Firstly, welcome aboard! I will try to give some suggestions to your questions in the order you posted them.
#1. I think you would probably do best to concentrate on the top half of the outgoing tide as it will be the most pronounced water/bait movement. If you can do it at night...even better.
#2. I fish stripers in that area on everything from 10lb up to 30lb mono, it depends on type of bait/lure used, water clarity, type of bottom structure, etc. I suggest starting lighter and then increasing line size if you find yourself outgunned.
#3. Minimum size for keeper bass is 18" overall length with a daily bag limit of two fish.
#4. I have caught them on everything from frozen anchovies and sardines, shucked clams, shad to live or dead bullheads, mudsuckers & grass shrimp. I suggest looking up a local bait shop and asking them. The local tackle shop should freely give some helpful advice and answers to many of your questions.... just remember they have a vested intrest in putting you on fish so the can replenish your lost tackle! As far as lures go, white rodstrainer shim jig bucktails are a local favorite with a 6" curly tail trailer, bucktail dressed blue/chrome castmasters, krokodiles, and any swimbait that resembles shad/anchovy or smelt. Oriental markets often sell smelt and I have found smelt fillets to be a killer bait in the bay/delta system.
#5. Not knowing depth,,current speed , etc. this is a tough one. I have had very good luck with baits rigged carolina style with a sliding egg, or if fishing along a jetty or riprap just splitshot it practically at your feet. Alot of fish run the edges so fish those before you try to keep your bait 100yards out.
#6. Bottom fishing is usually effective with bait, but if you are convinced the fish are there don't be afraid to slowly cover ground by dragging it back. You get snagged alot doing this and often foul the bait/hook with vegetation. The stripers are usually right on top or on the very bottom....seldom inbetween the two.
#7. If you want more tips or alternate spots, send me an email with your phone # and we'll chat. Good luck out there. :D