My Computer Lit Up… just after the deadline for my Friday, Oct. 11 fishing report. So, here it is – a day late. I’ve got some local anglers catching beautiful fish in beautiful places out of town, and some solid information about places we all can fish – right close by. So, here we go – just one day late – thanks to PG&E.
Molly Kenward… took her dad, Tor, fly fishing in Alaska in September. They got into the trout “holy trinity” – trophy-size rainbows, char and grayling. These St. Helena anglers fought it out for top fish. I can’t pick the winner, so let’s call it a tie. That is a big char Tor is showing. And, look at Molly’s mondo rainbow that taped at 29 inches. Congratulations, Molly. That is a trophy trout.
Fishing in Alaska is an angler’s dream come true. You have big wild and beautiful countryside, and rivers, streams, lakes and ocean shorelines that hold almost every sport fish you can name. Alaskans want you to come and enjoy their special place. Look no further than “The Moose Is Loose” bakery in Soldatna on the Kenai Peninsula. Don’t miss it. Get there early or stand in line for an hour to get a bag marvelous donuts.
King Salmon On The Feather River… right below Oroville is the October action this year. My fishing partner, Big Ed Smith, and I fished for two days last week with pro river guide Kevin Brock. We limited out each day and had a ball. On Day 1, with only four anglers in the boat, we pulled some new-style lures tipped with roe that wiggled more than Mae West ever did on stage. The next day, with six anglers, we pulled specially cured roe on a 10-count line release. Both worked. In total, we caught and kept 20 fresh, wild king salmon – just two days out of the ocean. Biggest was 21 pounds, then one at 18 pounds, and a bunch more from 9 to 14 pounds.
Salmon pull hard and they are smart. Take a look at the width of a salmon’s tail. On the big ones, it is wider than their bodies. That’s what gives salmon their strong pulling power. They are smart enough to run under the boat to try to catch the line on a rivet and break it off. Gotta be ready to shoe that stick down deep to keep them hooked. When your line gets cranked all the way back to the on line weight, lift it up smartly so Kevin can net it. Tell you what, it sounds easier than it is.
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Dividends? Lovely 89-degree weather on the river with a gentle breeze to keep us cool in battle. Stay at the Feather Falls Casino Lodge for lovely big rooms at lovely low prices. Score some steak in the Casino dining room and invest a few coins in the one arm bandits. Met some nice, new friends and had a couple of days to reminisce with Kevin. I have fished with him for 27 straight years, so it’s always fun to catch up. Call Kevin at 800-995-5543 to book a salmon trip this October – they get bigger as we go further into the month.
Back Home… How about a recent trip out of Half Moon Bay that spotted 77 whales including humpbacks and blue whales. I’m told that the Huli Cat out of Pillar Point Harbor is a good whale watcher with all the comforts and amenities you’ll need. Contact them at 650-726-2926.
Even Closer In… get ready for the 2019 recreational Dungeness crab season due to open on Nov. 2. That gives you only 22 days to get ready and get reservations. Captain Rick Powers at Bodega Bay Sport Fishing reports some openings – call him at 875-3344. My good friend Craig Hanson on the Argo at San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf (415-361-7757) will be running his newly refurbished six-pack for crabs and combos, too. Look for combo trip that include big sweet Dungeness crab, a wide variety of fat sweet rockfish, with some toothy ling cod to round out your full sack. Sorry, the king salmon ocean season closes on Oct. 31, so scratch salmon from your crab/combo trip plans.
With The End Near… king salmon are tough to find and catch has the final run back up the rivers to spawn has their undivided attention. If you need to try for one more, I’m guessing the Delta is the best place to try.
Meanwhile… the bays are still turning out white sea bass and stripers. John Badger of Barbarian Sport Fishing (510-750-4237) scored 11 white sea bass, 14 stripers to 22 pounds and four halibut on Thursday in the South Bay (as always, many thanks to the Hot Sheet for some key updates here).