Crab Combo Action Remains Solid When Weather Cooperates
(East Bay) When the weather is decent, crab and rockfish combo trips beyond the Golden Gate have been yielding fantastic results.
The best rockfish results have been coming from the Farallon Islands, while the north and south bars are both producing solid numbers of crab.
At the Emeryville Sportfishing Center boats like the New Huck Finn and Sea Wolf have been putting their clients on limit style rockfish and crab action.
In Berkeley the story has been the same for Captain Chris Smith of the California Dawn, Captain Quan Vo of the Golden Eye 2000 and Captain Jim Smith of the Happy Hooker. All three boats have been pulling in full limits of 10 crabs each for their anglers along with limits of rockfish and good numbers of lingcod.
The rockfish and lingcod season is slated to run through the end of December, so if you want to score some fillets and crab now is the time to hit the water!
Party Boats Still Loading Up With Limits Of big Dungeness Crabs And Rockfish
by Dave Hurley
(Bodega Bay) The commercial crab season opened north of Point Reyes to the Sonoma County line at the beginning of December after a delay of a few weeks due to high domoic acid levels, but the commercial pressure hasn’t slowed down the sport action for party boats.
Captain Rick Powers of Bodega Bay Sport Fishing said, “We are just coming back in with 34 limits of rockfish, 34 limits of crab, and a few lingcod on Wednesday, December 7th, and the crabbing is still spectacular. Anglers are leaving our boat with a gunny sack loaded with 10-crab limits and a big back of fillets. so they are ‘as happy as they could be.’”
The swell has continues to be on the high side, and the big groundswell has slowed action for lingcod.
“It takes at least a week for the swell to back off before the lingcod bite again, but they are there, and we just need the swell to hold below 5 feet before we start hammering them again. Last year at this time, the ocean was calm, and we came in with limits of lingcod, and I expect that there will be another window of lingcod action before the season closes on December 31,” said Powers.
The previous day, Powers ran north to Ft. Ross for 34 more limits of rockfish and Dungeness crab, pulling only a dozen pots for the 340 crab.
After the December 31st bottom fish closure, Powers will be running sand dab/Dungeness crab combinations through the winter months along with crab-only, whale watching, and bird watching trips.
The Westside renovation is scheduled for completion in early December, and information on the status of the launch ramp is available at (707) 875-3535 or at http://bit.ly/westside-boat-launch-status.
Half Moon Bay
Coast Produces Dungeness Crab & Rockfish When Weather Cooperates
by Dave Hurley
(El Granada) A persistent swell has been hampering private boat access to the crab grounds, but on the rare occasions when the swell and winds are down, private boaters have been able to pull their pots for near limits of Dungeness crab.
The key to getting close to limits is having several pots soaking, since the average per pot is in the 1- to 3-crab range. One boat ran 16 pots for just over 40 legal crab off of Montara, and at least one of the crab pots was rebaited with a different bait bag and jar.
This is more evidence that the illegal practice of pulling other people’s gear continues throughout all of the northern California post.
Out of Half Moon Bay Sport Fishing, the Queen of Hearts has been running south to the Franklin Point/Pigeon Point areas to find better weather conditions and more fertile fishing grounds. They are running rockfish/lingcod trips until the closure, but the weather conditions have been the limiting factor on several days within the past month, according to Sherri Ingles of the Half Moon Bay Sportfishing Center.
The Huli Cat is the only large boat running crab/rockfish combinations, and he has found decent action for Dungeness off of Montara at depths to 180 feet. Captain Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat will continue to run the combination trips until the rockfish closure on December 31 when they will switch to sanddab/crab, crab-only, whale watching, and bird watching trips until the ocean salmon season opens in the spring.
Out of Pacifica, Rob Chaney of the Rusty Hook reported the swell is still up, but the crab fishermen continue to line the pier. A few perch are taken at the edge of the pier where the waves are breaking when the tide is right.” The end of the pier is closed indefinitely for repairs, and anglers are crowded into the straightway section of the pier.
Hit Big Sur Coast For Rockfish, Lingcod & Cabezon
by Roland Aspiras
(Moss Landing) The rockfish and lingcod fishing has been excellent when anglers are able to get to Point Sur as the groundfish season nears its end on December 31. However, the rough weather continues to be a problem, according to Carol Jones of Kahuna Sportfishing.
“We did manage to get our charter out yesterday with limits of rockfish and a lingcod per rod,” said Jones. “We had to cancel today’s trip due to a small craft advisory once again.”
The 13 anglers aboard the last trip on Kahuna landed 12 lingcod, 112 assorted rockfish and 18 vermilion rockfish. The anglers used an array of shrimp flies tipped with squid, jigs, bars and swimbaits.
Boats out of Chris’ and Randy’s Fishing Trips in Monterey are going on crab/rockfish/lingcod combos. The latest trip on the Checkmate produced ¼ limits of rockfish, 10 lingcod and 53 Dungeness crab for 10 anglers. On the day before, the Checkmate checked in with ¼ limits of rockfish, 30 lingcod and 69 Dungeness crabs for 12 anglers.
“The weather was great today and the rockfish have started to bite again,” according to the latest report from Todd Fraser at Bayside Marine in Santa Cruz. “The crab fishing has improved up the coast near Davenport in 200 feet of water. The surfperch fishing is getting better now that the holes have opened up from the swell.”
Crab Fishing Dominates Local Shoreline Sport
by Roland Aspiras
(San Francisco) Angling pressure remained light around the city, with a few anglers chasing crab from the beach.
“Not much happening ” was the word from Stefanie Scott at Gus’ Discount Bait and Tackle in San Francisco this week.
“Right now you’ve got a few guys fishing off the local piers for perch or jack smelt, and everyone else is trying for crab. At the Presidio, guys are getting a couple nice rock and red crabs dropping down squid or chicken legs,” she tipped.
“At Baker Beach, they’re tossing out snares baited with squid or sardines. The current has been pretty swift so they’re using 10 to 14 ounces of weight to keep hold on the bottom,” she added.
Fishing for perch from Ocean and Baker beaches remained slow, according to Scott, with a lack of reports.