Farallon Islands Yields Epic Rockfish and Lingcod Fishing

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Berkeley/Fisherman’s Wharf

Farallon Islands Yields Epic Rockfish and Lingcod Fishing  

If you like to catch limits of both rockfish and lingcod, it’s time to hit the Farallon Islands.

“We experienced epic fishing at the Farallon islands today,” reported James,  Smith, Captain of the California Dawn, on Saturday, October 16. “We had both the California Dawn and New Eldorado 3 on the grounds. Fishing was solid and we finished up with limits for both boats in flat calm weather.”

The final combined score for the two boats was  400 rockfish (40 limits) and 80 lingcod (40 limits) to 22 pounds.

On the previous day, the combined 28 anglers aboard the California Dawn and the New Eldorado 3 brought in 28 limits of rockfish (280) and 28 limits of lingcod (56) to 21 pounds. 

Chris Smith of Pacific Dream Sportfishing confirmed the topnotch rockfish and lingcod fishing at the Farallon Islands. The 25 anglers aboard the boat landed 250 rockfish and 26 lingcod on October 16.

His previous trip, a halibut adventure on San Francisco Bay, yielded 19 halibut to 12 pounds for 13 fishermen. 

“We had a really fun charter in the bay,” said Smith. “We had great halibut fishing for the fall and got to watch the Blue Angels practice for a few hours before tomorrow’s air show.” he noted.

The Lovely Martha out of Fisherman’s Wharf is also getting in on the rockfish and lingcod action, but on the Marin County Coast.

“Today we had a 1/2 day trip and it was a fantastic day on the coast,” reported Mike Rescino, Captain of the Lovely Martha, on October 16.“We finished up with 24 limits (240) of assorted rockfish (crew included) and 5 lingcod.”  

Written by: Dan Bacher

Monterey Bay

Trollers Battle Bluefin Tuna, Bonito

SANTA CRUZ – While rockfishing continues to offer the most consistent fishing for anglers departing from Monterey Bay ports, bluefin tuna are still being caught by persistent fishermen.

“There were a few bluefin caught today near the Davenport Fingers,” reported Todd Fraser on Saturday, October 16. “The area around 36’53/122’31 and 36’54/121’25 has been producing some bluefin in the 60-120 pound range. The bluefin are still being caught from the surface to 150 feet down.”

“The anglers are slow trolling mackerel or trolling Rapalas and Cedar Plugs,” he stated. “The anglers who stuck it out did end up hooking some fish in the afternoon. As I write this there is a boat hooked up at 36’33/122’11.”

“There are schools of bonito on the inside of the Davenport Fingers.,” he added.

“The rockfishing has been good at Ano Nuevo. There have been a few halibut caught near Capitola. The wind was calm all day,” Fraser stated.

Trips off the Big Sur Coast are yielding limits of rockfish and a few lingcod. On October 14, the 22 anglers aboard the Kahuna out of Moss Landing landed limits of rockfish, including limits of vermilion, plus 5 bonus lingcod to 15 pounds, on a long range trip.

“It was beautiful flat calm t-shirt weather,” said Carol Jones of Kahuna Sportfishing. “I love the fall on the coast!

The previous trip by the Kahuna produced 35 copper rockfish, 29 assorted rockfish and 40 vermilion rockfish.

The 10 anglers aboard the Checkmate out of Chris’ Fishing Trips in Monterey on October16 landed limits of rockfish (100) and 7 lingcod, while the 10 anglers aboard the Caroline bagged limits of rockfish the same day.

Written by: Dan Bacher

Half Moon Bay

Rockfish Provide Stellar Action

EL GRANADA –  Charter boats are concentrating on rockfish at this time, since  the numbers of salmon in local waters don’t justify targeting them now.

“It has been just a phenomenal season for rockfish,” said Sherri Ingles of the Hallf Moon Bay Sportfishing Center. “It’s been limits every single day for every single angler on the boat since April.. With the deeper water we’re able to fish in now, we’ve seen incredibly nice fish.”

On its latest trip, the Queen of Hearts returned with 100 rockfish and one lingcod for 10 anglers.

Lingcod are available for anglers fishing in the shallows along the coast with live bait, jigs and bars. The striper bite along the beaches has slowed down, but a few fish are being hooked here and by anglers tossing out swimbaits and top water lures. Boaters are hooking a few halibut as well while drifting live bait or trolling lures in Half Moon Bay.

“Everybody has been waiting for the hatchery salmon that are released into harbor every year,” she said. “It looks like they are back. It was a trickle for a while, but now we are starting to see a lot more fish. Several more have been landed inside the harbor by shore fishermen and outside of the harbor by skiff anglers while trolling. This fishery offers a chance for you to catch salmon off shore or in your own boat.”  

Inside the harbor, anglers can hook perch, jacksmelt and kingfish while using an array of baits and lures. 

Ingles noted that every person going crab fishing on charter boats when crab season opens in November has to purchase a CDFW crab trap endorsement stamp before going on the boat.

 Written by: Dan Bacher

Bodega Bay 

Superb Lingcod and Rockfish Action Continues off Sonoma Coast

BODEGA BAY –  The top-notch rockfish and lingcod fishing continues off the Sonoma County Coast, with recent trips producing limits of rockfish and lingcod.

Thirteen anglers on the latest trip by the New Sea Angler on Thursday, October 14 returned with 130 rockfish and 26 lingcod up to 19 pounds, according to Rick Powers of Bodega Bay Sportfishing Center. The previous trip by 13 anglers produced 120 rockfish, 26 lingcod up to 21 pounds and 2 Chinook salmon up to 9 pounds.

A recent salmon trip by the New Sea Angler produced 10 Chinook salmon up to 32 pounds and 110 rockfish for 11 fishermen. The anglers trolled with anchovies for the kings.

The rockfish are big coppers, vermilions, browns and canaries, according to Powers. The anglers used an array of swimbaits, jig bars and trap rigs to catch the lingcod and shrimp flies to hook the rockfish. 

“We have been catching the bottomfish in near-coastal waters less than an hour from the dock,” stated Powers.

On Saturday, October 16, Merlin Kolb of Reel Magic Sport Fishing and Charters made a rockfish and lingcod trip to Fanny Shoals.

“The rockfish and lingcod were very happy to see us,” he stated. “Alan and Bess Goggins From South San Francisco, Michael and Helen Vanderhort from New York, Jim Lieb from Sacramento and Stuart Bogel were aboard and they all loved every minute of it!! The fish took shrimp flies and 6 oz. vertical jigs and swim baits by  Pit Bull Tackle and The Outdoor Pro Shop. in 235′ of water at Fanny Shoals!.”

 Written by: Dan Bacher

Ernie Marlan landed this nice rockfish while fishing the Farallon Island with the California Dawn. Photo Courtesy of California Dawn