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  • Writer's picturealexosen

San Francisco Bay Area Fishing Guide (April-September) -Halibut, Striped Bass, and Trout

Updated: Apr 13

The San Francisco Bay Area boasts a diverse range of fishing opportunities, from the salty waters of the bay itself to the freshwater lakes and rivers that dot the landscape. This guide provides a roadmap for anglers looking to target Halibut, Striped Bass, and Trout during the next 6 months (April-September).

Today we'll provide a comprehensive fishing guide for Halibut, Striped Bass, and Trout.

San Francisco Bay (Saltwater):

April-August: Halibut

Halibut: These flatfish favor sandy bottoms. Target them with bait (anchovies, herring) or jigs near the bottom using a sturdy rod and saltwater reel.

Where to fish for Halibut in the Bay Area?

San Francisco Bay, usually around the Alcatraz area, Alameda Wall, or Oyster Point in South Bay, early in the season.

Here is the video of our Halibut Trip last year with setup instructions and tips on Halibut Fishing in the Bay.

Halibut Gear

Get fully outfitted by visiting Sweeney's Sports in Napa, CA, or order our Striper Trolling Fishing setup. This kit would work perfectly for both Halibut and Striper, as you saw in the video. The fishing setups are virtually identical.

April-August: Striped Bass

Striped Bass: Aggressive fish available year-round, but April-August offers prime opportunities. Use live bait (herring, anchovies) or lures (trolling plugs, swimbaits) near points, reefs, and underwater structures.

Where to fish for Striped Bass in the Bay Area?

Some of the most popular waters to fish for Stripers are San Francisco Bay, Delta, Sacramento River and tributaries, Napa River, San Pablo Bay, and Los Vaqueros, if you prefer calm fresh-water lake fishing.

Here is the video of one of our Striper fishing trips last year with setup instructions and tips.

Striper Boat Fishing Gear

There are several methods to fish for stripers from the boat and bank. If you are boat fishing, one of the following setups is ideally suited for striper trolling or drifting.



Trolling Lures

Striper Bank Fishing Instruction

If you are fishing from the bank, we've recorded a step-by-step breakdown of Striper fishing methods, gear, bait, and techniques below.

Bank Fishing Gear

Need tackle and lures? Consider our Striper Tackle Kit

Rainbow Trout: (April-May) and (September-October).

Where to fish for Trout and near the Bay Area?

Most Greater Bay Area lakes and freshwater streams contain a population of both native and planted trout. Some of the popular trout fishing waters are Lake Berryessa, Los Vaqueros Reservoir, San Pablo Reservoir, Putah Creek, and many more.

Below is a detailed video on how to target and catch trout by trolling.

Here is another fun trip to Los Vaqueros, where we rented a boat and landed 9 fish by 11am.

Trout trolling and bank fishing gear

Trout gear is plentiful and available virtually everywhere. However, if you are looking to get advice and help to match the gear with your fishing style, consider visiting us at Sweeney's Sports in Napa, CA

Let's Go Fishing

Fishing is a hobby that makes you a better person. Period. That's the claim I'm going to continue to make. I know this, I feel it personally as well as every time I'm out fishing or in the shop talking fishing with customers.

When I know a fishing trip is coming up on the calendar, I'm a happier person, and my work shows it. As a father of two teenagers, a husband, a friend, and an entrepreneur running two businesses and building a third, I don't have a lot of idle time to think. We are all busy. Busy life goes by fast if we don't slow things down.

20 Years Ago. 0 Regrets.

The other day I was talking to a friend about fishing. He asked me what was so special about it. Oh boy, where do I begin? I told him what I felt, which is that taking a fishing trip is like immersing yourself in an alien world.

It's a world with completely different rules, goals, aspirations, and routines. Everything about it is almost completely different from what we do day in and day out. At the same time, there's still a lot of flexibility on the trip. You can make it as focused, relaxed, dynamic, lazy, etc., etc.

We are absolutely free to make each trip our own. And yet, at the end of the day, we'll be slowing down time by immersing ourselves in a completely different world, an alien world, where we are in tune with nature and completely disconnected from the mundane. Oh, what a world this is.

Take a moment right now to put your next trip on the calendar and excel in everything else you do in anticipation. Personally, I am fishing Berryessa today. The video and report are to follow next week. There are some big trout being caught there. I'll see what's what.

Writing with anticipation. Tight lines! Catch happy.

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