Ocean Salmon Season… starts now! Well, tomorrow morning. It will be crazy around the launch ramps, with many private boaters looking to hit a salmon limit on Day 1. Here’s what I said last year, and needs to be said again: No need to rush out early in the salmon season; salmon patterns are not yet established. Captains will be experimenting for a week or two to determine “best practices.” Let somebody else pay for these experiments.

Sit tight for 10 days, then plan your 2019 King salmon program. After all, you have many weeks left to catch your personal best in this year’s ocean salmon season.

Meanwhile… here are some updates to last week’s note that fishing is real good around our region. The April full moon is next Friday the 19th, and it signals even better fishing opportunities ahead.

*The Monday Hot Sheet told us that Emeryville’s Pacific Pearl (510-652-3403) scored 9 halibut and 7 stripers for 6 anglers on a half-day trip. We’re just at the start of the halibut action.

*While the weather was rough this past weekend, Captain Steve Talmadge of Flash Fishing in Martinez (510-851-2500) said this about the sturgeon bite: “They are biting like striped bass, and they are fighting like “wild dogs.” He went on to say “… the water temperature has risen to the low 60’s, and the best is yet to come.” Ummm, my kind of fishing. One regular spring season problem for bait shops is keeping live bait in stock – like pile worms, ghost and grass shrimp. You’ll also need sardines, blood worms and roe for a full list of tricks. Call around and reserve bait if they will let you.

*Further up, Alan Fong at Sacramento’s Fishermen’s Warehouse was targeting largemouth bass in the North Delta. He said “the bite was phenomenal as the water temperatures have jumped up from 55 to 62 degrees.” Bring your full bass tackle box; it will need to contain spinnerbaits, chatter baits, frogs and Senkos.

*With wide interest in the striper bite, and excellent action overall, more than 100 boats were working the San Andreas Shoals on Sunday. Look at this big bass weight – 14 pounds on top water, caught and released by J.D. Richey’s client . Call J.D. at 916-952-1554 late afternoons.

Promise me you will release all of these big striper hens to spawn again and again.

*With a Rumsey Gauge lake level reading of 7.8 feet Tuesday night, and warm weather coming, look for the Clear Lake largemouth bass bite to go ballistic. Just a quick precursor: pro guide Bob Myskey’s clients boated and released 26 fish on Monday. Look for red bud blossoms and the April full moon to show the way. Call Bob at 349-4460 to book some dates. I’m telling you that Clear Lake will deliver a good bass bite right through the rest of the year.

George Carl Memorial Kid’s Fishing Derby… is June 2. It’s my favorite fishing day of the year. A couple of hundred kids with big smiles and a stringer of fish – what’s not to like? Thank you Napa Active 20/30 Club for keeping this local gem going for 50 YEARS (guess that‘s why “active“ is in their name). It will be held at the Lake Hennessey launch ramp and starts early. Plenty of time for details as we get closer – and I’ll keep you posted.

Napa Land Trust Hike… shows a Pacific Rattlesnake in a woodpile. That’s good proof that my old Grandfather Randall always told me to watch out for rattlers in the woodpile. He said “never step into or reach into a woodpile where you cannot see. Also good proof that those Land Trust events turn up interesting stuff. Thanks, Steve Orndorf.

Napa County Resource Conservation District …“Notes from March” include the annual spring start of their rotary screw trap (RST) deployment on the Napa River. This cone-shaped fish trap is suspended in mid-stream where it is rotated, like a screw, by the river flow – and funnels passing-by fish into an underwater holding tank. While the RST catches anything that passes through it, they mostly find Chinook salmon, steelhead, lampreys, native minnows and suckers.

District staff and volunteers monitor and release the catch daily. The different species, stages of life and levels of abundance of fish caught all act as indicators of overall watershed health. In turn, these findings can be used for the purpose of informing policy decisions that are aimed at protecting or restoring these fish species.

Take your kids to see this marvelous contraption live. The RST open house will be on Sunday, May 5 from 10 a.m. to noon. RSVP is required and space is limited. Email Anna at annay@naparcd.org or call her at 707-252-4189 ext. 3117. Location will be shared with the RSVP.

Celebrate “Halfway Home-Delta Communities Stronger Together”… a Benefit for Restore The Delta on Wednesday, May 29. Honorees will be the Delta working team. Keynote speakers are Lt. Governor Eleni Kounalakis, our and Stockton Mayor Michel Tubbs. The festivities will be at Wine and Roses, 2505 W. Turner Road, Lodi. You can get your tickets today online at restore-the-delta.square.site.

Then you can rub shoulders with those who have worked so hard to be sure our Delta survives and continues to play a key role in fishing opportunities for our kids, and their kids.

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Email Bill Ryan at acorn_3@comcast.net.