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Northern CA Saltwater Fishing Report

San Pablo sturgeon slow but improving, early season stripers show

BY CAPT. DAVID BACON/WON Staff WriterPublished: Feb 13, 2012

SAN RAFAEL — Sturgeon fishing was generally slow this week in San Pablo Bay due to weak tides, but striped bass began trickling in to begin their annual run.

Conditions were not anywhere near optimal this past week for sturgeon fishing. “It was no better than fair because the tides were crummy,” surmised Keith Frazer at Loch Lomand Bait and Tackle in San Rafael. There were some fish caught, though, and the best was a 70 incher by Andy Frierson of Corte Madera. Action came from China Camp, the Pumphouse and Buoy 5.

Frazer made an interesting observation, “Every sturgeon we cut has mud shrimp in its tummy. I believe a new mud shrimp bed has materialized.” That observation may help anglers decide which bait to work in these areas when fishing picks up, which is expected to begin in earnest by next weekend when the tides will be very favorable.

Striped bass typically begin running strong in late February and early arrivals have been trickling in for the past week. There were no big numbers yet but the increasing bite suggests the annual run is beginning. The best baits, in order of popularity, are mud shrimp, ghost shrimp, herring, lamprey eels. Though ranked last, eels have an advantage because crabs do not like them.

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