Northern CA Saltwater

Striped bass, halibut and salmon gave San Francisco Bay anglers thrills

BY CAPT. DAVID BACON/WON Staff WriterPublished: Apr 23, 2019

EMERYVILLE — A nice variety of options gave San Francisco Bay anglers cause to celebrate. Salmon action was good for early season and striped bass and sturgeon were plentiful for both boat and shore-based fishers. Halibut counts improved and some nicer fish were taken.

With the new season of Game of Thrones going strong, Bay Area fisherfolk enjoyed a game of options. Locally, the bass and halibut catches mounted through the week. At Fish Emeryville, Andy Guiliano explained that Bay action dominated the marquee, as striped bass and halibut offered great action for saltwater anglers. The bass were spread out over a large area and when conditions lined up it was full throttle action. Calm mornings produced non-stop action, crashing birds and busting fish.


BIG HALIBUT ARE showing in San Francisco Bay, and Sydney Stang of Minnesota caught a 32 pounder in the South Bay while fishing with Capt. Mike Rescino aboard the Lovely Martha out of Fisherman’s Wharf last week.

Top score for the week was the New Huck Finn scoring 33 limits (66 fish) by 9 a.m. fishing South San Francisco Bay. Tigerfish, Pacific Pearl, and C Gull II also combined for full ass limits. Decent halibut scores of 5-10 per boat were the norm. High halibut score for the week was Pacific Pearl on a half day trip returning with 8 halibut and 2 stripers for 10 anglers.

Out of Berkeley Marina, Pacific Dream had limits of striped bass and improving numbers of halibut. Capt. Chris Smith reported windy and rough conditions Saturday, but otherwise it was a nice week and Sunday was much improved. Saturday’s total aboard Happy Hooker after a white-knuckle day with 40-knot gusts inside the Bay (measured with an onboard windometer) was 12 halibut and some stripers, per Capt. Jonathan Smith. Sunday was a nicer day with nicer totals. California Dawn from Berkeley Marina fared similarly, working South Bay.

A bass per rod on up to limits came aboard Bass Tub from Fisherman’s Wharf. The boat had some nice halibut onboard as well. Saturday’s numbers were 12 bass and 6 halibut for 12 people. Capt. Aaron Anfinson said, “There was 20 to 30 knots of wind and it seemed like the birds were afraid to take flight.” Lovely Martha, also from Fisherman’s Wharf had almost a keeper halibut per rod and released a high number of shorts. Jose Rodriguez brought a 14-pound halibut aboard Lovely Martha.

Capt. Steve Talmadge reported that Flash II from Fisherman’s Wharf had a great week of sturgeon fishing. The crew knows San Pablo Bay and San Francisco Bay exceptionally well and is always a great option for consistently-successful fishing trips. Capt. Talmadge is a hard-working guy who runs good boats Flash I and Flash II.

Berkeley Charter Boats had vessels fishing inside and outside the Bay. Scott Sutherland said, “New El Dorado III has been averaging 2 to 3 fish per person inside the Bay this week. More halibut than stripers and biggest one was 20 pounds. South Bay mostly, Alameda and Oyster Point.” Mohammad Rafik had a 20-pound halibut on the New El Dorado III trolling an anchovy by the Rock Wall.

Kevin Castaneda had a 14-pound halibut on the Sea Bass trolling off Alameda.

Sea Wolf from Fish Emeryville continued the assault on the rockfish population. After a few days off due to weather, they were back out at the Farallon Islands late in the week. Anglers found great action scoring full limits of quality yellows, olives and canaries, with a good assortment of reds and brownies. Lingcod were plentiful and biting Christmas Tree and Bubble Gum Swimbaits. Fridays score was a typical Farallon Island report. 22 Limits of rockfish and 22 limits of Lingcod. Bad day to be a rockfish!

privateboatbutPRIVATE BOAT ‘BUT — Clara Ricabal of Angler West TV fished the Alameda Rock Wall on a private boat using a frozen anchovy when she caught this 28-pound halibut.

kayakcatchersKAYAK CATCHERS — Dan Hager and Kathleen Andreson Hager of Mill Valley fished off China Camp in a kayak and caught a legal sturgeon and a few striped bass for a fun day on the water.

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