Fish Sniffer On Demand Digital Edition 3812 May 24- June 7 2019 - Page 24

22 FRESHWATER May 24 - June 7, 2019 FRESHWATER REPORTS: CONTINUED FROM PG 20 VOL.38 • ISS. 12 WEST DELTA Sturgeon & Stripers Provide Limit Style Fishing TAHOE Hot Fishing Greets Spring Trollers SOUTH LAKE TAHOE - Mackinaw are on a very good bite at Lake Tahoe. Limits are the rule on a good grade of fish that range from 3 to 9 pounds. Combine the good fishing with the warm days and incredible snowcapped scenery and you’ve got the makings of a memorable outing. The team at Tahoe Sportfishing continues to do what they do best, namely sharing the bounty of the big lake with visiting anglers. On April 24, they took 5 anglers out to Emerald Bay and boxed 5 full limits of high mountain macks. On April 6, Captain Bobby’s clients nailed several macks including a couple fish well over 5 pounds. Minnows and blades have been the hot offering on Tahoe Sportfishing boats as is often the case, but they’ve been mixing in some lures too. Anglers working shallow water at Tahoe are catching a mix of mainly macks, but there have been some browns and rainbow mixed in. The rainbows can range up to 4 pounds and the browns often go over 5 when you are lucky enough to get one to strike. The macks encountered while pulling minnow plugs in shallow to medium deep water have been averaging larger than the fish that are coming out of deep water. The bigger macks seem to be up in the water column at this time and are on the hunt for small kokanee. BRANNAN ISLAND - The sturgeon bite couldn’t be much better in the West Delta, yet despite the productivity, fishing pressure is light as anglers spread out across the state to chase other species. “The sturgeon bite is as good as it gets in the upper part of Suisun Bay,” reported Captain Hayden Mullins of Dragon Sportfishing. “We are getting lots of action on salmon roe and eel baits are getting hit too. We had a three man charter a few days ago and we were limited out with three hefty slot fish and headed back to the dock in about an hour,” Mullins exclaimed. In terms of striper fishing, it’s not really a question of whether or not you’ll get a limit. The question is how do you want to catch them? Live baits both drifted and still fished, cut bait, trolled plugs, casted plugs and spoons jigged vertically will hook big numbers of fish per outing. Jeff Soo Hoo of Soo Hoo Sportfishing might be running the most exciting trips of any Delta skipper. Jeff is putting his client on epic spoon fishing bites that have resulted in as many as 200 hookups per day. The average striper being caught runs from 18 to 23 inches, but big bass up to and beyond 50 pounds have come out of Delta waters over the past couple weeks. HOW TO By Cal Kellogg as they await the forthcoming spawning season. Targeting these fish requires an impressionistic offering that stays very close to the bottom. Some guys favor jigs for this work, but I do just fine with my Texas rigged worms. When the conditions are bright and the water is clear I like a minnow colored or clear flake 6-inch finesse style worm. If the water is a bit stained or it’s early or late in the day, I lean toward dark crawfish colored worms that have an active curly tail that creates movement and vibration. The actual presentation is simple. Toss out the worm on 10 to 12-pound fluorocarbon, allow it to sink and slowly drag it across the bottom using both the reel and rod tip to move the bait. When you feel rubbery pressure, taps or if slack develops reel down and set the hook! Trout Trolling During the spring when trolling for trout, I find that it pays dividends to move quickly at 2 to 3 mph with minnow imitating lures. I don’t utilize dodgers or flashers for this work. I just troll the baits naked. My two pet lures for this kind of presentation are Speedy Shiners and Yo-Zuri L Minnows. When it comes to Speedy Shiners chrome based minnow patterns work great when the sun is high. When the light level is low, all copper, black nickel and frog pattern baits get the nod. I keep things simple when it comes to L Minnows. Silver/black or blue is my favorite color, but I like rainbow trout baits too. When speed trolling during the spring I like one lure right up on the surface toplined 100 to 150 feet behind the boat on straight 8 or 10-pound fluorocarbon I run my second bait on a modern leadcore outfit and work depths from 8 to 12 feet deep. Delta Stripers Since spring is known as the time to troll for Delta stripers you probably think I’m going to talk about pulling lures, but I’m actually going to toss you a curve and talk about bait fishing. This trio of anglers booked a sturgeon fishing trip with Captain Hayden Mullins on April 28 and had full limits in about an hour! Photo courtesy of DRAGON SPORTFISHING, Pittsburg. continued from page 10 During the fall and winter my go to striper baits are shad and bullheads. While these baits will work in the spring, my all-time favorite spring bait is bloodworms. Bloodworms? Yep that’s right and I’m not really sure why the bass are so fond of them, but they are. I’ve caught more limits of spring bass then I can count while soaking bloodworms on a sliding sinker rig both above and below the Isleton Bridge. To rig up all you need to do is set up a standard Delta sliding sinker rig, tip the leader with a single 8/0 hook and thread a worm on it. Since sturgeon have been known to inhale bloodworms too, you might want to utilize a barbless hook, with a Bait Button to keep the bait in place. Reservoir Catfish The channel cats that inhabit most of our reservoir are very aggressive during the spring. They are late spawners, typically dropping their eggs in May and June. During the early part of the spring their focus is on eating and putting back on weight that was lost during the winter. A lot of different baits can be used for these fish, but my all-time favorite is a live shiner in the 3 to 4-inch range. Channel cats are very aggressive and they have a tough time laying off a helpless minnow. I fish these baits on a spinning or baitcasting rig spooled with 10-pound test, but attach a 24 inch 15 lb. fluorocarbon leader to the business end via a swivel. I tip the leader with an appropriate size octopus hook. Since I fish very close to the shore I attach a single split shot just above the swivel. The minnow is pinned through the lips. After casting put your rod in a holder and pull out a bit of slack. When Mr. Cat comes along and takes the bait you’ll know it! Over the years at lakes like Folsom and Berryessa I’ve picked up some very nice smallmouths and largemouths while waiting out catfish strikes. 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