Skunked in South City

The alarm goes off at 4:50, and I'm out the door with coffee in hand at 5:10, headed to South San Francisco. It's earlier than I really need to be there, but with the traffic these days, I figure I might as well arrive early. I park behind Genentech at the little fishing park, finish my coffee, and head south on the bay trail.

The tide is still out. I hike down to a muddy/sandy beach. At the water's edge I see a dead jellyfish, a dying, injured ghost shrimp, lots of clam shells, and a couple depressions that look like something dug them out recently when the tide was higher. If I had to guess, sturgeon feed here.

The goal today is Halibut. I'd been considering Crissy Field, but the wind forecast convinced me to try something on the west side of the bay. At first I was considering Coyote Point, but I decided to give this spot a go. I cast a Storm Searchbait over and over again, varying the retrieve. The 1/4 oz head is perfect here. I land my share of kelp, but on the whole I think beutelevision is right: these do tend to shed it easier, and I think it's the shape of the head or the tight fit between head and swimbait. I work my way down the shore until it gets quite rocky. No nibbles. I work my way back.

The trail south takes a high route above the next point and then there's a nice sandy beach. I work up and down this beach, fan casting and varying my retrieve. Nothing. I switch to a Big Hammer bait in Pacific 'Chovy with a 1.5 oz head. The head is overkill, but there's no doubt I'm on the bottom. Kelp city for awhile. I catch the second big jumping fish out of the corner of my eye. I think both were Stripers.

There's a little brown pelican and tern activity, but not much. Back I go to the first beach, same routine. There's lots of water covering this clear mud/sand bottom now, but nobody's biting.

In the hopes of bringing home something, I head to Oyster Point Pier and try working a Sabiki tipped with shrimp. I'm there for about 90 minutes. During that time an undersize Leopard Shark is landed at the end of the pier and that's it. As always, it's a strange treat to look them in the eyes and see them looking back at you.

By noon I'm on my way back home. It was a nice, quiet morning. I saw some birds, walked around, waded a bit. No fish, but no big deal.

Driving time: 90 mins
Fishing time: 5 hours
Equpiment: Ugly Stik GX2, cheap Shakespeare reel, 12# Big Game, swimbaits; Daiwa Beef Stick, Daiwa BG 5000, cheap sabiki with some hooks removed
Thanks for the report! If it makes you feel better, I fished the Crissy area that same day for nothing. Used a lot of the same baits/techniques/approaches as you described. I also considered fishing the same area you ended up going to, so at least your efforts didn't go to waste since it produced a nice report. Any report, skunk or not, is useful to me.