The best fishing close to Sonoma Valley continues to be off the coast near Bodega Bay where locals are bringing home full limits of Dungeness crab, rock fish plus lots of lingcod.
Capt. Rick Powers of Bodega Bay Sportsfishing offers rock fish, lingcod and crab combo trips for $130 for a day’s fishing on his party boat “New Sea Angler.”
When I spoke to him this week, his clients had finished catching their limits and were resting by watching big pods of humpback whales almost within shouting distance of the boat.
That means that you can spend a day with Rick catching more than $500 worth of fresh local seafood and watch whales, all for $130, and it is only about a 45-minute drive from home.
Call Rick at 875-3344.
With the recent rains, fishing in San Francisco Bay is also rounding into sturgeon season. Already these white monsters of the deep are exciting anglers who are casting live shrimp off the McNears Beach Park pier in Marin County.
Keith Fraser at Loch Lomond Bait Shop in San Rafael, 415-456-0321, told me that some guy caught and released a 92-inch sturgeon off the pier last week. Other sturgeon more than four feet long were also caught off the pier.
If you have a boat, the best place to go after these big fish is in the “Sturgeon Triangle,” marked by the Pump House, China Camp and Buoy 5.
If you don’t have a boat, Keith can book you onto “Bite Me,” a popular six-pack party boat captained by Brent Slade.
Striped bass are biting everywhere in the Bay and now also in the Napa River. Fall is a good time to hit the bay and catch a nice limit of stripers plus a sturgeon or two.
For the latest reports on Napa River fishing check with Sweeney’s Sports in Napa, 255-5544. They have a great sporting good store just 15 minutes from Sonoma at 1537 W. Imola Ave.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife plants rainbow trout regularly in Santa Rosa’s Lake Ralphine and in Bon Tempe Lake in Marin. These are good places to take your kids or grandkids fishing over the holidays.
Steelhead fishing is also picking up on the Trinity River and the Rogue River in Oregon.
For the Rogue, I highly recommend guide Jim Andras. He is usually booked up way in advance, so it is best to call him right away and see what he has open. Call him at 530-722-7992.