Northern CA Saltwater

San Francisco Bay boats capitalize on stellar halibut and bass action

BY CAPT. DAVID BACON/WON Staff WriterPublished: Jun 13, 2018

BERKELEY — Halibut fishing was as good as it gets and striped bass fishing was darn good for boats out of various San Francisco Bay marinas. There were trips for rockfish and lingcod, but weather was a limiting factor at times outside the Bay. Shore fishing for perch was also good along the coast beaches.

HIT THE MARK — This halibut just hit the mark for being legal, caught by Robert Drescher of SF on the Bass Tub while drifting anchovies in the San Francisco Bay.

Halibut fishing was awesome. Bass Tub out of Fisherman’s Wharf worked the Central Bay had tallied scores like 24 bass and 10 halibut for 21 anglers. At times the ratio flipped and halibut fishing was as good as or better than bass fishing. Teresa Keenan came from Sutherlin, Oregon, to fish halibut and she came away with a 24 pounder . Flash II fished Treasure Island and other Central Bay hotspots. Capt. Joe Schiavoni noted that some big fresh oceanic halibut showed up. Tides were a factor as it dictates where the skipper chooses to fish, but big tides don’t necessarily mean bad halibut fishing, just a different area.

Capt. Bill Clapp reported a great weekend of fishing on Jilly Sea. The charter boat fished Alcatraz, Treasure Island and Southampton for 4 halibut and 5 nice stripers. There were some nice fish that came unbuttoned during a day of good action.

California Dawn showed that the bass and halibut were pretty much all over the place and Capt. James Smith knew how to read the water and find fish. At Alcatraz, eleven year-old Jeremy Tran pulled in an 8-pound striped bass. A late week score was impressive and Capt. James said, “We finished up with 32 halibut to 25 pounds and 11 bass to 10 pounds for our 20 anglers. The Bay is full of halibut and bass, with no signs of slowing down.” Andrea Kukulka had a 17-pound halibut from Alcatraz to show off. Capt. Jonathan Smith on Happy Hooker reported fishing Treasure Island and Alcatraz where drifting with live bait was working.

THE CAL DAWN loaded up the deck with halibut, stripers and even a leopard shark last week, with “limits all week long” according to Capt. James Smith. “The highlight of the week was Wednesdays trip, taking 18 limits of bass, 25 halibut and 1 leopard shark. It’s as good as good gets right now!

Scores from Berkeley Charter Boats made people smile. New Easy Rider had 20 halibut to 24 pounds and 15 stripers for 20 people. Sammy Farrugia had a 28-pound halibut from near Angel Island. New El Dorado III had 23 halibut to 18 pounds and 22 stripers for 26 folks. Bren Johansson got a 25 pounder in Raccoon Straight.

“Anglers were treated to the best week of the Potluck season as scores for both stripers and halibut were on the chew,” said Andy Guilliano at the Fish Emeryville. The top score for the week was New Huck Finn on Tuesday scoring 66 bass, 24 halibut, 20 rockfish and 1 lingcod for their 33 anglers fishing the central San Francisco Bay. On a half day trip, Tigerfish scored 11 limits of stripers and 11 halibut to 16 pounds. “We are running full and half day Potluck trips daily throughout the summer,” continued Guilliano.

Seawolf continued to crank out great rockfish and lingcod counts. Top trip of the week was Saturday when they returned with 177 rockfish, 31 lingcod, 7 halibut and 2 stripers for their 21 anglers. They reportedly fished a combination of coast and SF bay.

Guilliano reminds us that salmon season starts June 17 for Bay Area anglers. Rockfish boats fishing offshore have seen great sign all spring and salmon captains are optimistic about the summer season.

daniellediditDANIELLE DID IT — Danielle Samuelson of Olivehurst caught her 14.3-pound striper bass aboard the Happy Hooker while drifting anchovies at the Berkeley Flats during a live bait potluck trip.

A MIX OF FISH — On Wednesday, May 23, Lee Ackerman of Long Beach, Dad, Aaron Ackerman of San Ramon, Ann Reynolds of Lodi and dad, Lee Reynolds of Lodi fished with Capt. Bill Clapp in the Bay and found some good action on halibut to 16 pounds and stripers. They fished Treasure Island.

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