Where are the halibut and stripers at Crissy?

by Thomas Beutel

I went fishing yesterday at Crissy Field. I had one bite on my swimbait that felt like a surf perch. This year is nothing like it was two years ago. There seem to be plenty of halibut being caught in the south bay where it is clearer.

But so far this year, no stripers and no halibut have revealed themselves to me at Crissy beach. Certainly the rainy winter has had something to do with it. But mostly I think it is about bait fish. In March and April I did see small baitfish jumping. I even found a 2 inch anchovy on the beach at the beginning of April. But now the baitfish are gone. Obviously if the dinner table has no food, the guests will not hang around.

I’m not sure what drives the baitfish. Is it the plankton or lack thereof in the water? Is it fresh water in the system? Is it warmth? And what about the warm and cold spells we are having right now.

Here is what I’m guessing. The previous years were drought years. The whole bay was saltier and warmer. With the flood waters coming down from the Sacramento and Feather, the north bay is colder and less saline. The baitfish that did not move out the gate went to the south bay.

When will it change? Probably not until June or July, depending on how much warm weather we get. I’ll be interested to see if my prediction is correct.