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  1. #10
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    Re: Feeling discouraged.. (Questions)

    Quote Originally Posted by semut View Post
    There was a huge seal or sea lion that same splashing through Hill Slough today. That was pretty damn interesting. I'm assuming the only reason he was there was to feast on some fishies
    I saw one too near the opposite bank across from where I was fishing. Some months ago, but dang that thing could throw water! Got some cool video of it. Was hoping fish would get scared and come my way!

    I'm pretty new to fishing. My first five outings on the Delta bank last spring were depressing. Nada!

    I stuck with it and caught my first striper ever finally. Next time I got a few, then a 3 pounder another day. Caught at least one every time for the next few months. Got spoiled.

    Now...ya I can get some tiny ones, and they will do when nothing else happens, but I need a big one.

    I use anchovies, though recently started trying hard baits - no luck yet with those, not even a bite. I fish Mossdale in Lathrop.

    You'll catch em! Sometimes the dinks will steal a whole anchovy so I use chunks sometimes, especially if all I get are small bites.

    Magic thread (forget which brand) keeps bait on the hook better. I like the kind that comes in the clear tube with the black dispenser cap on it. The other brand cuts into the bait too much, at least for me. And the stuff at the fabric store is more expensive per foot than the ones made (packaged) for fishing.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by schplurg; 09-17-2018 at 06:31 PM. Reason: thpelling

  2. #9
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    Re: Feeling discouraged.. (Questions)

    Definitely move around. Personally I like bigger tides at a location where you can hit both shallow water or reach the channel/drop off. Grass and pile have done well. Chovies as well.. plenty of shakers but you're bound for a biggin'! At least you have the time to make it out. Ive been fishing Benicia/Napa lately. Seems we are having an early season. Goodluck!

  3. #8
    Senior Member mrmike130s's Avatar
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    Re: Feeling discouraged.. (Questions)

    Quote Originally Posted by semut View Post
    Thanks a lot for all the info guys! I didn't realize what LONO said about babies in the summertime. That gives me a lot of hope because, damn, I'm catching a lot of babies haha. So I have SOME idea of what they like to eat by now!!

    I found what seems to be a much better spot today. I'll keep you guys posted as the season changes a bit

    RE Bloodworms: I see a lot of people saying bigger bait = bigger fish (which I totally get). But I keep using bloodworms because it seems like about half the time I see people with big fish they say they used bloodworms. The other 50% of the time seems to be evenly split between grass shrimp and anchovies/sardines. And I guess I don't really MIND catching shakers - I'd rather reel in a few 12"ers during the day and release them than sit there with nothing. So in that regard, it's very helpful to know what Waterdog said about the frequency of keepers. Just knowing that, plus knowing it's not really the "season" gives me plenty of hope.

    Thanks again everyone!!
    Large Blood worms makes sense. I have fish for Stripers in New York Harbor. Party boat out of Sheepshead. Bait used was a live eel. Regs there “slot limit: 18 - 28 inches or > 40 inches”.
    https://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/108092.html

    Maybe have to find some blood worms. Pile worms are like striper candy! But using pile worms, you have a good chance to hook a Sturgeon too. Hook a Sturgeon on a lighter striper pole would be “Game On”.

  4. #7
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    Re: Feeling discouraged.. (Questions)

    There was a huge seal or sea lion that same splashing through Hill Slough today. That was pretty damn interesting. I'm assuming the only reason he was there was to feast on some fishies

  5. #6
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    Re: Feeling discouraged.. (Questions)

    Thanks a lot for all the info guys! I didn't realize what LONO said about babies in the summertime. That gives me a lot of hope because, damn, I'm catching a lot of babies haha. So I have SOME idea of what they like to eat by now!!

    I found what seems to be a much better spot today. I'll keep you guys posted as the season changes a bit

    RE Bloodworms: I see a lot of people saying bigger bait = bigger fish (which I totally get). But I keep using bloodworms because it seems like about half the time I see people with big fish they say they used bloodworms. The other 50% of the time seems to be evenly split between grass shrimp and anchovies/sardines. And I guess I don't really MIND catching shakers - I'd rather reel in a few 12"ers during the day and release them than sit there with nothing. So in that regard, it's very helpful to know what Waterdog said about the frequency of keepers. Just knowing that, plus knowing it's not really the "season" gives me plenty of hope.

    Thanks again everyone!!

  6. #5
    Senior Member mrmike130s's Avatar
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    Re: Feeling discouraged.. (Questions)

    Fishing from the bank can be tough. You need to move around and try some bigger waters. Maybe drive south and try some of the piers around Pittsburgh and Antioch. Maybe there is somewhere in the Rio Vista area. I do know a lot of bank Fisherman on Sherman Island,on the Sac. River.
    Maybe some others could chime in about Collinsville?

    Top and bottom of tides is the time. The hour as it slows down,and starts to move after slack tide.

    As far as baits. You are on the right path. Go big, or go with live.
    Larger shad will slow down the shakers. I have been throwing squid in to the mix. I caught one 31 inches in Broad Slough on squid. And it holds up to the shakers.

    My daughter in law likes to use Sardine heads, include some of the guts. The shakers will pick at it. But a bigger fish will eat the whole head!

    All that hat pecking is small fish. A bigger fish will usually commit. Bait Runner or bait caster with a clicker helps too.

  7. #4
    Senior Member LONO100's Avatar
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    Re: Feeling discouraged.. (Questions)

    i fished those little sloughs for nearly 20 years as the suisun area have been my home waters long before i ever had a boat. here are some tips i have learned from nearly 2 decades of playing in that area:

    it seems you have begun learning to fish for striper in the summer months which are the months most condusive to catching nothing but shakers. think of these little soughs as nurseries for baby stripes. they will hang out in there until they are big enough to school up with the big ones and head west into the bay and eventually the ocean to further fatten up during summer months. if you are fishing those tiny sloughs in the summer, expect nothing but diaper stripers. not all bad if you want some quick after work action. bring some super light gear, like trout gear and it can be some quick fun.

    because of its location, hill slough is fished very tough from those banks and so it can be hard to get a good bite there. try driving further down and fishing the banks of montezuma slough. there are tons of lost tackle off those banks so it can be a snag fest compounded by the fact that the tide and wind make it hard to keep baits down. use heavy weights, but dont go pyramid, try pencil or torpedo shaped weights on a sliding rig, 6 ozs on big tide days. tie a small loop of 3 lb line on the weight and connect that to your slider so if you get snagged, you pop the weight but get your hook, slider and swivel back. and the trick down there is to get that rod tip as high as you can in the air when reeling in to change or check bait. it helps reduce snags.

    as others have said, big bait = big fish! thats the trade off, go with live bait, mudsuckers and blue gill. less action but increased chances of a keeper or better! you can buy mudsuckers or get a bait trap and learn how to catch them yourself and use them for live bait. here's a link to a video i made a while back that can be useful.
    https://youtu.be/Jr7D9R03OUI

    work the tides! especially off the banks in the west delta, timing it so you have lines wet during the tops and bottoms of the tides will increase your catch rate.

    give it time, fall is on the way! the fall run brings huge schools of larger stripes back into the system, so wait for that water temp to get right, and after a few rainy days, and it will setup nicely for some nice fall fishing.

    those little sloughs you are fishing get much better in the cold winter as big fish tend to follow bait fish into those waters as the temp drops.

    keep at it and keep us updated on how you do, ive been a boat guy for a while now, but i still bank fish and i think its the purest form of fishing. theres nothing like being on a boat, but with it comes all the bro dudes, the aggro competitive guys, the hot heads, the danger, the high cost and time you have to invest. theres nothing like walking a bank, setting up shop in some cold or rainy weather and watching those rod tips with a thermos full of coffee! good luck and happy hunting.

  8. #3
    Senior Member Waterdog's Avatar
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    Re: Feeling discouraged.. (Questions)

    Sutterduckhunter is right, if you want to avoid shakers and catch bigger striper go with live bait, mud suckers, jumbo minnows, blue gill. You may not catch many fish but you will catch more keeper size.
    When using regular bait to keep shakers off your hook use large circle hooks. The shakers will still take your bait but won’t get hooked with the larger hooks. Striper are not hook shy so a larger hook won’t scare them away.
    If you are getting attacked by shakers move to a different spot. Keep trying different spots.
    I don’t know why the other baits you mention aren’t working for you. My go to baits are sardines, shad, anchovies and chicken livers. Pile worms and blood worms work well also but my number one go to bait has always been sardines. Use stretch thread or fine mesh netting (can’t rember what it’s called) to secure your bait to the hook. Makes it harder for them shakers to steel your bait.
    Most shore bait fishermen just don’t do that well catching keeper stripers. If you average one keeper every other time you are doing well. People in boats can cover a lot of water and generally have a far better success rate whether it be bait, trolling or casting top water.
    Last edited by Waterdog; 09-16-2018 at 09:19 AM.
    Hunting, Fishing and Labrador Retrievers and at the end of the day a glass of Buffalo Trace Whiskey- Life is Sweet.

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  10. #2
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    Re: Feeling discouraged.. (Questions)

    I'm far from an expert at striper fishing, however, if you want bigger fish then you need to fish with bigger bait. I would stick with mudsuckers or blue gill. You'll have fewer bites, but when you catch something it might be a keeper. Set your clicker and open the spool and let the fish run for 30 seconds.

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  12. #1
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    Feeling discouraged.. (Questions)

    I've only been 'seriously' fishing for stripers for a month or two. I've been a lifelong fisherman, though mostly streams & trout. So while I'm relatively new to stripers, I learn pretty quick.

    But damn, I just cannot catch anything keepable. I've lost count of the shakers I've caught & released but.. that's it. I have yet to land anything over ~12". I just don't know what I'm doing wrong at this point.

    Questions:

    (I'm fishing in Suisun. Specifically in the Grizzly Island sloughs. Shore only, no boat. Two rod stamp though I often just use one)

    -One possibility is that it's just my expectations. If I go trout fishing with my ideal baits in good locations for, say, 3-4 hours I would expect to walk away with a minimum of 3 fish. Maybe 2 on a slow day, maybe limit (5) on a better day. But what should be a reasonable expectation for fishing stripers from a shore? If you go out for 2-3 hours with your choice bait, at a time of your choosing, but WITHOUT a boat, what would YOU expect to catch in a day? If it's less than one a day, then what would you expect to catch in a week if you go out every day in that same manner? Do people only catch 1-2 week on average, making it just my expectations that are getting in my own way? Or should I be expecting to do better than.. nothing? haha

    -Yes, I know, a lot of fishing is just finding what works for you. I think because of my 'trout eye' I love love love how the water at Hill Slough looks. It's big enough to hold plenty of fish yet small enough that I can essentially control exactly where I'm casting. While I get tons of bites & shakers (but nothing more) at Hill, I get absolutely NOTHING at any of the other 'good spots'. When I've fished around Beldon and Cutoff, I get nothing - not even a single bite. Same at Red Barn. The only place I ever seem to get any action is in Hill. But is that just me being stubborn? The actions I'm getting there is most certainly shakers harassing me (though I have seen good fish pulled out of there), but even so, it's action - so I tend to end up at Hill all the time, knowing very well that I'm not going to get anything worthwhile. Again though, I get *zero* when I venture outward. In your opinion(s), am I being too stubborn? Should I get the hell out of Hill Slough already??

    -Same thing as the previous question, but baits: I only ever get bites/fish on bloodworms. I caught one on a ghost shrimp but 95% of everything I get is bloodworms. I've fished with mudsuckers only a couple times and got nothing at all. Same with grass shrimp. And my God, sorry, but I cannot get a single interested party on anchovies or sardines (not to mention I can't even get them to stay on even WITH magic thread). Nothing on crawlers (do stripers even like crawlers??). So same as the previous question: Am I being too stubborn by only ever going out with bloods & the occasional ghost shrimps? Should I be trying different baits?

    -I understand how the flow from the tide affects the bite. But does time of day (daylight) or tide-level affect the TYPE of bait you use? (Example, "Yes semut, dummy, you should be using bloods at higher tides, shrimps at lower or when it's dark", etc)


    What's interesting is that I clicked on my profile and, apparently, I asked a lot of the same questions several years ago. I don't even remember that, but I must have started getting into stripers a few years back and run into this same issue, then got discouraged and just went back to boring myself to death with lmb. So THIS time I'm determined to figure this damn thing out!!

    Thanks in advance

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