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Fishing Is My Day Job: It's best to get your Delta fix now
Fishing Is My Day Job

Fishing Is My Day Job: It's best to get your Delta fix now

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Striper Time… in the Delta. Look at this dandy 9-pound striped bass caught by St. Helena angler Eric Titus. It was in the vanguard of 45 fish they caught that day. He said conditions were perfect: clear, warm and low wind.

*Jeff Soo Hoo told us the West Bank was holding stripers. His client caught and released a 20-pound striper on a Rat-L-Trap in shallow water there. At times it was tough to fish that stretch because of the big number of boats that came to it. Johnny Tran of New Romeo’s Bait in Freeport reported that pile worms, blood worms or sardines coated with garlic spray were all catching both males and females.

*Get your Delta fix in before the hot weather. The vacation months bring huge numbers of recreational boaters and serious winds that can make the main rivers just too dangerous to fish. The hot days inland create a chimney effect, pushing large amounts of air upward, pulling maritime air right over San Francisco and through the gaps — right into the Delta. I learned that firsthand from famous pro bass angler and Delta expert Dee Thomas. Stefano Particelli and I were fishing the Delta with Dee one hot June day. Dee said, “We’ll be sticking with the small cross sloughs today — these winds will make the big rivers dangerous.” I’ll never forget that advice.

Clear Lake Bass… Well, finally, after over a year off the water, my fishing partner Doug Roberts and I went bass fishing earlier this month. A couple of tough little weather events and water temperature under 60 degrees made it challenging. But our pro guide, Bob Myskey (274-0373), put us onto 29 fish for our two-day trip. We had to dig deep into his tackle box for these fish; needed Carolina rigs, Ned rigs, drop shots, and live minnows to get the job done. That’s the subtle mark of a top guide — his willingness to keep trying different lures, baits and locations.

*As usual, Doug was out of the blocks early both days. He scored the first, last and most fish. I redeemed myself by catching the biggest both days. No trophies, but they were about 4 pounds each.

*Our extreme drought has affected the lake and fishing there. Here’s a couple of examples. Quite a few launch ramps are out of the water and can’t be used. Hot spots like Adobe Creek are dry. That’s not good news, because a couple of Aprils ago I caught a 9-pound largemouth there. But don’t stay home. Every trip gives guides a broader look at what they need to do differently to create a good day for clients. I’m going back for four more Bob Myskey trips this spring and early summer. Stay tuned.

May Is Sacramento River Rainbow Time… Yep, 2021 will make it 29 years in a row that I have fished the Sac at Redding for wild rainbows with pro river guide Kevin Brock (800-995-5543). We side-drift salmon roe on that stretch below Shasta Dam four days every May. Put it on your bucket list, because those trout are wild and resident — they love the icy cold water that flows out of the bottom of Shasta Dam. It’s not unusual for two of us to catch and release 30-40 rainbows a day. Our biggest were two 7-pound giants, and there are more 3- to 5-pounders than you can count.

* On my second two-day trip this year, I’ll be fishing with three other Ryans — my son, Alex, and his sons, Jack and David. I’ll bet the wagers will be proposed early and often — cash only! Stay tuned for a complete “Ryan Report.”

2021 Chinook Salmon Season Proposed… Expect the San Francisco area ocean season to open for recreational fishing in late June, continuing through October. That should be approved by the National Marine Fisheries Service by May 16. Thanks to Dave Hurley at the Hot Sheet for this important information.

Meanwhile… get your ocean proteins fishing for big rockfish and ling cod out of Bodega Bay. The Hot Sheet had a couple of reports of big ling cod up to 15 pounds; they seem to be on a good chew even in water that is still under 50 degrees. Robert De Los Reyes of Kings Beach included a 7-pound vermilion and a 5-pound copper to go with a limit of lings to 15 pounds. Get your BBQ out and stoked for the season.

The Promise of Live Bait… has already started to pay off in the Bays. Anglers have been able to fish deeper and are being rewarded with solid numbers of stripers and halibut.

Email Bill Ryan at

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