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Northern CA Saltwater

San Francisco Bay boats get the last of their ’buts and bass until spring

By CAPT. DAVID BACON/WON Staff WriterPublished: Oct 19, 2017

BERKELEY — Fishing was good… really good for bass and for halibut inside the Bay or just outside the Gate at the bars. Runs for rockfish along the Marin Coast and especially at the Farallon Islands were fabulous producers. Shark fishing was good in South Bay.

lockuphalibutLOCKUP HALIBUT — Capt. Chris Smith of Pinole is holding up an 18-pound halibut caught drifting live baits at Alcatraz Island last week during a potluck trip aboard the Happy Hooker.

Boats could do little wrong when bass fishing with the last of the live bait for the season and that bait was also good for tempting halibut. Scott Sutherland at Berkeley Charter Boats said, “El Dorado fished live bait and had 6 stripers and 14 halibut to 18 pounds for 15 guys at Bonita and North Bar before the live bait operation shut down for the season. Unfortunately, live anchovies are no more, so no more ‘buts and bass for our boats until spring.”

California Dawn put limits of bass aboard for 27 folks and also posted a halibut and a white seabass. Hog Heaven also got limits of bass plus 8 halibut for 18 fishers. Among a mix of nice bass and halibut, Lovely Martha saw a 30-pound white seabass brought over the rail by Eric Walter. Flash fished bass in the Bay until the live bait shut down and then the boat concentrated on rockfish.

Rockfishing was the steady and dependable fishing option for Bay Area boats. Limits of rockfish were the usual report and at least a half a lingcod per rod, sometimes much more depending upon the talent aboard a party boat on any given day. California Dawn also spent a few days including Sunday fishing the Farallones and bringing passengers back with heavy sacks of lingcod and rockfish. Ahmad Nurul brought in a 22-pound lingcod on New El Dorado III at the North Islands.

Andy Guiliano at Fish Emeryville reported that Sea Wolf fished the Farallones for quality limits of reds, coppers, yellows and olives. Lingcod scores ranged from a fish per rod to full limits with swimbaits being the top producers. All Bay Area boats said that November crab combo trips are filling fast and hopeful passengers should be making reservations now.

Capt. Sarah Robertson said, “The Happy Hooker battled Mother Nature again to make the day out at the Farallon Islands. Winds and high seas took many a customer off the rail, but the 18 or so out of the 28 that persevered landed 240 rockfish and 13 lings to make the day a success for all. Although there weren’t any record breakers the quality of the fish made for heavy sacks and smiling faces and once again the Hooker battled Mother Nature and won.”

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