Most aboard were seated in the Morning Star’s large spacious cabin as we prepared for Tuesday’s (November 29) trip. The Deck Entrepreneur, always on the look out for a gratuity or crispy cream donut approached Tom V who was deeply engrossed in the most recent Fish Sniffer.

“Good morning Tom” greeted the Deck Hustler, “Ready for a great day of fishing?”

“Cicero said, “If you have a garden and a library you have everything” replied Tom.

“I feel the same way about a bag of deep fried pork rinds and a Dr. Pepper” replied the Deck Epicurean.

“Would you like to peruse my Fish Sniffer?” inquired Tom, “Dan Bacher has a fascinating article on the precipitous, perilous predicament facing the delta smelt and its inexorable correlation to the 2016 49ers 1 and 10 season!”

“I’d rather be captured by the Taliban” replied the Deck Freedom Fighter as bits of pork rind waifed from his scraggly beard and settled into Tom’s waiting cup of chai.

“When delta smelt are outlawed only outlaws with have delta smelt!” observed Nancy.

“(Expletive) Dan Bacher!” added TG. “You tell that (expletive) (expletive) tree hugger he can have my (expletive) delta smelt when he pries it from my cold stiff fingers!!”

“I really miss Nixon” noted Chuck.

“Make America great again” added Ray.

As the fishing boat scene from “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” continued to unfold, we departed our new digs at the Vallejo Marina and headed west to San Pablo Bay. First stop; The deep waters north of buoy 7.

No sooner were our lines in the water than Chuck L was hooked up with a very angry leopard shark. The big fish pool money was his!! For about 30 seconds. Andrea was next to yell “fish on!”, and after a lengthy battle dashed Chuck’s hopes for fame and fortune with another leopard the size of a Fiat. Ray U (who is fond of leopard shark filets) had his hands full with our next shark and eventually muscled his toothy adversary into the Deck Dogs’ massive net. It was obvious this shark was full of baby sharks, and though easily legal at 48″ Ray took the high road and set the expectant mother free. We continued to catch and lose (they really fight!) leopard sharks until the tide backed off a bit.

As the tide slowed down the sharks moved out and the bass moved in. Nancy (fishing just to the left of Tom V) was first to bag a bass, followed by Chuck, TG, and most everyone! Everyone except Tom V that is…

The Deck Psychologist, sensing Toms’ anxiety attempted to diffuse the situation. “Don’t forget about the book and the garden” suggested the Deck Mediator. “(Expletive) Cisero” roared Tom. “I want a (expletive) (expletive) bite!”

By now TG, Nancy, Chuck, Steve, Ray and Randy all had their limits of bass and there were still leopard sharks nibbling as well while Tom V watched idly in disbelief. Suddenly as if through Divine Intervention Tom V was hooked up! “Keep his head up” advised Chuck. “Follow your fish!” offered Nancy. “It better not be a (expletive) delta smelt” noted TG, “or that (expletive) Dan Bacher will throw you in the (expletive) slammer!”

No one made a sound as the Deck Dog stood by with his enormous (expletive) net and Tom reeled his prize up from the depths below. A collective gasp could be heard as Tom hoisted his catch…a wimpy, baby, crab aboard. “Oh that’s a nice one” observed Nancy. “Put that in your garden” offered Chuck “Got any more of those donuts?” inquired the Deck Dietitian?”

Well, this would be a good place to end this report, but in full disclosure Tom proceeded to not only limit out on bass, but also catch the biggest bass of the trip! We spent a couple hours in the afternoon fishing for sturgeon, but this day they manage to elude us. 

Bottom line; 13 bass and 6 (kept) leopard sharks. Good(expletive) fishing, Gordon Hough




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Rolf J (aka The Nordic Peril) is…lucky. When he was out last week he not only caught a nice halibut, but he also beat me out of $5!

Now it certainly doesn’t take a degree in Luck-ology to be me out of 5 bucks. I’m not a very good angler, and most anyone willing to wager (with the possible exception of Norm G) is virtually guaranteed bridge fare by days end. But this is just the beginning of the Nordic Peril’s serendipitous serenade.

After leaving the harbor with his winnings and fish, Nordic Peril stopped at the gas station to buy some kipper snacks and goat cheese for the drive home and used MY FIVE DOLLARS to purchase a scratch off ticket.

If you guessed he won another $5 you would be…wrong. Rolf used my $5 to win another $5000!

But the Nordic Peril’s gondola of gratuitous gambling had not yet arrived at the station.

“What’s left” you might ask “the Lottery?”  Yes, as a matter of fact, the Nordic Peril proceeded to win the lottery (see below).

Needless to say, news of said windfall spread faster than exiting fans at a chili cook off, and as we departed on Tuesday morning (Sept. 20) all aboard were well aware of the Nordic Perils’ good fortune.

Eager to secure funding for his planned llama ranch the Deck Shepard was first to greet the now Living Legend aboard. “May I get you anything NP, a moist towelette, mint, a llama skin hat band?” inquired  Deck Abbreviator.

“Ingenting!” (Nothing!) barked the Peril, his shiny greyish hair glistening from a heavy dose of cod liver oil conditioner.

First stop; Fisherman’s Wharf for some bait and anything else Rolf could possible desire.

There was still a trickle of outgoing current and a pretty stiff SW breeze as we left The Wharf, so we put on the 12 ounce weights and headed for the deep waters west of Angel Island. Almost immediatelty Norm P (fishing just left of The Peril) was hooked up with our first halibut of the day.

“Synggt” (nice one) grumbled Rolf.

“Would you like a bite of my llama burger NP?” inquired the Deck Nutritionist? It’s healthier than beef and leaner than chilli cheese dogs. Our slogan is “LLama, the other brownish purple meat.”

“Nej!” (No!) the clearly agitated Scandinavian replied.

Tom G was next to hook up with a rare 7 pound bass. To the surprise of no one, Gary (who caught his limit of halibut the previous week) was next to hook up and made quick work of a nice 12 pound butt. The tide fizzled out and we headed for Richardson Bay (aka Bat Ray Bluff).

There was plenty of action at Bat Ray Bluff between shakers, bat rays our second guitar fish of the year and our third legal halibut of the day thanks to Chuck L. Alas the Nordic Peril had nary a knapra (nibble). Time for some rock cod!

It was a little sloppy outside the Gate, so we headed for the tranquil waters of Kirby Cove. There was a pretty steady bite of brown and black cod and though there were no legal lings there were plenty of frustratingly close shakers.

Everyone seemed to be having fun so we settled into a nice afternoon of cod catching. Suddenly the clearly perturbed Deck Psychiatrist approached the wheel house. “The Nordic Peril does not like rock cod fishing” he whispered. Enough said. “REEL THEM UP WE ARE OUT OF HERE!!”  Next stop; Paradise Cove.

Normally Paradise Cove is better on the outgoing tide, but lately we have been catching fish on both tides, and sure enough moments after we began Chuck L was hooked up with his second halibut of the day.

Skit! (Expletive!) grumbled Rolf.

It was getting late and most aboard were watching their watches more than their rods when suddenly the Viking Prince eased his platinum plated diamond encrusted Gamagitsu rod and reel from its holder. In an instant most everyone in Marin County heard “FISKA PA!” (FISH ON!). 

“Det ar en stor en! Hjalp mig llama pojke!  (It’s a big one, help me llama boy!) the Viking roared. As Rolf made plans to add Tuesdays jackpot to his already burgeoning portfolio the Deck Investor raced to his side, dollar signs in his eyes, with his comically large net.

A collective gasp could be heard as our aged deckhand lowered his massive net into the bay waters only to retrieve a halibut the size of…a llama burger.

“Mitt liv ar forstort och jag ar skyldig allt stii Morgonst Jarnan!” (My life is ruined and I owe it all to the Morning Star!). I feel your pain Rolf, I feel your pain…

From a hero to a zero, a broken man, the Nordic Peril  staggered back to his Maserati and headed for home.

Bottom line; Four halibut, one striped bass, one shovel nosed guitar fish and a smattering (smattering; Less than 40 but more than 20) black and brown rock fish. Bra Fiske, Gordon Hough




As we headed out Tuesday (August 30) with bait in the tank and crappy tides, the normally glum Norm P was beaming with confidence. As a recent member of a live studio audience for the Dr. Phil show,  Norm was a glow with enthusiasm and ready to tackle one of his biggest obstacles in life. To catch a fish…any fish. All aboard have been supportive of Norm over the years in his seemingly impossible quest, but alas Norm’s only halibut success to date has been his weekly visits to Costco Sportfishing.

Idahg dagen!” (Today’s the day!) bellowed fellow angler Rolf as he rubbed a full can of kipper snacks over his face and hands to honor his Nordic ancestors. “The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty” replied Norm. “Never eat spaghetti in the street unless you find a fork in the road” chimed the Deck Philosopher.

Big tides call for shallow water. First stop the Berkeley flats.

There’s a million halibut in the flats these days. Sadly, most are too small. And sure enough shortly after stopping there were kabillions of shakers. Incredibly, this even included Norm who caught what certainly appeared to be the smallest halibut ever landed. All aboard chuckled at Norm’s minuscule prize as he held it near his beaming face for a “selfie”.  “You can tell the size of a man by the size of the thing that makes his mad” beamed Norm. “It’s a wise lobster who knows the strength of his own claws” concurred the Deck Psychologist while finishing up a massive bag of deep fried pork rinds with a Dr. Pepper chaser. No sooner had Norm released his tiny catch to its waiting mother than he was hooked up again. “Take your time with him Norm” advised the Deck Connoisseur as he wiped the last remnants of his pork rind breakfast from his beard and lowered the net near the water. “We need the sweet pain of anticipation to tell us we are really alive.” observed Norm, his voice cracking with excitement . To the delight of all (with the possible exception of Costco), Norm was actually going to take home a fish that wasn’t wrapped in Saran Wrap. Tom G was next to hook up a non shaker, and before long had landed the largest brown and white flat fish of the day. Sadly, it was a Shovel Nose Guitar Fish (see below). “What disappoints us most in life, is the picture in our head of how it’s supposed to be” counseled Norm. We caught one more legal halibut and headed for Alcatraz.

It was too windy at The Rock when arrived, but we did manage to stay long enough for Don M to beat me out of $5 with a 10 pound halibut and lose a second butt just short of the net. Next stop Angel Island.

Angel Island was too windy. Off to Raccoon Straits.

The weather was beautiful in the Straits, and as if by Divine Intervention, or possibly Dr. Phil Intervention Norm was hooked up again, and before long had landed his second legal fish of his life…I mean the day. “Happiness is a gift and the trick is not to expect it, but to delight in it when it comes” bellowed Norm as he hugged the somewhat bewildered Deck Teddy Bear. The water was really running out now and everyone scrambled to ready a fresh bait for the next very short drift. And who was the next to hook up? You guessed it. Possibly the worst…I mean unluckiest angler on earth was moments away from halibut limits. “I love you Dr.Phil!” shouted Norm as he engaged in a celebration dance seen only once before in a National Geographic Special.

Well, at this point most everyone aboard was so emotionally exhausted the fish had little to worry about. We did manage a couple more halibut (including the 24 pound jackpot winner) and a 7 pound bass. Thanks to Norm, all aboard (with the possible exception of the Deck Dog) left for home with a metaphysical oneness seldom experienced without hallucinogenic assistance.

Bottom Line; 8 halibut, 1 striped bass, and one Shovel Nosed Guitar Fish for 12 enlightened anglers.FullSizeRender 39
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The week in review…

Greetings, Here’s the news from this past week

Tuesday July 19. Chuck L is a blast from the past. From his paisley painted VW bus with the faded “McGovern for President” bumper sticker,  to the hand carved (by Ravi Shankar) wooden peace sign worn above his lucky “Village People” t-shirt. Some say he was trapped in an elevator for 6 hours playing the 24 hour BeeGee’s channel, others suggest he hasn’t caught a fish since Nixon’s resignation. Whatever the reason may be, Chuck is a glimpse into the tumultuous 70’s. With bait in the tank and Chuck seated in the lotus position atop the motorbox nibbling a peyote blossom we headed for the San Francisco waterfront. First to hook up was “If It Bites It Dies Jose”. The halibut bit..the halibut died. Next to hook up was “If It Bites It Dies Jose”. The bass bit…the bass died. We caught another halibut and headed for Harding Rock for some bass. And there were a few, but not many. Time for the straits for more bass! There were a few, but not many. Suddenly we found ourselves in the midst of a weather phenomena. It was afternoon and the wind wasn’t blowing a gale! “Far Out” observed the Deck Hippy.“What a mind bender!” agreed Chuck. We returned to the usually off limits Alcatraz on a rare calm afternoon for the top of the tide, and the halibut were waiting! “If It Bites It Dies Jose”started us off. Yes, it died. Suddenly from the bow, Chuck frantically shouted “I’ve achieved a transcendental metaphysical oneness with the cosmos!” “Translation please” I queried the Deck Flower Child. “I think Chuck has a fish on” he replied. And indeed he did, and it was a whopper! All aboard gasped as the huge brown shadow emerged from the depths. The Deck Gypsy, wiping the remnants of a tofu/hummus burger on his Grateful Dead t-shirt lowered his massive net into the water as Chuck guided his prize in for a landing. In an instant the fish did an about face and exited the scene!  Nine times out of ten that fish would be aloha, but for some reason he was still on the hook! Suddenly, Chuck, tears streaming from behind his blue tinted oval shaped John Lennon sunglasses began to chant “Krishna Krishna Hari Krishna” over and over. In an outpouring of peace and love, all aboard joined in the chant “Krishna Krishna Hari Krishna”, “Krishna Krishna Hari Krishna”. Well, call it divine intervention, a blast from the past, or a peyote induced hallucination, Chuck’s halibut surfaced and voluntarily, swam into Deck Moonbeam’s waiting net. All aboard agreed they had just witnessed a totally tubular event. “My soul has been psychedelicized” muttered the now exhausted Chuck. Groovy.

Bottom line; 9 halibut and 13 bass for 11 hippies.

Wednesday July 20. Hoping for a repeat, our first stop was the bait dock and again the SF waterfront. There were a couple halibut and the wind was building. We headed for Harding Rock for some waiting bass. And they were waiting, and hungry. Though not a wide open bite bite it was steady, and before long we had our limits. We hoped for a repeat at Alcatraz, but it was just too windy. We did manage one halibut before we ducked for cover in Raccoon Straits. Two more halibut and several more bass (which we released) and it was time to go home. Bottom Line; Limits of bass (22) and 5 halibut for 11 anglers.

Saturday July 23. With bait in the tank we were hoping the bass would be waiting in Raccoon Straits. We whipped this dead horse over and over for one fish. In hindsight this was PILOT ERROR! The bass were biting at Mel’s reef. By the time we figured that one out the tide was nearly over, but we still managed 7 bass and one gigantic leopard shark. The tide fizzled and we returned to Harding Rock. It was very windy, and eventually too windy, but we did catch six more bass. Off to tranquil Richardson Bay for tons of halibut. Make that “a couple halibut”. Bottom Line; 13 bass and 2 halibut for 10 wind blown anglers.

Sunday July 23. “No fooling around in the straits, we’re going to Mel’s Reef and annihilate the bass!” I informed the Deck Annihilator. Apparently the bass didn’t get the memo . We caught one. Off to Crissy Field to annihilate the halibut. We annihilated one. Back to the straits to annihilate anything that swims. Two bass. By now the wind was howling and returned to Richardson Bay looking for a home run. Though nothing hot and heavy there was a steady bite of landed and escaped halibut.

Bottom Line’ 10 halibut, 2 bass and 1 leopard shark for 15 annihilators.

Below are some pictures from the last 3 trips. Good fishing, Gordon Hough


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The breezy week in review…

Saturday June 11.  Saturday morning was a beauty, calm with very good tides. After a brief stop at the bait dock for a tank smallish but perky bait, we headed for Treasure Island for the start of the outgoing tide. We managed a couple bass and a halibut or two while first timers were honing their fishing skills and marveling at the precision Morning Star rental equipment. Next stop; Raccoon Straits where we caught…nothing. The incoming tide began to flow, and we headed for Richardson Bay (aka Bat Ray Bluff) for the start of the flood. The halibut were biting, as were a bass or two, and the fish box had a layer of flat fish when we returned to Raccoon Straits for the incoming tide and incoming bass. And they were biting! Bottom line; 29 bass and 7 halibut.

Sunday June 12. As we left Loch Lomond Sunday morning the weather was just awful. “A good skipper would go back in and give these poor people their money back” advised the Deck Humanitarian. “A good skipper probably doesn’t have a Visa Card bill the size of mine either” I replied while simultaneously hitting him in the knee with the fish club. He hobbled aft and went work. With bait in the tank our first stop was Paradise Cove which was anything but Paradise. Still, it was fishable and we spent most of the outgoing tide there ending up with 9 halibut before our departure. Like Saturday, we headed to Richardson Bay for the first of the incoming tide. Too rough! We sheepishly joined the rest of the fleet on the east side of Alcatraz hiding from nature’s fury and caught one halibut. The tide changed and we returned to Raccoon Straits where we had done well the day before. Thankfully, the bass were waiting. Bottom line; 34 bass and 10 halibut.

Monday June 13. We had to return to the bait dock on Monday, but no matter, the tide was perfect for Alcatraz. The tide was perfect, the weather not so much. The “Shameless Money Grab” weather was just too windy to keep the baits down. We headed to the not so flat Berkeley flats. There was constant halibut action, but all that we landed were too small. Off to our ace in the hole, Paradise Cove. We caught a few legal and quite a few undersize halibut, but it was time for the “sure thing” bass attack in Raccoon Straits! Apparently the bass didn’t get the memo. In a day we went from a hero to a zero! We caught a few more halibut and lost halibuzilla (sorry Nick) but Not A Single Bass! Bottom line; Seven halibut and zero bass.

Tuesday June 14. It was supposed to once again blow a gale, but this day the weatherman got it wrong. With bait in the tank we headed for The Rock for the last of the incoming tide. Tom G was here last week too and saw anglers to the left and right of him catch halibut while he merely watched the water go by. In fact, that has been Tom’s mantra all season. This day Tom knew most everyone aboard, and in fact feeds most everyone aboard on his weekly trips. And we’re not talking Beenie Weenies with Velveeta dip either!  This day it was lox and bagels with cream cheese, thinly sliced tomatoes and onions with properly placed capers, and a side order of fresh pineapple and cherries. Three or four drifts without so much as a nibble, and Tom was getting the blues. “Deja vu all over again” was written on his face. Fresh off an L Ron Hubbard sleep over and Smores Party the Deck Psychologist took charge. “Better to die on your feet than live on your knees” he roared, bits of salmon and cream cheese still clinging to his oddly trimmed beard. All aboard seemed inspired by the Deck Patriots words of wisdom, and before long Tom was first to yell “Fish On!” and made quick work of our first halibut. “In order to succeed, we must first believe that we can” shouted the clearly inspired Tom. We tried the east side of the island too, but caught nothing. Back to the Straits. There were a few fish but not much. The tide was ebbing and we returned to Paradise Cove. The wind was blowing there, and it was blowing the wrong direction for a proper drift, but it would take more than a weather faux pas to deter Tom this day. “We must become the change we wish to see in the world!” roared Tom, as another halibut lay  flopping on the end of his line. In spite of Tom’s miracle catch it was just too windy and we headed back to the Straits. There was a bass here and a halibut there but it was getting late, so we left for Richardson Bay for the last hurrah. The last hurrah was reserved for Tom this day who was once again hooked up with his third halibut of the day.“Anything one man can imagine other men can make real” Tom shouted while holding his catch over his head in a bizarre victory dance for all the world to see. Thanks in no small part to the wisdom of the Deck Scientologist, Tom had limited out!! Bottom Line; 7 halibut and 3 striped bass.

Wednesday June 15. The weatherman predicted Armageddon, and this day he got it right. “These winds are not good for my complexion” advised the Deck Cosmetologist, I think we should go in!” “Having me whip you like a red headed stepchild may not be good for your complexion either” I replied. “Now take that lifejacket off and at least appear enthusiastic.” After a brief stop at the bait dock we headed for Mel’s Reef. It was unlikely the baits would make it to the bottom with this much wind, but for bass they just need to be near the bottom. It was sloppy and miserable, but there were a few fish. TG (aka Bass Whisperer) made quick work of his limit, and there were a couple others as well. It finally got too rough and we slipped over to the the west side of Alcatraz. Also too rough! Bat Ray Bluff. Too rough! Raccoon Straits. Rough but not too rough. We caught a couple bass but it finally got too rough there too. We crossed our fingers and headed for Paradise Cove. It was windy but fishable and there was plenty of action. Two aboard Dan K and George H both caught their limits of halibut while the rest of us missed and shook undersize halibut for the remainder of this miserable day. Bottom Line 6 bass and 6 halibut for nine hearty, wind blown souls. Below are a few pictures from this past week. Good fishing, Gordon Hough

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We headed out on a warm, balmy Saturday morning (June 4) with many aboard dressed in shorts and t-shirts befitting the weather this past week. Always risky business when planning a day on the bay. After a brief stop at the bait dock for a tank of primo bait we headed for the flats.

These were huge minus tides this weekend, which limits us to shallow water fishing. When we arrived, the flats weren’t so flat, and many aboard were rethinking their wardrobe decisions immersed in the icy horizontal fog as the short steep waves splashed against the boat. There’s a lot of halibut in the flats now, most of which (on this day) were shakers. We caught a couple legal fish, but between the 6+ foot incoming tide and the 20+ knots of SW wind the drift was just too fast. Out the Gate for some cod!

The rock fishing was much better than it was our last outing, and though we didn’t fish on the rocks for long, most aboard were planning a fish taco dinner as we headed back to Raccoon Straits for the first of the outgoing tide.

Though anything but red hot, there was a steady bass pick for the remainder of the day.

Bottom line 15 bass, 2 halibut and a smattering of red, black and blue rock fish for 14 frozen anglers.

Good fishing, Gordon Hough

Miki Accomazzo

As we headed out Tuesday (May 31) with primo tides, primo anglers and “smallish” though usable bait we found ourselves engulfed in pea soup fog and and an ever increasing SW wind howling through the Gate. First stop Alcatraz for the last trickle of the incoming tide.

In a rare moment of understatement the the Deck Meteorologist noted  “This weather is most unpleasant”. Yes indeed. Even though the tide was slack the drift was nearly too fast because of the wind.

TG (rumored to be the best striped bass fisher person on earth) proved he’s no One Trick Pony by being first to hook up a nice halibut. Another halibut soon followed to the right of Tom G, followed by a hook up and Alcatraz escapee to the left of Tom G. Shortly thereafter TG (aka Bass Whisperer) was hooked up again, and this was no mamsy pamsy halibut! It took awhile, but he finally muscled the 32 pound jackpot winner into the waiting Deck Athlete’s monstrous net. We lost as many halibut as we caught, and when the nasty cold weather droves us away we had only managed four halibut for the 13 anglers aboard. Next stop; The tranquil waters of Raccoon Straits. There was a steady pick of bass (we caught 8), but this was a halibut trip! Off to Paradise Cove for the outgoing tide.

The weather was beautiful,  but the fishing was…dreary. A couple shakers halibut and one beauty was all we could manage. Bottom Line; 5 halibut and 8 bass for 13 anglers.


As head headed out on Wednesday (June 1) with bait in the tank, primo tides and an additional hour of incoming tide, we were looking to make halibut fishing history!

“This weather sucks!” observed the Deck Vulgarian. Potty mouth was right,  the weather was even nastier than the day before. First stop; St. Francis Yacht Club for practice. Nary a nibble. Second Stop. Mel’s Reef. Three drifts yielded 2 bass and a halibut. The tide backed off and it was Alcatraz Time! Sadly, this day Alcatraz time wasn’t meant to be. The weather was just too windy to keep the baits on the bottom. We headed out the Gate for some cod fishing.

First stop; Bonita Cove. The weather was nice and we caught some fish but they really weren’t biting.

Next stop; Pt.Diablo  The weather was nice and we caught some fish but they really weren’t biting.

Next stop; Kirby Cove.  The weather was nice and we caught some fish but they really weren’t biting.

The windy weather finally caught up with us and we headed back in the bay and the tranquil waters of Raccoon Straits. Thankfully, there was enough action to finish off the day with some nice size bass and another halibut before our windy, sloppy ride home. 

Bottom line; 4 halibut, 15 bass and a smattering of rock cod. I’ve put a few pictures of our last two trips below.

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June Tides

June 1.   ******
June 2.   *****
June 3.   ***
June 4.   ***
June 5.   ***
June 6.   **
June 7.   **
June 8.   **
June 9.   **
June 10. ***
June 11. ****
June 12. *****
June 13. ******
June 14. *******
June 15. *******
June 16. *******
June 17. *******
June 18. ******
June 19. *****
June 20. *****
June 21. ****
June 22. ***
June 23. ***
June 24. ***
June 25. ***
June 26. ***
June 27. ****
June 28. *****
June 29. ******
June 30. *******
Editors Note;The days with the fewest stars are extreme tide changes, and generally not so hot for halibut. Unless the halibut are in the flats, in which case those dates could be epic! Be sure to call for an update.

Suffering Succotash It’s Already May!


Greetings friends,
To the relief of edgy, stressed out  sturgeon everywhere, the Morning Star has returned to the Loch Lomond Marina in San Rafael for another year of “Potluck” fishing in San Francisco Bay.

Our catch includes halibut, striped bass, rock cod, ling cod, gigantic sharks and anything else that happens to bite our tasty anchovy offerings.
For those of you with no desire to see your breakfast a second time around, most of our fishing is done in San Francisco Bay and not the often nauseating ocean.

Your trip may include stops at Alcatraz, Angel Island and Richardson Bay with a side order of Treasure Island, Paradise Cove and Crissy Field, not to mention a possible visit to fish infested Raccoon Straits and scores of other halibut hot spots far too secret to be posting on the Internet.

Bring your  warm clothes, camera, gigantic lunch (our deck hand is borderline anorexic and could use your help) and a little luck and join us for a day of “Potluck” fishing on our picture postcard bay! 
PARKING CHANGEThere’s a massive construction project going on at the Loch Lomond Marina which has created a parking problem. The problem you may ask? There is no harbor parking. We must park on the street (N. San Pedro Rd.) in front of the harbor. Best bet is to drive up to the boat, drop off your stuff and then park your car. 
Nice One Michelle!
Color Coordinated Catch!
Captain Eric Anfinson Of The Bass Tub Is Thrilled That Rock Cod Season Opened Early This Year!
Another Satisfied Customer!

Halibut Tacos With  Holy Guacamole Sauce
4 pieces fresh Morning Star caught halibut, steak or filets, 6 to 8 ounces each
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Salt and pepper
1 lime, juiced
3 small to medium ripe Haas avocados, pitted and scooped from skins with a large spoon
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, eyeball it
1 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon coarse salt, eyeball it
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 scallions, thinly sliced on an angle
1 heart Romaine lettuce
12 soft (6-inch) flour tortillas
Preheat a grill pan or indoor grill to high heat or, prepare outdoor grill. Drizzle Morning Star caught halibut with extra-virgin olive oil to keep fish from sticking to the grill pan or grill. Season fish with salt and pepper, to your taste. Roll lime on the counter top to get juices flowing. Also, any under ripe citrus may be placed in a microwave oven for 10 seconds at high setting to induce the juices to flow. Grill fish 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until opaque. Squeeze the juice of 1 lime down over the fish and remove from the grill pan or grill. Flake fish into large chunks with a fork.
While Morning Star caught fish is cooking, in a blender or food processor, combine avocado flesh, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, yogurt and salt. Process guacamole sauce until smooth. Remove guacamole sauce to a bowl and stir in diced tomatoes and chopped scallions. Shred lettuce and reserve.
When Morning Star caught fish comes off the grill pan or grill, blister and heat soft taco wraps. To assemble, break up fish and pile some of the meat into soft shells and slather with guacamole sauce. Top with shredded lettuce, fold tacos over and enjoy!
To Speed Up The Fish Measuring Process  Deck Dog Mike Is Sporting A Brand New Tattoo!
Typical Day Of Fishing On The Morning Star
Typical Day Of Fishing On The Morning  Star

Huge Halibut
Huge Halibut
Interesting Halibut Trivia

Take care handling a California halibut. It has what is unusual for a flatfish-a large mouth with many sharp teeth. And it bites!

California halibut hide by burying themselves up to their eyes in the sandy seafloor. Although they seem to be a lazy fish, they’re quite active. They swim in anchovy schools and even leap out of the water while chasing an anchovy (their favorite food).

A flatfish begins life as a normal-looking fish larva with an eye on each side of its head. But in about 13 days one eye starts roving, migrating around the head to take its place next to the other eye. When the change is complete, the halibut is still less than one inch (2.5 cm) long, but ready to live life sideways. Each species matures either with the right side up or with the left side up except the California halibut, which seem able to go either way.

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As we headed out Wednesday January 20 with rare dry skies, flat calm weather and primo tides, Norm P assumed his usual spot on the port bow. Norm travels the world in his quest for fishing adventure and knew these tides were special. From the ferocious hordes of bluegill and crappie that keep Lake Berryessa swimmers at bay to the ravenous under size bass of the Napa River, Norm has seen it all. For further proof of Norm’s fishing prowess one need look no further than  just above the trophy covered mantle (and just below Fish Sniffer CEO Dan Bachers’ picture) of his home where a massive rainbow trout that fell prey to a pink marshmallow at the Cow Palace Boat Show is on display for all to admire.

Yet, in spite of this worldly pursuit of action and adventure, sturgeon have remained elusive to Norm.

As Deck Dog Mike lowered the anchor in Hot Spot Number One (Sonoma Creek)  Norm eased his Walmart Walleye Whacker rod and Zebco Sturgeon Spanker (as seen on tv!) reel from its protective case. “Let’s Dance!”  shouted Norm as the somewhat startled (though delighted)  “Disco Deck Dog” thought he was sincere. There was just enough tide to catch a couple 7 pound bass which were welcomed aboard.

It was slack water and we were on our way to China Camp.

No sooner were the lines in the water north west of the Pumphouse when Jim H yelled “Fish on the stern!”. Moments later our first keeper sturgeon of the day jumped and splashed about and dragged poor Jim all around the boat in its futile attempt to escape. All aboard cheered and applauded as the Deck Weight Lifter dumped the obvious keeper from his monstrous net onto the deck. All aboard but Norm that is. No time for such trivialities. 

Moments later the Walmart Walleye Whacker rod with the Zebco Sturgeon Spanker (as seen on tv!) reel were hooked up! “Fish On The Bow!!” bellowed Norm. Could this be the elusive sturgeon that has become Norms’ life pursuit? The Walmart Walleye Whacker groaned under the pressure as the Deck Athlete stood by with his ridiculously large net. Moments later (thanks to our Deck Kung Fu Masters’ cat like reflexes) an 18 1/4 inch bass was squirming about on the deck. “That’s even bigger than my rainbow trout from the Boat Show!” screamed the clearly delighted angler. The action fizzled and we weighed anchor.

Next stop “Gee Spot” (so named for a legendary Morning Star angler).

By the time we arrived at Hot Spot Number Three the tide was right and the sturgeon were biting! Bill H was first to hook up. Between the fast tide and faster fish we nearly had to chase this one down, and when it finally did surface (about 30 minutes later) it looked way too big…but close enough to measure. To the delight of all (with the possible exception of Jim H who bid aloha to his pool money) this one was just right at 58″ to the fork of the tail. Dennis P was next to hook up and made quick work of a feisty 47″ sturgeon. While he was battling, the now greedy Bill H was hooked up again! Briefly. This one got away. All the while this was going on there were enough legal bass and shaker sturgeon to make for an interesting afternoon for most aboard.

Just as the clock was about to run out on Wednesdays’ trip the Walmart Walleye Whacker was hooked up again. And this was no 18 1/4 inch bass! This fish zoomed under the boat and around the boat dragging Norm on a Morning Star tour with the Deck Ballerina in hot pursuit with his silly net. When the behemoth finally emerged from the muddy depths all aboard gasped! This was no sturgeon, but rather a gigantic bass!!!

“This is the greatest day of my life!” shouted the ecstatic angler. Mine too Norm…mine too.

Bottom line Three sturgeon, ten normal bass and one gigantic bass. Good fishing, Gordon Hough

Norm Perry
Bill Hogberg Jim Hurlburg


Dennis Pangburn

Greetings friends, After a brief stop for a “shave and a haircut” (A shipyard expression meaning “Give us every cent you’ve had, have and ever will have or we won’t put your boat back in the water”)  the Morning Star has returned to the Crockett Marina and will begin sturgeon, bass and shark fishing trips on Monday October 26.

Usually it’s bass and shark fishing with just a side order of sturgeon fishing until (if?) we get some rain.

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