Captain Steve Mitchell

March 27, 2017    Headlines

Halibut Showing in South Bay

The Bays:

By Dave Hurley
San Francisco/San Pablo Bays:
Captain Jim Smith of the Happy Hooker was out on Saturday 3-25 in San Pablo Bay near the Pumphouse, and they put in 5 keeper bass in the 5 to 8-pound range along with a 57-inch sturgeon. He said, “The bass were all quality schoolies, and we lost another sturgeon in mid-air along with a few sturgeon bites that went unanswered.” He will be back out again the following Saturday and Sunday, but they will run if there is enough interest during the week.
Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle reported the largest striped bass in memory was landed off of the Loch Lomond levee this week on ghost shrimp at 21 pounds. The same angler went out two days later with both pile worms and ghost shrimp for seven stripers with only one being a keeper. A 73-inch sturgeon was brought into the shallows after being hooked off of McNear’s Pier, and it was released after a measurement requiring several interested fishermen trying to hold the fish still. Fraser said, “The weekend wasn’t bad weather wise, but the weather during the week was pretty tough with rain and wind. We have plenty of frozen mud shrimp along with live ghost shrimp and pile worms, and I expect to have live mud shrimp in the shop on either Monday or Tuesday.”
OTS of resident halibut continue to be taken on the south bay, and Captain Michael Rescino of the Lovely Martha out of San Francisco put his young son onto a 17 pounder on Sunday trolling frozen anchovies or herring. They landed three keepers and released over a dozen shakers. The ratio of shakers to keepers is roughly 6 to 1 with lots of "dinner plates" being released. Next year is setting up to be the best season since the epic seasons of 2007 and 2008.

Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle reported Thursday 3-23, “We must have the busiest phone in the history of ATT,  as we have been busy all week long as mud shrimp arrived in the shop. We still have some live mud shrimp, but we froze most of the supply which won’t last long into the weekend. It has been windy all week long, and there haven’t been many fishermen in San Pablo Bay. The pier fishermen have been going out, but we haven’t heard much so the bite must be slow. The leopard shark bite in the south bay in heating up as well as along the Buoy Line in San Pablo Bay. Frozen midshipmen is the best bait for sharks.
George Lu at Bay Tackle in El Cerrito reported improved fishing from the shorelines with loads of small halibut in the 16- to 22-inch range for those trolling with frozen anchovies or herring in the Berkeley Flats, the Alameda Rockwall, and around Oyster Point. Those plugging from the shoreline for striped bass are also catching the small halibut. He said, “About one out of 10 halibut landed are above the legal size of 22 inches.” Perch fishing has been good although it ends in San Francisco Bay on April 1st.  Pile worms are the best bait for the perch since grass shrimp has been unavailable, but with the scarcity of pile worms, Berkley Gulp! Worms have been the substitute. Sturgeon fishing is decent in San Pablo Bay and the south bay near the Dunbarton Bridge.
In the Napa River, a 35-pound striped bass gave up its life for a few dollars last week during the annual striped bass derby out of Cuttings Wharf. For some reason, this big fish derby continues to exist. Sweeney’s Sports in Napa reported live splittail have been the bait for the big stripers in the Napa River which muddied up after Wednesday’s rainstorm. Sturgeon fishing has been best from Southern Crossing and Cuttings Wharf south to the Highway 37 Bridge with eel, ghost shrimp, or salmon roe.

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Reminder :Sturgeon may not be taken in the following described area between January 1 and March 15: That portion of San Francisco Bay included within the following boundaries: A direct line between Pt. Chauncy (National Marine Fisheries Laboratory) and Pt. Richmond, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and a direct line between Pt. Lobos and Pt. Bonita.

Upcoming Events:
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Golden Gate Salmon Association Events Calendar

Party Boat Information and Reservations Around the Bay

The Happy Hooker will be running potluck trips from the Berkeley Marina +1.510.223.5388

California Dawn will be running halibut and striper trips from the Berkeley Marina +1.510.417.5557

Emeryville Sportfishing Center is booking potluck trips on their fleet of 8 boats +1.510.654.604

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