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Northern CA Freshwater Fishing Report

Sturgeon action remains good on both sides of Delta, stripers on the move

Western Outdoor NewsPublished: Jan 26, 2012

RIO VISTA — Striped bass action in the Delta remains a "hit or miss’ proposition, but the recent rains will start the fish on the move.

Prior to the first storm of the season, the majority of striped bass have been holding in Suisun Bay, but the influx of fresh water should push the linesides deeper into the Delta.

In the Pittsburg area, James Nguyen of Dockside Bait touted cut bullheads as the top bait for stripers in the cold water. A group of anglers recently boated three limits to 10 pounds in the deeper water near the PGE Plant.

Mike Pipkins of Gotcha Bait in Antioch reported continued good sturgeon action with grass shrimp, ghost shrimp, or eel in all of the usual spots, including Chain Island, the PGE Plant, Broad Slough, and Buoys 33 and 34, but ghost shrimp has been more difficult to obtain with the inclement weather in the Pacific Northwest. “This weather will stir up the bottom and move the fish around,” said Pipkin.  The crappie action has been good in the patches between the weeds in Discovery Bay with live minnows or minijigs.

In the northeast Delta, Don Paganelli of Paganelli’s Bass Fishing Experience said. “The only action has been during the short window at the change of the tides,” and he has been scoring the occasional linesides on Hippo Tackle’s Hollow Belly swimbaits in white on a ½-ounce jighead.

Also in the northeast Delta, Captain Mike Gravert of Intimidator Sport Fishing has been working moving water from irrigation pumps in the south fork of the Mokelumne for stripers to 8-pounds with jumbo minnows.

“We found a patch of clear water in the south fork, but the river became increasing dirty the farther north we traveled,” said Gravert. He added that sturgeon fishing in Prospect and Cache Sloughs has been outstanding with ghost shrimp, and Johnny Tran of New Romeo’s Bait and Tackle caught and released 16 sturgeon, including several oversized, on a recent overnight trip using ghost shrimp. Submerged structure in the Mokelume River system is also holding crappie, and anglers have been cashing in with small minnows or minijigs.