There’s nothing quite like standing on the deck of a boat, heading out for a day on the water. Whether you want to hook a fish, pull up a pot of crabs, or get up close with whales and other sea life, several companies offer a variety of seagoing adventures out of peaceful Bodega Bay on Sonoma County’s Pacific Ocean coastline, as well as several inland waterway options. Here’s a quick overview.
For 35 years Capt. Rick Powers, owner of Bodega Bay Sport Fishing Center, has helped guide the direction of Northern California’s saltwater fishing. He has been responsible for innovations such as crab/rockfish and rockfish/lingcod/salmon combo fishing, as well as hook-and-line giant squid fishing. Located in the Porto Bodega RV Park and Marina, the Bodega Bay Sport Fishing Center offers tackle, bait, and weather information, as well as food and beverages. It runs two boats, the 65-foot New Sea Angler and the 56-foot Surf Scooter, and sport-fishing charters are available almost daily. The center also offers trips for whale watching, marine mammal viewing, bird watching, ash scatterings, and custom charter cruises for weddings and other special events. Note: Powers also owns the nearby The Boat House, which offers dishes like just-shucked oysters, fish and chips, local salmon burgers, calamari, and prawns, as well as hamburgers and sandwiches. You order at the counter, and seating is outdoors.
Bodega Bay Sport Fishing Center, 1410B Bay Flat Road, Bodega Bay, 707-875-3344
The Boat House, 1445 Coast Highway 1, Bodega Bay, 707-875-3495
Capt. Les Fernandes loves sharing his passion for fishing with anglers of all skill levels, from beginning to highly experienced. His Fish On Charters company offers intimate made-to-order fishing experiences for up to six people. Go salt-water fishing on the Samantha Irene, a 28-foot Design Concepts boat powered by a 225 Honda equipped with a 15 HP kicker, or head inland for freshwater fishing on a 24-foot Orca. All charters are led by experienced Coast Guard licensed captains that will help you make the most of your fishing experience, and the boats are fast, modern, comfortable, and inspected, and carry life rafts, vests and all required safety as well as a full array of fishing hardware and tackle.
Fish On Charters, 707-875-2323
Fishing charters are available for salmon, rockfish, ling cog, Dungeness crab, albacore, and Humboldt (giant) squid. The all-inclusive price includes fishing equipment, bait, fish cleaning, filleting, and packaging. Charters are also available for harbor cruises, eco adventures (focusing on local culture and fisheries), whale watching, bird watching, and ash scattering. The fleet includes two boats, the Miss Anita and the GT Style. Both are customized 34-foot Catamarans, equipped with large fly bridges and hard cabins, as well as state-of-the-art electronics, spacious cockpit, comfortable inside seating, and a large back deck. Note: Owner Gary Singh also owns the nearby Fisherman’s Cove, a fishing supply shop that’s also home to a small café dishing up the freshest local seafood: oysters (raised in nearby Tomales Bay), crab sandwiches, Portuguese-style fish soup, salmon bisque, and more. Although the shop and café have set hours, they can close early due to rainy or stormy weather, so it’s a good idea to call ahead.
Miss Anita Fishing Charters, 1500 Bay Flat Road, Bodega Bay, 707-875-3474
Fisherman’s Cove, 1850 Bay Flat Road, Bodega Bay, 707-377-4238
Go on a fun-filled ocean fishing adventure for salmon, rockfish, crab, halibut, tuna, and many other species on the Take Five, a beautiful 31-foot Grady-White, Express 305 that holds up to six passengers. Ocean fishing trips can visit Bodega Bay, Tomales Bay, Point Reyes National Seashore, Sausalito, Shelter Cove, along the Sonoma coast, along the Marin coast, or to offshore tuna grounds. Or go inland fishing in the 20-foot North River Seahawk with up to four passengers in San Francisco Bay, Port Sonoma, San Pablo Bay, Lake Sonoma, Sonoma Slough, and other locations. All necessary fishing great is provided, although you are free to bring your own. Or, take a nature tour to visit wildlife habitats, from those of coastal fish and birds to the deep water domains of Gray Whales. The company also offers coastal exploration, harbor cruises, inland sightseeing on the San Francisco Bay, day-game cruises to McCovey Cove in San Francisco, and Fleet Week air show cruises.
North Bay Charters, 1500 Bay Flat Road, Bodega Bay, 707-337-0608
For More Ideas
Check out Best Parks for Fishing in Sonoma County, Best River Beaches and Fishing Spots, and Whale Watching Along the Sonoma Coast. And when you’re ready to eat, consider Top Seafood Restaurants in Bodega Bay and check out our listings of coastal Sonoma County restaurants.