North & CenCal Saltwater Fish Report
Updated July 4, 2022
North Coast Saltwater
BROOKINGS, Ore. — Salmon action has heated up off the coast of Brookings while fishing also has been good for lingcod and rockfish, and fair for Pacific halibut. Big schools of Coho and king salmon are feeding on anchovies off of Brookings. While most of the kings are small, but a few fish in the upper teens were caught the past week. The Coho will move north, but often when that happens, catch rates of bigger kings improve. In Oregon, anglers can keep two salmon a day in the ocean, either wild or hatchery kings, or hatchery Coho. Wild Coho must be released. Limits of rockfish have been the norm out of Brookings, while lots of nice lingcod also are being brought in. Fishing has been slow for Pacific halibut, although the charter boat Kraken brought in three keepers and a bunch of Petrale sole on Saturday. The halibut were caught in 200 feet of water on herring and squid combinations. The largest ling cod of the season at 44 pounds was landed at Pt. George Lighthouse Reef.
CRESCENT CITY — “The ocean has been nice the last few days and the rockfish bite has been excellent,” said Britt Carson of Crescent City’s Englund Marine. “California halibut have finally shown up with a few being caught daily off South Beach by kayaks trolling anchovies and guys fishing off the rocks. The minus tides are producing excellent clamming conditions for the just reopened razor clam fishery. There’s lot of limits being reported, and good tides will stick around through the Monday. A few Pacific halibut are being caught at the South Reef along with plenty of Petrale Sole.”
Salmon season will reopen Aug. 1.
TRINIDAD — According to Curt Wilson of Wind Rose Charters, the Pacific halibut bite out of Trinidad is about as good as it gets. “I think roughly 30 boats launched last Sunday and I heard just about all the boats caught halibut,” said Wilson. “Most of the action is happening straight out and 265 feet seems to be the magic number. The rockfish bite remains wide-open, with the area between Cone and Turtle Rock being one of the better spots at the moment. The lingcod bite has been excellent, as well, with limits coming quickly most days. The crab bite seems to be dependent on the weather, but the customers are still going home with a few each trip.” Salmon season will reopen Aug. 1. The Trinidad launch will be in service and launching boats at 6 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Thursday through Monday. They will be closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Cost to launch is $45. Call (707) 677-3625 for more information.
EUREKA — Halibut is still the focus out of Eureka, and the fishing is really good even though it slowed down last Tuesday reports Tim Klassen of Reel Steel Sport Fishing. “Not everyone is getting limits every day, it’s about being in the right place at the right time,” said Klassen. “If those line up, you’ll do well. The bite has moved slightly north, with most of the fish coming between the 48 and 54 lines. The fish are a little bigger now, with most falling in the 20-to-50-pound range. The good news is the black cod seemed to have vanished, which allows you to get the bait to the bottom.” Ocean conditions look excellent all week.
SHELTER COVE — “There was a decent salmon bite by the Hat last Monday, but that’s been it,” said Jake Mitchell of Sea Hawk Sport Fishing. “The rest of the week boats were lucky to get one or two. Rock fishing has been great with easy limits at all the usual spots including, the Hat, Ranch House, and Rogers Break. There’s been a few halibut caught when the boats can get north to Gorda.”
FORT BRAGG — Salmon is hit or miss. Some of the private boats are getting 2 to 4 fish per boat. Rockfishing remain excellent with limits the rule. The ling cod are continuing to show in decent numbers. The Sea Hawk had 9 lingcod to 12 pounds on Sunday. Still no sign of albacore, but guys are getting itchy and with the lack of wind this week there maybe a few guys will give it a try. The salmon season lasts until July 4th before reopening on July 22nd through September 5th.
BODEGA BAY — Wind over the weekend kept a lot of boats tied up in port but the Reel Magic, skippered by Merlin Kolb, got out and reported that they got two king Salmon for 6 bites and a couple of silvers. He was fishing very deep using his famous ‘Blue Hoochies.’ Limits of rockfish remain the rule. The wind is expected to lay down this week, and the brown salmon water should return. July is prime time for salmon in Bodega Bay.
TOMALES BAY — Halibut remain elusive in Tomales Bay. A few are getting taken including a nice 19 pounder by Eddie Parsons on jig while fishing the Tomales Bar. They are still not seeing a ton of bait in the bay yet, but the water is warming and they are due.
GOLDEN GATE — Salmon fever has gripped the Bay, and nearly all of the party boats are heading either north or south outside of the Golden Gate in search of salmon. Limits of salmon were the rule throughout the week, but the action slowed a bit for boats running south on Sunday. Many still found limits, but the bite was slower than the ‘fast and furious fishing’ with as many as 6 fish on at a time with chaos all around the decks earlier in the week. The big party boats continue to head south along the San Mateo coastline, but the Marin coast is producing big fish, and six-packs and even party boats are starting to mooch along the shoreline. Halibut action remains solid at either the North or South Bars, and it is only a matter of time before the boats start working the beaches for the flatfish. Rockfishing is another option, and limits are the rule, either up the Marin coast or at the Farallon Islands. The California Dawn II is holding their annual Phenix Rods/Optimum Baits swimbait event this Friday, and there should be some big lings in the mix.
SAN FRANCISCO BAY —With salmon fever taking hold, few boats have remained inside of the bay, but there are halibut to be found along the normal central bay locations of Crissy Field, Southampton Shoals, Alcatraz, Angel Island, and the Barges. The south bay near Alameda and the Oakland Airport are pumping out a smaller grade of halibut along with a number of shakers, but the calm waters here are where most kayak anglers focus. The stripers should be on the rockpiles, but few boats have even been trying with all of the great action for halibut, rockfish, and salmon outside of the Golden Gate. Shark fishing remains tremendous for leopard shark while the big shark are coming out of the deep water near the Golden Gate. The live bait receiver in Francisco at Pier 45 will be open seven days a week with the hours from 6:00 to 9:00 a.m. on Monday through Thursday and from 5:00 to 10:00 a.m. on Friday through Sunday with a price of $35 for a half scoop and $55 for a full scoop, but the prices are subject to change.
HALF MOON BAY — Half Moon Bay remains both the focus and the epicenter of the salmon action on the California coastline as the big Bay Area party boats continue to head south outside of the Golden Gate to join the six-packs, private boats, and party boats out of Half Moon Bay harbor. Limits remain the rule, but they had to work harder on Sunday after enjoying as many as 17 limits in 25 minutes earlier in the week. The salmon continue to hold in a long stretch from below Pigeon Point to above the Half Moon Bay harbor towards Pacifica. Rockfishing remains outstanding along the reefs south of the harbor, and ling cod to 22 pounds have been landed on shrimp flies south at Pescadero. The Dungeness crab season ended on June 30th, and the Pacifica Pier is limited to fishing-only until early November.
MOSS LANDING — Salmon fishing takes top billing. Private boaters head out to Pajaro and Soquel Hole areas to find numerous giant bait balls with plenty of hungry salmon in the area. Limits are the rule most days.
SANTA CRUZ — Halibut fishing is getting better and better with fish all the way into the shallows right now. Easy limits of rockfish along West Cliff and above Santa Cruz from 40- to 70-foot reefs. Salmon action is three days on, one day off. Fish vary in size from shakers to hogs with plenty of keepers in between.
MONTEREY — Rockfish limits available from any of the reef areas near Carmel and Point Pinos. Salmon are close by, near Soldier’s Club Moss Landing and Pajaro. Halibut fishing is steady from 15-50 feet of water on the flat sand areas.