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Northern CA Saltwater Fishing Report

San Pablo Bay and in-flowing rivers hold lots of fish!

Stripers, halibut and sturgeon are thick

BY CAPT. DAVID BACON/WON Staff WriterPublished: May 02, 2012

SAN PABLO BAY AND TRIBUTARIES — San Pablo Bay and tributary rivers/streams produced a gratifying variety of fish from both boat and shore this past week, and while halibut were on the increase at river mouths, stripers and sturgeon remained consistent biters for upstream anglers.

“On the Napa River, the sturgeon bite is smoking!  Stories of limits are still coming in and this area is probably your best bet for action,” said Joel Sinkay of Leonard’s Bait and Tackle in Port Sonoma. Fish are being caught from Cuttings Wharf all the way down to near Vallejo.  

Private boater Jenny Walker of Rohnert Park fished south of Cutting’s Wharf, using ghost/grass shrimp combo bait on a double-hook mono leader with a 4-ounce pyramid sinker at high tide to hook and boat a 48-inch sturgeon. “I set the hook and it took off, quickly stripping about ¾ of my line. I fought it for about 15 minutes, during which time it jumped twice before I landed it,” said Walker. With a similar rig, Eric Graham, also of Rohnert Park, hooked and boated a 56-incher.

Petaluma River anglers enjoyed a strong striped bass bite upriver. Limits have been reported and sturgeon are still in the area. Bullheads proved to be the ticket, along with grass shrimp.  

Sonoma Creek hosted a solid striper bite, as well as a pick on sturgeon. As is typical here, most catches reported were from shore.   

San Pablo Bay action is widely varied and boaters have great options. Striped bass were caught trolling near the top of the tide throughout the area. Bait fishers enjoyed decent success soaking shrimp while anchored. Bait-stealing crabs are not too bad a bother, thanks to all the late season rains. The Happy Hooker out of Berkeley scored good numbers of both halibut (to 14 pounds) and stripers for passengers while fishing near Red Rock and the San Rafael Bridge.


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