FISHING VACATIONS AT BODEGA BAY, CALIFORNIA
This quaint and scenic location, became the backdrop for the famous Alfred Hitchcock movie “The Birds” in 1963. Bodega Bay and it's nearby attractions are must-visit tourist destinations. It is famous for it's inland, river, pond, shore and harbor fishing amongst the anglers.
Situated on the Northern Coast of California, Bodega Bay is a rocky and deep cove nestled on the Pacific Ocean. From San Francisco, Bodega Bay is nearly 40 miles Northwest and 20 miles west of Santa Rosa. Bodega Bay is on the border of both Sonoma and Marin Counties respectively. Bodega Head, which is sheltered by Bodega Harbor, protects the bay from the north.
On its south, the Bay joins the mouth of Tomales Bay, where its east side is covered by the Bodega Village. Various rivers like Americano Creek and Estero de San Antonio converge and enter the bay. Pinnacle Gulch and Doran Park on the jetty, are easily accessible beaches nearby. Others are the Sonoma Coastline beaches, which are a few hours away, and can be easily visited.
This bay is important for marine conservation and habitat, however, sport and commercial fishing is allowed at various spots along under strict fishing regulations. Shellfish harvesting is also done here. Bass, bluegill, catfish, shad, and others are widely found in the waters of Bodega Bay.
The general climate at Bodega Bay is moderate, with hot and dry summers. Coastal summer afternoons are cool and windy.
Bodega Bay Fish Species and Fishing
Anglers can surf or bank fish. Deep water charters and harbor fishing are found at various fishing spots, such as: the Russian River, lakes, ponds,and the Sonoma Coastline.
Salmon, halibut, cod, clams, and dungeness crab species are available. Anglers head towards the Sonoma Coast for surf fishing, Doran and Bodega harbors, as well as Westside Park focus on harbor fishing, whereas kayak fishers and divers focus on the Stillwater Cove.
Various freshwater fish like steelhead trout, bass, bluegill, catfish and shad can be found in the Russian River. It’s open year-round for anglers to fish and enjoy.
Lake, Ponds, and Bay
Sunfish, bluegill, and bass are the best to catch for anglers fishing at the Helen Putnam Foothill Park.
Bodega Bay Fishing Season and Baits
Kankakee salmon, trout and landlocked salmon surface in Bodega Bay around early May-September, whereas halibut, rays and shark species can be caught from April-September, i.e. the summer and fall seasons.
Squid is the best bait, whereas night time is the best time to catch sharks and rays. Live bait is best to catch halibut. Rock/ling cod can be caught from June-November. Species like crab and Humboldt squid surface during the winter through early summer, i.e. from November through early May.
Several varieties of perch such as pile perch, black perch, striped sea perch, rainbow sea perch, white perch, and a few others can be caught easily schooling together during the winter and springtime. Shore crabs, fresh mussel, pile worms, ghost and market shrimps as well as artificial lures are the best bait to catch them.
To catch big flounder, live bait is the best during the winter and spring seasons, whereas summer is ideal for catching sand dabs and sand sole with pile worms or anchovy as bait. Summer is also perfect for rockfish species such as: brown, copper, and grass.
Bodega Bay is famous for its Dungeness crab, and rock/red crab species. Dungeness has a limited availability of about eight months starting November, and lasting up until early July, whereas red and rock crabs are found year round. Only a few anglers come to Bodega Bay especially to catch these crabs.
Bodega Bay has 5 public marinas and several private ones with facilities such as access for boat launch, bait and tackle shops, boat fuel, and repair facilities. The 5 public marinas are Doran Regional Park, Westside Regional Park, Mason’s Marina Inc., Porto Bodega Marina and Spud Point Marina, situated in Sonoma County. Anglers can charter or rent boats, sail boats, motor boats, kayaks, jet skis, flat boats, and paddle boats.
Bodega Bay Lodging
Bodega Bay is a beautiful coastal area with a wide range of accommodation options for people who prefer lavish & luxurious or wild & adventurous lifestyles. Anglers can book a room for their family or group in hotels, motels, inns, B&Bs and lodges.
There are a good amount of options for camping enthusiasts. Full RV Hookups are available at multiple campgrounds and you can camp right on the beach in several areas.
Apart from accommodations, Bodega also provides various cuisine options that tourists can choose from. Fine dining and wine, casual pizza, coffee lounges, food markets and delis are all easily available at Bodega Bay.
The compactness of Bodega Bay doesn’t restrict it from offering various attractions and entertainment for anglers during their stay. Below are a few activities the Bodega has to offer.
Flying Kites and Zip Lining
Bodega Bay provides options of zipping lining and kite flying. Tours can be booked for Zip Lining at the Red Forest.
Bodega Bay Trails
Bodega Bay has various short-looped trails in and around the area. A few that can be explored as day trips for relaxing, fishing and sightseeing are:
- Bodega Head, a 3 mile half loop hike with 300 feet elevation.
- Kortum Trail, a 4.3-mile trail perfect for hiking, which takes 3 to 4 hours, usually.
- Pinnacle Gulch Trail, a 1.9-mile loop along with Shorttail Gulch trail. Best for picnics, sightseeing, fishing and relaxing!
- Pomo Canyon Trail to Shell Beach, a year-round accessible trail of about 6.6 miles located near Duncan Mills.
Cycling, Hiking or horseback riding can be used to explore these trails.
Whale Watching & Tours
Another famous activity at Bodega Bay is whale watching, where hundreds of tourists come to experience this delightful sight. As Bodega Bay is situated at a high point, it’s easier for tourists to watch whales pass by from Sonoma Coast State Park.
Other facilities such as hygienic restrooms, great picnic spots, and various other entertainment options, keep the tourists engaged, and create delight in your whale watching experience. Guides are present at the viewing spot, who can answer your queries, provide field glasses, and help you spot the whales. The best time to experience this spectacle is the migratory period which lasts from March to June, and October to November.
Wine Tasting and Vineyard Tours
Apart from fishing, Bodega Bay is also famous for its Wine and Wine Tasting. Sonoma Coast and Occidental wineries are both located in Bodega. Both locations are open daily for tastings, tours and shopping for wine/accessories.
Well, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and head on over to Bodega Bay