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Berkeley: Full limits of rockfish, crabs for SF Bay area boats

BY CAPT. DAVID BACON/WON Staff WriterPublished: Nov 19, 2019

BERKELEY — Most of the week was comfortable and San Francisco Bay area boats took full advantage by running combo trips to fill out limits of both rockfish and Dungeness crabs for their passengers. The best rockfish action came from the Farallones and the best crabbing was right out front of the Gate.

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WINCH ’EM IN — Crab season is off and running, and it’s looking like a great season. The Lovely Martha out of Fisherman’s Wharf pulled this pot just chock full of delicious Dungeness!

The catch counts were so fantastic it was very repetitive reading with the word “limits” prevalent throughout. Capt. Erik Anfinson on Bass Tub out of Fisherman’s Wharf said, “We have run every day this week with the limits of crab and limits of rockfish with a few sprinklings of lingcod out at the Farallon Islands. We’ve had anywhere from 20 limits up to 40 limits, and it has been wide open. We’re getting a nice variety of rockfish and we will be doing these trips until Dec. 1.” A 10-pound lingcod was caught by Rosie Season from Novato.


Flash boats went through maintenance over the week. Capt. Steve Talmadge is running Flash I to Martinez for the winter. Flash II will remain in San Francisco and keep running trips. Capt. Mike Rescino on Lovely Martha posted reliable limits of jumbo crab and jumbo rockfish from the Farallones. Chuck Orekar got the big fish of the week, a 23-pound lingcod.


The report from Scott Sutherland at Berkeley Charter Boats was limits of rockcod and limits of crab every day this month. The limits of rockfish are coming from the islands and include lots of big hardheads, some decent school fish but only a couple of lingcod per day. One of those was a 16 pounder caught by Randall Samson who used a red/black swimbait on El Dorado at the North Islands. The report also told of steady limits of crab along the Marin Coast. Sutherland noted that the boats were soaking pots in 100 to 300 feet of water and said the depth didn’t matter because as long as the commercial guys aren’t yet competing, crab will be plentiful everywhere.


At Fish Emeryville, Andy Guiliano said, “It was another week of ‘rack’em and stack’em’ for the Emeryville crab combo fleet. Anglers were treated to great rockfishing and crab all week, as the second week of November came to an end. Hotspots for rockfishing remain the Farallon Island chain, as anglers scored quality yellow, black and blue rockfish, with the usual mix of reds and hardheads. Pacific Catch shrimp flies and Hodie jigs were particularly deadly on the rockfish. Crab numbers remained strong with a good supply of jumbo crab crawling in the pots. We are running daily combo trips with a few select crab-only trips on the calendar.” Some of the impressive fish were Justin Guzman’s 13-pound lingcod on Sea Wolf and Carl Rollin’s 14-pound ling caught on New Huck Finn.


With customer counts in the 30s and limits of both rockfish and crab, California Dawn had a stellar week. Wednesday it was 33 folks, Thursday it was 34, Friday 32 and Saturday 33. Every passenger walked off the boat with limits of crab and rockfish and maybe a lingcod. On Happy Hooker, Capt. Jonathon Smith reported jumbo rockfish and commercial grade crab, with full limits of both on every trip out through the week and over the weekend. Pacific Dream counts were right in there, with limits of rockfish, limits of crab, a few lingcod and passenger counts in the thirties.


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