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The Historic 1948 Striper Migration

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Capt. Kevin DeGulis reports on 5.31.18

San Francisco Bay 

Surf Fly Fishing is a unique way of catching striped bass ranging from the east coast all the way to the west. Although most California fly fishers prefer to fish from boats in the Delta, there are some who prefer the surf. I think what drives a surf fly fisher is the turbulent, noisy ocean, the smell of salt spray, and the thrill of catching a fish in whitewater these are the things that bring the persistent surf fly fisherman back every migration.


In 1948 San Francisco experienced a striper run like no other. The run started in July, where surf casting, temporality, became the leading method of fishing, thousands of anglers abandoned the quieter inland waters, for the roaring swell of Ocean Beach. Newspapers would have reported almost daily, showing images of anglers elbow to elbow for a 5 miles stretch. 

The run became so infamous that individuals who haven’t fished in decades dug out old tackle and would flock to the beach. So many stripers were taken in 1948, that the city’s meat and fish markets felt a minor depression. Now that we are in full swing with the striper migration on our nearby beaches, its good to reflect what fellow San Francisco’s did decades ago. Let’s hope the bass run like its 1948.  

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