Sonoma’s Bill Fernandez had the best trout season opening weekend that I’ve heard about so far, but he had to drive far to do it.

Bill’s favorite trout spot is well east of Sonoma near Bridgeport. He spends quite a few weekends each season there, including the opener. He’s in Bridgeport so often, most of the anglers in town consider him a local.

In any case, Bill went out on the Bridgeport Reservoir last weekend, occasionally when it was icy cold and snowing, and caught nice limits of rainbow trout averaging about three pounds, plus one huge fish that weighed in at 6.3 pounds and is leading in the local derby.

There are no trout fishing choices close to Sonoma Valley, although trout are still being planted in Santa Rosa’s Lake Ralphine. A couple of hours drive north through Ukiah to Lake Mendocino will also lead you to the East Fork of the Russian River, which is regularly planted with rainbows. It might be worth a drive north to check it out.

Opening weekend reports from the Truckee River near Lake Tahoe are good. The same for Hat Creek, the McCloud River and the upper and lower Sacramento River.

The best fishing close to home is for halibut in San Francisco Bay. Keith Fraser and Loch Lomond Bait Shop in San Rafael says the halibut bite has been crazy good even from shore. Anglers fishing off the pier at Paradise Park, Marin Shoreline, have been catching very nice limits of keeper halibut (minimum size is 22 inches), and two monster halibut, one 37 pounds, the other 32 pounds, were landed off the pier this week. Anglers are using live shiners and live anchovies for bait and Keith has plenty. When the tides are right, sturgeon fishing is still good in the northern part of the bay, and stripers are biting everywhere.

Keith is your best resource for angling action updates and if you want to book a bay-fishing party boat. Call Keith at 415-456-0321.

Capt. Rick Powers of Bodega Bay Sportsfishing has been having excellent trips out on his party boat, “New Sea Angler.” His clients are bringing home full limits of nice rock fish and limits or near limits of lingcod, on almost every trip. He’s being hitting the waters off Pt. Reyes and places north of Bodega and found the fishing good everywhere.

Rick mentioned also that the number of passengers has been relatively light recently, which means more fish for the guys who go. Call him at 875-3344, took book a day of excellent fishing. You will come home with a nice ice chest full of tasty fish.