Northern CA Saltwater

Berkeley: Loads of halibut and bass

Salmon up and down for San Francisco fleet

BY CAPT. DAVID BACON/WON Staff WriterPublished: Aug 13, 2019

BERKELEY — Boats fishing inside San Francisco Bay had their umpteenth week of spectacular halibut fishing and they put some nice striped bass onboard during the process. Salmon boats had their ups and downs as each day was different, but the catch counts averaged out good over the week.

KING-SIZED HALIBUT have taken up residence in SF Bay, where Renita Chamberlain from Sacramento got a little help from deckhand Scott Brace of Vacaville holding up this beautiful 28-pound halibut taken off of Alcatraz aboard the California Dawn.

Happy Hooker fished the Bay and put 46 halibut and 1 striped bass on the boat for 16 anglers who had just about all the action they could ever want. Capt. Jonathon Smith noted that there is a tremendous amount of baitfish in the Bay, keeping the halibut happy. On California Dawn, halibut counts went as high as 70 flatties and 18 bass. Then the boat spent a couple of days rockfishing for full limits of rockfish, 7 halibut, 8 bass and 36 lingcod. Then Saturday’s count was 28 limits of rockfish, 11 cabezon, 12 halibut and 39 lingcod. Jeff Newrider got an 8-pound cabezon while fishing off Montara. Pacific Dream also went coastal and got limits of lingcod, 60 rockfish and 11 big halibut, three of which went over 25 pounds. Top Gun got limits of halibut to 15 pounds, then spent a day chasing salmon. Lots of fish were hooked and about a fish per rod made it over the rail, according to Capt. Steve Mitchell.

Fisherman’s Wharf boats tried different things. Wacky Jacky worked on salmon and had some good days. Other days it was like hard work to find fish for the passengers. On Friday, Lovely Martha had 3 salmon short of limits, fishing off Muir Beach. Bass Tub had 26 limits of halibut to 28 pounds and 6 bass from inside the Bay. “This has got to be some of the best fishing we have seen all season and there is no end in sight, said Capt. Erik Anfinson. Brittany Pudwell got the 28 pounder.

A FIRST FISH is a big occasion, especially when they are the daughters of a party boat skipper. Capt. Aaron Erikson of the Bass Tub took his daughters out for their first fishing trip in the ocean. Future captains Ava and Emma teamed up to battle this big one and this was their first-ever halibut, landed at Seal Rocks drifting live anchovies. Capt. Aaron reported in with 13 limits of halibut by 9 a.m. “Absolutely wide-open fishing,” he said.

Andy Guiliano at Fish Emeryville said, “Another great week for the Emeryville Fleet as the Summer of 2019 continued to impress. How good? Rumors circulated around the fleet Ebeneezer Scrooge was seen stepping off a boat with a smile!“ Salmon anglers scored limits and near limits Thursday and Friday as ocean conditions improved. On Thursday Tigerfish scored 12 limits and Friday Pacific Pearl returned with 17 limits of ocean bright salmon. Excellent quality, with a solid 12- to 15-pound average with many in the 20-pound range. Live bait potluck trips were true to their name as anglers scored a variety of species. On Friday Kingfish returned with a potpourri of gamefish, scoring 125 rockfish, 15 lingcod and 21 halibut. Action was good both inside and outside the Golden Gate.

At Berkeley Charterboats, Scott Sutherland described the action as under a fish a rod at the beginning of the week but the boats found a school of salmon near Point Reyes and limited out late in the week and into the weekend with commercial grade-fish. Antonio Herrera had a 24-pound salmon on El Dorado at Point Reyes and Javier Bryant managed a 26 pounder. Davy Langston caught a 24-pound salmon on New El Dorado III in the main shipping channel and Raul Matinez caught a 17 pounder near Point Reyes. Angel Carrara got a 26-pound salmon on New Easy Rider at the shipping lanes.

Fisherman’s Wharf boats and Sausalito boats plugged away steadily at the salmon with counts that ranged from a fish per rod to limits. Wacky Jacky, New Rayann and Hog Heaven all took good counts Sunday when they all ran up to the Point Reyes area. Capt. Jacky Douglas on Wacky Jacky said, “Fishing was good up by Point Reyes and the weather was nice. We got 21 salmon for 9 passengers plus the crew.” Jason Valladigham caught a nice 23 pounder and John Merryfield managed a 22 pounder on Wacky Jacky.

IN-BAY ’BUT — Rob Freeman of Eureka caught this 42-inch California halibut while fishing inside of Humboldt Bay, an alternative to fishing outside when the wind is up.

MARIN KINGS — Kevin and Kris Huff of Stockton fished off the Marin County coastline on Steve Klein’s private boat, and caught these three kings, part of limits for the boat.

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