Sturgeon fishing heating up
Fishing and hunting
This could be a very good weekend to head south of Sonoma to San Pablo Bay, where you may find the best sturgeon action in a long time. Keith Fraser, at Loch Lomond Bait Shop in San Rafael, said he has seen more “oversized” sturgeon caught and released this season than in previous years.
The legal limit range for keepers is 46-to-66 inches. Keith has reports of several boats this week catching and releasing sturgeon as large as 87 inches, and several more in the 80-inches-and-over category.
Most of the good action is between the Pump House and China Camp and the bait of choice is live mud shrimp, although grass and ghost shrimp are also working. There are also a fair number of striped bass being caught in the same location and further down in the Bay, halibut are starting to show up. Keith books party boats. Call him at 415-456-0321.
Joel Sinkay, at Leonard's Bait Shop at Port Sonoma, is hosting a bass and sturgeon derby for the entire month of April. The target sizes are 65.25 inches for sturgeon and 34.5 inches for bass. So far, Sonoma's Vern English is the closest with a sturgeon that measures 64.5 inches. The derby will be celebrated on Saturday, April 30, with a barbecue at Leonard's. Call Joel at 762-7818 for the latest conditions, fresh bait and a derby report.
Salmon fishing off the Sonoma Coast has been fair to good this week depending on the day. Capt. Rick Powers, of Bodega Bay Sportfishing, is booking anglers on local six-pack boats, although his big party boat, The New Sea Angler, is still being refitted. You can call Rick at 875-2244 to book a trip. Rick went out with a friend Sunday to check some crab pots. They trolled for about an hour just outside Bodega Head, hooking three nice salmon and landing two. The largest was 13 pounds.
Bass are biting in the shallows at Clear Lake, Berryessa and Lake Sonoma. As the water warms, so will the action. Santa Rosa's Lake Ralphine and Marin's Bon Tempe both get planted with rainbow trout this week.
The general trout season opens Saturday, April 30. Preseason reports are not promising.
Bob Grac, at the Ted Fay Fly Shop in Dunsmuir, said the upper Sacramento River is barely fishable at 3,000 cfs, and don't expect it to get better as the bountiful snowpack begins to melt. Other mountain streams and rivers are either high or still locked in their winter coats.
The lower Sac near Redding is producing good fly-fishing for trout, as are parts of the fly-fishing only section of the Trinity River.
Last weekend's fishing expo at the Leland Ranch fly-fishing education center was a big hit with local anglers and lots of visitors who drove to the event from all over Northern California. If you haven't been out to the ranch, yet, make it a point to stop by. They are currently offering fly-fishing seminars for everyone from beginners to advanced. They also have special classes for kids and women-only classes. For more information, go to flyfishingoutfitters.com.
Rep. Mike Thompson, who represents Sonoma in congress, and other congressional leaders are holding a “Farms and Salmon Summit” on Wednesday, April 27, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Antioch Community Center. They will be discussing long-term solutions to California's water challenges, particularly those that affect fishing conditions (especially the wild salmon runs) and farming in the Central Valley. For more information visit www.salmonwaternow.org. In a related event, Rep. Thompson was named “Legislator of the Year” by the American Fly Fishing Trade Association for his efforts to conserve fishing habitats and promote the commercial and recreational fishing industry.