NEW HOPE — The Sacramento River side of the Delta is still pumping out limits of stripers for some, albeit, mostly smaller males, the sturgeon bite continued but slowed as some schools began to make their way back out into the bay with warming waters, but don’t forget there are black bass to be had as well as other species.
Stripers were still a good option for some, as we got a late report Sunday from Capt. Brandon Beachum of Championship Sportfishing: "The delta broke wide open this weekend for stripers," he said. "I fished with two clients Saturday and Sunday for easy early limits of stripers with a quality grade of fish each day, and many others released. The fish averaged over 7 to 8 pounds all weekend, with only a few in the 20- to 22-inch range. We released several females in the 10- to 14-pound class. All fish were caught at the mouth of the Sacramento and Steamboat Slough trolling shallow divers. These fish were fresh up-run fish, not ready to spawn yet."
WON reader Fred LeDrew said the Delta black bass bite has been heating up for the last few weeks and has been experiencing some of best bass fishing he’s had in a long time. “My fishing buddy Mike Gomez and I have been getting big numbers on crankbaits, chatterbaits and Senkos,” he said. “We fished Hog Slough for about two hours before and after the high tide. While most of the bass caught were buck bass, only weighing about 1-pound, the numbers made our outing lots of fun.”
“Before leaving for the day we made one last stop at a location that has produced big bass for us in the past,” LeDrew said. “In fact, it's the same location where I caught my personal best last year. In about 45 minutes we landed six fish, the biggest weighed 5 pounds, 11ounces and 8 pounds, 9 ounces, a beauty that was spawned out. Both big bass were caught by Gomez.”
Richard Witham from New Romeo’s Bait & Tackle said striper fishing slowed in the Freeport area. “As the water warms up, the fish are spawning and running back out to the bay,” he said. “One day they are there and the next gone.”
“A better bite has been for shad from the Freeport Bridge up to Discovery Park,” Witham said. “Shad darts in chartreuse with an orange head have been finding fish that averaged 2½ pounds. But sturgeon reports were nonexistent for some reason or other.”
“Limits were the rule for us fishing out of the northeastern Delta, but water temperatures are starting to go through the roof,” Capt. Gravert of Intimidator Sportfishing said. “The combination of water temperatures that have risen in some areas as much as 9 degrees, with the largest and closest full moon we have had this century, had the stripers spawning all over the river system. It was just crazy, with open water spawns happening right before our eyes.”
“The majority of the post spawners we are getting are quality sized fish in the 8- to 15-pound range, but would have been 10 to 17 pounds prior to their spawning,” Gravert said. “Now is the time to get after these fish as the forecast calls for more warm weather, and summer is really beginning to bear down of the fishery now.”