Oregon sturgeon

This 275-pound, 7.5-foot, monster Oregon sturgeon jumped out of the water four times as Bill Ryan played it to the boat a few years ago.

AUTUMN STARTS MONDAY… and it will have almost equal daylight and darkness. But, with some warm sunny days next week, I’m looking for the fishing action to stay good.

Mostly stable weather recently has let the water temperatures stay high, promoting a good freshwater bite on top. Fewer vacationers let us have more of the water to ourselves, so let’s keep fishing.

Lora Trinchero and I will lead the way with a bass trip on Clear Lake with pro guide Bob Myskey (349-4460). A week later, Ed Smith and I will be king salmon fishing on the Feather River below Oroville with pro river guide Kevin Brock (800 995-5543). Good news here – from the Monday Hot Sheet that reported on “better and better” salmon action.

Those couple of little showers this week should not have hurt the solid striper action in the Napa River. Remember – cut bait from the banks for a lot of shakers, and deep-running plugs at that 15-foot band down in the sloughs south of the Highway 29 bridge for some bigger ones. As always, stop in at Sweeney’s on Imola (255-5544) before heading out to get your bait, gear and latest news on what’s biting – and where.

Berryessa Update… the very good kokanee bite here is winding down – but not before Troy Barr of T-Roy’s Guide Service (372-7599) called it a year with tree limits up to 19.5 inches on Apex lures at 70 to 90 feet. Meanwhile, Alan Fong of the Fishermen’s Warehouse called the bass action “solid.”

In The Salt… It is amazing that warm water bands in close to shore have kept albacore tuna close in and accessible on short runs. Go get yours while you can. That action is up north where Captain Justin Wilder of Hooked On Mendo (357-1875) is scheduling trips to take advantage of these favorable conditions.

Or, we might get some of these long fins down here too. Captain Rick Powers over at Bodega Bay Sport Fishing is looking into that action, which may be in as close as 30-35 miles. Check it out by calling him at 875-3344.

Meanwhile our 2019 ocean fishing season continues to be stellar. Big salmon in close, full limits of quality rockfish, and some big ling cod make a combo trip a sure adventure topped off with your own 50- or 60-pound sack of fresh caught protein for the BBQ and freezer.

Add In Bay Action… to round out your choices. Halibut and stripers stay on the chew. Here’s what the team on the Argo told the Monday Hot Sheet: “Action inside the bay remains off the hook, or more to the point, on the hook most days. The Argo crew landed six limits of halibut Sunday on a full day, and nearly two per rod on Monday’s half day … By the way, thick schools of striped bass can be found most days around the bay.”

Call Argo Captain Craig Hanson at 415 361-7757; tell him Ryan sent you. His newly refurbished six-pack is the perfect place for an office team refresher or family outing; it has all of the amenities. You get to play Captain and Craig does all of the work. Bait, fish cleaning and packaging are included in the fees.

Over On The Delta… some budding salmon action off of Benicia and near the Freeport Bridge signals that lineup of kings starting to go back home upriver to spawn. Sylvia Vieira at Vieira’s Riverside Bait near Isleton told us that Silvertron Spinners were effective salmon trolling the Old Sac from the mouth to the Isleton Bridge. That Delta salmon bite will ramp up soon and strong. Stay tuned.

Stripers and smallmouth bass are also in the river and will be available as that water starts to cool down. Time to get your sturgeon rigs out – and tune them up. October is right around the corner. There is no greater thrill than to hook and fight big sturgeon that are starting to move on the Delta right now (thanks always to The Monday Hot Sheet for key updates here).

Even better to boat a 7.5-foot brute that weighs 275 pounds. Nope not here, but in the Willamette River in Oregon, where I caught and released that one a few years ago. Biggest fish I ever caught and landed (released unharmed). Even with 100-pound main line and 300-pound leader, that moose gave me all I could handle. Charley had to kick the anchor line free so we could follow that fish as he towed a 36-foot boat wherever he wanted to go. Call Charley Foster on the Sturgeon General (503-820-1189) to book this trip of a lifetime. October is when you want to be there.

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Email Bill Ryan at acorn_3@comcast.net.