Salmon Fishing in Santa Cruz June 2014 – Where Are The Fish?

Absolutely nothing to report here other than two conversations with the Fish and Game folks.

First conversation was two weeks ago at the launch ramp at Santa Cruz Harbor, it went something like this:

“Hey, has anybody reported any salmon caught at all around here today?”

The young girl (maybe 18) looked at me like I was asking her if she had seen Elvis walking around earlier.  Seriously, I knew right away that there was nothing to report at all in terms of fish being caught.  She said she hadn’t heard of or seen a single salmon caught out of Santa Cruz harbor in weeks.

Pretty much the same deal for the older Fish and Game guy I asked last Saturday.(He was one carrying a guy).

He told me the fishing was absoultely zero down this way but according to the pre-season speculation from the scientists, the fishing was to pick up come the second half of the season.  So maybe that will pan out.  Until then, no salmon out of Santa Cruz unfortunately.

Trout Fishing the Browns River, Vermont

What a great way to spend the day yesterday.  Fishing for some nice brown trout in the pretty sweet Browns River, Vermont.  Just south, like a few hundred feet from the covered bridge, my wife and I purchased some worms, and then headed down to where the fire engines fill up their tanks from the river.  There is a big parking area a few hundred yards away since you can park where the big bend in the river is, but the walk is literally three minutes.

I started off with throwing in a small cast master lure and on the very first cast a small brown trout took a snap at the lure.  I did not hook up, but a few casts later across the sixty or seven foot wide river, I had a nice 10 inch brown on the line.  My wife was watching and yelled at me to throw it back since it was so small, and that’s what I did.  But, the next fish was just about the same size as you’ll see in the video, so kept that one.

I found out about this place from the two super nice Fish and Game officials.  We had run into them a few hours earlier and I asked them where the heck to go to catch some trout, and one of the guys told me this was the spot.  He said it had been stocked really recently with fish, and there was a great chance of catching something.  And, the best part is its literally on highway 128, so you can’t miss it.

After about an hour or so, a father and son showed up and stood right next to me.  They were pretty nice folks, locals for sure and not too grumpy that an out of towner was fishing on their turf.  The dad made it seem that he was going to show me for sure some fish right away, but as it turned out, I caught a fish while they were there and they caught ZERO.  So, just saying, no need to try to big shot anyone, its just fishing after all.

As for Vermont in general, what can I say.  There is an endless supply of rivers and fish to be caught.  Tomorrow we will be heading east to the more remote parts of the state and probably going to find some more trout.

California Salmon Fishing Opening Day 2012

April 7, 2012 – The Santa Cruz Harbor

salmon fishing opening day 2012
Santa Cruz Harbor 6:30 AM April 7, 2012

Today is the day we have all been waiting for once again.  Another long winter without any fresh salmon in the freezer is coming to an end.  Saturday is the beginning of the salmon fishing season here in California, and for all the sport fishermen, that is the best news of the year.  But that’s not all.

This year, the fishing is expected to be much better than last year.  There have already, in the first few hours of the season been reports of many nice sized salmon being caught just off the coast in areas like Monterrey Bay, and especially in Santa Cruz.  Since we will be fishing ourselves out of Santa Cruz Harbor in just a few more minutes, I can safely say that there are hundreds of boats heading straight out or near the Soquel Hole to try and locate the fish.

santa cruz fishing boats - california
6:30 am salmon boats leaving Santa Cruz Inner Harbor

Bayside Marine, one of the local fish and tackle shops here in Santa Cruz was booming with customers up until about 9:00 pm last night.  Although many of the people hanging around the tackle shop were pretty much loaded from sipping on beers all day, it was pretty impressive to see so much action all in anticipation for the opening day of the salmon fishery here on the coast.

If you start talking with the locals, you’ll get your usual mix of exactly how and what is the best way to catch the fish.  Conventional thinking goes back to what I consider to be pretty boring – trolling around some lures.  But, trolling for salmon, especially early in the season is the most common and popular fishing method.  People love to attach different lures, or hoochies to the end of the line.  And some people like using a flasher or dodger, which is thought to attract the fish as well.

But, for people like me, trolling around with your engine blasting out fumes all day is no fun.  So, like you’ve seen before from past years, we’ll be mooching with some threaded sardines once again and hopefully getting the chance to put a nice big pink fleshed salmon in the box(or two or three).

Salmon fishing regulations are largely unchanged since last year.  Each licensed angler is allowed to keep 2 fish, and the salmon need to be at least 24 inches in length.  No silver/coho salmon are allowed to be taken.  Only king salmon are allowed.  You can figure out which type of salmon you have caught by looking at the gums of the fish.  If the gums are white, that is a silver salmon and you must release it immediately.  If the gums are black in color, that fish can be kept as long as its 24 inches long.  More details about the fishing regulations can be located at the California Fish and Game Website.

Good Luck fishing this year, and hopefully we’ll see some 20 and 30 pound salmon on the first day!

Cabo Fishing Report for January 2, 2012

Sea of Cortez Weather Conditions:

January 2, 2012 was a pretty calm day for us down here in Cabo in terms of the weather.  The morning had a nice light breeze that created a tiny wind chop near shore.  Offshore, the wind was a bit heavier, but still less than 10-12 knots.  Temperatures were hoovering just over 78 degrees for the majority of the day and the ocean temperature ranged from the low to mid 70’s.  In the afternoon and towards dusk, the weather became very calm.  Winds died down to almost nothing at all, and the ocean turned to glass before it was dark.

Fishing for Bonito

Although there were some yellow dorado flags flying on some of the fishing fleets boats in Palmilla Bay, our boat did not catch any.  We fished again in the afternoon, and trolled three rods in back of the boat at about 7-8 knots.  We used two plugs, and one “mexican flag feather lure”.  The diving plug lures worked the best.  The feather didn’t even get a single bite from any fish.

We were only able to catch football sized bonito, and in total we landed 5 in the two hours of afternoon fishing.  We released all of the fish, and although I was hoping to chop up a few of them and use them for bait for grouper the next day, the boat’s captain would not allow for that.  When you are reeling up a fish like bonito, you don’t know for sure what you have on the end of the line.  There’s always a chance it could be  a nice and tasty yellow fin tuna, but of course it might just be bonito.  Thankfully, the fish we caught today were super strong and were pulling out line until the very end.   We never used the gaff that was sitting in the back of the boat, since again the captain didn’t want to get fish blood flying all over the boat.  We already had enough cleaning when we got on-board.  We were lucky enough to have a flock of about ten pelicans sitting on the boat all day, pooping all over the place. If it wasn’t for the washdown hose on the boat, we would probably have been sitting in fresh white pelican poop.  Let’s just say the fishing today was a bit stinkier than usual.

Two days from now on Wednesday we are headed back out again to fish the waters of the Gordo Banks up the Sea of Cortez.  The goal is to leave a bit earlier in the morning, and we are expecting to finally get some live bait.

Marlin Fishing:

Very few reports of marlin caught came over the radio today.  There was one boat out of Cabo San Lucas which reported 3 stripped marlin before noon, and the captain said that all the fish were taken at the Golden Gate Bank on the Pacific Ocean side of Cabo.