We went out fishing on the Truckee River on Saturday, September 14th. Beautiful, clear morning – got out onto the water by about 7:00am. The water was unfortunately incredibly low, so it was difficult to find pockets of fishable water. We ended up pulling off just south of the Alpine Meadows turnoff on Highway 89 between the lake and Truckee and found a few reasonably good spots. We used dry flies and caught a few beautiful, but very small – 4-5 inchers – trout. All in all a beautiful morning but not the best time of year to go, particularly during the drought we’re having out here.
Day 2 – Salmon Season
Fishing for just about everyone on the first day of the salmon season was not nearly as good as the expectations. Depending on where you were caught fishing had quite a bit to do with your luck, but for the most part, the majority of the anglers who fished off Santa Cruz, CA came back into the docs in the early afternoon without a single fish. It was a shame in some ways, but the good news was the weather was pretty darn good for everyone. There was plenty of sunshine, and the wind and the waves were not too out control.
To give a better idea of the sea conditions, for most of the boats who left before six o’clock Saturday morning, the stampede to the fishing grounds out near the Soquel Hole were just about flat. Maybe not like a lake, but the ocean was very calm and was a great way to cruise over the ten mile run at the start of the season. Later in the morning, the winds started to pick up a bit, and the currents started to play a part in the fishing, but overall weather was not a factor on day one.
Most fishermen were trolling around, pulling both hoochies, spin baits, and dragging dodgers and flashers as would be expected for an opening day of salmon fishing. It was estimated that over 250 sport fishing boats left the Santa Cruz, CA harbor on Saturday in search of the salmon, and less than 85 salmon were reported to be caught come late evening. There were some reports on undersized fish being released, however its very hard to verify those numbers.
As the fleet was fishing the area known as “The Hole”, much of the water is deeper than 250 feet, and there again were varying reports of the depths where fish were taken. Some fish were said to be caught below the 150 foot mark, and some others were reporting fish quite a bit higher. One thing that was for sure were the complaints of very large schools of jellyfish in the area. The jellyfish are not usually a major problem, but they can definitely turn your baits into a cluster mess of jelly and the jellyfish can also get all tangled up in your down-rigger gear. Just one of those nuisances of salmon fishing, but not the end of the world.
As for how we did, well, I’m sorry to say that we did not even get a single bite this opening day. We did our usual mooching, which was droppin down to 100-200 feet some sardines that were threaded up with a nice hook on the end. Depending on the time of day, we were using between 2-4 ounces to get everything down as the currents were changing rapidly, but that method produced no luck for us. Many boats were passing us all day long with their trolling gear, but we did not even see a single net get dipped into the water. So, quite strange to say the least. Not what was expected, but maybe it was just us, and others had some much better luck farther up or farther down the coast.
Good weather was a great treat, and we’ll all be trying for some salmon again real soon.
The Lobster season has started once again in Southern California and the catching has been pretty good for scuba divers and shore divers near Santa Barbara. Several of the dive boats who have been going out on two or three day trips to the Channel Islands have reported many of the divers coming back with limits of nice sized spiny lobster.
Santa Rosa Island seems to be the best island so far in terms of number of lobster being pulled out of the water on any given day. But San Miguel is not too far behind. With the calm seas before the recent story, many of the dives for these lobster have allowed some good visibility.
There have been also some reports of some private boats going out to Anacapa Island and taking night dives with flashlights to hunt down the local lobster. This is sometimes very productive as well, but of course the level of danger involved in a night dive is always higher when compared to the day time. If you are thinking of attempting a night dive, be sure to dive with others who are experienced with this type of thing.
Much of the rules and regulations for California Lobster fishing has remained the exact same as last year, but be sure to read up on the laws and regulations prior to going on your next lobster trip.
The beginning of the Crab season is coming, and its pretty clear by the look of the harbors around California. It seems that right now the commercial crab fishermen have taken over parts of parking lots, especially in Santa Cruz harbor. Earlier today, there were thousands of crab traps sitting in piles and stacks all over the place. Dirty crab fisherman were getting their gear all ready for the crab too.
What a great time of year, lets all hope that the crab season turns out to be a great one where all the fisherman can pack in their quota of crab and have a fun and happy catch.
Getting ready to go crabbing is no easy task. There is quite a bit of work involved in cleaning your crab traps, and also in making sure there are no escape routes for the crab. Often crab traps will become rusted to the point where some of the trap doors don’t move at all. This is a big problem for crab fisherman.
The Crab Report:
Currently, local Crab fisherman are having good success down at Pacifica Pier. Most of the crabbing has been done on the weekend, or at least thats the only time that people have reported their catch back to the tackle shops. Some of the crab fishing at Santa Monica pier has been decent as well. Many people have been taking nice clean Spider Crab from the Los Angeles to San Diego piers as well.