HALF MOON BAY

 


Captain Tom Joseph 408 348-4866

Captain Dennis Baxter 650 726-6224

November 07, 2017    Headlines

Sport Crab Opens

Captain Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat said, “It was a good Dungeness crab opener, The weather was good on Saturday for fishing, anglers got rockfish and 10 lingcod to 18 lbs. The wind picked up in the afternoon which made the weather a bit sporty while pulling pots. On Sunday, it was beautiful weather, calm water and a little to no wind all day. Anglers got rockfish, lingcod and this time limits for passengers and crew!"
The Huli Cat will continue to run rockfish Dungeness crab combos thru the end of December. Dungeness crab only trips may also be scheduled.

Captain Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat said Thursday 11-2, “A lot of boats have moved into the harbor for the weekend, and there will be parties on Saturday night from both the Full Speed Fishing Club and the Coastside Fishing Club in the parking lot. The wind is expected to come up on Saturday, but Sunday looks fine. The key to find the crab is to find the right depth, and I will be setting a shallow, intermediate, and deep string. Last year, all of those who set shallow during the opening weekends were disappointed since the crab are smarter than people. Although the weather was good on the opener, the crab sensed the rough weather that would be arriving during the winter, and they stayed out in deep water over 40 fathoms. A commercial dragger for halibut and sole was finding crab in his nets at 25 fathoms earlier, but they disappeared recently. Whether they went deeper or into the shallows has to be determined. We are sold out for the first few weekends with some limited openings until the last four days of December which are wide open.”


The arrival of Dungeness crab season is highly anticipated out of Half Moon Bay. The crab opener is the biggest event of the year here with the parking lots to be full with RV’s, all of the campgrounds filled, and the launch ramps busy. It is like the old days during the salmon opener when there were cars parked up and down Highway 1, and now the crab opener is much larger than the salmon opener.’
Ocean salmon fishing closes on October 31st, but as of the final few days of the season, private boaters and kayaks continue to get in on the action around the Green Can.
The change in depth restriction has led to fewer of the quality rockfish that were found at 40 fathoms, but there are still plenty of vermilions and browns with Ingles stating, “We have had some bomber blue rockfish lately.” Half Moon Bay Sport Fishing will be offering rockfish trips through the end of the season while Mattusch and the Huli Cat is the only large party boat offering the crab/rockfish combination trips. The Huli Cat is basically filled for the first three weekends of the Dungeness crab season, but weekdays are wide open for crab combination trips. The majority of party boats have switched over to commercial crabbing during the open season.
Ling cod action has slowed with the big swells along the coastline over the past weekend but the bite should improve as the swell backs off and the lings move in closer to the shorelines to spawn.
Further north in Pacifica, the Dungeness crab opener will lead to a very crowded Pacifica Pier and the rocky shoreline area for those throwing crab snares loaded with squid or anchovies.


The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) announces new restrictions on recreational fishing for groundfish in waters north of Point Conception to the Oregon/California border. Changes to authorized fishing depths described below take effect Monday, Oct. 16 at 12:01 a.m., and will remain in place through the remainder of 2017.

The recreational groundfish fishery depth restrictions will be as follows:

  Northern Management Area (Oregon/California border to Cape Mendocino): Take is prohibited seaward of 20 fathoms (120 feet) in depth. The 'all-depth' groundfish fishery slated for November and December 2017 in this area is canceled.

  Mendocino Management Area (Cape Mendocino to Point Arena): Take is prohibited seaward of 20 fathoms (120 feet) in depth. The 'all-depth' groundfish fishery slated for November and December 2017 in this area is canceled.

  San Francisco Management Area (Point Arena to Pigeon Point): Take is prohibited seaward of the 30 fathom depth contour (180 feet).

  Central Management Area (Pigeon Point to Point Conception): Take is prohibited seaward of the 40 fathom depth contour (240 feet).

  Southern Management Area (Point Conception to the US/Mexico border): Take is prohibited seaward of the 60 fathom depth contour (360 feet). No changes are slated for this area.

The 20 fathom depth restriction is described by the general depth contour (California Code of Regulations (CCR) Title 14, Section 27.20(a)). The 30, 40 and 60 fathom depth contours are defined by straight lines connecting the waypoints as adopted in federal regulations (Code of Federal Regulations Title 50, part 660, subpart G).

Based on recent bycatch estimates for yelloweye rockfish (Sebastes ruberrimus) from the California sport fishery, CDFW projects that the harvest guideline specified in federal regulation for 2017 (3.9 metric tons) will be exceeded unless changes are made. Pursuant to CCR Title 14, Section

27.20(e), CDFW has the authority to make modifications to the fishery to avoid exceeding the limit, and must issue notice of any changes at least 10 days in advance of the effective date.

Yelloweye rockfish is a long-lived, slow-growing shelf rockfish species that was declared overfished in 2002 and cannot be retained in the recreational fishery. It is currently managed under a strict federal rebuilding plan that has required significant cutbacks to West Coast sport and commercial fisheries for more than a decade, to allow the population to recover.

Although fishing for rockfish and other groundfish will remain open through the end of the year, CDFW urges anglers to avoid fishing in areas where yelloweye rockfish are known to occur (for example rocky outcrops and pinnacles). If taken, yelloweye rockfish should be immediately returned to the water with a descending device to minimize injury and mortality. CDFW also encourages anglers who encounter them to change fishing locations to prevent catching additional yelloweye rockfish.

Salmon continue to make a spirited showing for commercial fishermen, skiffs, and even kayaks outside and inside of the harbor while rockfishing remains the staple species. With crab season on the near horizon, private and party boats are starting to gear up for the November 4th opener, Sherry Ingles of Half Moon Bay Sport Fishing confirmed the good bite for private boaters on Sunday 9-30, saying, “There is not enough going on for party boats, but private and commercial boats are scratching out quality fish. There were six kayaks out on one morning this week, and all kayaks limited out by 7:00 a.m. working just inside of the harbor. The salmon are fin-clipped so they are returning from the Coastside Fishing Club pen project. Salmon are also found inside the harbor for those throwing Corkies or spinners with barbless hooks, but fishermen who have snagged salmon have received citations as the Department of Fish and Wildlife is closely monitoring the area. Most shore fishermen are working from the restrooms to the private boat launch, but the salmon also enter a drainage ditch near the Fish Trap restaurant. We were able to make it out for rockfish on Saturday, September 30th despite the weather, and the Queen of Hearts returned with limits of rockfish along with a few lings.”
The Dungeness crab season opens on November 4th, and the Huli Cat is one of the only boats in the harbor running  for crab/rockfish combination or crab-only trips.

Unpacking Real Costs of California WaterFix
Stockton, CA — Delta tunnels opposition researchers have discovered a draft analysis dated September 15, 2017 of CA WaterFix costs completed by the Kern County Water Agency posted at the Wheeler Ridge-Maricopa Water Storage District.
This recent Kern County analysis provides a comprehensive review of how expensive the Delta tunnels project would be for Kern County farmers, and elucidates more realistic cost numbers for State Water Project Contractors than those touted by Metropolitan Water District. (You can also read the document at Restore the Delta’s website.)
 
Researchers found that:

• Total WaterFix costs are estimated at $32.1 billion to $41.4 billion over 50 years; however, Kern County Water Agency only looked at interest rates of 3.55% or 3.88%. Higher interest rates would result in significantly higher total costs. These costs do not include potential cost overruns. (Page 72).

• Computations in 2033 dollars show that dividing the maximum capital costs by the average water supply yield results in an estimated cost range of $888 per acre-foot of water to $1427 per acre-foot of water for Kern County Water Agency water users. Using 2017 dollars, the price is discounted to $553 to $889 per acre-foot. (Page 76).

• Kern’s total costs range from $4.9B to $7B, and annual costs range from $153.9M to $247.5M (page 73)

Restore the Delta executive director Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla noted,
“Water this costly would cut deeply into profit margins for smaller farms within the Kern County Water Agency service area, and even the profits of big industrial farms like Stewart Resnick’s Paramount Farms. It is feasible that the real end-goal is for urban ratepayers within the Kern service area and Metropolitan Water District to subsidize the project, or that Kern County Water Agency could resell a portion of water back to Metropolitan Water District to make enough revenue to cover bond repayment.”
 
Prior to Westlands Water District’s withdrawal from California WaterFix, Kern County Water Agency projected that their cost share would be 24.23% of the State Water Project’s 55% share, or 13.33% of the total costs. (Page 71).
 
Barrigan-Parrilla added,
“It will be worth noting in the weeks ahead if KWCA will redo the math minus the Central Valley Project contribution of 45% to total costs, or if they will pretend that nothing has changed. It seems unlikely to us that farmers, who are businessmen first, would ignore this significant change in contribution percentages in the same way that Metropolitan Water District staff failed to acknowledge the loss of 45% of total project funding in their workshop to their Board of Directors on September 26, 2017. (All available workshop materials and presentations can be found here.) For farmers, such calculations are necessary to determine their bottom line.”
 
Prior to Westlands September 19th vote, KCWA estimated their total contribution to fall within a cost range of $4.9 to $7 billion, about double the $4 billion number (in 2017 dollars) that MWD continues to state publicly, even though KCWA would receive about half the amount of water that MWD would receive. (Page 73).
 
Barrigan-Parrilla concluded,
“WaterFix does not pencil out for agriculture without a huge taxpayer subsidy from the State or Federal Government, and increased contributions from Metropolitan Water District and Silicon Valley water rateypayers.”


Captain Dennis Baxter of the New Captain Pete said, “It has been really slow out front on Thursday 9-21 as we are waiting for another school to come in. There have been commercial boats doing well at Pedro Point and also in between the buoys, but it has slowed down to a crawl on Thursday for them. I will be out on a bird trip on Thursday, and you can bet that we will be dragging some feathers for albacore. There are two local boats in the harbor that are selling whole albacore that just came down from Fort Bragg. There have been a few bonita caught by those either rockfishing or trolling for salmon, but those trying for them have been unsuccessful. I have a salmon charter on Saturday with an open load rockfish trip on Sunday.”

There is a distinct possibility that the Deep Reef will be off limits for rockfishing next season due to the excessive number of goldeneye rockfish that have been found by the Department of Fish and Wildlife checkers at the launch ramp. There are fishermen who are exceeding the 240-foot depth restriction and leaving floating rockfish all over the surface in addition to bringing the restricted goldeneye rockfish in as part of their limit. It only takes the actions of a few to make everyone else pay the price.

 

The salmon action remains good over a wide area. On Thursday 8-31 Dennis on the New Captain Pete was trolling off Pedro Point. The bite was a tad slow early and picked up for the morning. They finished the day with 17 salmon to 15 pounds for 12 anglers. Dennis reports the local navy and after work crowd are picking up fish from just outside the jeyy to the buoys. The Golden Gate fleet is findgn good scores also on the Southside, the Channel buoys and Marin coast. Dennis has room next week but if full for the weekend.
Rockfishing is good on the local nearshore reefs with party and private boats sill finding limits.
 

Salmon fishing slowed down on Sunday due to the weather, but Saturday 8-12 was a solid day off of the San Mateo coast Dennis Baxter on the New Captain Pete says its been
limits on nearly every day for the past two weeks. Dennis says "there are fish from Egg Rock to Mussel rock in 50 to 90 feet. Find the bait and the salmon will find you.
There are also fish holding just outside the harbor that are keeping the kayakers and small boaters happy.

After an amazing run of salmon southwest of the harbor off of the Deep Reef, the salmon schools have moved up off of the Pacifica coastline, and boats from Pillar Point and San Francisco Bay are meeting off of Pedro Point for up to limits of salmon. The Farallons have been outstanding for rockfish and ling cod, and the islands are only an 18 mile run from Pillar Point. The flat calm weather has led to excellent ocean conditions during the past week. On Monday 8-7 Dennis said the bite was "lights out". They had 15 limits of salmon by 10:30 to the mid teens with most running 6 to 10 pounds fishing off Pedro Pt. Dennis has lots of space this week.

On Sunday 8-6, both Captain Dennis Baxter of the New Captain Pete and Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat went north to the Pedro Point area for near-limits of salmon with plenty of opportunities for two fish per customer. Baxter said, “We came up a few fish short of 16 limits with 26 salmon working from Egg Rock north to Mussel Rock, and the overall bite was slower today as the salmon have gone deeper with the water temperature rising to 60 degrees. Most of the Bay Area fleet was there with us, and a number of party boats were able to scratch out limits.”
Captain Tom Mattusch returned with 19 salmon on Sunday with a number of missed opportunities.
The warm water has led to private boats running offshore for albacore, and one private boat found a  school of bluefin tuna offshore, but the anglers on the Sea Angel decided to leave them alone since they were in the 12- to 14-pound range.

 

The salmon bite remains good with party boats venturing up the coast and the "evening crew" picking up some good counts outside the harbor. Dennis on the New Captain Pete reported 30 salmon for 18 anglers with fish to 12 pounds. On Wednesday 8-2 Dennis first ran all the way north to Duxbury where there was a good bite on Tuesday. After boating just a few fish Dennis ran south and dropped in the gear off Thornton beach. It was here where he picked up most of his action and said they lost a bunch or opportunities along the way. Denis has room this week and next. 

The following is from six pack captain Tom Joseph who went scouting for tuna today. Tom is one of the top tuna captains in out local waters and we greatly appreciate his reports and observations.
" Mike, took a friend of mine and we went looking for tuna. We finally got located 16 miles NW of the Guide. 7 albacore and 1 blue fin. Water was 61.5 and blue on blue.
I was using a 4 day old SST and chlorophyll shot. The was no break green water went to blue blue just inside the Guide. We tacked all way out to 03/40 then NW
toward Pioneer. Put 220 miles on round trip long day. Knowing what I know now I would start at the pioneer or Gumdrop I think that's where they are in big numbers."

 

The hot salmon bite of the past two weeks goes on out of Half Moon Bay with Captain Dennis Baxter of the New Captain Pete loading up with 16 limits of salmon on Thursday 7-27 by 10:00 a.m. He said, “I have a couple of spots on board for Sunday, and starting on Monday, next week is wide open. The fish are moving closer, only six miles from the harbor.”

Captain Tom Mattusch on the Huli Cat came back with even quicker limits with 21 limits of salmon by 9:20 a.m. on Thursday after posting 23 limits on Wednesday.


Captain Dennis Baxter of the New Captain Pete said, “The salmon bite slowed down on Thursday 7-13, but we ended up with a fish per  rod for 10 anglers fishing 7 miles southwest of the harbor. We picked at them all day, and the action between the Buoys also slowed down. My son, Braden, was out on the Fishing Luhrs last night, and they only picked up a single fish which was a precursor to Thursday’s action. The weather was rough on the south side on Thursday, and after finding rough water at Mussel Rock due to a big southerly wind, the party boats ran down to the Deep Reef. There are plenty of white jelly fish at the Deep Reef. If the fish bite, I will be fishing salmon over the weekend, if not, it will be rockfish.”
 Hot Sheet Subscriber Dmitry Varakuta went out on Thursday with his friend, Valeriy. He said, “We  launched out of Pillar Point Harbor at 6 am and headed north towards yesterday's hotspot. There were a few boats there already and party boats began showing up minutes afterward. We fished Pacifica before Mussel Rock till 10 am. We had 1 bite til that time so we picked up and ran south to below Pedro Point. We hung around there 30-40 mins and began trolling towards the pier again. Around 1130,  we boxed our first fish, a 5-6 pound fish. From then we had about a dozen bites til we left around 2:45. We ended our day with a small keeper king released ,1 coho released, and two 5-6lb fish along with a 20lber. All fish came on anchovies at 30-40 otw. Thank you GGSA for all your time and efforts.”
 
This writer is sneaking off for our annual family trip to our vacation home on the Kenai peninsula. We will be chasing sockeyes and kings on the local rivers and will be jumping on board with good friend Captain Steve Smith for some halibut, ling and saltwater action. We will be leaving the laptop at home and will return with full reports here on Saturday July 29th.
In the time being please contact our sponsors or visit their websites for current reports, information and bookings.
Until then... good fishing!
Mike Aughney


Captain Dennis on the New Captain Pete reported great action again on Wednesday 7-12. Fishing 7 miles south of the harbor Dennis reported 13 limits of salmon. The fishing was not quite as fast as Tuesday's bite but solid none the less. Funny how quickly we all become spoiled. Dennis says that the fish are stuffed with squid and anchovies. There are schools of fish up and down the coast with private and party boats also scoring off the Deep Reef, Martin Beach, Pedro Pt and up at Mussel rocks. The majority of the fish are hatchery clipped. Thanks to the efforts of the GGSA to advocate for trucking fish during the drought we not only have a season this year it's turning out to be much better than predicted.
Dennis says that the first salmon are starting to show in the harbor as well. Much thanks to the efforts of Coastside for their salmon net pen project which has resulted in good returns to the local waters the past few years.


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