Fishing Line: Top Picks

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Feb 14, 2009
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BERKELEY--Live bait trips found a good mix of striped bass and fewer halibut, with the stripers coming from main bay spots mostly. Captain Jim Smith on the Happy Hooker reported one flurry of bass on the beach, but after boating seven of 10 fish hooked up, the school moved off. A return to the bay found the fish biting at Alcatraz, and his group of 32 anglers caught limits of stripers plus five halibut. Live bait supply has been hit and miss with the receivers running out on Sunday, forcing some boats to cancel trips.

LAKE BERRYESSA--Sep's chrome Starlite dodgers with an Uncle Larry's spinner or Radical Glow Tubes are still producing kokes from 14 to 18 1/2 inches. North of the Big Island has been good but they are releasing water and fish are adjusting. Bass up to 3 pounds were found using topwater baits in the early morning and working coves just off the Narrows. Then move out to the main body and work plastics along the weed beds and shadows with grubs on a darthead or Carolina-rigged Robo worms or try drop-shotting Robo worms in Aarons Magic or the new shad color.

DELTA REGION--SACRAMENTO RIVER side-- Troll shallow running Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnows in green colors, in water less than 10 feet, they've produced stripers to 12 pounds between Isleton on the Old Sac and the lower Decker Island area. The sturgeon bite remained very good from the mothball fleet all the way up to Montezuma Slough and included the Pittsburg area. Sturgeon were taken on ghost, grass, and mud shrimp with anise or shrimp scents added. This week sturgeon anglers should focus on waters from 25 to 65 feet deep and also on the smaller afternoon, or nighttime tides. SAN JOAQUIN RIVER side--Striper trolling in the Old Sac down to Decker Island with Yo-Zuri's in shallow waters produced a few small males. If that doesn't work by mid-morning, switch over to bait fishing by the upper Decker Island, as the butterflied shad has been fairly productive here. The bass have settled into their summer pattern. Look for a topwater bite early in the morning and in the late afternoon try Lunker Punkers in open water or frogs in the weeds and muck. During the mid-day look for shade with current and use crankbaits, drop-shot or swimbaits.

CAPLES LAKE--DFG plant scheduled this week. More of the big trophy fish planted on June 24th have been caught including two good ones caught by Roger Marciasini of Lodi who was casting a fly/bubble rig off the shore near the spillway. He landed two and got broke off twice on 10-pound test line. Fishing is good off the dam for those using worms, Power Bait and spinners. Rumor has it though that some of the big fish are still just hanging around the ramp and are being harassed by idiots with sharp sticks and snagging hooks. Cal-Tip anyone?

CARSON RIVER (East, West)--The bite on the East Fork is "awesome" with some incredible stringers coming out of the area. Some anglers are showing up at the Carson River Resort with 20- to 25-pound limits (five fish). Mono County will be planting a load of 2- to 6-pound browns on Wed. The 5 to 6 miles of river south of the resort is full of fish.



North Coast streams and rivers are regulated by low flow closures. Always call ahead to determine the condition of the river you want to fish. If not mentioned, the river is closed or no reports. The DFG's Low Flow Closure Hotline for north coast rivers is 707) 822-3164. For the Russian River and counties of Mendocino, Sonoma and Marin, call (707) 944-5533. South Central Coast streams number is (831) 649-2886. Many streams closed, and others change to artificial/barbless only on March 31 and others on April 25.

ROGUE RIVER, Lower--The last of the springers have moved through and the next thing to look forward to will be the beginning of fall salmon moving in and out of the estuary in search of bait and acclimating to the river. This usually begins in mid-July. Hawg Fest fishing derby coming up in September.

ROGUE RIVER, Upper--Some halfpounder steelhead action is on ta, but the bite is scattered. Both spinfishermen and fly anglers have been connecting. Spinners like Panther Martins with gold blades and black bodies with yellow spots, or for the fly-flingers, a sink tip with beaded Zug Bugs and tandem nymphs or Hiltons are working near Agness and the mouth of the Illinois.


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