Fort Baker/Fort Point 9-15-18

Brought some friends down with me from Reno this time, arrived at Pier 45 for live bait and had lines in the water at Fort Baker at 0630. Set up in near corner with 3 way rigs, and one trolley rig for salmon on the far corner towards the gate. The tide was a couple hours from bottoming out and there was still a lot of juvenile anchovies in the water. The crab activity was the worst I've experienced here in the recent past, with almost instant bait shred after hitting the water. Lots of other fisherman started showing up at about 0800, with most going for jacksmelt or dropping hoop nets. Some other anglers were using Sabiki rigs to jig up shiner perch, and a small group of anglers fishing inshore on the neck of the pier were doing fantastic with pile worms. They had a full bucket of some of the biggest perch I've ever seen. 3 of them were exceeding what looked to me as 14-16 inches, and it appeared to be a mix of striped sea perch, rainbow perch, and pogies. All of the crab netters were hauling in dozens of baby dungeness at the time, which would explain the horrendous bait slaughter our anchovies were succumbing to. Managed to accidentally catch a small cabezon off the end of the pier while I was reeling up my salmon trolley rig, and released him after a quick photo op. After 5 hours without a solid hit, we packed up and headed to Fort Point.

Hit Fort Point right before slack tide. Lots of people throwing crab nets and a few trying trolley rigs for salmon off the far left corner. We managed to grab some real estate off the end of the "L" in accordance with Pinoyfisherman's advice. Started with 3 way rigs and sliding sinkers (with squid and mackeral for sharks and rays). The crabs here were even more fierce than at Fort Baker. The slack tide didn't help either, and we sacrificed many chovies' to the dungeness nursery due to the poor water movement. My friend managed to hook into a small brown rockfish near the pilings when the tide picked up a bit. I spent most of my time helping to teach a few people how to properly cast and set their crab snares, as well as helping a small family next to us with their hoop net gear; as they were novices and were also attempting to keep baby dungeness in their bucket. After a brief lesson on regulations and penalties, I had politely convinced them to throw back their illegal haul. I was able to reduce our live bait casualty rate by switching over to Hi-Lo leaders and fishing closer to the pier to reduce the angle, but the action was almost non-existent. The only ray of light was an undersized halibut I manage to grab from nearly right underneath the pier. Quick pic and back into the drink, much to the delight of many curious tourist-children that were wandering about today. We decided to throw in the towel at 1600, and on the way in we saw that one person fishing near the foot of the pier had caught a small striper. Very tough conditions and very low yield, but still nice to get out and fish another pier I haven't touched since the late 90's

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Ken Jones

Staff member
Sounds like a fun day even if the action was a little slow. Just curious, how was the parking at Fort Point? Did you park down by the Fort?
Sounds like a fun day even if the action was a little slow. Just curious, how was the parking at Fort Point? Did you park down by the Fort?
The parking was surprisingly open, especially given the fact that there were thousands of tourists milling about, along with some large party event happening on the grass. The all day fee on the new meters they installed was $7. A lot of people seemed to elect to use the free parking down the way, towards Crissy Field.
Strange question, maybe, but did you notice the seaweed? How bad was it and what color? On the other side of the Bay it's really bad, purple/brown and reeks like hell. Almost like a red tide. Totally coats the cast net with slime. (Had to soak it for a full day yesterday.) Also, in several areas, though I managed bait, the bite was way off. Usually we experience this in late July.
There was a lot of large, green, vine-like kelp strands that were drifting by, and every now and then some of the kelp that we pulled up on our rigs was the dark red, flat pieces that have a bumpy texture. Didn't notice any smell to it, but then again, the wind was going pretty good. I think the abundance of bait also hindered our ability to make our bait stand out more to the fish.
Sucks that the fishing conditions weren’t ideal....but looks like you guys had a decent time out there! Would definitely love to fish with you next summer when the halibut fishing is hot around June/July!