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It’s That Time Of Year Again… to shop local. You all know those vital local economic benefits to our own communities from shopping local. Right up there is the local, informed service you get when you shop with neighbors. Look at this example that has repeated itself for years. Today, Sweeney’s Sports senior field scout Tom Dudenhoeffer gave me some advice on a tackle query and filled me in on some local fishing spots for an upcoming trip. Let me share them with you.

*Napa River is a solid choice for striper fishing, and will stay that way until heavy storms wash some mud downstream. Then, those little critters that live in the feeder stream banks all year wash down in the flow to ring the sturgeon dinner bell. I had no eye on striper guides on the river. No problem. Tom pulled out Patrick MacKenzie’s card – and I have already shared his number with a local reader. It reads right: Fly Fishing Guide – Napa River. Specializing in striped bass; USCG licensed, bonded and insured. 721-6700. Or, mackenzieonthefly@gmail.com.

*Berryessa has turned over, spreading bait widely throughout the water column. Right now, early in the day, you can spin for both trout and smallmouth bass by pulling a spinnerbait through bait balls high in the water. Drop down as the sun gets overhead. Alan Fong of Fishermen’s Warehouse in Sacramento is scoring largemouth bass and spots on small spoons at depths from 60 to 80 feet.

Looking For The Perfect Special Gift… for every one of your family fisherpersons? One that will make them feel special? Arrange for them to attempt to score a Bass Grand Slam this spring on Berryessa. That is catching three species of bass in a 24-hour period. Not necessary to catch them all in the same water, but it makes it a lot easier that Berryessa has all three. The International Game Fish Association records these events and publishes them forever. And, it’s an exclusive international club – only 10 members.

*Good plans and a good guide are essential to tip the scales on this quest. I accomplished my Bass Grand Slam here fishing with pro guide Matt Allen, who is also a “Grand Slammer.” Call Matt at 707-278-4131 and tell him you want to go for a Slam. Let him suggest best season, and sign up. Go to bit.ly/2BpCPcx for printable IGFA Bass Grand Slam application forms.

California Delta… is showing a good number of stripers, but Tom said they are skinny. He mentioned that there had been some granular weed control chemicals sprayed, and thought the stripers might have gotten sick eating them and so aren’t fattening up as usual. I’ll try to follow up on this for you. Dave Hurley’s Monday Hot Sheet report on the Delta said that stripers were in the Sacramento Deep Water Channel or around Liberty Island. Go-to baits are live mud suckers, jumbo minnows, and anchovies coated with garlic spray. Everybody is talking about the midweek rains; pundits are expecting them to enhance the bite across the board – and lower water temperatures a bit.

Northern Sacramento Greetings… from International outfitter and guide Jack Trout. Really! You can guess his specialty – fly fishing for wild trout around the world. But there are plenty of them in his home range based on the upper Sacramento River, with a dividend of the best steelhead runs in 14 years. One key dividend is that there is no smoke north of Lake Shasta. Call Jack soon to make some reservations at 530-926-4540.

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Email Bill Ryan at acorn_3@comcast.net.

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