Northern CA Saltwater Fishing Report

Striped bass, sturgeon and leopard sharks tangle with anglers in the upper San Pablo Bay and rivers

BY CAPT. DAVID BACON/WON Staff WriterPublished: Nov 07, 2012

PORT SONOMA — Petaluma River was the best bet for sturgeon, with good numbers of stripers caught from shore near Port Sonoma and Black Point. Napa River proved the best bet for striped bass, while leopard shark amassed in the upper San Pablo Bay.

The bite was good in the Petaluma River and Capt. Joel Sinkay of Leonard’s Bait & Tackle in Port Sonoma said, “Matthew, one of our customers, was fishing the mouth of the river today before coming back in for more rigs, because something very big wrapped around his line and shredded it three times! I wonder what that could have been? Sturgeon? I think so. There have been sturgeon caught and marked all throughout the river and some people were fishing in the same hole we were at last week when we got ours. We had a few leopard sharks caught near the mouth as well, mostly on grass shrimp. Stripers were caught off shore here at Port Sonoma and Black Point boat launch."  

SHARKS AND STRIPERS — Capt. Gordon House of the Morning Dawn sent in this photo of the results of his first fall trip out of Crockett Marina Oct. 27. The 10 anglers fished east of the Pumphouse in San Pablo Bay on the incoming for some big bat rays, then they moved north of buoy 7 and managed 11 leopard sharks, while the "Deck Dog" and skipper used bullheads and caught easy limits of stripers to 9 pounds.

Napa River supported a solid striper bite. Trolling in the upper river was productive using bullheads. The fish that are being caught here seem to have been a little bigger than from the Petaluma, with reports of Napa stripers up to 10 pounds. Sturgeon were caught though reports were sporadic and mostly from the lower Napa.  

Capt. Sinkay said, “Not sure what the story is over at China Camp, but we had some customers come back here talking about it being roped off with no access because of the big race in the area. Yesterday a customer reported a keeper bass for him and a few buddies and said it has been a little slow. Sharks are still in abundance in the Bay and there have even been some nice four-footers, primarily leopard sharks. I would be surprised if they weren't catching Sturgeon near the mouth of Sonoma Creek.”   

Sturgeon hit well on Ghost Shrimp. Leonard’s Bait & Tackle has a supply of grass shrimp, bullheads, pileworms and squid. 

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