SAN FRANCISCO BAY
 

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January 14, 2018    Headlines

Winter Bass and Sturgeon

The Bays:

By Dave Hurley
We are seeing much larger tides and the San Pablo sturgeon action is on the upswing. Don on the Soleman out of SF wharf dropped the hook right on top of the fish on Thursday 1-11. In just the first 5 minutes Don reports they had three "pumpers" and put a nice 52" inch fish in the box in the first 20 minutes of their day. While the bite slowed for Don boats fishing around him on the upper flats where "hookin and stickin" and many if not most boats in the area punched (or released) a fish or two. Don says this weeks big tides are ideal with the late afternoon end of ebb being the time to be soaking those shrimp baits.
 

The sturgeon are chomping in San Pablo bay despite the less than ideal tides. Captain Don Franklin on the Soleman out of SF Fisherman's Wharf reported two sturgeon in the mid 40 inch class and two stripers for a group of five anglers on Sunday 1-7. Don says he expects the sturgeon bite to pick up with the recent rains and bigger tides arriving later this week.
 Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle in San Rafael continues to have live crab in the shop, and it is one of the only locations in the Bay Area with live crab. Bait has been difficult to obtain with the conditions back east and in the Pacific Northwest, but they did have ghost shrimp all weekend and grass shrimp until Sunday afternoon. Fraser said, “Fishing has been slow for some good for others with the poor tides, but there are great tides this coming weekend. After the storm early in the week, the weather is expected to be great for the rest of the week. We really need this rain since legendary San Pablo Bay angler, Tommy Glaser, was out on Saturday, and he reported bait-stealing crab in all locations. Glaser ended up with only one legal sturgeon released, but there was a boat between the Corregidor and the Pumphouse with 6 legal bass out of 10 landed along with 4 legal sturgeon out of 5.”


The place to be during these huge king tides has been San Pablo bay. Captain Don aka "the Soleman" reports "it's been on fire". Don reports the Bass Tub had three keeper sturgeon broke two off and released a few other plus had six stripers.  Don was chasing rockfish on the final day of the season but will be turning his focus to SP sturgeon and bass in the weeks ahead. His next scheduled trip is this Saturday 1-6 put has room all this week.
Keith at Loch Lomond bait confirms ye good action with sixpack and sport anglers coming in with solid counts the past few days. With rain expected on Thursday and Friday 1-5 the action could really turn up in the weeks ahead. 

Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle in San Rafael was cooking and cracking crab on Friday 12-22 afternoon as they have a tremendous amount of orders for live crab for Christmas Eve. He said, “Sturgeon fishing has been good with Tommy Glaser putting in a legal sturgeon and limits of striped bass near Rat Rock while another boat nearby was also doing well. We have a bit of frozen mud shrimp in the shop, but there is plenty of live ghost shrimp, grass shrimp, and pile worms to go around along with lamprey eel. Fishing is pretty good around here right now.” He added that he has commercial crabbers out there searching for the crustaceans to fill their orders, and crab are scarce right now.
Despite the less than ideal tides the bass and sturgeon action is on fire. Don Franklin AKA "the Soleman" reported great action on Thursday 12-21. Fishing the flat at the Pumphouse Don reported 4 sturgeon released, two big ones lost and three keeper bass and some shakers released. Don says the flats off China Camp are just crawling with sturgeon and stripers. He said another six-pack the Argo had 6 limits of bass fishing just outside him. The tides build all this week with king tides News Years weekend. Don says he expects great action for about five days as the tides ramp up. Don had room this weekend.


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