WHOPPERS (20 lbs. and over in bold):
Tue., Sept. 30 - Andy Wong of San Francisco - 10 lb. cabezon - Pescadero
Sun., Sept. 28 - Dade Riddle of San Jose - 5 lb. vermillion - Pescadero
Sat., Sept. 27 - Joey Vanson of Santa Clara - 10 lb. cabezon - Pigeon Point
Fri., Sept. 26 - Mike Longhi of RWC - 28 lb. Humboldt Squid - SW of Farallons
Fri., Sept. 26 - Wei Loo of Sunnyvale - 4 lb. chilipepper rockcod - SW of Farallons
Tue., Sept. 23 - Chris Pappas of Yuba City - 10 lb. lingcod - Pescadero
Mon., Sept. 22 - Paul Nepomuceno of Daly City - 7 lb. cabezon - Pescadero
Sun., Sept. 21 - Dan Bailey of Spokane, WA - 9 lb. vermillion
Fri., Sept. 19 - Bernard Chan of Fremont - 6 lb. lingcod
Wed., Sept. 17 - Gabriel Bejenaru of San Carlos - 17 lb. lingcod
Sun., Sept. 14 - 15 lb. lingcod
Sat., Sept. 13 - Ben Brown of Sacramento - 16 lb. lingcod - Pescadero
Fri., Sept. 12 - Jennifer Choy of Milpitas - 15 lb. lingcod - Pescadero
Thu., Sept. 11 - Stan Wong of San Jose - 20 lb. halibut - Pescadero
Wed., Sept. 10 - Jay Choi of San Ramon - 8 lb. cabezon - Pescadero
Tue., Sept. 9 - Hao Dong Dang of Oakland - 12 lb. lingcod - Bean Hollow
Mon., Sept. 8 - Jeff Ha of Newark - 10 lb. lingcod - Pescadero
Mon., Sept. 8 - Eric Dyer of Saratoga - 7 lb. cabezon - Pescadero
Sun., Sept. 7 - Terry Cookson of Hayward - 8 lb. lingcod - Pescadero
Sat., Sept. 6 - John Cooper of San Jose - 9 lb. lingcod - New Years Island
Fri., Sept. 5 - Kathy Chu of San Francisco - 28 lb. halibut - Franklin Point
Thu., Sept. 4 - Gar Lok Woo of Tiburon - 12 lb. lingcod - Pigeon Point
Fri., Aug. 29 - Bonnie Beer of Palo Alto - 13 lb. lingcod - San Gregorio
Fri., Aug. 29 - Roger Shepard of San Jose - 8 lb. vermillion - San Gregorio
Thu., Aug. 28 - Michael Nelson of Scotts Valley - 8 lb. cabezon - Pescadero
Wed., Aug. 27 - Everett Boone of Newark - 7 lb. cabezon - Franklin
Mon., Aug. 25 - Spencer Palmer of Fremont - 8 lb. lingcod - Pescadero
Sun., Aug. 24 - Alex Gert of Campell - 8 lb. cabezon - New Years
Fri., Aug. 22 - Bev Seltzer of Los Gatos - 8 lb. vermillion - Pescadero
Thu., Aug. 21 - Kevin Lee of San Francisco - 8 lb lingcod - Pigeon Point
Wed., Aug. 20 - Vinny Commando of Santa Clara - 9 lb. lingcod - Pescadero
Tue., Aug. 19 - Roy Smart of San Ramon - 7 lb. cabezon - Pescadero
Mon., Aug. 18 - Russ Durst of Pacifica - 13 lb. cabezon - Pigeon Point
Sun., Aug. 17 - Randall Kasdorf of Scotts Valley - 10 lb. cabezon - Pesacadero
Sat., Aug. 16 - Chuck Muth of Livermore - 16 lb. lingcod - Ano Nuevo
Fri., Aug. 15 - Curtis Young of Foster City - 7 lb. vermillion - Pescadero
Thu., Aug. 14 - Kyle McBurnie of Foster City - 14 lb. lingcod - Pescadero
Wed., Aug. 13 - Mike Casentini of So.S.F. - 15 lb. lingcod - Pigeon Point
Wed., Aug. 13 - Madeline King (age 9!) of Meadow Vista - 14 lb. cabezon - Pescadero
Wed., Aug. 6 - Caesar Milan of Burlingame - 22 lb. halibut - Bean Hollow
Wed., Aug. 6 - Mike Casentini of So.S.F. - 17 lb. lingcod - Bean Hollow
Tue., July 29 - Franklin Wu of San Mateo - 29 lb. halibut - Pescadero
Sun., July 27 - David Butler of Pittsburg - 19 lb. lingcod - Pescadero
Sat., July 26 - Terri Burge of Piedmont - 10 lb. lingcod - Pescadero
Fri., July 25 - Bill Dawson of Dublin - 10 lb. lingcod - San Gregorio
Fri., July 25 - Tim Hogy of Michigan - 10 lb. lingcod - San Gregorio
Thu., July 24 - Ryan Thompson of Santa Clara - 10 lb. lingcod - Martins
Wed., July 23 - Mike Casentini of So.S.F. - 6 lb. vermillion - San Gregorio
Tue., July 22 - John Yung of San Mateo - 8 lb. lingcod - San Gregorio
Fri., July 18 - Mike Longhi - 9 lb. lingcod - San Gregorio
Thu., July 17 - Mike Casentini of So. S.F. - 9 lb. lingcod - San Gregorio
Mon., July 14 - Franklin Wu of San Mateo - 21 lb. halibut - Pescadero
Fri., July 4 - 12 lb. lingcod - Farallon Islands
Tue., July 1 - 12 lb. lingcod
Mon., June 30 - Glenn Itano of Alameda - 12 lb. lingcod on 12 lb. test
Mon., June 30 - Glenn Itano of Alameda - 10 lb. cabezon on 12 lb. test
Mon., June 30 - Rudy Martinez - 6 lb. grass cod
Sat., June 28 - Joe Menard of Castro Valley - 28 lb. lingcod - Pescadero
Sat., June 28 - Gene Coombs of San Mateo - 22 lb. lingcod - Pescadero
Sat., June 28 - Ernie Fries of Fremont - 18 lb. lingcod - Pescadero
Mon., June 23 - 12 lb. lingcod
Thu., June 19 - Bill Winder of El Granada - 10 lb. lingcod - Pigeon Point
Wed., June 18 - 8 lb. lingcod
Tue., June 17 - Mike Casentini of So. SF - 9.5 lb. cabezon - San Gregorio
Sun., June 15 - Mr. Pratap, Hayward - 10 lb. lingcod - Pescadero
Sat., June 14 - Kyle McPeake of Alameda - 9.5 lb. lingcod - Pescadero
Fri., June 13 - Bill Dawson of Sacramento - 11 lb. lingcod - Pescadero
Tue., June 3 - 6 lb. lingcod - San Gregorio
Sun., June 1 - Vincent's brother? - 12 lb. lingcod - Pescadero
Thu., May 29 - Stephen Lee of Hayward - 15 lb. lingcod - below Pigeon Point
Mon., May 26 - ?? - 12 lb. lingcod - below Pigeon Point
Sat., May 10 - Thomas Sweeting of S.F. - 9 lb. lingcod - below Pigeon Point
Sat., May 10 - ?? - 11 lb. cabezon - below Pigeon Point
Monday, December 1, 2008: The rockfishing season off our coastline is now officially closed until next year (by boat that is...rockfishing is still allowed year-round for divers and from shore for those fishing the surf, off the jetty or piers). So thus ends the 18th season we've operated the Queen of Hearts out of Half Moon Bay. Even with this short season and some rotten conditions at times, our customers landed the most rockcod, lingcod and cabezon combined of any boat in California north of Morro Bay (as tabulated by www.sportfishingreport.com). We are proud to be the longest running vessel operating out of the harbor, and it wouldn't be possible without all of you who have joined us and supported us over the years through good and bad, thick and thin. You are why we are in this business, and we hope you can look back on your trips with us with fond memories like we do. There are times we wonder why we do this stuff called fishing, given all the obsticles we face with ever-increasing regulations, closures, weeks of meetings that turn into months by year-end, enduring the stabs and jabs of being at the top of the heap, and dealing with some downright rotten weather and not much better catching at times. But then we see the sparkle in a kids' face the first time they land their own fish, or feel the excitement every time we see that first whale blow off in the distance, or at times just as simple a thing as just spending time on the water together, and it all comes back to us: on the water is where we're at our best, where we belong. We'll be off until after the beginning of the year taking care of our annual maintenance that keeps the Queen looking and running in tip top shape, and we might actually take a few well-deserved days off here and there. Sometime after the beginning of the year we'll be putting together some trips to see if the Humboldt squid are offshore, give it another go at the deep water rockcod, and venture out in search of the migrating whales that grace us with their presence during the winter months. Next year's rockfishing season isn't written in stone yet, but at this point it's slated to open below Pigeon Point on May 1 and above Pigeon Point the second Saturday in June. And the Queen of Hearts will be here waiting for your return, ready to give you another chance of making memories. Now, for the holiday gifts sales pitch: make your Christmas shopping a breeze...order a Queen of Hearts gift card online by going to our Merchandise webpage at www.fishingboat.com/merchandise.html. Or come by our shop to pick up a new reel or rod or some great fishy stocking stuffer goodies. So, with that said, and until we can get back out there, thank you for another year. Stay safe and enjoy your holidays.
Monday, October 27: A huge swell that was supposed to stay offshore decided to roll through over the weekend along the coastline knocking our scores way down; Bob said there were plenty of small blues that he could have found to bite, but he didn't want to catch those small fish just to have the numbers look good. Thankfully the swell subsided today and we ended up with limits again for everyone onboard. The forecast looks real good through Thursday, but we'll be keeping a real close eye on the winds that the weather gurus say may start up towards the end of the week.
Friday, October 24: Our second trip of hearty anglers attempting to pave the way to more fishing opportunities for the future took place today searching for chilipeppers and possibly a bonus of some Humboldt squid. Capt. Bob reported in that he found some absolutely huge schools of fish in the morning but, just like last trip, they wouldn't bite. So they moved on and searched, and searched, and searched. Finally towards the end of the trip, back at the spot where he saw the big schools of fish in the morning, they hooked some fish. One guy pulled up two fish, three other guys pulled up one fish a piece. They said as soon as they hit the bottom, about 920 feet down, they could tell they were on the hook. And they were good sized fish...fish Capt. Bob says most folks would be real happy bringing home 7 or 8 of these fish, beautifully colored, exactly what he was looking for. (I was told I'm supposed to get some pictures emailed to me and will post them when I receive them.) Again, like last time, there was absolutely no bycatch. But before we could wind up the lines and get another shot at them, the wind came up fast and strong, making it virtually impossible to be able to hit the school of fish and causing them to have to throw in the towel after trying a couple more drifts unsuccessfully. So that was that. Sometimes you just can't win for losing. And, since they hunted for chilipeppers all day, there just wasn't enough time in the day to even think of trying for any Humboldts. These trips are an experiment to see if they can work. After running two trips, we know they can work but it's not going to be easy given the constraints of the current permit. As our fishing season ends right after Thanksgiving (if not sooner depending on how the weather holds) and then we'll be heading off to the boatyard for our annual maintenance, we probably won't be able to run another deep water trip this year. We're not giving up, but we have to give in for now. Don't give up on these trips; it's far from over. Thank you once again to those of you who joined us for these very important trips. We know there is a lot of expense involved for everyone and they haven't produced the results we want yet, but the information we are gathering is vitally important and may just give us more opportunities in the future. Now, to change gears, back along shore, our coastal shallow water trip for tomorrow on Saturday is now full but we do have plenty of room available for Sunday as well as all of next week.
Thursday, October 23: Deep Water Rockcod and Humboldt Squid combo trip available tomorrow, Friday, October 24. We currently have three spots available for this very special trip. For more info about these trips, check out our Chilipepper webpage at www.fishingboat.com/chilipeppers.html. If you'd like additional info or want to join the trip, give us a call. On the local front, fishing along the coastline continues to be consistently good with limits of quality rockfish most days and anywhere from a few to 15 lingcod per trip. Today was limits again for everyone onboard along with six lingcod to 12 pounds. Saturday's trip is almost full, just four spots left at this point, but we still have plenty of room for Sunday as well as all of next week. The weather in our neck of the ocean is looking pretty darn good through at least next Thursday (which is as far as the forecast goes at this point). Take advantage of it if you can...never know how long it will last this time of year.
Saturday, October 18: The lingcod were chomping today, so with half of today's anglers being first-timers, we did darn well landing 15 lingcod with the biggest breaking the 20 pound barrier and weighing in at 21 pounds. The gang did well catching rockfish, too, with several nice vermillions landed along with perfect-for-steaming-sized gophers, big blacks and the usual assortment of rockfish caught along the coastline. As I've always explained, numbers don't tell the story; if you look at our daily score, it looks like we didn't catch limits...but that's where the numbers don't show the whole picture. We had a group of folks who didn't want to keep their fish, so we only kept enough fish for the folks who wanted to take them home. Hopefully today signals the next wave of lingcod to hit the coastline...we'll find out tomorrow if it will continue. We do have plenty of space available if you'd just like to show up in the morning. Check in at our shop, Half Moon Bay Sportfishing...look for the BIG yellow "TICKET OFFICE" sign in the front window. We'll have the doors open at 5:30; please check in no later than 6:15.
Friday, October 17: One by one by one the fish just kept coming, just a steady pick all day long with a fish here, a fish there coming over the rail, with 10 fish rockcod limits for all onboard by the end of the day including five cabezon to 8 pounds and a bonus starry flounder. The forecast looks fantastic for this weekend and is calling for very light winds and low swell. We do have space available both Saturday and Sunday; if you'd like to join us on Saturday, feel free to just simply come on down in the morning.
Wednesday, October 15: The day started off extreeeemely slow. By 11:30 when I talked to Bob by cell phone he was an absolute grump and said he had been running around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to find some fish that wanted to bite (there were plenty of blues but that's not what he was looking for). I told him to go find some fish and we hung up. Well, he found some fish...not much later he found a spot of mostly all nice brownies and they loaded up on them, ending the day with limits for everyone board and adding in a couple of cabezon and four lingcod, the biggest of which, a 17 pounder, caught on the last drift of the day.
Tuesday, October 14: Our next Deep Water Chilipepper Rockcod Trip (which will also be a Humboldt squid combo) will be on Friday, October 24. For more info about the trips, see our "Chilipepper" webpage at www.fishingboat.com/chilipeppers.html...we have 7 spots open for the October 24 trip at this time. As far as today's shallow water trip, sounded like everyone had a good time and the trip produced about 8 fish per person along with three cabezon and one 11 pound lingcod...there were those who were hot and there were those who were not. Gar Lok was one of the hot ones, landing his limit of rockcod and cabezon (plus a couple extras he passed on to others), and almost landing his limit of lingcod...he landed an 11 pounder and had a real BIG ling on the hook, but it rocked him and won the battle for freedom. By the way, Capt. Bob told me a hot tip today: as far as he's concerned, without a doubt, the special "HMB Sportfishing rockcod rigs" we have made up specifically for our shop are the most consistent lure day in and day out...his favorite is the multicolor rig...this is not a sales pitch, just his honest opinion. How can anyone say otherwise?...who's out there seeing what works more than him? Like I've always said, if the crew give you some advice, take it...they only do it because they want to help you catch fish. Lots of room available for our trip tomorrow on Wednesday; just come on down and check in at our shop between 6:00 and 6:30.
Monday, October 13: We've got the day off today, but we are definitely going fishing tomorrow on Tuesday and have room available if you'd like to join us. This morning's forecast for tomorrow is calling for NW winds 10 to 20 with a low swell every 15 second so tomorrow's trip is on. We did make it out yesterday and I was told the folks enjoyed themselves and ended up with an average of right around 7 to 8 fish per person. We gave it a try on Saturday, made it down the coast far enough to put the lines in the water and catch a few fish, but the weather was not to Capt. Bob's liking so he handed out rain checks after giving it a go for an hour or so and said there will be better days.
Friday, October 10: We're planning on showing up in the morning tomorrow on Saturday to see if the wind is going to give us the break we need to get back out on the water. We have space available, so if you'd like to give it a shot along with us, just come on down in the morning by around 6:00 and check in at our shop, Half Moon Bay Sportfishing, or we should be at the shop by 5:30 if you'd like to give a call to see how things look.
Thursday, October 9: The high winds offshore are supposed to continue to blow tomorrow on Friday, so our trip for Friday has been cancelled. Hopefully it will blow itself out Friday night as is forecasted and we'll be back fishing on Saturday.
Wednesday, October 8: We snuck out this morning with not much wind to speak of but the swell was definitely making its presence noticed. There were some fish that were hungry right off the bat, with several guys landing close to their limits in no time at all along with three lingcod, while there were others who were still trying to find their first fish to put in their bag. Then the wind came, it got downright snotty and a unanimous vote for mercy was cast to call it quits. As gorgeous as it is on land, the ocean forecast for tomorrow is calling for north winds of 30 to 40 knots with combined seas of 12 to 14 feet at 10 seconds, so that made for an easy decision and we've definitely cancelled our trip for Thursday. We'll have to wait until tomorrow to see what the forecast for Friday does, but thankfully it looks like the ocean will start calming back down in time for us to make it out Saturday, and by Sunday it's supposed to be back down to real light winds and only a 2 foot swell. If you haven't seen it, I finally finished putting together an update about our first deep water chilipepper rockfishing trip; check it out at www.fishingboat.com/chilipeppers.html. Our next deep water trip which will be a chilipepper/squid combo is now scheduled for Friday, October 24.
Monday, October 6: The skies are clear but unfortunately it's mostly due to the wonderful northwest winds that have decided to once again grace us with their presence...I'm being sarcastic if you can't tell. The northwest winds are what made for a lot of "fishable" but not very nice days of fishing at the beginning of the season. Hopefully they'll calm back down, but we're back to watching the forecast closely and taking it day by day. We made it out today and caught limits, but it was tough fishing and the weather was just rotten by the time the day ended. Capt. Bob threw in the towel for tomorrow, Tuesday, and cancelled the trip. We're still scheduled to run the rest of the week, weather permitting. We'll take it a day at a time.
Sunday, October 5: An absolutely HUGE Mavericks-quality swell rolled through today, but thankfully there was no wind on top of it so it was just a BIG up and a BIG down. Didn't make for a lot of very happy tummies, though, and for those left standing it made for a tough day of fishing with the fish holding tight in their nooks and crannies. Both the ocean and the fishing improved towards the end of the day, but by then the damage had already been long done with a lot of folks down for the count. Except for one real trooper I heard about. There was a woman onboard who had never caught a fish before in her life. She let out a squeal with every fish she caught, and the bigger they were the louder the squeal. Heard she was only one fish shy of catching her limit...hopefully she's hooked for life....
Saturday, October 4: Our group today from St. Anthony's in Half Moon Bay discovered last month that Joe Gibson, who they used to fish with years ago during the Capt. John days, gives us a hand and takes over the helm of the Queen of Hearts off and on when Capt. Bob has to attend meetings or needs time off. So they put today's trip together, confirmed Joe was available to run the trip, gave Capt. Bob a much needed day off, and went out and caught fish. Their only concern about the rain in the forecast was that they didn't want the trip to be cancelled...what a nice change. They were rewarded with a real good day on the water, no rain, limits of fish and almost a lingcod a piece with two over 15 pounds. Thank you, Tony, for putting the trip together, and thank you, Joe, for running another great trip.
Friday, October 3: The clouds are rolling in and tonight we're supposed to see the first rain of the season. Most of the forecasts are saying that it should be over by early in the day on Saturday and then it's clear skies again through at least the middle to end of next week. Like we always say, the fish don't care if it rains...they're already wet. We're going fishing this weekend but we do have private charters on both this Saturday and Sunday. After this weekend, though, we're available every day through the end of the season, weather and interest permitting, which is the end of November. If you'd like to join us this time of year, please be sure to call in advance if at all possible to make sure we are still planning on going out; there may be some days we cancel if no one's on the books, and it's a real bummer if you show up in the morning just to find out we're not going out. We are pretty good about updating our voicemail with our schedule for the next day's trip, so don't forget you can always call anytime day or night and listen to the recorder to make sure we're still scheduled to go fishing. And, on another note, I should have time this weekend to finally put together a complete rundown of how the first deep water rockfishing trip went last Friday and hope to have all the details posted along with a couple of pictures real soon.
Wednesday, October 1: What happened to this year? October already?? Capt. Bob called in by cell phone around 11:00 and said the fish were few and far between coming over the rail. He had ran all the way down to Pigeon Point but the fish weren't biting. So he headed back to Pescadero and was hoping for better luck. Must have found it, because next time I talked to him he reported in with limits for all 15 anglers including a couple of cabezon and a couple of lingcod. Capt. Houdini pulls the rabbit out of the hat again. Lots of room tomorrow; if you'd like to join us, just come on down and check in at our shop by around 6:15.
Tuesday, September 30: Sorry I haven't had the time to give you the full details about Friday's trip yet, as well as the last couple of day...working on a major project that's been taking all my time. Anyway, our rockfishing trips are continuing to crank out limits of quality rockfish; today's limits included nine cabezon with a 10 pounder weighing in for top honors. Lots of room tomorrow, Thursday and Friday. We're definitely going fishing each day; if you don't get a chance to give us a call, just come on down in the morning.
Friday, September 26: Capt. Bob makes history!! ...he and the Queen of Hearts are the first charterboat operation to catch chilipepper rockfish under the recently issued Exempted Fishing Permit! With high hopes, everyone checked in this morning after dusting off fishing gear that hasn't seen the light of day in years...rods and reels completely foreign to the shallow waters we've been constrained to for what seems like the last umpteen years...9/0 reels and the like on big broomsticks with roller tips filled with over 1000 feet plus of dacron and spectra, cannon ball sinkers and special float rigs. They loaded down the boat with all their gear and headed off to see what they could find. By 2:00 p.m., I finally received a report that they had found Humboldt squid, landed six, probably could have caught as many as they wanted, but they were in search of chilipepper rockfish, not squid. So Capt. Bob was going to try one last drop, one last spot. At 2:30, he relayed in that they found them! Chilipepper rockfish, two at a time (we can still use no more than two hooks), absolutely clean fishery with no bycatch...exactly what we were hoping for! Check out the full report and info I put together on our Chilipepper webpage at www.fishingboat.com/chilipeppers.html.
Thursday, September 25: More fish tagged and released yesterday and today for the Ano Nuevo MPA research project. If you are fishing around the Pigeon Point area and catch a fish with a small piece of wire sticking out of its back, make sure to record all the info you can about the fish: species, length, coordinates where it was caught, and call it in to the number on the tag...usually there's a small cash reward involved (around $20?)...a nice little bonus...and usually you'll get some info back about about the fish, like where and when it had been tagged and released. Tomorrow is our deep water rockcod trip and Saturday is a private charter, so the next available trip on the Queen is this Sunday and there's still plenty of space available.
Monday, September 22: A bit of a swell rolled through, but the fish were still munching and it was easy and early limits again today. So the next question I get is how many lings? Not many...but why? With rockfishing this good, it's impossible to stop catching these nice quality rockcod until we have enough fish onboard for everyone to have limits. Once we have limits, Capt. Bob is not going to senselessly kill more rockfish just to try to catch a few lingcod. If the lings bite along with the rockfish, great. If not, we're more than happy to send our customers home with the fish they've been catching recently. The more folks understand, the longer all of us will be able to continue to have fish to catch. Lots of room tomorrow...just come on down and check in at our shop by 6:15.
Saturday, September 18: The fish continue to be on the chomp resulting in limits for all 39 anglers onboard along with three cabezon and a lingcod fishing down off San Gregorio and Pescadero. After a tough start to the season, we sure appreciate the good fishing we've had the last couple of weeks, and as long as the weather holds, which it looks like it will continue to do for a while, we should have many more good days to come.
Wednesday, September 17: Easy and early limits again today with mostly good size brownies and blacks as well as six lingcod with the top fish tipping the scales at 17 pounds. Weather continues to be fantastic. On another note, I've been meaning to post this video for a while...you've heard of a "dog eat dog world"...well, how about a "ling eat ling world"?....check out the video our daughter Marie took on a trip earlier this year by clicking the picture below or going to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hz2A8uSPxKY. It could be a bit on the gross side for some to view, so fair warning, but it is pretty amazing.
Sunday, September 14: The weather continues to be fantastic and so does the fishing with limits again for everyone, and a good snap of lingcod today, too, with 15 lings landed to 15 pounds. Lots and lots and lots of room available tomorrow on Monday as well as Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and the weather forecast continues to look awesome along the coastline. If you'd like to join us tomorrow, just come on down in the morning. We'll have the doors open at 6:00; check in by 6:15 to no later than 6:30 at our shop, Half Moon Bay Sportfishing...look for the BIG yellow "TICKET OFFICE" sign in the front window.
Saturday, September 13: With another round of meetings over, Capt. Bob is glad to be back where he belongs behind the wheel of the Queen of Hearts. They laid them away again today with limits for our private charter of 26 anglers including a dozen cabezon to 8 pounds along with 5 lingcod to 16 pounds. Our trip tomorrow on Sunday is full but we have lots of room this coming week.
Thursday, September 11: WE WILL NEVER FORGET...seven years ago today the sad reality of the world we live in hit home hard and changed us forever, and on this day our hearts are with those who continue to endure the pain of the loss of a loved one. I'll never forget the feeling I had dropping off our daughter at school after watching the reports the morning of the attacks, talking through an emergency plan but knowing we had to continue on with our lives. I, for one, will not forget. And that's why we live our lives to their fullest and are proud to be an American.... Today was another great day of fishing, with limits for our eight anglers including another five cabezon, and two lingcod were landed as well as another huge 20 pound halibut. Lots of room tomorrow; this is the time of year to come on down and enjoy some of our coastal fishing at its finest.
Wednesday, September 10: Good weather and good fishing continues with limits once again today, 245 rockcod and 5 cabezon for 25 anglers. Lots of room available tomorrow...if you'd like to join us, just come on down in the morning and check in when we open the doors at 6:00...look for BIG yellow "TICKET OFFICE" sign in front of our shop, Half Moon Bay Sportfishing.
Tuesday, September 9: Capt. Randy did it again with easy and early limits for all 20 anglers onboard today including three cabezon to 5 pounds plus five lingcod to 12 pounds. The forecast for the coastal waters continues to look fantastic through this weekend with very little wind and an almost non-existant swell. If you've been waiting on the sidelines for some decent weather and for the fish to start biting, now's the time to jump in the game (can you tell it's football season?). Anyway, plenty of room tomorrow on Wednesday, and same story on Thursday and Friday.
Monday, September 8: And the beat goes on...Capt. Randy stepped in today for Bob who is in Boise for the next week-long round of meetings with the Pacific Fisheries Management Council. And, just as we would expect, he kept the good fishing going with 10-fish limits of rockcod for all 18 onboard which included 6 cabezon and one bonus lingcod. The ocean forecast continues to look good this week, all the way through the weekend matter of fact. Plenty of room available every day this week through Friday and on Sunday, but we have a private charter scheduled for Saturday.
Friday, September 5: Boy, oh boy, this is more like it. Great weather and limits of rockfish with lots of nice vermillions, big browns, along with eight lingcod and a huge 28 pound halibut. It's been a long time coming this season, but finally we're seeing what we expect this time of year: good weather and good fishing. Our trip tomorrow is now full, but we still have plenty of space available for Sunday, and we're available every day Monday through Friday next week, too.
Thursday, September 4: Notch another day of limits in our belt...160 rockcod for 16 anglers with even more bolinas today than yesterday, along with four lingcod to 12 pounds. So, what's the hot lure, Capt. Bob? Blue and white plastics, channel island chovy plastics, and blue and glow 6 ounce bars. For some reason blue seems to be the fishies' color of choice more often than not this year...definitely add it to your arsenal if you don't have some already.
Wednesday, September 3: With more nice bolinas cod in the catch today but no "exotics", we ended up with limits of rockfish again for everyone onboard. And the best news is that it finally looks like we have some downright decent weather to look forward to along the coastline all the way through the weekend and into next week (outside of 20 miles offshore the forecast is still calling for some pretty strong winds so private boaters take heed). Plenty of room on our trip tomorrow and Friday; if you'd like to join us, just come on down and check in at our shop between 6:00 to no later than 6:15.
Tuesday, September 2: Two days in a row with limits of rockcod for everyone onboard. Weather forecast looking fairly decent throughout the week. Saturday's booking fast, but lots of room the rest of the week.
Friday, August 29: Sounded like it was a real enjoyable day on the ocean today. No stress, fish cooperating, nice weather except for some fog off and on, and by the end of the trip we had limits for everyone onboard along with one bonus lingcod. Our enemy the wind is supposed to pick up again this weekend, but we're hoping it decides to stay far enough offshore that it doesn't affect us too much. We squeeked today in with good weather, and it looks like we might just squeek tomorrow in, too, but we'll take it as it comes. It's been a "be sure to take your Bonine or Dramamine" kinda year but until someone finds a way to control Mother Nature, not much we can do about it. On a different note: Don't get confused by what you might hear on the news in the coming days. An emergency closure has been announced that the rockfishing season from Point Arena (near Mendocino) NORTH to the Oregon border closes effective September 2. This does NOT affect the areas south of Point Arena. Our season off the Bay Area coastline remains open and we've been told it should continue to remain open through the end of November as scheduled.
Thursday, August 28: Deep water rockfishing trips are a go. First trip is Friday, September 26. Click here for more details. As far as fishing today, it started off tough again, but Capt. Bob pulled another rabbit out of the hat and they ended up with "13 limits of rockcod for 14 people" (huh?) and four cabezon to 8 pounds. There's still space available for tomorrow on Friday. If you'd like to join us, check in at our shop, Half Moon Bay Sportfishing, when we open the doors at 6:00.
Tuesday, August 26: We just received the word that Avet is increasing the price on their reels anywhere from $35 to $90 or more per reel effective September 1...as in this coming Monday! We are completely sold on Avet reels. Avet reels are wonderful to cast, have great drag pressure, are lightweight but super tough and are well worth the cost. We have several models in stock at our shop and can get our hands a few more before the increase kicks in, but we have to put the orders in this week. If you want to order a reel, be sure to email or call asap! To give you an idea of the increase, the popular SX which is a fantastic reel for SWLT rockfishing, albacore fishing and salmon mooching (if we ever get to salmon mooch again!) is currently a great deal at $199.99, but it goes up to $234.99 as of Monday. Some of the other increases: The MXJ increases $40 from $209.99 to $249.99, the MXL increases $45 from $219.99 to $264.99, the JX goes up $50 from $249.99 to $299.99, and the LX also goes up $50 from $259.99 to $309.99. All the two speed reels increase $60, $70, $80 or $90 or more. So, if you've been thinking about buying an Avet, now IS the time to jump off the fence! On the fishing front, the swells were mean again today knocking five of our eight anglers out for the count early on, so we caught a few fish for those standing, handed out half price weather checks and called it quits by mid-morning. The weather is supposed to improve the next couple of days, especially on Thursday and Friday doesn't look half bad, either.
Friday, August 20: To catch up on the last few days fishing...Wednesday was one of the best days of catching we've had all year. The majority of the catch was made up of absolutely huge bolinas aka brownie rockfish, with several five and six pounders. Lou, a Wednesday regular, usually keeps his fish in a five gallon bucket. Last time I was fishing, I threw my fish in the same bucket as Lou and we almost filled the bucket with our two limits. Capt. Bob told me it took Lou two buckets to keep the fish in he caught Wednesday...gives you an idea how big of fish we are talking about. Then Thursday came, along with a bigger swell, a tad more wind, and the fish got lockjaw again, with most folks averaging about 5 to 6 fish per person, some a few more, some a few less. Today on Friday was our special limited load trip with sportfishingreport.com. We were met with a huge swell right off the bat but thankfully we avoided most of the wind. We found enough hungry fish to end up with just a couple of handfuls less than limits for everyone onboard, with big fish honors going to "Baja" Bev for a nice eight pound vermillion. sportfishingreport.com's trip was sponsored by Fishworks and I heard there were raffles for the various donated goodies. As far as our private charter tomorrow...I expect nothing but excellence from our trip with the boys on the Hayward Commercial Door trip...wish I could join you, but I'll see you off in the morning and anxiously wait to see how you did....
Tuesday, August 19: We had a whole bunch of folks just pop in this morning wanting to go fishing...guess they realized how fantastic the weather was going to be. They were right...it was absolutely the nicest day of the year on the ocean. Flat greasy calm is how Capt. Bob described it. I asked if the fog burned off, and he said everyone was down to their t-shirts if not down to no shirt at all (except for the gals onboard, of course), so I guess the answer was yes. The good news is that there is loads and loads of krill showing up along the beaches, so much so that there are oodles of whales right along the coastline enjoying the bounty giving our anglers some great whale watching opportunities. But the bad news is that the rockfish are absolutely stuffed to the gills with krill, too, making them not too anxious to attack our offerings (makes me think pink might be a good color to try...). Our anglers still thoroughly enjoyed themselves today, as evidenced by a phone call I received from one of the guys onboard who will be joining us again in a few days. He said it was his first time out of Half Moon Bay and he now knows why the Queen of Hearts is so popular...our current deckhand, James, is wonderful (as is usually the case with deckhands on the Queen) and he said Capt. Bob was amazing. I know I'm kinda partial, but I tend to agree. We've always said there's a lot more to going fishing than just catching fish, and we're reminded of that over and over again by the thanks we receive for the trips we offer regardless of whether or not the fish cooperate.
Monday, August 18: Last week 12 year old Maggie caught an impressive 14 pound cabezon, and today a hefty 13 pound cabezon was caught by another lucky kid (name?). The weather on the ocean has been great the last couple of days, but the current has been ripping. That has caused a lot of folks to find out just how hungry the ocean bottom can get and made for more days of a lot of fishing but tough on the catching, so we've been averaging between 5 to 7 rockfish per person along with a couple of lings and cabs thrown in. I can't emphasize enough how important it is to listen and learn from the crew. If you're not sure what to do or how to do it when it comes to this kind of fishing, ask the crew and they will do what they can to help. If they make a suggestion, please remember that they only say it because they want you to catch fish. We have space available tomorrow and it looks like the weather still looks good, so if you'd like to join us just come on down in the morning; we'll have the doors open at 6:00, please check in no later than 6:30. Albacore news: Some boats went out over the weekend hunting for albacore. One boat found 6 or 7 albacore...100 miles offshore, about 40 miles outside The Guide. So, tuna chasers, settle back down...that's way too far to go for a few tuna with the price of fuel. If we hear any good news, we'll pass it along.
Wednesday, August 13: Okie dokie, finally got our daily scores all updated and added in a few of the whoppers. Between Tuesday, July 29 through Sunday, August 10, our anglers landed a total of 76 cabezon, 46 lingcod and 6 halibut, two of which weighed in at an impressive 22 and 29 pounds, along with an average of right around 6 rockcod per person. Considering the rotten northwest winds that continued to plague the coastline more often than not, that wasn't bad fishing. Best news, though, is that it looks like the winds are finally going to back off for a few days, through at least Sunday at this point, and by Sunday the forecast is also only calling for a 3 to 5 foot swell. Maybe, just maybe, the fish will be as happy as we'll be with some better weather for a change. We have private charters through Saturday but there is still plenty of room available for this Sunday, which just happens to be the best day of the forecast period. SPECIAL TRIP NOTICE: A week from this Friday on Friday, August 22, we have a special trip that still has space available. The Queen of Hearts donates its services to the gang at sportfishingreport.com for the day to support their efforts tracking daily fishing scores throughout the state of California. They limit this trip to no more than 20 anglers, the cost is $70 per person, and I understand the trip is sponsored by Fishworks, a company that sells a pretty awesome line of fishing clothing. If you'd like to join in on this special trip, make your reservations directly with sportfishingreport.com by clicking the link to their online reservation page at: http://secure.fishingresos.com/resos/65.php. Once you're on that page, just click on the green light to the left of the listing for the trip onboard the Queen of Hearts. If you have any questions or trouble getting through, feel free to give me a call.
Monday, August 11: Bob and I are back from our fishing trip down south. As always, we had a great time fishing onboard the cream of the crop Royal Polaris, and I'm sure we gained way too much weight eating way too much good food. As has been the case the last few years, the tuna were a no-show and the catch consisted mainly of yellowtail caught off kelps and at the offshore Islands (this year we were at San Benitos), along with a handful of dorado each for most folks. I had one dorado take off like a wahoo at Benitos...hooked it on the port stern and it shot up the side of the boat towards the bow like a rocket roostertailing the whole way with me running up to the bow right behind it. And I have a new muscle in my right arm just above my elbow I never knew existed that appeared after casting out and cranking in a 6X salas bar time after time, but I did have one run where I hooked four yellowtail in a row on the bar. It's pretty cool the way you go from cranking as fast as you can to getting slammed and stopped cold when the yellowtail hit. Bob and I ended up catching about 500 pounds of yellowtail, half of which we had filleted and half of which is being made into fish jerkey which I'm sure will be showing up on the Queen soon. As far as fishing back here on the Queen, I don't have many details yet. The initial word I got sounded like more of the same...some days good weather, some days tough weather, some days good fishing, some days tough fishing. As soon as get more info, I'll update the scores and fill in some of the details.
Friday, August 1: They say time flies when you're having fun...today is the third anniversary of the opening of our shop, Half Moon Bay Sportfishing and Tackle. Hard to believe it's already been three years. We've had a bunch of obstacles thrown at us these past three years, starting with the Devil's Slide closure on Highway 1 north of the harbor the first winter, then the three mile salmon restriction the next year, early closures to the rockfishing season, and now the complete closure of the salmon season this year...but we're still hanging in as strong as ever. We couldn't do it without you all. Thanks to everyone for all your support over the years. Hopefully we'll be here for a long time to come and keep doing what we love doing: helping folks enjoy a day of fishing. My next report will be on Sunday, August 10, as I'm off to San Diego for our annual five day long range trip onboard the Royal Polaris. The boat and shop will be in the very capable hands of our crew and operating like normal...just be sure to call for info as I won't have internet access in the middle of the ocean! If you're curious to see how we're doing on our trip, check out the Royal Polaris' fish report at http://www.royalpolaris.com and click on "Current Conditions" for their daily reports.
Tues., July 29 through Thursday, July 31: Three days of charters with the kids from the San Mateo Police Activity League. I've been told that there are some darn good anglers that are coming up in the ranks. Jim Lambert, one of our relief captains who we are honored to have take over for a couple of days while Bob and I are on vacation, joined us on Thursday's trip, and he commented how he was really impressed with the way the kids handled their gear...the kids have learned well and their fishing ability really shows. Thursday was a bit of a tough day, but overall the kids did great, landing a total of 20 lingcod, 31 cabezon and a bonus of not one, not two, not three or four, but FIVE halibut up to a whopping 29 pounds for the three days combined. Way to go gang.
Monday, July 28: Another good day with limits for everyone onboard and 11 lingcod. Without a doubt, we're seeing a lot better quality in the catches recently and the fish are definitely biting better. Today makes for a total of 32 lingcod in the last three days. Almost seems like old times.
Sunday, July 27: Darn good weekend: Limits both days, 21 lings to 19 pounds, 6 cabezon to 8 pounds.
Friday, July 24: Yesterday we had a fine day...not bad weather, decent fishing, everyone going home with limits. Today was a different story. We had to change plans right of the bat as the wind was still blowing too much offshore to make the trek out to the Farallons, so we let everyone know the Farallons were out of the question and we'd be heading down the coastline where we've been doing pretty darn well this week. But today conditions weren't great, fishing wasn't great, we didn't even end up with half limits. There's a saying that goes something like the worst day fishing is better than the best day working...I kinda doubt the folks today would agree. But that's fishing...tomorrow we'll go back out, put our lines back in the water and see what happens. Looks like we're still stuck in this pattern for a while longer.
Wednesday, July 23: Thankfully the high winds that seem to be deeply embedded in the marine forecasts this year have been staying a few miles offshore during the day allowing us to continue to head down the coastline, but even staying offshore the wind is creating a pretty good push to the swells and gave us another bumpy day on the water. The fish haven't seemed to mind too much, though, and we ended up just about a handful of fish shy of 10 fish limits for our 13 customers, with a good 80% of the fish coming over the rail quality bolinas aka brownie rockfish. The forecast continues to hold steady and looks like we're stuck with the wind for at least another week, so we'll continue to just keep plugging away and hope it will back off sometime soon. Some days are bouncy and some days are decent, but there's just no way to know what we're going to get until we start heading out each morning. We have plenty of room tomorrow and Friday; reservations are always recommended but you're more than welcome to just simply show up in the morning around 6:00 a.m. to check in for either day. Friday is slated as a Farallon Island trip, but once again we'll have to wait until we get to the harbor on Friday morning to see if the ocean will permit us to head out to the Islands or if we'll be heading back down the coastline. Saturday we have a private charter so we're not available, but we do have limited space available for Sunday...definitely give us a call if you're interested in joining us on Sunday's trip.
Tuesday, July 22: Weather not bad, fishing pretty good: limits of rockfish along with one ling and one cab. Could hear the smile in Capt. Bob's voice as he called in to let me know they were on their way back in.
Monday, July 21: Trip number four for the kids with the San Mateo Police Activity League. Didn't get the report from Capt. Randy who took over for the day, but hopefully the gang enjoyed their trip as much as we enjoy taking them out. Our biggest wish is that a couple of these kids will get hooked just as we did on this thing called fishing and find out for themselves that it is a good thing.
Sunday, July 20: This morning started off with a bang, with those at the rail landing a good four or five fish a piece right off the bat. But, as has been the case a lot this season, there were several folks who were curled up in a corner just waiting to get back to solid land who barely wet a line all day. The ocean has been real mean this year, with a lot of sloppy weather making for a lot of queasy tummies. I highly recommend folks take an anti-motion medication such as Bonine before heading out. Bonine gets my top recommendation because it's good for 24 hours; I always tell folks, after making sure it's safe for them to take, to take one or two the night before a trip so it has plenty of time to start working (the package says to take it an hour before an excursion, but I believe the night before works much better). Anyway, by the end of the day today, folks who were fishing caught their limits along with a few extras to donate to those who didn't get too much time at the rail. On a positive note, the fish are definitely getting a little more energetic as we're getting decent spurts of action on recent trips.
Saturday, July 19: The ocean really did a number on our group today, with almost half down for the count early on. That left a lot of catching on the shoulders of the anglers remaining standing. As most folks who join us know, the scores on the Queen of Hearts are always a true testiment of the fish caught by our customers, as our regular crew doesn't touch a fishing pole unless it's to help out one of our customers. Without a doubt, our scores would be greatly enhanced if our captain and deckhands put their own lines in the water, but their job is to take care of our customers. And most folks don't realize that it is actually illegal for crews to distribute any fish they catch to customers (if you're interested in reading the actual regulation, check out page 28, section 195(e)(1)and(2) of the current DFG regulations at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/pdfs/oceanfish2008.pdf). So, once again, we had another day of the "haves" and the "have nots", with those fishing catching their limit or darn close to their 10 fish limit.
Friday, July 18: Today was supposed to be a Farallon Island Friday, but like last week, Mother Nature decided otherwise again. As the winds offshore had already kicked up by the time we arrived at the harbor this morning, coupled with a decent size swell, we knew there was no reason to even attempt to head offshore. We gave the news to everyone as they arrived that the trip would be heading down the coastline as conditions wouldn't permit us to head out to the Islands. They saved the extra $25 that would normally go into the fuel tanks and headed south where we salvaged the day and found cooperative rockfish along with a few hungry lingcod.
Thursday, July 17: The northwest winds just keep coming back and nipping at our heels. But thankfully we found some hungry fish that bit like maddogs and everyone, well almost everyone, loaded up and went home with their 10 fish limit...unfortunately there was a threesome that succumbed to the motion of the ocean and didn't spend much time at the rail fishing, so we ended our day with 243 rockcod for 27 anglers along with a bonus three lingcod. Tomorrow we're scheduled for a Farallon Island rockcod trip; we'll have to see in the morning if the weather will let us head offshore or not. No way to tell what to expect by the forecast...we just have to show up and see what we get. Just one of those kind of years.
Wednesday, July 16: Today was a nice break in the action...a whale watching charter out to the Farallons with some folks from Google. The boats have been seeing a lot of humpback whales offshore, so we had our fingers crossed we'd be able to get a glimpse of a couple. Well, the folks today couldn't have got a better show than they did: they found a humpback that breached 30 times in a row that Bob counted, found a gray whale at the Islands, saw tuffed puffins and all kinds of marine life at the Islands, and to top things off, found another gray whale by the buoys right outside the harbor on the way back in. Sea World eat your heart out.
Monday, July 14: With flat calm weather Capt. Randy took over the helm for the first charter of the year with the kids brought out by San Mateo Police Activity League. As usual, the kids were great and caught oodles of fish. Experienced PAL angler Franklin Wu, who has joined in on several of the trips the last few years, proved again that he's learned well and landed the first halibut of the season onboard the Queen of Hearts, a huge 21 pounder. Heard the kids ended up with about a dozen cabezon, too. Way to go gang. The PAL kids will be going out tomorrow, too, and we have a private charter on Wednesday, so the next available trip on the Queen of Hearts is this Thursday for local SWLT rockfishing and Friday is available for our next try at the Farallon Islands
July 9 - July 13: I'll try to fill in details later....
Tuesday, July 8: Early and easy limits of rockcod two trips in a row...oh, my goodness...it's about time. Could it be that we're finally, finally, finally turning the corner and getting back to at least close to normal? Sure hope so. And the catch was made up of almost all quality brownies (bolinas) rockfish. Additionally, the ocean forecast came down drastically from yesterday afternoon to this morning, with our territory (the Point Reyes to Pigeon Point area out to 20 nautical miles) calling mostly for west winds from 5 to 10 knots and swells in the 3 to 5 foot range for tomorrow. Time to escape the heat and go fishing while the getting's good...plenty of room tomorrow. We're available by phone until 4:00; if you don't get a chance to give us a call, just come on down in the morning on Wednesday. We'll have the doors open at 6:00; check in no later than 6:15 to 6:30 at the latest.
Sunday, July 6: The wind switched back around to the northwest again today and the swell was starting to build again. But in spite of the weather amazingly the fish were cooperative, and we ended the day with easy and early limits for our 18 anglers. Our first trip with the kids from the San Mateo Police Activity League was scheduled for Monday, but Monday's weather is not kids' kind of weather, so we'll reschedule them for another day and give Captain Bob a much needed day of rest. Looking at the various models, it looks like the weather Tuesday will allow us to sneak along the coastline with no problem and see if the fish will bite again.
Thursday through Saturday: Will update as soon as I get a chance...Monday morning craziest going on at my job....
Wednesday, July 2: Not a bad day on the ocean: 105 rockcod plus two cabezon for 12 anglers plus 2 lingcod. Not setting the world on fire, but not bad, either. Forecast still looks good for tomorrow and we have plenty of space if you'd like to join us. Just come on down; we'll have the doors open by 6:00. Friday's Farallon trip is currently full but we are taking standbys in case of last minute cancellations. There is still room on both Saturday and Sunday, though, if you'd like to join us this holiday weekend.
Monday, June 30: Report for the weekend...28 lb. lingcod, 22 lb. lingcod, 18 lb. lingcod, 22 cabezon to 11 pounds, interesting story about 28 lb. lingcod...yes, fishing was good...update in progress....
Thursday, June 26: At long last, we may have just turned the corner on the weather, I hope, I hope, I hope. The forecast is calling for very light winds and wonderfully low swells for our coastline through the five day forecast period. Plenty of space still available for tomorrow on Friday. If you'd like to join us, don't worry about getting a hold of us. Just come on down in the morning and grab a spot or two or three. We'll have the doors open by 6:00; check in at our shop, Half Moon Bay Sportfishing, by 6:15 to no later than 6:30. Just look for the BIG yellow "TICKET OFFICE" sign in our front window.
Wednesday, June 25: We arrived at the harbor this morning to find the flags standing straight out...the wind hit the coastline again, forcing us to cancel our trip, again. It's supposed to blow pretty good on Thursday and then calm right back down, so we've crossed off our trip for Thursday but we will be back fishing on Friday. Matter of fact, the forecast is calling for the winds to back way off on Friday and stay that way through at least the beginning of next week, with the winds down to 5 to 10 knots and the swell also to lay down to 4 to 5 feet, one of the best forecasts I've seen in a while. Plenty of room for Friday and Sunday still available. I'm around the computer through Friday afternoon; after that, make sure to give us a call as I'm away from the computer nights and weekends.
Monday, June 23: They scratched, they clawed, and they gave it their all, and we ended our day just two fish shy of limits with 108 rockcod for 11 anglers plus three lingcod to 12 pounds. They put their time in and did everything they could to get those last two fish, but the fish just shut off. Without a doubt, the 120 foot depth restriction in place this year has made for much tougher fishing, coupled with the rotten ocean conditions we've dealt with more often than not the last two months. We will never jeopardize our anglers, though, by fishing illegally in closed waters, and our crew doesn't fish (and, in case you didn't realize, it's also illegal for crews to give fish they catch to customers anyway), so we can only do what we can do. Capt. Bob told me that next year the maximum depth for rockfishing is supposed to go back out to 180 feet, thank goodness, so we'll have more territory to fish and there will be less pressure on the nearshore fish. This past Sunday with did fairly decent, too, with a score somewhere around 156 rockcod, or something like that, for 17 anglers. The good part is that the fish that are biting are all nice bottomfish with only a handful of school fish mixed in, so what we lack in quantity at times has been made up with quality. Our charter on Saturday had absolutely fabulous weather and headed out to the Farallons, but they were greeted just shy of the Islands with a stiff breeze and the water temperature dropped considerably to right around 50 degrees, the fish had lockjaw and just a couple of handfuls of fish were landed. They hit Montara on their way back home and found a few more fish there. It's been one of those kinds of seasons so far. Absolutely no consistency to the catch...some days the fish bite and some days they don't, with no way of telling if today is the day until we put the lines in the water. We have plenty of room every day this week through Friday. If you'd like to give it a whirl and join us tomorrow, don't worry about getting a hold of us; just come on down in the morning and check in between 6:00 to no later than 6:30.
Thursday, June 19: There are those who think you have to catch limits every day to have a good day fishing. We know better. Our private charter had a great day. They enjoyed each others' company, got away from their normal daily stresses, relaxed a bit and caught fish, too. Total score was 127 rockcod for 21 anglers, the biggest a huge 9 pound vermillion caught on the first drift of the day, plus 11 lingcod to 10 pounds were landed (the trophy fish was caught by the ringleader Bill) along with 5 cabezon to 6 pounds. The weather finally cooperated and looks absolutely fantastic for tomorrow and Saturday. We still have plenty of space tomorrow if you'd like to join us. Don't worry about giving us a call or sending an email, don't worry about getting a hold of us, just come on down in the morning and grab a spot or two or three. We'll have the doors open by 6:00 a.m., Half Moon Bay Sportfishing...look for the BIG yellow "TICKET OFFICE" sign in our front window; the boat DEPARTS at 7:00 a.m.
Wednesday, June 18: We finally caught limits...kinda. We had 11 anglers onboard, but really only 10 people were at the rail fishing. The 11th guy was at the rail, too, but not fishing if you know what I mean. We ended up with 103 rockcod onboard, limits for the 10 folks with their lines in the water and 3 extra fish for the 11th guy to take home and eat once he feels like eating again. One eight pound lingcod was landed, too. We have a private charter tomorrow on Thursday but we still have space available for Friday, and the weather for Friday's still looking in our favor. There's also plenty of space for Sunday.
Tuesday, June 17: The advantage is definitely on the side of the more experienced angler who knows how to entice the fish to bite. Such was the case with Mike who caught his rockcod limit including a big nine and a half pound cabezon. Then there were others who were down for the count early without hardly wetting a line thanks to the effects of the wonderful wind that continues to make us pay to play. The highest winds have thankfully stayed offshore and have let us sneak out along the coastline; by this Friday it looks like we may just be in for some downright decent weather for a couple of days at least.
Sunday, June 15: Happy Father's Day! It sure was nice to finally be able to fish three days in a row, but unfortunately we won't be able to make it four as the weather off the coastline is picking back up again, so we've cancelled our trip for tomorrow on Monday and will take it day by day again this week. On a positive note, it looks like it does decide to calm down again later in the week. This past Friday it was still a bit bumpy and lumpy in the morning but got better as the day went on, Saturday was a great day on the water, and by today there was a good size lump building again but not bad overall. As far as fishing, pretty much the same every day...some folks did well and went home with limits or close to limits, and some went home with just a few fish. We probably ended up with an overall average of 5 to 6 fish per person. We also had a bonus catch of 15 lingcod and 11 cabezon the three days combined, along with another big, 3 pound starry flounder. Our biggest enemy to our success so far during this short season has been and continues to be the weather on the ocean. It does look like the swells are generally starting to decrease overall; now we just need the wind to give us a break and do the same. Fishery Management Update: This past week was Round 3 of fishery management meetings for Capt. Bob in his role as the Northern California recreational charterboat representative on the federal PFMC Groundfish Advisory Subpanel. Every day was a new wave of absolutely unbelieveable, intense battles to preserve our opportunity to fish along our coastline. When I say intense, I mean intense. Sounded like just short of knock down, drag out battles at times. Our area has again been plagued by figures that claim we have exceeded our allotments for goldeneye, canaries and, get this: blue rockfish...yes, that's right, blue rockfish. We supposedly have caught too many blue rockfish now and have to protect them, too. Yep, those fish that are all over the place, that you can hardly get away from, that attack your lures like a swarm of bees...yep, those blue rockfish. The assessment...and, by the way, assessments are where most of our problems begin...regarding the blue rockfish was lacking in much data aka "data poor", less than comprehensive and full of doubt, so much so that even the authors voiced their doubt...but it is what they refer to as the "best available science" ("science"???), so that's what the decisions had to be based upon. Because of the high catch figures and bad assessment, it was all Capt. Bob could do to scratch, claw, bargain, give and take and work it out for our 2009 and 2010 seasons to begin the second Saturday in June above Pigeon Point and close in that same area at the end of October. The restrictions just keep coming...it's absolutely insane...and unfortunately they'll probably keep on coming.
Wednesday, June 11: Friday is the day. The winds finally backed off early afternoon on Thursday. So, after being blown off the water for 10 days, we are definitely back fishing as of this Friday. If you're looking to go Friday, don't worry about calling or emailing or getting a hold of us...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). We'll have the doors open by 6:00; please try to arrive no later than 6:15. Due to a change in a reservation, we also now have 2 spots open for this Saturday...want a spot or two?...give us a call! Still some room for Sunday, too.
Monday, June 9: We'll have to still watch the weather day-by-day for the next couple of days, but by hopefully this Thursday or Friday it looks like we're back in business with the winds pushing back offshore and light winds throught the weekend. Saturday's trip is now full but we are taking standbys, and we still have plenty of space available for Thursday and Friday as well as for Father's Day this Sunday.
Friday, June 6: My favorite news program's weather forecaster this morning kept reporting how fantastic the weather looks for this weekend...what he failed to report is that is for the weather onshore. Offshore, on the other hand, is another story, the story they're not reporting. The forecast is calling for northwest winds of 20 to 30 knots with "frequent" gusts to 35 knots along with a northwest swell of 10 to 13 feet every 10 seconds. That will make for gorgeous clear skies where you can see for miles, but you sure as heck don't want to even think about being on a boat in the ocean in those conditions. Accordingly, we've cancelled our trip for tomorrow on Saturday, and we'll continue to keep a close eye on the forecast to see if there will be a break that will allow us back out, but right now it's not looking favorable at least until the middle of next week. As always, if you'd like to try to join us for a particular day, go ahead and put your name on the books; we'll be in contact if there's any change in plans for the next day's trip once we receive the weather forecast update that comes out around 2:30 to 3:00 in the afternoon. According to one model I check out, the ocean starts calming down by Wednesday, is looking downright decent by Thursday and real good by next Friday.
Wednesday, June 4: What a difference a day can make on the ocean...sometimes for the good and sometimes for the bad. Today was for the bad. The wind is howling again, forcing us to turn tail and come back in not long after trying to head down the coastline. Given what we saw today and the forecast for tomorrow, we've already called it quits and cancelled our trip for Thursday. We'll take it a day at a time through the weekend, keep a close eye on the conditions and the forecast and wait to see when it looks like we'll be able to sneak out again.
Tuesday, June 3: It worked today, so let's give it another try tomorrow on Wednesday! The wind left us alone, the swells were low, and the fish were biting. All good quality bottomfish, mostly bolinas/brownies and vermillions and about a dozen gophers, made up the catch, sending everyone home with limits. We fished between 80 to 120 feet and all we needed was 4 ounces of weight, which should tell you just how nice it was today. This afternoon's forecast for tomorrow came down a tad, and based on what we had today, our plan in to show up in the morning and give it a try just like we did today. We have plenty of room available. If you'd like to join us, don't worry about getting a hold of us; just come on down in the morning. Check in at our shop, Half Moon Bay Sportfishing (look for the BIG yellow "TICKET OFFICE" sign in the front window). We'll have the doors open by 6:00 a.m.; check in no later than 6:15 to 6:30 at the very latest.
Monday, June 2: Looks like we might get a little break between the wind fronts tomorrow, with swells forecast of only 3 to 5 feet along with wind at 10 to 20 out of the northwest, but today unfortunately the wind decided to play havoc with us once again. We went out, caught a couple of fish including a lingcod, but it was just too rough for our customers, so we threw in the towel early, handed out rainchecks and decided we'll see what tomorrow brings. If the forecast holds true, we should be able to sneak in a trip tomorrow on Tuesday, but the forecast is calling for the winds to ramp back up to 20 to 30 knots for Wednesday and Thursday.
Sunday, June 1: At long last, as of today the areas above Pigeon Point are once again open for rockfishing and are scheduled to be open, pending any inseason adjustments, through the end of November. Modified regulations this year (made after the DFG regs were printed) restrict rockfishing to areas inside 20 fathoms (120 feet) along our coastline in an effort to rebuild the protected canary, goldeneye and lingcod fisheries, and Coast Guard helicopters were out patrolling the management lines. We've been told by a source that will go nameless that violations will be issued to the anglers as well as the crew for boats fishing illegally in closed waters this year. As the Queen of Hearts prefers to fish shallow anyway, rest assured that our anglers never have to worry they will be put in jeopardy. So, with light gear and high hopes, we headed out the harbor and down the coastline. The weather on the ocean, though, was far from nice. The light gear our gang had onboard today kept us in much shallower water and well within the 120 foot depth restriction. The mixture of light gear with today's rotten weather didn't make for a good combination, and it was another day of tough fishing. Top fish of the day was a solid 12 pound lingcod, and there was a duo of boys who were on fire, had a great day and went home with limits, but then there were others who had a difficult time just finding a fish that wanted to bite. It was far from what we were hoping for to start things out, but one day does not a season make.
Thursday, May 29: The fish actually decided to halfway cooperate today, giving us our best day of catching so far this month, sending home some guys with limits of rockcod and giving us an overall score of 7 to 8 fish per person. Big fish of the day was a 15 pound lingcod caught by Stephen Lee...matter of fact I remember telling him when I spoke with him yesterday that he'd probably catch the biggest fish because he's so lucky (Stephen goes on our annual QH long range trip every year and was the hot stick on last year's outing). We brought a few more cabezon onboard and had a huge sand sole that Capt. Bob said had to be somewhere between 12 to 15 inches. Water temperature below Pigeon has risen by almost six degrees since the beginning of the month, the weather has improved dramatically, and thankfully so has the catches. We're taking tomorrow off but we still have plenty of room open for this Saturday. As of Sunday, we're back to running pretty much 7 days a week...as long as we have folks on the books, Capt. Bob says we're going fishing regardless of how many or how few. He also says the water between the harbor and Pigeon are looking mighty good and can't wait to give them a try.
Wednesday, May 28: With a fantastic weather forecast and around a dozen folks on the books, we are definitely fishing tomorrow on Thursday, May 29. With a dozen folks on the books, though, there is obviously still plenty of room on the trip since our trips can carry up to 35 anglers. So, if you'd like to join us tomorrow, don't worry if you don't get a hold of us...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). We'll have the doors open at 6:00 a.m.; check in no later than 6:15. Click on our "Find Us" webpage if you need directions.
Monday, May 26: Happy Memorial Day to all...and thank you to all of the fallen heros who are memorialized by this holiday. Thank you also to the boatload of folks who joined us today and bounced their gear around the ocean bottom; some ended up with just shy of their 10 fish limit, while others had a tough time just finding a fish that wanted to bite. Overall we ended up with right around 150 fish on the boat; that's a lot of fish when you really think about it, but it's still no where near what we're used to and expect to catch once the territory north of Pigeon Point opens up the end of this week. The weather has definitely made a turn for the better with much lower swells and winds forecast this coming week, which as we've seen definitely helps the catch. Good chance it looks like we'll have enough interest to make the run to Pigeon this Thursday; if you're interested in joining us, reservations are definitely recommended, not because we're going to be too full but because we need to make sure there's enough folks looking to go to burn the fuel.
Friday, May 23:: The ocean is calming back down as predicted and we'll be back on the water starting this Sunday, May 25. There's still space available for both Sunday and Monday...give us a call if you'd like to join us.
Wednesday, May 21: At last we see the light at the end of the tunnel, or I should say the calm at the end of the wind. The wind is supposed to downright howl on the ocean Thursday and Friday and start calming down on Saturday, so we've gone ahead and crossed off our trips through Saturday, but it looks like we'll be back in business and on the water with much better weather by this Sunday, May 25, and there's still plenty of room on both Sunday and Monday for this Memorial Day weekend.
Sunday, May 18: Different day but pretty much same story: lots of fishing but not many fish. It's been an extremely tough month of fishing since our season opened on the 1st, but they say the worst day fishing is still better than the best day working...hope the folks who have given it a try understand and agree and know that it will get better. Without a doubt, June 1st just can't come soon enough for our crew, when we can fish our usual haunts like Pescadero, San Gregorio and Martin's Beach. On the weather front, it looks like the annual Memorial Day gale winds are right on schedule; the forecast is calling for winds up to 30 to 40 knots by this Wednesday. Definitely no reason to fight Mother Nature on this one: we've gone ahead and cancelled our trips through Wednesday, and we'll see how it goes as the rest of the week gets closer.
Saturday, May 17: Heather's first words this morning were "this group sure isn't going to go hungry or thirsty!" The company who arranged today's private charter took good care of their gang, supplying them with the works, and Heather and James worked their tails off taking care of the guys, too. Wish it was because there were so many fish to take care of, but unfortunately the wind came up a bit and the ocean bottom was a little more hungry than the fish.
Friday, May 16: The highliner of the day was Mike, who was just two fish shy of taking home his 10 fish rockcod limit, a darn good score in light of how tough fishing has been below Pigeon. We also had a keeper ling and seatrout, but overall it was another day of a lot of fishing but not nearly as many fish as we'd like. At least the weather was absolutely gorgeous...no jacket or sweatshirt needed today, just a lot of sunscreen.
Thursday, May 15: Green light for our trip tomorrow on Friday...let's go fishing! There is still plenty of space available, so if you'd like to join us, don't worry about sending an email or calling...just come on down in the morning. We'll have the doors open at 6:00 a.m.; please check in no later than 6:15 at our shop, Half Moon Bay Sportfishing...look for the BIG yellow "TICKET OFFICE" sign in our front window. Need gear or licenses? No worries...we have anything you might need at our shop.
Wednesday, May 14: Our trips right now are "weather and interest permitting." The weather looks like it has finally decided to cooperate for a while...now all we need is enough interest to make burning the 100 gallons of fuel needed to run to Pigeon at least a break even proposition, and it looks like this Friday will be the day. If you're looking to beat the heat, give us a call and join us out on the cool ocean waters this Friday...still plenty of room available. Saturday is a private charter, but we have still have lots of room open for this Sunday.
Saturday, May 10: Today was a good day. The weather was decent, especially compared to what we've been dealing with so far this month, with not much wind and not too bad of a swell. And, right off the bat, on the very first cast of the day, we starting hooking fish. The water is still extremely cold and it's far from fast and furious action, but we did entice just a few fish shy of 100 rockcod onboard, several of which were nice quality coppers, brownies and vermillions, and we were able to sweeten the pot landing four keeper lingcod and a 11 pound toad cabezon. It's pretty obvious that when the weather gives us a break, we'll definitely have the chance at some good fishing. Looking at the different forecast models, it looks like we might just get that break we've been waiting for starting this Friday and going all the way through Monday at this point. We'll know more as it gets closer.
Wednesday, May 7: With the forecast yesterday afternoon calling for 25 to 35 knots out of the northwest along with a close-together swell for today, it was an easy decision to cancel today's trip. Tomorrow on Thursday was not so easy, however. The forecast is calling for 15 to 25 knots, but the highest winds have been holding steady offshore, and one of the models I watch carefully looks like we'll actually have almost decent weather along the coastline tomorrow. Unfortunately, though, with as churned up as the ocean was today, we just don't feel like trying to make the run to Pigeon would be worth the effort so we've pulled the plug and crossed off Thursday's trip. We're still scheduled to run Friday even though we're watching the forecasts real close; at this point it does look pretty good that Saturday's trip will be a go and we currently have 10 spots left for that trip.
Sunday, May 4: Our trips this week have all been up to the wind. No wind at the harbor in the morning, we jump on the boat and start heading south to see what we will see. Such was the case this morning. There was not a breath of wind at the harbor, even though the marine forecast was calling for 20 to 30 knots out of the northwest. We did have a fairly strong swell, but the wind never really hit the coast. So much for trusting the forecast. Anyway, even without much wind the weather was still not the greatest, and fishing was still tough. Highlight of the trip was a real nice vermillion that was landed, and we did finally see a couple of lingcod even though they didn't make the 24 inch mark so we had to throw them back. From what we've seen so far, fishing below Pigeon this month will not be for the meek or for those looking to load up their freezer; it's for the real anglers who know that fishing means going out for the day, seeing what the ocean will surrender and appreciating that they still have the opportunity to give it a shot. We've built our business on offering fishing trips to folks that enjoy fishing; that's what we've always done and that's what we will always continue to do. We'll be fishing below Pigeon Point through the month of May, weather and interest permitting, and our SWLT rockfishing trips begin on Sunday, June 1 (which only has 2 spots left!).
Saturday, May 3: As we drove towards the harbor, all the flags we saw on Highway 1 driving north from Highway 92 were standing out like a frozen rope. So much for the 5 to 15 NW wind forecast that came out Friday afternoon. With that much wind by the harbor, and knowing what we had below Pigeon the last two days, it was an easy, but difficult at the same time, decision: cancel today's trip and we'll wait to see what we get tomorrow morning. We hate sending a boatload of folks eager to go fishing back home, but until someone figures out a way to control Mother Nature, we don't have much choice sometimes.
Friday, May 2: Different day, but pretty much same story as yesterday...tough weather and a lot of fishing but not much catching. The water below Pigeon is 47 degrees, which is extremely cold and keeps the fish tucked tight in their crevices (probably shivering their scales off!). Add to that the wind above sea level that makes for a fast drift and makes it difficult to get our gear to the bottom...but we have to deal with the cards we're dealt. We can fish out to as deep as 240 feet below Pigeon, but we can't even think about going much deeper than the 140 foot mark Bob tried today until the wind backs off a bit and we have more of a chance of being able to hit the bottom.
Thursday, May 1: We arrived at the shop in the morning with our fingers crossed and were rewarded with no wind at the harbor, so Capt. Bob gave me the word to sell the tickets...we're going fishing! We had fine travelling weather heading south, but once we arrived at the fishing grounds below Pigeon we found the wind, or it found us, however you want to look at it. We had a great boatload of guys out for our opening day, and we were happy to have them back at the rails of the Queen after the five month season closure. It was good to be fishing; unfortunately, though, there wasn't much catching. Bob gave it his all trying various spots in depths from around 125 feet and less, but the winds that met us blew a steady 20 knots all day long, making it virtually impossible to get our gear to the bottom. The forecast is calling for the winds to back off a tad tomorrow along with a little less swell, so we'll see what tomorrow brings and test out more available territory.
Wednesday, April 30: Finally, after five months off the water, we're able to wet our lines beginning tomorrow with the opening of the rockfishing season below Pigeon Point. That is, of course, if Mother Nature cooperates. The winds have been howling this year in the ocean, and we're watching the forecast real close right now to try to figure out what tomorrow will bring, even though it looks like it will be one of those show-up-and-keep-your-fingers-crossed type of mornings. If you have a reservation, rest assured that we will contact you if there's any change in plans. We'll open the shop at 5:30 a.m. through this Sunday; as of next week, we plan on opening at 5:30 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays and 6:00 a.m. Monday through Friday when the boat is running. Please always plan on checking in at our shop no later than 6:15, though, so we can do our best to try to leave the dock on time.
Friday, April 25: Lots of news to report: (1) Our last whale watching trips for the year are scheduled for this Saturday and Sunday, April 25 and 26, and, thank goodness, the ocean looks like it actually plans on cooperating this weekend.
(2) By this time next week, weather permitting, we'll be back to fishing! The rockfishing season below Pigeon Point opens on next Thursday, May 1, and we plan on offering rockfishing trips below Pigeon every day during the month of May, weather and interest permitting. We can fish out to 240 feet deep below Pigeon, so, if you have your own gear, be sure to bring both shallow and deep water gear.
(3) Our shallow water light tackle rockfishing season above Pigeon Point opens on Sunday, June 1...definitely not too early to make reservations as we only have about a dozen spots left already for that date. The first Saturday in June, which is June 7, is free fishing license day...join us that day and save the $13 one-day license fee.
(4) The rockfishing season this year is pretty much the same as last year; about the only change is that the North Central management area (Mendocino to Pigeon Point) is restricted to fishing no deeper than 120 feet...not a big deal for the Queen of Hearts, because we prefer to fish as shallow as possible, anyway. The season is scheduled to remain open through the end of November as long as the established quotas aren't exceeded which would kick in an early closure like what happened in 2007.
(5) Time to wipe off the wintertime funk...I'll be back updating reports as often as possible, on a daily basis if I can, now that we're back doing what we're in this business to do. Definitely look for an update on May 1st with the rundown on our opening day.
(6) And now for the bad news: The Pacific Fisheries Management Council did vote to cancel the 2008 salmon season along the entire California coastline. Why? Too hard to explain, so check out their notice at:
http://www.pcouncil.org/newsreleases/PFMC_FINAL_PressRel.pdf. The closure is effective through April of 2009. That means the earliest we may be able to go salmon fishing would be in May of 2009 if the ban is lifted, but we probably won't get the final decision regarding the 2009 salmon season until after the PFMC's April 2009 meeting. So put your salmon gear away for now, cherish that last piece of salmon in your freezer, shed a tear and then wipe it away, and let's go rockfishing!
Tuesday, April 1: Happy April Fool's Day: salmon season opens this Saturday!...what a rotten April Fool's joke, huh? Yep, this Saturday was SUPPOSED to be Opening Day, but, for the first time in our generation's history, we may be forbidden from catching our own salmon...farmed fish anyone? Yuck. So, we continue on with our whale watching trips. But Mother Nature is being about as rotten to us this season as the DFG has been: the winds continue to make for real tough whale watching conditions. Hopefully it will calm down a tad this month.
Monday, March 24: After having to cancel the last four weekends due to the winds, we were able to run four whale watching trips this past Saturday and Sunday and found gray whales on every trip except for one. All of the whales were heading north, and there were quite a few mother and calf duos. The wind still was not very cooperative, making for a pretty rough ride; the forecast wasn't much help either, with better conditions occuring on Saturday even though the forecast had been calling for less wind on Sunday. Saturday morning we found whales about 6 miles offshore, and just about everywhere you looked you'd see a blow. At one point there were three boats within a one mile radius all watching different groups of whales. Saturday afternoon we found a pair of courting whales just outside the PP Buoy about a mile from the harbor; we followed them for quite a while and then found another group to follow to finish off the trip. Sunday the wind really picked up; it was too rough for us to try to head offshore where we saw so many whales just the day before. We didn't find any whales in the morning but did find a whale just in the nick of time before we had to throw in the towel late on the afternoon trip. I sure wish this wind would give us a break, but it continues to be our biggest enemy this whale watching season.
Thursday, March 20: A press release was just issued from the PFMC regarding the final three options for the 2008 salmon season which will be decided on at their next meeting in April. The options there look a little different than what we heard last week. Check out the press release for yourself at: http://www.pcouncil.org/newsreleases/March_20_2008_release.pdf. According to that release, the final decision regarding the salmon season, or lack of one, will be announced on Thursday, April 10.
Friday, March 14: Today was D-Day at the Pacific Fisheries Management Council ("PFMC") meetings taking place in Sacramento. The preliminary fate of the 2008 salmon season was officially announced. It is available for viewing on the PFMC's website at http://www.pcouncil.org/decisions/currentdec.html. The latest word I received around noon from Capt. Bob, who has been at these meetings since they started last Sunday with some days' meetings lasting 15+ hours, is that the latest options for the 2008 salmon season is either a complete closure or a token season allowing salmon fishing for three days around three of our biggest holidays: Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day (but no salmon fishing will be allowed after August 31). That means the salmon season that was supposed to open in April will not open in April. The PFMC will make their next decision after their next round of meetings which will end on Friday, April 11. On the rockcod front, we'll have the same season this year as last year: the waters below Pigeon Point will open on Thursday, May 1, and the waters north of Pigeon Point will open on Sunday, June 1. Pigeon Point is about 17 miles south of our harbor at Half Moon Bay, well within our range, so the Queen of Hearts will begin Pigeon Point rockfishing trips as of May 1. As far as depth restrictions, the maximum fishing depth north of Piegon Point was changed from 180 back to 120 feet, but the 240 foot maximum below Pigeon Point is unchanged. Another option that was adopted is a change in the coastal management lines moving the dividing line between the Northern and North Central California areas to Point Arena. These lines have been adjusted over the last decade trying to fine tune which coastal areas should be managed together. By fine tuning these lines, it may help keep some areas open to fishing when others are required to close to avoid overfishing. Our rockfishing season will be closely monitored, and once it's projected that an area is getting close to its allotment of fish, that area will be closed within 10 days' notice. What that means is we have to value our chances to fish and value our fish even that much more. Appreciate that we still have the opportunity to go out on the ocean, put our lines in the water, get away from our stresses and pressures and see what we might catch. And we can't waste what is caught. Every fish counts. The rockfishing season last year wasn't closed because too many fish were caught...it was closed because too many fish were wasted. To try to explain: certain rockfish cannot be kept, namely canary, goldeneye (aka yelloweye) and cowcod. Unfortunately, in one area of our coastline, boats were fishing areas where way too many goldeneye were hooked and released. Those fish, even though they were released, were counted against us just the same as if they had been kept, and, once too many were counted, the season was closed. Boats operators need to realize that they need to avoid areas and catches that can, will and have closed down our season early. It is a screwed up situation, but it's what we have to live with, and the alternative of not being able to fish at all is not alternative I want to see again. And last, but not least, our whale watching trips for this weekend have been blown out by too much wind once again. The winds this year have only allowed us to get out whale watching on just one weekend since the beginning of the year. We've been stuck in a pattern of decent weather during the weekdays only to see the wind come up and howl on the weekends, making it impossible to take folks out to check out the gray whales migrating along our coastline right now. Hopefully this weather pattern will break soon; we'll give it a try again next weekend, and, now that won't be fishing during April, we'll continue to offer whale watching trips, weather permitting, through April.
Monday, March 3: As gorgeous as it was on land this past weekend, it was not so on the ocean, with way too much wind blowing out our planned whale watching trips. Hopefully the weather will give us a break and we'll give it another try this coming Saturday, March 8 to find a few more migrating gray whales. No trips on Sunday this weekend as Capt. Bob is off to the next round of PFMC meetings in Sacramento.
Thursday, February 21: The ocean weather forecast is pretty iffy for Saturday, February 23, and, as much as we don't want to, based on what we see we have already cancelled our trips for Sunday, February 24. Maybe next week things will calm down again and we'll get a better shot at viewing some more of these magnificant mammals. Even after all these years, we still thoroughly enjoy having the chance to check out these giants in their natural environment.
Saturday, Sunday and Monday, February 16, 17 and 18: We scoured the waters just about as far north, west and south as we could, and finally on our trip Monday morning Capt. Bob's experienced whale watching eyes spotted the arching back of a gray whale. The whale was a sneaky fellow, barely visible at first and surely would have been completely missed except for the quick glimpse Bob just happened to see. After figuring out the whale's path and it's comfort level with the boat, we were able to follow it on its northbound trek for a majority of our three hour trip, watching as it did it's customary one, two, three blows and fluke pattern. Based on our past 18 years of whale watching out of Half Moon Bay on the Queen of Hearts, it seems this weekend's experiences could be the signal that the majority of the southbound whales have already swam by our area and the closer, northern return has begun. By the beginning of March we could be in full whale watching swing just off our coastline.
Wednesday, February 13 - We are scheduled for whale watching at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. this President's Day weekend, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, February 16, 17 and 18. The forecast is calling for very light winds, and hopefully just a lazy swell to go along with it. There's plenty of room on all trips at this point, but it would still be a good idea to give a call or send an email to grab a spot if you'd like to join us.
Saturday, February 9 - Happy Birthday, Capt. Bob! With a great group of guys and great travelling weather, we headed offshore in search of some Humboldt squid. No one has been venturing out for almost a month with the way the weather's been, so we had to give it the old college try to see what we could find. They covered a lot of ground, and gave a couple of spots a shot, but no squid attacked our offerings. Another boat out of Bodega Bay covered the territory up north with the same results. So, until we get word from one of the handful of commercial boats working the offshore waters that makes it sounds promising to give it another try, we'll hold off on scheduling any more squid adventures. For now, it will be whale watching Saturdays and Sundays.
Tuesday, February 5 - Looks like we might actually have a shot at venturing out after some giant squid this Saturday...as long as the winds hold off, we have enough folks interested to give it a try. And, by the way, Saturday is Capt. Bob's birthday....
Wednesday, January 30 - We might we getting some breaks in the rain and actually seeing some sun, but the forecast is calling at least 12 foot swells through the weekend along with a lot of wind. That combined with the way the weather's been on the ocean the past couple of weeks is enough for us to throw in the towel for this weekend and cancel our squid and whale watching trips Saturday and Sunday. There is a possibility that Mavericks may be going off Friday and Saturday, but we're watching the reports closely to see if we'll be able to put a trip or two together.
Wednesday, January 23 - Just waiting on the weather to get another chance to get back out on the water; the wind came up offshore last Saturday and hit the coast Sunday so we ended up cancelling our trips we had scheduled last weekend. We're available for whale watching this Sunday but we're keeping a close eye on the weather again. Our next shot at running for giant Humboldt squid is set for Saturday, February 2.
Monday, January 14 - Time to get back to what we do best: fishing. Well, kinda fishing...Humboldt squid fishing is what we'll be doing to be exact. And Capt. Bob said he may just give it a try to catch some sand dabs on the way back in after hunting for the Humboldts to spice up the pot a bit. Our first trip is scheduled for this Saturday, weather and interest permitting. We've got some folks on the books for our trip Saturday but there is still lots of room available. If you're game to give it a try, give us a call or send an email and put your name on the list.
Saturday, January 12 - Absolutely gorgeous weather greeted this years Surf Contest at Mavericks. Our two trips went off without a hitch, with the Queen of Hearts being the first boat to be at the viewing area for the first heat. With what seemed like a zillion boats in the area, Capt. Bob and our crew were on their toes all day keeping everyone safe and as close to the action as possible. Thanks to all of you who put your trust in our services. Hope we'll see you again for another trip to check out the surfers at Mavericks.
Thursday, January 10 - The surf contest at Mavericks has been given the green light and will take place this Saturday, January 12. We will be running two trips to view the action up close and personal and currently have space available. To grab your spot, go to our Mavericks webpage for details at: www.fishingboat.com/mavericks.html. Conditions look fantastic so it should be a great show.