August 28, 2016    Headlines

 Solid Rockfish Action
Salmon Bite Heats Up

After a few days of slower action it looks like there is another school of salmon pushing down from the north. On Sunday 8-28 Rick on the New Sea Angler broke out the mooching gear. His charter group of 22 anglers landed 9 salmon to 17 pounds and missed a bunch of take downs and a few others lost. They were drifting in 120 1355 feet off Ft Ross. From there Rick worked into the shallows for 22 limits of rockfish and 11 lings to 12 pounds.
Jeff on the Miss Anita was a high liner again today. He reported 7 limits of salmon to 22 pounds adding 5 lings and 20 rockfish. The Miss Anita can be booked at 707 875-3474 Be sure mention you found their info on USAFishing!
On Saturday 8-27 captain Jeff on the Miss Anita reported 1 salmon off the first Estero and limits of both lings to 12 pounds and rockfish. Jeff reports there are just HUGE piles of anchovies from the Outer Bay and down past Tomales bay and to Kehoe and Ten Mile. Conditions are ideal we just need another push of fish from the north.
I was invited out by the Stripers Owner Club whom took over the Westside campground this weekend. I was asked to give an update on what the Golden Gate Salmon Association is currently working on and in turn what they can do to support the GGSA. After an incredible dinner of "what was caught that day" I met some new friends and some old ones who I have not seen in years. Good times and a great group who's interest in their boats, family and fishing bring them all together. After all that is why so many of us enjoy or time on the water... it brings us all together.

The salmon action was slower on Friday 8-26 after several days of hot action. Jeff on the Miss Anita reported two salmon to 20 pounds and 8 lings. He broke away for the lings after a slow morning produced just four bites. The salmon fleet has been fishing from the Head and down to Ten Mile in 50 to 90 feet of water. It appears that this most recent school is pushing south and headed to the Golden Gate. There will be schools of fish moving through the local waters through September. Only time will tell how many and how often but putting time on the water will be key to success.. The rockfish and ling action will only get better as we move into the fall months.

The salmon bite was red hot on Wednesday 8-24 morning. Jeff on the Miss Anita reported 4 limits to  over 20 pounds by 8:15. He was trolling right out in front at the Whistle buoy and said most were all big smokers with a 12 to 16 plus pound average. Rick on the New Sea Angler had the day off for maintenance. Rick decided a crew trip was in order and he, two deckhands and a couple of friends made a quick trip out. After fueling up at Spud Point at 11AM, Rick ran south and they put in 6 quick limits to 20 pounds and one 17 pound halibut.
On the private boater front Jimmy D of CLOVERDALE reported a personal limit of two fish to 13 pounds. He was off the 1st estero in 65 feet . He left his slip in Spud Point at 7:40 and was putting the lines back on at 8:40.

 The salmon bite turned up another notch on Tuesday 8-23. Rick on the New Sea Angler was trolling off Bird to Elephant Rock and reported 27 salmon to 29 pounds for his 19 clients on board. Rick said they hooked over 40 fish and those landed averaged 10 to 15 pounds with several from the high teens to the mid 20 pound mark. The hot depth was 70 to 80 feet and the fish came in ones and threes.  Jeff on the Miss Anita  got 7 early limits of fish as well. Jeff said it was his highest average of the season with 9 fish over 20 pounds!!!!!!!!
School is back in, the fish are biting and boats have lots of space available. Rick's contact info is in the banner link at the top of this page.

The salmon bite remains good. On Monday 8-22 we saw far less pressure and from what I'm hearing far fewer private boaters who have little boatmanship skills. (last night I referred to this small group of individuals as idiots and I just want to clarify that I had a couple of readers comment that a few individuals were cruising through the troll fleet at speeds far higher than necessary and in one case cutting a boat off that had a fish on. That forced that boat to turn hard over while fighting a fish to avoid a boat that stopped within 50 feet of his bow. While most knowledgeable private boat operators know the rules of the road some have NO CLUE about the responsibility or the rules of running a boat in ocean waters).

 Rick on the New Sea Angler reported good action. The fish were biting best in the morning and they had the first layer (fish per rod) by 9:AM. From there is was scratchy with lots of missed and short biting fish lost. They ended the day with 17 salmon to 21 pounds for 12 anglers and Rick said they hooked roughly 30 fish. His best action was in 70 to 100 feet off Bird and Elephant with a couple more taken off the Head late in the afternoon.
On the private boater front RJ from Petaluma did a late afternoon / after work trip. He trolled from 5:30 to 7:30 PM landing one in the first five minutes and the other in the last 5 minutes trolling off Bird Rock in 70 feet.
 Jeff on the Miss Anita didn't have a group today and ran solo and put in a captains limits in 20 minutes fishing off the Head. The salmon bite broke open this weekend.

On Sunday 8-21 and fresh Sac bound fish are pushing through the Bodega waters. We have been waiting on this school of fish to pop up  for a week now but they have arrived. Dana ran the Surf Scooter on Sunday 8-21 with a charter from American Asphalt. The owner, Stew Miller has been a HUGE supporter of the Golden Gate Salmon Association and  picks up a charter or three at the Santa Rosa every year. Stew's group today was well rewarded for his conservation efforts with 12 LIMITS of salmon to 28 pounds by the noon hour. They were trolling off Kehoe and the top end of Ten Mile beach and saw solid action with fish coming in small flurries. They had a solid 12 to 14 pound average and Dana said all the boats around him were hooking as well.
Rick on the Sea Angler reported 37 limits of rockfish adding 46 lings to 17 pounds. You can bet that Rick will be targeting salmon and rockfish on his trips the next few days. Jeff on the Miss Anita reported limits of both lings to 21 pounds and rockfish at Ft Ross. Trolling off the river the picked away for four salmon to 21 pounds losing and missing a few others. He was trolling in 100 feet off the river with his best action at 30 to 70 feet.

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

Captain Jeff on the Miss Anita reported The salmon bite remains hit for some and miss for others while the rockfish action is the sure bet. On Thursday 8-4 Rick on the New Sea Angler reported 27 limits of quality rockfish, 38 lings to 19 pounds and two salmon to 12 and one halibut going 9. Great trip with BIG sacks of bottom fish and a couple of bonus fish in the mix.
On the salmon front Jim D of Cloverdale reported "zilch" or lawyer speak that they never got a settlement trolling off Bird Rock from 80 to 200 feet on Wednesday. With the Spud Point fuel dock down Jim packed fuel down to his boat but not enough to run north.
Dale reported three salmon to 12 pounds for three sticks trolling off the River and Arch rock in 200 feet for a full day of effort. They had five hookups and landed the three solid hookups they had for the day.

On Wednesday 8-3 Rick on the New Sea Angler ran north. He started the day off trolling for salmon with a light load of 12 anglers. Trolling in 190 to 210 feet off the River they landed 4 salmon to 15 pounds and lost and missed a few others. From there Rick ran up to Ft Ross where they put in 12 limits of rockfish and 24 lings to 14 pounds.

Vacation Rental at Point Arena
 Brand New House in Irish Beach with 2 bedrooms and a huge loft. Sleeps 6. Blue Water Ocean View to the Point Arena Light House and great local fishing. The house is located on a private court with access to the Members only Irish Beach.


Upcoming Events:
USAFishing proudly supports the many fishery and wildlife organizations that benefit anglers and hunters throughout Northern California. Does your organization have an upcoming event? Contact us at and we will gladly post the information on our reports pages.

California Waterfowl Dinners and Youth Events Calendar

Golden Gate Salmon Association Events Calendar

 Party Boat Contacts:
The Bodega Bay Sportfishing  Center is currently booking trips on the New Sea Angler. They also book the six pack Sandy Ann, Profishn't and during the summer the Predator. Reservations can be made at 707 875-3344.

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5-day plot - Wind Speed at 46013

5-day plot - Wave Height at 46013

Marine Weather
With the Point Arena, San Francisco and Bodega Bay buoys all out of service it's been tough to judge conditions. There are some land based weather stations, wave rider and even webcams that readers can use to assess current conditions.  The Point Reyes wind observations or wave conditions at the San Francisco wave rider buoy are good tools for Golden Gate anglers.  For Bodega Bay anglers you can use both the Point Reyes wind observations and the Bodega Bay Marine lab web cam at Horseshoe Cove and conditions at the Point Arena light house. For Monterey based anglers looking for conditions inside Monterey bay can use the Monterey Bay Aquarium buoy.




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