San Francisco Bay      

San Francisco Bay Kayaking california
Photo Credit Lyrinda Snyderman

San Francisco Bay Kayak, Canoe, SUP & Kayak Fishing Information


Area Map #63     Miles of Shoreline: N/A     Bay Surface Acres: N/A     Elevation: 925’
Address: 201 University Avenue Berkeley, CA 94710     Ph: 510 981-6740  

Paddle Notes: Imagine paddling by a silvery moon as the skylines of San Francisco twinkles around you. Such a kayaking outing is one of the most memorable paddles you’ll ever experienSan Francisco Bay Kayakingce. Or you can paddle up the gentle waters of the Oakland Estuary toward the marshes of San Leandro Bay, where you are treated to views of  harbor seals, herons  and a host of shorebirds.

With the gateway to the coast on one side and California's wine country on the other, San Francisco Bay is an extraordinary kayaking destination. The bay offers year-round kayaking and fishing opportunities, but the bay is most popular in the summer. The quiet spring, fall, and winter seasons offer a slower pace to satisfy paddlers who yearn for a more peaceful atmosphere.

San Francisco Bay is a part of the San Francisco Bay estuary system, which includes San Pablo Bay and Suisun Bay, the Carquinez Strait, the tidal marshes surrounding these waters, and river tributaries.

The San Francisco Bay estuary consists of 480 square miles and 12 islands. There are two separate areas: the northern, which passes south and westward from the Delta through Suisun and San Pablo Bays, and the southern (also called the South Bay) which extends southeastward toward San Jose. These two areas join in the Central Bay near the Golden Gate Bridge and flow out to the Pacific Ocean.

Northern, western and southern traffic sea lanes converge halfway inside the gulf toward San Francisco on the San Francisco precautionary area 11 miles off shore. From this point, the main channel flows shoreward through four sets of buoys to the Golden Gate. The channel divides the immense horseshoe shallows surrounding the gate into the wide South Bar and the northern Four Fathom Bank, atop which rests the Potatopatch Shoal. Navigating in this area requires the utmost caution, as the seas will often vary with the weather, tides, and seasons, and may become impassible for kayakers

Kayak Fishing: Halibut fishing in central San Francisco Bay is improving on the slower tides. Rockfish and sturgeon are also taken here. Fish the outgoing tide for halibut around Red Rock, and hit the rocks for reds and blues and lings in the afternoon. San Francico Bay Kayak Fishing California

Photo Credit Lyrinda Snyderman  

Wind & Weather Conditions: The bay offers a number of challenging of weather conditions strong winds, fog, and rough seas. Late summer and early fall months generally provide the best kayaking conditions; however, fog is most common between the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island during the summer. If low fog is predicted, carefully consider your trip.

Winds from the northwest prevail during the summer. Winds usually increase in the afternoon, often resulting in conditions hazardous to kayakers. The wind tends to subside after sunset.

Winter weather varies considerably from summer weather. Winds  blow onshore from the west or southwest. Storms usually follow southeasterly winds. Seas can build rapidly from approaching storms.

The water is cold, and prolonged exposure can be fatal if you capsize.. The wise kayaker will always check the weather conditions before getting under way.

The entire bay is relatively shallow, with narrow, deep channels near the Golden Gate and Carquinez Strait which tend to be maintained by tidal currents. These tidal currents are swift and should be treated with respect. Under spring or storm tidal conditions, the current can be dangerous to kayakers.



Copyright © 2013, to Present Janice L Green Paddling