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OUTDOORS

Get out there and catch some fish

By: Kirby Desha/Guest Columist for The News Messenger
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Fishing is so hot right now the biggest challenge is deciding what to target!

Stripers are hitting big on the rivers from Discovery Park up to Colusa. The winds are sometimes tough to deal with, but the best areas are the mouth of the American River at Discovery Park, Verona at the mouth of the Feather River, Tisdale farther up the Sac past Knights Landing and the Star Bend/Shanghai Falls area on the Feather.

Drifting jumbo minnows is hot, but the usual baits work too; cut sardines, pile worms, anchovies and night crawlers. Throwing big swimbaits can work also.

Some shad are showing up too, so one can toss out some shad darts while striper fishing.

Down in the delta, stripers and sturgeon are still hot, while out on San Pablo Bay boats are catching halibut and sharks. Out on the big water, salmon fishing has been up and down depending on the windy conditions, but I’ve seen some good reports of limits of fresh chromers along with rockfish, lingcod and crabs.

Trout are being caught at the usual locations. Camanche, Don Pedro, New Melones, Collins are all kicking out good numbers. The higher lakes are still not there yet, as the cold rains are putting them behind schedule.

Kokanee are being caught at Pardee and New Melones on a regular basis, although the higher lakes such as Stampede and Donner are still unsettled. We tried Bullards are few weeks ago and had some hits, but didn’t get any in the boat.

Bass fishing is on fire and should continue for the next month or so as temperatures stay in the 70s and low 80s. A friend landed a 6-pound spot at Bullards last week, and another friend had a stellar day up at Clear Lake, bagging several largemouth up to 7 pounds. 

A recent tournament at Camp Far West had a winning bag of over 11 pounds, with one fish weighing in at 4 ½. I fished there last Wednesday and we landed over 50 fish in the main body of the lake. Most came on either a 3-inch swimbait or a dark colored senko.

One should target the sunlit rocks early and work the shaded areas later in the day. I’ve found they can be scattered so keep moving. If you are not getting bit, move along.

When you find a good spot, keep fishing it until it dries up. There is an afternoon shad boil going on that can produce crazy numbers in a very short time.

We found such a spot along one bank and witnessed clouds of baitfish getting chased by the bass. The surface was literally boiling with bass busting up the water.

Casting anywhere near one of these boils and you will get hit.