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Berkeley: San Francisco boats load up on halibut and salmon!

BY CAPT. DAVID BACON/WON Staff WriterPublished: Aug 20, 2019

BERKELEY — Salmon counts were up for San Francisco Bay boats and the halibut counts remained steady and still phenomenal while some striped bass were taken with the halibut and rockfish and lingcod were readily available.

Paul Dietrich of Palo Alto was rewarded with the first and biggest salmon of the day with a 24-pound king taken on 6-pack boat Sundance out of Fish Emeryville. Dietrich is a regular aboard the boat and his friend Jeff Goyert said, “Capt. RJ Waldron worked in 60 feet of water off Stinson Beach trolling anchovies out 15 to 45 pulls. Deckhand, and now licensed captain, Meland did some fancy network to get the slug in the box.”

THE LARGEST HALIBUT ever taken on the California Dawn “since I’ve owned the boat,” according to Capt. James Smith, was landed by Mark Redmill of Wooldand, Calif., and measured 50 inches long and weighed 50 pounds, taken off Chrissie Field with a little help from deckhand JP Gano of Vacaville.

“We’re getting a fish a rod to limits on the salmon around Point Reyes and these fish seem to be moving closer to San Francisco, so hopefully we’ll be picking apart this school for a while,” said Scott Sutherland at Berkeley Charterboats, who noted that they will be running lingcod trips soon. Todd Murphy had a 22-pound salmon on New El Dorado III at the Channel and Francisco Cortez had a 22-pound lingcod at the Islands with a white/lime green swimbait on the same boat. William Smart got a 24-pound salmon on New Easy Rider at Point Reyes.

Wacky Jacky , Salty Lady, Lovely Martha, New Rayann, Hog Heaven, Outer Limits and several other boats all worked on salmon. Jeff Davito caught a 23 pounder on Wacky Jacky and Steve Heryford caught two 25-pound salmon near Point Reyes. Lovely Martha on Friday had 20 limits of salmon by 11:00 a.m., and 14 limits of salmon by 10:30 a.m., on Tuesday. Bill Stewart caught a 23 pounder.

At Fish Emeryville, Andy Guiliano felt that the Fish Gods were devoting an abundance of time to Bay Area Anglers. It was a good week for salmon fishing up near Point Reyes where they were gorging on anchovies. Fish were bright with a 12- to 15-pound average with plenty of 20-pound class fish aboard every boat. Thursday was stellar day with the C Gull II, Pacific Pearl and Tigerfish returning with a combined 51 limits (102 fish) to 30 pounds.

The quality of halibut fishing was phenomenal both in terms of quantity and quality. For example, Capt. James Smith on California Dawn reported the largest California halibut ever caught aboard California Dawn since he’s owned the boat and the fish, measuring out at 50 inches and weighing 50 pounds is getting up close to a world record for the species. It was caught off Crissie Fields by Mark Redmill from Woodland and deckhand JP Gano was of great assistance getting the monster into the boat.

A 40.34-POUND California halibut was caught by Shawn Chen Flading while targeting trophy halibut on the troll at Seal Rock outside the Golden Gate, trolling frozen herring. He was fishing alone in his own boat, The Bad Influence.

Other Berkeley boats did well on halibut. Six-pack boat Dream Fisher from Bill’s Sportfishing worked Alcatraz for 8 halibut ranging from 5 to 15 pounds for Sean Beggs, Ron Beggs and Jason Beggs on a family charter.

Halibut counts held steady at a 2 fish per rod average for Emeryville boats. Fish were found anywhere from the North Bar outside the Gate to traditional Bay hotspots like Alcatraz, Angel island, and the Richmond outer harbor. Live bait was reported to be big, bold and beautiful. Kingfish had a great day Thursday returning with 31 halibut for their 11 happy anglers.

Out of Fisherman’s Wharf, Bass Tub scored 25 stripers and 8 halibut on a half-day trip. Sunday’s trip was for salmon. Flash I and Flash II fished the Bay with live bait. Capt. Steve Talmadge reported limits on the bass and about 2 halibut per angler. A young lady chartered the boat for her boyfriend’s birthday, and they took a picture kissing while each of them held up their halibut. That is touching! Lovely Martha from Fisherman’s Wharf ran a half-day rockfish trip and got 31 limits of rockfish and 2 lings.

Rockfish and lingcod filled sacks both along the Marin Coast and at the Farallon Islands. Top Gun fished the coast for limits of rockfish. Capt. Steve Mitchell said, “Highlights were hitchhiking lingcod to 15 pounds that were coming over the rail. Fish were taken on soft plastic swimbaits, herring and small rockcod on the hooks.” The boat will be running rockfish trips throughout September. Pacific Dream from Berkeley Marina fished the islands for limits of rockfish and 12 lingcod.

Sea Wolf and New Huck Finn hammered away on the bottomfish all week as offshore weather moderated, and fish were on the chow. On Tuesday, New Huck Finn scored 23 limits or rockfish and 37 lingcod and Sea Wolf had 25 limits of rockfish and 50 lingcod to 23 pounds. Guiliano felt that action should hold all the way to crab combos which begin Nov 2.

A HEAD-ON cabezon makes an impressive photo. This 8 pounder was caught by Jeff Newrider of Sacramento on a live anchovy off Montara aboard the California Dawn with Capt. James at the helm.

RED AND LING — Brian Nobori of Oakland caught this lingcod and vermillion during a trip aboard the New Huck Finn out of Emeryville Sportfishing. They ran past Pt. Reyes for some flat, calm weather and caught limits of both, then caught halibut at the North Bar. PHOTO BY BILL NAKAKI

LING LIMIT — WON Field Reporter Bill Nakaki caught a nice limit of lingcod aboard the New Huck Finn out of Emeryville Sportfishing last Sunday when they ran past Pt. Reyes. He caught limits of lings and rockfish, plus a few halibut on the return.

hittingthejackpotHITTING THE JACKPOT — De Huang caught the jackpot lingcod, this monster, using a shrimpfly on the New Huck Finn out of Emeryville during a charter trip with WON Field Reporter Bill Nakaki, who took the photo.

FULL BOAT — A deck full of halibut aboard the Bass Tub out of Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco is a clear indication of how the fishing is in SF Bay, and on Aug. 10 she provided full limits to all 26 anglers aboard.

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