The Meandering Angler: Salmon season reopens May 18

The sport king salmon season reopens tomorrow, Saturday, off the Sonoma Coast after a three-week respite. It will stay open until October 31. All indications are that it will take up in excellent form as it was when it was temporarily closed.

Capt. Rick Powers, of the Bodega Bay Sportsfishing, is taking reservations for his combo salmon, rock and ling cod trips. Call him at 875-3344.

Meanwhile, all over San Francisco Bay, the halibut fishing is “off the charts,” according to Keith Fraser at Loch Lomond Bait Shop in San Rafael.

Keith says that virtually every angler heading out from the marina is coming back with smiles and keeper halibut, some running as big as 15 pounds while the normal range is five to 10 pounds with lots of shaker (less than 38”) in between the keepers.

Most anglers are using live anchovies or smelt. Keith has those and plenty of live shiners as well.

He says the sturgeon fishing in the north bay is still outstanding as well. He went out with a couple of guys this week and they caught and released lots of big fish, including one that was over seven feet long.

For the latest conditions and other bay fishing information, call Keith at (415) 456-0321.

Trent Slate, who runs Bite Me Charters out of Loch Lomond, operates a great six-pack party boat that will take you out for a day’s fishing on the bay. Right now you will have an excellent chance of catching some monster sturgeon, a limit of tasty halibut and possibly some nice striped bass. Call Trent at (415) 307-8582.

Some of Northern California’s rives are finally dropping down enough so that anglers are finding good trout action.

The best is the lower Sacramento River between Redding and Anderson. For that stretch I suggest that you call former Sonoman Tyler Lee, who is a fly-fishing guide living near there. Call (530) 515-3787, or email him at

The Upper Sacramento river between Lake Siskiyou and Lake Shasta is one of my favorite trout streams and it’s now at flows that make it fishable, although it will be better in another few weeks. There are many good access points along the railroad that runs along the river. If you need more information on it and a guide, the best guy to see is Bob Grace at the Ted Fay Fly Shop in Dunsmuir, (530) 235-2969. Bob is a really nice guy and knows the river. He also can recommend a guide.

Other rivers in that area, including the McCloud, the Pit, the Fall and Hat Creek, are all fishing good right now. They too will get better as the snowmelt runoff slows.

Moving closer to Sonoma, guide Hogan Brown reports that fly-fishing for striped bass on the Sacramento River near his home base in Chico is excellent right now. Hogan is a great guide and fun to fish with. Call him at (530) 514-2453

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