SACRAMENTO — Striper fishing on the Sacramento River was very good again last week, although anglers faced some challenging winds on a few of the days. The good news was that fishing pressure dropped off when the winds blew hardest, and dedicated anglers were able to find less competition, along with plenty of fish.
“There seems to be a couple of good groups of fish scattered about from Colusa to Tisdale,” Dave Jacobs of Professional Guide Service said. “Some fish are spawning, but it still hasn’t been quite warm enough for the big, big spawn.” While he didn’t get anything huge last week, up to about 12 pounds, most fish were nice-sized, bigger than the usual keeper.
Jacobs has been power trolling downstream with live minnows, and that also was the method of choice for Big John Enos of Big John’s Guide Service who had been fishing the Feather, but switched over to the Sacramento when flows from Oroville and Englebright on the Yuba River increased big time. Flows were high enough that jet boats were going over the now-submerged rapids at Shanghai Bend — and fish became hard to find. It was a good decision.
“It was a banner day today,” he said of his outing on the Sac near Tisdale on Saturday. “We’re getting bigger fish (than on the Feather), and today we had a 14 pounder, a 10, an 8 and a 6 for our limits. We were throwing back 22 inchers. It was really nice fishing, and nobody was out there (at least compared to the recent crowds, even during the week) because of the wind. We were throwing back 22 inchers.” Enos said that he fished “Biff” Bleaker, who caught the 14 pounder, and his cousin.
Scott Feist of Feisty Fish Guide Service took a “busman’s holiday” from guiding and took out his wife, mom and stepdad, and Bob Boucke for Mother’s Day. They fished the Grimes area catching their limits to 12 pounds on minnows. “We got nice limits in about an hour and came home,” he said. “The wind was blowing pretty strong so I couldn’t fish all the places I like to fish, but the bite was great, and it was still a great day.”
Demonstrating that stripers are strung along a big swath of the Sacramento, Jerry Lampkin of TNG Motorsports Guide Service concentrated his efforts around Verona last week, scoring limits to 30 inches each outing trolling Yo-Zuri’s and Bombers upstream, and drifting minnows back downstream.
Fishing for both striped bass and shad was good around Sacramento, as well, according to Yee Vang of Broadway Bait Rod and Gun.
“Stripers are pretty good at Miller, Bryte’s Beach, and Verona,” he said. “They’re mostly 3 to 6 pounds, but we had a big one that weighed 44 pounds brought in yesterday (Saturday).”
Vang said that shad fishing was pretty good, too, especially at Discovery and Miller parks. He said that anglers were averaging eight to a dozen fish in a few hours of fishing. Shad have been biting best in the afternoon, and fishing pressure has been heavy.