Red Fish, the Berkeley Pier, and Italian beauties...

Ken Jones

Staff member
"Love and fishing. Sooner or later it all comes down to the same thing. The one that got away." — Max DeBryn

Sometimes but not always...

Date: August 5, 2001
To: PFIC Message Board
From: Red Fish
Subject: Berkeley Pier

Fish Catch: One under-sized halibut about 17” for me and one undersized halibut for my fishing partner Gerald.
Baits: bullheads, shiner perch and frozen anchovies, small smelt.
Note: Plenty of baitfish available
Fished and relaxed: about 1-7 P
O.K.—some story-telling.

Berkeley always offers more than fishing if you keep your eyes and ears open on the weekend. First of all, the weather could not be beaten; it was impeccable.

Fished at the end, probably because a regular (Benny) who was not fishing at the time met us at the parking lot and accused us of being too lazy to walk to the end (even though he knows we have great success fishing at the first cleaning sink).

Midway down the pier, I saw my (friend) Ai Yee (you know, the one Kim always claims speaks no English). Funny how he told me he caught (7) smelt, someone else caught a keeper halibut, asked me what I caught and told me he was coming back on Monday to fish and I don't speak a lick of Mandarin.

O.K.—a couple more amusing things that happened out there that I might mention to my friend Glen off the site, but here's one pleasant occurrence that I'd like to mention.

Well, I'm at the end, and at the end especially on weekends people like to pause and take a break after walking to the end.

So, there's this one young lady with a group of friends that starts throwing bread to the seagulls right between our lines. I told her, “Could you please not throw bread near the lines because the seagulls could get caught in our lines.” She says. “Sorry,” and throws bread over the back end of the pier. Then she walks over to my right side away from her group of friends to feed some other gulls. Just as she does an elderly gentleman that everyone knows (walks on the pier everyday) walks up. We both start talking to her (the older guy likes to joke with the young women). I offer to help her feed the seagulls with the bread she has. She (Theresa) introduced herself to both of us and told me she was from small town in Italy and a chemistry major at Berkeley. About seven minutes later in our conversation she told me verbally, and gesturing with her head and shoulders, her boyfriend was standing in the small group of friends nearby and that he was from the same small town in Italy. Did I mention she was attractive? Anyway, after we joked with her a few seconds longer she said she would bring one of her single friends with her next weekend if she comes back, ha, ha!

I just wanted to mention the above things because today they seemed to supersede (in entertainment value) the fishing. To me (personally), the events seemed a lot more interesting than reporting something like, “caught two halibut, used shiners as bait.”

Posted by crazyguy

Hey Red Fish. What did you use to catch the baitfish? Sabiki rigs or did you catch your bait from the Alameda? What kinda rig did you use for the halibut? The bobber rig or a sliding rig? I went yesterday night and there was no bait except for bullheads. Didn't catch a single shiner or a walleye or smelt. Got any tips on rigging for catching bait and halibut tips? Are keeper halibut becoming rarer and rarer each day? Thanks Red!

Posted by gyozadude

Allora, si - parliamo Italiano!

Buon giorno Red: Nice post. I always love the human aspect of fishing. It's nice to just sit back and chat while fishing, especially if you have the chance to speak with a cute Italian gal. You said Berkeley student, eh? Did you find out if she was in the College of Engineering or Letters and Science?

Allora..., did you get her email address? Given a choice between catching a keep halibut versus the email address, would that have been a better catch? You should have offered to provide her with your rod, uh hum, -A- rod, a fishing rod, that is, with the invite to come back and fish whenever. :)

If you fail next time, we will “rompere le palle!” :)

Ciao—Gyozadude, “Yes — I can roll my own potsticker skins”

Posted by Red Fish

I used small pieces of pile worm with a # 8 hook on a high/low setup. (a hook suspended below the weight seems to always get a bite).

The secret was to drop the line straight down and keep bouncing the weight off the bottom. (jigging). I caught more baitfish jigging than my friend did with his casting net. Songslinger will tell you, if you keep the line moving, it's better for catching perch.

I used the sliding bobber rig with 1/0 live bait hooks fishing (1) foot off the bottom (mainly because it keeps the bait from the crabs.)

I actually caught my halibut on a frozen anchovy on a sliding two hook (mooching) rig before I caught my “live” bait. My friend hooked his with on a shiner with a sliding egg weight rig.

Some tips: make sure you measure the bottom and adjust your float as the water goes down. Use a small sliding float (one that you would use with a 1/4 oz. egg sinker).

Sometimes try two baitfish on a two-hook sliding rig; one on each hook. Tail-hooking seems very effective with small smelt.

I hear (4) keepers were caught last week. Many times there is one last pretty good run in August.

Both fish kind of grabbed the bait and sat down. I am noticing this more and more. Sometimes a halibut will take your bait and NOT run. This is the second time this season I just happen to look over the rail, notice my float underwater, and have a fish on the line without my “clicker” going off. I got one other run and a miss later in the day in which the "clicker" did go off. Hope this helps some...

Posted by SteveO

Good For Us Single Guys...Nice Report

The only problem is there is going to be a bunch of dudes at the end of the pier smelling like squid and aftershave. All of which will be holding bags of breadcrumbs. LOL

“all is one under the sun and moon” Steve-O

Posted by Songslinger

Prendere il pesce!

Seems like forever since I've fished Berkeley Pier during the day. I'll fish into the first part of the halibut season and then beg off until the halibut are gone and there are less anglers to clutter up lines. (To be fair, it is a good news/bad news scenario: more anglers mean more fish because all those lines in the water act like chum.) Fall and winter are great seasons for solitude and aesthetic glory. The regular pier rats then are the true denizens of this pier. And there is still a lot of fish around.

But not a lot of pretty women. Or maybe there are—who can tell? When the freezing mist seals off the pier in one thick mass of cold, opaque gray, everyone looks the same, bundled up and faceless like a dream of purgatory.

And that’s what I like about Berkeley Pier. It never goes anywhere but everything around it is constantly moving. You can be alone or be part of a group, it’s all good. You can meet people from all over the world. And some of them are absolutely beautiful.

Redfish: how come you're such a babe magnet?

All I Want Is A Fair Fight