Northern CA Saltwater

Berkeley: Salmon and halibut keep the pace for San Francisco Bay boats

BY CAPT. DAVID BACON/WON Staff WriterPublished: Jul 09, 2019

BERKELEY — Salmon action went into high gear over the weekend for the fabled San Francisco salmon fleet, while at the same time, boats targeting halibut and bass inside the Bay did well in spite of minus tides and the full moon.

“The fleet enjoyed red-hot fishing on all fronts as the first week of July thundered in. In a year that is becoming a proverbial ‘black out’ bingo card, fishermen across the spectrum found great action,” said Andy Guiliano at Fish Emeryville. Early in the week salmon action hovered around a fish per rod, with the offshore weather keeping the fleet sequestered along the Marin County coast. At mid-week the weather backed off and the fleet got located, scoring early limits of beautiful ocean-bright salmon southwest of the Golden Gate.

THE BERKELEY FLATS are a focal point for halibut fishing, and that’s where 7-year-old Xander Ching of San Francisco caught his 13-pound specimen that’s almost a big as him. Deckhand Scott Brace of Vacaville aboard the Cal Dawn gave him an assist in lifting it.

On Thursday, C Gull II, Tigerfish and Pacific Pearl all scored early limits and tied up well before the evening fireworks show. Quality remains exceptional with a 7- to 14-pound average, with the big fish close to 20 pounds every day.

The San Francisco Bay salmon fleet was all over the weekend bite.Bass Tub had limits of salmon for all passengers and Wacky Jacky and Lovely Martha were on them. The big salmon of the week was a 30 pounder caught by Ray Stemmel on Wacky Jacky. John Dariano got an 18 pounder, also on Wacky Jacky and Rock Johnson took a 24-pounder on board Lovely Martha and Angie Hernandez caught an 18 pounder on the same boat. Jerry Gonzales took a 21 pounder on Outer Limits while Larry Reynolds caught an 18 pounder on New Rayann. Sausalito boats Salty Lady, Blue Runner, New Rayann and Outer Limits scored nicely. El Dorado from Berkeley Charter boats had fish to 17 pounds.

“Limits of salmon all day, every day,” said Scott Sutherland at Berkeley Charter Boats. An average day was El Dorado, New El Dorado III and New Easy Rider combining for 60-plus limits of salmon with the bigger units getting up to 25 pounds. The best fishing was in deeper water out towards the Farallones. Jamie Chavez had a 22 pounder on El Dorado, Sam Wu got a 24 pounder on New Easy Rider and Grace Swartz took a 25 pounder on New El Dorado III.

New Huck Finn and Kingfish stayed on top of the halibut and striped bass action all week as tides inside the bay improved. New Huck Finn hit triple digits again Thursday returning with 70 stripers and 58 halibut for 35 anglers. Both Sundance and Dragon, 6-pack boats, enjoyed double limits days of halibut and striped bass mid-week as well. California Dawn had limits of stripers and halibut counts of well over a fish per rod and topped the hundred fish mark 4 times for the week. Pacific Dream had a fish to two fish per rod even during the minus tides.

Rockfishermen enjoyed another fine week fishing mostly the coastal areas. Aided by the availability of superb quality live bait, anglers scored chunky limits of coastal hardheads including great numbers of browns, vermillion and canaries. Lingcod counts varied from a fish per rod to limits.

oysterpointOYSTER POINT DOUBLE — Rooster Tail Fishing Club member Gregor Roschitsch fished May 30 on SF Bay off Oyster Point and the Oakland Airport trolling 3-way flasher halibut rigs with a single hook and treble trailer with a whole mackerel, and picked up these two nice halibut.

A STARRY ROCKCOD and nice vermillion were part of the limit for Brian Nobori of Oakland during a rockcod trip to the Farallon Islands aboard the New Huck Finn out of Emeryville Sportfishing. They also caught 14 halibut along with their rockfish limits. PHOTO BY BILL NAKAKI

IN BAY FLATTIE — Jason Walls from grass valley with a couple of nice stripers to 12 pounds caught on the Top Gun out of Hook Up Sportfishing out of Berkeley.

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