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April 17, 2014    Headlines

Delta Striper Bite Still Hot

Delta Report
By Dave Hurley

More Good News!!! 
Court puts hold on long term deals for delta water

The Sacramento River is starting to run clear after heavy flows the  week, and striped bass have taken over as the top species targeting throughout the river system. The linesides are running up and down the river past Colusa, but with the warm water temperatures in the upper river and this weekend’s full moon, they will be moving back down in search of cooler water after the spawn.
Sturgeon fishing remained solid in lower Suisun Bay with Tony Lopez of Benicia Bait reporting, “Our owner Curtis Hayes was shrimping out near Ozol Pier on Sunday 4-13, and he noticed a number of boats hooked up throughout the day. Lopez also touted the Firing Line with one angler releasing three oversized sturgeon after catching and keeping a limit of stripers at 38 and 40-pounds on live splittail.
In the Antioch area, Doug Chapman at Gotcha Bait reported high winds limited the number of fishermen on the Sacramento River on Saturday, but when the wind has been down, sturgeon fishing has been best at Collinsville, Chain Island, the Sherman Island Power Lines, and upriver into Cache Slough with grass shrimp being the top bait. They sold out of grass shrimp by Sunday morning due to demand. This was a common theme with Lopez at Benicia Bait reporting selling 70-pounds of grass shrimp over the weekend. |
When the wind allows, striper trollers have been congregating on the West Bank for solid action. Rick Kennedy of Tight Lines Guide Service has been starting his day at the West Bank for a few fish on shallow-diving Yozuris or Rapalas before pulling off to explore other spots once the flotilla of boats arrives on the scene by mid-morning. He has been locating linesides in the 10 to 12-pound range pulling the lures 140 feet behind the boat with 30-pound test SpiderWire on a Garcia 5500 LC reel.
Captain Stan Koenigsberger of Quetzal Adventures out of Bethel Harbor trolled the Sacramento River on Sunday with clients Natalie Browne and her two sons, Lucas –age 8 and Oscar – age 10. They landed three stripers with Oscar scoring a 14-pound/32-inch striper that wasn’t able to be released as it swallowed the entire lure and tore its gills to a shred.
In the Sacramento metropolitan area, Alan Fong of the Fishermen’s Warehouse in Sacramento reported Hood to Freeport remained the best location for sturgeon, but most fishermen are targeting striped bass with fresh or frozen sardines.
Doug Chapman at Gotcha Bait in Antioch reported striper fishing has picked up with a number of linesides in the 30-inch range taken from the Antioch Fishing Pier on sardines or frozen shad. He said, “Everyday there are more and more stripers coming in. The warmer weather has brought an explosion of the largemouth bass bite, and we sold a ‘ton of minnows’ for bass fishermen working Big Break, Frank’s Tract, and Discovery Bay along with the South Fork of the Mokelumne near Westgate Park.” He added that blue gill and red-eared perch action has slowed with the best fishing near Holland Tract with jumbo red worms or wax worms.
Alan Fong is planning on fishing the San Joaquin River this week, and he intends on targeting stripers in the morning before switching over to largemouth bass in the afternoon. 8-inch Kincannon glide baits and umbrella rigs loaded with Fish Traps will be used for the striped bass. Fong is holding a seminar on the new products from Lowrance this coming Thursday at 6:00 p.m. at the Sacramento Fishermen’s Warehouse. He said, “The new technique is chirping which is a method of sounding fish,” adding, “I predict all electronic units will have this feature within two years.” Chirping is the method of using multiple frequencies to completely mark fish at varying depths.
In the extreme south Delta, Brandon Gallegos of H and R Bait in Stockton reported finding three pounds of fresh shad during a recent attempt to locate the fresh bait, and he used a combination of both fresh and frozen shad to land striped bass at 10 and 18-pounds on the San Joaquin. A number of stripers in the 5 to 6-pound range have been reported, and this is more typical of the grade of fish in the river. Largemouth bass fishing was best around Ladd’s Marina with live minnows or crawdads, and small stripers are biting chicken livers intended for catfish.

Benicia Bait reported good striper fishing from the shoreline with the best sturgeon action in the Big Cut or the mouth of Montezuma Slough at Grizzly Bay on Tuesday 4-8. They have a full supply of bait once again, including plenty of grass shrimp. Bait has been hard to come by for the past several weeks for Delta bait shops but with halibut showing in SF bay we are seeing many party and six packs making the move down to the bays. This decrease in pressure in the Delta should mean good action for the diehards.
Sturgeon fishing remained good in lower Suisun Bay with second Captain Zach Theime of Flash Sport Fishing scoring another quality sturgeon on a day trip on Sunday. He went down to the boat on Monday for a bit of work, and since the weather was so nice, they took a break from the maintenance and went fishing. After catching a slot limit fish, Theime released it to ‘fight another day.”
Mark Delnero of Fin Addict Sport Fishing out of Pittsburg put Jason Ruonavaara of Lockeford onto his first ever sturgeon at 58-inches in the Middle Grounds. Jason is 6’8’’, so the fish looks much smaller than in actuality.
J. D. Richey of Richey’s Guide Service continued to locate top water and swimbait stripers in the Delta, saying, “Another great day on the water! Stripers were a-chewin!”

Captain Stan Koenigsberger of Quetzal Adventures out of Bethel Island trolled along the east side of Sacramento River near Decker Island on Monday and Tuesday with P-Line Predator Minnows in firetiger for a total of 15 stripers including 8 keepers to 26-inches. He said, “The water is clear, and the weather is beautiful.”
Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, said, “The top water bite is starting up, and when the wind has a little riffle, the Ace in the Hole is best while the ima Heli P is the top lure on calm days,” adding, the ima Big Stick is also effective, and the best technique is to keep the lure in the strike zone.” Persuader Double Buzz Baits or Quad Buzz Baits are another solid choice, and a slow presentation is necessary. Chartruese/white or black/red are the top colors depending upon water clarity. When the wind is blowing, Pringle advised tossing chatter baits or crank baits such as the ima Pinjack or Squarebill. The key is to work the shallows on the high tide and seek out small divots around one foot deeper than the bottom on the low tide since the bass will be holding in the deeper spot. The Berkeley Havoc Boss Dog lizard with the lightest weight possible on the high tide at depths from the banks to 6 feet is a productive setup for numbers.
The Best Bass Tournaments will be hosting the first Sportsman 360TV charity tournament, launching out of Russo’s Marina on April 13th. This Event is to benefit the San Jose Sharks Foundation. The anglers will be fishing for major prizes and big fish cash. The entry for this event is $150.00 for the team and a $20.00 Big Fish.

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