Seven days makes a big difference out of Half Moon Bay

Bob Totah from San Francisco with a 27-pound salmon caught on an anchovy.


PRINCETON-BY-THE-SEA – Seven days can make a huge difference when we are talking about salmon, and in reality, the action can change within a single day. This was the story of this week for boats traveling south of Pigeon Point out of Half Moon Bay as the Huli Cat started off with a bang on Memorial Day with 15 salmon to 27 pounds for 8 anglers trolling straight bait. With the encouraging scores taking place in Monterey Bay at the end of the week, it won’t be long before these fish make their way north.

The wind blew hard the remainder of the week until there was another weather window on Saturday. However, the salmon went on hiatus. Captain Dennis Baxter of the New Captain Pete said, “We knew that the Queen of Hearts didn’t find any salmon on Friday, and we repeated their performance on Saturday morning as there was a lot less life with a few humpbacks migrating north, but there was no obvious feeding activity. The anchovies that we saw were 100 feet down, and we tried our stand-up rod with braided line with a 4-pound weight to get down to these fish, but we couldn’t entice a strike on the hoochie/Hot Spot flasher combination. We passed out shrimp flies at 10:30 a.m. to salvage the day, ending up with 90 of rockfish for 10 anglers.”

The Queen of Hearts went straight to the rockfish grounds on Saturday for 12 limit of rockfish and 4 lings, while the Ankeny Street posted 16 limit of rockfish including 5 cabezon along with 5 lingcod to 14 pounds. The Huli Cat was out on Sunday with 15 anglers for 140 Dungeness crab and 110 rockfish. Captain Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat said, “We are going to pull a number of our pots in the southern string as there are quite a few whales in the area.”


Striped bass fishing below the Golden Gate has been outstanding in the early mornings or evenings along the beaches with Miki’s spoons, topwater lures or ripbaits.

The local salmon season begins on June 26, and the final net pen release took place this week. These salmon are anticipated to return in three years to the harbor.