Wed., May 22 - Cancelled due to high winds on the ocean
Tue., May 21 - Cancelled due to high winds on the ocean
Mon., May 20 - Cancelled due to high winds on the ocean
Sun., May 19 - Cancelled due to high winds on the ocean
Sat., May 18 - 20 anglers, rotten weather, 4 salmon
Fri., May 17 - 13 anglers, hooked 60+ salmon, landed 13 to 17 lbs.
Thu., May 16 - 18 anglers, 6 salmon to 17 lbs., know where to go
Wed., May 15 - Cancelled due to high winds on the ocean
Tue., May 14 - Cancelled due to high winds on the ocean
Mon., May 13 - 7 anglers, 14 salmon to ?? - LIMITS!
Sun., May 12 - 23 anglers, 5 salmon to 27 pounds!
Sat., May 11 - 35 anglers, 297 rockcod, 2 cabezon, 9 lingcod
Fri., May 10 - 26 anglers, LIMITS: 257 rockcod + 3 cabezon, 4 lingcod
Thu., May 9 - 18 anglers, 20 salmon all 12 to 16 lbs.
Wed., May 8 - 20 anglers, hooked 20+ salmon, landed 10 all 12 to 19 lbs.
Tue., May 7 - 25 anglers, found the fish late in the day, lost 4 to 1
Mon., May 6 - Ocean calming down; we'll be back at it tomorrow
Sun., May 5 - Wind howling offshore...trip cancelled
Sat., May 4 - 18 anglers, 32 salmon to 19 lbs
Fri., May 3 - 21 anglers, looked 30+ salmon, landed 16 to 14 lbs.
Thu., May 2 - 25 anglers, where'd they go??
Wed., May 1 - 21 anglers, anywhere from 1 to 6 fish per person, 1 lingcod
Tue., April 30 - Trip cancelled; still too much wind offshore
Mon., April 29 - Trip canceleld; too much wind offshore
Sun., April 28 - 18 anglers, 36 salmon to 13 lbs. - LIMITS!
Sat., April 27 - 22 anglers, 44 salmon to 16 lbs. - LIMITS!
Fri., April 26 - 25 anglers, 50 salmon to 18 lbs. - LIMITS BY 10:30 A.M.!!
Thu., April 25 - 24 anglers, 13 salmon to 14 lbs., missed the early bite
Wed., April 24 - 20 anglers, 23 salmon to 18 lbs., tons of action
Tue., April 23 - 26 anglers, 52 salmon to 13 lbs. - LIMITS!!
Mon., April 22 - 20 anglers, 38 salmon to 13 lbs., off the hook fishing
Sun., April 21 - 25 anglers, 35 salmon to 13 lbs., plenty of opportunites
Sat., April 20 - Went out, too nasty, turned back
Fri., April 19 - 25 anglers, 37 salmon to 18 lbs., wide open at times
Thu., April 18 - 23 anglers, 11 salmon to 17 lbs., lots of moving around
Wed., April 17 - 15 anglers, 25 salmon to 12 lbs., good action all day
Sun., April 7 - 25 anglers, 21 salmon to 14 lbs., lots more got away
Sat., April 6 - 24 anglers, 20 salmon to 11 lbs., lost more than that
WHOPPERS: (15 lbs. and over in bold)
Fri., May 17 - Chris Bernal or Orangevale - 19 lb. salmon
Fri., May 17 - John Sulzbach of Redwood City - 19 lb. salmon
Thu., May 16 - Sam Jafari of Belmont - 17 lb. salmon
Mon., May 13 - Nan Boyd of Sacramento - 14 lb. salmon
Sun., May 12 - Mirza Jatic of San Jose - 27 lb. salmon!! - Deep Reef
Sat., May 11 - Aaron West of Livermore - 6 lb. lingcod - Pigeon Point
Fri., May 10 - Don Contaxis of San Leandro - 6 lb. lingcod - Pigeon Point
Fri., May 10 - Armando Monge of Mountain View - 6 lb. cabezon - Pigeon Point
Thu., May 9 - Jerry Yoshida of Richmond - 16 lb. salmon - Deep Reef
Wed., May 8 - Mike Donafrio of Mountain View - 17 lb. salmon
Tue., May 7 - Kenneth Yu of Hillsborough - 13 lb. salmon
Sat., May 4 - Charles Deguara of Cupertino - 19 lb. salmon - Deep Reef
Fri., May 3 - John Carr of San Francisco - 14 lb. salmon
Sun., April 28 - Jeff Bensick of Santa Cruz - 14 lb. salmon
Sat., April 27 - Earl Yoshihara of Santa Clara - 16 lb. salmon - Deep Reef
Fri., April 26 - Paul Miller of So. S.F. - 18 lb. salmon - north of Deep Reef
Thu., April 25 - Frank Mejia of San Bruno - 14 lb. salmon - Deep Reef
Wed., April 24 - Mark Ivey of Reno - 13 lb. salmon - Deep Reef
Tue., April 23 - Rodney Jue of Fresno - 13 lb. salmon - Deep Reef
Mon., April 22 - Farid Guizani of San Carlos - 11 lb. salmon - Deep Reef
Sun., April 21 - Dusty Marcus of Tennessee - 13 lb. salmon - Deep Reef
Fri., April 19 - Mary Govier of Citrus Heights - 18 lb. salmon - Deep Reef
Thu., April 18 - Paul Lee of San Francisco - 17 lb. salmon - north end of Deep Reef
Wed., April 17 - Tim "Birthday Boy" Simmons of Michigan - 12 lb. salmon - north of Deep Reef
Sun., April 7 - Vince Laherrere of Burlingame - 14 lb. salmon - south of Deep Reef
Sat., April 6 - Jack Heringer of Mountain View - 11 lb. salmon - north of Deep Reef
Wednesday, May 22 - Extremely strong northwest winds continue to blow on the ocean have kept us tied to the dock since Saturday after, so we're trying to patiently wait for it to calm down and we can get back out on the water. We're taking it day by day, but right now it is looking like it will take a few more days before Mother Nature will give us another shot at the fish. We've cancelled our trip for Thursday; we'll make the decision regarding Friday's trip by midday on Thursday. Looking at a couple of weather sites I watch, we're in good shape by the beginning of next week but pretty iffy as it stands right now until then.
Sunday, May 19 - No fishing today as the wind machine has cranked up on the ocean again cancelling our trip, and looks like it may be a while before we get back out.
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, May 16, 17, 18 - The good, the bad and the ugly. Update on its way....
Monday, May 13 - Rockfishing below Pigeon Point was good on Friday with limits for all 26 anglers, 257 rockcod plus 3 cabezon along with four lingcod, and Saturday was just a tad shy of limits with 297 rockcod, 2 cabezon and 9 lingcod for 35 anglers. Even though everyone was doing things correctly on Mother's Day Sunday, we just couldn't find many cooperative salmon, ending the day with five in the box, but one of them was the biggest fish landed so far this year out of our shop, a 27 pound smoker. Our Fishing Fools group finally made it out today on Monday with some pretty snotty conditions and were rewarded with limits, 14 salmon for their group of 7 anglers. The wind is forecast to increase tomorrow pushing the swells closer together, so we've cancelled our trip for tomorrow on Tuesday. The forecast is a carbon copy for the next several days, but, like I always say, it can and does change so we'll just take it day by day, one day at a time. Wednesday afternoon update: The winds are supposed to back off for at least a day or two so we ARE fishing tomorrow, Thursday, May 16. If you'd like to join us, still plenty of room if you'd like to just come down and check in at our shop at 5:00 a.m. Looks like we're fishing Friday, too, as long as the forecast doesn't change.
Thursday, May 9 - Trying to find time to update the website between all the phone calls and emails and everything else that engulfs my day. The wind howled 50+ knots on Sunday and took until the end of the day on Monday to settle down. The fish were blown all over kingdom come on Tuesday and it took a while to figure out where to find them. But find them Bob did at the end of the day. It was already past return time but they hooked 13 fish fast and furiously for a solid 45 minutes. Three of those made it onboard, but after the 10th one was lost, Bob pulled the plug and said he couldn't take no more but he knew were he was heading on Wednesday. Wednesday it was all big fish, nothing smaller than 12 pounds with fish up to 19 pounds, and we ended up with 10 salmon out of the 20+ hooked. Today on Thursday the salmon were there but so was a bunch of kelp and grass that made it impossible to troll through. They moved up to the next hot spot and ended up with 20 fish for 18 guys to 16 pounds with another day of an excellent grade of fish. Tomorrow on Friday we'll be rockfishing below Pigeon Point. Still plenty of room if you'd just like to come down around 6:00 a.m. and check in. Our rockfishing trip on Saturday is currently full and we have one spot left for salmon fishing on this Sunday. Good chance I won't have another chance to update my report until after the weekend but I'll do my best.
Monday, May 6 - Finally back at the computer and able to put together an update. Friday's salmon trip started out where Thursday had left off with us still on the hunt until thankfully, at exactly 11:05, we found the fish that had evaded us the day before. It was hot and heavy action for the next couple of hours, with well over 30 fish hooked and 16 of those making it onboard for our group of 21. We had a great beginning right off the bat on Saturday and it was another day where we should have easily gone home with limits if just a few more fish that were hooked could've made it onboard, ending the day with 32 salmon for our group of 18 from the Yerba Buena Angling Club. It was a close call for jackpot fish with two just ounces away from each other in the 19 pound class and several right behind them at 17 and 18 pounds. The wind picked up at the end of Saturday's trip and we had to cancel Sunday and today, but the forecast is calling for things to calm down and it looks downright nice for tomorrow's trip on Tuesday, but Tuesday's trip is now full. We do have space available for salmon fishing on Wednesday and Thursday...reservations a darn good idea. On the rockcod side of things, the Riptide who works with us from our shop was out on Saturday fishing below Pigeon Point. The water temperature had risen to a balmy 52 degrees, up from the frigid 47 degrees we had on Opening Day, which might not sound like much but is actually a huge difference in the rockcod world. Warmer water makes for much more active and hungry fish, and they ended up with 17 limits on Saturday including a cabezon and three lingcod. If you'd like to give rockfishing a try, we have rockfishing trips scheduled this Friday and Saturday.
Thursday, May 2 - We made it down to the rockfishing grounds below Pigeon Point yesterday but unfortunately not a whole bunch of rockfish wanted to come out and play. Capt. Bob tried lots and lots of spots to see if he could find some hungry bottom dwellers, and our guys threw everything they could at them except the kitchen sink, to not much avail. Some folks went home with five or six fish, several went home with just a fish or two for their efforts, and we found one hungry lingcod that became someone's dinner. Today on Thursday it was back out to the salmon grounds. Or should I say back out to what was the salmon grounds. The little buggers wiggled their tails and took a hike, so we're back on the hunt to try to figure out where they swam off to. With the opening of the commercial salmon season yesterday, there are more boats on the water that can cover more territory in a short amount of time, so hopefully we'll get back on top of a good school tomorrow and turn that light switch back on. I have a crazy busy schedule the next couple of days, so if I don't get a chance to post an update in the next day or two feel free to give me a call if you just can't wait to find out what's happening.
Tuesday, April 30 - Rockfishing season opens tomorrow on Wednesday, May 1 and we have space available.
The rockfishing 2013 rockfishing season officially kicks off tomorrow on Wednesday, May 1 with the opening of the territory below Pigeon Point. Pigeon is about 18 miles south of our harbor, right around an hour and 15 minute boat ride on the Queen of Hearts, well within our range. The weather along the coastline looks absolutely fine for tomorrow and we still have space available. If you'd like to join us on tomorrow's trip, don't worry about calling or emailing...just come on down and check in at our shop in the morning. I'll have the doors open at 5:30 a.m.; plan on arriving by no later than around 6:00 a.m. to check in.
Monday, April 29 - "Wow, that was unbelievable" is what I heard Saturday afternoon when the guys came through to pick up ice for their fish. Fishermen who have been with us for a long time were saying they hadn't seen fishing like this in years. Addrenaline pumping, heart racing, wide open fishing, stuff like the good old days. How long will it last? Absolutely no way to know. Just keep in mind that salmon fishing in California can be like turning on and off a light switch. What happened yesterday is past history and may not mean a darn thing for tomorrow...but, with fishing this good, we sure hope that light switch stays turned on like this for a long time to come! Even grumpy old Captain Bob is coming home saying how much fun it was. There are still a few pull-out-the-few-hairs-he-has-left moments where too many fish are lost for too many reasons that just don't have to happen if folks can just keep their wheels inside their heads turning, but thankfully the fish have been forgiving and have been on a terror. One of the best salmon seasons we've had was back in 2004, and the way fishing is right now it reminds us of that year. Hard to believe with how nice it is on land, but the winds out at the salmon grounds, which are around 15 miles offshore give or take, have kicked up again and knocked us off the water today and tomorrow on Tuesday. The forecast looks fine along the coastline for Wednesday's rockcod trip, so we will be rockfishing on Wednesday and back salmon fishing Thursday and Friday. Room all three days at this point, but reservations definitely a good idea.
Friday, April 26 - It just doesn't get any better than it was today! What a difference a day makes! Everyone today was on the ball right from the start and within minutes of putting the lines in the water we already had 10 fish in the box. It was fast and furious action with nary a shaker in the mix. By 10:30 a.m. we put the last fish in the box to round out limits for all 25 onboard, and we headed home with 50 salmon, all a nice grade of fish, with the biggest a goregous 18 pounder. Guys were coming in the shop to buy ice with huge smiles on their faces and saying what a fantastic day it was. Now that's more like it! Our trips for this weekend are full, but we do have room next week as long as the weather on the ocean holds up. I'll be working at the shop all day Saturday and the first half of Sunday, so I may not have the time to update on this webpage. It won't have a darn thing to do with how the fishing is; it'll only be because I'm too busy and might not have the time. I'll update it if I can, but, if not, look for details about the weekends' trips on Monday.
Thursday, April 25 - Sorry I didn't get a chance for an update yesterday. After working several 16 hour days in a row, I'm getting a tad bit tired, to say the least! Yesterday on Wednesday we had plenty of opportunities, with probably two to three fish lost or shook for every one landed, and we ended the day with 23 fish going home for our 20 folks onboard. Unfortunately today on Thursday it took a good majority of the morning to get everyone on the same page so we could start bringing in some fish, and wouldn't you know that the hot bite today was first thing in the morning. By the time we were situated, the bite was just about over, but we were able to scratch out 13 fish to 14 pounds until it died off completely. Bob and I have been going long range fishing for our vacation on the Royal Polaris out of San Diego for the past 17 years. I learned a long time ago to listen to any advice or suggestions the crew tells me because they're the ones that do this day in and day out, and anything they say is said with only one intention: to help me hook and land a fish. If you join us on one of our trips, remember that important lesson: if the crew tells you something, it's the way it works best on our boat and it's a darn good idea to take their advice. Especially when it comes to this salmon fishing stuff. Even though it seems like it's an individual sport, this is really a group effort. We all have to work together to make things work. The great weather we've been having is supposed to continue for another day or two or three, but after that it looks like there's a good chance we'll be blown off the water again unless the forecast improves.
Tuesday, April 23 - 26 limits aka 52 salmon! - It just don't get any better than that! And with these fish all having to be over the 24 inch minimum, they are all nice fish! I always like it when I can hear the smile radiating through the phone when Capt. Bob calls in to report a good day like they had today. Not only are the fishing gods smiling upon us, but the weather gods are still smiling on us, too, with low swells and light winds through the current five day forecast period. This feels good, real good. There's a few spots still open for Wednesday and we're about half way there for Thursday and Friday at this point, but our weekend is full. With fishing and weather this good, it's more important than ever to call us while we're around the phone to make a reservation. We're here until at least 4pm daily.
Monday, April 22 - Add another 38 fish today to the last two days and we're up to 110 salmon in the last three trips! - Without a doubt, this has been the best opening month of a salmon season we've seen in years. Capt. Bob said they already had about 30 fish in the box by 10 a.m. All we needed was two more fish for limits by 1:00 but, after losing fish after fish, Bob pulled the plug and ended the day with 38 salmon for 20 anglers to 13 pounds. Weather forecast looks great all week. Fishing has been great. I don't want to say anything to jinx us, so I won't. We'll just leave it at that. If you'd like to join us, we have 3 spots left for tomorrow's trip. I'll have the doors open at 5:00 a.m.; be there when I open the doors if you'd like to see if you'd like to give it a shot. If you have your gear, bring it (we're trolling); if not, we have everything available you'll need including licenses. With fishing and weather like this, even weekdays are booking up, so good idea to get a hold of us during the day to make a reservation. We're around the phone from at least 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily.
Sunday, April 21 - 72 fish landed on last two trips! Definitely limit style fishing, with lots and lots of opportunities. Without a doubt, the fish have decided to congregate off our coastline, thank you very much. Most of the fishing is taking place anywhere from 9 to 12 to 16 miles from our harbor. It's like the good old days, with wide open bites where as many as 7 fish are hooked at once with mass pandemonium on the decks. I was concerned before the season started about having a 24 inch minimum size limit, and we are having to release plenty of fish that don't make the minimum size, but thankfully there are a lot more keepers than shakers. Biggest fish landed on Friday's trip was an 18 pounder, so there are a lot of real nice fish in the mix. Weather this past Friday was great along with the fishing, then the wind came back up offshore at the fishing grounds causing us to turn back without even putting the lines in the water on Saturday, but we were back in action today on an ocean that still wasn't very nice. The ocean forecast, however, is finally calling for good conditions for the next several days in a row, so we hope it holds true this time.
Thursday, April 18 - Good old salmon fishing. With a better ocean weather forecast for today and more boats on the water we were hoping for another excellent day like yesterday. But this salmon fishing stuff reminds you real quick that you just can't judge what's going to happen one day to the next. We started off well with two fish on and both fish making it in the box, but we just couldn't get the spigit to open up and it was just a slow drip of fish all day, ending up with 11 keepers with the biggest a nice 17 pounder, and we had the usual few more that got away and a few we had to give back. There were boats with more and there were boats with less, and we were kinda somewhere in the middle. As Scarlett would say, tomorrow's another day, so we'll see what happens when we give it another try on Friday. Still been a darn good encouraging start to our season with 77 salmon landed in the four days the weather's allowed us to fish since the season opened.
Wednesday, April 17 - Yeah, baby! The wind finally backed off on the ocean enough to let us back out on the water. Being the only boat out on an awfully big ocean for the first time in over a week, I had my fingers crossed we'd find where the fish were hiding. Capt. Bob told me no problem, he's used to that. Even all the commercial guys in our harbor know that if there's going to be a chance to get on the water, the Queen of Hearts will be there. Bob reported in around 8:30 that he had the lines in the water, the weather on his tail, it was rather snotty, and they were looking for their first fish. An hour later they had 6 keepers in the box, had released a couple of 22 inchers and lost a couple. Sounds like they had good action pretty much all day, definitely another day where limits were on the radar. They put in as much time as they could and ended up heading home just a handful shy of limits with 25 salmon to 12 pounds for our 15 anglers. The forecast for tomorrow is calling for the best day weather-wise since the season started, so we have high hopes. The wind is still in the forecast through the weekend but next week is looking real promising. Regulation update: I keep forgetting to report the results of the "Fishing Feds" decision last week regarding the remainder of the 2013 salmon season. Different parts of the coast have different regulations, but for our area: We can fish 7 days a week through November 10 EXCEPT for a closure Mondays and Tuesdays from June 1 through July 9 (which means we can fish for salmon Wednesdays through Sundays during those dates). The minimum size is 24 inches through the end of July and then goes down to 20 inches as of August 1. Thanks go out to all the folks who work so hard behind the scenes who made this happen. And if you're wondering the reasoning behind the closures and size limits, it's in an effort to protect one particular strain of salmon, namely the Sacramento winter run fish, that are typically smaller and tend to be in the ocean early in the season.
Tuesday, April 16 - We may be able to make it out tomorrow on Wednesday. The ocean forecast is calling for lighter winds and lower swells tomorrow and Thursday, so we're going to give it a shot and see if we will be able to sneek in the day or two before the winds crank back up.
Monday, April 15 - The wind is our biggest enemy on the ocean, and it's been howling offshore ever since opening weekend keeping us tied to the dock. It is extremely frustrating to have to cancel trip after trip after trip and try to explain the reason why, but the ocean dictates what we can and can't do. We watch the forecast extremely closely and, if there's a chance we think we can safety get out to the fishing grounds, we'll give it a try. At this point, we might get the break we need this Wednesday and/or Thursday, but we have to take it day by day. As always, if you'd like to join us, reservations are definitely recommended not just to make sure you have a spot but to also make sure we have a way of letting you know if the ocean is not going to cooperate.
Sunday, April 7 - Day two of the season and another good day on the water. Took a little longer to get located in the morning, but, when we did, there was a lot of fast and furious action. Another day of putting several fish in the box accompanied by a lot of salmon winning their battle for freedom. We ended the day with 21 salmon to 14 pounds for our 25 anglers, and Capt. Bob says we easily should have ended up with a score in the 40s or more based on the action we had. So the first weekend is in the books, and, without a doubt, it's a great start for us in Half Moon Bay as the fish are off our coastline north and south of the Deep Reef area. The winds are forecast to hit the coast with a vengence on Monday and will knock us off the water for at least the next few days. Hopefully they'll calm down soon so we can get back out on the water and back in action.
Saturday, April 6 - Best Opening Day in Years! Just a little after 8am I got the call from Capt. Bob that the first two fish were in the box and another two were lost. First fish of the season on the QH went to Richard who just also happened to be first in line at the shop in the morning. Nice way to get the skunk off for the season right off the bat, Richard! Not to be outdone, Geno was right behind Richard landing fish number two. I don't have all the details of the day yet, but it sounds like the day was made up of lots of spurts of hooking multiple fish, landing some and losing some, with little lulls in between. We had lots of newcomers onboard who quickly found out that there's a little learning to do to get these fish onboard, and without a doubt unfortunately more fish were lost than landed on a day that had limits potential. Capt. Bob said we easily should have had a score in the 30s if not more. Just about every experienced angler hooked and landed fish. We ended up with the best score we've had in years for Opening Day with 20 fish in the box for our 24 anglers. The 24 inch minimum was not a factor at all with only one of those fish needing to be measured, and even that fish made the mark. All the fish were what we call "cookie cutter"...pretty much all the same grade with the biggest weighing in at 11 pounds. Can't wait to see what tomorrow will bring! Weather was absolutely fine today and we should be in good shape for tomorrow. Unfortunately, though, tomorrow looks like it will be the last day on the water for at least a few days as the weather on the ocean is going to get downright, flat out nasty with high winds and huge combined seas. At least we'll be able to get this first weekend under our belt. We'll keep a close eye on the forecast as always and hope it will lay down as fast as it looks like it's going to kick up tomorrow night.
Monday, March 25 - The 2013 salmon season will open on Saturday, April 6! The limit will be two fish with a 24 inch minimum for the months of April and May. The regulations may change as of June with possible closures to the season and/or reductions in the minimum size; here's another fishery management meeting in April where the particulars for the remainder of the season will be decided. So, as of Saturday, April 6, we're back to salmon fishing seven days a week for the month of April, weather and interest permitting, and then we'll bop back and forth between salmon trips and rockfishing trips once the rockfishing season opens on May 1. So the top question I get this time of year is: Are there any reports about the salmon? Sounds like there's fish out there as well as the conditions we look for, but we won't know for sure until we put the lines in the water.
Monday, January 29 - The Queen of Hearts is high and dry in the boatyard undergoing her annual maintenance. Maintenance on the Queen is not just cleaning and painting; it's the constant replacement and upgrading Captain Bob does every year to keep her in tip top condition. Looks like we'll be in the boatyard until mid-February at this point, so we'll be holding off until March to run any whale watching trips. On the fishing front, good chance the salmon season will open off our coastline on Saturday, April 6, but it's far from a done deal until after several fishery management meetings take place between now and then. I'll definitely update this report if and when we hear any news. The rockfishing season, though, is already set: we can run rockfishing trips below Pigeon Point as of May 1 and above Pigeon Point as of June 1 through the end of the year. Our shop, Half Moon Bay Sportfishing, is still open 8am to 4pm on the weekends and a majority of the weekdays for the next month or two. Once we get closer to the fishing season, we'll be back open 7 days a week. If you have any questions about the upcoming season, fishing in Half Moon Bay, or scheduling a trip once the season opens, don't hesitate to call me during business hours on the weekdays or send off an email. Even though the boat and shop aren't running every day, I'm still here holding down the fort.
I often get people calling and asking about what bait we use on our trips. So, here's the spiel and my soapbox moment for the day:
.....We do not use live bait for rockfishing. Why you ask? Do you catch any fish? Well, we have now owned the Queen of Hearts for 19 years and have probably taken more people rockfishing over those years than any other boat in Northern California and probably more than most of the boats in the entire state. Over those years, we usually catch a combined total of more rockfish, lingcod and cabezon than any boat north of Morro Bay, and again more than most of the boats in the entire state. All of this is done WITHOUT using any live bait. The San Mateo coast is graced with great rockfishing, where limits of fish are caught daily more often than not.
.....Bob and I have always operated with the mindset of doing what we can to keep the recreational fishery thriving in our area for future generations. Bob has been actively involved in the fishery management process for just about as long as we've owned the Queen of Hearts, the last half a dozen years or so serving on a federal committee that hashes out the management of groundfish along the entire Pacific Ocean coastline. It has been an unbelievable unending war to try to keep our right to be able to fish, with battles won and battles lost. By serving on that committee, Bob knows first-hand what is involved in the decision-making process. I do my best to try to explain what I see and hear to those I speak with on the phone, and those who come through our shop and read this website.
.....In our opinion, using live bait in our area for rockfishing will do more harm than good. And here's why: Rockfish tend to lunge at and "slurp" in live bait which more often than not lands the hook deep into the fish's gullet. Most people who have used live bait while rockfishing know this is true and will admit to it. The problem comes when/if that fish ends up being released. In order to get an angler's hook back, the guts of the fish are literally ripped out of the fish, and just about 100% of those fish die due to their injuries. However, rockfish typically bite differently when using artificial lures and those tipped with a strip of squid or a chunk of defrosted anchovy. The majority of the fish end up being hooked in the corner of the jaw or top of their mouth, allowing for release of fish without killing it...even though I'm sure they're going ouch, ouch, ouch as they swim back to where they came from. For those few fish that do get hooked too deep to live using lures, we do our best to educate folks to keep any fish that are not going to live. Fish thrown back that are considered dead count against our harvest totals just as much as fish that are taken home.
.....I could go on and on, but I'll stop. The bottom line is the more fish we save from being killed needlessly, the more we'll have for the future. And the more folks that understand that, the better chance future generations will be able to take their kids fishing, just like we've been able to. There is a time and place for using live bait (i.e., albacore, yellowtail, halibut), but as our longstanding record shows we don't need it to catch rockfish and now I hope it makes sense why. Oftentimes it's really tough to do what is right, but in the end it's worth it.
DEEP WATER ROCKFISHING TRIPS! - These trips are currently on hold as we are waiting to see if the permit will be resubmitted for approval in the future. The Queen of Hearts had received an "exempted fishery permit" that allowed us to take customers rockfishing under strick guidelines set forth in the permit in areas along the coast outside 900 feet deep. Check out the report and info I put together on our Chilipepper webpage at www.fishingboat.com/chilipeppers.html.
The deep water rockfishing trips are more or less be just like any other rockfishing trip, with a few major exceptions: We have to fish where the ocean is at least 900 feet or deeper. There is still a 10 fish rockcod limit, and all customers take home their fish. Any and all rockfish landed must be kept until boat limits have been reached. The hope is to be able to target rockfish such as chilipepper rockfish that are suspended in the water column, hopefully far from the actual ocean bottom. This is not a research trip; it's an experiment to see if we can fish a different area without catching any of the "off limits" fish...canary, goldeneye or cowcod. As long as the boats conducting these trips don't catch those off limits fish, this experiment will continue as long as there is interest for an initial period of one year. An official paid government observer will be required onboard all trips to keep tabs on the catch. The key to the success of this permit will be avoiding the canary and yelloweye rockfish that are labeled overfished and have forced us into the current restrictions we've been dealt. These trips could prove to be vitally important to give us more fishing opportunities in the future. If you'd like to be placed on an email list I've started to receive updates about deep water rockfishing trips as well as alerts when trips are scheduled, please let me know by sending me an email to email@example.com and asking to be added to our Deep Water Rockcod Trips email list.
Heard of "Dog Eat Dog World," but...: 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.
FISHING REPORT ARCHIVE:
What happened to the older scores, whoppers and reports?? Well, just too much information to keep on one page! So we've created an "Archive" page. Click here to go to our Fishing Report Archive page. See the blow by blow, day by day rundown on the happenings on the Queen of Hearts since the beginning of the 2012 season, as well as the entire 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004 and 2003 seasons.
PRIVATE CHARTERS: We are proud that we have built a very strong private charter business for the Queen of Hearts since we started over 20 years ago. We have a top-notch boat and crew, we run a clean ship in more ways than one and take care of our customers, and it shows with the repeat business we are very grateful to have. Most groups now know that they have to call early in the year for the best dates, several months in advance. Saturdays book very fast. So, if you have a group thinking about a charter on the Queen of Hearts, don't wait to long to reserve a date!
When we talk about weather on the ocean, that's what we're talking about: the ocean, the wind and waves, not the sky. We're not referring to the sun or rain, or to how hot or cold it may be. The ocean in our area is usually always on the cold side. Always dress warm, regardless whether it's January or August: jeans, t-shirt, sweatshirt and jacket with tennis shoes or rubber boots.
I always emphasize: you can't judge what's going on in the ocean by what's happening on land. And you can't always count on the weatherman. It's not what the sky does that matters; it's the ocean itself. We do our best to let our customers know if there's a weather problem. For those interested, one of the websites I check out for the marine forecast is at:
Our area is covered by the "Point Reyes To Pigeon Point to 10 NM" section of the report. Just keep in mind this is a "forecast" and it covers a large area; it doesn't necessarily come true but it can be used as a guide.
Since August 1, 2005, the Queen of Hearts has proudly worked out of our own shop, Half Moon Bay Sportfishing and Tackle! We're located in the shop that was formerly Captain John's, just to the left of the Ketch Joanne restaurant in the row of shops in the main parking lot at the harbor across from the pier and harbormaster's office. Everyone asks if we bought Captain John's boats. No, we didn't. One boat and one shop is enough for us! But we are now booking for the Riptide in addition to the Queen of Hearts out of our shop. These boats represent two of the most experienced and longest running vessels in the harbor. We did take over Captain John's phone numbers, so if you have those numbers in your phone book, just change the name to Half Moon Bay Sportfishing, the home of the Queen of Hearts!
The great part about us owning our own shop is that we can finally provide the products and services we have always wanted to give to our customers. We are constantly adding items to the stock at the shop. We now have a large selection of Izorline in stock, the fishing line that we use on all of our fishing rods, both for the boat and our personal rods: First String Monofiliment, Platinum and the top of the line XXX. We have deck boots, an increasing assortment of plastics, diamond bars, as well as rods and reels including Avet, Diawa, Penn, Shimano, Shakespeare and Calstar. WE ALSO TAKE SPECIAL REQUESTS! Slowly but surely, we now offer all the basics that meet our customers' needs.
So, call or e-mail us for reservations. On the day of the trip, come directly to our shop, Half Moon Bay Sportfishing and Tackle to check in (look for the BIG yellow sign in the front window that reads "TICKET OFFICE") and pay for your trip (cash, ATM, Visa and Mastercard accepted). The crew simply asks, as always, that you wait at the top of the dock until they have the boat ready for boarding. If you need fishing licenses, tackle and rent rods, no problem...they're all available at the shop. Just one more way the Queen of Hearts continues to strive to provide the best service possible to our passengers. So don't forget, to go with the Queen of Hearts, contact the Queen of Hearts and Half Moon Bay Sportfishing!