Let’s go fishing: Spring has sprung for fishermen
by Mike Baxter
Apr 04, 2013 | 1423 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Local fisherman Ken Kaysen catches the limit of Monterey Bay salmon in this photo, taken during the 2012 season. Courtesy photo
Local fisherman Ken Kaysen catches the limit of Monterey Bay salmon in this photo, taken during the 2012 season. Courtesy photo

I am so excited to have sunny days ahead and so many options for fishing and outdoor opportunities.

Ocean salmon season starts Saturday, April 6, and is at the top of the list. With a few halibut starting to show and rockfish season starting the beginning of May, things are looking good in the salt water.

Freshwater fishing has switched from rivers to lakes, and Loch Lomond, our local gem, is a great prospect for beauty and the chance at a fish.

Salmon season will start with a two-fish, 24-inch limit.

These regulations will stay in effect the first 30 days of the season until the salmon governing agency meets and decides what the remainder of the season will hold.

The list of possible changes includes several options — fishing fewer days, a one-fish limit or a larger size limit of fish.

For now, salmon fishing looks good. The bay has cool green water, with heavy upwelling and lots of plankton. As a result of spring winds, krill and finfish for salmon to feed on seem to be out in abundance. The krill is along the canyon edges, and we’re seeing schools of sardine in 240 feet of water. There were also schools of herring spawning in the bay this spring.

Salmon anglers will stick to the usual spots to start the season, whether fishing from Moss Landing, Monterey or Santa Cruz.

Local rivers have been closed since March 7, and despite low flows and the lack of rain, the return of steelhead looks good. Steelhead have been seen in the San Lorenzo River and its tributaries as they spawn.

The rivers to the north closed Monday, April 1, as the steelhead season there also winds down.

Spring salmon have started to show in the Klamath, Rogue and Umpqua rivers. Spring salmon in these rivers bring excitement to the locals, while others head for lakes or go out to sea for fishing this time of year.

Loch Lomond has had a nice showing of visitors to start the season. People have been working the shoreline for bass and finding fish up to several pounds. Most are released.

Trout were planted in Loch Lomond last season, but only two plants of a thousand pounds each. Some of these trout have remained as “holdover” trout and have been caught this season. They are nice-sized fish from 16 to 20 inches.

Trout plants will occur again this season after all spring rains have passed.

Remember, the boat quarantine is in effect at Loch Lomond.  Boat storage for private boats is an option, and rental boats are a great way to go.

As the lake warms, sunfish will be on the fishing list, too.

I hope you can go fishing to enjoy the outdoors and a friend’s company.

- Mike Baxter has fished in the Monterey Bay area since he was a boy and has been a licensed charter boat captain for more than 20 years. Contact him at captmikebaxter@yahoo.com. He also hosts a fishing show on radio station KSCO (1080) from 8:06 to 9 p.m. Thursdays, April through the end of August.

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