Salmon, halibut plentiful for Bay Area fishers

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BY CAPT. DAVID BACON

SAN FRANCISCO BAY and SAN PABLO BAY – It was another week of classic summertime San Francisco Bay area fishing, featuring milder weather and hungry fish. Salmon action was great, halibut fishing fulfilled fantasies and rockfish limits were easy.

Limits of salmon were possible and at times through the week almost a given. At Fish Emeryville Andy Guiliano said that C Gull II found a school of cooperative fish and scored limits with larger units ranging up to 31 pounds. From Berkeley Charter Boats, New El Dorado III, El Dorado and New Easy Rider had the salmon duty and Scott Sutherland reported a fish per rod and sometimes better when the fish schooled up cooperatively. Stephen Byrd caught a 25 pounder on El Dorado, trolling an anchovy off Double Point. Reggie Travers also caught a 25 pounder off Double Point, his coming on New Easy Rider.

Salty Lady from Sausalito was firing on all fishing cylinders with salmon on deck, rockfish and lingcod joining the counts. Cy Stone from Stockton caught a 30-pound salmon at Double Point. Capt. Jared Smith said, “We’ve been sticking to the Marin Coast… Muir Beach, Rocky Point, Duxbury Reef, Double Point and as far north as Point Reyes. Fish are 15- to 20-pound average.” Outer limits, New Rayann, Hog Heaven and Blue Runner also had better than a salmon per rod. Across the Gate at Fisherman’s Wharf, Bass Tub ran various trips for limits of rockfish, some salmon, some lingcod and bonus halibut. On a weekend trip the boat got 10 halibut and 4 bass. An earlier kid’s trip had limits of rockfish for all. Lovely Martha stayed on the salmon and scored well above a fish per rod.

The Smith family of captains and crew fared well through the week. Capt. James on California Dawn posted 2 to 3 halibut per rod plus scads of bass. Capt. Chris on Pacific Dream and Capt. Jonathon on Happy Hooker enjoyed the same level of fishing in Central and South Bay. Kingfish connected with 24 stripers and 24 halibut for 12 folks. Pacific Pearl got 24 halibut for 18 people. Guiliano said, “Remove the past two years from the record books and scores like these would make global front page news.”

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Improving tides through the week meant better halibut counts of over a fish per rod for the Flash boats out of Fisherman’s Wharf. A rockfish trip outside the Gate resulted in limits of rockfish and some lingcod.

Rockfishing boats hammered away at the rockfish and lingcod as pressure was light and the fish bit hard. Sea Wolf ventured to the Farallon Islands and Marin County coast and found limit action at both locales. Coast trips scored sacks of blacks, browns and hardhead assortments, while Island trips saw olives, yellows and husky canaries. Lingcod limits were there for those who targeted them. Big Hammer swim baits or blue and silver “hodie” jigs were the ticket to walking off the boat with four lingcod fillets.

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