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Subject: Berkeley Pier - stripers and halis
Name: calrat
Date: May-17-08 11:02pm






Over the past few weeks, Julie and I have been fishing off and on targeting striped bass and halibut. It's been fun and we've had our share of fairly decent bites. We've been busy trying to squeeze in fishing while working so this report comes now.

They are biting at just about any tidal swing at both the slack lull as well as the middle of the tidal movement. They make no bones about coming in to feed at the top just as much as the bottom. Most recently, the average halibut sizes at Berkeley Pier have been ranging from 22 to 28 inches, but only two days ago, bigger 30+ inch fish have been reported by some of the regulars.

Live anchovies seem to be the trick along with the occasional shiner/smelt using the drift rig, the traditional bobber rig, the sliding sinker rig, and the carolina rig. The trend last year was the drift rig, but the sexy rig for this season seems to be the carolina rig with an approximately 2 to 2.5 foot leader. For beginners to halibut fishing, this rig is simple and effective.

Don't be afraid to fish in the evening. Julie recently hooked and landed a 34" halibut at approximately 9:30 p.m. The biggest halibut at BP last year that I saw was a monstrous 42" halibut that bit around 3 a.m. Certainly, the fish are relatively easier to catch with daylight, but they will bite into the night. Whether it's because of instinct, hunger, or both we don't know.

The weather out there in the past few days has been very warm with the unavoidable afternoon wind coming from the west. However, it dies down in the late afternoon/early evening to give you a beautiful sunset with perfect fishing conditions.

Good luck out there!

Note : The halibut "circle" was caught with Songslinger. BTW, he's been on a tear. The striper in that picture with all the halibut is also Slinger's. A few days later, I also caught a beautiful striper with the cleanest lines. Everything on live anchovies.



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I hate cilantro.

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Subject: FISHING REPORT
Name: calrat
Date: May-17-08 11:04pm

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Subject: That was a great catch!
Name: Red Fish
Date: May-18-08 8:33am

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Subject: are all those over 25 inches?
Name: tinle
Date: May-17-08 11:17pm

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Subject: They're "keepers..." along my "standards."
Name: calrat
Date: May-17-08 11:18pm

You know what that means dude.

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I hate cilantro.

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Subject: BTW dude...
Name: calrat
Date: May-17-08 11:19pm

How'd that BBQ go?

Nice job on the two that day. See ya out there.

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I hate cilantro.

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Subject: Thanks. Really informative report
Name: gyozadude
Date: May-18-08 12:23am
Link: http://www.gyozadude.com/

Congrats on the nice bounty.

Are folks getting live anchovies from the bait shop? Or are most catching their own bait?

Your note about night fishing for halibut makes me a believer. About this time last year, we had the MMGT and while packing up, past midnight, and more like 1am, I had been tossing in dried, dead baitfish from someone who had thrown a bait net and left them there on deck. On a whim, I decided to hook one on and just drop it over the side along with the dozens of other fish I'd already tossed back in. While loading my cart, the clicker went off. Never confirmed, but it sure felt like a hali with its tug-of-war style of fight. Also carolina rigging with a 2 oz egg sinker and 4 ft of leader, but drifted just over the rail about 1 ft off the bottom. Farmed it trying to horse it up on a batray stick with braid and 40 lb fl.carb. leader. Just too shocked to believe it could happen and the first one I've had on after dark.

I wonder if the halibut will stick around until middle of June. It seems like the run is a lot hotter this year and a bit later. If the run is still hot, then we might see some halibut at night. The MMGT was May 19th last year and I remember SSC catching one earlier in the day and saving it for later when he fileted and I sauteed it there with some lemon pepper and butter. No other spices like cilantro added. Of course we unofficially plan to keep the MMGT Cilantro-free again for this year.

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Gyozadude - Proud UPSAC Member
"Yes - I can roll potsticker skins"

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Subject: Both.
Name: calrat
Date: May-18-08 12:27am

People are buying live anchovies or cast netting for bait. I guess it really depends on how much work you're willing to put in.

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I hate cilantro.

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Subject: Re: Thanks. Really informative report
Name: tinle
Date: May-18-08 6:45am

The live bait hasn't come in strong until the last few days. Even then it's mostly smelt. Everyone just buys anchovies. Give it another week or two and the live bait will be sufficient.

And I will remember to bring cilantro to ruin everyones fun.

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Subject: Strong work!
Name: Northern Boy
Date: May-18-08 7:41am

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Subject: Re: Berkeley Pier - stripers and halis
Name: kc1668
Date: May-18-08 8:19am

wow..very nice..
is the pier really crowded even on weekdays? am a beginner and don't want to cross too many lines.. :P

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Subject: crowded but....
Name: calrat
Date: May-20-08 11:49am

You're not casting out for halibut at Berkeley pier. You're dropping your line about 5-10 feet out. (underhand cast) There's no chance of a line cross. You'll be fine. Good luck out there.

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I hate cilantro.

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Subject: Blue Screen Striper
Name: songslinger
Date: May-18-08 8:27am
Link: http://www.songslinger.net/fishing.html

Yeah man, we all know you're using special effects.

That is one good looking striped bass. The picture captures it perfectly. Not only great lines but the overall high quality of the fish. Healthy big bass, very nice indeed. (The hallies are cool, too.) Way to represent with the hat.

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This World Has Fish

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Subject: What I don't understand is why ...
Name: pierhead
Date: May-18-08 9:51am

NorCal is stuck with a 3 halibut limit but SoCals is 5 ... obviously there are way more inshore halibut in your area than ours.

The 7 halibut pictured are more than the total number of legal halibut caught off Goleta Pier over the past week and the bite is considered 'hot' right now :)

I don't remember when I last saw someone limit out on halibut from a pier down here ... good going everybody!

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Pierhead
Proud Supporter of UPSAC

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Subject: We have discussed this in our Bay-Delta meetings..
Name: Ken Jones
Date: May-18-08 1:30pm

because we (the members) want to set up a stocking program for halibut in SF Bay similar to the white Seabass program down south. The DF&G is opposed saying that there is little natural reproduction by halibut in the north; they say that reproduction occurs only during warm-water years and then you see an increase in numbers for a few years. To some of us that would seem to justify a stocking program even if it isn't "natural." To date our concerns have gone nowhere. My larger concern is that with the lack of salmon, decreased rockfish areas, and a possible decrease in stripers, the halibut are going to be hammered. There seem to be a lot of them right now but what about down the road? We can't stock stripers, we can't stock halibut, the salmon are missing, and new areas will be closed due to the MLPA. Where's the light at the end of the tunnel?

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Support UPSAC! Help preserve pier and shore fishing in California.

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Subject: Re: We have discussed this in our Bay-Delta meetin
Name: songslinger
Date: May-18-08 7:04pm
Link: http://www.songslinger.net/fishing.html

"My larger concern is that with the lack of salmon, decreased rockfish areas, and a possible decrease in stripers, the halibut are going to be hammered."

This concern is justified. It's already happening. In fact, I recently read that the party boat skippers are ignoring the smolt plants upriver (yay for that), saying that the price of fuel is not worth the trip when there are so many halibut available in the bays. Thing is, when you read the reported scores for the sportfishing boats, you notice right away that the ratio is less than two fish per customer. These boats are captained by some of the best pros in the business. Why aren't they all limiting out when the flatfish supply is so abundant? One reason is that there are considerably more vessels in the bay waters these days, both sportfishing and private. Yes, the salmon aficionados are here--nowhere else to go--and the rockfish people have to do something until June. So the halibut bounty is being shared. Smaller craft have the advantage because they can cover more area at a lesser fuel cost. These guys are getting limits.

I've also wondered why the halibut keep limit is more for the southerners. A cruel joke? Seems it should be the other way around. We have the San Francisco Bay and Monterey Bay, perfect, somewhat closed environments for halibut to spawn in packed aggregates. It seems much more spread out to the south. Personally I'd hate to see the limits raised up here.

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This World Has Fish

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Subject: Is it coincidence?
Name: Northern Boy
Date: May-18-08 7:49pm

That the floor of the San Francisco bay is currently carpeted with halibut after a few years of the striper and salmon populations being in decline? If the decline of these species can be attributed to problems with freshwater supply then one might assume the halibut have a free shot at the bait fish in the ocean. Or are we just noticing the excellent halibut fishing because none of the boats have anything else to do until June 1. The excellent halibut fishing from shore would suggest this is just a great year.

Either way sentiments are correct; it's a bad year to be a halibut in Northern California, and we certainly do not want to see the limits raised up here!


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Subject: No halibut reproduction in the north?
Name: fishmom
Date: May-18-08 9:22pm

Can this be true? I always thought the reason that Drake's Estero and Estero de Limantour were closed to fishing was because they were halibut nurseries. And where do the halibut in Humboldt Bay come from?

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Pick up a bag of trash--every time!
http://www.upsac.org/

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Subject: Good questions and I think the DF&G...
Name: Ken Jones
Date: May-19-08 6:07am

would say that there is limited reproduction in this area and to the north. As for Drake's Estero and Estero de Limantour, they are important nursery areas for many species including halibut.

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Support UPSAC! Help preserve pier and shore fishing in California.

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Subject: Who needs more than 3 halibut each?
Name: bassmanben
Date: May-18-08 11:23pm

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Subject: Only 7 halibut? You guys are slipping. :)
Name: toejamb
Date: May-18-08 10:03am

Wow that's more than I've caught in the last two years. Nice going.

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Subject: Daaaang...you guys kick butt!
Name: Clayman
Date: May-18-08 12:19pm

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Subject: Nice stringer there!
Name: Salty Nick
Date: May-18-08 3:07pm

I figured you guys were killin' 'em. I gotta get me some of those!

Salty.

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Subject: nice catch...ima be out there soon...
Name: GORILLAKEV
Date: May-18-08 6:58pm

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Subject: Word up!
Name: eelmaster
Date: May-19-08 8:15am

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Subject: Re: Berkeley Pier - stripers and halis
Name: randysf
Date: May-19-08 10:17am

Hey Bro I met you last night at the BP. Thanks for the live anchovies, tips, and bringing me the "ideal" hook last night. It's a good thing I didn't get the rest of your bait because the ones we got first lasted until we left. Didn't score though =( Peace!

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Subject: How do you
Name: eelmaster
Date: May-19-08 10:23am

keep guys that look like that from showing up and catching all the fish? ;0

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Go A's!

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Subject: nice job
Name: Sin_Coast
Date: May-19-08 12:31pm
Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ufb4aiJ0MDc

....Antwan Jamison fan! Or is Caron Butler number 23?
OOOOH Wait, there was another dude who wore number 23 for a few seasons in DC. What was that guy's name? Hmmmm....

Good job on the halis and stripers! Thanks for the great report!
PK

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Go Dubs!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQOqpaSaK9A

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