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Written By: Ernie Marlan, August 4, 2014
Location: Bodega Bay,
Knowing that salmon fishing in Bodega Bay should be heating up right about now, I scheduled a trip with Hook'd Up Sport Fishing on Sunday, July 27. When I arrived at the boat, the other anglers and I were informed by Captain Steve Mitchell that the previous day there were several schools of salmon in the area many with some very big fish in them.
He told us this because the salmon had been somewhat difficult for most people to find until then, especially since the wind had kept many anglers off the water last week.
Captain Steve went on to tell us that the better fishing had been lingcod and rockcod, but even the rock cod bite had not as red hot as it had been in the recent past.
So the question posed to the six anglers was: Do we fish for salmon or rockcod and lingcod? Salmon would, of course, be fun to catch but we were hesitant knowing the reports we had just gotten and the chances of catching them were fairly slim.
Rockcod and lingcod would be great for fish tacos, but is that what we wanted to catch when salmon were potentially around? The six anglers in the boat decided we would take our chances and try our luck with the salmon.
It was a short 30-minute boat ride to our first spot. You could tell we were in the right spot because the boats were already stacking up. The fish finder looked good from the beginning, marking quite a bit of bait, which happened to be squid. We knew this because every time we brought up one of the rods, we had squid either on the line or on the downrigger.
It didn't take long to feel the excitement with the radio reports from the other captains letting us know when they hooked up or landed a fish. It wasn't wide-open, but it was fairly consistent. The fish that were being reeled in appeared to be big and most in the twenty pound range.
We set the trolling rods out and began fishing with our lines close to the bottom. I would estimate the depths ranged from fifty feet to seventy-five feet.
At first it was somewhat challenging to troll because the jellyfish were interrupting the baits in the water. After making a few adjustments and moving away from the jellies, we were able to keep the baits in the water. It didn't take long to get in on the action when Anthony hooked up with a fish that weighed in at 16 pounds, even though it definitely looked a bit larger.
I am not sure if it was because of the tide, or time of the day or the significant amount of boat pressure, but after the one salmon, the bite slowed down for most of the fleet. After working hard for the next bite with no luck, it seemed to be a sign we should move on when one of the Downriggers on the boat had a mishap.
With the decision made for us, we decided to try our luck at catching rockcod and lingcod, and Captain Steve headed north without hesitation. After a lengthy ride and a quick change of gear, we arrived at a spot that was truly a honey hole.
It didn't take long to get hooked up with our first lingcod, then our second and third. Let's just say it took us around an hour to get our limits of lings on the boat. The biggest ling was about 14 pounds with several others weighing in just under that.
After limiting out on lingcod, we made a short boat ride to find rockcod. I thought it was going to be quick limits on these as well especially when on my first drop I hadn’t even made it to the bottom and had I already had a fish on!
The second drop was a mirror image of the first. Unfortunately the bite slowed down after that with us still scratching one or two out here and there.
Knowing we had a long boat ride back and still had to clean the fish we had already caught, we decided to head back to the dock. Had we not made that decision, we know Captain Steve was still willing to work at getting us our rockcod limits.
That’s why Captain Steve of Hook'd Up Sport Fishing is such a great captain. He’ll go out of his way and do whatever it takes to put you on fish and make it a great day for everyone.
If you are looking to catch salmon, rock cod, lingcod or all three, Captain Steve will be fishing out of Bodega Bay through the end of August. He’ll work hard to make you a satisfied angler and a return client. Give him a call to book a trip! He can be reached at (707) 655-6736 or on his website at http://www.hookdupsportfishing.com
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