The weather forecast at my deadline is for a couple of rain storms before you read this.
In general, that’s good news. In particular, I’m certain that they will fill Clear Lake.
Here’s a look at the latest local angling action:
“A few sturgeon being caught in the south river. Some small stripers are falling to cut bait like sardines and anchovie for anglers putting in the time ...”
That about sums it up.
Use this winter “down time” to prepare for the spring bite.
Everyone is welcome to join us at the March meeting of the Napa Valley Fly Fishers on Thursday, March 10 at 7 p.m. We meet at the Napa Senior Center at 1500 Jefferson St.
I learn something new at every meeting.
While there has not been a lot of action in the past month, pro bass guide Bob Myskey (349-4460) sent in some solid information and clues for March:
• February — Water clarity was good; water temperatures held between 46 and 48 degrees during these recent cold spells. The live jumbo minnow bite has to be rated good with 10 to 20 fish possible for a trip.
For the past three weekends, tournament anglers have been averaging a winning weight of 25 to 27 pounds for their best five fish. Biggest tourney bass weighed in went 7 pounds. Most of the fish currently being caught are solid 3- to 4-pounders.
The biggest non-tournament fish (caught at night by a local) was a 12-pound hog. Fishing traffic has been very slow; many days with hardly a boat on the water.
While the artificial lure bite is improving, Bob suggests that you stay with minnows through March.
• The Rumsey Gauge reading on Tuesday was 7.27 feet. That’s 93.9 percent full.
Incidentally, 9 feet is flood stage — last time it went above that, some Lakeport streets were under water!
With a full lake two years in a row, we’ll have excellent spawning conditions in 2011. This earlier fill will let the lake settle down as bass begin to stage before the March/April nesting time.
We’ll be sampling the early action with Bob on March 19 and keep you posted. It’s the busy time for guides — call Bob as soon as you can to see if he can fit you in before his book fills up.
Trout Plant at Lake Berryessa
More good spring news for local anglers. Michael Ficele, the manager at the Yountville DFG fish hatchery, told us that 3,400 pounds of catchable triploid trout were planted here on Feb. 15.
These are small fish but they aren’t very smart and should bite well. The DFG grew these triploids specially to be planted in waters that had been closed to plants the past couple of years. We’re also hoping to hear the same good news for Conn Dam/Lake Hennessey any day now. I’ll keep you posted.
Hatchery fish are used to looking up and eating little brown pellets. Check out Sweeney’s Sports on Imola Avenue (255-5544) for some similar looking Yum or Power Bait items that might fool them. I’d try fishing them with little or no weight at first.
Last weekend’s reports showed little activity in the cold and windy weather.
San Francisco Bays
Tiny Dungeness crabs continued to steal live bait, big time, in water over 10 feet. The wet and windy cold front that moved in Friday kept lots of anglers home.
A couple of highlights, though — one estimated 200-pound sturgeon at 7 feet was released and a 46-inch halibut was caught. Sounds like kamikaze fish to me.
Mike Pipkin at Gotcha Bait in Antioch (925-706-7400) said the weather on the Delta was beautiful Monday, but the cold front had dropped the water temperature down to 52, 53 degrees.
He reported some early largemouth bass action up to 11-pound jumbos on live jumbo minnows.
This is a local, privately-funded transition center for veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, who are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
I know that some local anglers have been involved in hands-on fishing events for the participants.
The Rotary Club of Napa is sponsoring the April 16 Wine Valley Cycle for Sight, Rotary Ride for Veterans.
Take advantage of this opportunity to continue support for Pathway Home.
With just a $100 donation, your customized sign will be in view by 2,000 cyclists during the event.
Visit the Napa Rotary website, www.rotaryride4vets.com, to order your customized sign.