Only 2 Weeks Until California Salmon Season Begins

Everybody is hardly sleeping anymore it seems.  Whether you are talking about the young kids who are going to fish for their first time for ocean salmon off the California coast, or if you are talking about the old grandpas who are getting some wood once again before the fishing begins.  It is true, the Salmon Opener is just around your corners, so ladies and gentlemen, get ready to start your engines.

It has been such a long wait, and its just about through, the big question remains about where the best fishing is going to be for the start of the 2011 Salmon Season.  There are the usual suspects who think that the best fishing will be down deep in the deeper 200 foot waters, and then there are other theories right now that are starting about the bait fish and bait balls that have been tracked in much shallower water compared to usual for this time of year.

If everyone looks back to the most recent salmon opener, which was several years ago now, the best confirmed fishing was out of Santa Cruz Harbor, where most anglers on opening day caught just under a 1 fish per rod average of salmon.  The fish were also caught off the Soquel Hole for the most part, with the overwhelming majority taken by anglers trolling dodgers and hoochies.

Last Minute Salmon Fishing Season To Do’s:

  • test out all of your fishing reels to make sure they flow freely
  • set new fishing line on your favorite pole
  • order your fishing gear before opening day, there are reports already of inventory problems with fishing gear
  • buy your fishing liscense (either online or at your local fishing tackle shop)
  • do some test runs with your boat, and make sure your battery is loaded up and engine is in good running order
  • make sure you have life jackets for everyone who is going to fish with you
  • buy bait, and throw it in your freezer, too many people I’m afraid are going to go baitless on opening day

Good luck to everyone who is going to take part in the 2011 California Salmon Fishing Opener


Salmon Season Will Open April 2, 2011 in California

The California Department of Fish and Game has finally made their announcement that fishing for salmon is going to be allowed for all the sport anglers and fishermen who are wanting to put their fishing poles in the water this year.  It was a very long and drawn out process to get things all squared away, but the fish seem to be doing well and its time to go salmon fishing in April.

Several members of the Department of Fish and Game testified in Sacramento early last week and there were also many reports this week that the King Salmon that are out in the Pacific off the California Coast are well above the numbers they have been in the previous years.  It is thought that there might be more than 750,000 king salmon roaming the salt waters off the coast right now.

This is great news for all the local salmon fishermen who have been banned from fishing in recent years.  Along with the news, it is expected to be the biggest opening day of California Salmon Sport Fishing in history this year.  There has been a bit of a scare in some parts of the coast recently due to the tsumani warnings from a few days ago, but that has for the most part died down.  The harbors all along the coast are getting ready and the local bait and tackle shops are stocking up to fulfill the needs of the salmon fishermen as well.  You should start shopping around for frozen sardines and anchovies to catch the salmon with, because they just may be in short supply come April.

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.