On-the-Spot: River Stripers

On-the-Spot: Now’s the time for monster river stripers

BY BILLY DRIESSEN/WON Staff WriterPublished: Oct 25, 2019

I arrived at the boat ramp on the Sacramento River at 8 a.m. one day last week and when I launched my boat, I was the only person there. Just as I took the boat off the trailer, trucks with boats rolled in to launch just behind me.

WON STAFF WRITER and guide Billy Driessen with a mid-30-pound class striper he caught from shore as he was preparing his boat for a day of guiding. He followed that up with an even bigger striper.

I was getting everything ready before I blasted off and out of the corner of my eye there was a flash that looked like lighting struck under water, I quickly grabbed my Phenix M1 XH rod equipped with an Okuma Komodo 400 reel and a 13-inch Hiroshima Customs glidebait in the peach carp color pattern.

I made one long cast to the center of the river and almost instantly lighting struck again as a monster trophy class striper annihilated that 13-inch lure and stripped 200 feet of line off the reel in a matter of seconds. I didn’t even have the net out yet and a fiasco ensued with me fumbling to get it pulled from storage and opened up just in time to net a beautiful mid-30-pound class striper on the first cast.

I hadn’t even fired the motor off yet and at that point all 3 boats had gathered to watch the drama unfold right before their eyes. The fish was weighed, measured, documented, and properly revived before I released her right back to the spot she came from to fight another day.

The following months I will be chasing trophy bass full time and if people want a shot at “The fish of a lifetime,” there is no better time to do it! Before the day was over I had landed another monster even bigger than the first, along with a smaller eater class fish making for an epic October day!

Western Outdoor News Staff Writer and river guide Billy Driessen can be reached at (530) 520-3295,, e-mail

THE SECOND TROPHY striper of the day came for WON Staffer and guide Billy Driessen shortly after the first fish on the Sacramento River. Now’s the time for trophy striped bass, he said.

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