If you’re looking for a place that’s close to our Valley to take your kids or grandkids fishing while school is out, there are several places to try.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife regularly plants rainbow trout in nearby lakes, including Lake Ralphine in Santa Rosa’s Spring Lake Park, and Bon Tempe Lake and Lagunitas Lake in Marin County.
The last planting was scheduled between Dec. 24 and 30.
Another good place to fish right now is off McNears Beach Park Pier in Marin County. Just drive south on Highway 101 and take exit 452 to Point San Pedro Road and head east to Cantera Way and the park entrance.
This is a good place to fish for striped bass. You will need some tackle, bait, and a license. Children under 16 are not required to have a license. The closest tackle and bait shop to Sonoma is Sweeney’s, 1537 W. Imola in Napa.
Locally, licenses may be purchased at Brocco’s Old Barn feed store at 19660 Arnold Drive. You can also get them on line at wildlife.ca.gov.
If you’re a little more adventurous, you can book a party boat and fish either in San Francisco Bay for striped bass and sturgeon. Or head out on the ocean for rock fish and ling cod. With the latter, you can also bring home a limit of Dungeness crab.
Before Christmas, Capt. Rick Powers of Bodega Bay Sportsfishing was having a good week every day except the windy ones. His boats were bringing home limits of rock fish, near limits of ling cod plus limits of crab on almost every trip. You can book a spot on Rick’s boat, New Sea Angler, by calling him at 875-3344.
For fishing on the Bay, you can call Keith Fraser at Loch Lomond Bait Shop in San Rafael 415-456-0321. Keith books for Capt. Trent Slate’s party boat, “Bite Me” for Bay fishing. He’s also the best source for bait and tackle for Bay fishing and for directions to the best fishing spots along the Marin shoreline.
Hardcore largemouth bass anglers are working hard to find fish at Clear Lake and Lake Berryessa these days, but with few results.
Further north, trout fishing on the Sacramento River between Redding and Anderson is excellent right now, but for that you need a guide with a boat.
Former Sonoman Tyler Lee is a great guide to call for the Sac. You can reach him at 530-515-3787.
Another great guide for the Sacramento River, including fishing for striped bass on the stretch near Chico is Hogan Brown. Besides having the best guide name ever, he is a good guide who really knows the river. Call Hogan at 530-514-2453.
Of course, my first choice would be to drive to Ashland, spend a few nights enjoying the culture and at least one or two days on the Rogue with guide Jim Andras fishing for winter steelhead. Rachel Andras can set you up with hotel reservations and even recommend restaurants. Jim knows every fish in the river by name and you’ll have a great time. Call 530-227-4837.