California Dungeness Crab Fishing in 2011

The California Dungeness Crab season is doing good this year.  Although there have been some recent stormy weather throughout much of the California Coast, both the commercial and the sport fisherman are seeing lots of crab each day.  Some of the commercial boats are even making it back to their harbors with over 5000 pounds of freshly caught Dungeness crab that are making their ways into the local and international fish markets.

crab fishermen
California Crab Fishermen

The commercial crabbing boat above is based out the Monterrey Peninsula.  Over the weekend, they were able to catch crab in depths that ranged from 60-500 feet of water.  While using over 600 crab pots and crab traps, they were all very satisfied with their catch, and will be making it out again really soon for more once their gear has soaked a bit more.

sea otters swimming
sea otters having fun

If you are a going to try to catch the dungeness crab from shore or from a pier, there is an excellent chance that you will find crab that way too.  The dungeness crab are not limited to being caught in deep water.  If  you look at the picture above of the sea otter, you might be able to notice that these two are actually swimming and eating freshly caught crab at the same time.  Sea otters are very good crab fishermen, and they eat crab all day long.  If you see them near you when you are fishing, don’t be alarmed, it is usually a very good sign that the crab are near you and you should have a good day ahead.  Make sure that the dungeness crab you keep are of the legal size which is 6 1/4 inches, but make sure to know the current regulations wherever you are crabbing.

Information California Salmon Fishing Meeting with Department of Fish and Game

The Department of Fish and Game in California is holding an open meeting for the public to join in on.  It will be held on March 1, 2011 at the Sonoma County Water Agency.  The time of the meeting is from 11:00 AM until 2:30pm.  The meeting is meant to be a place for the public to talk about the upcoming decisions to open the 2011 Salmon Fishing Season.  The salmon fishery is right in the middle of a very complicated time right now.  There will be biologists presenting data on the recent salmon runs up the rivers, and there will also be information discussed from other members of the Department of Fish and Game.

Some of the positive news expected to be talked about involves the high numbers of spawning salmon that were recently recorded in the Sacramento River and Klamath River.  The actual numbers of salmon that were found were higher than what was previously expected, and the numbers looked to be a good sign that the 2010 salmon runs were at a higher level than in the previous years.  It is very difficult to estimate what is going to happen in terms of the opening of the 2011 California Salmon Season, but now the expectation is that come either April or May 1st, there will be a definite sport fishing season, but the exact parameters of the commercial fishing remains unclear.

Usually, the different groups who decide on the Pacific Salmon Fishing regulations and Salmon Seasons actually take much more time developing the commercial fishing rules compared to the sport salmon fishing.  The quotas and the time and locations that can be salmon fished are all determined by an international mixed organization group of professionals who literally spend their life thinking about the salmon.

If you have interest in the future of the salmon fishing in the state of California, you are encouraged to visit the Salmon Fishing meeting with the DFG.  It will be an open forum for anyone interested party to raise their questions about the salmon season.

Cabo Sport Fishing

Cabo Sport Fishing

The fishing in Cabo is known around the world.  It has been an excellent place for sport fishermen to vacation and enjoy the numerous types of fish that exist for several decades now.  With the hot water temperatures that exist virtually the entire year, the fishing usually remains very good with very few exceptions.  Another benefit of the increase in popularity of Cabo San Lucas fishing is the increase in English speaking fishing guides.  Most of the natives who work the fishing charter boats speak very good English and they are almost always very helpful.

Fishing Boats

Just like any other sport fishing capital, the selection of fishing boats ranges from small local pangas to luxury sportfisher yachts.  The pangas are the traditional fishing boat from the Baja peninsula and they are usually about 20 feet in length and use an outboard engine which is usually about 65 horse power.  The pangas usually have just one guide who operates the engine and does most of the other work, but sometimes on larger pangas, you might have a second guide as well.  The pangas have a large area for the live bait, and there is also some other areas where you can sit.

photo of panga fishing boat
panga fishing boat

If you are with a large group of people, you might find it more comfortable to look into getting a really big sport fisher boat that may be over 40 feet in length.  Cabo has boats that will meet anybody’s budget, you just need to select which one you want.  On the totally opposite spectrum from the panga would be a multi level fishing yacht.

sport fishing boat
large sport fishing charter boat in Cabo

Cabo Charters

The best way to get started with actually setting up a Cabo Fishing Charter is to walk down to the marina one day early on in your vacation and just start speaking to the boat captains who are down there advertising.  If you want to meat several of them, it is best to do that at about 3:00pm in the afternoon.  You might even go a bit earlier and look at the fish that are being brought back in from the current days fishing charter.  You can usually get a feel from the passengers how the day went, and you might even want to ask some simple questions about the captain and crew to get any recommendations.  The prices to charter a boat for the full day in Cabo vary considerably based on the type of boat and the time of year.  During the off season months, and especially during the summertime, prices can be less than half compared to the regular school year when more vacationers are fishing.  Expect to pay between $300-500 per day for taking out the panga fishing boats.  Fishing charters for a full day on the larger boats can run several thousands of dollars, with a 50 foot sport fisher running around $2,500 per day.  That type of boat will accommodate over 10 passengers, so if you factor in the amount of people, the prices might not be too bad for you.

Marlin Fishing

Most of the excitement when people go fishing in Cabo is geared around the striped and blue marlin.  The marlin fishing in Mexico is considered to be excellent by most people’s accounts, but there are definitely fishing charters on good boats that come back without any bites.  This is often rare, and usually the captain on a boat that is fishing for marlin is up on the deck watching the water all the time with the hopes of seeing a marlin tail.  After the captain spots a marlin, the real excitement happens.  Marlin like to eat live baitfish when possible, but that is not always how they are caught.  The different types of marlin lures that exist and have become popular over the past twenty years are now what most fisherman use.  While you are out trolling and looking for marlin, the lures allow you to move quickly over the water and to cover much more of the ocean compared to if you were dragging live bait.

Tuna Fishing

In some of the winter months, tuna fishing for both yellowfin tuna and a few other types has been excellent in the ocean off Cabo.  The tuna live in very large schools, so often when your fishing rod gets hit with a tuna, there are more to follow.  You should definitely be aware and alert, this type of fishing is very fun and these fish are the fastest fish in the ocean besides wahoo.  When you fish for the tuna in Cabo, you will probably be using live bait and trolling lures, much like you would for marlin.  The main difference though is that once you catch a single tuna, the fishing guides usually will turn off the engine and start throwing live sardines into the water to attract more of the tuna school.  Once you have a school of tuna swimming around your boat, your day of fishing will be filled with many fish caught.  As for tasty fish, tuna in most people’s opinions is the best tasting fish in Cabo.

Mahi Mahi / Dorado Fishing

Besides the marlin, the Mahi Mahi or Dorado as they are called in Mexico is the most well known.  These fish are a great fish to catch, and there are many of them in the waters off Cabo San Lucas.  They can live very close to land as well as several miles off-shore.  These fish are very fast strikers and they will go right after a live sardine or a lure if it seems like a natural bait.  Just like tuna, these fish live in schools, but their schools are often smaller than tuna.  The male dorado is called the “bull dorado” and once you have him caught on the fishing line, the rest of the fish will follow exactly what he is doing.  It is not uncommon to catch the bull dorado and then to catch five or six smaller females at the same time.  Most of the fishing charters that leave Cabo end up coming back with several dorado all year long.  They taste excellent too.

California Salmon Fishing in 2011: Is This The Year

California Salmon Fishing Outlook for 2011

It is a gross understatement to say that the anglers are excited for some more salmon fishing this year.  It has been way too long since a normal fishing season has taken place, and the fish boxes have been sitting empty for months now.  There is still a bit of paperwork to go with the California Department of Fish and Game, but things are still getting closer to a new fishing season.

The Current Salmon Stock Levels

According to the most recent reports from the rivers and the river mouths, the salmon levels are higher than they have been in years, and the water levels are looking very good too which will mean great swimming up river later in the year.  What is still in question are some of the rules and regulations for commercial and sport fisherman.  There are several different unconfirmed reports that the legal daily catch limit for sport fisherman may go down to 1 fish per person.  That is not the best news, but that is still better than no fishing at all.  The quota and catch limits and sizes for commercial fishing is also way up in the air at the moment.  Some of the difficulty in determining these numbers is based on the unknown number of commercial fisherman who will actively be pursuing the salmon in 2011.  With the salmon season being closed for so long, nobody knows who is actually still fishing.  To make matters worse, many of the commercial fisherman are so hard to get ahold of via phone or email, it is left as a big guessing game.

Plenty of Food For the Salmon to Feed On in the Ocean

For those of the fishermen who are really wanting to catch a monster trophy salmon off the California coast this year, your dream has a good chance of coming true.  Researchers from the Marine Biology department at University of California at Santa Cruz have been studying the local krill and other salmon bait populations.  Their reports show huge populations of prime bait and squid off the California coast this year.  Much more than has been recorded over the previous 4 years.  This all brings the excitement level for fishermen to an even higher level.  The one hard part of the salmon fishing this year might be deciding on when to take your fish and put it in the ice box.  If you are only allowed one fish per day, and you want to catch an extra big salmon, you will need to make some tough decisions on when to throw back the fish or keep it.  That is a great fishing dilemma to have during California’s 2011 Salmon Fishing Season.