North & CenCal Saltwater

Updated June 29, 2020

CRESCENT CITY – One bright spot for salmon on the north coast was Crescent City. Early in the week during a weather window a couple of boats came in with limits of salmon from near South Reef. Local reef zones were excellent for rockfish and some lingcod.

EUREKA — Before the big winds hit, driving boats back into the Bay, Eureka boats got Pacific halibut in limit numbers on Reel Steel and Sea Weasel II. Boats were back by mid-morning with limits. California halibut inside Humboldt Bay were quiet, due to unfavorable tides, however that changes during the coming days. Jetty fishing is always a good option and there were people catching kelp greenling, black bass and perch.

FORT BRAGG — Rockfish and lingcod fishing was dependable for Fort Bragg boats. Telstar of Telstar Charters, Kraken from Anchor Charter Boats pulled limits of rockfish and some nice lingcod keepers. Sea Hawk also posted good scores of rockies and lings. Shore-based fishing was limited by swells and wind chop, but Noyo Jetty was safe for catching kelp greenling, black rockfish and cabezon. Some folks cast snares for the last of the crab season which ends June 30.

BODEGA BAY — Bodega Bay felt like Salmon City for passenger boats and private boats alike. New Sea Angler was back at dock by 2:30p.m. with full limits of salmon and full limits of rockfish, plus a nice lingcod. Reel Magic had similar success. Fish were up near Russian River, right out in front of the Harbor and down the coast towards Point Reyes. Halibut and striped bass were caught inside Tomales Bay.

SAN PABLO BAY — Halibut fishing was surprisingly good at the western end of San Pablo Bay near San Rafael and down into Central Bay. Limits of halibut were attainable for people drifting live baits during moving tides and slow-trolling during slack tides. Napa River and the Vallejo Waterfront had action on striped bass and sturgeon on ghost and grass shrimp.

SAN FRANCISCO BAY – Salmon limits were common, with fish scattered hither and yon. Skippers liked being able to spread out and some of the high-count boats were New Easy Rider, El Dorado, New El Dorado III (now owned by Capt. James Smith of the California Dawn), Salty Lady, Hog Heaven, Outer Limits, Blue Runner and Lovely Martha. High halibut and bass counts in Central and South Bays came for boats New Huck Finn, California Dawn, Happy Hooker, Bass Tub, Flash, Argo and Top Gun. Sea Wolf ran great rockfish trips to the Farallones.

HALF MOON BAY — Salmon fishing was hot near an area 8 miles southwest of Pillar Point Harbor which held baitballs of anchovies stretching for miles and attracting whales, birds and salmon. Up at Pacifica, salmon were within reach of anglers using float rigs from the Pier. Queen of Hearts, New Captain Pete and Huli Cat all had productive trips for either salmon or rockfish and lingcod.


CenCal Saltwater

MONTEREY Rockfish counts were impressive for Monterey party boats like New Horizon, Star of Monterey and Checkmate who collectively ran trips to both local spots and down the coast towards Point Sur for the bigger rockfish available in those less-fished reef zones. On the beaches from Tioga Street to Fort Ord, barred surf perch were easy to catch and striped bass were possible.

SANTA CRUZ – Miss Beth, Velocity and other Santa Cruz boats hit the rockfish hard because they were dependable. Runs to Davenport and points farther up the coast reliably meant limits of rockfish and some lingcod. Private boaters found some salmon deep on the east edge of Soquel Hole. Local waters seemed full of halibut and catches were very common for private boaters and rental boaters.

MOSS LANDING – Trips down the coast for bulging sacks of rockfish and lingcod were the specialty for Kahuna and her passengers celebrated great catches of reds, coppers and other tasty rockfish. The boat also scored a lingcod per rod which is great for this early in the season. Private boaters fished local waters for halibut on the drift or troll. Some boats made the run to Soquel Hole to fish deep on the eastern edge for salmon.