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San Francisco Bay fleet clobbers rockfish and lingcod outside Golden Gate

BY CAPT. DAVID BACON/WON Staff WriterPublished: Dec 12, 2017

BERKELEY — Trips outside the Golden Gate for crab/rockfish combos were generally quite good and the sacks that came off the boats were bulging satisfactorily since good weather always makes for easier fishing. Another option was to fish inside the Bay for striped bass and perhaps sturgeon.

Happy Hooker made its way out to work with Mother Nature and see what bounty the passengers could glean from her. Capt. Sarah Robertson at the landing said, “Limits of rockfish and 19 lingcod made for smiling faces and bulging sacks and, although the quest for crab fell short of limits, the 178 crawling beauties from the deep made for a happy day.” Mark Fong hooked a 15-pound lingcod on a trap rig with a frozen herring.


California Dawn , running out of Berkeley, had rockfish limits every day, lingcod ranging from 1 to 1.5 fish per rod and improved crab fishing due possibly to some of the larger commercial crab operations packing things up for the season. El Dorado from Berkeley Charter boats fished outside the Pimple for limits of rockfish, 6 lingcod and half limits of crabs. Bob Swan (who seems to be vying for a permanent spot on the Whopper List) got a 14-pound lingcod.


From Fisherman’s Wharf, Bass Tub ran a bottomfish trip with a light load of 9 anglers. Capt. Aaron Anfinson reported limits of rockfish and 11 lingcod, handily beating the lingcod per rod mark.


Argo fished inside, opting for the excellent striped bass action in San Pablo Bay, even on small tides. Capt. Craig Hanson said, “Limits to 8 pounds with lots of catch & release days. I had two people who had limits of 4 bass within the first 5 casts of the morning. It was all on the anchor this week and current is very important, with the ebb producing best.”


Out of Emeryville, New Huck Finn, Sea Wolf and New Salmon Queen hammered away all week, scoring 3/4 to full limits of rockfish and solid numbers of superb quality Dungeness crab. Although the numbers of crab have dipped since the opener, the quality remains excellent with a good portion of the crab in the 2-pound class. A typical score for the week was New Huck Finn returning with 230 rockfish, 2 lingcod and 140 Dungeness crab for their 23 anglers.


New Salmon Queen had the top lingcod score of the week, landing 15 for their light charter of 9 anglers. They also returned with full limits of rockfish and 45 Dungeness. Tigerfish and Sea Wolf are running traditional rockfish/lingcod trips for the month of December. Winter weather has been mild and with the season closing December 31, now is a great time to take advantage of the great conditions, suggested Andy Guiliano at the Landing.


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