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  1. #7
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    Re: Catching bait in Tomales Bay

    Thanks to the tips and warnings regarding the area. One more week and we'll be on our way. Spending today prepping my boat and loading it with anything that we might be needing for our trip. Going through our freezers looking for old packages of bait from past trips and making chum out of them for attracting bait fish. We know it's fishing and we're hoping for some catching. We putting our skills and experiences together with all of your tips and suggestions on making this trip memorable for us. FYI, this trip is in celebration of my wife's 50th birthday and it was her idea to go on this outing to Bodega. So again, thanks to everyone for your help. I will be posting our successes (and failures).

  2. #6
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    Re: Catching bait in Tomales Bay

    Quote Originally Posted by Troutinator View Post
    OK, thanks for the tips on where to find bait. So, halibut may be a little scarce in November? Any other suggestions other than shark and rays? I did expect to catch a couple of those anyways. Any salmon or rockfish still in the area (Bodega)? Just trying to keep ourselves busy on the water, weather permitting, of course.
    I am compelled to add a "please be careful out there" to this thread. Lost an acquaintance on Tomales back in the late 90's. Sneaker wave caught his boat just right and they capsized. three lives lost. He had been fishing Tomales bay for over 30 years. Wear your PFD at all times. Don't mean to bring everyone down, just want to give the ocean the respect it is due. Hope you have a great trip. And please post a report when you get back.

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  4. #5
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    Jul 2010
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    Hook Re: Catching bait in Tomales Bay

    If you can't find the bait balls try anchoring or fishing along the weed lines. Get a can of tuna and open the lid a little on opposite sides or mash up some old bait and put it in a plastic bag with holes in it. You can use a mesh bait bag to put it in. Tie it off next to your boat and shake the bag in the water. The idea is to get the bait and scent to attract the baitfish. They will come out of the weeds. Also tip your sabiki rig with very small pieces of squid. That helps a lot. Good luck!

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  6. #4
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    Re: Catching bait in Tomales Bay

    OK, thanks for the tips on where to find bait. So, halibut may be a little scarce in November? Any other suggestions other than shark and rays? I did expect to catch a couple of those anyways. Any salmon or rockfish still in the area (Bodega)? Just trying to keep ourselves busy on the water, weather permitting, of course.

  7. #3
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    Jun 2011
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    Re: Catching bait in Tomales Bay

    Took a trip over last month. Jack smelt were up in the shallows or just off the edge where it drops into deeper water. They will home in on chum if you want to go that route. When we were there, anchovies, sardines and even a mackerel were in the channel along the south side of the Bay. We'd just drift along looking for schools on the finder, and looking for them on the surface. Sabiki rigs caught them all. Things may be different in November. I expect Halibut will be fewer and farther in-between, but that's fishing. You can always drop dead bait to the bottom for sharks and rays. It's a cool place, you should have a great time.

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  9. #2
    Senior Member duhkevinz's Avatar
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    Jul 2013
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    San Jose
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    Re: Catching bait in Tomales Bay

    If you’re on a boat, youll just have to drive around until you see big bait balls on your fish finder.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  10. #1
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    Catching bait in Tomales Bay

    We're heading to Tomales Bay next month for a combo crab/fishing trip and we've never been. We read that you can catch your own bait with Sabiki rigs but we're not sure where a good spot to find the bait and is it best during outgoing or incoming tide? We used to catch herring under the Deception Pass Bridge on Whidbey Island, WA with Sabiki rigs for salmon so at least we have the gist on how to catch bait, just not sure where. Any info would be appreciated.

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