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Get thee to the bay


When the afternoon temperatures here in Sonoma move into the 90s, anglers who want a cool experience can head south to the Bay. Right now the fishing there is as good as it has been in the last decade.

Sturgeon action is fantastic according to Keith Fraser at Loch Lomond Bait Shop in San Rafael. His friend and party boat Capt. Trent Slade, was having a banner start Tuesday morning when I spoke to Keith. In the first hour of fishing near the Pump House on Trent’s boat, Bite Me, his three clients had caught and released five legal sized sturgeon (that’s between four and six feet long). Huge fish, great battles and lots of fun.

Keith says that the halibut fishing is good right now. In fact, there have been several reports of halibut in excess of 30 pounds caught in the Bay this week. When you fish with live bait for halibut, you’re also likely to pick up a few striped bass, which are also feeding actively in the Bay now. This weekend the tides are perfect for both.

Call Keith at 415-456-0321 and ask him to book a spot for you on Trent’s boat. There will be lots of catching in cool, comfortable weather.

The Pacific Ocean off Bodega Bay is another cool spot to fish this weekend. There Capt. Rick Powers of Bodega Bay Sportsfishing has been finding lots of limits of rockfish and lingcod for his clients. They were also pulling crab pots extras.

Rick is always on the lookout for the salmon fishing to break open again, and the signs indicate it is due. South of him out of the Golden Gate, boats are finding salmon to go along with good rockfish action.

To book a combo trip with Rick, call 875-3344.

For anglers who prefer freshwater fishing, local lakes are now fishable. If you don’t own a boat, you might want to check out the Sonoma County Belly Boat Bass Club. They specialize in the use of float tubes and pontoon boats, which cost a lot less than a boat. They hold a monthly fishing tournament somewhere open to everyone. The next one is at Lake Sonoma on July 8. They also have a meeting once a month. For more information go to scbbbc.com.

Clear Lake is probably the best bass lake in our area. But you need a boat and a guide to fish it. Check out fishclearlake.com for more information on guide Bob Myskey, who gets good reviews for his work.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife recently planted the east branch of Russian River, above Lake Mendocino, with trout. It is probably the closest stream fishing for trout you find.

With a little more time, I suggest a drive north on I-5 to Dunsmuir to fish the upper Sacramento River, which is rounding into shape after high flows of snowmelt. Stop by the Ted Fay Fly Shop and ask owner Bob Grace for tips on the best place to fish. Bob can also arrange a guide for you. Call him at 530-235-2969.

If you plan to stay the weekend, I suggest Carr’s Cabin, located right on the river in Castella.

There’s great fishing right there off the back lawn.

Ken and Mona Carr are great hosts. Call them at 530-235-4217.