Northern CA Saltwater

San Pablo Bay: Sturgeon, striper fishing up and down

BY CAPT. DAVID BACON/WON Staff WriterPublished: Feb 11, 2020

SAN PABLO BAY — Sturgeon and striper fishing was steady in the eastern half of San Pablo Bay and tributaries, and in the western half of the bay, sturgeon and bass fishing was up and down due to herring spawns down in Central Bay that drew both the fish and the anglers.

northbaybassNORTH BAY BASS — Kristen Preuss of Sebastapol caught this Napa River striped bass while she was using a ghost shrimp fishing on a private boat.

Sturgeon fishing was good and so was striper fishing around the east end of San Pablo Bay, according to Mie Kaul at Norm’s Bait & Tackle in Vallejo. The Napa River was a hotspot up as far as Cuttings Wharf. Plenty of shorts, a few in the slot and a few oversize were hooked by boat and shore anglers soaking baits including grass and ghost shrimp, eel and salmon roe. Striped bass action was fair to good in the same area and also along the Vallejo Waterfront. Ed Lu at Bay Tackle in El Cerrito said the bite was not quite as good in the northern tributaries such as Sonoma Creek and Petaluma River, although Mie Kaul knew of some nice fish caught along the shoreline of Petaluma River.

In the western portion of San Pablo Bay, the tides were good and the weather was delightful late in the week and over the weekend. Fishing for both sturgeon and stripers was at times good and at times slow, for well understood reasons. Keith Fraser at Loch Lomond Bait Shop said, “There have been herring spawns down in Raccoon Straights and Richardson Bay. Every time a herring spawn gets going, one third to one half of our population of fish head south to eat herring. The spawn lasts a few days and then our fish make a triumphant return. I expect things will break wide open again here real soon, when all those fish return. All fishing here is on the anchor with grass and ghost shrimp.”

When asked about Capt. Trent Slate on Bite Me, which operates out of Loch Lomond Marina, Fraser said he, too, will have a triumphant return. Capt. Slate has been away, and the boat has been undergoing maintenance, but operations will resume within the week, giving customers some good opportunities for fishing fun.

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