First Month Report on Bodega Bay’s Sport Salmon Season
Bodega Bay charter boats are doing okay in the first month of the recreational salmon season even though the weather has not cooperated very much.
The 2010 season, which runs from April 3 through September 6, started out with gusty winds on the 3rd followed by a storm on the 4th that brought thunder, lightening, hail, and rain.
Another downpour on the 11th brought over 2 inches to the coast plus April has seen its share of Small Craft advisory warnings that kept all boats in.
However, both the “New Sea Angler” and the “Miss Anita” reported several days out with some success.
Rick Powers, owner and captain of the “New Sea Angler,” said that “we had a very, very successful opening out of Bodega Bay after two years of no salmon seasons.”
His 65 foot boat that can carry up to 40 passengers made 20 trips out with 24 limits, 48 salmon in spite of weather and restrictions.
The decision of the Pacific Fish Management Council, which has final say on the seasons, is regulated by NOAA and California State Fish and Game.
Per Fish & Game’s website, the following apply for Point Arena (north of Bodega Bay) to the Mexican border:
- April 3-30 – 2 salmon per day per person; no coho (silver) salmon to be taken; and a minimum size of 20 inches total length.
- May 1- September 6 – salmon fishing closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays; still 2 salmon per day per person with no coho to be taken; and a new minimum size of 24 inches total length.
Powers went on to say that although “Bodega Bay has been very productive, south of us we are concerned by an overall non-success from Point Reyes to Half Moon Bay. Sausalito, San Francisco, Half Moon Bay – they have had little to no success so far.”
“This concerns us all. The managers opened us up to a full season of fishing and that’s how I make my living, but I also definitely want to see fish restored for future generations.”
Ed Liebig, owner of the “The Miss Anita,” a 34 foot catamaran that can carry 6 passengers, reported 17 trips out with 11 full boat charters for the month.
“We have been offering a salmon & Dungeness crab combo and have done well with that package. Captain Vince Orsini has seen a lot of success with catches of salmon and limits of crab on several trips.”
Liebig added that the 11 crab pots he uses are still made by local fisherman John Burke.
“We find that our guests like to have hands-on experience with all aspects of setting and retrieving pots and helping in measuring the crabs. It’s a good all day experience with variety with fishing for both salmon and crab.”
The crab season ends on June 30, but salmon fishing continues to September 6.
Liebig too is concerned with salmon success for now and in the future. He said that this year, “The upswells have been coming late in the year and that’s contributed to not seeing as many fish as we would like to.”
Cold current upswells, waves that travel a great distance, bring in nutrients from the ocean floors that then attract krill that bring the bait fish up and, in turn, the salmon going after the bait fish.
All in all though both charter boats are pleased with the first month of the season and have bookings far into May.
For more information on the “New Sea Angler,” call The Bodega Bay Sports Fishing Center at 707-875-3495 or go to www.bodeagbaysportsfishing.com.
For booking the “Miss Anita,” call 707-875-FISH (3474) or go to www.missanitafishingcharters.com.
Both boats berth at the Porto Bodega RV Park and Marina off Bay Flat Road.