San Pablo Bay

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Fishing in San Pablo Bay

Come fishing in San Pablo Bay and explore the biggest and most diverse estuary on the west coast. The reason these waters are so rich is the mix of saltwater from San Francisco Bay and freshwater from the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers. Not only will you find a variety of fish species to target, but you’ll also see some endangered birds in their natural habitat. Bring your binoculars! 
 
The main star of the show in San Pablo Bay is Sturgeon. This water dinosaur can be found in the bay all year, but winter months are the prime time. Striped Bass is another fish you’ll most likely get your hands on. It’s best to go after them from June–November, by trolling. Local specimens usually weigh around 10 pounds, which may not be trophy sizes, but they’re always fun to catch all the same! 
You could also land Starry Flounder, Leopard Shark, and White Seabass. For those of you willing to go south of the bay, there’s a chance of catching Halibut, King Salmon, Rockfish, and Lingcod. Not bad for a short boat ride!
 
To avoid San Pablo Bay’s mudflat shores, most fishing guides depart from Richmond, Paradise Cay, Berkeley, or Emeryville. Trips out of these bayside towns will have you reaching your Halibut and Salmon fishing spots in no time.
 

Rules & Regulations

All anglers over 16 need to buy a California fishing license before their trip.Fishing regulations change every year, so it’s best to ask your captain about current bag limits and what species are legal to keep.

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San Pablo Bay Fishing Seasons

Catching huge Sturgeon is the best way to start the year! The area called “The Sturgeon Triangle” is especially exciting.
 
The fishing scene still belongs to Sturgeon, as they lure the anglers of the area to San Pablo Bay. The best way to catch them is by trolling.
 
While Sturgeon fishing remains great, you can also go bottom fishing for Flounder.
 
Striped Bass takes center stage in April. If you go south of the bay, you’ll have the chance to catch lots of Halibut.
 
Bay fishing trips offer great Striper and Leopard Shark fishing. For more variety, go closer to the Golden Gate bridge to catch Halibut and Salmon.
 
June is one of those months when everything is biting. Chinook Salmon season is open, so try some fishing spots south of Richmond.
 
Salmon, Flounder, Striped Bass, and White Seabass  – they’re all biting like crazy! Take a full day trip and catch as many as you can.
 
White Seabass and Leopard Sharks are the best to target. Try “potluck fishing,” which is a local method that will help you to catch more fish.
 
Striper and Sturgeon will give you great action in the bay. Or, mix things up a little with a different technique and catch some other fish.
 
Striped Bass fishing gets even better as fall begins. Salmon season is almost over, so use this last chance to catch a few.
 
Leopard Shark and Striper are the main catch on most trips in the bay. They may be small, but there’s plenty of them.
 
The year ends with Sturgeon back on the throne. There’s even more of them in the bay and they are bigger than in other seasons.
 

San Pablo Bay Fishing Calendar

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Top Targeted Species in San Pablo Bay

Halibut

Halibut

Bass (Striped)

Bass (Striped)

Sturgeon

Sturgeon

Shark (Leopard)

Shark (Leopard)

Seabass (White)

Seabass (White)