September 18, 2016    Headlines
Sac Salmon Picking Up!!!!
Lots of Fish Staging Off the Golden Gate

Upper Sac Hamilton City / Chico / Red Bluff
Guide Dave Jacobs checked in the Saturday 9-17 to give the low down on the upper Sac salmon action. Over the past week Dave reports they are grinding hard on fish that are moving through very quickly. Dave reports that scores on his boats and guides that he works with are averaging 3 to 7 fish per day. ALL of their action is coming on sardine wrapped plugs as the fish are not holding in any one spot long enough to target with roe. Dave says "every day is a coin toss. As a guide I have to pick the right stretch of river, find that unpressured spot and put some fish on my clients rods". Easier said than done. Dave says that most days his game plan works out but on others you may one get only few take downs and if those are missed you are hitting the ramp with just a fish or two to show despite your guide's best efforts. Dave says there are pockets of fish from Red Bluff to Chico and down to Hamilton City but cooler temps are being found on the upper stretches. 
Dave did say they are seeing more fish every week pushing through. Once the slow down and start to school and hold scores will increase. For the time being he says the upper Sac has the best quality fish with most dime bright and full of fight. With fish still staging outside the Golden Gate in big numbers we could see one of the latest fall returns on record. So far this year's return is over four weeks late. So far this season the hatcheries have only seen a few 100 fall run fish in total. Are they late or delayed by very warn flows in the lower Sac? We wont know the answer to that question for another week or two.


Feather River:
Raith Heryford of RH Guide Service continues to pick up salmon in the fast water on the Feather near the Outlet with Brad’s Killer Fish with upgraded hooks. Watching Raith's FB posts he has gone from a fish per rod last week to limits and near limits this week. He saw limits for the second day in a row on Thursday 9-15 of beautiful bright fish ranging from 10 to 15 plus pounds. The Feather is currently the best bite on the CV. With LOTS of fish still moving through the coastal waters of the Sonoma coast and out the Golden Gate we will see only better action in the weeks ahead.

Sacramento River/Metropolitan Area:
Alan Fong of the Sacramento Fishermen’s Warehouse reported the salmon bite opened up within the last couple of days from Rio Vista north to Freeport.
Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing was at Garcia Bend earlier in the week, and he didn’t see a fish caught along with no carcasses at either the cleaning station or the surrounding garbage cans.

Sacramento River:
On the upper Sac Guide Dave Jacobs is seeing improving action by the week. He is putting his clients into a two fish to a fish per rod both bouncing bait and back trolling plugs. Dave says the key to to find a slot or hole to your own and work over the ever increasing numbers of fish that are working into the Canyon to Hamilton City section.

James Netzel of Tight Lines Guide Service was at Verona on Sunday for tough action on Sunday 9-11. They ended up with two salmon at 18 pounds apiece, but he said, “The big school that had been there for a few days has moved on up, and a nice school moved through in the morning, but we lost our fish near the boat. We went downriver to Rio Ramaza for our two salmon on two passes after spending five hours with a blank screen at Verona. We scored with blue Silvertron spinners trolled downstream in 12 to 18 feet of water at 3.3 to 3.6 mph.”

Upper Sac and Feather:
On Wednesday 8-31 guide Dave Jacobs reports that there are more fresh salmon are pushing up into the Chico to Redding section and starting to fill the holes and his fish meter. Dave says that overall the bite is on the upturn with scores of 0 to 3 per boat in mid August increasing to 2 to 4 with 4 to 8 hookups per day now. The fish are biting the plugs at first light and the roe bite is best for the balance of the morning. The flows are good and the colder water temps in the upper river (compared to the Knight's Landing, Verona and up to Chico section) are holding below 60 degrees. In the lower river the fish are having to push through flows of 70+ degrees but once in the upper river find cooler temps and are much more willing to bite.
Guides over on the Feather river are seeing improving scores as well. The fish on the fall run started to arrive this past week with some guides seeing a fish per rod and a few taking limits for 2 to 3 anglers. As the days get shorter, the nights cooler (and fresh salmon pushing into both the Sac and Feather) scores will only climb. 

Sacramento River/Metropolitan Area:
On Sunday 8-28 Alan Fong of the Fishermen’s Warehouse in Sacramento reported slower salmon fishing over the past few days. Their seminar on Thursday at 6:00 p.m. will be Randolph Paine on throwing big swimbaits for striped and largemouth bass.
Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing is concentrating on salmon fishing in the Sacramento River, and he is scouting with the technique developed last year by James Netzel of Tight Lines Guide Service. Using an 11-inch Pro-Troll dodger with a Brad’s Cut Plug at 4 MPH, they picked up a 16-pound buck on their third pass out of Garcia Bend. He said, “The big dodger gives the presentation a lot of flash, and I don’t think I would have received a hit if I had only been using a Kwikfish or spinner.”

Great News! Water Contractors Pull Their Petition to Destroy Bass and Striper Fishery
If you were prepared to head up to Folsom on Thursday to be present at the Fish and Game Commission meeting regarding the petition for the so-called ‘Coalition for the Sustainable Delta’s’ desire to lower the size limit and raise the bag limit for striped and largemouth bass has been withdrawn by the organization. Thanks to the efforts of Dick Pool and Water4Fish, John Buettler of the Allied Fishing Groups, Sep Hendrickson of the California Sportsman’s Radio Show, Roger Mammon of the California Striped Bass Association, Kent Brown of Ultimate Bass, and so many others in the bass fishing world– the ‘Coalition’ decided it would be better to retreat than to be publicly humiliated by a defeat of their petition. Thanks to everyone who sent letters and signed the petitions as our collective efforts have been heard. Let’s see what their next move is, and it is as important as ever to stay involved since the fight for water will only get harder as our resources continue to become limited.  Thanks everyone!

Allied Fishing Groups: There is no need to go to the The California Fish and Game Commission meeting set for this Thursday (the 25th)!  The Commission has announced the that the Coalition for Sustainable Delta, California Chamber of Commerce, California Farm Bureau Federation, Kern County Water Agency, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Northern California Water Association, San Joaquin Tributaries Authority, Southern California Water Committee, State Water Contractors, and Western Growers have withdrawn their petition number 2016-011 (striped and black bass regulations).

As you may recall from our previous emails on this subject, David Ostrach and I sent in 4 AFG exhibits to the Commission regarding
1) CFGC Code Responsibilities and Public Trust Law requirements to protect and sustainably manage striped bass and black bass in the Bay-Delta estuary.
2) The Petition’s failure to comply with Code requirements to use peer-reviewed science in decision making.
3) SWP and CVP fish loss estimates.
4) the history of efforts to destroy the striped bass fishery. These exhibits are on our web site thanks to Dave Studeman’s efforts to keep everyone informed. 

We’ve been advised that the Commission staff recommended not supporting the CSD’s ( proposed regulation changes. The Commission also received several thousand letter and petitions in opposition. 

John Buettler

Upper Sac Salmon Slooooooowly Improving
The salmon action on the upper Sac river is slowly improving as fresh fish make their way up. Guide Dave Jacobs reported Thursday 8-18 that salmon fishing is slow for most but the guides out every day are seeing 1 to 3 quality bright salmon. Dave says the key is to find a quiet piece of water with a few holding fish and to have quality baits in the water. Boat traffic is a bite killer right now and finding "a spot" away from traffic in the early morning is key to success. Dave says his best action has been working the holes from Chico on up to Red Bluff where water temps are much colder than the middle river. Nearly all of his action has been coming on plugs wrapped with quality sardine strips which Dave scored a couple of months ago. The roe bite is still slow but we will pick up as more fish push up and slow down. He says that every day this past week he is metering more fish and scores for the top guides are slowly following. Dave has space available and has a network of guides to hook readers up with for those looking to get out at the last minute.

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