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Northern CA Freshwater

Stripers, shad explode on Sacramento River

BY ANDY MARTIN/WON Staff WriterPublished: May 23, 2018

SACRAMENTO — There appear to be more fresh stripers in the Sacramento River than the Feather, with good action still from Verona to Colusa, but the shad action is absolutely fantastic in some areas.

“I’ve been having a couple of guys coming in and saying they are catching fish by Princeton and Meridian,” said Aaron Searcy of Johnson’s Bait and Tackle. “It could be resident fish starting to spawn and feed, or it could be some new fish that moved in.”

Boaters are still catching fish on live minnows.

Anglers also are fishing at night with plastics and swimbaits, with good success on bigger stripers. “On the lower parts of the Sacramento toward Verona, Tisdale and Knight’s Landing, people are catching fish,” Searcy said. “People are getting those fish at nighttime while they are feeding. They are using black rubber worms and swimbaits.”

Shad are showing up in good numbers, Searcy said. “I’ve been hearing of them from Meridian all the way down to Tisdale,” he said. “Colusa has been fishing good.”

Larry Barnes of Sacramento Pro Tackle said shad fishing has been wide open in the Discovery Park and Miller Park areas. “Shad is still off the hook. Everybody is catching fish,” Barnes said. “I am hearing of big fish. There are 4-pounders that are almost common. There was a 7-pounder brought in the other day. They are getting them from Miller Park to Verona.”

Bank anglers are doing fairly well at Miller Park and Discovery Park, but the boaters are doing extremely well, Barnes said.

“The boaters are just killing it. There are a lot of two-fers being caught. They are using a surf rig with a weigh on the bottom with two grubs, one pink and one chartreuse.”

Barnes said the Sacramento shad run may have just peaked. Fish are now beginning to move into the American in big numbers.

Barnes also said stripers continue to bite near Miller Park and Bright Beach, but most of the fish are small.

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