At last we can finallystart crab season

California health officials last weekend gave the word to local anglers that they can fish for our super delicious Dungeness crab. The season has been on hold since last November when tests repeatedly showed that the crab caught off the Sonoma Coast was not safe to eat due to toxins in the meat caused by algae blooms.

Early reports from anglers who went out after the announcement indicate pretty good results. They soaked their pots for a short period of time and caught limits of legal crabs, including some jumbos with relative ease.

Capt. Rick Powers of Bodega Bay Sportsfishing had several successful trips this week bringing home full limits of big, fat crabs for all anglers on board. He is taking anglers out on his party boat, the New Sea Angler, for $85 per trip. You can book a spot on Rick’s boat by calling him at 875-3344.

Starting April 2, assuming the California Fish and Wildlife Department approves the recommended April 2 salmon opener, Rick will be offering crab and salmon combo trips.

The local rockfish season opens April 15, which means Rick will then be able to offer rockfish, salmon and crab combo trips.

Not only have the crab sports-fishing guys been given the green light, but commercial crab anglers can start fishing as of tomorrow (March 26). That means if you are not inclined to go over to Bodega Bay and try for your own catch, you’ll probably be able to get them at the seafood counter at Sonoma Market by Monday or Tuesday.

The sturgeon are biting aggressively this week thanks to all the freshwater runoff into the Bay.

Kevin Wolf and Loch Lomond Bait Shop told me that he’s gotten lots of good reports from anglers fishing from shore at China Camp and the mouth of the Petaluma River.

In fact, one angler said he caught and released two sturgeon, one 90-inches long, and the other 80-inches, at the mouth of the river. He was using live ghost shrimp for bait. Kevin added that the striped bass fishing is also good right now and halibut are starting to show up. Some good weather this week should really make the fishing nice.

You can book a Bay fishing trip by calling Loch Lomond at 415-456-0321.

As the water recedes on the Sacramento River, Feather River and others you can expect the fishing to be really good. Already I’ve heard reports of good striped bass and sturgeon action on the Sacramento River.

You’ll have to wait longer for the Trinity, Klamath, Upper Sacramento River and others to clear before they’re really fishable. But then, things could be excellent.

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