A few weeks back I posted about the trip that Glenn and Jason took on the San Joaquin River Delta near Lodi, California with Captain Brad who runs the charter SalmonStriper.com. Well this past weekend the whole When The Line Goes Tight crew was able to book a trip out of the Berkeley Maria and do a Striper/Halibut combo on board the Happy Hooker charter.
We had been kicking around the idea of doing a charter trip for Jason’s 40th b-day which is coming up soon. So we started calling around and found that the Salmon season in the SF Bay hadn’t started off as hot as people had hoped but there were many reports that the Striped Bass bite was on and that there was some good sized California Halibut being landed as well.
Live bait was showing up and the Happy Hooker was one of the first boats to get their hands on some. So after following their Facebook page and seeing the boat limiting out on stripers on almost every trip it wasn’t a hard choice on who to book with.
We started our adventure Friday afternoon and left Reno around 5pm or so and drove over to Fairfield, California were we had a few hotel rooms booked for the night. Once checked in we had a nice steak dinner at a nearby restaurant and then headed to the rooms to try and rest up for the day ahead.
The 4 hours of sleep we tried to get before the alarms went off seemed to go by way too fast. But we were all excited to get to the boat and if you are like us, sleep can wait if the bite is on!
Check in on the boat was supposed to be at 5:30am, but when we showed up at 5am thinking we’d get to pick our spot we were welcomed with almost a full boat already. We laughed as it reminded us of a derby day at Pyramid Lake when you get your spot at 3am and sleep in your truck until it’s go time.
But there was more than enough room and we got our spots picked out, paid for our trip and tackle got our gear rigged up for what was going to be a great day of fishing.
The boat departed promptly at 6am and we were at the fishing grounds in less than 30 minutes. This was a live bait trip so you rig your gear with a 3 way swivel that your line attaches to, from there you have a tag line which you attached your weight (8oz to 12oz) and then comes your leader to your hook. You want to get your anchovy the bottom and then bounce your weight off of the bottom without getting hung up on the rocks and various other obstacles that were waiting eagerly to steal your tackle if given the opportunity.
The day started off a little slow but as the tides changed the bite really started to pick up. Our deck hand Mike had his work cut out for him when there were multiple hookups at the same time. Those stripers can take you for a ride and being a full boat you can imagine the tangled mess your lines can become.
The halibut bite never picked up with only boating 1 for the day. But we all went home with limits of striper and landed more than that. Between the fishing, weather, scenery and friends it was a trip to remember for sure.
If you’re looking for a legit charter with a hard working crew check out the Happy Hooker and tell them the boys from Reno with the noodle rods sent ya!