Bait Fishermen Find Striper Success In Cold Water

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(Stockton) Striped bass remain king in the San Joaquin side of the Delta with the water temperatures reaching optimum temperatures. Bait fishermen are finding the best action in the cold water, although there has been a window for swimbaits on specific tides.

Captain Stan Koenigsberger of Quetzal Adventures out of Bethel Island put Alex Harris on a 15-pound striper on frozen shad on the outgoing tide in False River, and young Harris released the fish after a measurement and photograph. Koenigsberger said, “We had a 21 fish day with 10 of the stripers of legal size.”

Dan Mathisen of Dan’s Delta Outdoors in Oakley said, “The striper bite is not slowing down, but those tossing swimbaits or plugs will need to adjust their depths as the fish are holding from 6 to 12 feet instead of 4 to 6 feet.”

The action with the Optimum 5-inch Bad Bubba Shad swimbait, leading Mathisen to state, “We are still cracking them as my wife and I routinely catch and release between 25 and 30 fish to 12 pounds with most of the stripers in the 4 to 6-pound range.”

The action has been best in the north/south sloughs to avoid the massive islands of hyacinth, and Broad Slough and Three Mile meet this description.

The water hyacinth in the Stockton area is starting to curl up and show some shades of brown from the recent cold spell, but it hasn’t been cold enough despite Sunday’s record 25-degree low temperature to kill off the heavy hyacinth growth.

Brandon Gallegos of H and R Bait in Stockton said, “It’s still more green than brown out there on the San Joaquin; but there have been some clearer areas in the east and south Delta. Stripers in the 5 to 6-pound range have been taken off of Eight Mile Road at King Island with live bluegill or jumbo minnows and there is a great abundance of bluegill and shiner minnows in the area.”

The launch ramps in the Stockton metropolitan area remain closed due to hyacinth, but Paradise Point Marina off of Eight Mile Road west of Stockton has remained operational.


San Joaquin Delta