From Shelter Cove to Half Moon Bay, anglers are getting ready for the opening of recreational salmon season on Sunday, which is also Fathers Day.
The Fort Bragg and San Francisco areas, extending from Horse Mountain to Point Arena and Point Arena to Pigeon Point, respectively, will open Sunday and continue through Oct. 31.
John McManus, Executive Director of the Golden Gate Salmon Association (GGSA), was cautiously optimistic about the prospects outside of the Golden Gate. He said the recent northwest winds along the coast should produce good ocean upwelling that drives nutrient-rich water to the surface, leading to good production of krill and other forage for salmon.
“There were poor conditions for salmon spawning in the Central Valley rivers in the fall of 2015,” McManus said, “so I wouldn’t expect a lot of 3-year-old fish of natural origin. But the hatchery fish that were released in 2016 should have experienced good survival because of decent runoff in Central Valley rivers in the spring of 2016.”
“We have seen also increasing success from the Coastside Fishing Club’s salmon net pen project in Half Moon Bay” McManus added. “Also, the Mokelumne River Fish Hatchery is putting out very strong fish and making a solid contribution to the ocean fishery.”
“It’s a mixed bag, but there is some reason to be optimistic. My prediction is that there will be a lot more 12 to 18-pound fish this season instead of the mostly two-year olds that we saw the past couple of years.”
The season is already open in the Klamath Management Zone, the area between the Oregon/California state line and Horse Mountain. That season opened on June 1 and continue through Sept. 3, 2018. Trollers are reporting hooking good numbers of chinooks out of Eureka and Crescent City on the fishable days.
Likewise, fishing in the Monterey area between Pigeon Point and the U.S./Mexico Border opened on Apr. 7 and will continue through July 2, 2018. Fishing in Monterey Bay has been spotty, with the best action reported by boaters trolling bait and anchovies in deep water.
Federal and state fishery managers have shortened the ocean salmon seasons this year, due to three successive years of poor adult returns of Sacramento River fall Chinook and Klamath River fall Chinook salmon.
Regulations Information: CDFW Ocean Salmon Hotline, (707) 576-3429. www.wildlife.ca.gov/oceansalmon
San Francisco Bay stripers & halibut: Fishing for stripers has slowed down in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, but live bait action for striped bass and halibut has been superb in central San Francisco Bay lately.
The 12 anglers fishing aboard the Bass Tub in San Francisco landed 22 stripers and 4 halibut on a half day trip in the bay on June 10. On the previous day, the 21 anglers aboard the Bass Tub bagged 24 bass and 10 halibut to 24 pounds on a full day trip. Information: (415) 456-9055.
Caples Lake rainbows: Bank fishermen and trollers are experiencing “very good” rainbow trout action at Caples Lake, reported Joe Voss of the Caples Lake Resort.
“Fishermen are hooking mostly planters, along with some holdover rainbows to 3-1/2 pounds,” said Voss. “Shore anglers are finding the best success while throwing Kastmasters, Panther Martins and PowerBait off the dam and spillway. Trollers are doing best with worms behind flashers.” Information: (209) 258-8888.