New Berryessa TNT Bass Tournaments … take place Thursday nights with a practical and interesting format. Except for full moon weeks, they run from 6 to 10 p.m. Thursdays. With just three fish max, this is the place to get your kids up to speed on competitive bassing. Entry fee is $40 per angler. Dates left in 2017 are Aug. 10, 17, 24 and 31.
On full moon weeks, the time runs Thursdays from 6 p.m. to midnight with a five-fish max. Entry fee is $75 per angler. Remaining dates are Aug. 3 and Sept. 7.
All tournaments take off from the Capell Cove Free Launch Ramp. Registration and entry doesn’t get any easier than this: just show up before 6 p.m. on the night of the tourney, pay your money and you are good to go. Please send me pictures of your winning bass so I can make you famous in the paper.
Stan & Noah … went fishing together in New York State. Yep, my good friend, Stan Press took 18-year old grandson Noah Tedeschi fly fishing for trout and smallmouth bass hunting on the St. Lawrence River right at the top of New York state. It was fitting that Noah caught the biggest fish. After all, it was a graduation present highlight during his summer vacation before he tackles college at the University of Connecticut this fall.
Clear Lake Calls … with some big numbers of bass. Our pro guide, Bob Myskey (274-0373), has had some encouraging fish counts recently. For his last three reported guide trips, the daily counts were 50, 35 and 60 fish. Now that Stan is back, we’ll be on the water with Bob next week. Stay tuned.
River Salmon Season … opened on July 16. But don’t go rushing out to book a trip. The vast bulk of the salmon are still cavorting in the salt. The best time to catch salmon on the Sac and the Feather is from the end of August through September. Sometimes the bigger kings show up even later, but that’s a crap-shoot.
The past two years were terrible. Low flows and warm water temperature just kept those silver bullets motoring upstream to cooler water. I expect this higher and colder water to encourage them to stop for a rest in the deep pools, where we know how to catch them.
There is a lot of optimism among river guides, based on the present wide-open bite in the salt. Let’s wait and watch for another few weeks before booking a trip. Of course, if all the news continues to be good, better book as fast as you can. We’ll be keeping in touch with pro river guide Kevin Brock (800-995-5543), who has guided me for river salmon for 22 straight years.
Bodega Bay … had light winds and heavy salmon scores on the 14th. Captain Rick on the New Sea Angler (875-3344) put his 19 clients on the king salmon limits all around – that’s 38 salmon. He said that they were chomping in 200 feet of water off of Bird to Elephant Rock with a steady bite throughout the day.
Over on the six-pack Miss Anita (875-3474), Captain Jeff scored full limits to 28 pounds. He liked the fact that most were in the 8- to 12-pound class and a whole different grade than the bigger fish of the past few days. That shows that fresh fish are pushing into the area. Jeff said in the Hot Sheet, “the bait is thick with brown water, anchovies and krill and some of the best feed conditions that I have seen in years.”
By the way, not only is this seasonal fog dangerous for private boaters, but it kills their action because it’s difficult for them to find the brown water.
More salmon chatter ... When the big ones start to bite, it gets tougher to score and limit. That happened this past weekend out the Gate. Don’t be dismayed. Listen to the deck hand as he talks you through the process. No sudden jerks; keep a bend in the rod and keep the rod tip up. That relentless upward pressure is what tires out fish the most. As the line gets shorter, the job gets tougher because there is less stretch and give in a shorter amount of line – so you gotta be smarter.
San Pablo Bay … spit out some good catches last weekend. Listen to what Keith Fraser from the Loch Lomond Live Bait House in San Rafael (415 456-0321) told us: a boat with four anglers caught 10 legal halibut and seven legal stripers, with the best action under the Richmond/San Rafael Bridge. Loch Lomond live anchovies substituted for the absent live shiners. Keith says there will be some great sturgeon tides coming this weekend – and that he has live mud suckers, pile worms, grass shrimp, ghost shrimp and anchovies in the shop.
The Delta … is prime for fly fishing for smallmouth bass right now. If you love trout on a fly, you will appreciate feeling the heavier weight and energy of a delta smallie when he eats your bug. No tentative little sip here – it’s a full commitment. Bryce Tedford of Bryce Tedford Fly Fishing said “… even seasoned veterans cannot resist the lure of top water explosions on light tackle.” Check him out at bit.ly/2uHb1gE or 206-696-2437.