A trip to the Bay Area — 2005

Ken Jones

Staff member
Date: January 23, 2005
To: PFIC Message Board
From: Ken Jones
Subject: Slow day on the bay...

Got up early (3:30 am) and headed down to the bay. Actually, I got up too early. Got to Fort Baker at 6 a.m. and it was still dark, although there was a full moon (and a strong tide and current). Another guy drove up and since he didn't seem concerned about the dark I didn't either. Rigged up by the light of the truck and headed out. Since he grabbed the spot I wanted, I grabbed the right corner.

Bundled up in two coats (it was cold and windy), I kept hoping the morning sun would bring warmth. It didn't. The goal was some fresh sand dabs for dinner and although the dabs were cooperating many were really too small to keep. Nevertheless, kept the biggest and just had ‘em for dinner.

Fished the front of the pier from 6:15 till about 8:30 and then moved inshore to try for some perch. Using two size 4 hooks baited with strips of squid managed 22 sand dabs (which, if you know anything about sand dabs, means it was fairly slow). Also found a nice school of blue rockfish hanging about 8-10 feet off the bottom and pulled in 15 of the surprisingly big fellows (among the largest I've seen from piers). Used the larger rod for the sand dabs, used the light rod for the rockfish. Started with bloodworms on the light pole but the rockfish were hitting squid better than the worms. Did manage one walleye out at the end but that was it. Didn't have a nibble in the inshore section.

Fishing time: 6:15-9

22 Pacific sand dab
15 Blue rockfish
1 Walleye surfperch

Headed over to Fort Point to get some more dabs and hopefully some big perch. Fished out by the end for 45 minutes and then inshore for 1/2 hour. Managed 8 more sand dabs at the end but zilch on the perch inshore. A high tide but the perch were absent. Perhaps they are full from eating herring eggs. Often if the herring are laying eggs on the local pilings I've noticed that the perch fishing will drop, i.e., at Elephant Rock last year.

Fishing time 9:35-10:50 am

8 Pacific sand dab

I next decided to head down to the South Harbor Marina Pier and give McCovey Cove a try. Could not find a parking space anywhere close and finally gave up. Thought I’d head back to Pier 7 but along the way spotted Pier 30 and the huge empty lot. Although the sign says you must pay I didn't see a pay station nor an attendant. Drove out to the end where a guy was fishing and asked how things were going. Said he had caught 2 lingcod which got my attention — but about then he pulled in a 6-inch brown rockfish which he identified as another lingcod. OK! Decided to try out at the end but the current was ripping and unless you wanted to use at least 6 ounces it wasn’t going to hold. Drove further inshore where I found some inviting looking pilings Surely they would hold some perch? Well, sort of. (And, I'll have to check this pier out more down the road).

Fishing time: 11:45 am - 12:45

2 Shinerperch
1 Brown rockfish

Finally headed down to Pier 7. By now the sun was out and it was actually a pretty nice day. As usual it's a beautiful pier but today it was slow and so I only fished for a short time.

Fishing time: 1:15-2 pm

1 Pacific sanddab
1 Walleye surfperch

Although I originally was going to make a full day of fishing (especially considering the 2 ½ hour drive from Lodi), it just seemed conditions weren’t right. So, I decided to head home and try to catch some of the Pittsburg-New England game.

We had our sand dabs for dinner, they were good, and I did get to see most of the game.

Hopefully the next visit down will be a little