Warmer weather means better fishing
Fishing and hunting
There is no doubt that this weekend will be nicer and warmer than last weekend and that will improve the fishing. Whether or not it will improve the catching remains to be seen.
By most accounts the fishing (and catching) has been only fair, primarily because to have good catching there must anglers fishing and many of them stayed inside this week and last because it was so cold.
Valerie Lightborne, at Leonard’s Bait Shop at Port Sonoma, said that some guys have been catching sturgeon off the mouth of Sonoma Creek and near the Pump House this week. Her partner, Joel Sinkay, has brought in lots of live grass shrimp, bullheads, muds suckers and other bait so they're ready for a good weekend.
Last week, Bill Fernandez and Wally Reis caught two nice sturgeon east of the Pump House. One was 57 inches, the other more than 58 inches long.
Bill is also making his usual winter pilgrimage to the Walker River near Bridgeport, where the temperature this week was below zero. He fishes for (and catches) trout, while most sane folk are home by the fire. Bill will be sending me reports once his fingers are thawed.
Art Donato said very few fishermen went out of Loch Lomond Bait Shop in San Rafael this week and tides are just fair, but there are fish being caught by the hardy few who go.
I'm still seeing some reports that fishing in the Napa River is fair and can be good at times. Sturgeon are in the river, and there are always striped bass to be caught.
If you want to try fishing off the bank, it is only about a 20-minute drive over to Cuttings Wharf where there are plenty of spots to fish. Another good spot is off the shore near Leonard's Bait Shop at Port Sonoma, or near the Highway 37 bridge at the mouth of Sonoma Creek.
If you want to fish the Bay in a boat, call Keith Fraser, at Loch Lomond, 415-456-0321, who can fix you up with a party boat.
Capt. Rick Powers is still offering combination crab and dab trips out of Bodega Bay. Nice limits of dungeness crab are being taken on every trip, and you can catch a whole mess of sand dabs (small flounder-like fish), which are very tasty. Call Rick at 875-3344.
Lake fishing in our area has been cold and slow, although I did see one promising report that Lake Berryessa is producing action for persistent anglers. Fishermen using plastic works are catching bass near rocky outcroppings. If you've never fished Berryessa, you might consider using a guide for the first time. Sid Silberberg is probably the most active fishing guide on that lake. Call him at 650-583-3333.
Moving north, the Trinity, Klamath and Sacramento rivers are all good to fish right now and providing good action for fly-fishers. Further north, the Rogue River is a good bet. Call Jim and Rachel Andras at 530-722-7992 to get the latest conditions and book a trip.
Fly-fishers mark your calendars for Friday through Sunday, Feb. 22 to 24, for the Fly Fishing Show at the Alameda Fairgrounds in Pleasanton.