Half Moon Bay, CA Fishing Information

Half Moon Bay, CA is located just about 1 hour south of San Francisco and it sits just off highway 1.  There is a great local harbor called Pillar Point Harbor, which has a multi lane boat ramp, fishing tackle shops, several Charter Fishing Boats, as well as tons of seafood restaurants.  The fishing can be excellent depending on the weather conditions and the time of year you plan to fish.

Boat Launch Ramp

The launch ramp at Pillar Point Harbor was constructed in 1996, and it replaced the very much outdated older launch ramp Pillar Point Launch Rampwhich was closer to the restaurants.  There is ample parking for your vehicle and trailer, and there is also a very large over-flow lot which is just a few minutes walk away.  On opening day of salmon season, you can expect to be parking in the overflow lot, as well on days when weekend fishing in the summer for salmon is red hot.  There is a nominal fee to launch your boat, and there are also fillet tables and some water available to clean your boat afterwards.

You could expect on a very busy weekend like opening day of salmon season, or on a day when there is a huge amount of albacore fishing and moderate salmon fishing in the middle of the summer to have a 15-30 minute wait for others who are launching their boats in front of you.  Otherwise, the chances are that you willlaunch ramp half moon bay california be able to drive right up and launch your boat without any wait and with no delays in driving out to the fishing grounds.  Probably some of the biggest amounts of time you will feel are wasted will be the motoring of your fishing boat from the launch ramp to the outside of the JAWS of the harbor.  This takes about ten minutes on its own as this is a massive harbor to navigate through.

Salmon Fishing in Half Moon Bay

The good thing about fishing out of Half Moon Bay or Pillar Point harbor is there are many different spots to fish for salmon.  There are places to the north, as well as several different spots to the south.  This is good news because often you will be able to run north to a place like Pedro Point off Pacifica, and catch an early morning calm ride to the salmon fishing grounds, but by the afternoon when it is time to get back to the harbor, you will be able to ride the waves behind your boat and have it relatively easy getting in.  This is sometimes the case as well for people fishing down south of Half Moon Bay, but for me at least, it has often been a harder run back to Pillar Point from the south.

Early in the year for the past few decades, the best fishing has been up around Pedro Point and often times in very close to the shore compared to being out 5-6 miles.  The salmon seem to bite really well on trolling gear, whether you are using rigged sardines or anchovies, or hoochies and dodgers.  The fish are usually in the mood to bite all sorts of things, as long as you don’t mind throwing back some shakers or small salmon.

If you are in the mood for walking around the fishing boatshalf moon bay charter boat that are up at the harbor after your trip, you are in some great luck.  The working pier which leads out from the harbor master’s office is Johnson Pier.  It is big so you won’t miss it.  There are several different charter boats which will be happy to take you and your family fishing, whether it be for rock cod, or salmon or sometimes albacore tuna if you are lucky.  These Half Moon Bay Charter Fishing Boats are usually running on every weekend day, and many times during the weekdays when fishing is good.  Be sure to call up and ask beforehand to make sure you are able to get on board one of those boats.  One of the boats that has been fishing in Half Moon Bay for a long time is called the Huli Cat.  This boat is 53 feet long and is owned by Tom Mattusch.  There are several other boats as well, and you might be able to get on a smaller boat to make the long run for albacore if you do a bit more investigation into local charter boats in the area.

The local harbormaster’s office is a great resource to all fishermen in the Bay Area.  They monitor V.H.F. channels 16 and 74 24 hours a day.  The Half Moon Bay harbor website is: www.smharbor.com which also has much more local information.

Fresh Fish From the Dock in Half Moon Bay

If you find yourself fishing a full day in HMB, but you for some reasonhalf moon bay fresh fish do not end up catching anything, you still might be in luck.  The commercial fishermen in the harbor have recently begun selling fish from their boats, in a very organized way.  There are actually posterboard signs at the end of each dock which list the boats and what type of fish they have to sell for anyone in the general public to purchase.  All you need to do is show up when there is fish, and purchase whatever you want right from the people who caught it.  It is a a great way to make sure you are eating fresh local caught fish at a reasonable price.  There is even a phone number you can call up to find out what is available, it is (650) 726-8724.




Some more harbor pictures from beautiful Half Moon Bay:


Puerto Morelos Mexico Fishing Charters

Setting Up a Fishing Trip in Puerto Morelos could not be easier than a quick walk down the main square to the one pier in the town.  Don’t worry on having trouble finding it, the town square is pretty small and everything leads to the beach so its never a problem for tourists.  What you will probably notice if you are in search of a fishing trip is that there are several different types of boats to choose from at Puerto Morelos.

charter boats in puerto morelos
panga fishing boats for charter

As for the fishing, this is an excellent place to get out into the blue waters of the Caribbean Sea and try your luck fishing for marlin, wahoo, mahi-mahi, dorado, yellow fin tuna, and all types of groupers and barracuda and other fish.  Most of the days, the crew who I spoke with down on the docks of the fishing pier said they catch several types of fish unless the customers want to target one specific fish.  The most common methods of fishing are trolling either lures or live bait to catch the bigger fish.  The bait of choice is either small mackerel or ballyhoo which are plentiful.  The prices for chartering a boat range on the boats size.  For the budget choice, the cheapest day of fishing would be to charter a panga.  Panga’s are small open air fishing boats powered by a gas outboard engine.  There will usually be one captain and one crew member on board the boat, and this can cost between $200-250 for 4 hours of fishing.  Bait, tackle, and fishing rods are all included, and sometimes you can negotiate for lunch to be included too.  20 ft panga

Some other fishing boats that can be chartered are definitely going to cost more money.  The larger boats can be upwards of $750 for a full day, although they can accommodate more people, usually in the 5-7 person range.  Below is a picture of one of the local fishing guides cutting up a freshly caught dorado in the 30 pound range.  This is an excellent fighting fish and also a great fish to bring back to your hotel and have the chef cook it up for you and your family for dinner or lunch.  This fish was caught on a lure while trolling just a few miles off the coast.  making dorado filetThe fishing conditions in terms of weather are usually very pleasant.  There are expected daily winds of 10-15 miles per hour on most days during much of the year.  The hurricane season does exist, so you should plan accordingly.  For example, much of the region is very vacant from August until November due to the potential for very high winds.  The rest of the year is excellent.  The seas are very calm on most days with just a light wind chop of small waves that are no problem for the fishing boats to handle with grace.

Make sure to ask your fishing guides if you will need a license to go out fishing.  There have not been many incidents of fishermen from the United States running into the Mexican police demanding to see fishing licenses, but it is possible, so your best bet is to check beforehand on whether that would be necessary or not.  pier in puerto morelos, mexico

Small Salmon Fishing in California So Far

California Salmon Season 2011 has being happening for over 1 month now, and the early word on the salmon that have been caught is small fish.  The legal size that all the salmon need to be is a minimum of 27 inches in California per the Department of Fish and Game regulations.  This new size limit has been making it difficult for fishermen to make it home with something in the fish box.

There have been many fishing reports of boats catching 4-5 fish per rod, however, many times these same boats are returning with just 1 or 2 legal salmon fish.  Although the season is still very early and there is a great chance that this year the salmon might simply need a few more months out in the ocean to feed on sardines and krill and squid to fatten up and turn into a legal size fish, fishermen are still getting frustrated.

Last weekend in Santa Cruz, California, the weather was nice and sunny but quite windy and so the amount of boats who ventured out to fish was definitely less than the opening day fleet.  And when walking around the docks and the launch ramp in the early afternoon, it was fish story after story about small shaker salmon being caught.

There have been several years in recent history when the large 30 pound salmon were not caught off the California coast until well into the summer months, and there is hope that this is going to be the case again this year in 2011.

California Salmon Fishing Report Update April 17th, 2011

The salmon fishing up and down the coast has taking a tiny bit of a lull over the past week compared to earlier in the month.  The sea conditions have been hit or miss, often the ocean waters start acting up as usual in the afternoon, but there were two days last week when they were calm nearly all day long.  As for the salmon fishing, there is about a 75% chance you will catch a fish, so that’s about 3/4 fish per pole.  An even better chance your boat will have some smaller salmon or shakers.

The best places to catch the salmon right now is from out of the Santa Cruz Harbor.  Most of the fishing success is still taking place off the Soquel Hole which is just a few miles out from the harbor.   Anglers are catching fish mostly with trolling gear, however there has been an increasing amount of fishermen taking salmon with mooching gear using anchovies and sardines this week.  The depths continue to be relatively low compared to later in the year fishing.  Most fish are coming from depths of below 100 feet and often as far down as 200 feet.  Be sure to carry some proper gear to ensure you can get your lures and hooks down to those depths otherwise you will be struggling.

Farther down the coast in Monterey, there have also been some reports this week of the salmon fishing picking up, several of the charter boats out of Monterey have had anglers catch their two fish limit, and others of course did a bit worse fishing.  Make sure to check the weather conditions before you head out, there is always a chance that a gale of wind my blow by before you know it.