Chilly mornings and mild days have made for some odd fishing lately. The trout bite on area lakes continues to be up and down and, while the numbers of bass getting caught has declined, a determined angler might be rewarded with some trophy-sized fish at this time of the year.
With the salmon run pretty much over, some are focusing on the winter steelhead. Anglers targeting the American River have reported a mix of wild and hatchery fish up to 4 pounds using roe and night crawlers.
Salmon fishing closes Saturday.
Good numbers of sturgeon are being caught in the delta near Suisun Bay. Big tides and warm temperatures are making the conditions ideal for some “dinos,” and anglers are finding roe, eel and grass shrimps are the best offerings.
Big stripers are also getting wacked on live bait, mudsuckers and cut bait.
The annual Lake Amador Trout Derby started Nov. 24 and will run through March 4, with a one-time entry fee of $7. Over 300 tagged fish will be released for cash and prizes totaling in excess of $5,000.
At Lake Camanche, trolling continues to be best with 3-inch white grubs at speeds from 1.4-1.6 mph within 15 feet of the surface.
Mackinaws and trout can be had at some high country lakes, assuming one is able to brave the chilly temperatures. Donner and Tahoe are good bets for these good, fighting lake trout.
Some big bass have been caught up at Bullards Bar. The most common theory is that the bass feed on the hatching kokanee population there, the result being some really big bass. This theory may hold some truth; however I would expect the surviving kokes to be too large now.
Camp Far West is reporting a decent bass bite up the Bear River arm.
Not much happening on the Feather and Sacramento rivers right now. Catfish can be had on the Sac around Verona.
Big swells have put a hurt on some of the ocean boats, but limits of rockfish, lingcods and crabs can be had for intrepid anglers. If you are uneasy about getting seasick, there are boats reporting limits of stripers inside San Pablo Bay.