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Northern CA Saltwater

San Francisco: Bass fishing decent for San Francisco Bay folks

Sturgeon fishing good

BY CAPT. DAVID BACON/WON Staff WriterPublished: Jan 14, 2020

Various brands of perch another option for area anglers

SAN FRANCISCO — There weren’t many boat reports for the week out of San Francisco Bay due to the off season, but there was some good fishing to be done. Sturgeon were taken in South Bay, Central Bay and San Pablo Bay and while bass fishing was somewhat slow, nice fish were caught and limits were possible. Herring mostly stayed in deep Bay waters waiting for the right tides.

CALI HALI — Gabe Snyder of Antioch with a San Francisco Bay halibut he caught on live bait while fishing on a private boat.

Sturgeon catches were reported, some in the far South Bay and a few in Central Bay. Some think we need more rain to get the sturgeon to feeding aggressively and some think the ancient fish are holding in deep water feeding on the herring, which are about to spawn. That left boaters and shore anglers in Central and South bays working primarily on striped bass at spots like Alameda Rock Wall and Coyote Point. The bass counts were not generally high, but there were some nice fish up around 5 pounds caught on shrimp, herring and anchovies as well as on lures like bucktails, Rat-L-Traps and swimbaits. Anthony Jeralski caught a 6 pounder and Sandy Johnson battled an 8 pounder from private boats.

Those same hotspots, along with Berkeley, Emeryville and the San Francisco shoreline, were good for various perch. Barred surfperch were caught in good numbers in clean water spots, while pogey were more common in murky water spots. Outside the Gate along San Francisco beaches, redtail perch were caught along with barred surf perch.

There were quick pre-spawn herring forays which people hoped would turn into full on spawns. Alameda was the site of one such brief, but enticing foray, which ended after an hour or so. Lots and lots of folks are waiting impatiently for the true spawn to go off so they can catch their bait for the season as well as table fare. Ed Lu at Bay Tackle in El Cerrito said, “The herring are still deep. There have only been quick little spawns that have fizzled out. Herring like full moon high tides during the night. That time is coming up and when the tide is right, it will happen.”

FLATS FISH — Brent Heinrich from Livermore caught his 25-pound striper aboard the New El Dorado III while fishing out of Berkeley Flats.

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