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Fishing for Stripers and Halibut in the San Francisco Bay (continued)


Those sharks were enough to get Captain Al thinking it was time to make a move and he asked everyone to “wind them up,” as we were going for a run to the western side of the Bay. One of the best things about fishing in the San Francisco Bay is you don’t get beat up on runs nearly as much with the lack of the big swells, this also means much less chance of getting seasick. The 50 foot Tigerfish deals with wind waves with ease and because you’re not running far it means more fishing, and less time idle in the cabin or on the deck between drifts.


Our next destination, the Rock


After a short ten minute run we emerged from the cabin to find ourselves face to face with “The Rock,” officially known as Alcatraz Island. Once a prison for the most serious criminals this rocky island has plenty of fish holding structure and is something a lot of the fish key in on as they make their way in and out of the Bay. The currents were stronger here so we loaded up on the sinker weight and proceeded to drop our lines.


Anglers start catching stripers...


....and halibut!


It didn’t take too long for fellow party boaters to land their first few stripers and on the second drift the first halibut was also caught. Fishing was starting to look real good, and anglers around us were picking up an average of one to three fish per drift. The Tigerfish was not the only boat taking advantage of the bounty that the Rock had to offer, and there was a fleet building quickly around the island consisting of both of other party boats and private fishing watercraft.


As anglers start catching fish Cal and I are still skunking out


The coordination between all the boats was surprisingly good as each craft got in position and took their turn through the drifts, all while making sure to stay out of the way of the much larger ferry boats. We had been fishing the spot for over an hour and both Cal and I still had no fish to show for. “Should I go get the secret weapon?” Cal said. “Yeah, I think it’s time to coat the anchovies with a little Pro-Cure attractant,” I replied.


Captain Al shows us what fishing in the Bay at this time of year has to offer


More halibut are caught at the back of the boat and we are averaging a few fish per drift


Cal secured his rod into the rail rodholder and went to the back of the boat to get the Pro-Cure and wasn’t gone more than a few second before his rod bent over. The bait was either was snagged on the bottom or he had a big fish on the line. In his absence I reeled down on the reel and it was clear this was no snag. “Fish On!” I yelled as I clumsily tried to keep reeling while pulling out the rod from the holder. Matt directed me to work the fish towards the front of the boat and I went over another angler and under the next one as we scrambled to keep the fish pinned and all the lines from tangling up.   


With Cal out of the picture for a few seconds I land our first striper on his rod


Deckhand Matt Rossi checks the length and weight of each fish


I fought the fish and got my first glimpse of a 15lb. Striper, and just as Capt Al netted the fish Cal came up to the front of the boat, Pro Cure in hand. “Oh I see how it is, you send me to the cabin so you can  catch a fish on my rod,” Cal joked. “I guess we don’t need the Pro-Cure after all,” I laughed. That fish started things rolling for us and soon we started catching fish in greater frequency, even getting a double hookup at one point.

Next Section: I like Big Halibuts, I cannot lie...










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