Fishing Season for Salmon in California Begins Again

The Salmon Season has officially begun in the Monterey Bay of California in 2010.Here is a video of the first salmon of the year caught off of Santa Cruz, California.

We left the Santa Cruz, California harbor at about 8:30 in the morning and were back at the dock at 11:30am with just one fish, but it was a nice one, and the first in two years!
What was the most amazing part of the day was the number of boats who went out looking for salmon. There were literally hundreds of boats out on the water according to California Fish and Game officials. The boats started leaving Santa Cruz Harbor before 5am, and were nearly lined up heading out of the channel until around 7:30 when it finally slowed down.

Here is a picture of the salmon that we caught in about 300 feet of water at about 10:00am Saturday April 3, 2010 off Santa Cruz.

king salmon
King Salmon from Santa Cruz

As a bit of a follow up on how Half Moon Bay did with Salmon the first weekend, they did horrible compared to Santa Cruz.  Although I wasn’t up there, the reports are that the fishing was way less than one fish per rod, and more like 1 fish per 10 rods.  Also, the weather for the opening weekend was much nastier than down south in Santa Cruz.   So, if you are considering going fishing April 10th or 11th, my advice would be to fish Santa Cruz before leaving from Half Moon Bay.  The Soquel Hole was very nice to us, and to many other fisherman, and it sounds like the Soquel Hole might have been the best place in Northern California to be fishing for opening weekend of the Salmon Season this year.  If there are any other reports from Northern California salmon fishing trips, I will try to post them ASAP to get a better feel for what happened.  I am yet to hear anything from way up North at this point about the salmon fishing.

Salmon Season Opening

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Been a long time coming, but the Salmon Season is arriving this weekend on April 3rd, 2010!

Going to be going out on a 17 foot Boston Whaler out of Santa Cruz, California early on Saturday morning in hopes of hooking up with a few of the red meat fish.  It has been a few years for so many people to have the chance to go and do this once again, hopefully the weather will cooperate.

The latest reports from local friends along the Monterey Bay and Half Moon Bay parts of California is that the salmon are out there, so you bet my crew will already have the bait and gas ready when it comes time to go to bed on Friday night.  Our current plan is to head down to water a few miles off Moss Beach and to do some mooching with dead anchovies.  Mooching is fishing with the engine turned off with bait on a hook, and some weight to get the bait down to the desired depth.  This method is my favorite for salmon in the ocean as it allows you to feel the bite and set the hook on your own.  Also, it allows you to catch some sleep if you like with the hope of getting woken up by the sound of a fish pulling line against the drag.  Some people like using sardines for bait, and yet a very select few will use dead squid for bait when hunting for salmon.  I personally have never used the squid, but a few fishing buddies swear by it.

As for the fishing regulations, right now the rules for most of California are 2 salmon per person per day, and the minimum size is 20 inches.  Coho need to be thrown back to get those growing in numbers once again.

My hope is to be able to bring you all kinds of reports of how the action is and how things go down on the fishing side of things, if you have any great news to report on your end, feel free to comment it below.

Good Luck Fishing,

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