Fish Sniffer Digital Edition Issue 3618 August 18- September 4 2017 - Page 18

16 Aug. 18 - Sept. 1, 2017 MAP FEATURE VOL.36 • ISS. 18 Mike Baume holds up a fresh caught halibut during a live bait drifting adventure with Chad Aho, Captain of the Miss Marin, on July 28. Photo by DAN BACHER, Fish Sniffer Staff. T Live Bait Magic On San Francisco Bay he first time I ever went live bait fishing on San Francisco Bay, in the late spring of 1980, was not by intention. I had planned to go out salmon fishing out of Fish- erman’s Wharf, but a late start from my apartment in San Jose resulted in me getting there 10 minutes after the salmon boat I was scheduled to go on had already left. I saw a group of people lined up above one of the berths at the wharf with their tackle boxes, ice chests and fishing gear, ready to board a boat, the Bass Tub. I asked one of the anglers, “What are you going fishing for?” “We’re going live bait potluck fish- ing,” he said. “We’ll catch whatever fish bites.” “When is the boat going to leave?” I asked. “The skipper usually gets here around 7 am,” he not- ed. I waited until the skipper, Cliff Anfin- son, a jovial bear of a man with tou- sled reddish blond hair, showed up in his pickup truck around 7:20 am. “Do you have any spots left?” I asked. “Let me count to see how many we have on the boat,” Anfinson said. A couple of minutes later after he counted how many folks were aboard, he told me I could go down the ladder and board the boat. I grabbed a spot, one of several left. What happened that day was the be- ginning of nearly 40-year love affair with live bait fishing on San Francis- co Bay and outside the Golden Gate. We started drifting live anchovies outside Point Bonita, where we land- ed a bunch of brown and blue rock- fish, and over a dozen cabezon and a couple of keeper lingcod. Then we moved into San Francisco Bay to target halibut and stripers. Anglers began hooking up halibut as we drifted around Alcatraz. Finally, I hooked up my first halibut, a 7 pounder. We end- ed the day with mixed sacks of rockfish, cabezon, lingcod and halibut. It was a Captain Chad Aho gets read to net Mike Baume’s halibut. Photo by DAN BACHER, Fish Sniffer Staff. magic day enjoying great fishing and some of the most gorgeous scenery anywhere. After that trip, I was hooked on live bait fishing in the bay and I went out on the Bass Tub many times. The comedic team of Anfinson and his deckhand at the time, Chuck Louie, made the trip go fast with all of their quips and jokes throughout the day. When somebody would catch a red rockfish that had never caught one before, they would often ask, “What type of fish is that?” Louie would respond, “Don’t touch that fish! It’s the highly venomous red devil,” and began grinning after the angler realized he was kidding. Since that time, I’ve spent thou- sands of hours on hundreds of live bait trips fishing with Anfinson, his son Erik, and other skippers on the Ray Ishita shows off a hard-fighting striped bass that he landed while fishing with Captain Chad Aho of Bay Charter Boats. Photo by DAN BACHER, Fish Sniffer Staff. bay, including Gordon Hough on the Morning Star, James Smith on the California Dawn, Jim Smith on the Happy Hooker, Chris Smith on the Captain Hook, Mick Menigoz on the Superfish, Scott Baggett on the Nobi- lis, Art Robie and later Jay Yokomizo on the New Huck Finn, Jim Cox on the Touch of Gray, and Mike O’Con- nell on the New Keesa. I’ve caught hefty halibut to 28 pounds, stripers to 28 pounds, huge leopard sharks, lingcod, and an array of colorful r 6f6BFW"7RЦ6W2ƗfR&BGfVGW&W2( fR@6Rbג7BV&&Rf6pWW&V6W2WfW"FR&vPƗfR&Bf6r( 26VBf"Чv&BFFRG&BvF6B6FbFR֗72&WBbFP&W&VW&FRVǒf6rvFW2vW&RGvvW'2&6b67&VFB֖P&VRb6G'W2VvG2rvFB6fFRFV6B&W'FVBvBf6r2G&6Wb