California Central Coast Fishing Report. 6/27/02

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THE FISHING REPORT

Brian Hoffman, San Francsico Chronicle    

June 27, 2002

BEST BET

SALTWATER: Salmon off Point Reyes

PACIFIC OCEAN

GOLDEN GATE: The run-drop-and-net game keeps chugging along, well-oiled and deadly, with the boats starting out, clumping up, fanning out and then converging like seagulls when the hot bite is located. Not that anyone's complaining about the earlier tepid bite. Just that, you know, it's not hot. The only real change in the equation is distance, with the boats logging miles as they motor up and up toward Point Reyes. Wednesday, after a few stops that produced a few fish, the willing salmon schools were found 5 miles south of Point Reyes Lighthouse (on the GPS, boats were spread from 52-37-123-04 to about 54 and 02).

How they made out: Butchie B 12 limits to 31 pounds, Capt. Joey 11 limits to 32, Wacky Jacky 32 salmon to 35 pounds for 20 anglers, Outer Limits 26 limits to 25, New Rayann 23 limits to 32 pounds, Flying Fish 27 salmon to 40 for 25, Hog Heaven 14 limits to 33, New Fisherman III 26 salmon to 35 for 14, El Dorado 30 fish to 35 for 20, New El Dorado 24 limits to 30, Rapid Transit 31 salmon to 30 for 20, and the New Easy Rider 24 salmon to 28 pounds for 20 anglers.

Any bets?: Her name is Jessica Barry, 30-something, professional from Pleasanton, and it was her first time ocean fishing. She was on the New Fisherman III (925-743-1407) out of Berkeley on Saturday, with Captain Steve Bales. She caught her limit. Weighed, the two fish were a combined 95 pounds. The second was 45 pounds (someone had to help us with the math, too). After the first was landed, Bales got on the radio, with this to say to the other skippers: "I've got a thousand dollars in my pocket that says the fish we just put in is 50 pounds." He kept his money. A bitter-with-petty-envy congrats to Barry.

About rockfish: That's it. After Sunday, we're shut, they're shut, everyone is shut down outside of 120 feet, from Cape Mendocino to the Mexico border. They're calling it an "emergency closure," possibly for the rest of our natural lives. Please note, however, that the rockfish season inside 20 fathoms will remain open through October.

BODEGA BAY: The New Sea Angler (707-875-3495) has been running down to join the salmon action below Point Reyes. Tuesday, Rick Powers' boat put in 27 limits to 38 pounds, then stopped at a high spot off the point, in about 80 feet of water, and got 25 lings to a whopping 28 pounds to go with 112 assorted rockfish.

PACIFICA: 'Tis that time of year, and the Happy Hooker (more below), she of neither subtle name nor insignificant fame, has hit the beaches twice since Monday, looking for striped bass. Where Half Moon Bay party-boat skipper Dennis Baxter found bait en mass last week, the Hooker's Jim Smith (510-223- 5388) found none Monday, other than a few scratches off the Pacifica Pier. He also found no bass. Only sign of life, in fact, was a group of five or six shorecasters doing their thing at Fleishhacker's. Wednesday, Smith took a look up off Stinson Beach. Same observation, minus the shorecasters.

HALF MOON BAY: Making last week's "deep-water" groundfish closure that much harder, the Queen of Hearts' (650-726-7133) score from Wednesday: 29 limits of rockfish, eight lings to 8 pounds, 31 cabezon to 14 pounds, five sea trout and an 8-pound starry flounder. The boat was drifting in 20 to 70 feet of ocean off Pescadero. Again, fishing for groundfish is open inside 120 feet through the end of October.


THE BAYS

SAN FRANCISCO: Big tides and smallish scores for the potluckers. Wednesday, the New Huck Finn had eight halibut to 12 pounds and six bass to 9 pounds for a group of eight. They spent the day drifting over Berkeley Flats. Barry Canevaro boxed five halibut to 12 pounds and two bass to 8 pounds for five guys. The Happy Hooker, meanwhile, made a few drifts off Red Rock and managed 20 bass for 30 customers, who also caught five flatties. But the bass, for the most part, are an X factor. X defined as "Where the hell are they?" . . . Many of the party-boat skippers have penciled in next week, with its slow tides, as the magical early-summer week for drifting for halibut off Seal Rocks. Happens every year. . . . Netting news: The Baits Guys (415-720-0437), who supply live- bait receivers at Sausalito, Berkeley and Richmond, had a few things to report from the gear this week, while making sets at the entrance to Richardson Bay: schools of large anchovy (6 to 7 inches, no lie), a number of striped bass, and even a few white sea bass. And yet, bass guys Tommy Glasser and Mike McCallum trolled and plugged their way down toward there Tuesday, and did not do a thing.

SAN PABLO: Other than a 30-pound striped bass caught from the Brothers Islands (aboard the Happy Hooker) on Monday, there's been little to get excited about. But come Sunday, the minus tides depart and maybe the bass fishing will kick in. Maybe. For now, you're better off fishing from shore, soaking shrimp baits, live shiners, frozen anchovy, whatever, from McNear's and Paradise piers, and from the rocks between the Big House and Richmond-San Rafael Bridge . . . Next week's anemic tides signal a definite possibility for salmon at California City.


FRESHWATER

FAR-FLUNG ONES: On the Lower Sacramento, the trout fishing is going good. Sunday, guide Hank Mautz (800-355-3113) had a father and son up from Hayward, and they drove back after a 35-fish day with wild rainbows to 4 pounds. Wednesday, a group of two out with Mautz caught and released 30 to 3 pounds. As for shad, there's been some action at Woodson Bridge and Hamilton City. This despite the river sliding along at 14,500 cubic feet per second . . . From North State guide Jack Trout (530-926-4540): He fished the McCloud on Wednesday and found a fairly solid bite, although it was nearly all nymphing, from early morning to about 2 p.m. Same with the Upper Sac and Pit. Between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., the action slows to nothing. After 5, there are hatches of mayflies, stoneflies and caddis. In the boxes: poxy-back Golden Stones and Bird's Nests (a new one), PT's, Z-Wing Caddis and Micro mayflies (size 18); then Little Yellow Stone imitations for the dries, especially on the Sac and McCloud. He's also been hiking into the Siskiyou high country, north of Mount Shasta, to fish Gumboot, Siskiyou, Mumbo and Helen lakes. Up here, worms and salmon eggs work, along with matching the gray mayfly hatch.

Moving slightly coastal, there's still a solid salmon bite on the Trinity. Top getters are roe and tuna balls (canned tuna in netting). . . . The Feather is up to 4,000 CFS, and there are more salmon in the river. Still, the bite goes off at only fair . . . On the American, guide Bob Sparre (916- 863-5866) has been dividing his days between striper (schoolies, which hit minnows) fishing at the mouth of the river and shad (mini jigs in champagne, chartreuse and yellow) at evening between Howe and Watt avenues. Upstream, below the dam, there are some early salmon being caught from shore on roe, Kwikfish and beads.

E-mail Brian Hoffman at bhoffman@sfchronicle.com. "The Fishing Report" can be heard on KNBR (680 AM) Sundays at 6 a.m.
 

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