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Fly Fishing the San Francisco Bay

San Francisco has a vastly under rated fishery that everyone can get involved with.
Striped bass: Winter Striped bass fly fishing is done all year in the state of California, but fishing in local waters is seasonal. It all depends on the west coast striped bass migratory pattern. During the winter, striped bass can be found from San Francisco Bay throughout the Delta, and fishing is generally poor because stripers do not feed actively when the water is cold. In recent years Striped bass stay up in the Delta near spawning ground to prepare for the spring.

Fly Fishing Underneath Golden Gate Bridge October 2019

Fly Fishing Underneath Golden Gate Bridge October 2019

Spring early spring is when the stripers are looking to spawn in calm, freshwater areas. As the water gets warmer, the fish start making their way towards the San Francisco Bay. Most larger fish want to leave the freshwater after spawning to head back to the Ocean to feel that fresh salt near the golden gate bridge.

Kirby Cove Striped Bass

 Summer As June rolls around, the fish will hit the beaches! The water becomes too warm in specific locations in the bay, making it uncomfortable for bass to feed aggressively. Due to the size of stripers tails, they can feed in large surf with ease — bass key in on crabs and the bigger bait like herring and surfperch.
Fall: The fall is known as the best-striped bass fishing the San Francisco Bay. Fish return to the bay to feed before making the trip back to the Delta.

California Delta Striped Bass

California Delta Striped Bass

 The big ones: Many argue that all the enormous striped bass stays in the American river following the shad run. It makes sense because of the low water temperature and copious amounts of food. As stripers age they become less interested in the migration as well, making the American river a logical spot to find massive fish! But I do believe you can see abundant fish on the beaches going after surfperch or other baitfish.


Surf Perch: The most common surfperch species in the San Francisco Bay Area have Barred Surfperch, Walleye Surfperch, and Red Tail Surfperch.
 Pacific Halibut are giant, usually black or brown, with two eyes on one side of their heads. Halibut are visual ambush predators, going after baitfish, crabs that they spot from the bottom. Halibut are usually deep-water dwellers, but during spawning times, they come into shallower sand flats and bays, making it accessible for shore anglers in the San Francisco Bay Area.


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