Fish Sniffer On Demand Digital Edition 3813 June 7-21 2019 - Page 3

Up-To-Date and Published Locally... By Sportsmen... For Sportsmen! 37 Years Serving Sportsmen Feather River Map Feature MADE IN U.S.A See Page 16-17 Vol. 38 - ISS.13 Our 37th Year I Since 1982 June 7 - 21, 2019 “The Magazine for West Coast Sportsmen!” The Spring of Big Stripers don’t get out after stripers the way I used to. Logistically, I just can’t get over the hurdles. They are a long ways from my home, and my time is stretched thinner than ever. There are many clichés I can cite, work, kids and lack of funds… etc. I used to have a real fire in my belly for stripers, but now I just enjoy being out on the delta. There’s something about that fertile green water and the rolling lush hills of the Lower Sacra- mento that beckon to me this time of year. This has been an exception- ally wet winter/spring, and the fishing has been a little off of its usual pacing from what I can see. During the peak of the drought in 2014-15, the striper spawn started as early as mid-Feb- ruary. This year winter extended well into the end of March. The first real signs of a spring bite began somewhere around early to mid-April. The Sacramento side of the delta was blown out. The river was scooting along briskly, and the color was turbid brown at best. That meant that everybody with cabin fever found their way to the relatively clear waters of the San Joaquin side of the delta. There undoubtedly were plenty of stripers in the off color waters of the Sacramento, but the condi- tions were poor for targeting them. Suffice it to say that the fishing pressure on the San Joaquin side was pretty stiff early this spring. In early April, I found myself trolling amongst the masses on my buddy JW’s “stanky” brown Smokercraft. The brown boat started out slow, but we managed to scratch out some quality fish shallow trolling Yo-Zuri’s along a flat of witches’ hair. The bite was far from hot, but we ended the day one fish short of limits for 4 guys. Better yet was the grade of fish we ran into. They were slabs. At one point my rod bent to the cork, and a big fish yanked line off my line counter reel willy-nilly. After a spirited battle, braided line and galva- nized treble hooks prevailed in putting the I 5. I never pass up the opportunity to peer over the rail to see if any boats are anchored up on the river. When I see groups of tightly packed boats in the springtime, I know what time it is. Shad fishing has arrived. I’ve always heard of “100 shad days” and kind of rolled my eyes. Is it is even possible to catch 100 shad in a day? On May 8th, I learned that not only is it possible, but it is a whole lot of fun. I met my fishing partner Mick Berklich on the morning of May 8th at the Miller Park boat ramp near Downtown Sacramento. We motored upstream against the ripping current and anchored above the I Street Bridge. With the roar of the freeway in the background, we lowered our offerings using four and eight once sinkers to create a spread. I was trying to explain to Mick that shad usually don’t start striking until mid-morning, when one of the rods went down. As Mick battled the first shad of the day, another rod buried towards the Where...When...How... Mike McNeilly, Fish Sniffer field editor, landed and released this impressive 20 plus pound striper while fishing the West Bank on the Sacramento River during a recent outing. Photo by MIKE MCNEILLY, Fish Sniffer Staff. lineside in the net. It was a quality fish of almost 15 pounds. It’s always good to see the captain get in on the action. For many years I have been the guy driving the boat, and now I CONTINUED ON PG 25 water - a double to start the day. We began to realize that 100 shad days really are possible. The fishing was so good that we couldn’t keep one or two rods in the water at any given time. We had doubles, triples and even landed two shad on one rod, when both lures on a high-low setup hooked shad. Mick even picked up a nice keeper-sized striper on the shad rig. For American Shad, I run a high-low setup similar to what would normally be used for surf fishing or ocean bottom fishing. You fish vertical, with a sinker clipped to the very end of the line that rests on the bottom. Eighteen inches above the sinker, there is a ten-inch dropper leader coming off the main line. A second ten-inch dropper leader is spaced 24 inches above this. You slowly lower the rig down and back bounce it until the sinker rests on the bottom. Once the line is reeled tight, the main line stays vertical and the leaders trail WHAT’S HOT by Jack Naves Big shad like the pair Mick Berklich caught recently provide excellent eating when prepared properly. Photo by JACK NAVES, Fish Sniffer Staff. F ish S niffer T IP OF THE W EEK Area Reports FEATURES Shad Pandemonium in Downtown Sacramento often find myself driving through Downtown Sacramento on Interstate INSIDE FRESHWATER REPORTS Almanor - Bullards Bar/Englebright Reservoir.... 4-5 Clear Lake - East Delta........................................ 14 Lake Del Valle - Folsom Lake ........................ 18-19 Klamath/Trinity Rivers - Rio Vista Area........ 20-21 Rollins/Scotts Flat Lakes - West Delta............ 22-23 SALTWATER REPORTS Baja Roundup........................................................... 31 Berkeley - Bodega Bay............................................ 27 Fisherman’s Wharf - Half Moon Bay....................... 29 Monterey Bay......................................................30 GONE FISHING by Mike McNeilly Special Section Catch & Release Fishing - pgs 6-7 Salmon eggs and stream trout fishing go hand-in-hand. Spring is a wonderful time to reconnect with this age-old technique. Current seams, which are nature’s food conveyors, are perfect spots for presenting eggs. The rigging is simple. A small egg hook hidden inside an egg. Fluorocarbon is a definite advantage. Not only does fluorocarbon leader go invisible underwater, but it’s heavier than monofil- ament as it absorbs water and will get your egg into the strike zone faster. - Cal Kellogg CONTINUED ON PG 18 TROUT & KOKANEE JOURNAL..........................8-12 BAJA ROUNDUP......................................................31 BULLETIN BOARD.....................................................3 CATCH & RELEASE - FLY FISHING: Cal Kellogg......6 CATCH & RELEASE - FLY FISHING REPORTS........ 7 FISH SNIFFER COUNTRY: Steve ‘Hippo’ Lau..........28 GO FOR IT: Staff.........................................................2 HOW-TO: Cal Kellogg..............................................15 KAYAK FISHING SPOTLIGHT: Cal Kellogg ...............5 MAP FEATURE: Dan Bacher...............................16-17 MIXED BAG FISHING: Ernie Marlan........................24 SPOTLIGHT ON CONSERVATION: Dan Bacher......28 STAFF TACKLE What We’re Using Cal Kellogg - made an early morning hike up the North Fork of the American River for spring bass. Cal used a 6’6” medium light Berkley Lightening Rod balanced with an Abu Garcia S30 Cardinal spinning reel spooled with 8 lb. Yo-Zuri Hybrid line. Cal used this rig to work 3 inch grubs rigged on darter heads and 4 inch wacky rigged Senkos coated with crawfish scent Pro-Cure Super Gel. Cal caught two spotted bass and two smallmouth bass. The largest fish was a 14 inch spot. Dan Bacher -fished the San joaquin River for stripers with Mark Wilson, Clyde Wands and James Netzel of Tight Lines Guide Service. They caught limits of striped bass to 8 pounds while trolling with 7 foot Mark Wilson Lamiglas rods with Shimano Tekota LC 500 reels, filled with Fins 40g 25 lb. line. They trolled at 2-1/2 to 4-1/2 mph with shallow and deep diving Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnow lures in an array of colors, tipped with plastic worms, on 25 lb. test P-Line CXX leaders. Paul Kneeland - fished Pyramid Lake on Mother’s Day with Bridget and sons Mark, Matt and Peter Looney and Chyna Odum in the Fish Sniffer 21’ Rogue Jet Coastal. They caught Lahontan cutthroat trout to 6 pounds 10 oz., using a Okuma 9’ light action Kokanee Black Rod with a Daiwa Lexa 100 line counter reel loaded with 8 lb test Yozuri Topknot Flourocarbon line. They trolled “Dill Pickle” Lyman lures and Tasmanian Devils in “Canberra Killer” color off the Canon Downriggers at 10 to 25 feet deep and 2.5 mph.