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Lots of salmon action for opener

By Bill Lynch

The opening of salmon season off the Sonoma coast was fantastic last weekend, according to Capt. Rick Powers, of Bodega Bay Sportfishing. Rick said that he had more than 100 salmon on the trolling lines of Saturday and Sunday and, despite some breezy conditions, his clients managed to land enough to bring home an average of almost two fish a rod.

The size range averaged around 10 pounds, with many in the teens and one more than 20 pounds.

I spoke to him Wednesday while he was out on another trip and the salmon bite was very good that day, too. Most of the fishing is only about five miles SSW of Bodega Head.

Rick has openings on his party boat almost every day. Trips are $110. Call him at 875-3344.

Fishing is also excellent in San Francisco Bay right now, said Keith Fraser, at Loch Lomond Bait Shop in San Rafael, with opportunities this weekend for a “Bay hat trick,” which is a halibut, striped bass and sturgeon on the same trip. All three types of fish are providing lots of action for Bay anglers this week. Sturgeon are taking live shrimp in the triangle formed by China Camp, Buoy 5 and the Pump House. Halibut and stripers are being caught drifting shiners off Paradise, Angel Island, South Hampton and Red Rock. Stripers area also being caught on live shrimp in the same locations that sturgeon are biting. Keith books Bay party boats. Call him at 415-456-0321.

Dallas Barrett landed a monster, 43-pound striped bass to win the $530 first prize in the annual Al’s Art Striper Derby held last month. Marshall Briggs was second with a 34.5-pounder, while Robert Farriss won $500 in the sturgeon competition with a 52-incher that was only one inch off the target of 53 inches. Aaron Lee was second with a 54-3/8-inch fish, followed by Steve Veeninga with one that measured 54-5/8 inches.

Tina Crow won the women’s striped bass contest.

Other anglers earning cash prizes for striped bass included: Dan Dosreis, Bruce Ritter, Ken Fonville, Charlie Bettenelli, Gary Moore, Jason Chapdelain, John Hayes, Ernie Giovannoni, Rachel Johnson, Andy Marden, Saretha Hayes, Bob Oller and Sid King.

In all, 34 stripers and seven sturgeon were weighed in and cash prizes totaling $4,540 were awarded.

While the regular trout season opens April 26, there is still good fishing on the streams open all year. The lower Sacramento River between Redding and Anderson is probably the best right now, but you can also fish the upper Sac, where Bob Grace, of the Ted Fay Fly Shop in Dunsmuir, said fishing is decent, considering the high flows.

The Klamath River and Trinity River are also providing some late winter steelhead action as well as trout.

Windy conditions complicated and slowed the bass fishing on Clear Lake and Lake Berryessa this week. The fishing should be good once the winds lay down.