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Dated: 28th July 2007
Location: USA/California /San Francisco Bay Area/Pacific Ocean
From our Pacific Ocean Fishing Correspondent Bob Fisher
San Francisco Fishing ChartersSan Francisco Fishing Charters
We met Captain Steve at 6:00 am as planned. During the Halibut, Rockfish and Salmon season his boat is moored at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco, right next to Tarantino's restaurant.

We unloaded our gear at the curb, right next to his boat and then Scott drove off to park the car. (Capt. Steve has parking validation so don't forget to get your ticket stamped when you leave.)

We had chartered the boat for ourselves, Scott Thudium, his son Anthony, Anthony's schoolmate Caleb Turner, his Dad Leland and myself. It was a very low tide so we had a steep climb down the ladder to his boat. Off course, Capt. Steve helped us with our coolers and bags... No rods and reels required as Capt. Steve provides you with quality tackle. Custom made Salmon and Halibut rods, Avet SX and MX reels and Penn 925's.

The weather had been dicey outside for the last week so the Capt. briefed us on our options: Drift the Berkeley Flats for Stripers and Halibut or poke our nose outside the Golden Gate and take a look. As the ocean would provide us with more options (the possibility of Salmon, Halibut, Ling Cod, Rockfish, Stripers) we decided to take a chance and go up the coast.

After we picked up a few scoops of live anchovy from the bait receiver, it took us about an hour to get up past Duxbury Bouy in the sturdy, full-keeled 32 footer that Steve bought in Alaska. Apart from the fog, the weather wasn't as bad as we had anticipated.

Within a very short period of time Capt. Steve had everyone baited up and in the water. The young fellas started out the day with undersized Ling Cod and some nice Rockfish and Vermillion. Scotty caught a few fish too while Leland and I just watched and waited. Eventually I caught a couple of undersized Lings myself with one of them going just half an inch below the legal size. Finally I got tuned in and some nice plump Rockfish and the biggest Ling of the day came my way.

Capt. Steve wouldn't hesitate to move when the bite dropped off and he'd either position us back over the good spot or he'd run a parallel drift near to it to try some new ground. When the tide dropped he said "lines up", we were going to move inshore to one of the Halibut spots that he has marked.

Well, he made a good call because we weren't there very long before my rod bent over in a solid arch and line peeled off the reel. I carefully fought the fish around the back of the boat and turned it's head when it got too close to the propeller. When I eventually got it near to the side of the boat we could see that it was a nice California Halibut (note: always make sure to keep it's head down below the surface) Capt. Steve finally said "lift your rod up", this dragged the fish the last few feet to the boat and into the waiting net. After the fish hit the deck, shouts of jubilation, high-fives and handshakes followed. Then out came the scales and the tape measure. The Halibut went thirty nine inches and weighed twenty six pounds, a personal best. It was quickly dispatched and put into the below-floor fish box.

A few more drifts with no success and we moved on to a different spot. This time it was young Anthony who hooked up using Flash's custom fly-rod/Avet reel combination. Anthony played the fish like a pro and his first Halibut and biggest fish to date soon joined mine in the fish box. (This one went 36" and 18lbs)

It was now late in the day and as we had a heap of fish in the box and a long trip home we decided to call it a day. While the mottley crew napped I had a couple of MGD's, took in the scenery and snapped a couple of pics of the tired but content anglers.

As always Capt. Steve worked hard to find us fish, he also looked after the youngsters and never complained when they hooked up on the bottom and lost rigs.

Back at the dock he also offered to clean the fish, which we agreed to. I helped out with a few because I know that he has to clean the boat after we leave, put away the gear and get ready for another day. Obviously you should always provide the Capt. or deckhands with a tip when they go out of their way like this.

I can honestly say that if I had hadn't already put so much time and money into my own Project Boat, I would just go with Capt. Steve on a regular basis. The way that he operates his six-pack charter service makes me feel like I'm just going out fishing with me mates when I'm on my boat. Whilst it costs slightly more per person, it's a totally different experience compared to fishing on the bigger 'cattle-boats'.

Captain Steve Talmadge runs Flash Fishing Charters http://www.flashfishing.net

...Bob Fisher