Now, Who Goes To North Dakota … to catch trophy-size pike? Napa angler Steve Orndorf, who fished with longtime fishing partner Adam Schumann and his brother Paul, who live in Minot. They fished in big Lake Sakakawea and on the Missouri River below Garrison Dam using spinner baits and spoons. A couple close to 30 pounds punctuated the action with a 100-pound paddlefish (caught and quickly released) as a definite dividend.

Columbia River King Salmon … caught by my friend, Andy Gridley. Andy caught this 24-pound beauty on a herring rig behind a giant flasher in about 25 feet of water. He was targeting both kings and cohos near the “Church Hole” on the Washington side of the Columbia, just below Astoria Bridge.

Clear Lake Bounty Continues … Look at this combined client tote board for Aug. 18 and 19 reported by pro guide Bob Myskey: One hundred and ninety-six largemouth bass – that’s 98 a day. Here’s Jacob Pickett with his personal-best 7.5 pound bass. The lake is full of healthy, aggressive bass – they bite at every stop and all day long. Start at sun-up with popper style top water plugs and fill out your day with natural colored soft plastics, jigs, shallow running plugs and spinners.

These are epic fishing days, but the hardest part of the deal is getting a date with a guide. We’re booked with Bob once in September and once in October. Call at 274-0373 to see if he can put you on a wait list in case he has a cancellation. Don’t be shy about asking him to recommend another guide if he can’t take you.

Bodega Bay Still A Smorgasbord … filling coolers and freezers. On Saturday, Captain Rick on the New Sea Angler (875-3344) put 38 clients onto rockfish limits all around. He said that they must have had 12 different varieties of rocks in the sacks. Chalk up the nice salty dividend of 18 ling cod to 14 pounds.

That hot king salmon bite has tapered off, probably because they are starting to move to stage for their long trip home soon. That should continue to bring pods of salmon through for some more salmon fishing still.

Key to this is a report in Dave Hurley’s Monday Hot Sheet that salmon conditions continue to look good with brown water, scattered bait balls of anchovies from 30 to 60 feet and birds on the surface.

River Salmon Fishing Soon? … Most reports are telling us that just a few are being caught in the usual spots right now. That’s not surprising; most of them are still in the salt. But it’s not too early to book your river trip. We have reserved Sept. 18 and 19 on the Feather with pro river guide Kevin Brock (800 995-5543). It was on the Feather 18 years ago that I caught my biggest king salmon – a moose of 45 pounds. Kevin pointed to an unlikely looking spot and said, “cast right over there up against that dumb-looking cliff.” What a thrill!

Salmon Slow In The Delta? … Of course; the bulk of them have not started to think about that long swim home – starting in the Delta and stretching hundreds of miles back up into the Sac and Feather rivers. No problem, the stripers are on the move and being caught in shallow water. I’m told that P-Line Angry Eye Predator Minnows or Yozuri Crystal Minnows are hot, but go deep every few casts to keep them honest. Over in front of McAvoy’s Boat Harbor, anchor up and fish with live grass shrimp.

Please release those big females so they can spawn again and again. This is an essential element of good sportsmanship.

Meanwhile, Out Of The Gate … the salmon bite was good, with most party boats and six-packs seeing a solid fish per rod to limits (two salmon) of mostly quality fish. Fish movement seems confirmed by the variety of sizes cycling through – sometimes 8-pounders, sometimes 15- to 20-pounders.

San Pablo Bay’s … Keith Fraser at the Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle shop in San Rafael told the Hot Sheet that “stripers are all over the bay.” He went on to say that there were lots of halibut, but most fish were short. Live shiners are hard to find right now, so you’ll have to use live anchovies.

Shark Fishing? … You bet; your kids will love it. Strong fish with lots of action – in the bay, so no sea-sickness worries. On Friday, The California Dawn (510 417-5557) scored nine limits of seven-gill sharks, releasing several others to 150 pounds along with a jumbo soup fin shark.

Email Bill Ryan at