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August 29, 2016    Headlines

 Salmon Bite Warm to Hot
Rockfish Limits


The weather was flat calm outside the Gate on Sunday 8-27, and Captain Bob Wright of the Happy Hooker went north to Point Reyes for 21 limits of rockfish along with 41 ling cod. They hit a small pinnacle in 60 feet of water at the end of the day for the jackpot ling on the last drift. This rock produced a 32-pound ling on Friday’s trip. Wright said, “It was a long run, but the quality of fish made it worth it.” They went south to Pedro Point on Saturday for 27 limits of rockfish along with 18 lings, releasing another 20 short ling cod. Wright has open loads this coming Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.
Salmon fishing remains pretty good with three Sausalito boats returning with just under a fish per rod on Sunday, bringing home 50 salmon to 26 pounds for 61 anglers while three boats out of Emeryville scored 37 salmon to 22 pounds for 30 anglers. The boats have been working from south of the main shipping channel to Double Point in the flat, calm conditions.

Private boats are finding limits of  a quality grade from 12 to 10 pounds at depths of 45 feet with green Rotary Salmon Killers and anchovies. There are tons of anchovies along the coastline right now, and the salmon are loading up for their final move home.
Rockfishing remains outstanding with a combined 85 limits and 132 lings to 17 pounds for the Sea Wolf, New Salmon Queen, and New Huck Finn out of Emeryville Sport Fishing.

Salmon fishing has been a solid fish per rod average over the past few days, and the grade of fish has been outstanding in the flat ocean conditions. Captain Jerad Davis of the Salty Lady had a great day in flat, calm weather conditions on Thursday 8-25 with 15 salmon to a whopping 30 pounds for 14 anglers working above Double Point. They are filled over the weekend and on Monday, but the Salty Lady will be running open loads next Tuesday through Friday. Another  Sausalito boat trolled above Muir Beach on Thursday for 17 salmon to 22 pounds for 18 anglers after three boats combined for 44 salmon to 26 pounds on Wednesday.  The Sundance out of Emeryville put in 6 salmon to 20 pounds for 5 anglers on Thursday after posting limits on Wednesday.
The bite off the Sonoma coast cooled way down on Friday 6-26 after a week plus of hot action there. We expect those fish to be turning the corner at Pt Reyes and prove a week or so of great action for those fishing the Marin coast this week.

Captain Bob Wright of the Happy Hooker has been holding down the fort with Captain Jim enjoying an extended vacation in Alaska. Happy Hooker regular / fixture Larry Nelson has taken his legendary skills north, giving all fish species in the Golden Gate a break for a few weeks. Larry is with Jim  at his Ninilchik cabin chasing silvers and jumping on board with Jim's oldest son Steve who owns the very popular Captain Steve's Lodge. With the Legend out of the picture, a void was left that was filled by a few more characters on the decks of the Happy Hooker, and Frank Carbone of Richmond, celebrating his 70th birthday on Saturday 8-20, took the jackpot ling for the day with Ron Zolezzi, ( one l, two z’s) aka, the Z-Man landed a limit of lings. Wright said, “It was flat calm outside of the Gate, and we took advantage by making the trip north to Point Reyes, and it was one of the most beautiful days I have ever seen up there. We ended up with 18 lings along with 25 limits of rockfish, and there were at least four vermilion in the 5- to 6-pound range. The bite wasn’t wide open, but the long run was worth it as we were able to fish in shallow water with the calm conditions.” They have lots of space open weekdays as the summer crowds are starting to drop off.
The Sea Wolf, Tiger Fish, and C Gull II out of Emeryville Sport Fishing also
found limits on Saturday for 66 anglers along with 86 ling cod to 17 pounds.
Saturday’s salmon scores were less than a fish per rod for the larger boats with Emeryville salmon boats ended up with 22 salmon to 24 pounds for 36 anglers while three Sausalito boats trolled from Double Point to the Channel Buoys for 21 salmon to 22 pounds for a combined 37 anglers on Saturday.  The same three boats found similar action on Sunday 8-21 with 37 salmon to 27 pounds for 56 anglers trolling from Double Point all the way north to Drake’s Bay in the flat conditions.
The Emeryville salmon boats found better fishing with nearly a fish per rod for 33 fishermen with 30 salmon to 25 pounds. The Sundance put in 9 of these salmon for 6 fishermen, and this boat is generally the highliner of the six-packs.

The salmon bite out the Gate has ranged from slow to good over the past few days and even weeks. The one captain whom has the pattern figured out is Jared on the Salty Lady. Jared advises anglers to NOT come when the bite is hot but when it slows. Jared 's thesis has been spot on for the past two months. In a nutshell wait for two days of slow action and then get out and HOOK UP!. On Tuesday 8-16 Jared reported 8 salmon to 22 pounds for 16 anglers. They hooked and lost a few other opportunities. They were trolling in Drakes Bay one of the most scenic and area of natural beauty one could ever see. They have room this coming week. Just look for two slow days before you book!
The rockfish and ling action has been good at the Islands and along the Marin Coast. The quality is getting smaller as boats work over the same reefs but the numbers are solid with a fish plus per rod on lings and limits of rockfish.

The salmon bite slowed down significantly on Sunday 8-14 with two boats out of Sausalito trolling up 14 salmon to 16 pounds for 40 anglers from south of the Gate at Linda Mar north to Duxbury. Similar to the pattern all year, the fish are biting solid for a few days before moving on.
The New Seeker out of Emeryville had a much better score on Sunday with 16 salmon to 18 pounds for 16 anglers
What a difference a day makes! Captain Bob Wright of the Happy Hooker went out to the Farallons in glassy calm ocean conditions on Saturday with a charter that focused on rockfish. They put in full limits of rockfish along with 21 ling cod which came primarily on rockfish gear or hitchhikers. He repeated the results on Sunday, but the conditions were far different with rough ocean conditions all the way out and back to the Islands. They ended up with 20 limits of rockfish and 15 ling cod, but a few of the fishermen went down for the count in the problematic combination of wind and swell. Mario Gold of Pleasant Hill made his first trip on the ocean in over a year, and he didn’t miss a beat, contributing mightily to the boat limits on the rockfish front. They probably could have been down much earlier in the day, but Larry Nelson stayed home in preparation for his annual trip to Alaska. The Happy Hooker has open load potluck trips on Friday and Sunday of the coming week.
Four Emeryville boats also went rockfishing with the Tigerfish, New Huck Finn, Sea Wolf, and New Salmon Queen combining for 106 limits of rockfish along with 105 ling cod to 17 pounds.


After a slower day on Wednesday the salmon came up chomping for the entire fleet on Thursday 8-11. Jared on the Salty Lady reported 10 limits to 25.pounds. Most ran 7 to 10 pounds or two year olds which is a great sign for next season. Jared reports that the fleet was out off Muir beach and out along the main ship channel. He added that all boats in Sausalito also had limits of salmon. The Sundance out of Emeryville was able to get in on the action as well with 6 limits to 10 pounds. They always seem to get limits while other boats struggle, but this was a day for everyone that got located.
Second captain Bob Wright of the Happy Hooker went up the coast to Duxbury with a small load of fishermen on Thursday, and the 12 anglers limited out on ling cod to 8 pounds along with limits of rockfish. The overall rockfish bite was tough, but they found a few spurts of biting fish in the shallows. He said, “We finally had a uphill drift with no wind, and Larry the Legend helped out with 9 ling cod while Ron Zolezzi of Menlo Park scored another 5 lings. The bite shut off completely after 1:15 p.m.”
The Sea Wolf out of Emeryville Sport Fishing  also went outside of the Gate on Thursday for 30 limits of rockfish and 38 ling cod to 16 pounds. The weather was calm and foggy.


Salmon fishing improved on Saturday 8-6 with the Sundance out of Emeryville Sport Fishing putting together six limits off of the Marin coastline. The Sausalito boats scored 51 salmon to 28 pounds for 63 anglers on Saturday trolling from Muir Beach to Double Point, and two boats went back there again on Sunday for fish per rod with 15 salmon to 20 pounds for 31 passengers.
Jesse Hall of Off-Duty Sport Fishing has been conducting research trips near Duxbury, and he said, “The big ones are coming as we have been averaging a fish per rod in the 20-pound range.” Rockfishing has been a better option with the Sea Wolf and New Salmon Queen posting 40 limits of rockfish on Saturday along with 36 ling cod to 19 pounds and 3 halibut to 33 pounds. All of the Emeryville boats went outside of the Gate on Saturday with the New Salmon Queen scoring 3/4th limits of rockfish for 23 fishermen along with 14 lings to 16 pounds and a 36-pound thresher shark while mooching for salmon. The Sea Wolf posted 19 limits and 9 lings to 21 pounds, and an 11-pound halibut. The New Seeker optimistically went mooching, and they ended up with 2 salmon to 20 pounds for 20 fishermen.

The salmon bite has slowed after the party boats found great action earlier in the week south of the Golden Gate near Pacifica. One Sausalito party boat made the long journey from Linda Mar up to Bolinas for a total of 9 salmon to 25 pounds on Thursday 8-4.
Captain Roger Thomas of the Salty Lady said, “We put in 10 limits to 24 pounds on Monday near Pacifica, but the schools of mackerel are thick along the beaches along with heavy kelp mats making trolling very difficult. The whales are in close to the beaches feeding on the herring. “ The southerly wind over the past few days hasn’t helped either. Thomas will be running whale watching trips over the weekend with open load salmon trips on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday of next week.
Rockfishing remains very good with the Sea Wolf out of Emeryville Sport Fishing putting in 26 limits of rockfish and 6 lings to 26 pounds on Wednesday after posting well over a ling per rod on Wednesday.
The California Dawn out of Berkeley went out on Thursday with a charter from the West Delta-Chapter of the California Striped Bass Association, and no results were posted, but under better weather conditions on Wednesday, Dan, ‘The Barnacle’ Wulff was able to remove his carapace from the Captain Hook to fish with the Dawn at the Farallon Islands as part of the group putting in 41 ling cod and 75 rockfish for 18 anglers. Sounds like everyone went ‘ling crazy’ with heavy presentations rather than focus on rockfish limits.

GGSA has been busy working to bring you more salmon. Here's a thumbnail sketch of what we've been working on lately.

GGSA Efforts Lead to Creation of State Salmon Stakeholders Group
A group of salmon stakeholders led by GGSA held a high level meeting with California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) brass on June 3 to push for input over future releases of hatchery fish.The Salmon Hatchery Release Stakeholders Group will work to develop common sense, in-river release strategies that minimize losses to predation. It will also provide input on decisions affecting bay and coastal net pen releases of hatchery fish. This group will convene again in early November.

 GGSA meets former Interior Secretary to talk twin tunnels
In mid-July, GGSA Executive Director John McManus met with former Clinton White House Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt to discuss Governor Brown's twin tunnel project. Babbitt has been brought in by Governor Brown to get his twin peripheral canal/tunnels project back on track. 
McManus shared GGSA's view with Babbitt that current state efforts to determine how much water must flow through the Delta to keep it and salmon alive first need to be concluded. Only then can an informed decision be made as to how much excess water, if any, might be available for export. McManus also told Babbitt that salmon fishermen are skeptical of the state's claims that they can be trusted to restrict flows into the proposed massive tunnels.

Federal Salmon Restoration Fund Selects GGSA Salmon Recovery Projects
Managers of a federal salmon restoration fund have selected several GGSA salmon rebuilding projects for implementation. One is GGSA's call to dim night lights on the rivers during smolt migration. The lit areas are known predator hot spots where baby salmon halt their migration under the lit areas, making them easy targets for predators. A second GGSA project adopted by the managers calls for testing of in-river structures which would allow baby salmon to catch a break from high-velocity flows. These structures would resemble tree root wads, and would provide shelter to baby salmon from larger predators. Yet another project, calling for the removal of deep predator-filled scour holes under levee breaches, is slated for work.

GGSA Safeguards 2016 Spawning Flows
GGSA has been working to make sure Sacramento River salmon (winter and fall run) get the cold water needed to spawn this year (unlike the last two years). We are now cautiously optimistic the threat to winter and fall run spawners this year is under control after GGSA spent most of May and June working with federal water and fish officials to ensure the needs of salmon were taken into account.

Action continues against federal bills that authorizes more Delta diversions
GGSA can't catch a break from this year's battle to stop bad federal bills that would hand over what little salmon water exists to water users south of the Delta. We won't know the outcome until Congress wraps up for the year after the elections. Even then, we're likely to only get a temporary break before we have to face similar threats again in the next Congress. 

GGSA Leads Effort to Get Bond Money Directed to Salmon Restoration
In the state legislature, there's a move afoot to put a bond on the November ballot that would make money available mostly for urban parks, climate change adaptation projects, wildlife habitat and possibly salmon habitat restoration. GGSA is working to get fall run salmon habitat restoration projects qualified for some of the bond money. The bond measure has passed the state Assembly and is now at the Senate. If it is approved there, it will go before the voters throughout the state on the November ballot. Stay tuned.

GGSA Board Member Marc Gorelnik Picked to Serve on Pacific Fisheries Management Council
GGSA board member and founder of the Coastside Fishing Club Half Moon Bay net pen project, Marc Gorelnik, has been named to be a member of the Pacific Fisheries Management Council. Marc will replace Dan Wolford who served for nine years on this federally sanctioned body that sets seasons and manages our ocean fisheries off California, Oregon and Washington. Congrats to Marc!

GGSA Investigates Salmon Rearing Area Restoration Projects
In addition to enduring the hardships of low river flows and numerous predators bent on eating them, Central Valley baby salmon often don't have the strength and size needed to survive. Many of the natural rearing areas along the river edges where they'd eat and put on weight have been destroyed by dikes, levees, rip rapped banks and the like, although plenty of them could be restored fairly easily.
On the Feather River, GGSA is studying a former floodplain in the Oroville Wildlife Area near the Thermalito Outlet and another at the confluence of the Bear and Feather rivers.  
In the Sacramento, an area near the convergence of Battle Creek and the Sacramento River shows great promise for fish from both the Sacramento River and Battle Creek. 

GGSA works to Strengthen Oroville Dam Biop for Salmon
GGSA is working to get the National Marine Fisheries Service to add tougher requirements that will restore much of the Feather River below Oroville Dam to a strong salmon-friendly river. The NMFS requirements are being finalized as part of the relicensing of Oroville Dam, a once-every-50-years opportunity to improve conditions for salmon.

GGSA Organizes Chefs and Restaurants for Salmon
GGSA has been working with a group of top Bay Area chefs organizing in support of salmon and against Congressional efforts to shift more Delta water south. You'll hear more about this soon. 

Although under gunned, GGSA is fighting back.  You can help us by donating to GGSA - Donate HERE!

John McManus
Executive Director
Golden Gate Salmon Association


Regulations for the MLPAs are now in effect from Pt Arena to Pigeon Point. Anglers need to know which areas are affected and the regulations and the boundaries of the different zones. Please use this link and be sure to print a map for these areas to carry with you.

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Golden Gate Salmon Association

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Party Boat Contacts:
The Emeryville Sportfishing Center is currently booking salmon and potluck trips begin in late April. They have a great promotion that when you take six trips your "lucky" seventh trip is free. This is good on any of their boats. Reservations can be made at 510 654-6040.

The California Dawn / Berkeley 510 773-5511  

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5-day plot - Wind Speed at 46026

5-day plot - Wave Height at 46026



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