te or federal incidental take permits




January 08, 2020    Headlines

Winter Sturgeon

Delta Report
By Dave Hurley

The lack of any perceptible winter storms has created outstanding conditions for striped bass in the north Delta, but the linesides have been absent. Sturgeon fishing suffered for many during the week of anemic tides, but experienced sturgeon fishermen are finding success, primarily in Suisun Bay.

Alan Fong, manager of the Fishermen’s Warehouse in Sacramento, was in the north Delta at Liberty Island this week, and he said, “The water is very clear with no grass, and the key was to ‘dead-stick’ a River2Sea Swaver on the bottom. I caught and released 10 stripers while my partner, Warren Trombley of San Jose, struggled. You had to leave the lure on the bottom and just move it slowly. The conditions are perfect, and you can see two feet inside of the island, but the stripers seem to have moved on.” Fong will be on the Western Bass Aquarium Demo Tank at the International Sportsmen’s Exposition at Cal Expo in Sacramento on Friday, January 17th at 12:30 p.m. for ‘Delta Striped Bass Techniques.” at Cal Expo in Sacramento, CA.

Captain Zach Medinas of Gatecrasher Fishing Adventures said, “We found a wide-open sturgeon bite for my clients from a Singapore fishing company, and the previous trip resulted in 5 slot limit sturgeon, one oversized, and four shakers.

Captain Steve Mitchell of Hook’d Up Sport Fishing is putting the finishing touches on his vessel, ‘The Top Gun,’ and it will be out on the river out of Pittsburg Marina within the next few weeks with new twin outboards on an offshore bracket. Mitchell will also be on the California Sportsmen’s Theater stage at the ISE on Saturday, January 18th at 3:00 with his seminar on ‘Techniques to Corral and Catch the Elusive White Sturgeon.” Mitchell is also raffling off a Phenix rod/Penn reel combination for those attending his seminar.

The week after the ISE, Martinez Marina and Captain Steve Talmadge of Flash Fishing is hosting the 14th Annual Diamond Classic ‘Catch and Release’ Sturgeon Derby on January 25th. Youth 15 and under participate for free, and Talmadge is seeking sponsors for the growing youth participation in the event. Information – Martinez Bait and Tackle (925) 229-9420.

This is the first of two consecutive weekends of sturgeon tournaments in the area with the Foundation Sportsmen’s Club Original Sturgeon aka ‘Super Bowl’ Derby the following weekend on February 1st and 2nd out of McAvoy’s Boat Harbor at Bay Point. Information: http://www.originalsturgeonderby.com/.

Tony Lopez at Benicia Bait and Tackle reported  Sunday 1-4 striped bass have been coming from the shoreline with blood worms, pile worms, or grass shrimp. He added, “There is a new road extended out to the point at McAvoy’s, and I think this will become an excellent place to fish from the shoreline if the road is accessible.”


Dan Mathisen of Dan Mathisen Outdoors held his first tournament of the year on Saturday out of Russo’s Marina, and the Pro Team Legend Series attracted some heavy hitters including California Outdoor Hall of Fame member, Dee Thomas. Mathisen said, “We only drew 12 boats, but some of the best anglers in the Delta were entered, and if you want to learn how to complete with the best, these tournaments are a great opportunity. The team of Lorenzo and John Rossetti took first-place with a 20.64-pound limit with a big fish of 6.74 pounds. Plastics on the drop-shot or jigs were the best techniques in the colder water.”

H and R Bait in Stockton has a supply of frozen shad as fresh shad is no longer available until late spring, and most fishermen are heading west towards Antioch and Pittsburg for sturgeon and striped bass.

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