SACRAMENTO AREA: Sacramento River striped bass are elusive except for Port of Sacramento

BY JIM JONES/WON Staff WriterPublished: Oct 22, 2009

SACRAMENTO—Last week’s big storm certainly could be excused for putting a big hole in fishing on the Sacramento River through much of the week.  But, by the weekend, the river had receded and cleared enough for anglers to put in some serious effort, but without a whole lot of success—except for the Port of Sacramento.

Yee Vang of Broadway Bait Rod and Gun said that the trolling bite was pretty good for striped bass up to about 8 pounds, and so was fishing from the bank with mudsuckers and bloodworms.  Rex Carpenter of Professional Guide Service seconded the state of striper fishing and elaborated a bit more on the trolling strategy at the Port. 

“They’re trolling Mann’s 15’s in the Dr. Death pattern,” he said.  “Attaching a white plastic worm on the last treble—the hook pointed up—is a must.”  He also said that some stripers also were being caught drifting minnows.

Rex Carpenter of Johnson’s Bait and Tackle said that fishing farther upstream on the Sacramento after the storm was “terrible.”   That was the assessment of Johnson’s owner, Bob Boucke, who went out with guide Scott Feist on Saturday after the river had dropped.

Apparently, the fall run of stripers in the Sacramento River is either not going to materialize to the extent it usually does, or it's way, way late.  

Folsom bass in fall mode—“get em while they’re hot”

FOLSOM—Folsom Lake entering what should be a fall “sweet spot” for bass fishing, according to Don Paganelli of Bass Fishing Experience, and with dropping water temperatures and, hopefully a stabilizing lake level at its winter’s lows, trout and king salmon fishing should perk up, too.

“I think that if they don’t let a lot of water out at one time, causing fish to pull off the flats, the fall bite should be pretty good,” he said. “Temperatures have come down, getting bait moving up into cooler shallow water and triggering the fall bite where you can just about throw the kitchen sink at them.  You’ll get a lot spooning, even some occasionally on topwater, drop-shotting and jigging, too, now that water temperatures have had a chance to cool down.”

Paganelli recommended that anglers fish spots like 5 Percent and Beals Point there are good creek channels leading into flats.  He also cautioned anglers that they should get out on the water quickly and often, because this is a short window of prime time fishing lasting only a couple of weeks and closing quickly.

Reports of renewed success on trout and salmon are second hand and sketchy, but the cooler water temperatures—down to 63 degrees—that have perked up the bass bite, should also have a positive impact on fishing for Folsom’s usually elusive trout and salmon.  

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