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High rivers help Bay fishing

For anglers like me who prefer fishing wadable trout streams, June would normally be the month to head for the Sierras or the Cascades, but this year, that will have to wait another month.

All of that snow that accumulated in the mountains is melting and filling those streams, including the Sacramento River, and flowing big and strong all the way to the Bay.

The result is the best sturgeon fishing locals have seen in decades.

“I’ve never seen better sturgeon fishing in San Francisco Bay than it is right now,” Keith Fraser told me this week. Keith is the recognized expert on bay fishing for sturgeon and runs the Loch Lomond Bait Shop in San Rafael.

Keith says that most of the action is in the north party of the Bay marked by China Camp, Buoy 5 and the Pump House. It is common these days, when the wind doesn’t blow too hard, for guys to hook well over a half-dozen sturgeon, some oversized. In addition, they are getting a few keeper striped bass.

A few miles south near Paradise, Red Rock and Angel Island, the halibut fishing has also been terrific, with lots of action for anglers drifting live bait.

All of this is mostly due to the heavy influx of fresh water from the Sacramento and the San Joaquin Rivers.

If you don’t own a boat, Keith can book you a spot on a bay fishing party boat. Call him at (415) 456-0321.

Ocean fishing off Bodega Bay has remained excellent for rock and lingcod, but slow for salmon. Still, the salmon bite could open up any day and Capt. Rick Powers at Bodega Bay Sportsfishing is still taking combo trips out. Call Rick at 875-3344.

I saw a couple of reports that there is good bass fishing now at both Clear Lake and Lake Berryessa. Nothing yet on Lake Sonoma.

While snowmelt has raised the levels of most of the mountain streams, Bob Grace at the Ted Fay Fly Shop in Dunsmuir says that the upper Sac is too high to wade, but still fishable. He said the lower McCloud River below the reservoir is fishing well right now.

The Truckee River is very high also, but guys who know it say you can find soft pockets to fish in spite of the heavy flows.

Senator Barbara Boxer will be honored with the “Salmon Champion Award” at the fourth annual Salmon Celebration Dinner on Friday, July 21, at Ramekins here in Sonoma.

She will be recognized for her strong advocacy for salmon fishermen, the California Chinook salmon and protection of our state’s environment.

The dinner will feature fresh-caught salmon prepared five different ways by top Sonoma chefs including Ari Weiswasser, Glen Ellen Star; Carlo Cavallo, B&V Whiskey Bar and Grille; Adolfo Veronese, Aventine Glen Ellen; Yoshiharo Sogi, the Zina Lounge, and Kyle Kuklewski, Ramekins.

The event, sponsored by the Golden Gate Salmon Association, will raise money for the group’s efforts to protect and sustain salmon in California rivers.

Tickets are $150 per person and in limited supply.

Call 855-251-4472, or go to goldengatesalmonassociation.org.

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