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Northern CA Saltwater

San Francisco Bay action in San Pablo Bay, South Bay

Western Outdoor NewsPublished: Mar 13, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO —Almost all the Bay Area partyboats are in drydock or tied up waiting for the upcoming salmon and rockfishing season, and nicer weather, hopefully, for the salmon opener coming up. But there are still some in-Bay options available.

SOME STRIPERS ARE coming from the South Bay and San Pablo Bay, and Pita Walker from Wheatland caught this 6 pounder using ghost shrimp aboard the Bass Tub with Capt. Aaron Anfinson last week.

As of our publication date, it looked like the San Francisco and Fort Bragg salmon zone season openers would be pushed back to May 1, May 15 or May 26 to give a later season closing date.

Over in the South Bay, Capt. Erik Anfinson of the Bass Tub out of Fisherman's Wharf reported a few bites with undersized halibut and some striped bass that were too small. They worked Oyster Point, then off Candlestick and Berkeley Flats. The water was fine over the weekend and a good day to fish, Anfinson said on Sunday.

Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle in San Rafael said, “The tides are decent for the weekend for sturgeon, but there haven’t been many boats out this week since there has been a steady east wind most days. Thursday’s weather was good enough to go out, and shore fishermen have been most of our customers this week. We will have live mud shrimp for the weekend along with ghost shrimp, and 90-percent of the calls to the shop are for mud shrimp.

Bay Tackle in El Cerrito reported striped bass fishing from the shoreline has improved for numbers with Slab Zone swimbaits. On Wednesday, workers from their shop landed over 20 stripers on swimbaits while they only found one striped bass on Thursday. The schools are moving around. Small shaker halibut are also hitting the swimbaits, and everyone is gearing up for the opening of salmon season with great anticipation for halibut.

The migration of the partyboats towards the bay has begun, and the California Dawn will actually start their striped bass/halibut trips out of Berkeley Marina this weekend on March 17.

In the Napa River, Sweeney’s Sports reported continued solid striped bass action for trollers and pluggers, and the largest bass are taken on live bait, particularly splittail. Sturgeon fishing remains solid with a number of fish in the system. The striped bass are gearing up for an attempt to spawn in the river, and the water remains relatively clear for the Napa with the lack of precipitation.

The Church’s Big Fish tournament is next weekend out of Cuttings Wharf, and there is a great deal of interest in this largest striped bass tournament and slot-limit sturgeon contest.

herringeaterHERRING EATER — Clarence Johnson used frozen herring trolled aboard the Bass Tub on their first in-Bay trip to San Pablo Bay for the season for this legal halibut.

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