Half Moon Bay Sportfishing and Tackle in Pillar Point Harbor was established to be the home base of the Queen of Hearts sportfishing vessel and has evolved into the best-stocked dockside tackle store in the area. Established in 2005, the store is now a complete saltwater sportfishing outfitter that serves the needs of the charterboat customers and the many private boaters who fish the rich California coastal waters for salmon, rockfish, striped bass, surf perch, albacore and dungeness crab to name a few.
Store owner Sherry Ingles is an avid saltwater angler who annually fishes with her husband Bob on long range trips out of San Diego. She was a customer on a rockfishing trip in 1981 when she met then-deckhand Bob Ingles. A lot of time together on the water followed, and after they were married in 1986 (and spent their honeymoon fishing in Loreto), the couple purchased the Queen of Hearts in 1990 and have operated it from Half Moon Bay ever since.
The duo have always said Sherry wouldn't have the Queen of Hearts without Bob, and Bob wouldn't have the Queen of Hearts without Sherry. Same goes for the tackle shop. Capt. Bob has been working on ocean charterboats since the 1960s, growing up near Redondo Beach in Southern California and moving to the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1970s. Capt. Bob's primary responsibility is running the Queen of Hearts, but he knows first-hand what works and what doesn't on the water, and his decades of saltwater fishing knowledge helps dictate the shop's inventory.
In 2005, Sherry and Bob had a chance to purchase their own landing, changing the name from Capt. John's to Half Moon Bay Sportfishing. The headquarters quickly became much more than a place to sell tickets and take reservations.
"When we bought the shop, there was only a bait freezer, ticket counter and some smelly gunny sacks hung out to dry," says Sherry. "We completely refinished the interior, adding a wall and display shelves so we could have the best selection of tackle in Half Moon Bay."
Besides all the tackle you need for a successful day of charter boat fishing, Half Moon Bay Sportfishing has everything surf fishermen and private boaters need to get bit. That includes a full selection of bait, including bags and trays of anchovies, tray herring, one, three and five-pound boxes of squid, sardines, mackerel, prawns and grass shrimp.
Half Moon Bay Sportfishing also is one of the first tackle shops in California to have a frozen bait vending machine outside its front doors allowing anglers easy access to purchase their frozen bait 24 hours a day seven days a week. Even when the shop is closed or crazy busy when the customers are checking in for their trips in the mornings, the bait machine is available to get anglers out to the water quickly with their bait in hand.
"We also carry live pile worms," adds Sherry. "They are flown in from Maine and we immediately place them in aerated saltwater. They just wiggle and stay healthy and happy. We have happy, happy worms." As availability is heavily dependent on weather conditions on the East Coast, feel free to give us a call at the shop to check on the current pile worm supply.
Half Moon Bay Sportfishing is conveniently located on the way to the launch ramp in Pillar Point Harbor.
"The lines at the old ramp used to extend across Highway 1," notes Sherry. "The launch ramp was upgraded to six lanes and the way it is set up now there are never lines, even on the busiest weekends. The boaters go right by us. We have people coming in the store all day. We are THE shop in Half Moon Bay."
Half Moon Bay Sportfishing also carries snacks, souvenirs, clothing, sunglasses, sunscreen, seasickness remedies – basically all you need to for a fishing or whale watching adventure.
The care and knowledge that has gone into stocking the shelves at Half Moon Bay Sportfishing is unsurpassed and our staff is friendly and willing to share their fishing expertise and love of the sport of fishing with others. Let's get out on the water!