Scott Snowden … creates the best VFA’s. Yep, Scott’s Vicarious Fishing Adventures from near and far give all of us who stay home a happy trip out of town. This time we travel to the Madison River at Yellowstone Park in Montana with Scott and Joann.
Scott subdued this beautiful 22-inch rainbow trout with a Rainbow Yellow Zonker. He was all alone on the Yellowstone at 10:30 a.m. when he hooked up. Heck, no other angler to show it to.
Closer To Home … my dear friend and former colleague Doug Roberts and I went bassin’ with pro guide Bob Myskey (274-0373) last week. Here are a couple of Doug’s bass from Day 1. There were some lessons to be learned from this trip:
*Don’t go for just one day. If we had done that, we would have caught only four bass. It was the toughest day of fishing in my career and Bob said it was his worst. We always book two days.
*Day 2, we redeemed ourselves with 15 bass caught and released.
*The problem was with old Mother Nature. We fished right after a low pressure system battered the lake. So, during the next couple of days of a rapidly rising barometer, “bluebird days,” the bass stayed hunkered down and angry.
*Don’t worry – it is a rare occurrence, and I’m fishing again with Bob next week. And, we’re setting up some spring dates for me. I’m looking at two in March, two in April, and two in May. Don’t wait past Thanksgiving to book your key spring dates. Guides get booked up way in advance for these best times of the year.
Berryessa Incoming … from longtime reader Mike Filippini: Mike out-guessed himself thinking that live minnows would fool some crappie recently. Nope. Mike and his wife started to score some good ones when they switched to pearl white crappie wiggle tails with a white crappie nugget. The go-to depth was 33 feet in the coves.
And – In The Salt … Here’s Dave Hurley’s quick overview in his Monday Hot Sheet: “There may be a window for tuna fishing along the North Coast this week, and striped bass are thick inside of San Francisco Bay.”
Here’s a fill-in for other most favorite spots. Incredibly, the stellar rockfish action at Bodega Bay continues. Reports abound with rockfish limits all around topped with ling cod to 22 pounds. Yes, there are some salmon still in the mix, but the last of them will be heading upriver soon.
However, just in time, our Dungeness crab season is scheduled to open Nov. 4 – for some bag-filling rockfish combo trips and preparation for those special holiday crab feasts. Stay tuned. The boats I watch here are the New Sea Angler (875-3344) and the six-pack Miss Anita (875-3474). You ought to book your pre-holiday crab trips right now. They will fill up fast, especially on weekends.
Golden Gate fleet … is seeing the salmon catch turn slow – even though you might hit a pocket of them heading for the Delta. Instead, they are scoring limits of quality rocks and lings – with a few bonus halibut and kings.
Keith Fraser … at Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle in San Rafael (415-456-0321) gave us these Bay nuggets: “The striped bass are everywhere, and the best grade is found by drifting live anchovies, mud suckers or shiners … The Brothers is best for drifting while Red Rock is good for both drifting or trolling.”
California Delta … is seeing its salmon glory days, with all of them intent on going home – and attracted by the drop in water temperature in response to heavy flows from the upper rivers system, along with colder nights. Salmon Central this time of year is usually Viera’s Riverside Resort near Isleton. Silvia said, “We are really busy out here on Sunday mornings as the bite is picking up … the action was good on Friday and Saturday with spinners on blue or chartreuse” (thanks again to the Hot Sheet for some timely updates here).
But the real Delta news for me is the start of the sturgeon season coming up. You just have to score one to feel their strength and resolve. Over the years, Barry Canevaro has been my go-to sturgeon master. Call him at 916-777-6498 to check on the best time to target a diamond-back. Remember the hot times for sturgeon run right to early spring.
Look at some local angler successes fishing for Sturgeon: Anne Steinhauer and I were with Barry on the Delta when we boated six of these monsters for three rods; certainly an epic day of fishing. L.T. caught an 89-pound moose on the Delta, and I caught and released one on the Willamette River in Oregon that weighed 275 pounds and was 7.5 feet long. The leader strength was 300 pound test!