Napa Valley Fishing Report: Creeks, lakes unusually full for late June
The Fishing Report

Napa Valley Fishing Report: Creeks, lakes unusually full for late June


I’m Bass Fishing… on Clear Lake as I write this on Thursday. Here’s a quick update on the action so far with pro bass guide Bob Myskey (349-4460) at the helm and on the net:

Water temperature in the 80’s kick-starts the top-water bite here. It is my favorite system because everything happens on the surface. where you have an up-close-and-personal view.

Here’s what has happened so far on this trip:

*Big fish by 10 a.m. Thursday – a 6.2-pounder on a Rico top water popper in 80-degree water.

*Two 4-pound Clear Lake bass, part of 14 total caught by 10 a.m. Thursday.

Sulphur Creek… up here in St. Helena still runs, in late June. That is unprecedented. Usually these small spring creeks are dry by mid-May. One last water-level “heads-up” till fall: Clear Lake is essentially still full, in late June. I can judge the lake level when I walk down the ramp to get on Myskey’s boat. It is still pretty flat – unusual for this late date. No word on my other “water watch,” Smith River. We cover that only for the winter steelhead season, when even daily fluctuations are critical to the quality of fishing there.

Berryessa Is Delivering… in warm-water mode. Go fishing there for kokanee, trout and three species of black bass – largemouth, smallmouth and spots. This is a nice potpourri of target fish, close by. You can do it yourself by stopping in at Sweeney’s Sports on Imola (255-5544) for the latest scoop on fish and lures or bait. Or, call bass guide Don Paganelli (916-502-3474) or trout/kokanee guides at T-Roy’s Guide Service (

In The Salt… Here are some key updates from Dave Hurley’s Monday Hot Sheet. Bodega Bay continues to be “Action Central” for king salmon and the old salts say they think the salmon will be holding in the area for some time. I like six-pack boat fishing – just six rods and the captain does all the work. Call Mike Aughney on the Reel Magic (875-2628) for some bookings. The Reel Magic is a catamaran, making it very stable and very fast. That’s my kind of fishing: get out there fast, limit out, then get back home fast – and safe.

And in the Bays, find a rock pile and find big scores of halibut and striped bass. Captain Steve Mitchell of Hook’d Up Sport Fishing out of Berkeley (655-6731) told us that the new batch of halibut that has come in from the ocean into the central bay are a larger grade of fish. He said, ‘we posted 14 halibut and left them biting on our last trip.”

On the Delta, heavy releases out of upper tributaries have kept the Sacramento River high and muddied up the water on occasion. While the striper run is slowing down, smallmouth bass are showing up around the rock piles in the Upper Delta. Catfish, bluegill and sturgeon are still on tap as well. Bankies: bring your stinkiest baits for your catfish hunt – like chicken livers, mackerel and night crawlers.

Best Bass Tournaments… announces next round of bass tournaments close to us. These two divisions, the Northern Region and The Delta/Wine Region, are managed by longtime bass fishing instructor and guide Randy Pringle. You can call him at 209-543-6260. Here are the dates on which to take your budding anglers out for the weigh-ins and trophy presentations. It’s pretty thrilling to see.

*Northern Region – July 20 and Aug. 16 on Clear Lake. Here are the top three teams to date: First, Chris Devette and Donald Johnson. Second, Igor Reiant and Andrey Pereverzev. Third, Eric Crow and Chris Brizendine.

*Delta/Wine Region – on June 29 and Aug. 24. Also July 27 on Clear Lake. Leaders are: First, Troy Fleming/Kasey Rhyme. Second, Jim La Rosa/Ed Ortman. Third, Patrick Zapponi/Wayne Antoine.

Leading Up To… the 2019 BBT Tournament of Champions on Oct. 12 and 13. The winning team in the 2018 TOC, Joseph Durling and Anthony Crivelli, took home a dandy $20,000, so it is really worth doing. Get TOC details at

Western Native Trout Challenge… can bring out the best of our local fly anglers. Offering three separate categories: Expert Caster (catch and photograph six species across at least four western states), Advanced Caster (12 species across eight states) and Master Caster (18 species across all 12 states). Why? For the most important “bragging rights” in fly fish-dom. Also, specific prizes by category and a frameable certificate of full-color Joseph Tomelleri graphics.

Now go online to sign up at

Email Bill Ryan at

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