Sportsmens Report
April 24, 2018
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Sportsman’s Report: White sturgeon and striped bass are back

By: Bill Hanson
March 30, 2018

The big story right now is the San Francisco Bay. White sturgeon is hitting baits and are being landed in good numbers. The weather has stimulated the striped bass bite as well. In Vallejo bank fishers are catching stripers, most are over twenty inches with a few ‘schoolies’ tossed in to eat your worm. In the slews of the Grizzly Island bass fishermen are killing the big ones, up to twenty-five pounds. The rocky bottoms in the bay are now producing Pacific Halibut, two weeks ago there were few bites.

Mie Kaul of Norms Bait and Tackle in Vallejo has seen some real action in the upper bay with large fish and many of them. 

“They’re taking Ghost Shrimp, Grass Shrimp, Pile Worm and Blood Worm. At this point it doesn’t matter if you fish the flood tide or the out bound, it’s all good right now,” he said. 

Hi’s Tackle Box in the south bay is reporting really good fish, says Jonah Li, “Get off the couch and wet a line, they are jumping right now in the bay and you will have a good time.” 

He said striped bass are biting quarter ounce Kastmasters up to six pounds. Fish from Hunters Point down to San Mateo, big fish and lots of ‘schoolies’ to trouble you. Jonah said of the good fishing trend, “The warming trend this week, the moon and tides are all in the right place, this week should be really good.” 

Keith Fraser owner of Loch Lomond in San Rafael said, “You called at the perfect time, I’m just getting in and things are going well here in San Pablo Bay. Drifting a clump of live shrimp in the magic triangle for sturgeon is the spot to be. Triangle? Think the Pump House at one point, Buoy Five and China Camp, draw a line connecting each and you’ve got a triangle. “I have owned this bait shop for 48 years, it might be a world record.” Keith still gets his blood pumping when things are jumping. He said, “The secret is live mud shrimp and we got ‘em.” 

Aaron Aufinson out of Fisherman’s Wharf says he hasn’t had the Bass Tub out in a few weeks but he prefers to work the ‘shelf’ out near San Quentin and drift south to the end where it comes up to fifteen feet or so. 

“You never know, I’ve caught plenty there when others say the fishing stinks. Work the shelf and see what happens,” Aufinson said. 

North Coast Report

Anglers are anxiously awaiting season openers for ground fish and hope for a firm date for the salmon opener. The latest update from the DFW regulatory commission has delayed the April first salmon season due to concerns over the low counts of juveniles making their way out to sea. The next regulatory review will be in early April. The opening season for Ground fish is sorted based on individual Management Areas. For the Central Area the Ground fish season will open April first, south of Pigeon Point down to Santa Barbara. For the San Francisco Management Area, the Ground fish season opens April 15th. Commercial party boats are getting in top shape for the opener. Consider making your reservations in advance if you plan to go.

Bill Hanson is a Sonoma County native and a lifelong sportsman. He is the former president of the Mycological Society. Look for his column in The Community Voice each week.