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Berkeley: San Francisco Bay area boats pull limits of halibut and stripers

Good counts of salmon

BY CAPT. DAVID BACON/WON Staff WriterPublished: Jun 18, 2019

BERKELEY — Halibut fishing throughout San Francisco Bay was on fire and numerous limits were caught. Striped bass catches came along with halibut fishing, yet bass fishing on its own merits was good, while salmon boats returned with big numbers by the weekend. Many boats doubled up on big counts of halibut and stripers!

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BACK EARLY — Capt. James Smith on the California Dawn sent in this photo of an all ladies trip of 27 anglers on Saturday when they caught 60 keeper halibut and 30 limits of striped bass for 60 more fish, with a total of 120 keepers and tied up early! The deck was full of halibut and striped bass for the “slippery deck” photo.

San Francisco Bay boats had a lot going for them in terms of great fishing options. The best halibut season in memory drew many boats which might otherwise focus on salmon or rockfish. Capt. Bill Clapp on Dream Fisher reported limits of halibut and a couple of striped bass for Greg Meyer and son Dave, then on another trip, limits for Eddie and Jack Newsom. On Sunday, it was a slow morning but action picked up in the afternoon for better than 2 halibut per rod and 20 shakers, plus 2 keeper stripers.


Monique Noel caught a 20-pound halibut while fishing the Berkeley Flats aboard California Dawn as part of an all-women’s charter from CWA. The 27 ladies caught 60 keeper halibut and limits of striped bass. Flash I and Flash II from Fisherman’s Wharf were busy. Owner Capt. Steve Talmadge said, “We are sticking with the striped bass and halibut for limit-style fishing and early limits on some days. We are drifting live anchovies in Central bay and North Bay.”


Bass Tub, also from Fisherman’s Wharf got 9 limits of bass and 15 halibut. Pacific Dream from Berkeley tallied 54 halibut and 7 bass for 21 folks one day and 59 halibut and limits of bass for 26 anglers the next day. Happy Hooker managed 50 halibut and 46 bass for 23 lucky anglers Friday and over the weekend it was 63 halibut, limits of bass and 2 bonus white seabass, according to Capt. Jonathon Smith who noted that the halibut averaged 7 pounds. Lovely Martha had limits of bass and 1 to 2 halibut per rod every day. Kingfish from Fish Emeryville got limits of both salmon and stripers.


farallonfunFARALLON FUN — Limits of rockfish and 14 halibut were caught by anglers aboard the New Huck Finn out of Emeryville to the Farallon Islands last week. JoAnn Chow caught her limit, along with everyone else on board. PHOTO BY BILL NAKAKI

Top Gun , running out of Berkeley Marina had flat out good days. Capt. Steve Mitchell of Hook’d Up Sportfishing said, “The week has been an absolute blast. We have been limiting out on halibut every day pretty much, if not close to limits. The fishing has been really productive from Paradise and surrounding hotspots. We’ve also been hitting the Rockpile and getting some really nice bass. Overall, fishing is full throttle for all species. We’re now taking reservations for July salmon trips and dates are booking fast.”


Salmon fishing busted open big-time and limits were fairly common going into the weekend and then a solid 1.5 fish per rod on Sunday. Capt. Jacky Douglas on Wacky Jacky said on Sunday, “We’re hooking them between Arch Rock and Chimney Rock. The water is so full of jelly that we are working very hard to keep lines clear, but the salmon are biting like crazy.”


Boats engaged in salmon fishing included Wacky Jacky, Salty Lady, Bass Tub, Lovely Martha, C Gull II, El Dorado, Hog Heaven, New Easy Rider, New El Dorado III, New Huck Finn, New Rayann, Outer Limits, Pacific Pearl, Sea Wolf and Tigerfish. Jeannette Dudley got a 20 pounder on Wacky Jacky. Santiago Gonzales took a 23 pounder on Lovely Martha and P. Guasco nailed a big 25 pounder on New Rayann.


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EARLY LIMITS OF salmon to 23 pounds came for everyone aboard the Lovely Martha out of Fisherman’s Wharf on Friday fishing the Drake’s Bay area. Deckhand Will Mckelvy of Richmond is shown with the fish. Some boats were getting limits of both halibut and stripers fishing inside the SF Bay, for one of the wildest seasons in memory!

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