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View Full Version : Sturgeon fishing ground in SF Bay



bluestar
11-03-2005, 10:14 AM
This upcoming sturgeon season will be my first time trying out for these beasts. Most of the actions I've read are as south as Dumbarton Bridge or as north as San Pablo Bay. I'm wondering if there is any proven sturgeon fishing ground in between, since I'll be coming out of Grand Street in Alameda.

I've made this little map with grid for easier communication. Thanks for your advice.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v207/rhbj03/mapLarge.jpg

jon_may
11-03-2005, 04:50 PM
hey i can see my boat! ;D , i would like to know also.. anyone know where the closed zone is during the herring spawn? is it on this map? by the way that map rocks, bluestar!

Fishmom
11-03-2005, 09:56 PM
The areas off Bay Farm Island and the Oakland Airport are often productive for sturgeon. You might want to go on the Coastside website and do some searching, as well as on this site.

http://www.coastsidefishingclub.com/forums/ubbthreads.php

bluestar
11-03-2005, 10:10 PM
A search turned up this following article. Many places mentions are rather vague, though...

============================================

South San Francisco Bay

What a shame such an expanse of water could be so ignored! South San Francisco Bay is huge and unique, but because of tremendous declines in many fish species here it is largely overlooked by anglers and the government bureaucrats who have the power to restore the South Bay to what it once was.
Actually, this is not a bay, but an estuary that experiences huge changes in water temperature and salinity levels throughout the year. A key factor is rain and the resulting storm runoff that enters the bay. It can provide just the right freshwater/saltwater mix during the spring, and the end result is huge bumper crops of grass shrimp, the favorite food of most fish in the South Bay, especially perch and sturgeon.


Boat ramps: Oyster Point Marina, Coyote Point Marina, Alviso Boat Dock, Alameda Estuary, San Leandro Marina, and Port of Redwood City. Note: The Alviso Boat Dock can be rendered unusable if the small harbor isn't dredged regularly.
Piers: Oyster Point, Coyote Point, San Mateo Pier, Dumbarton Piers (from both East Palo Alto and Newark), Palo Alto Baylands, and Alameda Estuary.

When heavy rains hit the South Bay, the first thing to look for is an upturn in the number of perch and sturgeon. Perch are common during good moving tides along rocky areas (such as the cement-block breakwater at Coyote Point), near pilings (at the Dumbarton and San Mateo Bridges and adjacent to San Francisco and Oakland International Airports), and in sloughs that experience a good tidal flush (such as Burlingame's Showboat Slough and the Alameda Estuary). What to use for bait? Live grass shrimp, of course.

The same bait works well for sturgeon, although it also attracts pesky bullheads and small sharks. After decent rains, the areas in the main channel just south of the San Mateo Bridge and in the vicinity of the Dumbarton Train Bridge are often excellent fishing spots. After very heavy rains, big sturgeon can be found farther south along the PG&E; towers. Another option is to wait for herring spawns in late December and January, then anchor off Candlestick or Alameda and use herring eggs (during a spawn) or whole herring for bait. Some of the best sturgeon scores in the past 10 years have been recorded in these areas aboard the party boat Chucky's Pride out of San Francisco.

What is so disappointing about the South Bay is the lack 'of striped bass. Once you could toss out a cut chunk of sardine from the shore and catch 20-pounders. In fact, I caught my first striped bass at age six in an obscure South Bay slough near Palo Alto. That slough has been unfit for any fish for more than 15 years, and catching a striper anywhere in the South Bay now requires highly specialized skills and precise timing.

School-sized striped bass will sometimes arrive in mid-March and early April in the vicinity of Coyote Point, where they can be taken by trolling white, one-ounce Hair Raisers during high tides. They can also show near the flats off Candlestick Point and at the nearby Brisbane Tubes, and also off the Alameda Rock Wall in June during high and incoming tides and, even more rarely, again in September. The higher the rainfall during the previous winter, the better the chance of getting a bite.

The same formula holds for excellent runs of jacksmelt in the spring, primarily from mid-February through early April. After decent winter rains, head to the western side of the South Bay near Burlingame's Fisherman's Park for the best fishing, using a chunk of pileworm under a big float. Timing is important, of course. Be there at the top of the tide then focus on the first two hours of the outgoing tide, when it will take your float out to deeper points.

Although you'll need a boat, timing, technique, persistence, and the willingness to keep a constant vigil, the South Bay can still provide the stuff of magic. For starters, always monitor the daily recorded fish reports offered by Bob Dittman at Sun Valley Bait in San Mateo by calling (415) 343-4690. For finishers, be willing to go when the fish are going. This is one place where you'll have to tailor your schedule to the demands of the fish. Otherwise, you might as well buy a ticket for a slow boat to China. So take a long, careful look, then go for greatness.

fishermen_chris
11-03-2005, 11:32 PM
As far as I know there is no closed season anywhere on sturgeon but I don't think you can anchor in between the 3 bridges G.G. Bay, and San Rafel. so that would make it hard to fish for sturgeon. Candle stick point is pretty good on that side but if you are just learning I would go to the Sturgeon triangle in san pablo bay. The odds are more in your favor there, my first came from there and it was an accident. The old bait check hook set ;D fish on. Tankgrunt and I have consistantly pulled fish out of there.
Grass shrimp, ghost shrimp mostly, and set on the littlest tap then hold on.

Hope this helps, if you have any more qeustions you can e-mail me at chris@willfish4u.com and I'll give you my cell.

Good luck

chris

GCinGV
11-04-2005, 07:46 AM
The Alameda Rock Wall area is good during the Herring spawn. Try the cove outside of the Encinel (spelling?) boat ramp. I think itís about I-9 on your map. If you use that ramp though avoid low tide.

GC

Fishbutt21
11-04-2005, 09:32 AM
Sturgeon closure is in the DFG regs sec.(27.95) from Jan 1st thru march 15th on SF bay

Fishmom
11-04-2005, 09:22 PM
Yes, but if you are south of the Bay Bridge, you are ok. The closed area is bounded by a line just outside the Golden Gate Bridge (Point Lobos to Point Bonita), one from the end of Raccoon Strait to Richmond (Point Chauncy to Point Richmond) and the Bay Bridge.

If you are having trouble locating the spots mentioned in the article, you need to get a map or chart. That will be a big help. We used to keep our boat in San Leandro, and we would go out the channel and turn north to fish the flats off the Oakland Airport, which can be a very good area. No sturgeon for us, but we did catch many sharks, stripers, kingfish, batrays, etc. The last fish I caught there before moving our boat to Vallejo was a 30" striper, so don't assume that stripers are never there.

blue_chrush
11-05-2005, 06:59 AM
you didn't say if you bank or boat fishing...
F-16 AND K-13 AND M-19,20 from a boat...
if its from the bank, [alviso] and get a bike
and follow the railroad tracks north out of town
and you will come to 2 bridges to fish from...
its about a 1.5mi ride and the 1st one is really
good and the 2nd is ok...
these creeks while shallow get the first runoffs of
muddy rain water and hold good food back there for
the beast you seek...
as for baits mud, ghost,grass,shrimp all work good,
and eel is really good....
as for fishing the north bay for sturgeon from shore,
I hope you have alot of spare time on your hands,
in close is not there favorite area by any means...
sturgeon like that magic # like 22/33ft just on the
edge of the current so they can sift thru the mud for
food... so in close where the current is slack, good luck.
post if you are from shore/boat so we might be able to
help with the right way to get you some fish... ;) ;D

bluestar
11-05-2005, 07:20 AM
Thanks for all your pin-point location info.

Blue Crush I'm on a boat (but some folks may be fishing from bank so I'm sure those info will be appreciated too), and will come out of Bay Farm bridge.

By the way, I have been told "San Leandro Channel" holds sturgeon and halibuts, but have no idea where that is exactly. Is it the boat channel coming out of San Leandro Marina (M-14)? Or the boat channel coming out of San Leandro Bay(J-10 and K-10)?

Fishmom
11-05-2005, 04:34 PM
The San Leandro Channel runs between Alameda and Bay Farm Island. There is access for shore fishing all along the Bay Farm Island side and also out on the side facing the big Bay. If you have a boat, there is a hole just south of the channel mouth, off Bay Farm Island, where we have marked fish, although we never actually fished it. It seemed like it might be a good spot.

bluestar
11-05-2005, 05:08 PM
The San Leandro Channel runs between Alameda and Bay Farm Island. *There is access for shore fishing all along the Bay Farm Island side and also out on the side facing the big Bay. *If you have a boat, there is a hole just south of the channel mouth, off Bay Farm Island, where we have marked fish, although we never actually fished it. *It seemed like it *might be a good spot.

Thank you!! Solved a long-time mystery for me. For those who can make it to this part of the bay here is the chart:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v207/rhbj03/SanLeandroChannel.jpg

sokoo
11-06-2005, 11:28 AM
On the nautical chart I saw areas near big ship channels that are marked "no anchorage", but is the whole central SF bay between the 3 bridges prohibited from anchoring? A week ago I read from usafishing.com that a party boat anchored at Alcatrez and caught a lot of sharks.

ken_fishnfool
11-08-2005, 01:06 PM
K-14,15,and 16 is all I can say. ;) ;D
Only one shaker out of more than 20 sturgeon. ;)

tankgrunt
11-09-2005, 07:43 AM
On the nautical chart I saw areas near big ship channels that are marked "no anchorage", but is the whole central SF bay between the 3 bridges prohibited from anchoring? A week ago I read from usafishing.com that a party boat anchored at Alcatrez and caught a lot of sharks.

To the best of my knowledge you can anchor in the bay, but no anchoring is permitted within the shipping lanes.

bluestar
11-09-2005, 09:52 AM
I'm amazed by Fishsniffer members' willingness to share secret hot spots!! Thanks a lot...I'll definitely give those a try.

sokoo
11-09-2005, 10:53 AM
To the best of my knowledge you can anchor in the bay, but no anchoring is permitted within the shipping lanes.


That's my understanding too.
BTW, do I need to put one shrimp (or other bait) on each hook on a sturgeon rig? What's the purpose of having two hooks on the rig? I have never fished for sturgeon.

tankgrunt
11-09-2005, 01:40 PM
That's my understanding too.
BTW, do I need to put one shrimp (or other bait) on each hook on a sturgeon rig? What's the purpose of having two hooks on the rig? I have never fished for sturgeon.

More bait is more better. Large shrimp baits like ghost or mud shrimp you should use 1 per hook, same with pile worms. With grass shrimp you probably want to use 3 to 5 per hook, depending on the size of the shrimp.

fishrman4life
11-10-2005, 12:34 AM
We did a split, grass on one, ghost on the other, really good results. Nothin much doin on the pile, but im sure that will turn on soon. Take into account though that this was late September, things have changed drasticly.