Published: Mar 02, 2011

Turkey hunts, and bass, on tap at Lake Sonoma



HEALDSBURG — There are two events coming up at Lake Sonoma as we head into the spring-time months. One is the annual spring turkey hunts put on by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Department of Fish and Game (DFG), and the second, the third annual Marine Unlimited bass team tournament.

DFG recently sent out a media reminder for hunters, which said the permit drawing application deadline was fast approaching for its two annual spring turkey hunts. These hunts will be held on the USACE property surrounding Lake Sonoma in Sonoma County.

The hunts include an Apprentice Spring Turkey Hunt and a General Spring Turkey Hunt. The Apprentice Spring Turkey Hunt will be held on March 26 and 27, while the General Spring Turkey Hunt is scheduled for April 2 and 3. DFG will accept online applications for both hunts only through March 7. The application and further details can be found on the DFG web site at www.dfg.ca.gov/delta/hunts/turkey/.

Marine Unlimited Inc. will be hosting its third annual Lake Sonoma Team Tournament March 27, with sign-ups in Petaluma at their store. Scott Green of Marine Unlimited Inc. said there should be a good pre-dawn bite happening by then and a variety of methods applicable, including jigs, Carolina rigs, ripbaits, swimbaits and other plastics.

“With the water temperatures fluctuating and unstable weather, the bass have been up and biting one day, and closed mouth the next,” Green. “Before this last weather bout, water temperatures were in the low 50s and the bass were starting to get that pre-spawn feeling. All we’ll need is a little bit of warm weather to warm up these waters and get things going,” he said.

Green said once fish start moving shallower again; anglers will start catching largemouth bass in the 1 1/2- to 3-pound range on a variety of baits. “Just fish slower with Lucky Craft Pointer 128's in the shad patterns and cover water,” Green said. “Also keep a jig or Brush Hog tied on and flip cover in 10 to 15 feet of water.” Green said good colors will be the black/blue and brown/black combinations.

“Concentrate in the creek arms such as Cherry, Yorty, Dry Creek and Warm Springs for the better largemouth bites,” Green said. “Smallmouth will be all over the main body from the Narrows down to the marina. The best bet for 1- to 2-pound smallies will be fishing main body points in 10 to 25 feet of water with jigs, or Senkos and Robo worms in any natural colors such as green, brown, or watermelon,” he said.

Practicing for the upcoming event, David Boettger of Windsor and Nick Gillotte of Santa Rosa fished recently and had their best 5 bass weigh 15.5 pounds, with a big fish of 4.5 pounds.

The landlocked steelhead have also started making their way to the creeks, especially since the rain. The best bet for them will be to target the creek mouths while top line trolling shad imitations.

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