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Shark fishing: lots of sport, beginners welcome.

Indian summer, when days are mild and bay waters calm and flat, is a fine time to try shark fishing. You don't need to take a long, seasickness-inducing boat trip. Staying inside the Golden Gate, you get good fishing action; a high probability of success (even forneophytes); and lots of delicate, unfishy-tasting meat (cook it like swordfish).

Using light salt-water tackle (20- to 30-pound test), you can catch dogfish (actually a small shark; they run 5 to 30 pounds) and leopard sharks (to about 25 pounds). With heavier gear and 40- to 60-pound test, go for soupfins (50 to 70 pounds, fine eating, and capable of long, frenzied runs full of wild fight) or cow sharks (100 pounds and up). Use 6-foot wire leaders: sharks have teeth. Bait with squid or midshipman fish.

Several party boats specialize in shark. The Fury, out of Point San Pablo (510/357-4390), concentrates exclusively on shark, year-round. The Marauder (from Crockett: 510/787-1047) fishes for shark this time of year, as does the Nobilis (from Point San Pablo: 510/757-2946). Other boats, called potlucks, try shark when the conventional fishery is overcrowded. Cost runs $40 to $50 for a day's fishing--with gear, bait, and fish cleaning provided (a worthwhile service: shark must be cleaned very promptly). Book a week ahead.

If you have your own boat, try shark fishing off Alcatraz or Angel Island or near the shipping channels, on a slack tide. Bring gloves and pliers for removing the hooks.
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Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sunset's Travel Guide; San Francisco and San Pablo Bays
Date:Oct 1, 1991
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