Surf fishing / crabbing

I'm visiting the Bay Area from Minnesota, and I would really like to do some surf fishing / surf casting for surf perch & crabs this Monday 12/24. A friend of mine has already agreed to let me borrow his equipment. Now since surf fishing/crabbing will be all new to me (though I've fished lakes and rivers for 15 years) I'm just wondering what your guy's thoughts are on weather / surf conditions for some of the beaches around San Francisco - Baker / Ocean Beach.

here's what I've gathered from NOAA for Baker, but I have idea how that translates to fishing conditions.

SW winds 10 to 20 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. NW swell 11 to
12 ft at 14 seconds. Chance of showers in the morning, then rain
likely in the afternoon.

Any info would be greatly appreciated. Not sure when my next opportunity will be.

I prefer when low tide is approaching for Crabbing on the beach. I just feel like my bait stays out there and isn't getting pushed in with the waves. I haven't had much luck surf fishing but caught many keeper crabs on snares at Baker and Ocean beaches. Looking at the tides and this site seems pretty data rich: , it seems afternoon is approaching low. Baker beach is definitely calmer. Just last week Ocean Beach was so bad with high surf the fire department told everyone to get off the sand entirely for a few days. It can always be unpredictable there and constant in terms of a bit of nuisance in terms of pushing your bait around with the strange variations in the surf. I've seen Striper caught at Ocean Beach, and lots of Perch but not personally scored on those. Seems like the Carolina rigging is favored based on observation. Baker Beach I saw a small halibut caught and heard Striper was possible but mostly seen just crab snaring. If you want to try a pier, Ft Point or Pacifica are always good, but Pacifica is probably really crowded with the crabbing in full gear (but usually near shore lots of perch without lots of crabbers, it's a huge pier).

Looking at the swell and the report, it looks pretty rough (6-8ft, showers in the AM and full on rain in the PM). In bad weather I'd go to Pacifica pier hoping that there would be less of a crowd there knowing that it's generally easier to get something even if the surf is a bit high (given heavier weights, etc), also it's generally more comfortable (roll the cart on cement vs beach trekking) and there is that cafe at the base to recharge at. Today was beautiful weather, I felt bad sleeping in. Hopefully the weather forcast isn't right for Monday. Sometimes things blow through earlier or change directions. I'll cross my fingers for you.
Last edited:
thanks wildman! really hoping the weather holds. i've got the entire day open... so i'm thinking about giving it a shot at baker in the morning and then heading out to pacifica for the afternoon.

Ken Jones

Staff member
Coastside #2 Bait and Tackle, 1604 Francisco Blvd, Pacifica is a good source of information as to how the Pacifica Pier is doing (as well as current conditions). Their number is (650) 359-9790 and Marque Glisson is the gentleman I normally talk to.
arrived at pacifica to find the gate closed... surf/waves were way too high. headed over to muni pier... closed... because of trump isn't getting his wall. found our way over to ft. baker pier. mananged a few red/rock crabs and some dabs in the rain. was good to be out... just wish conditions were better. perhaps next year.
I could be wrong, but based on jv's original post and since he mentioned rain, I think his follow-up was a report from being there on Monday (12/24) instead of yesterday.