Skip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Napa Valley Fishing Report: Angwin anglers catch first-ever king salmon
The Fishing Report

Napa Valley Fishing Report: Angwin anglers catch first-ever king salmon

  • Updated

I Am The Luckiest Guy… to be able to write about fishing up here. Napa Valley moms, dads and grandparents like to take their kids fishing. I remember going fishing on Worden’s Pond back in Rhode Island with my Grandpa Randall when I was 6. Never stopped. All the rest of us like to read about those fishing escapades.

Look at this nice story from Marc Dorman up in Angwin. Six-year-old Lucy Dorman and her 4-year-old brother, Luken, went to famous Bird Rock out of Bodega Bay to catch their first-ever king salmon. Top fish was a mighty 17 pounds. You have no idea how strong a fish that size is. A good clue is the width of their tails; salmon have wide tails that act as jets to smoke some line off your reel. As the salmon get closer to the boat, and first see it, they turn around to make a run away from the boat. Everything is tested in that three-minute event — the fisherperson, the gear and the captain. No problem for Lucy and Luken — they met the test, and passed it.

And, My Luck Continues… with this message about St. Helena’s newest “Angler Laureate,” my friend, Liesl Wolf Heinemann. She scored a 15-pound silver bullet king salmon in Bodega Bay last week fishing from the Samantha Irene (875-2323).

More On Salmon Bite… at Bodega Bay passed on to us by Dave Hurley in his Weekend Wrap Hot sheet. Captain Rick Powers of Bodega Bay Sport Fishing missed limits all around by just two fish after hooking between 55 and 60 salmon, saying “These are big wild fish, and they are some of the biggest salmon I have seen in at least 10 years…”

Nearby Waters… have been out of my sight lines recently. The only stuff I have is for Clear Lake from pro guide Bob Myskey (349-4460). On Tuesday, he put a client onto a 6.5-pound largemouth bass. Last week, two clients scored 100 bass in two five-hour sessions. Ten fish an hour is a great accomplishment and calls for perfect partnerships between the anglers and their captain.

Remember, the fish’s advantage improves as the line gets shorter on the retrieve. It has less give and take, so is more likely to break than at any other time of the battle. Best suggestion I can give you is “listen to your guide — and follow his directions.”

Largemouth bass action will improve in the California Delta as we summer on. It’s time for them to go on a frog bite, one of my favorite fishing methods. A rubber frog all tricked out to show realistic leg pumps as it moves on the surface is about as exciting as fishing can be. Big bass like to jet up out of the water to try to kill that critter and take in back down. Make one mistake, like setting the hook too early, and you come up empty. Ask the guys at Sweeney’s which frog brands and patterns are working best.

More On The Delta… The Hot Sheet reported that the Delta striper action is heating up again. Add in catfish, smallmouth bass and bluegill for a pot pourri of angling opportunities. And, we are only six short days from the start of the river salmon season on July 16.

I’m sure you have your favorite time to hunt salmon in the Delta. For me, later is better. The early runs are small and fast as they try to get up upriver to cooler water. I’d wait till there is some evidence that the bulk of the run is forming in the bays and ready to go home to make some new babies. That lets the water temperature cool down a bit, slowing down the run.

San Francisco Bay… is giving up halibut and Striped bass when the tides are right. But, what I call “Kid’s Delight” is shark fishing in the Bay’s deeper water. It is cool to catch and photo a big mean looking shark. I’m told you can score soup fin, seven gill and leopard sharks off of Yellow Bluff. Be sure to release the biggest ones — but take home some good-eating soupfins.

Call up my friend, Craig Hanson, Skipper of the Argo at San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf (415 361-7757), Craig’s 40 years on the water in the Bay area shows at every step. His six-pack, the Argo, is a perfect venue for an office getaway or family outing. He will arrange the deck so you will have proper social distancing without missing a fishing beat. He is the one who told me that kids love to fish for sharks, He said it is really exciting and nobody gets sea sick in the Bay.

Let’s Stay Vigilant… We need to ask our representatives to intervene whenever they need to in protection of our own California Delta and Alaska’s Bristol Bay. Why each — or why both? They are under attack by a bunch of rich old white guys who have no scruples when it comes to profits at the expense of nature and indigenes lifestyles.

First up is our own California Delta, a major waterworks that is balanced to enhance the region around it as well as protect fish and wildlife. It is our water. Fake Wall Street farmers have been given a large amount of our water at a discount for years and years. Because they didn’t pay much for it, they never respected it or tried to use it wisely with simple, modern agricultural irrigation. Now they have enlisted Trump to twist arms in Sacramento.

Ask Mike Thompson, Bill Dodd and Cecilia Agular-Curry to stay alert in defense of our Delta. Learn more at “Restore The Delta” and email Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla at You can donate from that page, too.

And far, far away — stay in the fight to protect Alaska’s pristine Bristol Bay . Some other rich old white guys want to build a mine in that region that could pollute it forever. It’s almost Un-American that they got the Army Corps of Engineers to allow some changes in their permit that will take way most of the protections that were in the original permit.

What’s at stake? A lifestyle for thousands of Native Alaskans and a key source of food for all of us. Bristol Bay produces over half of the World’s supply of sockeye salmon. In 2019 that was 59 million fish, Donate at Defend Bristol Bay

Watch Now: Five tips on how to stay safe while boating.

Email Bill Ryan at

Be the first to know

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


News Alerts

Breaking News