Fish Sniffer On Demand Digital Edition 3813 June 7-21 2019 - Page 27

June 7 - 21, 2019 VOL.38 • ISS. 13 25 GONE FISHING Continued from page 1 am quite comfortable enjoying the role of rod holder, fish “reeler-inner” and net boy. Yes, I am aware that there are no such words in the English Language as “reeler” and “inner,” but I challenge any of you to never having used such sayings. What can I say folks, I grew up in Anderson, California. We made up our own words, but I digress. Anyhow, JW found himself tied to a large striper late in the day. In fact, the other fellows onboard that day were ready to throw in the towel, but we hooked a small keeper on our second to last trolling run. Buoyed by that big fish, I suggested, “Guys, we can’t quit while they are still biting.” Luckily, my reasoning was sound, and JW managed to hook what would turn out to be yet another almost 15 pound striper. This big striper fought like all other big stripers do; hard. The fish made several powerful Mike and JW had a great time landing big stripers while runs, but ultimately succumbed to steady pressure fishing the Sacramento. As of press time the bite in the and a tight line. After several grip and grin photos, West Delta was still going strong. we were all on our way home with an ice chest full of Photo by MIKE MCNEILLY, Fish Sniffer Staff.. 3720 delicious white meat fish filets. ROCKLIN AUBURN Fast forward a couple of weeks, and the striper The Lake Almanor skunk is the most perplexing reports keep trickling in from friends out pounding the and dismaying I’ve had in a while. I rarely fail (916) (530) delta. The stats range from pretty good to downright on this lake, and this is a good old fashioned depending on the day. Meanwhile, I have notched 6455 PACIFIC ST. 11844 ATWOOD RD brutal humbling, kick to the nuts, ego smasher. I had my belt with a Lake Almanor skunk and then a beat down to shoot a couple of wild turkeys to get my mojo on one of my favorite bass lakes. back. Feeling good after winning a game of wits with a bird the size of a pea, it was time to head back to the delta. This time, the water on the Sacra- mento side would be plenty clear for fishing. Early May can be a fine time to be on the delta. It also can be 95 degrees and either super windy or without a lick of breeze. In this case, it was perfect weather. Temps were in the high 70’s, and the water had ideal 3-4’ of visibility. The only problem was that conditions were pretty similar from Stockton to Chico on the San Joaquin, Sacramento 2019 and all their respective striper filled tributaries. In other words, the fish were spread out all over California. This translates into lots of hours trolling envisioning what the strike of a hungry striper might look like on your otherwise lifeless rod. For many hours that morning, I stared at my tightly wiggling rod tip while laughing at the morning’s commentary on JW’s brown boat. The San Joaquin side was dead for us in the a.m., so a move to the Sacramento was queued for lunch time. About mid-day, we found ourselves trolling along the West Bank as we have countless hours before. The spot is far from a secret but with good reason. Stripers of all sizes travel up and down this route on their trip up the river to spawn. They also corral shad and other baitfish here. As big fish often times seem to do, they hit in less than opportune times. In this instance, the big girl clamped onto my Yo-Zuri right as we weaved between another boat shallow trolling and a boat on anchor bait fishing. As soon as the fish hit, it became apparent to everybody that I had hooked an exceptional fish. The rod bent to the cork handle, and line just started flying off the reel like Rip Taylor throwing confetti. Most accounts of fish going on long runs are vastly over exaggerated, but a line counter reel can keep the embellishment to a minimum. On the first run, the fish yanked out 80’ of line. Thankfully, the big striper ran out into the middle of the river and stayed away from the anchored bait fishing boat’s lines. At that point, experience with these fish paid off. The most common way to lose a big striper is to pull too hard and open up the relatively weak 2x strong treble hooks on a stock Yo-Zuri. Prudence says to fight the fish with a light Techron ® Protection Plus Marine Fuel System Treatment is here to drag and a tight line. help your engine run smoothly, all season long. Our exclusive formula Be patient. Let the fish wear out. Stripers have cleans and restores, ensuring superior performance and protection. hard rubbery mouths, and most of the time you will With up to 24 months of fuel stabilization during the off-season and need pliers to extract the hooks. Keep the line tight, best-in-class corrosion protection, Techron ® Marine is the solution and the hooks usually won’t fall out unexpectedly. you’ve been waiting for. This was no exception. She made a couple more spirited runs, but the landing of this fish proved to be almost inevitable. The hook closest to the bill of Learn more at sh6 the plug was firmly wedged in the fish’s jaw, and the hook nearest the tail was just under the chin and Available at West Marine, AutoZone stores nationwide buried in the meat below the gill plate. and Chevron ExtraMile convenience stores The rest of the day was fairly uneventful. We Online at,, managed just a few more keeper sized fish to 6 and pounds. However, the thing that captivates my mind while dragging plugs in the delta for stripers Techron Chevrontechron Techron is the, “You never know factor.” At any moment, a fish of just ridiculous proportions could swallow your plug; a fish the size of medium sized dog or a 5-8 year old human child. 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