When folks talk about where to fish in California these days, a surprise pops up. In 2017 San Francisco salmon fishing was hot. The weather is starting to warm, and spring is a short time away which makes salmon fishing San Francisco a “must do” experience
Charter captains running San Francisco fishing trips are optimistic. In the past, fish stocks of between 800,000 and 1 million were considered normal. Those numbers aren’t bad but considering the number of salmon in other parts of the Pacific Northwest they’re a bit flat. But then a little magic happened. In 2014, the results of a stocking of 12 million juvenile salmon from the Coleman National Fish Hatchery showed up off of the San Francisco coast, and everyone was hooking up. This stocking happened thanks to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Gold Gate Salmon Associate, so thanks to them for their efforts. Here’s how to get in on the action.
Salmon Fishing San Francisco
Look for big tides around the May and June full and new moons. Those tides move a lot of water and it’s the time when saltwater fish move. Water temperatures in the low 50’s are prime time for San Francisco salmon fishing. That’s also a good time to look for good amounts of plankton which then attracts baitfish. If that all lines up this spring it should be an epic salmon fishing season.
California Salmon Fishing
Salmon traditionally are caught in the spring and summer in Northern California. The coast of Marin and the southern tip of the Pt. Reyes peninsula are solid fisheries. In late summer they’ll move further north towards Sacramento.
Trolling is a common way to catch these salmon. Diving planes and cannonball sinkers put lures at the 15-20 foot depth. Downriggers are also used as they’ll get the lures to between 50 and 100 feet deep. Hot top water action comes from captains who follow the birds, and live bait like anchovies, plugs or softplastics are top producers.
This spring and summer stay focused on San Francisco salmon fishing reports. With luck those young fish will be bigger this year.