If you want to catch really big fish, possibly longer than you are tall, now is the time to get onto San Francisco Bay and try for sturgeon. Keith Fraser, the guru of Bay fishing for sturgeon, reports that it doesn’t get much better than it is right now.
Most of the action is in the northern part of the Bay in the “sturgeon triangle” marked by the Pump House, China Camp and Buoy 5.
One of Keith’s employees, Ross Peterson, and a friend fished near the Pump House Sunday and caught 10 sturgeon and 10 keeper-sized striped bass between 7:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Two of the sturgeon were huge, over seven-feet long. Several others were over five-feet long. They released all of the fish, but had an amazing day of fishing.
Another customer of Keith’s landed five sturgeon and three keeper bass on Tuesday near the Pump House. The best bait is live mud shrimp and Keith has it in stock.
He says that with the snow-melt runoff from the Sierras, Bay fishing for sturgeon will remain excellent for some time. He books party boats for Bay fishing. Call Keith at 415-456-0321.
Salmon season is closed until May 15, but rock and lingcod fishing has been excellent this week off the Sonoma Coast reports Capt. Rick Powers of Bodega Bay Sportsfishing. Rick is also finding crab limits for his anglers. You can catch a limit of rock fish, lots of lingcod and Dungeness crab to bring home for a seafood feast fit for kings. Call Rick at 875-3344 to book a trip.
While snowmelt is promoting the sturgeon bite in the Bay, it is making stream fishing a challenge. I talked to Bob Grace at the Ted Fay Fly Shop in Dunsmuir this week who says the Upper Sacramento River, McCloud River and other streams in the area are running very high. “Their fishable, but very difficult,” Bob reports.
Steve MacRostie and I were supposed to go fishing on the Sacramento River last week with guide Tyler Lee, a former Sonoman. Just before we were set to depart, Tyler notified us about the water conditions and suggested a later date.
If you are planning to fish a stream that gets water from snowmelt, check before you go.
If you want to fish for trout now, try Bon Tempe Lake in Marin, which was planted with rainbows recently by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The East Branch of the Russian River, above Lake Mendocino also got planted with rainbows recently.