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Northern CA Saltwater

Berkeley: Loads of halibut, good striper fishing

Slower salmon action for SF Bay boats

BY CAPT. DAVID BACON/WON Staff WriterPublished: Sep 04, 2019

BERKELEY — Halibut fishing inside and outside San Francisco Bay was good most of the week, though affected briefly by minus tides. Striped bass schools roamed and gobbled everything in sight and rockfish and lingcod were easy targets along the coast and at the Farallones. Salmon fishing slowed and boats searched for the next body of fish.

PT. REYES KING — WON Field Reporter Bill Nakaki caught his limit of salmon aboard the New Huck Finn out of Emeryville Sportfishing while fishing 11 miles west of Pt. Reyes.

Halibut continued to hang their hats most everywhere there was a sand or mud bottom. Capt. Steve Talmadge on Flash I sent in a mid-day report for his 6-pack boat saying he was fishing halibut on the North Bar, had 11 fish so far and was still fishing in great weather. First time angler Stacy Barajas tried her hand at this and successfully fought an 11-pound halibut on Pacific Pearl. California Dawn had some strong halibut days with well over a fish per rod plus some striped bass. Argo had better than 2 halibut per rod inside the Ba.

Some boats ran combo trips and fishing was so good they could make a combo our of a half-day trip. For example, Bass Tub had ¾-day limits of rockfish, 10 lingcod and 4 halibut on a half-day trip with 16 fisherfolk. Happy Hooker also ran a combo trip along the Marin Coast, culminating in limits of rockfish, 20 lingcod and 23 halibut for 15 very lucky anglers. “There are still halibut around, so if we finish up on the rockfish early enough, we try targeting the halibut,” said Capt. Jonathon Smith.

Capt. Steve Mitchell of Hook’d Up Sportfishing had a couple of halibut for each client and found bass coming over the rails with the flatties. The skipper noted that the halibut were a little deeper than they had recently been catching them. With plenty of shorts caught and released, he felt the signs were good for next year, too.

Salmon fishing did happen, and salmon catches did occur, sometimes at a rapid clip but sometimes boats had to scout for fish. Capt. Joe Schiavoni (crew and relief captain) fished Lovely Martha and managed an impressive 26-pound salmon. Wacky Jacky knocked the salmon and a number of boats from the Sausalito fleet did likewise. Jeff Divino fished with Capt. Jacky Douglas on Wacky Jacky to pull twin 25-pound salmon from the waters near Duxbury. Counts were not stellar, but some of the fish were the size of two from earlier in the season.

Rockfishing was easy, both on the coast and at the Islands. Lovely Martha posted 35 limits of rockfish and 16 lingcod, all on a half-day trip. New Huck Finn, Sea Wolf and Tigerfish from Fish Emeryville also raked in the rockfish and levered some lingcod over the rails.

New Huck Finn from Fish Emeryville took a group on a real exploration, making a very long run to the tuna grounds off Fort Bragg. WON Field Reporter Bill Nakaki was on the boat and said, “We found biting fish and caught 140 albacore up to 30 pounds.” Joann Chow caught the 30 pounder and Capt. Jay Yokomizo put the gaff into the big longfin. Joe Hobbs, who works aboard Sea Wolf, jumped at the chance to go on this trip and scored nice albies.

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