Sportsmens Report
June 22, 2018
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Sportsman's Report: Salt water report on Bodega buoys

By: Bill Hanson
March 16, 2018

By Bill Hanson

At present time, the ocean is gorgeous, with 3-foot swells and 3-foot waves with a 12-second interval. This will likely change as the predicted storm systems move in this week. To get saltwater reports on your own, go to the NOAA web feed at: or go to their main web site and select buoy 46013, this is data sent from the Bodega buoy, six miles out to sea. The buoy reports give hourly updates of on-the-spot conditions. Marine forecast for our waters are also available online at: 

This site is also helpful to bookmark.

Let’s hope the weather blows itself out in preparation for the Salmon opener next month. One helpful resource is the CDFGW blog site that covers regulatory issues and species specific reports. They produce a herring update; an important food source for game fish. The current blog shows herring schooling in Richardson Bay. If you have ever caught your own herring and then ‘pickled’ them for bait prior to freezing, you know how much fun it can be. This is also a good time to take a kid along, when you get into schooling herring, they will hit anything. Guaranteed to make your boy scream like a girl. Don’t confuse bait pickling with human food pickling, one will make you very sick, the other one is repulsive to some people. The bonus is a season worth of salmon and halibut bait, cutting back on dollars spent and increasing the ‘fun’ element. 

Coastal saltwater reports from the SF Bay north to Crescent City are the same, everyone is waiting for the Salmon opener next month and hoping for ‘gentle’ rains, not gale force winds and pounding surf. If you can find calm seas, crab fishing has benefited from the delayed opener due to Domoic acid levels in shellfish. Market crabs are trending smaller than most years but there are lots of them. 

For clam diggers the sandbars of Tomales Bay are a good bet at low tides. The next ‘weekend’ minus tide is March 24 at 12:41 and good on Sunday as well. To get an online calendar go to Lawson’s Landing and click through to the calendar. Be aware of the need for your own boat and motor and that the proprietors will turn diggers away once the day-use lot is full. The Lawson’s suggest you make a reservation in advance.

Bill Hanson is a Sonoma County native and lifelong sportsman. He is the former president of the Sonoma County Mycological Society. Look for his column in The Community Voice each week.