It’s always a good day on a half day trip when you hear a deckhand tell the other guys “Hey, go find the gaff”... but didn’t expect it to be because of a King Salmon. Wish I could have caught a picture of the angler bringing it up, but I had my own rock fish to deal with. Still pretty cool to see one of these get caught local within sight of San Diego.
If you want to look for one, now is the time. It is a long shot. Seems like a few are caught each year or maybe less. As for water temperature, they like cold. Bear in mind that the surface temperature is around 62, but water at depth, say 60 ft, is low 50s/upper 40s. They also like the dirty brown water. I have not caught any locally, but have seen some caught. Over the past 10 years, I have towed my boat up to Bodega Bay and Fort Bragg and caught salmon up there. I down rig a rotary salmon killer behind a large flasher. The rotary killer is a plastic head that fits over a bait that causes it to spin. That is the way salmon like it. Right now, the bite is good off Monterey Bay. There are two types of salmon commonly caught, the king (aka chinnok) and the silver (aka coho). Kings are legal and silvers are not. Like tuna fishing, salmon fishing is a hunt, but different methods. Lotsa fun.