Meandering Angler: Salmon season re-opens June 23

Sonoma Valley anglers who prefer catching their king salmon as opposed to buying it at the market, can do so starting next Thursday, June 23, when ocean fishing for salmon reopens.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife regulates recreational salmon fishing off our state’s coast, which is divided into four different zones. Sonoma’s coastal zone (known as the San Francisco Zone) runs from Point Arena in the north to Pigeon Point, which is a little bit south of San Francisco. The first phase of the zone’s season ran from April 2 to May 31, then closed. It opens again on June 23 and will run through October 31.

The southernmost zone which runs from Pigeon Point the Mexican Border is open April 2 through October 2. The few reports I’ve seen from that area, which is currently open, indicate that salmon fishing is pretty good, and expectations are that salmon fishing will be good in our area when it opens next week.

Capt. Rick Powers of Bodega Bay Sportsfishing is offering combo fishing trips for salmon, rock and ling cod starting June 23 on his party boat “The New Sea Angler.” You can call Rick at 707-875-3344 to reserve your place on his boat for the opener and the days that follow.

“This the best halibut fishing I’ve ever seen!” declared Keith Fraser at Loch Lomond Bait Shop in San Rafael this week. There are hot spots all over San Francisco Bay, including right off the levee near Keith’s bait shop, where one guy landed four legal halibut and three legal stripers one day, and seven legal halibut the next. Another pair of anglers who bought live bait from Keith and then fished on South Hampton Shoals between Red Rock and the Berkeley Flats caught 17 halibut to 30 pounds, plus three legal-sized striped bass. They also caught and released 25 undersized fish.

Other party boats around the bay are reporting incredible halibut action in the bay. One party boatload of anglers caught more than 115 fish in one trip.

Keith said that one of the hottest spots on the Marin side of the bay is the Marin Rod and Gun Club Pier, where guys are catching their limits of halibut along with lots of striped bass.

Keith has plenty of live bait and is your best source of information on where to fish. Visit his shop at Loch Lomond Marina, or call him at 415-456-0321.

Heading north, guide Kirk Portocarrero has been finding lots of kokanee salmon for his clients fishing at Whiskeytown Lake east of Redding. Call Kirk at 800-670-4448.

Further north, the upper Sacramento River from Lake Shasta through Dunsmuir is fishing great right now. There are reports of trout rising to salmonflies and caddis. Call Bob Grace at the Ted Fay Fly Shop in Dunsmuir, 530-235-2969, for the latest reports.

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