Fisherman’s Wharf – Live Bait Drifters Nail Halibut, Stripers

Fisherman’s Wharf

Live Bait Drifters Nail Halibut, Stripers

SAN FRANCISCO – The live bait season has begun and anglers are bagging halibut and stripers in San Francisco Bay.

The Bass Tub returned to Fisherman’s Wharf with 15 halibut and 5 striped bass while live drifting live anchovies in the central bay on Saturday, April 17.

“We will be booking live bait potluck trips,” said Captain Aaron Anfinson. “Also when the weather offshore cooperates we will be running Farallon Island rockfish/lingcod trips on a charter or group basis. As for our passenger count, we are still at our limited load until further notice with the city.”

“The city is still in the process of laying granite tiles and trying to get the new banister/handrail up, which is behind schedule.We are starting to get beautiful weather in the city and we are starting to get a little more foot traffic. With hotels/restaurants/shops/and tours, it looks like there is a change in the near future. Fisherman‘s Wharf is in the mode to start the reopening process,” said Anfinson.

For more information, go to or call Captain Aaron at 415-706-4947.

Bodega Bay

Rockfish Offer Consistent Action Until Beginning of Salmon Season

BODEGA BAY–  The salmon season in the San Francisco Management Region, including Bodega Bay, will open on June 26, according to the Pacific Fishery Management Council. Until the season opens, rockfish and lingcod will provide the top fishing on the Sonoma County Coast,

“We have caught limits of rockfish,  along with a scattering of lingcod, by between 12:30 and 1:00 p,m on all 9 trips that we have made since the rockfish opener on April 1,” said Captain Rick Powers of Bodega Bay Sportfishing, “We are catching bottom dwelling rockfish, including copper, canary, brown and other rockfish. The school fish aren’t showing now, We’ve been fishing a variety of depths from 120 to 240 feet deep.”

On Saturday, April 17, the New Sea Angler came in with 23 limits of rockfish and 3 lingcod. On a previous trip, 13 anglers aboard the boat landed limits of rockfish and 8 lingcod while using shrimp flies and bars.

The New Sea Angler is currently booking salmon, rockfish and lingcod combo adventures that will begin on June 26. Powers recommended booking these combo trips soon, since available spaces are filling up quickly,


Half Moon Bay

Boaters Bag Salmon and Rockfish

EL GRANADA –  The area below Pigeon Point is still producing solid salmon fishing, while rockfish enthusiasts are nailing limits of vermilion, copper, starry, and other colorful rockfish at the Deep Reef.

“The Hulicat made a trip down below Pigeon Point with two anglers after the three other anglers canceled on the trip,” said Tom Mattusch of Hulicat Sportfishing. “A grandfather and grandson made the trip. The grandson reeled in all four of the kings. We trolled with anchovies for our fish.”

The Ankeny Street made a salmon trolling trip on Saturday, April 17, that produced 18 kings for 11 people, also below Pigeon Point.

“The rock fishing has been good in the 270 feet of water at the Deep Reef,” said Mattusch. “Seven anglers on our latest bottom fish trip caught limits of vermilion, copper, starry and other rockfish while using shrimp flies, tipped with squid strips. They also caught limits of Dungeness crabs.”

The 13 anglers aboard the Hulicat on April 17 bagged ¾ limits of rockfish and limits of crab off San Gregorio, Jeanne Tognoni from Belmont caught a 3 lb, copper, on a shrimp fly.   

The 13 anglers aboard the Queen of Hearts kept 9 salmon and released 4 kings during a trolling adventure on Saturday, April 17. The 13 anglers aboard the boat kept 8 king salmon to 12 pounds and released 4 salmon on April 16, according to Half Moon Bay Sportfishing. 

Twelve anglers aboard the Queen of Hearts also bagged 120 rockfish, full limits, on a bottomfish trip on April 15.

Monterey Bay

Salmon Enthusiasts Find Spotty Action

MOSS LANDING – Since the opening weekend of salmon season, Chinook action has been spotty in Monterey Bay. Rockfishing is decent most days for boats going out of Monterey, Moss Landing, and Santa Cruz. 

The fishing has been tough for both moochers and trollers, The Kahuna returned to the dock with 4 salmon for 14 anglers on April 15, reported Carol Jones of Kahuna Sportfishing, but had zero fish on April 16 and one fish on April 17. The previous three trips by the boat produced 5 Chinooks for 15 anglers;  1 Chinook for 12 anglers; and 8 Chinooks for 13 anglers.  

“People are getting really short bites on our mooching trips,” said Jones. “Captain Brian said there’s plenty of bait, the water is a perfect color of brown and he’s marking fish 25 feet deep and above, but the fish aren’t taking the bait. We’re the only game in town here and I’m never seen so many boats and it’s putting pressure on the fish.”

The boat has concentrated on salmon fishing over the past couple of weeks, so the Kahuna hasn’t been out for rockfish.

The 30 anglers aboard the Star of Monterey out of Chris’ Fishing Trips in Monterey landed 5 salmon on April 16. On the previous day, the 18 anglers on the Caroline landed 52 rockfish and one lingcod, while the 18 anglers on the Checkmate brought in 3 salmon,

The rockfish action was solid on April 15 when the 16 anglers on the Caroline landed limits (160) of rockfish and 16 lingcod.

“The salmon fishing was slow again today with some scores of 1-2 fish being caught near the west side of the Soquel Hole and up near 3 Trees,” said Todd Fraser of Bayside Marine in Santa Cruz. “The anglers who fished the east edge of the Soquel Hole had a hard time with jelly fish.”

“The rockfish action was slow for most of the anglers due to cold water and rockfish feeding on jellyfish.,” reported Fraser. “The weather was not bad in the morning, but it did blow in the afternoon. The Capitola area is starting to produce some nice halibut in 60 feet of water.” 

Written By: Dan Bacher

California Dawn – Quality halibut have been coming over the rail of the California Dawn. This angler shows off a beauty that he recently caught in the SF Bay. Live bait is now available so the bite should get even better. Photo Courtesy of California Dawn Sportfishing