Category Archives: rockfish

Transition Time

Young woman holding a large halibut on a boat

Liz Ralph enjoyed catching her 20-pound halibut

(March 14, 2017 newsletter) — The transition is just about upon us…After three months of quite successful upper bay sturgeon and striped bass chasing, it’s nearly time to reverse direction. The Argo is certainly not giving up on the upper bay, we’ve found solid action in the past week, but halibut will soon be calling closer to home.

Currently, our trips are still pointed toward sturgeon and bass, and I’d expect this to be a viable fishery throughout the spring, but our concentration will be trolling for halibut and bass once we get back from annual maintenance April 29.

To date, halibut activity has been off to a slow start primarily because the bay has been engulfed by freshwater; not a bad thing, just that halibut prefer more salt in the mix. The slow start is likely just a short-term blip and I’d expect the bites to increase any time. All those undersize fish we saw last year, should pay dividends in the coming months.

The ever-fluid dry-dock schedule keeps getting pushed back due to weather delays at the yard, but we seem to be stabilizing and as of now the Argo will be out of the water for about 10 days starting April 17.

Rockfish and salmon seasons both start in April, but the Argo will likely take a wait and see position before venturing outside the Gate. We will wait for the salmon to move close to shore, and keep a daily eye on the spring weather.

If you’re looking for something to do with the kids during spring break, leopard sharks are starting to bite in the bay. They pull hard, provide great action and no one gets seasick. Argo uses barbless hooks and practices catch and release on the teethy critters..

We’re currently booking summer salmon trips looking at a mid June start, but hoping for something similar to last year when we had solid close-to-home salmon action in May.

Weekend anglers should think about booking soon. The Argo typically is booked a couple months out on weekends by June. Most of those days are reserved for full-boat charters during the summer. There are still weekend dates available for halibut in April and May.

Big Water Crabbing

(Originally written for 11-2-2016 newsletter) Now that the salmon door is padlocked it’s time to look elsewhere for our ocean fare. That would be on the bottom where dungeness crab and various species of rockfish roam. Starting Saturday is the opening of crab season with prime time being the first couple weeks. Crabs have beenContinue Reading

Fall Fashion

In the past few weeks the Argo has been all over the chart. Running along the Marin coast for salmon and rockfish; up the bay for striped bass and halibut, and down bay to battle leopard sharks and other toothy bottom dwellers…Next week we’re heading west to the Farallon Islands. Most interest has been placedContinue Reading

Total Cooperation

The Argo has been very busy chasing a variety of species ranging from sharks in the bay, to salmon well beyond the Golden Gate. Fortunately, almost everything is biting in one form or another and generally eating well enough to keep everyone satisfied. Salmon have remained in a cooperative mood off the Marin coastline forContinue Reading

Take Your Pick

We finally reached that eclectic time of year when nearing anything is possible. Pick your poison and take your chances…Salmon are hanging off the Marin coast in seemingly better that expected numbers. In typical salmon fashion the success rate varies from day to day, but overall the Argo has averaged a fish per rod orContinue Reading

Live bait arrival

(May 4) Bay waters opened up and opportunities expanded with the arrival of live bait this week. This immediately translated into a nice mix of bass and halibut day one for the Argo. It also means increased versatility and working areas previously inaccessible to trolling. Wiggling anchovies on sharp hooks have already increased striped bassContinue Reading