te or federal incidental take permits



Captain Steve Smith of the Bay Area "Smith" fishing clan has been fishing Alaska's Kenai Peninsula for 30 years. 800.567.1043


May 03, 2019    Headlines

Spring Stripers Biting!

Delta Report
By Dave Hurley
For striped bass, Clyde Wands, shallow trolling expert was  out earlier in the week in the wind, and they stayed in the San Joaquin due to the breeze. He said, “A few guys tried trolling on the Sacramento River side, but the wind was too bad. I know of one striper taken behind Decker Island, but we were in the San Joaquin for a few quality fish including a 12 pounder released in addition to a 8-pound lineside that swallowed the lure so deep that it’s gills were bleeding. We were unable to release this fish. Every other day has been a good day, and I will be back out on Friday.”
Jeff Soo Hoo of Jeff Soo Hoo’s Sport Fishing out of Laurtizen’s Yacht Harbor in Oakley continues to find limits of chunky stripers for his clients using a variety of techniques. He has been working the San Joaquin River, and Thursday was a swimbait day with 4- or 5-inch Bad Bubba Shad swimbaits in pearl. He said, “They bite when they want to bite, and we found a bit of a topwater bite in the morning along with the swimbaits.”
For largemouth bass, Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, was out earlier this week when it was the coldest day of the week in the 50’s. He said, “The bass are in all three stages, but you have to slow down and let the bait sit there. If you rush it, you may land the occasional big one, but your numbers will be limited. This time of year, the reaction bite should be on, but the bass are only chasing bluegill or shad fry out of their territory and not fully committing to biting. We did find some topwater Little Stick fish in the early morning, but it is best to use the Berkley General, Chigger Craw, or Power Worm with Max Scent at just make multiple casts to an area where you believe there are bass. You have to let the bait just sit there. Once the temperatures become stable, the bite will be on!”|
Dan Mathisen of Dan Mathisen Outdoors will be at Dave’s Delta Outdoors in Oakley from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. today to help anglers get ready for the Yamamoto Big Bass Challenge this weekend out of Russo’s Marina. He said, “It was windy today, but the bass bite has been good with Dee Thomas landing a 12-pound largemouth while out with his son-in-law. He is recovering from heart surgery at 81 years old, and he has oxygen ports and handrails all over his boat, but he is still out there doing it. Striped bass in the 10- to 12-pound range are being taken by trollers near Rio Vista and also from the railroad bridge on the San Joaquin in the main channel towards Discovery Bay. This means there must be some stripers in the Grantline Canal as well. P-Line Predator Minnows or Yozuri Crystal Minnows in chartreuse are working best. Dave’s Outdoors opened on Wednesday with a soft opening, but there will be a grand opening in June when we have our Pro/Am on the 2nd. Our next team tournament out of Russo’s is May 11th.”

The water in the Sacramento-Delta is clearing and dropping, and shad are showing up around Freeport into the upper river. The launch ramps in the Sacramento metropolitan area remain inaccessible, but Clarksburg is open. The shad run is starting in numbers, and the striped bass action is improving as the water is clearing up.

On Sunday 4-28 Johnny Tran of New Romeo’s Bait and Tackle in Freeport said, “The shad are here, and shad darts or grubs with up to a 1.5-ounce sinker are working as the water is clearing up. You have to adjust the amount of weight you are using based up on the current. There have been a lot of striped bass taken on pile worms or blood worms in the main river, and in Steamboat Slough, anchovies or sardines coated with garlic spray are most effective. In the Mokelumne River near New Hope Landing, drifting jumbo minnows is working for stripers, and the bluegill bite is best around Locke with red worms or wax worms. The sturgeon are on their way back down to the lower estuary after spawning, and an occasional sturgeon is being taken by striper fishermen.”

Alan Fong of the Fishermen’s Warehouse in Sacramento confirmed the arrival of the shad, and he said, “I think they have been here for some time, but anglers are just now able to get to them as the water is clearing up to some degree. The action for shad starts around Freeport and it goes upstream to the mouth of the Feather at Verona. We are selling lots of 1-inch champagne shad darts or grubs, and the water is clearing up a little bit more every day. I went bass fishing in the upper Delta around Liberty Island, and I found an excellent bite with Senkos and also with frogs. The winds came up on Sunday, and it limited access to Liberty since one of the pros in the Wild West Bass Trails Pro/Am event put in 15 pounds there on Saturday with his co-angler landing 16 pounds, but it was a different story on Sunday.”

Nelson Vineyard of Topline Sport Fishing was on the San Joaquin River over the weekend, and he said, “We started on Saturday morning at the Old River Flats where we trolled several different area for only two bites and one shaker released so we mad a run back to the Sacramento side all the way to the Deep Water Channel. We found the stripers there with chartreuse or red/white deep-diving Yozuri Crystal Minnows. I went back into the north Delta on Sunday morning and started working different areas, but we ended up again in the Deep Water Channel for five keepers to 10 pounds on shallow-diving plugs. Fishing is still pretty darn good, and I plan on trolling for striped bass well into May.”
For sturgeon, Captain Steve Mitchell of Hook’d Up Sport Fishing was out on Sunday with Dr. Cyrus Buhari of Stockton and his two sons along with Dave Scatena of Stockton, and they started in the Little Cut in the morning. Mitchell said, “We released an undersized sturgeon right off of the bat, and the sturgeon are piled in there, but they werent  actively biting. We moved over to the Big Cut, and within 5 minutes, young Alex Saccani saw the bite and did exactly what I told him to do. After a good fight, we released a sturgeon over 7 feet at the side of the boat. We stuck it out on the outgoing tide, and Dr. Buhari found what he came for with a 51-inch diamondback on the outgoing tide.”
Tony Lopez of Benicia Bait reported heavy angling interest over the weekend with the great weather conditions. The sturgeon will be sticking around in Suisun Bay for some time, but the majority of sturgeon fishermen have now left for the halibut and striped bass in the bays. Striped bass will only get better and better in the coming weeks as the water clears, and the linesides are moving up to the spawning grounds and back down to the bay and ocean.
For striped bass, Clyde Wands, shallow trolling expert was out for two consecutive days in the San Joaquin River, and they took stripers to 8.5 pounds in every spot from Eddo’s Marina to False River to the Old River Flats. He said, “We released everything but a limit of 6-pound linesides, and the action has been coming on deep-diving lures. I was out earlier with Dave Houston of Livermore, and we released 14 stripers to 12 pounds, also on the deep troll.”
Jeff Soo Hoo of Soo Hoo’s Sport Fishing out of Laurtitzen’s Yacht Harbor in Oakley found the spoon bite by mid-week, and he loaded up with early limits on every trip bouncing P-Line Laser Minnows above the thick schools in the San Joaquin. On Sunday, Soo Hoo said, “The bite was a bit tougher, but we ended up with limits. We are still seeing the big number of stripers, but they were more reluctant to bite. 90 percent of our action has been with spoons, and every day is a little different out here.”
Captain James Netzel of Tight Lines Guide Service out of Korth’s Pirates Lair has been finding good action trolling deep-diving Yozuri Crystal Minnows along with drifting live jumbo minnows. He said, “We have been catching and releasing stripers to 15 pounds this week, but the weeds have been thick, and you have to really watch the action on your line and clear the weeds. When the troll bite slows down, we are drifting minnows.” Netzel will be working out of Korth’s through mid-May.
H and R Bait in Stockton reported most interest in the area has been from the banks around Whiskey Slough, and they have been getting in up to 70 pounds of fresh shad of a medium to large grade. Bluegill action is best off of Eight Mile Road west of Stockton with red worms or wax worms.

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