Captain Tom Joseph 408 348-4866

Captain Dennis Baxter 650 726-6224

August 15, 2017    Headlines

 Salmon Munching!

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.

The salmon bite has been RED HOT out at the Deep Reef and off Martin's beach the past two days. On Monday 7-10 Dennis on the New Captain Pete reported 9 early limits of salmon to 12 pounds. He was trolling in 180 feet of water 7 miles south of the harbor off Martin's beach. There is a second school of fish out at the Deep reef where other local boats and from the Golden Gate found limits of early salmon. Here on Tuesday several boats from the Golden Gate took early limits of salmon at the Deep Reef while one found limits of chunky fish off Mussel Rock. The bite is on and now is the time to get out after salmon. The New Captain Pete and Tom on the Fish On have room daily this week.

Captain Dennis Baxter of the New Captain Pete reported Thursday 7-6, “All you have to do is produce salmon, and people will come out of the woodwork. There are salmon showing up from Pedro Point to Thornton Beach, and also outside of our harbor inside of the Green Buoys and along both sides of the reefs. Private boaters and even kayaks in Hobie fishing kayaks are finding action outside of the reef since a wall of bait has been showing up. Trolling has been working better than mooching, but there are private boats that are mooching now. The Red Buoy has been the top location for the kayaks. Private boaters have been finding limits in the late afternoons between the buoys – they aren’t quick and easy, but they can be found. We went north above Pedro Point on Thursday, and there were a number of fish taken right off of the Silver Saddle outside of Thornton Beach. The Golden Gate Fleet was concentrating in this area.”
Baxter is running open load salmon trips over the weekend. Halibut is another option in the sand outside of the harbor, and Baxter thought this was a good option for private boaters to make a few drifts after putting together rockfish limits. A 35 pound halibut was landed in this way during the week outside of the Red Can along with 23 salmon for 14 anglers on the New Captain Pete this week.

he salmon bite was EXCELLENT again on Thursday 6-29 for both the Golden Gate and Half Moon bay fleets. Jared on the Salty Lady from Sausalito reported 13 early limits to 28 pounds. Never the selfish one he added "every boat in the fleet also got limits". Jared says the hot bit is in 60 to 90 feet of water off Mussel Rock and down to Pacifica. Emeryville Sportfishing also had early limits of salmon reported. The Sundance was headed home in time for breakfast with 6 limits and the C Gull II had 18 limits of salmon. There was some wind offshore but conditions along the beach were nice this morning.
Several boats from the Half Moon Bay fleet have been getting in on the action as well. Dennis on the New Captain Pete reported 5 limits on an afternoon trip on Wednesday. Dennis said it only took them about an hour to put ten fish to the 20 pound class in the box. Dennis has lots of room available as 650 576-3844

Captain Dennis Baxter of the New Captain Pete took a tour of the San Francisco Entrance Buoys on Thursday 6-22, running north from W, N, and S Buoy to find excellent conditions with brown water, birds, bait, and blue whales, but the salmon were absent. They ended up running north to Duxbury late in the day for four salmon. He was disappointed in the final score, but they spent most of the day working the excellent conditions for nada. Baxter said, “There is more bait accumulating at the Deep Reef, but on our way back home, we checked out Pedro Point, and the anchovies and sardines that were there are now gone.”

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.

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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