Napa Valley Fishing Report: Anglers score in Mexico and Labrador
The Fishing Report

Napa Valley Fishing Report: Anglers score in Mexico and Labrador


Ed and Joe Lenz… lead us off this week. Napa angler Ed Lenz and his son, Joe, got into some nice yellowtail down in the Sea of Cortez near Loreto in southern Baja California, Mexico. Ed reported that the weather was nice with temperature in the 70s.

Next Up… St. Helena fly fisherman Scott Snowden had a successful fly fishing adventure to Labrador. He got into some big brookies and pike. Wet fly—Wooly Worms were the key to success up there.

Local Waters… will start to respond to warming temperatures as the days get longer. By the way, Google says that our days are growing at just over 2 minutes a day. That’s 68 minutes since Dec. 21. Fish the Northwest corner of the lake early; it is where the sun’s rays have been shining the longest. So, it draws fish earliest.

I’m still hearing that the bass bite at Berryessa is tough. Don’t go by yourself; engage a guide who can break down the lake into best spots. I’d call Don Paganelli at Don Paganelli’s Bass Fishing Instruction and Guide Service at 916 502-FISH.

Last time we fished Clear Lake, my grandson Jack and I caught and released 83 largemouth bass in 10 hours of “bait in the water” fishing over two days. Birds were crowding baitfish up against a bank; the bass came to eat—and never left. Neither did we. Top fish was 7 pounds; they all came on live jumbo minnows drop-shotted and dead-sticked.

And In The Salt… you can still score limits of commercial-grade Dungeness crab out of Bodega Bay. The Tuesday Hot Sheet said that Rick Powers at Bodega Bay Sport Fishing (875-3344) has the only large party boat running crab-only trips. Mike Aughney’s six-pack, the Reel Magic (875-2628), is also running crab-only or crab and dab trips, depending on weather and interest.

That’s about it during these winter doldrums. You can find a sturgeon or two and some stripers in the Bays. Keith Fraser at San Rafael’s Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle (415-456-0321) reported decent action for sturgeon in San Pablo Bay on Saturday. Here’s what he told the Hot Sheet: “I know of around six sturgeon landed near The Pump House, and there was a 76-inch sturgeon estimated at 200 pounds released…”

Keith reported that he has crab, ghost shrimp, grass shrimp and mud suckers on hand.

Meanwhile… it’s time to go sturgeon fishing in the Delta. Spring is the best sturgeon fishing time there, in my estimation. That is borne out by the number of important sturgeon fishing derbies on tap. A word to the wise: reserve the sturgeon baits you’ll need for about the next three weeks. These derbies can cause scarcity and outages overnight.

Catching sturgeon is difficult. They are smart, strong and heavy. Dave Hurley’s Jan. 20 Hot Sheet has a bible of excellent suggestions and updates to sturgeon fishing from some of the best guides we have. So start your Hot Sheet subscription right now – and ask Dave to be sure to include this issue.

The Hot Sheet, with the latest angling news, comes right to your computer or smartphone every Monday for just 38 bucks a year. Look for some nice dividends of key items that come to you in Friday Hot Sheets from time to time. E-mail Dave at David Hurley and tell him to start your subscription.

Lest We Forget… the fight to save Alaska’s pristine Bristol Bay continues. Many of you joined me to make it our fight, too – by contributing to “Defend Bristol Bay“ and telling our Congressional delegation to deny Pebble Mine. If we let our officials permit the Pebble Mine proposal there, it can happen to us right here at home, too. You can re-connect by emailing Defend Bristol Bay at to donate and update.

In the latest message Richard Borden with 35 years in mining has little good to say about Pebble as currently proposed. Listen to just one of his quotes about its economic feasibility: “…is almost certainly not economically feasible, with likely financial losses in the billions of dollars.”

With just one major flood or other catastrophic weather event and the Pebble Mine can contaminate Bristol Bay for the rest of time. Bristol Bay contributes over half of the total World supply of sockeye salmon. In 2019 that was over 59 million salmon.

And, A Good Place To Pivot… right to the protection of our own Delta. It’s the same fight – and needs our strong support. In this case, those rich, old, fake Wall Street farmers are trying to pull a political end run around us. They want more and more of our fresh water – shipped down to them at a discount. That is our water; let’s defend it. I’m asking all of our political representatives at both the state and federal levels to help us. I hope you will, too. Learn more at Restore the Delta at

Email Bill Ryan at


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