Northern CA Saltwater

San Francisco Bay boats stay on salmon, load up on rockfish or halibut and bass

BY CAPT. DAVID BACON/WON Staff WriterPublished: Sep 12, 2018

BERKELEY — Salmon counts held at or above a fish per rod across the San Francisco Bay fleet and most action was fairly close by, while rockfish and lingcod counts were consistently high, especially at the Farallones. Boats working inside the Bay managed good counts of halibut and still some striped bass.

The cool, windless mornings served as a reminder that we are edging closer to the best weather of the season and salmon boats turned in another good week of fish counts. Andy Guilliano at Fish Emeryville said, “Scores ranged from a fish per rod to limits for a few boats, with fish into the mid-20s. Mid-week, yet another school of fresh, bright fish arrived.” Sundance returned consistently with numbers between 1.5 and 2 salmon per person including Joseph Debreyn’s 22 and 24 pounders. C-Gull II, Tigerfish and Pacific Pearl are offering limited load salmon trips through September.

farallonpikeup445FARALLON PILE UP — It’s been a wild past couple weeks at the Farallon islands, according to Capt. James Smith of the California Dawn, who put his clients on a wide-open lingcod and rockfish bite! Last Thursday’s trip resulted in 29 limits of lingcod on the deck.

Fisherman’s Wharf and Sausalito boats came from opposite ends of the Golden gate Bridge and worked together on the salmon grounds. Wacky Jacky , Flash, Lovely Martha, Salty Lady, Blue Runner, New Rayann and others worked the salmon grounds off the Marin Coast and near the Channel Buoys to pull respectable numbers that made passengers happy.

“Some of those salmon were pushing 30 pounds,” said Capt. Joe Schiavoni on Flash I. Capt. Mike Rescino on Lovely Martha reported limits or a couple fish short of limits the whole week. There were lots of hookups and missed opportunities because the big fish have moved in and are testing people as well as tackle. Aiden Wong, age 17, caught a 20 pounder on Wacky Jacky and Roy Cervantes took a 26 pounder onOuter Limits. On Hog Heaven, Alex Rose got a 30 pounder. New Rayann has a 32 pounder caught by Al Furcus amd a 28 pounder taken by Jenelle Burns. On Lovely Martha, Chuck Orekar had a 27 pounder.

Berkeley boats got in on the salmon action. Harry Wessel caught a huge 30-pound salmon on El Dorado off Muir Beach. Jacob Martinez got a 27 pounder on New Easy Rider at the Channel. Bottom fishing trips were also good for Berkeley passengers such as when Pedro Alvaro took a 22-pound lingcod on New El Dorado III at the North Islands.

Rockfishing was a limit-style affair both along the Marin Coast and at the Farallon Islands. Bass Tub took limits of both rockfish and lingcod along the coast. New Huck Finn continued an impressive string of bottom fishing successes with 28 limits of rockfish and 45 lingcod to 24 pounds. That 24 pounder was caught by Dave Stephens. Tigerfish got 19 limits of rockies and 19 lingcod to 15 pounds. Live bait is still available and that is making for some fat sacks of fish.

Happy Hooker had wide-open bottom fishing at the Farallones early in the week, then boated 24 halibut for 18 anglers. Over the weekend, the lingcod and rockfish bit well on the coast. California Dawn also did exceptionally well on lingcod and rockfish at the islands until late in the week when the boat focused on sharks. Capt. James Smith said, “One day we got eleven 7-gill sharks, releasing 3. One was 200 pounds and another was over 250 pounds. We also kept 2 leopard sharks. On Thursday we had 10 of the cow sharks and we released 3. The most mentionable was a 300 pounder we set free to catch another day. We also got 3 soupfin sharks.”

IN-BAY SHARKIN’ — Vince and Josh Borges of Salida caught some nice sharks while fishing on the California Dawn out of Berkeley last week, and while most release sharks, some types, like seven­gills, are good eating.

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