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Northern California Angler Publications

Northern CaliforniaDelta
By: The Fish Sniffer Staff
February 27, 2010

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East Delta
(Stockton) Late winter and early spring is swimbait time in the Delta and a lot of big black bass are caught. While winter conditions are still the rule right now, anglers are beginning to get glimpses of the exciting big fish action to come when the tides and conditions are right.
“The water is murky and cold right now, but conditions are getting better,” reported Randy Pringle of the Fishing Instructor Guide Service. “My number one offering is a dark colored Berkley Hand Poured Worm rigged on a Zappu Head. With this rig the less you move it and the more time you spend dead-sticking the more action you will have.”
“While dead-sticking worms is a great way to hook fish, we have been getting some windows of very productive swimbait fishing. The big giant swimbaits aren’t working yet, because the bass are just too sluggish. If you want to throw swimbaits, there is nothing better than the Berkley Hollow Belly. The bait has a slim profile and when fished slowly it really appeals to the fish,” said Pringle.
“I’m using Hollow Bellies in the Bluegill color during high tide periods on flats where the bass will be spawning later on in the spring. You don’t want to do too much with the bait. Just cast it out and slow roll it back to the boat. Over the past week my clients have nailed bass to 8 pounds on the Hollow Belly,” disclosed Pringle.
“If you get windy conditions crankbaits will catch a few fish. I’ve been throwing the Ima Shaker series of baits because they run shallow and have a wide wobble. They move a lot of water and catch the attention of the bass, while moving slowly and staying in the strike zone,” added Pringle.
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Rio Vista
(Rio Vista) The good bite for sturgeon continued this past week, with fish being caught through out the Rio Vista area.
“We had lots of fish get weighed in over the past week!” exclaimed Allison Shawnego from Hap’s Bait and Tackle. “The fish are everywhere, from the Powerlines to Cache Slough.”
“Guys are using a mixture of baits, but ghost shrimp, pile worms and frozen shad have been getting them,” said Shawnego.
“Gary Buchada of Modesto caught a 57 inch, 47 pounder from the Power Lines area on grass shrimp, and Mike Garcia of Modesto landed a 64 inch, 66 pound fish at the Rio Vista Bridge on frozen shad,” noted Shawnego. “We also had a fish come from Steamboat slough, a 54 incher by Pat Rucha,” she added.
A bank angler fishing Sandy Beach also bagged a fish at 51 inches. “The fish was caught Saturday on ghost shrimp,” Shawnego said.
“Striper fishing picked up a little bit with the warmer weather,” Shawnego commented. “We had a couple of schoolies come out of Sherman Island on frozen shad, but trolling is still out of the question,” Shawnego noted. “Mark Wilson is fishing the other (San Joaquin) side of the system right now, since the water is clearer down there.”
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West Delta
(Pittsburg) After a period of slow action, both sturgeon and striper fishing is heating up in the West Delta. The water temperature has climbed into the middle fifities and the water quality hasimproved over the past week.
“The fishing has been getting better and better here in the Pittsburg area,” reported Captain Barry Canevaro of Fish Hookers Sportfishing. “We’ve been catching a mixed bag of stripers and sturgeon. Some of the stripers have been really good fish up to about 14 pounds.”
“Most of our stripers have come on shad, while our sturgeon have been eating brined ghost shrimp. Most of the time we’ve been fishing in water that ranges from 25 to 35 feet deep. The number of sturgeon we had been marking backed off for a while, but now the fish seem to be moving back in,” said Canevaro.
“I haven’t heard about any successful striper trolling being done down in this area, but it won’t be long. The water temperature is 55 degrees today and that is certainly warm enough for a trolling bite to develop,” added Canevaro.
Captain Rene Villanueva of Steelie Dan’s Guide Service hasn’t been fishing the Delta much, but he expects that to change soon.
“The last couple times I went out, the fishing was pretty slow and we only got a couple small stripers, but the way the water temperature has come up I don’t think it will be very long before we get a good trolling bite. The water has cleared quite a bit and that is going to help too,” said Villanueva.
“We boated 8 shaker sturgeon in four days and lost 2 good fish that threw the hooks after about 30 seconds, along with a few stripers to 25 inches thrown in,” said Eddie Trujillo of Reeltru Guide Service. “The hot bait has been grass shrimp and eel (marinated in Pro-cure sturgeon cocktail).”
The best action has been in the Big Cut in 35 feet of water, with the morning outgoing being the best tide. The water surface temperature is up to 56 degrees and the sturgeon have been biting with more aggression, noted Trujillo.
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