The Fishing Report: Water heating up as spring approaches

2013-02-14T21:33:00Z 2013-02-15T15:56:46Z The Fishing Report: Water heating up as spring approachesBILL RYAN Napa Valley Register
February 14, 2013 9:33 pm  • 

Here’s a look at the latest local angling action:

Across the system ...

I’m hearing those magic words — “water is warming up!”

Anglers everywhere start to heed the call of spring. Time to get your gear out and go to Sweeney’s Sports on Imola for a spring tune-up and upgrade.

Clear Lake

Bass fishing is still slow at Clear Lake.

However, we caught some good ones Saturday fishing with pro guide Bob Myskey (349-4460). Lora Trinchero, Fred LeDrew and I caught seven quality bass on live jumbo minnows; our combined top five went 26 pounds.

Top rod honors were Lora’s with a fat 7.3-pound largemouth.

Fred was the numbers king; I took photos.

Napa River

Got to use live bait like split tails to catch stripers here. Cut bait is still fun from the bank on shakers for the kids. Unusual concentration of starry flounder biting on bass baits. Shore anglers can keep them; boaters cannot.

Sturgeon bite stays open for traditional shrimp baits in the south river — all the way up to the college.

Eyewitness report up here at Sulphur Creek Monday — “gin clear, low but running nicely.”

I’m tickled to report that the Napa River Fly Fishers are supporting “Trout in the Classroom” projects in 11 Napa County classrooms this year.

They are: Blue Oak School, two at Donaldson Way School (American Canyon), El Centro, two at Harvest Middle School, two at River School, Yountville Elementary and two at Vista/360 Pueblo Vista.

The class watches the eggs hatch and nourish the baby trout until spring, when they will release them into the river.

Learn more about salmon and steelhead in Napa County on Feb. 27 (7-8 p.m.) at the Upper Valley Campus of Napa Valley College, room 7A, 1088 College Ave., St. Helena.

The Napa County RCD’s senior biologist, Jonathan Koehler, will describe the fascinating life cycle of Chinook salmon and federally-threatened steelhead trout. You can learn what you can do to keep water in our streams and enhance salmonid habitat.

Bring the kids.

Lake Berryessa

Toss live minnows in the shallow bays for a wide-open trout bite. You can also troll, but live bait is knocking them dead.

Same for black bass, but they are a little harder to find. Jim Munk always told me that the red bud bloom signaled the best spring bass bite. Stay tuned.

San Pablo Bay

According to the Hurley’s Chronicles Hot Sheet, Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle in San Rafael (415-454-7728) honcho Keith Fraser said there was not even a ripple on the water Sunday.

He went on to say that “striped bass are flooding in to San Pablo Bay; I can’t remember a time when there were as many bass in the bay in February.”

This has got to be good news for the Napa River.

One of his regulars released five legal bass and several shakers to go with six shaker sturgeon. Mud and ghost shrimp did the trick.

Bodega Bay

Weekend activity concentrated mostly on crab trips.

Rick Powers on the New Sea Angler (875-3344) said the good quality of the crabs surprised him and reported mostly solid 6.5- to 7.5-inch crabs to go with a few sporties.

He’s hoping to put together weekly crab and dab combo trips while waiting for the 2013 salmon season to begin.

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