Monday, October 30 - This Sunday, November 5 we have a special trip scheduled, and there are still a few spaces available. It's a real "feel good" kinda trip...all fares for the day are donated 100% to United Anglers, a non-profit organization fighting for our recreational fishing rights. That makes the fare a tax deductible donation...how about that, a tax-deductible fishing trip! As a thank you for the donation, in addition to a full day of rockfishing, anglers get a goody bag of assorted fishing tackle, there are drawings throughout the day for more goodies, and, at the end of the trip, there will be a raffle for a custom-wrapped fishing rod, and even lunch is provided! To make this feel-good day even better, those who want to participate donate the day's catch to the Salvation Army to help feed hundreds of fresh-fish meals to those in the Bay Area less fortunate. So, how can you beat it? A tax-deductible full day rockfishing trip, lunch, tackle goodies, raffles and helping to provide hundreds of meals. If you'd like to join in on the fun, call Bob Strickland with United Anglers directly to reserve your spot(s). Bob's phone number is 408-391-2389, or feel free to contact us if you'd like more information.
Saturday, October 28 - My goodness! What an absolutely beautiful day on the ocean. I haven't grabbed the info from the crew about their day, so I'll share a little about mine. I've been so busy with the shop...and the boat...and the 9 to 5 job...and the house...and the kid...that I just haven't taken a break to go fishing, so when our buddy Moon who hangs out at our shop told me, "Sherry, let's go fishing," I decided to take him up on the offer. We figured we'd just go out for an hour or so and catch a few fish. The water was so flat we should have had water skis. We motored out on his cruiser around the corner to Montara, and fishing from 60 to 90 feet of water, we had no problems catching our limits of rockcod in less than an hour. And, as part of my catch, I was tickled pink to land a lingcod, a seatrout and a nice five or six pound vermillion. Reminded me why I like this fishing stuff. It really is a lot of fun. As gorgeous as the day was, I'm sure everyone had a great trip today.
Wednesday, October 25 - The weather was much improved from yesterday and is supposed to continue to get better according to the forecast for the next several days. Didn't get the exact score, but I know we caught limits...just don't know how many lings and/or cabezon. A lot of folks are asking when the rockfishing season ends this year. Unless the PFMC (the fishing Feds) make an in-season adjustment at their upcoming meetings the week of November 13th, the rockcod season in our area is scheduled to be open through the end of the year, as in December 31, reopening again next June. The lingcod season is scheduled to close on November 30. As far as our trips are concerned, we may be fishing through December, but we'll decide after the PFMC's meeting. We have plenty of room tomorrow on Thursday and also on Friday. If you don't get a chance to touch base with us and want to go fishing, don't worry...just come on down...we'll have the doors opens by around 5:15...Half Moon Bay Sportfishing...look for the BIG yellow "TICKET OFFICE" sign.
Tuesday, October 24 - The weather was downright rotten in the morning but got much better as the day went on. Sounds like the weather is supposed to get better each day as we get towards the end of the week. Limits today consisted mainly of bomber blues as the quality bottomfish were holding tight in their crevices.
Thursday, October 19 - No report yet since it's still mid-morning, so I'll share the one advantage to getting up in the middle of the night as I do to get the boat out in the morning (my alarm goes off around 3:45). The drive to and front Half Moon Bay in the morning can be absolutely goregous. This morning there were a million stars in the sky, and it was calm and brisk. The sun came up and the water was glistening as I was driving back to the East Bay and passed by the surfers just south of the harbor, Crystal Springs and then across the San Mateo Bridge. The highlight of my drive was the treo of duck butts I saw sticking out of the marsh just off the bridge. Just something about it tickled me. Like they say, sometimes you've got to stop and smell the roses.
Wednesday, October 18 - It was a slow morning, but the fish decided to bite around lunchtime and we ended the day with limits. Not a whole bunch of browns or reds, but there was a smattering of them around the boat mixed in with some decent blacks and blues. Overall, not a bad day on the ocean.
Sunday, October 15 - Those lingcod Bob was talking about earlier in the week were waiting for today's group of fishermen. Using the big swimbaits (which we just happen to sell in the shop) the lings started filling the sacks, with 22 of the toothy critters landed by day's end. Oh, yeah, they caught limits of rockfish, too, and I heard they had their usual really fun day with a great group of guys.
Friday, October 13 - Here's how we start out the morning, the morning of Friday the 13th: We end up with 13 passengers. The 13rd passenger to board and sign in has a one-day license, and guess what the last two numbers on the license were: yep, 13. I can hear the theme from Jaws in the background. But it was a fine day, with early limits, 2 cabs and a handful of lingcod to 11 pounds. Too bad the biggest lingcod wasn't 13 pounds...would have been more appropriate.
Wednesday, October 11 - Another day of limits of mostly big brownies, and we had a good take on the lingcod, too, ending the day with 17 lings in the boat to 16 pounds. The swells and winds are forecast to remain light through the weekend, and we have plenty of room tomorrow on Friday, as well as about a dozen spots still open for Saturday.
Tuesday, October 10 - Easy limits today with mostly big brownies (bolinas) with two cabezon up to 11 pounds and three lings to 13 pounds. Weather looks absolutely fantastic on the ocean through the weekend. We have room Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Sunday, October 8 - It was a late bite and there were a lot of small fish, but we eeked out limits and found two cabezon and enticed a couple of lingcod, both of them good size with the biggest weighing in at a hefty 18 pounds caught by Mike (sorry Erela). We fished up and down the coastline from Pescadero to Pigeon Point and back again. Baja Bev forwarded a post she saw from one of the customers today who said how much he and his dad enjoyed themselves and gave a really nice compliment about how the crew was top notch; that tells me we had another successful day in my books. On a different note, Capt. Bob told me he feels like the big lingcod are on the move into the shallows and should start "snapping" soon. No one knows the shallows better than Bob, so when it comes from him I listen. Overall fishing has been a little tougher recently and we've really had to put in a lot of effort, but compared to the non-existent salmon and albacore fishing, we'll take it.
Thursday, October 5 - The ocean still remains flat calm, fishing remains excellent with limits every day, and the forecast is calling for calm seas tomorrow on Friday. We have plenty of room for Friday...if you'd like to join us, just come on down in the morning. We'll have the doors open by 5:15; check in by no later than 6:15. Saturday has private charters, but we still have a couple of spots open for this Sunday.
Tuesday, October 2 - For tomorrow on Wednesday, here's the NOAA forecast for our area as of 2:41 pm: NW WINDS 10 TO 20 KT...BECOMING W IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. NW SWELL 3 TO 4 FT AT 10 SECONDS AND SW 1 TO 2 FT AT 11 SECONDS. SHOWERS LIKELY AND SLIGHT CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS. What's that mean? Almost non-existent swell, a little wind and maybe a little rain...but we're going fishing! Bring your raingear and come on down in the morning. Don't worry about calling...summer's over and we have plenty of room. We'll have the doors open at 5:00; check in by no later than 6:15 a.m...look for the BIG yellow "TICKET OFFICE" sign. Remember, the fish don't care about a little rain...they're already wet!
Saturday, September 30 - Our private charter from Hayward Commercial Door is made up of real fishermen who know what they're doing and do it well. The one thing about the scores reported for the Queen of Hearts is they are a true reflection of what the customers are catching. The guys today had a great day in the shallows, the limits of quality bottomfish including a combination of over 40 lingcod and cabezon. And one of the best parts about this group is they have fun and really enjoy the art of sportfishing. Always makes for a very enjoyable day. We've had a change in our schedule: we are now open on Saturday, October 14. To grab a spot or two or three, just give us a call or send an email.
Friday, September 29 - Our private charter wanted to keep the tuna grounds honest. No way to know when the albacore pop back up in our area unless someone gives it a try...maybe today would be the day? They covered lots of ground between the 601 and The Guide. They saw lots of porpoise, dolphins and even breaching humpback whales, but there was no 60 degree blue water to be found anywhere, there were no meter marks, there was no tuna. The highlight of the trip was a little hitchhiker they picked up along the way...a little yellow Worbler that was extremely happy to find a place onboard to rest its weary little body. There has been a pretty decent albacore bite off of Morro Bay this past week, so there is still a glimmer of hope that the fish may swim our direction before the offshore weather picks up.
Wednesday, September 27 - I don't remember ever hearing this before: when I asked Capt. Bob how fishing was today, he responded with "absolutely fantastic." This was not a sarcastic "absolutely fantastic," it was a true "absolutely fantastic." He said the majority of the catch was all quality bottomfish, with loads of browns and lots of big reds. I asked how big he thought the biggest red weighed, and, without hesitation, he said 10 pounds. Plus we had a combined score of almost 30 lings and cabs. Yep, I guess that is pretty fantastic. He said the weather was absolutely flat glassy gorgeous calm, and, by looking at the forecast, it looks good through at least the beginning of next week. Looks like the long-awaited best-weather-of-the-year Indian Summer weather may have set in on our ocean.
Sunday, September 24 - The winds we've been fighting for the past week finally are backing down, and, just as we'd expect, the quality of the fish has improved. Our 11 man private charter loaded up on a mess of quality fish: lots of big reds and browns along with a variety of the rest of the rockfish that hang out in our area. The forecast this week looks pretty darn good, with not much of a swell and light winds through the forecast period. We are open on Wednesday and Thursday this week...if you'd like to join us, make sure to get a hold of us so we can put you on the books. We have a trip tentatively scheduled for this Saturday afternoon, too, but we're in the process of confirming the availability of our afternoon crew. We should know the final plans by tomorrow on Tuesday for this Saturday.
Wednesday, September 13 - As far as rockfishing, today was just more of the same: We ended up with limits for all 21 anglers, 205 rockfish plus 5 cabezon, one of our eight lingcod was a real whopper that tipped the scales at 26 pounds, plus another two halibut hit the deck, the biggest weighing in at 17 pounds. Capt. Bob is manning the guns in his position on the Groundfish Advisory Subpanel at the Pacific Fisheries Management Council meetings this week (the PFMC is in charge of fishing in all federal waters along our coastline). Thankfully so far it sounds like there are no new surprises for rockfishing in our area, but we'll let you know of any important updates that may occur if anything comes up. I've said it before and I'll say it again: without guys like Bob fighting behind the scenes, we wouldn't have the rockfishing opportunities we currently have. There are many like Bob who don't take much credit for all their efforts, but those "in the know" know. Stay strong, Bob, and thank you.
Monday, September 11 - We will never forget. The albacore finally decided to give us a shot at them. Some fish showed up on Sunday within range, so Bob (who will be at the PFMC through Friday) gave Capt. Randy the helm and the green light to take our every-other-Monday Fishing Fools charter in search for albacore. Heck, the albacore popped up only 17 miles from the harbor, a lot closer than the elusive salmon have been the past couple of months. The guys loaded up their tuna gear and caught albacore until they threw in the towel after putting 14 in the box for the 4 guys fishing...keep in mind most of these guys are between 70 and 92 years old! Nine of the fish were caught on the troll, and the other five were caught casting out Megabaits after the troll stops. They also had a first on the Queen of Hearts: they landed a HUGE 58 pound opah. Really cool looking fish...I should have a picture by the end of the week. So...maybe this albacore thing might just happen still!!
Friday, September 8 - Slowly but surely I'm getting caught back up after being away last week. I have now updated our Daily Scores for the month of August along with the Daily Whopper list. As you'll see, my lack of reports has absolutely nothing to do with how the fishing has been...because the fishing has been consistently great. Pretty much limits every single day with the exception of only a few days, and those few days without limits usually are not due to lack of fish, just picky fishermen. We've been seeing some pretty good size halibut, too, most between 15 to 35 pounds. We don't catch a lot of halibut; they're more of an incidental catch, but, boy, oh boy, they sure are a nice incidental catch. We've had some pretty good lingcod fishing, too, with almost 300 lingcod landed during the month of August. Our rockfishing season is scheduled to remain open through the end of December, so we still have plenty of good fishing to come, including the migration of the BIG lingcod into the shallows. Boy, oh boy, oh boy. On the albacore front, unfortunately it's looking a little bleak. Latest reports have the fish a good 75 miles offshore, well out of range for a day trip for us, and the fish have been few and far between at that. Our afternoon rockfishing trips have been batting a thousand with limits every single trip...we still have room for tomorrow's trip...if you'd like to join us, just give us a call (please don't email as I'm away from the computer nights and weekends).
Thursday, August 24 - Our group from sportfishingreport.com slated their trip as a lingcod trip, and they weren't disappointed. The group of 13 anglers landed 18 lingcod, plus a 20 pound halibut and limits of rockfish. I'm on my way out of town (again), so not much time to say more than rockfishing continues to be excellent, salmon is still pretty much non-existent in our area, and the albacore are playing hide and seek. For more info and to make reservations, be sure to give us a call, as I won't be able to get back to emails until I return on September 1st. The boat will still be running 7 days a week, two trips a day on some days, while I'm away, with Bob at the helm in the mornings and Randy taking over for the afternoons. Check our Schedule online, or give the shop a call between 6am and 4pm at 650-728-3377.
Friday, August 18 - Our private charter was on the hunt for albacore. Only problem was they were few and far between. No warm water to be found anywhere from Monterey on up. They hunted, and hunted, and hunted, but few reports of any fish caught. Then, a little after lunchtime, Capt. Bob saw a group of birds flying off in the distance. They weren't working, but he could tell they were following something. It took him a while to catch up to them and he found what they were following: albacore. As soon as he slide on top of the spot, it was bang, bang, bang, four fish on all at once. All four fish were fought like pros and hit the deck within minutes. And that was it. Not much to write home about, but, from what I heard, that put us in the highliner spot for the day. That's albacore fishing. Still a heck of a lot of fun to catch when they cooperate.
Thursday, August 17 - Limits of rockfish with loads and loads of hitchhikers. We landed about a dozen lingcod, but Capt. Bob said there had to be at least another two and a half times that many that never made it onboard. If you don't know what a hitchhiker is, it's a lingcod that has chomped his teeth into a smaller fish but hasn't been hooked. All he has to do is let go and swim back down to the bottom any old time his little heart desires. But lingcod are greety boogers, and they'll hang on to the end, hopefully they're end, if they're played correctly. Number one, always keep them under the surface of the water. They hit air, they're gone. Second, take it easy. Reel too fast, and they'll usually figure out that something's not quite right and let go.
Saturday, August 12 - Another very successful afternoon trip. The afternoon trips have produced limits of rockfish every single time out, just like the morning trips, and today was no different. They left the dock on time at 3:15, and by 7:20, they put the last fish in the boat to fill the limits for all 29 anglers onboard. I have to share an email sent by one of our afternoon passengers, Fernando: "Just wanted to let you know that my wife and I enjoyed our first boat fishing trip together last Saturday's twilight trip, 8/12. This was my wife's first fishing trip ever, and she enjoyed every minute of it. Same thing with me, after about 20 years of absence in rock fishing. Your crew, Heather and Randy, were very helpful and courteous indeed. Their dedication to satisfying every customer's need on the boat is superb! Hopefully we will be back soon to enjoy fishing on the Queen of Hearts. Thanks again, Fernando and Martha, Very satisfied customers." Now that's what we like to hear!
Wednesday, August 9 - Another gorgeous day on the ocean with absolutely flat glassly calm weather. One of those rare t-shirts and shorts type of weather day. Capt. Bob was able to hit the real shallow stuff, from 70 feet down to as little as 20 feet of water, and was rewarded with some great nearshore rockfish including quite a few cabezon, grass cod, and black and yellows. Everything was working, chrome, plastics, flys, and jigs with stingers were working, too. Keep in mind that no more than two hooks can be used while rockfishing. Treble hooks are considered a single hook because they are one-piece, but hooks like butterfly hooks count as two hooks...fish is by itself or, if you want to use a teaser, take one of the two butterfly hooks off...they still work just fine, as they did today.
Monday, August 7 - Bob and I are back from our fishing trip in San Diego. Unfortunately the Royal Polaris didn't have their website guru onboard so they didn't put out too much information during our trip, but we had a great time. We had great action on yellowtail with several hundred fish up to 41 pounds landed, over three dozen yellowfin one day in the 40 to 90 pound class, and topped off our trip kelp padding hopping for dorado. Back on the home front, I'm working on getting our report up to date. Heard the weekend was flat out gorgeous and the shallow water rockfishing was fantastic. Today our every-other-Monday Fishing Fools headed to the Middle Grounds and put in a fish per rod salmon fishing, landing seven salmon for seven anglers to 23 pounds. The "A" word is going around, too ("A" for albacore, that is), and we'll be looking at our schedule to see if we can fit a few trips in.
Tuesday, August 1 - Time for a busman's holiday...I'm going fishing on our annual long trip on the Royal Polaris out of San Diego. Maybe this will be the year I finally break that 100 pound mark. Regardless, it's gonna be a heck of a lot of fun; been a long time since I pulled on a big fish. Nothing like it. Can't wait. Check in on the Royal Polaris' website to see how we're doing out there: http://royalpolaris.com/news/index.php. Back on the home front, the Queen of Hearts will continue to run while we're away. Be sure to call, NOT EMAIL, if you'd like info or reservations while I'm away. Won't be able to respond to emails until I return on Monday, August 7. And, sorry, no website updates until I get back, either....
Friday, July 28 - am trip - Another day of really, really good rockfishing for our group from General Dynamics, who caught a super nice grade of fish with lots of big browns, big blacks, big blue, big gophers. We hit all the hot spots where the lingcod bit yesterday. Several lingcod were seen chasing the bait all the way up to the boat but we could only entice six of them onto the boat as they just didn't want to bite. The rockfish, on the other hand, were on a terror, "suicide missions" as Capt. Bob puts it. Thanks, John, for all your hard work organizing your trips; sounds like your gang had a great day of fishing.
Thursday, July 27 - The good fishing just keeps rolling along...limits of rockfish again today for 29 anglers plus a dozen lingcod up to a 27 pound bruiser.
Wednesday, July 26 - 31 lingcod! And a couple of halibut! We left the dock 10 minutes late (please, guys, check-in time IS NOT when the boat leaves!!), but we were heading back just a little after lunchtime with one heck of a good score after a really good day of fishing: limits for everyone onboard...again...including nine cabezon to nine pounds, plus the 31 lingcod to a hefty 20 pounds. Oh, yeah, and don't forget about the two halibut...one of those nice bonus incidental catches we look forward to on our SWLT rockfishing trips.
Monday, July 24 - Capt. Randy went hunting for some salmon with our private Fishing Fools charter. He headed north and found birds and bait and marine life all up the coastline, but no salmon until he made it all the way up to Duxbury. There they hooked three salmon, two silvers they released and one other fish that got off the hook before it made it to the boat. So, still not much happening on the salmon front, but the season's not over yet....
Friday and Saturday, July 21 and 22 - First two afternoon rockfishing trips of the season, both returning with limits of rockfish and a couple of lingcod. Heard the big bomber blacks were so thick it was almost impossible to get through them to hit the bottom...not that we're complaining, because these were real nice blacks, well worth catching and keeping. Heard lots of good reports back from folks on the afternoon trips...they really enjoyed themselves and several already called to put their names down on future trips. As long as we have the crew available, we should be able to offer afternoon trips until we lose our daylight when the time changes in October.
Thursday, July 20 - "Really, really nice fish today"...reds, brownies, bomber blacks and the rest of the Half Moon Bay smorgasbord of bottom dwellers along with a double digit score of lingcod to 15 pounds. And, now, for a soapbox moment: We are extremely proud of our boat and our crew. Heather and Jimmy do an awesome job on the deck, and Capt. Bob and Capt. Randy always give it their all. Service is number one in our book...about the only time you see a rod in our crew's hands is when they're helping someone out...the fish we report caught on the Queen of Hearts are caught by the customers, not by the crew or by freeloaders...and lastly, in this day and age of increasing restrictions we all have to do our part to ensure our resources are not wasted, we can't kill 20 fish to keep two, so we do what we can to fish responsibly, even though it's tougher at times to do what's right. But a charterboat is nothing without her customers. Thank you to all of you who understand and have joined with us to make the Queen of Hearts one of the tops.
Wednesday, July 19 - Thanks to the loyalty of a good group of anglers faithful to Capt. Bob and the Queen of Hearts, our Wednesdays usually see some pretty darn good fishing...not to say that we don't see some pretty darn good fishing other days. Anyway, today was no exception, with limits of rockfish caught by all onboard including 18 cabezon to 13 pounds, capped off with 14 lingcod up to 16 pounds. Shannon was hot today, catching some bombers on a small chrome Jerry Jig (which she bought at the shop in the morning)...she ended up with the biggest cabezon (a 13 pounder) and the biggest lingcod (a 15 pounder). Way to go, Shannon! Can't wait for the pictures.
Tuesday, July 18 - Another fun day with the kids from the San Mateo Policy Activity League. Top fish honors today went to Tierra, a very cute kid of few words who sported a huge smile when she was awarded the trophy for the biggest fish and quietly gave Capt. Bob a "thank you". Moments like that are why he loves this business.
Monday, July 17 - The kids from the San Mateo Police Activity League were awesome again, landing limits of rockfish along with 9 lingcod to 16 pounds.
Sunday, July 16 - Pretty good sized swell kept the lingcod tucked in their caves, but we ended the day with limits of rockfish along with a few of those lingcod who came out and played.
Saturday, July 15 - Rockcod charter in the morning caught limits with a few lings. The afternoon trip went on the hunt for salmon but didn't find a thing....
Friday, July 14 - Our afternoon trip had high hopes after yesterday's score. But, just as salmon fishing has been all this season, it continued to be "consistantly inconsistant." Capt. Randy took our group out to the promised land and they made the best of their efforts. The good news is they landed every fish they hooked. The bad new is that there were only five bites. One of those was a silver which had to be released, but the other fish that were landed were all big sluggos up to 25 pounds. That's salmon fishing....
Thursday, July 13 - 10:00 a.m. update: Our private 10 person charter already has landed a fish per rod, 10 salmon for 10 anglers, with only one shaker and only one silver having been released. Plus the fish are only about six miles from the harbor. Bodes real well for our afternoon trips tomorrow and Saturday...still room on Friday's trip but Saturday is almost full. If you'd like a spot, be sure to give us a call. 2:00 p.m. update: They pulled the plug and ended the day with a darn good score of 17 salmon up to 20 pounds. Capt. Bob said they were a great group of guys who enjoyed their trip and he thoroughly enjoyed having them onboard.
Wednesday, July 12 - Happy Birthday Harry! It sounds like the gang today had way too much fun. Fishing was so good no one would even take a break to cut Harry's birthday cake, but heard it was a sight to be seen when the party hats were handed out and worn. They started the day fishing deeper water, but Bob didn't like the quality of the fish, so he headed into shallower water and settled in fishing around 60 feet. As the score shows, they had a great day, with limits of rockfish for everyone onboard including a good score of 23 cabezon to an impressive 12 pounds...that's a real nice size cabezon Ernie...and 16 lingcod to 23 pounds. I could sure use a good picture or two of some of these nice rockfish to post on our website, so...if you have a good picture of a fish or two you caught this year on the Queen of Hearts, email a copy to me with a few details! Several of the lings were in the high teens and three hit the 20 pound plus mark. What was the hot lure? Well, as usual, a spattering of various things: 4 ounce chrome bars, squid, some of the big sardines we have for sale in the shop, and chartreuse (bright green) was pretty hot today. On the salmon front, got a report that the fish are back at Pedro Point...a lot of shakers and silvers to wade through, but there are enough keepers mixed in for folks salmon fishing to have the chance of bringing home a limit. We have a few spots left on Friday for our 7:00 a.m. rockfishing trip and a couple handfuls of spots still available for the afternoon salmon trip departing at 3:15.
Monday, July 10 - Today was our first trip of the summer with the kids from the San Mateo Police Activity League. The kids showed how it's done and kept the fish coming over the rail, like they usually do, to fill their sacks with limits of rockfish for everyone onboard.
Sunday, July 9 - They had to work a little harder at it today fishing off of New Years but still ended the day with limits of rockfish, as in 290 rockfish (well, to be exact, 284 rockfish and 6 cabezon), and 10 lings to 12 pounds. Not too bad for a "tough" day, huh?! Another schedule change: We are now open on both Saturday and Sunday, April 22 and 23 for SWLT rockfishing.
Saturday, July 8 - Rockcod in the morning, salmon in the afternoon... Just another typical shallow water rockfishing trip in the morning: 264 rockcod plus 15 cabezon to an impressive 10 pounds, and add to that 16 lingcod to 17 pounds for 31 anglers. That's why I love our rockfishing trips so much!! And then, in the afternoon trip, Bob and Randy played the tag team game and Randy took 16 anglers out hunting for salmon. They fished between the C Buoy and Mussel Rock and did better in the afternoon than the morning trips landing six salmon with a bonus 15 pound thresher shark, along with a few salmon that won their way to freedom and a few more we had to throw back because they were the wrong kind. Thresher sharks are known for swatting their prey with their tail before they come back to munch it down...but this thresher didn't count on a hook inside its prey. The hunter quickly became the hunted, ending up getting hooked by the tail and dragged in backwards.
Friday, July 7 - Private charter today easily landed limits of quality rockfish as well as limits of lingcod. The kids slayed the fish today, with pre-teen Makela taking top honors with her 13 pound lingcod. You go girl! Rockfishing is outstanding, and the salmon have hit the beach in Pacific and the bite is fast and furious. We still have a few spot available for our afternoon trip on Saturday...interested? Give us a call!
Thursday, July 6 - Our private six person charter was planning on going salmon fishing. Only problem was Mother Nature decided to kick up her heals a bit and made for some pretty downright rotten conditions for trolling. They toughed it out and gave it a go for about an hour. With such a light load, Bob gave them the option of switching over to rockfishing. So they changed their gear, headed to the closest rockfish spot, and almost instantly started pulling up rockfish two at a time, along with one bonus lingcod. In no time at all, everyone onboard had a limit of rockfish to take home and were back at the dock in time for lunch to replace some of the food they fed to the fish earlier...if you know what I mean. But today's gang were troopers; they ended up having a great time and are already planning their next trip.
Tuesday, July 4 - Good fishing...limits of rockfish and over 20 lings...heard everyone had a lot of fun.
Monday, July 3 - Good fishing...limits of rockfish and some lings....
Sunday, July 2 - Easy limits of rockfish in the morning...plus we ran an afternoon salmon trip: good fishing with mostly first time salmon fishermen...lost a bunch, landed 10 to 16 pounds....
Saturday, July 1 - Rockcod opening day...just like we expected...limits of rockfish, over 25 lingcod plus a couple handfuls of cabezon....
Wednesday, June 28 - The fish gods were shining on the beginners today. They had the hot sticks. Unfortunately they learned some of the lessons of salmon fishing the hard way...like wrapping the leader around the sinker release (lost four out of the first seven fish that way); we started out landing 0 for 9 and hooked almost 30 fish in order to land the 12 that made it onboard. Capt. Bob said these were all lunkers, with half the fish in the 20 pound plus class and the rest in the teens. Heard the biggest fish on the boat, a nice 30 pounder, was landed by a woman who was on her first salmon fishing trip, and the second biggest, a 28 pound whopper, was landed by a boy who wasn't much bigger than the fish he caught! Hot lure today was the blue "Lucky Dog" lure...yes, we sell them in our shop...the gentlemen who finally put it on his line mid-morning after having no luck ended up landing three fish...his limit plus a really good size Spanish Mackerel.
Tuesday, June 27 - We couldn't get bit to save our lives today. Just one of those days. Some days you've got it, and some days you don't. Today we didn't. There were fish to be caught, but they just snubbed their noses at us. As Scarlett would say, tomorrow's another day. Still ended up with a nice 24 pounder to take top prize.
Monday, June 26 - Our group of Fishing Fools gave it their all today and were rewarded by taking home limits, landing eight fish for their group of four to 20 pounds. We have finally put our schedule together for afternoon trips during July. Our first afternoon trip is scheduled for this Sunday, July 2 for salmon fishing. The trips will leave at approximately 3:15 p.m. and return around 8:30 p.m.; since they're a little less time than the morning trips, they cost a little less...afternoon trips are $5.00 off our morning trip price. Click on our
schedule webpage to see the trips currently scheduled for the next month.
Friday, June 23 - Limits of big fish again today! Don't have all the details about the day, but it sounds like fishing was good. Bob checked in briefly mid-morning saying they only needed eight more for limits, and they were back to the dock before 2:30 (could have been much earlier...I haven't had a chance to get all the scoop). Big fish today tipped the scales at 25 pounds. We are booked through Monday, but are available Tuesday through Friday next week. This is the best salmon fishing we have had so far this year. If you can join us, make sure to get in touch with us so we can save a spot for you!
Thursday, June 22 - Hallelujah!...Limits! With a group of mostly first-timers and no one with their own gear, thankfully the fish were very cooperative and foregiving. The bite was consistent and, even though the gang lost their share and could have been heading back much earlier, they put the last fish in the box for limits by around 1:00. Not bad for their first salmon fishing experience. Nice big fish, nice weather, nice and close to home, fishing the Deep Reef area. It's about time!
Wednesday, June 21 - It's definitely a morning bite. Fast and furious action. Lots of big fish busting their way to freedom. Bob said if we could have got half the fish that were lost we would have easily had over 30 fish. We still did well, landing 23 salmon for 18 anglers to 18 pounds. The salmon have found their way back to our neck of the woods up and down the Deep Reef area only about 10 miles from the harbor. Thank goodness. And welcome back to Heather! Now that we have two deckhands ready for battle, it's time to start scheduling afternoon trips! We're in the process of putting our schedule together and should have it figured out in the next few days.
Tuesday, June 20 - The weather forecast thankfully is a little deceiving...there's a decent size swell but it's far enough apart that it's not bad and the winds held off to make for a downright comfortable day. The fish were biting, especially in the morning. And, as is the case way too often anymore, a lot of the big bruisers won their way to freedom, with probably close to as many fish lost as were landed. We ended up with one fish over a fish per rod with 16 salmon landed for 15 anglers to 15 pounds. Still room available for our trip tomorrow on Wednesday; come on down and check in at our shop in the morning if you'd like to join us. Doors open at 5:00 a.m.; check in no later than 5:30. Look for the BIG yellow "TICKET OFFICE" sign and Half Moon Bay Sportfishing. Almost forgot to mention: we have new items in the shop...including Avet reels, and Calstar and Shakespeare rods! Just in time for SWLT rockfishing...only 10 days away!
Monday, June 19 - We haven't been out due to the rotten weather forecasted the last several days, but we're going to give it a try tomorrow on Tuesday. We still have room available so just come on down in the morning if you're interested...just look for the BIG yellow "TICKET OFFICE" sign. Doors will be open by 5:00 a.m.; check in no later than 5:30. The fish were big and not too far away recently so we're keeping our fingers crossed.
Thursday, June 15 - We more or less ended up with a private charter by default today. All eight people onboard knew each other, and only a couple wanted to fish, the rest just came along to be part of the action. And action they had. They ended up landing six salmon to 30 pounds, and with a building sea and the wind starting to howl they gave us the signal to head back in before noon. Even though the weather on land is supposed to be downright gorgeous, it looks like the wind is going to blow for a while on the ocean knocking us off the water until it calms down. We'll have to take it day by day to see when Mother Nature will let us put our lines back in the water.
Wednesday, June 14...afternoon update: The best fishing we've had in our own backyard so far this season! Yahoo!! Fishing only about 11 miles from the harbor, Capt. Joe aka "Hooch" finished the day with 31 salmon in the box for our 22 anglers today. Hooch is taking over the helm for Bob this week so Bob can attend another round of federal fish and game (PFMC) meetings (you have no idea the battles that take place behind the scenes so we can have the opportunity to fish.) Anyway, Hooch laid them away today and said there were a lot of big fish, with two fish tipping the scales at 27 pounds, 3 more that came in at 25 pounds, and another 2 over 20 pounds. All the rest were all over 10 pounds. And it looks like there are also a lot of fish with fish being caught up and down the reef for about a four mile stretch. Tie a lasso onto those fish, Hooch! If you'd like to join us tomorrow, we have plenty of room (there's only 10 lucky people on the books right now). Just come on down in the morning and check in at our shop, Half Moon Bay Sportfishing (look for the BIG yellow TICKET OFFICE sign), between 5:00 when we open the doors to no later than 5:30.
Wednesday, June 14 - First of all, please accept my apology for the lack of updates recently. Without going into detail, the old "too much to do and not enough time to do it all" theory is in high gear this month. Our daughter's graduating high school this weekend and starting college next week (yep, she's THAT old already!), so I'll do what I can with updates but ask your foregiveness and patience until things calm down just a tad if I continue to fall behind. My lack of reports has absolutely nothing to do with the fishing. Matter of fact, we've had some good trips this month mixed in with some not so great trips. The northwest winds have been blowing steadily and hopefully will win over a screaming northern bound current that has been pushing the salmon northward. We're seeing good signs, so now it's up to the salmon to cooperate. Deckhand update: Heather's leg is healed and the doc says she can hit the water. We haven't set the schedule yet, but looks like we'll be able to offer weekend afternoon trips once the rockfishing season opens on July 1st since we can now tag team our deckhand duo of Heather and Jimmy (who, by the way, has been a great addition to our team this season). More info to come as soon as we put it together.
Monday and Tuesday, June 12 and 13 - Off for the scheduled two-day season closure. Why these two days? I don't have a clue. But it is only for these two days and we're back to normal the rest of the month. There's another two-day salmon season closure next month in July, but thank goodness the rockfishing season will be open by then.
Sunday, June 11 - The weather laid down enough to be able to make the run up north, and we found lots of action. Final score for the day shows 23 salmon for 16 anglers, but there were a whole bunch more fish that were lost or fish that we had to give back because they were under the 20 inch minimum or the wrong species. Heard the fish started biting again at the Deep Reef, so all this wind may just be paying off. We'll be checking it out this coming week.
Tuesday, May 30 - They're biting again! Back at the Deep Reef, about 12 miles from our harbor, Capt. Bob reported in before noon that they should have already had limits but they've been busting off some big fish. It took another hour before they finally put the last fish in, but they paddled home with heads held high and limits in the box.
Monday, May 29 - A good day of fishing with a couple of fish over a fish per rod with 17 salmon caught for 15 anglers. The weather was still pretty darn bouncy, but the forecast is calling for things to settle down a tad during this coming week. It was a long run north, but there was loads and loads of bait and the area looks promising. Sounds like there is fish back in our neck of the woods, too, so we'll give that a try for tomorrow.
Sunday, May 28 - We wanted to head north but we just couldn't beat up our group that bad. We fished from outside the PP Buoy down the line and landed a couple and shook a couple. Nothing to write home about; sounds like scores were down pretty much for most of the local fleet. Scores should come up as the weather lays down; good chance for good fishing this coming week.
Saturday, May 27 - Based on the wind we saw yesterday and the forecast, we cancelled the trip for today. Wise choice...it was blowing.
Friday, May 26 - We gave it the old college try. We were out the breakwater at daybreak, made it to the PP Buoy, put the lines in the water, but there was just too much wind. Capt. Bob pulled the plug and back to the dock we came. These winds are a double-edge sword...they are exactly what we need to stir things up and get the fish biting, only problem is they are hard to judge. If they back off just a tad, we're fishing; blow a little too much, plan on doing something else 'cause we'll be tied to the dock. We'll keep a close eye on the forecast for the next few days and will be in touch if we don't think the winds will cooperate. Luckily there's not a big swell, so it won't take much for things to calm down once the winds back off a little.
Thursday, May 25 - We cancelled out yesterday afternoon for today's trip so Bob could attend a DFG conference call in Menlo Park before next month's PFMC meeting, plus the winds looked like they were going to blow pretty good (and they did). The forecast is calling for the wind to calm down sometime the next few days; we'll just have to keep a close eye to see when it's going to break.
Wednesday, May 26 - Absolutely flat calm gorgeous weather, easily the nicest day of the entire year so far. Bob says he could see schools of bait on the surface and watched the salmon slicing through munching away, but we couldn't get them to bite, ending up with just two fish in the box by day's end.
Tuesday, May 23 - Capt. Bob has been eyeballing a spot close to the harbor over the past week and today seemed like a good day to give it a try. Put the lines in the water, and, how about that, fish on. At last contact a little after 10:00 the private charter of 10 guys had six fish in the box, lost a couple, shook a couple, and hooked one as we were talking. Doesn't sound wide open, but we'll take it...nice thing is Bob says he's so close he could paddle home if he had to.
Monday, May 22 - Capt. Randy took over for Bob to give him a chance to get an achy tooth checked out. As always, Randy gave it his all trying to find some cooperative fish. They ended up fishing just below the Farallons and finished the day with one fish shy of a fish per rod, five fish for six guys to...I think I heard...20 pounds.
Sunday, May 21 - You know those times where you go to the wrong line in the grocery store and no matter what you do it won't be the right decision? Well, it was that kinda day for us. The weather was rotten in the morning, which didn't give too many options on where to head. We found one fish early on, but that was it for the day. Later in the day there was a report of a good bite north...17 miles north...a little too far with not enough time to do anything about it. Just not in the cards for us.
Saturday, May 20 - It was a limits-type-of-fishing kind of day, just not limits-catching. Lots and lots and lots of chances, unfortunately with a lot of fish winning the battles. Sometimes it's a difficult concept to think you have to loosen the drag on the reel when you're having trouble getting the fish to the boat. But you've kinda got to think about it like you would with setting the tension of your bindings for skiing. Set it too tight and the wrong thing is going to give. Set it properly so it holds just enough but gives when it needs to. Problem with salmon is they have real soft mouths. Yank on a hooked salmon and good possibility the hook will rip out. Likewise, set the drag too tight and something's going to give, usually, again, like ripping the hook out. Key to getting salmon in the boat: keep the rod tip up with the line straight in front of you and just reel...and listen to the crew. If the fish runs, great, let it. Don't try to stop it by putting your thumb on the spool or tightening the drag. Sure, there are many ways of loosing a fish, but that, without a doubt, is reason numero uno.
Friday, May 19 - Time to check out the waters below the harbor. They found good bait and the humpbacks feeding, and there were fish to be caught, too. But we were snakebit almost all morning. By 11:00 we only have four fish in the box and Bob was losing hair rapidly from pulling it out trying to figure why we weren't getting bit. He decided it was time to make a move and told everyone this was a good time to take a break, have a bite to eat, etc. That's when it was discovered: a banana!! No wonder we couldn't catch anything! You see, there is a superstitution on fishing boats in our area that a banana on a boat is bad luck. Well, they got rid of that thing, and the next time they put the lines in the water, it wasn't long before, you guessed it, fish on. They ended up tripling their score before they pulled the plug, ending the day with 12 salmon for a private charter of 11 guys.
Thursday, May 18 - These darn fish just don't want to stay in one spot very long, so the fleet was back on the hunt today. A lot of territory was covered, but there was not much happening anywhere. We ended up being one of the lucky boats to get out of the single digit scores, landing 10 salmon to 13 pounds for our 18 anglers. There's still more uncharted territory we plan on checking out tomorrow. You just never know what you're going to get salmon fishing until you put the lines in the water.
Wednesday, May 17 - There were a couple of good spurts of fishing during the day and a number of big bruisers that made their way to freedom during the heat of the battle. A day that could have probably ended up with about a fish and a half per rod ended up with 12 fish in the box for our 15 anglers with the biggest salmon tipping the scales at 20 pounds. Capt. Bob said the area is not as fishy looking as it's been so it is probably time to make a move.
Tuesday, May 16 - Biggest fish of the season caught so far this year on the Queen of Hearts: a 32 pound monster! The lucky angler was Mike Casentini. They say third time is the charm. Well, it sure was for Mike. This was his third trip out this month, and came in batting 0 for 2. Bases loaded, and he drilled one. The rest of the gang today followed suit, with everyone onboard landing at least one fish and ending just two shy of limits for the day. Best part was we're back in more or less our own neck of the woods at the Deep Reef area again.
Monday, May 15 - Our Fishing Fools group finally are able to get their lines in the water and reel in some fish. We're back at the N Buoy area with the majority of the fleet as it seems the most consistent bite. Sounded like the action was fast and furious from the way Capt. Bob was huffing and puffing during a brief phone call. They had limits before noon and we threw in a couple of fish for the crew, too. Heather, one of our crewmembers who has been recuperating from a broken leg during the offseason, joined the group, too, with rod in hand instead of a net. Heather was rightfully getting razed all morning because the guys were waxing her beehind, but she had the last laugh by catching the last fish of the day which just happened to end up being the biggest fish, too.
Sunday, May 14 - With much better conditions today, it took the first part of the morning for our group of mostly first-timers to catch on to this thing calling salmon fishing, but once they did it was time to get down to business and put fish in the box. They ended the day knowing a lot more about the sport and with a darn good score of better than a fish per rod, 23 salmon for 20 anglers to 15 pounds. One of the guys in the morning when I was checking them in asked me what he could buy to help out his chances. I told him I'd heard the watermelon Apex had been hot. Wanna know what caught the jackpot fish? You guessed it, a watermelon Apex. There are times the lures work well, and then there are times you couldn't buy a fish using one. That's where the crew comes in. They want you to catch fish, and will always recommend what's working best. There are times to stick with bait and there are times to break out the junk. The crew's on the water day in and day out; you usually won't go wrong taking their advice.
Saturday, May 13 - Mother Nature wasn't nice again today and put a hurt on both the catchin and the fishin. Yep, it was another rough day on the briny blue. That knocked the scores back down in the single digits, with only four salmon landed for our hopeful and enthusiastic group who usually luck out with cooperative fish. It just wasn't in the cards for today. What these guys lacked in fish, though, they made up with in livations, so hopefully most of them still enjoyed themselves.
Friday, May 12 - Same weather forecast today as it's been all week, but it was a different ocean today, unfortunately almost night and day from yesterday. It wasn't flat out terrible, but it wasn't very nice either. Sometimes there's just no figuring what the weather on the water will do from day to day. Thankfully the forecast is calling for things to calm down over the next few days. Regardless of the weather, the fish were biting first thing in the morning. We had to wade through a good number of shakers (fish smaller than the 20 inch minimum size limit), but we ended up with a decent score of a fish and a half per rod with 12 fish in the box for our eight anglers to 12 pounds fishing between Montara and Pedro Point, nice and close to home. Rockcod update: Our weekends in July and August are already getting booked up...we only have two open weekends in each month (but there's still lots of weekdays available). If you'd like to join the one and only Queen of Hearts on a weekend rockcod trip during the summer, now's the time to call and save your spot! (Not a sales pitch, just the truth.) We'll hope to add some afternoon trips if we can gets the stars to align properly. We had some great afternoon trips last year and expect nothing less than the same this year.
Thursday, May 11 - Capt. Bob just called a little after 2:00. They got 'em. Limits. 30 salmon for 15 anglers to 17 pounds landed and a whole bunch that swam their way to freedom. Good fishing. Good weather. Time to go fishing!
Wednesday, May 10 - The weather forecast has been wrong!! It was an absolutely beautiful day on the ocean even though you wouldn't think it was possible by listening to the forecast. But the winds that were forecast are staying offshore, and it looks like we are in good shape weatherwise at least through the weekend as long as conditions remain the same. The salmon have gotten closer to our neck of the woods, camping out between Montara and Pedro Point, just a short run above our harbor. There are plenty of fish and limits are definitely a possibility. It happened for a lot of boats today, but we just couldn't get it going. We ended up with a respectable score of 19 salmon for our 22 anglers, but it easily should have been closer to 30 fish if we could have hung on to a few more.
Monday, May 8 - Our Fishing Fool group was eager to get their first trip in for the 2006 season, but the ocean had other ideas. The winds that had been holding off the past couple of mornings were blowing right off the bat today. They headed out and tried to head back up to Pedro were we had good fishing yesterday, but it was just a little too rough for our group of retired gentlemen, so they pulled their tails between their legs and headed home to try again next week. The winds are forecast to continue out of the northwest for the next couple of days. That's exactly what we need for the salmon to venture into our local waters. We'll just have to take it day by day to see if the winds will hold off long enough in the morning for us to be able to make it out and put some fish in the box. Should be some real good fishing in store for us.
Sunday, May 7 - The forecast sounded pretty rotten, but it actually turned out to be a pretty darn decent day, both weatherwise and fishingwise. Sometimes you just can't tell what you're going to get until we give it a try. On the way up the line, Bob stopped on a spot off Pedro Point, nice and close to home, and started catching fish. With the winds now coming in from the northwest, this has a lot of potential for coming days. As it was, it sounds like it was the hotspot for the fleet for the day, too. We ended up landing just three fish shy of limits, 27 salmon for 15 anglers to 17 pounds.
Saturday, May 6 - Calling today bouncy was a major understatement. It was so rough that even Capt. Bob said he was still rocking when he got home. Our gang today hung in there the best they could, though, and were rewarded with 11 salmon in the box for their group of 20, with probably another dozen or so lost just because they bounced off the hook.
Friday, May 5 - It's been a loooong time since we've been able to say this: Limits! It wasn't easy, but the fish were forgiving and kept coming even though we'd probably lose one fish for every one that was landed. The fish were chomping, and they'd get three, four, even five on at a time. Bob's plan was to head north back to the N Buoy bite, but he was able to stop short at the Channel Buoys where they hooked fish from bow to stern trolling straight bait. It's a mixed grade of fish, with just a few shakers along with some huskier fish that tended to win the fight for their freedom.
Thursday, May 4 - We had to give the spot off Pescadero one more chance to see what it would produce. If turned out that if you only needed a couple of fish, it was a fine choice. Only problem was we needed 28 fish, not just a couple. But unfortunately that's all we could find, just a couple, as in two. Time to look for greener pastures.
Wednesday, May 3 - There are fish north and there are fish south. Yesterday we went north. Today we headed south. Sounded like there may have been a little more of a snap so we had to give it a try. The action wasn't red hot, but it wasn't bad either; we probably could have had a fish per rod if we landed a few more of the fish that got away. Good day fishing, just not a good day catching.
Tuesday, May 2 - Boy it sure feels good to actually be able to go where we want and need to go to find some fish. The weather is finally calming down, and by 9:30 this morning we finally had our first decent fish of the season when Rex landed a 23 pounder. We ended the day just one fish shy of limits, but we hooked more than enough that we should easily have had them. Looks like we're back in business. Yee haw.
Monday, May 1 - The government finally gave us the green light to fish in federal waters, but the weather gods had other things in mind today. It was blowing offshore along with a nasty swell. Made it darn near impossible to try the area where we thought the fish were hiding. Bob found one spot with tons of bait, but nobody home. The weather is supposed to calm down tomorrow and looks real good through the five day forecast period. One day does not a season make; tomorrow's another day.
Saturday, April 29 - Our group from BOJ Construction were troopers. The weather was fishable, but that wasn't saying much. We caught our two token state water fish but that was about it. We're all chomping at the bit for Monday to be able to really get down to business.
Friday, April 28 - It's official! The Secretary of Commerce FINALLY signed his approval to the 2006 salmon season. As of this Monday, May 1st, we're back to business as normal. Thank goodness! There are fish to be caught in the state waters that we've been restricted to this month (this past Monday 19 salmon for 12 guys were caught at the spot Bob found the day before), but it will definitely make finding a lot easier when we can fish where we want starting this Monday. The approved regulations call for a more or less normal season for the recreational anglers like ourselves in our area. All we lose is a Monday and Tuesday in June and a Monday and Tuesday in July. The sun is shining, the fish gods are shining, let's go fishing! I've updated our schedule through the beginning of July; weekends are pretty well booked, but weekdays still have openings.
Sunday, April 23 - Capt. Bob found the salmon, but they were unforgiving for our group of mostly first-time salmon fishermen. Tangles and lost opportunities resulted in only two out of 10 fish making it in the box. The fish came in spurts, and as fast as they'd come and one would get off the hook, the rest would follow the leader back down. There are fish there, though, so we hope we'll get another crack at them soon.
Friday, April 21 - Some good news for a change: Heard a rumor that some salmon were found not too far south of our harbor within the three mile limit. Weather forecast looks real good for Sunday, so we're going to give it a try. We still have room available, so if you're itching to go fishing, give us a call and come on out.
Monday, April 17 - No trips for the past 10 days due some pretty rotten weather on the ocean coupled with not much interest with April's three mile restriction. Only good news is that there is a pretty stiff northwest wind forecast for the next five days. We'll be knocked off the water for a while, but northwest winds bring up bait and fish, so it will be interesting to see what we'll find when we finally get back on the water. We are available both days this weekend, weather permitting.
So what's the current status of the salmon season? The Pacific Fishery Management Council ("PFMC") announced last week that it approved DRAFT recommendations that our area be allowed to fish all waters beginning May 1 with the exception of two days in June and two days in July. The notice is at
The actual recommendations for the recreational fleet is located at http://www.pcouncil.org/salmon/salpreIII06/Pre_III_TABLE_2_041006_1300.pdf.
Our primary territory is "Point Arena to Pigeon Point." All we need is final approval from the National Marine Fisheries Service ("NMFS"). According to the info on the PFMC's website, the PFMC and NMFS staff is currently in the process of completing the required documents for submission and the adopted recommendations should be distributed on April 21 with NMFS implementing the regulations May 1. So, we're almost there, it's just a matter of crossing the final T and dotting the last I. If things go through, and it looks like they will, we're fishing within state waters through April and get to fish all waters beginning May 1.
Saturday, April 8 - Capt. Bob got back from the meetings, ready to get back to what he was born to do: take folks fishing. Unfortunately, the boat had other ideas. He started her up but no water came out of the port engine. You ever wonder why the water comes out of the back of the boat? Well, that's what keeps the engine cool. No water, shut down the engine pronto. No big deal, except that it would take several hours for Bob to tear things apart to get all the parts and pieces from a bad impeller removed and put things back together after installing a new impeller. We had another great group of folks who understood that a boat is a machine and even the best maintained machine will occasionally have a part go out. We sent them on their way with a smile and a handshake hopefully to give it a try again soon. Bob spent the better part of the day on the boat, but in the engine room instead of behind the wheel, not quite what he was hoping for.
Friday, April 7 - Sacramento meetings update: There were champagne corks popping last night. Sounded like we'd get our season. Today the hangover set in. A wrench was thrown in the works by the California Fish and Game Commission that may blow the whole deal. The PFMC's decision is now supposed to be posted by close of business on Tuesday, April 11 at http://www.pcouncil.org/decisions/currentdec.html. Last I heard around noon was that we are more than likely going to have to remain in a holding pattern until May, restricted to state waters pending further discussions. What a roller coaster. I have to confirm a couple of reports we're hearing, because, if they are true, we may really need to put some heavy pressure on in the next month to stop some absolute insanity. We can't give up, give in, or count our chickens too fast. It ain't over. Fortunately and unfortunately. On the fishing front, no cell phone on the boat so I don't have today's report yet. Looking at the weather forecast for the weekend, it looks like the weather will be decent, although maybe a little wet, with a 6 to 8 foot swell and winds of 5 to 15 knots. We have room available both days if you'd like to give it a shot.
Thursday, April 6 - The weather finally cooperated. Real nice day from what I heard. Too bad the fish didn't cooperate. We had one bite, just one, and that was it. But, as Scarlett said, tomorrow's another day. The forecast is calling for only a 4 to 5 foot swell every 16 seconds, almost unfathomable, except there's supposed to be a pretty stiff blow along with it. Our gang for tomorrow are all enthusiastic souls and said they'll be there with bells on; I sure hope they are rewarded for it and have a good day. If you'd like to join us, we do still have enough room that there's no problem just showing up in the morning. Check in at our shop, Half Moon Bay Sportfishing and Tackle (look for the BIG yellow TICKET OFFICE sign), between 5 and no later than 5:30. We are trolling, burning fuel and trying to find where the fish are hiding in the waters that are at our avail. Sacramento update: final word is supposed to come down tomorrow; rumors sound unbelieveably encouraging, but it ain't over until the fat lady sings. Hope she sings the right notes.
Wednesday, April 5 - The ocean forecast looks pretty darn good for tomorrow on Thursday so it's time to get back out on the water and see if we can find a few more salmon. If you're wondering about the roads to the harbor, take Highway 92 west to Highway 1 north. Once you reach Highway 1, turn right. The harbor is about four miles north of 92. There is no problem driving in on Highway 92 in the morning (all the traffic is trying to get out of Half Moon Bay), and once the morning commute is over, there is no problem leaving. The area where Highway 1 is closed is about three miles north of the harbor. For those who would have normally come down Highway 1, figure on adding about 15 to 20 minutes to your driving time to come in on the Highway 92 route. The meetings are still ongoing in Sacramento to decide the fate of this year's salmon season; the proposed recommendation should be announced Thursday. Keep your fingers (and toes and legs and arms) crossed.
Sunday, April 2 - Bob turned the helm over to Capt. Randy so Bob could drive up to Sacramento and begin the weeklong schedule of federal fishery management meetings, with the first meeting slated for that afternoon. We were hoping we'd have a bit of a bite first thing with the morning tide, but the birds and bait never came up like they did on Saturday. We had another great gang of anglers onboard and they never threw in the towel. Randy gave it his all as usual, and they ended up hooking four fish, two of which were landed and the other two spitting the hook before they could find their way to the net. Weather permitting, we plan on running Wednesday through Sunday this coming week. Friday's almost full and Saturday is currently booked, but we have lots of room still left on Sunday due to a change with a charter. Just like the lottery, you can't win if you don't play...and you can't catch a salmon unless you give it a try. And we might not have too many chances to try the way it's looking with the possibility of the season being closed. We'll post any news as soon as we receive it.
Saturday, April 1 - Dang it's nice to finally get back fishing! Capt. Bob saw some good signs off of Montara when he went whale watching a week ago so he knew exactly where he was going to start the season. He put the lines in the water just outside the PP buoy. Just a little after 7:15 Bob called and said we had one on the hook. Unfortunately, though, it fought it's way to freedom just a split second before it was in net range. They trolled back and forth between Montara and the PP, ending up with two salmon in the box, two more that got away and one "hit and run" (a fish that hit the bait, dropped the weight and got away before they even had a chance to get the rod out of the holder). We had a great group of folks on the boat who worked their gear all day long and thoroughly enjoyed the their time on the water. After all, that's what it's all about.
Wednesday, March 28 - Saturday's the day! Let's go fishing! The ocean forecast looks pretty decent...winds 5 to 15 knots with 6 to 8 foot swells. There's still talk of a possibility of showers, so rain gear's probably a good idea, but with that kind of forecast we're definitely going fishing. Not sure exactly which way Capt. Bob plans on heading. We can travel as far north or as far south as we want, we just can't fish further than three miles from the coastline. Bob was whale watching at Montara last weekend and saw some conditions that looked "fishy," but there's a lot of territory to our south towards Pigeon Point that might hold some fish, too. And then there's the Farallon Islands. The Islands belong to the state, so the same regulations go for water around the Islands: we can fish within a three mile radius of the Islands. If you want to see the actual three miles "lines" along the coast and around the Islands, check out the chart we have in the window at our shop (NOAA chart #18680). It makes more sense (at least for me) when I look at it. Everyone keeps asking if there's any new news about the season. Nope. Don't expect any, either, until the PFMC meetings take place next week. Don't worry, I will post any updates as soon as I receive them. In the meantime, all we know we will be able to fish until at least April 17. Why? Because the state has to give 10 days notice to any unscheduled season closure. Ten days from April 7, D-Day for their decision, is April 17th. We are full for this Saturday but have one spot left for Sunday, and still plenty of room for most days during the upcoming week.
Thursday, March 16 - Break your fishing gear back out...we will be salmon fishing starting on April 1. What? How? Why? Well, the California Department of Fish and Game has announced that the season will open as was originally scheduled in state waters (from the coast to three miles offshore) on April 1 pending the PFMC's D-Day decision that will take place on Friday, April 7. The State's official notice is at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/news/news06/06027.html. How long will the season in state waters stay open? Right now, your guess is as good as mine. In their notice, the State points out, "The Commission may consider an in-season emergency closing of the Central California sport fisheries to conform with federal action during its upcoming meeting April 7 in Monterey." Sounds like the State is waiting for the Fed's April 7th decision, so at this point we're open until we're closed. Let's go fishing!
Time to spool up your reels with new line. Come by our shop and pick up a new spool of Izorline, the only line we use on all of our personal and all of our boat rods, at our pre-season 25% off sale!. For the remainder of March, the shop is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
Monday, March 13 - The PFMC posted their 2006 salmon season options: http://www.pcouncil.org/salmon/salcurr.html#2006. The areas that affect Half Moon Bay are "Point Arena to Pigeon Point" (listed on page 14 of the report) and "Pigeon Point to Point Sur" (page 15). These are the options they will use as their guidelines to make their decision at their meeting in Sacramento that ends on April 7.
Friday, March 10 - Bob has been at the Pacific Fisheries Management Council ("PFMC") meeting in Seattle all week involved in both the rockfish and salmon management plans. The PFMC is the top-dog in our coast fishery management (the fishing feds), and I highly recommend you check out their website at http://www.pcouncil.org. Not much happened this week on the rockcod side, but there's a whole bunch happening in the salmon world.
You will be hearing rumors fly around like crazy. We have to take one thing at a time at this point, but when and if we'll have a salmon season for 2006 is definitely up in the air. On Friday, the PFMC cancelled the opening of the recreational salmon season IN FEDERAL WATERS (more than three miles offshore) in our area. Their official notice that includes the basis for this decision is available at http://www.pcouncil.org/newsreleases/pr031306_sal.pdf We will not know much more info until after the PFMC concludes its next meeting on Friday, April 7. Last we knew, they had left themselves an "out" that would allow them to open the season IN FEDERAL WATERS mid-April, but I need to verify that. If you are already on the books with reservations or charters, rest assured that we will notify you as quickly as possible once we verify changes that may need to take place.
Sunday, February 26 - We were scheduled to run a trip in search of some Humbolt squid but, based on what we saw on the ocean yesterday coupled with the forecast, we pulled the plug and cancelled the trip. We'll watch the weather and give it another go when it looks like we'll have a shot of making it offshore.
Saturday, February 25 - We went on our first whale watching trip of the season. Up until today, it sounded like the whale sightings were few and far between. Maybe they were just waiting for us. Bob found a good spot early in the trip and they were able to follow a large group of whales just about the entire trip. The ocean was fine, but it is definitely building.
Tuesday, February 22 - We finally escaped from the boatyard. As always, Bob keeps the Queen of Hearts in tip top condition both above and below deck. Most of what we did in the boatyard this year won't be things you'll be able to see, but, when you're venturing on a boat out into the ocean, they are the things that matter the most (that a lot of folks don't even think about). Bob cruised back to the harbor with a smile on his face, glad to be back where he belongs. Weather permitting, it's time to start putting together some trips for whale watching and some trips to catch some of the huge squid that hang out deep offshore.
January 16 - Unfortunately not much to report. We've been in the boatyard taking care of annual maintenance (which is taking forever!) and hope to be back in the water maybe towards the end of the month. When we finally do make it back to the harbor, we'll be offering whale watching trips on the weekends (private charters also welcome on weekdays). Seems like there is quite a bit of interest in giving the giant squid trips a go, so we may give those a try, too. It's about the only game in town along the coastline since the salmon season doesn't open until April 1 and rockfishing is closed until July 1. If you'd like us to add you to our e-mail list for the squid trips, just drop us an e-mail so we can let you know when we put some trips on the schedule.
Our shop, Half Moon Bay Sportfishing and Tackle, is still open Tuesday through Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., so if you're in the area, come on by and say hi! We just added a couple of tackle items to our growing shop inventory: Tot-Um-Pole rod carriers and fishing rod car antennas. If you saw them at the San Mateo boat show and are kicking yourself for not picking one up, now you know where you can find them!
Thanks for checking in, and we'll post an update as soon as we know when The Queen will be ready to rock and roll.
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