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Mount Konocti

Mount Konocti rises above the shores of Clear Lake. Check out that eagle overhead.

Local Action… We have fished for largemouth bass at Clear Lake all winter for 30 years. Going back up in December. Sure it is cold, but it is surprising how quickly it gets warm when a 10-pound bass takes off with a jumbo minnow that we use for bait in the cold months. That happened to me when guide Bob Myskey took us winter fishing up the Adobe Creek arm a couple of years ago. It is a thrill and a challenge. Book Bob at 349-4460.

Here is another “Fishing Is More Than Fishing” note from Lake County. Mount Konocti is a seriously big hill that rises straight up out of the pretty, flat Clear Lake shore. Back in the late 1920’s an old grandma lived by herself halfway up that mountain in her little cabin. She was on its west side facing Lakeport and the setting sun. Every sunny day at about 3 p.m., she would flash an “I’m OK” signal with a mirror to her granddaughter down in town. High tech in the 20’s worked perfectly.

Thanksgiving Parties Coming Up Soon… and the Dungeness crab is here for you, but with just one hitch: the commercial season opener has been delayed, so you are going to have to go get our own.

Look at some of these boxcar numbers from Dave Hurley’s Monday Hot Sheet: Captain Rick Powers over at Bodega Bay Sport Fishing (875-3344) said, “We were tied up at the docks at 1 p.m. Sunday with 48 limits of rockfish and jumbo crab along with 8 ling cod to 16 pounds …” Rick went on to say that the rockfish were biting like “wild dogs.” That’s my kind of bite; no wimpy nibbles.

While crabs are stars, those rocks are lovely, fresh-tasting, sweet meat items for every table. I just got out my adding machine and found that the total fish count for that trip was 968 fish, all taken “down south“ off Point Reyes. It’s time for you to go get yours.

Some tough weather made the Farallons runs dicey this past weekend. But Berkeley’s California Dawn (510-417-5557) got out there Sunday for 34 limits of rocks and crab.

California Delta… can scratch your itch for stripers and sturgeon with a backup of largemouth bass , bluegill and red ear perch. Look for the sturgeon and striper bite to improve going forward. Promise me that you will throw back those big hen stripers so they can continue to produce more striper babies.

I’m Stoked!… A couple of weeks ago I asked readers to help defeat the Pebble Mine project on Alaska’s pristine Bristol Bay. Here’s just one response: “I enjoy your column and appreciate your content. My husband and I made a contribution to the Bristol Bay fund and wanted to be included in your contributor list. Kindly, Jon and Nancy Nord Kanagy.” Thanks Jon and Nancy; it feels good to stand shoulder to shoulder with the thousands of native Alaskans whose very existence depends on a clean and clear Bristol Bay that produces more than half of the world’s sockeye salmon, That surely brings us closer together.

What A Perfect Match… Our own Napa Wildlife Rescue and Napa County CanDo’s Give!Guide, and have we got a deal for you. Every $1 donated to Napa Wildlife Rescue through the Give!Guide will be enhanced by a 2 for 1 match, thanks to an anonymous donor who provided $10,000 for this match program. In short, every dollar we give will magically become $3 to help Napa Wildlife. Visit bit.ly/2r717Fu to donate. Look at what wildlife does for us. One opossum can eat 5,000 ticks in one season, a barn owl family can eat up to 3,000 rodents a year, and a song bird can sing between 1,000 and 2,500 songs a day.

Look at what your contribution will cover: food , medicine, exams and surgery for the animals, and some desperately needed full-time staff. I can’t think of a more important Give!Guide partner than Napa Wildlife Rescue. Join me in sending them a few bucks. Thanks.

It Sure Is The Time For Giving… Here’s a marvelous program that many Napa anglers have been supporting for years. Over 20 years ago, Peg Miskin came to town to tell us about Casting For Recovery. They invite women with breast cancer at any stage to come out and spend a weekend fly-fishing at no cost to the participants.

Held in elegant streamside lodges around the country, the weekends include plenty of fishing with in stream helpers for each guest, dandy meals, and a chance for the guests to join each other for chats and support. I attended one; when the group broke up, there was not a dry eye in the house. Thanks, Peg and CFR. I’ll send you a few bucks.

Even better, CFR has a wonderful online auction with more than 100 dandy items. Visit bit.ly/2D1cr8N to make bids.

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