Tuesday, August 5, 2014

California Halibut Fishing On San Francisco Bay

We launched the F/V SturgeUrge from Richmond into a bit more Southerly wind than forecast about 9AM.

We turned the corner and headed south towards Southampton. It didn't take long for the lump to get to us. SturgeUrge was really working hard to make way, so we turned tail and headed towards Red Rock.

For some reason...maybe the week's worth of hot days and nights' toll on my sleep schedule...made everything seem like pulling teeth today...

The first three sets of our Dodger/Hoochie/Frozen Herring rigs totally got gongered and came back looking like macrame plant hangers. My apologies to the SturgeUrge as my 'Cranky Pants' must have been 'riding-up' cause I was whining in stereophonic Wall-Of-Sound-style.

You know what they say: "Three's A Charm"... after the third untangle/rebuild/redeploy, *Bang* FishOn!

I felt the head shakes and pumped her up a little fast...then she saw the boat and turned tail and ran...fast! For a minute I was almost convinced I'd hung a Mud Marlin, but the fight was up and down only, no crazy bat ray antics. A couple more ups and downs and SturgeUrge did a perfect net job!

Before the net even came over the rail that fish went ballistic! Think rolling surgeon next to the boat! There went a brand spankin' new $8 sinker! The fish wrapped itself up in the net like a mummy!

That was it for the day. Fish came about 2/3 of the way towards Red Rock on a line from Paradise Pier to Red Rock, just west of the channel...about an hour before the bottom of the small ebb.

We trolled the mark for a couple more hours before switching to drifting to give SturgeUrge a break and to make lunch...I was afraid the top slice of Jewish Rye might blow off the pastrami sammiches I was building.

We haven't had a drift halibut all year, but trolling has been golden so far...we've been sticking to halibut tides exclusively.