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Tuna teems off Sonoma coast

By Bill Lynch

Albacore tuna are as closer to the Sonoma Coast, 35 miles west, than usual, making this an excellent window for local anglers who are willing to put in a long day to get them.

Capt. Rick Powers, of Bodega Bay Sportfishing, took seven anglers out Monday and they landed 50 tuna to 32 pounds. Rick said the tuna are so thick that the commercial boats that normally fish off Oregon and Washington have come down to this area to follow them.

Nobody knows for sure how long they’ll be here, but Rick gives it three to four weeks at best. His trips depart the Bodega Bay dock at 2 a.m. and usually don’t return until 8 or 9 p.m. The trip costs $300, but the fishing is red-hot, Rick said. If you’re interested, call him at 875-3344.

Rick added the rock cod and ling cod fishing has also been excellent with full limits for all on board every trip plus an occasional salmon. His dungeness crab and rockfish combo trips start Nov. 3.

Inside San Francisco Bay, the catching has been mostly on striped bass along the Marin shoreline. Anglers fishing off China Camp have been landing some nice keeper bass using live bullheads, mudsuckers and pile worms, said Kevin Wolf, of Loch Lomond Bait Shop in San Rafael. A few halibut have been caught, and once in a while an angler hooks a big salmon off of Cal City. When the weather is right, the Bay in the fall is a great time to fish. Call Kevin to book a party boat for the Bay, 415-456-0321.

Bill Fernandez spent last weekend fishing Bucks Lake with former Sonoman Jeff Sedgwick, who now lives in Quincy.

Bill and Jeff had one fabulous day in which they landed 18 fish in six hours. They also managed a “Bucks Lake Grand Slam” by catching at least one of every species of fish in the lake: rainbow trout, Eagle Lake rainbow, brown trout, Mackinaw trout and kokanee salmon. They trolled in about 40 feet of water using silver and black Rapala Vampires.

Bill said the weather is looking very much like fall up there, and added while the fishing is excellent now, it could change as the first real cold waves hit.

Joe and Beth Aaron, and Chad and Jeanne Overway, fly-fished the Big Hole River near Melrose, Mont., this week with lots of catching in the small- to medium-size range. They caught most of the trout in the riffles. Joe, forced to abandon his dry-fly-only purest standards and use a nymph, had one day in which he caught a brook, rainbow and brown trout. That’s some sort of trout hat-trick.

Joe said it turned cold over a week ago. “It  snowed. It rained. The wind was howling. We stayed inside and read.”