Fish Sniffer Digital Edition Issue 3618 August 18- September 4 2017 - Page 19

MAP FEATURE San Francisco Bay Facts Ross Ri ch mo nd San San Quentin Rafa el B (State Prison) ri San Pablo Marina y kwa Par San Pablo Cypress Point Treasure Island Oakland Bay Br idge Protero Point Oakland Legend Shorefishing Areas Launch Ramp Sportfishing Landing Emeryville Yerba Buena Island Park San Francisco Rec. Pier Emeryville Marina Mission Rock Robert Crown State Beach Hunters Point purchased it last November and refitted it for fishing on San Francis- co Bay and the ocean with a Cum- mings engine. The fishing was tough for keeper fish on the day we fished, but we did manage to catch a keeper hali- but and striper at Paradise Cay. Although we didn’t put a lot of keeper fish in the boat, we all had a lot of fun catching and release undersized halibut and stripers both at the cay and off Angel Island. During the trip, Aho and I rem- inisced about the antics of Cliff Anfinson and his long time friend, O’Connell, back in the 1980’s and 1990. They were two of the funniest and most feisty guys I’ve ever met. They were also strong critics of government pol- icies and advo- cates for fishery restoration and conservation who showed up at meetings, hearings and protests. They often played outrageous jokes on one an- other and other skippers. When O’Con- nell finally bought a cell phone for his boat, he bought a plan with lim- ited free minutes. So Anfinson told commercial and recreation anglers on the radio that that it was Mike’s Birthday that day – and to call him on his cell phone to wish him well. During the trip, O’Connell received one call after another from folks wishing him “Happy Birthday,” even though it wasn’t his birthday. Soon his free minutes were exhausted, according to Aho. In addition to live bait fishing on the bay, Aho is available for rockfish and salmon trips outside of the Golden Hercules Fishing Notes • Halibut can be taken in the central bay year round, but the best months are generally from April through October. Live bait drifting is the main method that anglers use to catch the halibut, though trolling is also very effective. Both live anchovies and shiner perch are productive baits. Top areas to fish include the Berkeley Flats, Paradise Cay, Southampton Shoal, Richardson Bay, Angel Island, Alcatraz and Crissy Field. Generally, the smaller tides when the water is relatively clear yield the best action. • Striped Bass also offer year round fishing, but these hard-fighting fish generally appear at the same times as the halibut, since both species are drawn into the central bay to feed Kensingto n by large schools of anchovies that move into the area from spring through the late fall. Albany Live bait anglers target the rocks and reefs of the bay, including the Rockpile, Shag Rock, Yellow Bluff and Mel's Reef. Trollers can also bag lots of schoolie stripers while using white and chartreuse worm tail jigs and Rat-L-Traps at the top of the tide. Shore fishing for striped bass can be fabulous when you find a concentration of fish on the flats, particularly in the Oakland, Emeryville and Berkeley area. Toss out swim baits, Kastmasters and Krocodiles for past-paced light tackle action. • Leopard, Soupfin and Sevengill Sharks are often caught by anglers drifting for halibut and stripers. To target the leopards, fish midshipmen and squid for bait in the deep holes. The sevengills and soupfins can be taken on large cut baits in the deep water at Yellow Bluff and Angel Island. Piedmont • Lingcod and Blue, Brown and Other Rockfish move into the bay from the adjoining ocean waters to feed on anchovies, herring and other forage. These bottomfish are caught on the central bay reefs during the slower tides. Excellent rockfish action is available at times just outside the Golden Gate Bridge at Seal Rocks, the Mile Light and Point Bonita. El Cerrito Fort Fisherman's Mason Wharf Baker's Beach Fleming Point Golden Gate Fields Race Track Berkeley Marina Ave Alcatraz Island Gate Golden Pt. Cavallo Lime Point Kirby Cove Richmond Marina Pinole Island Sausalito Angel Potrero Point lo b Pa Rodeo a Str on co Ra its Belvedere Tiburon Gate Drawn by Dewayne Hight Richmond Marin City en ty dge Paradise Cove Gold Pinole Point un Co Greebrae Larkspur Corte Madera Mill Valley Central San Francisco Bay McNears Beach Loch Lomond Marina eral days before ours, coming back to the port with 4 halibut and one striper for 3 anglers. “We also threw back 10 stripers,” he noted. On our trip, we started at Paradise Cay, due to the heavy wind on the bay. Paradise is always protected from the wind; that is probably how it got its name. “The halibut fishing has been really good this year,” Aho explained. “On the slower tides, we are fishing the deeper water where we hook the larger fish. When the tides are bigger, we fish the shallower water.” “The thing I like is the variety of fish that you can catch while live bait fishing, including halibut, stripers, rockfish, lingcod and occasionally a shark,” he said. Aho served as deckhand on the New Keesa from 1990 until when he got his captain’s license in 1994 while the Captain Mike O’Connell was still alive. He skippered the New Keesa from 1994, as a relief skipper, until 2002 when O’Connell passed away of a heart attack. “The halibut fishing is very good this year,” he stated. “Our best year ever for halibut was 1994. This year there’s a lot of shaker halibut in the system, along with undersized stripers, pointing to great fishing in the future.” He started trips in his new boat in June. 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