Looking for Halibut at Tomales


Scuba Diving on the Great Escape Southern California Live-Aboard Dive Boat

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Posted by Eric S on June 20, 2005 at 21:33:29:

Sunday two of my buddies and I went to Tomales Bay to see if any flatties came in yet.
We launched out of Lawson's Landing, a great little family owned campground and launch facility right on the northern headland of the entrance of Tomales bay out on the dunes.
It was an incoming tide all morning so the water was pouring into the bay.
The way to dive this spot is by live boating with one guy in the boat drifting along behind the other divers' floats. Each diver has a 35-50 foot float line attached to his speargun which is attached to a float with a weighted pole and flag on it. We generally start way out at the entrance to the bay and drift into the bay with the current. When we get a ways into the bay everyone gets back into the boat and we go back out to the mouth and make another run. The divers rotate so every one gets to make a few runs. Each run lasts about 20 minutes
When we went out we were able to get 4 runs each. I used a tank and a quarter. I got three runs on one tank then switched out for the fourth.
The water rips you along pretty good. Stuff goes by damn fast when it's a ripping tide like we had.
The best spot is right in from the outer buoy in about 40 feet then as you come in to the bay the sandy bottom suddenly goes to 12 feet and it is on this ledge where the flatties usually are. It's also the most treacherous spot as far as swells climbing up on the sand bar there and swamping boats. Many fishermen have been killed right at this spot, so extreme care must be exercised when hanging out on the "bar"
We didn't see one fish when we were out there probably because the water hasn't warmed up enough yet, but it sure was fun to try.
The vis sucked, only about 4 feet and soupy greenish bronze color. I don't think it was red tide but probably run off from the rainstorm we had.
The mouth of Tomales is also touted as one of the sharkiest spots in the world so it was hard to get that music out of my head while I was drifting along looking in those big sand troughs for the elusive halibut.



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