Oaklandís Waterfront Takes Center Stage at PortFest 2003
Oleta Adams to Star at PortFest 2003
Grammy-Winning Oakland Interfaith Choir on PortFest 2003
Bay Crossings Journal
Bay Crossings Poetry
Freeway Service Patrol Logs 1 Million Assists
Wine Festival by the Bay
How Do Bus Drivers Feel About Golden Gateís Financial Problems?
Paving the Way for Buses Ė The Great GM Streetcar Conspiracy
Port of Call: Cayenne, French Guyana
Opening of Argonaut Hotel in San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park
Changing of the Guard at San Franciscoís Last Shipyard
The Port Of Oakland Needs Your Help!
Taste of Oakland
East Bay French-American School To Host Annual "La Place Du Marche"
What the AC Transit Bus Driver Knows
The Iraq war reader
Judge Orders Carnival Cruise Line to Stop Illegal Dumping
On the Oakland Waterfront, Seafarers Club Breaks New Ground
Year of the Salmon!
WTA: For Whom the Bridge Tolls
New Ferry Building Sunday Garden Market Opening May 4th
San Francisco Bay
Vermeer Chocolate Martini
Oakland Arts Focus
Music Calendar - May 2003
In appreciation: David Clark
Water Transit Authority  WTA

Year of the Salmon!

Wacky Jackie Fishing Report

"This is a great season, a fantastic season to be fishing by the Farallone Islands! The counts of salmon returning up the rivers have topped 800,000. Attracted by notable ocean upwellings, plus all the rain washing excellent salmon food to sea has contributed to an increased salmon run for 2003 in our offshore waters," Jackie Douglas, owner or Wacky Jackie, reported.

Boats have been returning with full to half limit counts of salmon plus rock and bottom fish since the season opened April 12, 2003. The first two days, no boats could get out due to the storms. Like the start of this yearís crab season, as soon as the fishermen could get out, they were greeted with exceptional success. The sea lions are taking a small share from the bounty of the boats but they are not yet in large numbers. Take a page from the crab seasonĖtoss in your line while the fish are here. Salmon season is open until November 9th, but it is not recommended to hang back cutting bait. Go fish!

Jackie said, "Call up your favorite skipper and they will arrange everything. The cost for pole, license, weights (they drop off when a fish hits the line) and the boat ride is around $90 for the day. Hot coffee is available to warm up on as the boats head out at 6a.m. I recommend bringing a sack lunch, drinks (no hard liquor) and prepare for a variety of weather. Your captains knows weather Ė we all live by it. The captains are more tuned into the weather than TV forecasters. If a front is likely to roll in during your scheduled outing, creating hazardous conditions near the Farallones, the fishermen and ladies are given two choices, a rain check, or for the hardy, go fishing for halibut in the San Francisco Bay. Fishing in a storm in an open boat on the Bay is a challenge but they are catching halibut between 7 and 30 lbs primarily off Berkeley flats."

"So far this season, the ladies have been kicking it. They are so fun to watch. They keep each other going, jumping all around when they haul one in. They learn fast and get so excited they truly have a great time fishing. I love my fishermen too and mixed groups are great but ladies as a group really have fun fishing," said Jackie. She has been taking people fishing for 30 years in the ocean and Bay. As captain, Jackie has taken more than 80,000 people out to catch primarily salmon from April to November, some years working 150 days straight. It all started at age 35 when Jackie went fishing on a charter boat with her husband. She caught a bite size flounder and got hooked on fishing. After becoming a regular aboard the San Francisco charter boats, Al Spadaro was selling his boat in 1973 and talked her into buying it. In her 40s with four daughters, Jackie took a leap. She and her husband George managed to get a loan and business license, then Mom when to sea and George managed the home front.

"I love the ocean and all its rhythms and experiences," she often says. I shared a moment when a 30 lb halibut smacked my boat so hard I thought Iíd hit a buoy, only to realize Iíd disturbed it sunning as it swam away. Jackie recalled that off Stinson she had a Great White do the same thing. I only had big fish scales on my hull. I wondered what happened to her vessel, Wacky Jackie. When asked to fill in that tale she laughed and suggested, "Come out fishing. I have lots of stories to share." She is recognized as an informative naturalist, describing sea birds, marine life, and unusual occurrences on the ocean to her fishing passengers.

Asked the indelicate question of her age, Jackie said in her young, vibrant voice, "Iíll be 75 in October!" and giggled. Commenting that she did not sound like many 75 year olds in her telephone interview, she went on to say, "When people ask, I feel embarrassed because I feel so happy in what Iím doing. I donít feel 75 because I really love what I do. Iím sure that makes a big difference." She sent me a recent picture taken for a plaque for Lincoln High Schoolís "Wall of Fame" for life-time achievements along with classmates like Don Pitts, a radio personality, and John Burton, president of the State Senate and former Congressman. Seeing the picture, anyone can see why Jackie was the Queen of the 49erís at Kezar Stadium in her senior year at Lincoln High in 1946. It has been said that God doesnít take days away for time spent messing around in boats. Jackie is living proof of that.

If fishing for salmon strikes you as fun, there are many fine and interesting captains listed in the phone book for San Francisco, Sausalito, San Rafael, Berkeley, and Emeryville. Jackieís red and white 50í boat Wacky Jackie can take 18 on weekdays and 22 on weekends. To fish with Jackie, call to make reservations at (415) 586-9800.