Captain Tom Joseph 408 348-4866

New Captain Pete Sportfishing

(650) 726-6224

June 19, 2017    Headlines

  Hit & Miss Salmon

Both Captains Dennis Baxter of the New Captain Pete and Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat went to the Deep Reef on Sunday 6-18 for rockfish. Mattusch said, “the wind and swell came down and that resulted in a great day fishing at the Deep Reef on Father’s Day. The day started seeing a Killer Whale just after exiting the Jaws at the Harbor. Folks caught a lot of Lingcod, and big Coppers were also plentiful. It was nice to put big Canaries in anglers’ sacks. Catch of the day included a nice Ugly Stick with a big Newell reel that had been down for years!" Dungeness Crab are still strong”
Captain Dennis Baxter said, “It was nice at the Deep Reef today, and coppers were our number one rockfish with shrimp flies or lead heads tipped with squid. There was dark water starting at S Buoy.”
No word on local salmon but the Golden Gate fleet is seeing solid action between W and N buoys and along the middle Marin coast. Limits have been the rule despite the breezy weather this past week.


The salmon have moved into range for the Half Moon Bay fleet, and along with rockfish, ling cod, and Dungeness crab, there is plenty of opportunity out of this San Mateo County port.
Captain Dennis Baxter of the New Captain Pete was out on Sunday 6-11  with 16 anglers trolling for salmon close to N Buoy, and he put his clients onto 19 salmon to 16 pounds. He said, “I was up there with the city fleet, and there were also fish at S Buoy, but the better action was at N Buoy. These fish are just a hop, skip, and a jump at 15 miles from our harbor. “
The previous day, Captain Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat was out with Darrell Ticehurst and Paul Peoples on the Noosa Cat, and after a late start at 9:00 a.m., they stopped on birds and bait outside of the harbor to no avail. They ran north to W Buoy for two salmon with one on a red Rotary Salmon Killer at 40 feet and the other on a Blue Dancer behind a Sling Blade at 60 feet on the way home. The Coastside Fishing Club net pen salmon have yet to arrive in the bay, although Baxter predicts that they will start to emerge in short order.
Rockfishing remains outstanding with Second Captain Michael Cabanas of the Huli Cat putting his passengers onto ling cod to 11 pounds and vermilions to 5 pounds fishing south of the harbor. He also took a crab-only trip off of Martin’s Beach for quality Dungeness crab.
Striped bass are found along the beaches from Ocean Beach in San Francisco to north of the Half Moon Bay harbor with Diawa’s SP Minnows. Miki’s, or sand crabs.

Captain Michael Cabanas of the Huli Cat went out on a rockfish trip on Saturday 6-3, and they ended up with 12 lings for 12 passengers along with a number of quality bottom grabbers on the rockfish front despite breezy and choppy ocean conditions.
There are stripers along the surf from Ocean Beach south to Pacifica, and the Diawa SP Minnow seems to be the lure of choice for the surf waders. These guys keep the bite pretty, pretty quiet, but the fish are there for those who know what they are doing.

Rockfishing has been outstanding when the weather is cooperative, and with the emergence of the salmon near W Buoy, private and party boats are making the run short of the Farallons for solid scores of salmon.
Captain Dennis Baxter of the New Captain Pete went on a scouting trip for salmon on May 27th, and he returned with what they came for – limits for the few friends on board. He will be running salmon trips on the upcoming weekend. Out of Half Moon Bay Sport Fishing, Sherry Ingles reported good action for rockfish when the weather is decent, but the bite varies from day to day. She said, “The number one rig for rockfish has been shrimp flies tipped with squid on a 16-oz. sinker as bars and swimbaits have not been as effective. There have been salmon taken outside of W Bouy, and there have been some good scores on the outside.
Stripers are moving along the beaches, and Diawa’s SP Minnows are the top sellers. Crab are still found from the small pier or along the jetty, and there are still surf perch from the beaches.”
Second Captain Michael Cabanas of the Huli Cat found good action for both rockfish and crab with quality rockfish including a  vermilion  at 7 pounds from Mike Shaffer of Hayward on a swimbait and limits of lings to 13 pounds with the big fish landed by Anil Kumar of Modesto hitchhiking on a small rockfish.

Captain Tom Mattusch on the Huli Cat will head out on a salmon trolling trip on Thursday 4-20, and he said, “Several boats went to where the fish were on Monday, but the action was slow as the birds and bait were absent. One boat picked up 2 fish below the Islands and another found on at 150 feet on the wire at the Deep Reef.” After salmon fishing on Thursday, Mattusch will be running rockfish/crab combination trips on Friday, Saturday, and most likely on Sunday. He added, “The crabbing is picking up.”
There are reports of striped bass showing up along the San Mateo coastline from Ocean Beach south to Linda Mar.

The Salmon bit for the Half Moon bay / Golden Gate boats today or at least for the few party and private boats out there. On Monday 4-17 Roger on the Salty Lady passed along a report from John on the New Ray Anne out of Sausalito. John had ten limits to 15 pounds with most running 6 to 10 pounds. They were trolling 10 miles SE of the Islands of west of Pedro Point in 50 fathoms. Being the only boat in the area it took John awhile to get dialed but once on the fish they put in the second layer in less than an hour. Good action and the forecast looks good for the next couple of days.
The Salty Lady is running trips out of Half Moon Bay and had VERY light loads on the books at this time.

Salmon action has been pretty spotty out of Half Moon Bay with party boats scratching up a few or two per trip while private boaters running downriggers are finding up to limits but many are struggling to boat a fish or two. Rockfish action below Pigeon Point has been outstanding with the opening to 300 feet in depth, and the local rockfish season opens on Saturday, April 15th with an additional 10 fathoms to 240 feet.
Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat will be running rockfish and/or salmon trips with the possibility of pulling the crab pots, and he said Thursday 4-13, “We will be able to fish some portions of the Deep Reef for rockfish this year, but there is an extra warning for fishermen above Pigeon Point as the 40 fathom line will be strictly enforce. I plotted some of these points, and I would advise putting these into your GPS in order to remain safe. Based on these numbers, we will not have much extra real estate to fish at the Deep Reef.”

40 Fathom locations

(128) 3748.22′ N. lat., 12310.62′ W. long.;

(129) 3747.53′ N. lat., 12311.54′ W. long.;

(130) 3739.91′ N. lat., 12300.84′ W. long.;

(131) 3738.75′ N. lat., 12252.16′ W. long.;

(132) 3735.67′ N. lat., 12249.47′ W. long.;

(133) 3720.24′ N. lat., 12233.82′ W. long.;

(134) 3711.00′ N. lat., 12228.50′ W. long.; 

Captain Michael Cabanas of the Huli Cat last went salmon fishing on Sunday, and he said, “Very few fish were landed for the charter boats with a couple of fish caught up high. Mainly, private boaters with downriggers were hooking up around 100 feet in depth. We had a few scratched baits throughout the day along with a couple of salmon that came unbuttoned after around 10 seconds, but no keepers landed. There were small pockets of bait marking at 40 to 60 feet and some around 120 feet. “
Sherry Ingles at Half Moon Bay Sport Fishing reported outstanding rockfish action starting with the April 1st opener south of Pigeon Point, and she said, “We are seeing a quality of rockfish that we haven’t see in some time with big Boccaccios, coppers, vermilions, and yellows as they are twice as large as we have seen.
Along the beaches, striped bass action is improving with white hair raisers, leading Ingles to state, “Those who are experienced are picking up quality linesides, and white hair raisers have been the thing, but this will change to different colors of hair raisers as the season progresses before fishermen start throwing Miki’s or topwater lures.

A grand compromise for the Delta outlined
Sac Bee

Conflict over water allocations from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is the most intractable water management problem in California.

The sources of contention are many, but three interrelated issues dominate the debate: whether to build two tunnels that divert water from the Sacramento River, how much water to allocate to endangered fish species, and what to do about the 1,100 miles of Delta levees that are essential to the local economy.

All of these issues need to be addressed to reduce unproductive conflict and litigation and resolve our water problems.

Here we outline a potential “grand compromise” for the Delta that meets the co-equal goals of water supply reliability and ecosystem health prescribed by the 2009 Delta Reform Act. To this end, California should:

▪  Build one tunnel, not two

The most commonly stated fear about the twin tunnels is that they will increase exports and significantly harm the Delta. Project proponents have failed to convince opponents that proposed regulatory assurances on the tunnels’ use will actually protect water quality and species that are at risk.

Building one tunnel with roughly half the proposed capacity caps the amount of water that can be taken from the Sacramento River and greatly reduces the project’s cost. Even at half of its proposed capacity, the project would significantly improve the reliability and quality of water supply. And by having two locations to draw water from the Delta – a new tunnel plus the existing south Delta pumps – the project creates the necessary flexibility to better manage the environmen

▪  Manage water for ecosystems, not just endangered species

To improve the effectiveness of environmental investments, California will need to move away from viewing water and land management activities in the Delta primarily through the lens of the Endangered Species Act. Instead, environmental managers should allocate water and restoration funds based on greatest overall ecological returns on investments.

This does not mean abandoning threatened or endangered species, but rather refocusing recovery efforts on ecological health, based on realistic assessments of the benefits of environmental water allocations.

For example, it may be time to consider captive breeding for Delta smelt – which are approaching extinction in the wild – with the goal of reintroducing them into restored habitats in the north Delta. Targeted investments in riparian and floodplain habitat in the north Delta and Sacramento River watershed – along with well-timed flows to support native species’ life cycles – are likely to provide the highest return on investment for salmon.

To accomplish this, the state Water Resources Control Board should revise its Bay-Delta Water Quality Plan to allocate a share of water that can be flexibly managed to meet biological and ecological objectives. This strategy has been successful in Victoria, Australia, and the water board has proposed a similar approach for managing water in the lower San Joaquin River basin.

We believe existing law can accommodate this change in environmental management. This approach also guarantees a substantial share of water for environmental uses and a more certain water supply for the 25 million people and 3 million acres of farmland that depend on the Delta for at least some of their supply.

▪  Make investments that benefit Delta residents

Most Delta counties have other water problems that can be resolved within a grand compromise. Strengthening the levees that protect Delta islands would reduce flood risk to farms, homes, roads, pipelines and power lines. It would also improve the reliability of export water supplies.

Negotiators should also explore opportunities for Delta residents to benefit from water quality improvements – for instance, by providing access to tunnel water in places where local supplies are salty. These improvements would recognize the Delta’s residents as essential partners in the administration of California’s largest and most important water system.

Grand compromises require sacrifice to achieve a better future. For those who rely on water exports from the Delta, a single tunnel would be a cost-effective means of improving supply reliability. For environmental interests, a flexibly managed, guaranteed block of environmental water would facilitate a more functional and sustainable estuary. And for Delta residents, the levee improvements would enhance the security of their lives and livelihoods.

Negotiation of this grand compromise will require stakeholders to embrace its broad contours before turning to its many details. If we fail again to find common ground, the political paralysis that has plagued the Delta for decades will continue. And the many economic and environmental benefits that the Delta provides to California will continue to decline.


Golden Gate Salmon Association Reacts to One Tunnel Proposal

San Francisco -- GGSA executive director John McManus reacted to the PPIC opinion piece in today’s Sacramento Bee calling for the replacement of the Delta twin tunnels proposal with construction of a single tunnel with the following statements.
“The biggest problem with the old twin tunnels proposal is that instead of developing a reasonable project that would provide salmon protections while allowing export of a scientifically justified amount of water, they designed a project far too big to pass the laugh test.
The existing system of moving water north to south across the Delta is a salmon killer which is why alternatives have been considered. A carefully planned alternative could provide a way to move some water while killing fewer salmon but this would require a project design that makes salmon protections a priority, not an afterthought.
GGSA welcomes a new approach, and we hope that this leads to a complete rethink of the current twin tunnels project. For too long, twin tunnel advocates have resisted new ideas.
Salmon fishermen and most reasonable Californians believe the only real way to safeguard against over diversion of our rivers is to limit the size of any water intakes and downstream plumbing that moves diverted water. A single tunnel proposal could be a step in that direction.”


There's no doubt that the existing method of diverting Central Valley river water to pumps in the south Delta pulls baby salmon off their natural migration route to their death. The status quo is a known salmon killer. Can we do better? Theoretically, yes. Was the gargantuan twin tunnels proposal a reasonable answer? Absolutely not.

As long as Sacramento River water is going to be diverted for export to the existing south Delta pumps, then some sort of new conveyance with intakes that can operate while still allowing baby salmon in the Sacramento River to safely pass could be an improvement with conditions. Conditions would include capping total Delta water exports at a volume pegged to the outcome of the State Water Resources Control Board Delta flows process. In addition part of the solution would include new facilities that would safely shield San Joaquin River salmon from being pulled to their death in the existing pumps. The current forebays that feed water to both the state and federal pumps are predator magnets and baby salmon killers and would need fixing. So too the Delta Cross Channel, a manmade canal feeding Sacramento River water, and baby salmon, to the pumps needs to be closed during key times of the year.

Central Valley salmon evolved to transit the Delta riding on east to west flows as Central Valley rivers emptied into the Delta and Bay. These flows pushed baby salmon from the Delta out to the bay and ocean. Since the massive state and federal water projects were built, these Delta flows have shifted more north to south as the Sacramento River is sucked off its natural course, largely through the Delta Cross Channel, to the pumps.

The biggest problem with the existing twin tunnels plans and design is that it calls for intakes, pipes and pumps big enough to drain the entire Sacramento River dry at most times of the year. This simply isn't credible to reasonable Californians or those charged with protecting fish and wildlife, which is why the twin tunnels are hopelessly bogged down.

The State Water Resources Control Board is currently in the process of determining how much water needs to be left in the rivers and allowed to flow through the Delta and Bay to keep the Delta, Bay, and our native fish and wildlife from dying. Only after these calculations are complete will we really know how much water in various types of precipitation years will be surplus and available for export. Most reasonable people would agree it makes more sense to design massive, expensive public works plumbing projects only after you know for sure how much water you’re likely to move. As is, the current huge version of the tunnels don’t pencil out for the water users who would have to pay for them unless water diversions are drastically increased, something most Californians don’t support.

Tunnel proponents argue that while massive, the volume of water they'd trap and export would be limited by controls on the intakes that can be opened or closed as needed. They ask the public to trust them to operate these responsibly. Salmon fishermen, for one, don't trust them because Central Valley water operations have been operated to the detriment of salmon over and over again.

Finally, the state and south of Delta water users must recognize that communities like Los Angeles, San Diego and Silicon Valley want to be less dependent on the Delta, not
more. They’re proving this by investing in recycling facilities, water conservation programs, cleaning up groundwater, capturing storm water, and other projects.

We hope this proposal from PPIC sparks some serious discussion within state government and those who would pay for a new water conveyance. There’s no doubt the current system of moving water is harmful to salmon.

The Golden Gate Salmon Association (www.goldengatesalmonassociation.org) is a coalition of salmon advocates that includes commercial and recreational salmon fisherman, businesses, restaurants, a native tribe, environmentalists, elected officials, families and communities that rely on salmon. GGSA’s mission is to protect and restore California’s largest salmon producing habitat comprised of the Central Valley river’s that feed the Bay-Delta ecosystem and the communities that rely on salmon as a long-term, sustainable, commercial, recreational and cultural resource.

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