleasantly surprised. The 29 anglers aboard the boat hooked over 80 salmon — and kept 43 Chinooks to 18 pounds. In all of my years of fishing, I have never seen us smack the fish like we did after the wind blew that hard.”
On Sunday, the 19 anglers hooked 50 salmon, landing 25 keeper salmon to 16 pounds. On Monday, the 11 anglers aboard the boat landed keeper 10 salmon.
“The fish averaged eight pounds each, but ranged up into the mid to high teens. The anglers trolled 30 to 60 feet deep with anchovies. The fish were plugged with anchovies; I’ve never seen anchovies hold all winter like they have this year in Bodega Bay.” Information: (707) 875-3344
Opening weekend on the San Mateo Coast north of Pigeon Point drew the Bay Area charter boat fleet, along with private and party boats out of Half Moon Bay, to troll anchovies in the Deep Reef area.
Seventeen anglers landed 16 salmon up to 12 pounds for 17 anglers on opening day on the New Easy Rider, skippered by Joey Gallia, out of the Berkeley Marina. The 11 anglers landed 10 salmon to 10 pounds aboard the New Easy Rider the following day. Information: (707) 422-2050.
Sherri Ingles of the Half Moon Bay Sportfishing Center reported that the Rip Tide, Que Sera Sera, and New Captain Pete ended up with a total of 18 keeper salmon to 15 pounds, along with releasing 25 fish under 24 inches long, on the opener. The New Captain Pete had the top score, with 8 keeper Chinook over 24 inches and 12 under 24 inches for11 anglers. Information: (650) 728-3377.
Salmon fishing in the region is open through April 30, then re-opens May 18 and continues through October. The area from Pigeon Point to the U.S./Mexico border (Monterrey area) is open now through August 28.
West Delta sturgeon: Sturgeon are on a superb bite, while striped bass are providing off and on action for trollers on the San Joaquin River.
“The sturgeon bite has been epic for the past couple of weeks,” Captain Hayden Mullins of Dragon Sportfishing reported. “We’ve been fishing back in the sloughs. We are still using eel, but roe has also been the ticket. Once in a while we get a shaker, but mostly we’ve been hooking keeper and oversize fish.” Information: (925) 428-1103.
San Francisco Bay halibut/stripers: The striper fishing has broken wide-open on San Francisco Bay.
“On April 13, we ended up with 25 limits of striped bass (50) and eight keeper halibut.” Erik Anfinson, captain of the Bass Tub said. “On the next day, we returned with limits of stripers (16) and four halibut for four anglers.”
The bass were mostly schoolies from five to eight pounds, while the halibut went up to eight pounds. They were trolling with frozen anchovies in the south bay off the Alameda Rockwall. Information: (415) 456-9055.