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Captain Steve Mitchell

August 14, 2017    Headlines

Halibut Bite Drops Off But Most Interest Out the Gate

The Bays:

By Dave Hurley

After at least a month of few party boats working the bays, the striped bass bite has returned with easy limits of stripers found in the central bay towards San Pablo Bay.

Captain Trent Slate of Bite Me Charters went to the Brothers and Red Rock for quick limits of striped bass to 8 pounds on Sunday 8-13. Slate said, “We picked up a pair of fish at the Brothers before the hard drift made it too difficult for our novice clients to stay out of the rocks so we moved over to Red Rock for easier drifting conditions.

Captain James Smith of the California Dawn put in 31 limits of striped bass on Sunday, and he must have either hit the South Tower early in the morning or worked the rockpiles at the top of the tide. They picked up several halibut on Friday for nearly two fish a rod for their clients.

Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle in San Rafael said, “Fishing in the bay has been outstanding, and with the water starting to clear up, trollers are now able to work along the shorelines for striped bass. There have been some bass at the Brothers and Red Rock, and halibut action remains excellent. However, one out of every five halibut is legal. There is the occasional 25 to 30 pounder, but there are far more of the 12 – to 15-inch halibut. We have plenty of live bait in the shop with grass shrimp, mudsuckers, and pile worms along with midshipmen for shark. For some reason, Loch Lomond shiners have been difficult to locate.

A few keeper halibut have been coming out of the south bay along with San Pablo Bay, but with the great salmon bite and flat weather offshore, anglers are eschewing the bays for the ocean.

Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle in San Rafael reported Sunday 8-6 small halibut remain the rule with 4 out of 5 or more being undersized flatties. There are fish being caught from the Central Bay to Paradise to the flats off Richmond and Berkley. He said, “The weather was supposed to be windy on Sunday, but it didnt turn that way until the late afternoon. With the great salmon fishing in the ocean, few fishermen are in the bay. Normally at this time of year, you will see a number of boats at California City trolling for salmon, but they are still out in the ocean and Im not seeing the regulars show yet.”
Emeryville has been running a few bay trips with scores averaging a fish per rod on the halibut with a few smaller stripers in the mix.

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