The fishing season for salmon in Bodega Bay is in full swing. The numbers for sport anglers are the best in recent memory. After enduring several years of partial to full closures and low catch numbers the King Salmon are making a surprising comeback. Most sport boats are bringing in a minimum of one fish per rod to limits depending on the day. Schools of fish have been moving from Pt. Reyes north consistently. Salmon have primarily been caught from the Tomales Point area and west of Bodega Head. Strong spring winds have brought large numbers of phytoplankton and krill into these areas and the salmon are there for the feast. Large blue whales are often sighted feeding on krill near the salmon fishing fleet. Salmon are full with krill and as the season progresses the fish are getting fatter. The salmon meat is marbled with delicious white fat.
Early in the year anglers were catching a fair number of small fish and silver salmon. Recently larger fish have been the norm with most fish ranging from 12 to 20 pounds with an occasional fish over 20 pounds. Most anglers are using anchovies, herring, watermelon lures or green lures. Early birds who are on the water at the crack of dawn have been reporting early limits. Typically the fish have been caught in either 25 to 35 feet or in the 55 to 65 feet range depending on bait location. The bite has been consistently better leading up to low and high tides and following the tide change.
Salmon have also been reported farther north in deeper water but most anglers have been working the recently proven areas close to the harbor. On the weekends and holidays expect long lines at the boat launches and large groups of boats trolling through areas where fish are being landed. Before visiting Bodega Bay it's a good idea to check on weather conditions. Some good resources are Buoy 46013 from NOAA, the Marine Forecast at the NOAA site, and the web camera at the Bodega Bay Marine lab at the BOON website.