CALIFORNIA'S ONLY SPORTSMAN'S NEWS SINCE 1953

Northern CA Freshwater

Stripers flood into Sacramento River as water levels rise

BY ANDY MARTIN/WON Staff WriterPublished: Apr 12, 2018

SACRAMENTO — High water brought in even more striper schools to the Sacramento River, but it also made fishing difficult over the weekend. Even so, the sheer numbers of stripers in the river continued to result in anglers finding enough fish to limit out.

“The water level shot way up, but they are still catching fish,” said Tim Boggs of Elkhorn Outdoor Sports. “We had a busy weekend this week. The river is full of stripers right now, which is probably the reason the guys are catching fish.”


striperactionisSTRIPER ACTION IS on in the Sacramento River, and Dave Smith of Yuba City caught this 11 pounder on pile worms near Verona while fishing with Elite Sportsmen Guide Service with Capt. James Stone on Sunday, April 8.

Before the rain last week, guides and other anglers were finding fairly easy limits of stripers throughout the Sacramento River. The heavy rain Thursday and Friday increased water level and dirtied the water, but fishing remained decent as more stripers came upriver.


Many anglers are anchoring and fishing cut anchovies, sardines or pile worms, while fishermen also are catching fish at the mouth of the Feather trolling plastic lures or minnows.


With heavy flows, anglers have had to add more weight. “They are using 6 and 8 ounces from boats and 14 ounces from the bank,” Boggs said. “We are completely sold out of 14-ounce weights.”


The Bureau of Reclamation continued to hold back flows at Shasta Dam. Flows at Keswick held steady at 3,200 cfs all week. At Colusa, however, flows shot up from 7,000 cfs late last week to 37,200 cfs on Sunday.


Flows at Verona went from 20,000 cfs to 57,200 cfs. Flows at Freeport jumped from 30,000 cfs to 72,700 cfs. Boat access is limited because of the high water.


“We kind of blew out, and the Sacramento is higher than a kite,” said Dennis Phanner of Sacramento Pro Tackle. “The mouth of the American is probably closed, but people are walking in.” Discovery Park and Bright Beach both were fishing well for stripers early last week, Phanner season. This week, high water in both the American and Feather will result in strong flows close to the metro area.


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