BY DAVE HURLEY
BERKELEY – Salmon fishing has been incredible one day, followed by a more challenging bite the following day, but the fish are there, and the biggest factor has been the weather conditions. Party boats heading out on Sunday found rough water conditions after experiencing good conditions with big fish on Saturday. Holding onto the salmon continues to be a challenge as many of the big fish are coming unbuttoned in the midst of the battle. With the great salmon action most days, party boats are already booking up into August, but there is an additional alternative with the Pacific Dream out of Berkeley, normally a potluck boat, now running salmon trips during the weekdays.
On Sunday, Captain Steve Mitchell of Hook’d Up Sport Fishing out of Berkeley was one of the top salmon boats with 5 limits to 14 pounds. Mitchell started off at the Channel Buoys for a few salmon before running south below the Golden Gate towards Mussel Rock. He said, “Once I found the fish in the morning and called in a few boats, the fleet arrived so I went to find another batch of fish. It has been from day-to-day as the opportunities for limits are there on nearly every trip, but it is a matter of being able to hold onto the big ones. We came in with a fish per rod on Saturday after losing several big ones during the fight. These are big fish, and they will expose any weakness due to lack of experience in bringing them to the net. It’s really hard to land a big fish when the ocean is rough, and that is another factor on losing fish.”
Captain Trent Slate of Bite Me Charters out of Loch Lomond Marina had a spectacular day on Saturday with 6 limits of salmon to 31 pounds with a number of fish over 20 pounds. He said, “We were able to stick our fish on Saturday, but Sunday was a different story with 5 salmon for six anglers in very rough ocean conditions. I have been trolling, and although I prefer to mooch, we need a week or so of flat ocean conditions for the salmon to school up enough to drift for them.”
On Thursday, there was a salmon bite off of the Towers in clear, green water, leaving one captain to remark, ‘Who would have thought we would have had our best day in these types of conditions?’
Captain Jerad Davis of the Salty Lady was one of the boats that found out about the action later in the morning, and they scratched out two fish shy of limits with a few over 30 pounds along with plenty of opportunities to put in limits. These are big fish, and many are being lost during the fight. Davis plans on heading to the same spot today although the salmon might not be there since there isn’t anything to hold them.” Mitchell was also at the Towers on Thursday for 4 limits of big fish to 26 pounds.
The Pacific Dream went rockfishing on Saturday up the Marin coastline for limits of rockfish along with 12 ling cod and two bonus halibut. The end of July and the first week of August are prime time for halibut showing up along the Marin County beaches.