Central Coast fishermen are reporting a big success on day one of salmon season despite the drought. Yet, they could feel the affects down the line. We caught up with the anglers just as they were docking their boats for the day in Moss Landing.
Local fishermen said the 2014 salmon season opened with a bang.
"Twenty minutes we were done. We didn't have time to think, it was fast," said fisherman Bill Hays.
Hays said he’s been doing it a long time.
“Fifty-sum years, when you get that adrenaline run in you it's great," Hays said.
This year, there's no shortage of salmon.
"Here, last year was very slow I think we got one all day," Hays said.
Even with the historic drought the Department of Fish and Wildlife said the salmon these fishermen are catching are 3 to 6 years old. That means they were in the ocean pre-drought.
“They say we're going to feel that in a year or two," Hays said.
Hays said young salmon struggle with the low water levels in the river. The Department of Fish and Wildlife is cutting the heads of certain salmon is because their snouts are implanted with coded wire tags. Then they can manage the fisheries better and set up regulations for the next season.
"The coded wire tag has information about where the fish came from, how old it is, which run it is," said Jayna Schaaf-Da Silva with the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Hays said he likes to beat the crowd. He was up at 5:00a.m.
"Still shaking, haha, I love when they get on the line. That's why I keep doing it," Hays said.
Hays said that’s the mark of an angler that's still in love with the sport he began a half a century ago.