North & CenCal Saltwater Fish Report
Updated September 13, 2021
Nor Cal Form Charts:
BROOKINGS — Lingcod and rockfish action was good out of Brookings near House Rock for cabezon, black, and blue rockfish during last week’s calm weather. Catch rates for king salmon have improved at the mouth of the Chetco River. The ocean is now closed to salmon fishing off of Brookings, but a small section of the lower river is open to anglers trolling herring or anchovies along the jetties. Anglers can fish from an imaginary line between the north and south jetties upriver to the power lines just above the Highway 101 bridge. Albacore tuna fishing has been slow with the best action further north out of Coos Bay and Newport.
CRESCENT CITY — Quite a few Pacific halibut were caught on the reopening weekend with most on the backside of the South Reef in 225 to 300 feet of water. The rockfish and lingcod action remains excellent, with lots of limits reported this week. A few boats ran 25 to 30 miles for tuna and were successful. A lone boat made the run on Thursday and put in 31 to 22 pounds. Wind and rough seas are predicted through the weekend and into next week.
TRINIDAD — The black rockfish action remains excellent between Trinidad Head and Patrick’s Point as it’s been all season. There were a handful of halibut landed on the opening weekend, but not much in the way of effort since. Boats were mostly fishing straight out in 200 to 300 feet of water. The launch is scheduled to close on Sept. 14.
EUREKA — Pacific halibut season is back in full swing out of Eureka. Charters and private boaters were scoring limits late in the week with fish up to 40 pounds. The best bite has been north of the entrance in 250 to 300 feet of water. The quota currently stands at 18,296 of a 39,260 net pound quota. The warm tuna water is still sitting off the coast, but it’s at least 50 miles from Eureka.
SHELTER COVE — The salmon bite continues to be decent with some big kings still being taken close to the harbor. It’s just about being patient and being in the right place at the right time. Most charters were averaging over a fish per rod last week. The best bite has been just south of the harbor in 20 to 60 feet of water. Rock fishing is still solid and the lingcod bite seems to be improving a little as well. Not much effort on Pacific halibut. The salmon season lasts until October 31st.
FORT BRAGG — Rock fishing remains the best show in town although a few salmon have been reported. The best fishing is in the reefs further north towards Westport or south near Casper. The warm water break remains far offshore, and the ocean is too rough for the foreseeable future. The depth limit is 180 feet, but it will change to unlimited depth from November 1 through December 31st
BODEGA BAY — The salmon bite continues to be scratchy at best, but there have been a few large fish taken south off of Ten Mile Beach or near the mouth of Tomales near the Estero with straight bait. Rockfish and ling cod action remains outstanding with limits of quality rockfish every trip with a very healthy ling cod count.
TOMALES BAY — Boats are launching out of Lawson’s Landing and heading outside the bar to try for salmon or halibut on Ten Mile Beach. A few halibut have been taken near the bar and around Hog Island.
GOLDEN GATE — The salmon bite remains consistently inconsistent with very solid action for trollers on Saturday followed by a bust on Sunday. The salmon are good quality with several in the 20-pound range, and they are biting far more aggressively. The landing rate has improved to nearly 100 percent as the fish are swallowing the baits. The occasional white sea bass is showing up outside the Golden Gate, and there is hope that they will make their way into the bay. Rockfish limits are the rule, and the best quality remains at the Farallon Islands or further northwest at Fanny Shoals. Party boats making the long run are returning with limits of quality bottom-grabbing rockfish and ling cod.
SAN FRANCISCO BAY — The bay continues to be the ‘Dead Sea’ for all but leopard shark as shaker halibut continue to dominate action for anyone drifting for the flatfish. A few striped bass are making an appearance in San Pablo Bay, but most of the stripers remains sequestered in the Delta. California City has yet to break out for salmon, but it could be any day now as the salmon are clearly turning dark out in the ocean.
HALF MOON BAY — Where the Coastside Fishing Club’s net pen salmon are is anyone’s guess, but they have yet to make a showing in the harbor in any numbers. Salmon fishing is belly up, but rockfishing remains excellent along the southern shallow water reefs to Pescadero or in deep water at the Deep Reef. The ling cod count is starting to tick up a bit as well. The occasional halibut is taken along the beaches south of the harbor. The next big event is the recreational Dungeness crab opener on November 6th, but this may be in danger due to the presence of endangered humpback whales.
MONTEREY — Mackerel are thick near Cannery Row. Rockfish are scattered across the shale beds off Del Monte Beach. Halibut bite is good from Del Monte up to Sand City.
SANTA CRUZ — Halibut fishing remains strong near the Mile Buoy and Capitola area. Westside reefs and North Coast spots feature stacks of rockfish including big vermilion, coppers, lings, and cabezon
MOSS LANDING — A few salmon biting near Mulligan’s Hill up to the Soquel Hole. Halibut fishing is good near Pajaro.