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Despite wind, fishing is good

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Halibut fishing in San Francisco Bay continues to be the big news of the current season. Except for the really windy days, when it is simply too darn rough and wet to fish, anglers are having a ball catching lots and lots of halibut, plus striped bass and even some sturgeon.

The really good news is that many of the fish are shakers (under the 22-inch size limit), which means they’ll grow up to be next year’s keepers. Guys are catching releasing five or six shakers for every keeper, but there are so many fish biting that they still come home with limits.

Keith Fraser at Loch Lomond Bait Shop in San Rafael handles the bookings for Trent Slade’s six-pack party boat, “Bite Me,” so you can make a reservation for a day of bay fishing through Keith at 415-456-0321. Keith also has the live bait you need and can direct you to good spots to fish for halibut and stripers from shore, including Paradise Park Pier.

Steve Kyle has taken a couple of fishing trips in the past two weeks including a great day this week fishing for striped bass.

“I got invited to fish the delta again for a day of chasing stripers and even with winds gusting to 30 knots, we managed to land 76 fish with over half of them being keepers, over 18 inches. The largest landed was nine pounds. Next time I’m bringing a cooler to take one home for dinner. It’s pretty amazing place to fish when you consider it’s just an hour-and-a-half away and loaded with striped bass,” he said.

Steve also did a fine one-day float with guide, Tyler Lee, for Sonoman, last week on the lower Sacramento River near Anderson.

He added, “We did the drift and swing thing, caught some nice trout, had a couple of cigars, ate fried chicken, exchanged some good fish stories, and I took another unintended swim, relearning once again why I use a wading staff. We never saw another boat and the river was totally ours. All in all, a delightful day.”

Ocean fishing out of Bodega Bay continues to be excellent for rock and lingcod. Call Capt. Rick Powers at Bodega Bay Sportsfishing to book a spot on his party boat, at 875-3344.

I spoke to my friend Bob Grace at the Ted Fay Fly Shop in Dunsmuir this week and he reports that the upper Sacramento River is in good shape and he rates the fishing fair to good right now. He says the McCloud River is also in good shape and a good spot to fish.

Hogan Brown who guides on the Sacramento River near Colusa, the Feather River and the lower Yuba River reports good Shad fishing near Chico, fair striped bass fishing there too, and good trout fishing on the Yuba. Hogan is an excellent guide. Call him at 530-514-2453.

Finally, I suggest local fly-fishers check out the Off the Hook website, offthehookflyfishing.com. The owners are from Napa and they have probably the best fly-fishing website and most current reports for fishing near our area, including Clear Lake, Putah Creek, San Francisco Bay as well as the lower Sacramento River, Feather River, Trinity River, Truckee River and more.

They are also connected to a good group of guides, including Hogan Brown. The most encouraging reports are from the Feather River where trout fishing has been on fire. Check it out.