Ken’s Appearance on Hookin’ Up with Mariko Izumi

Below is a review of the day Brian Linebarger, Robert Gardner and myself spent with Mariko Izumi in San Francisco. This was back in September, 2009.

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Mariko Izumi who does a “travel show with a fishing spin” on the WFN – World Fishing Network. She wondered if I would be willing to take her to a couple of piers and show her some pier fishing in San Francisco. It would provide the fishing segment for the San Francisco show. She would be visiting San Francisco and then be heading on to Portland and Seattle to do two additional shows. With some hesitation, I agreed.

I told her that September was often the best time to visit San Francisco since the weather is usually beautiful in the fall, but I also told her that I was a little concerned that it was a little between the seasons for the various fish. A little late for halibut, a little early for the “World Series” striper bite, a little early for sturgeon, and not the best time for perch. But, it is what it is. She said that it wouldn’t be a problem.

What piers should I take her too? I decided we would visit Pier 7 and the Fort Point Pier. Pier 7 usually has some sharks and rays available as well as jacksmelt, and would provide some great pictures as far as a downtown, urban-type pier. Fort Point always has some perch, usually a pelagic or two (jacksmelt, sardines, and lately mackerel) and perhaps might yield up a striper or halibut. Fort Point also presents great views of the Golden Gate, the Bay, and The City.

I then asked Robert and Brian if they wanted to be part of the show. Both are long time Bay Area regulars and I thought between the three of us we should be able to find Mariko some fish.

Unfortunately it was a really unusual, wild and wacky day.

Saturday morning turned out to be a morning with thunder, lightning, and rain, and that’s what we saw when got to the pier. The three of us were at the pier early, around 7:30, while Mariko and her crew were to join us at 9 AM. Shortly after arrival a decent-sized bat ray was caught at the end along with a legal-size leopard shark. Regulars then began to catch some sardines and small mackerel on the sides of the pier. I joined them with a Sabiki but couldn’t catch a single sardine or mackerel even though fishing next to them. Instead all I got was a small walleye and an anchovy. I’m not sure what Brian and Robert got during that flurry of action but at least it looked like there would be some fish to film.

However, the rain began to come down more heavily and when Mariko arrived at 9AM it was raining too hard to film. She and her crew went off to get some breakfast while the rest of us endured the rain. I’m not sure I had ever seen rain in San Francisco in early September, and certainly not the thunder and lightning that we experienced, but we were willing to put up with it for some fish.

By the time Mariko returned the rain had stopped. However, the fish had also apparently moved on. They certainly weren’t biting. No one on the pier was catching any fish—baitfish or big fish. Even though there were probably fifteen or so big poles lining the front of the pier not a single fish was caught. Nor did any of the Sabiki poles yield a fish. We stuck it out until around 12:30. We tried for different types of fish with different techniques, baits, and spots on the pier, all with no success. However, Mariko turned out to be a charming young lady and we had some nice conversations about Pier 7, pier rats, and pier fishing in general. The crew was also able to interview a number of regulars and tourists alike. In addition, a couple of regulars who had caught mackerel earlier that morning, and then went off to cook them, returned and offered up some cooked mackerel with a sweet and sour sauce—which was great!

We all then headed over to the Fort Point Pier where the action was still slow but at least we were able to manage a few fish. We fished my favorite perch spot, at the inside corner where the pier widens, and managed to get Mariko a striped seaperch, a couple of smallish-sized blue rockfish and a shinerperch. I was able to get a striped seaperch and a rainbow seaperch. Brian got a nice walleye and again I’m not sure what Robert got. But, the film crew was able to film some fish, watch some crabs being taken, watch and film the sea lion hanging by the pier, and even see a jellyfish brought up to the pier. And they interviewed and filmed quite a few visitors to the pier. Although the weather was still a little overcast, they also managed some nice pictures of The City and the bridge (or at least what we could see of it).

We stopped around 4 PM and while the film crew returned to their hotel, and Robert and Brian returned to the East Bay, I began what turned out to be a 4-hour drive back to Fresno. By this morning I had a nice little cold.

I was bummed that the fishing wasn’t better at the piers but according to Mariko there was plenty of film and they would have a nice segment for the show. We’ll see—somewhere around January/February when the show’s segment on San Francisco is aired.

Till then, if you want to see what the show is about visit

By the way, in reviewing my records I noticed that the day I had taken the pictures of Pier 7 used in Pier Fishing in California, 2nd Ed., was also September 12. However, the year was 1998 and I was primarily taking pictures not fishing. That day saw a number of large leopard sharks and striped bass taken at the pier. Although we didn’t see any stripers yesterday, perhaps the leopards and other larger fish returned as the tides changed.

I want to give Robert and Brian a special thanks for their part in the show; their efforts were really appreciated.

Read the entire thread and comments at

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