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Bill Ryan, Stan Press

Bill Ryan, left, and Stan Press have their hands full of Clear Lake bass. Stan’s was the biggest at 6 pounds.

Look At These Numbers… 180 days since I last fished. Hundreds of blooming redbuds. One April full moon. Five bass in two days.

Yes, after weeks of chatter and planning, and telling you about the key times to fish for spring bass, I stunk up the court with just five Clear Lake largemouth bass.

I’m taking full responsibility here. My fishing partner, Stan Press, caught 18. His “kicker fish” was a fat 6 pounds.

Our longtime bass guide, Bob Myskey, did his job perfectly. He rigged eight different rods for each of us – to cover every possible situation; he even went to the trouble of buying some lively minnows, even though they are hard to find now. Bob had a full lake plan that hit every possible spring “hot spot” – and Stan took full advantage, while I sat in back of the boat wondering about the whims of the fishing gods.

Nope, it wasn’t a bummer. We three old friends had a chance to be together and try to meet the challenge of our sport. It was sunny and calm. We saw some flotillas of brand new baby ducks herded along by their mom, and a couple of huge white swans, and we promised to do it again.

And More Local Spots… Farm and vineyard ponds hold big fish and are best in this season. Promise me that you will not trespass by going onto private land to fish without permission. Promise me that when you do fish on private property with permission you will “pack it in – pack it out” and leave it the way you found it.

Lake Berryessa can seem tough to figure out day to day. I booked pro bass guide Don Paganelli (916-502-FISH) to show me the ropes.

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Lake Hennessey holds big bass that seem to bite best at night. The “Hennessey pros” are closed-mouthed about that action. But it’s close by and accessible, so go up and give it a try. Stop in at Sweeney’s Sports on Imola (255-5544) and ask them for the two best baits for Hennessey – and any clues as to best spots. I’d look for brush and underwater ridges and drop shot some straight worms or short Senkos. Let that bait just sit, and sit, till you see your line move.

The Napa Open Space District’s newsletter… always tickles me. It invites us all to “Go Outside and Play.” Can’t think of a better way than to take your whole family to their Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park Annual Pancake Breakfast on Saturday, May 4 from 8:30 to 10 a.m. You all know where it is – on Highway 128 between St. Helena and Calistoga on the west side. Look for the signs.

Napa Wildlife Rescue… is another organization that makes Napa County special – and offers all of us a chance to give back to nature. Ever keeping up with this fast changing world, NWR announces its First Wildlife Photography Challenge. The winner will get serious bragging rights. For those of you in school, your photo can be the basis for a unique school project.

Go on line to bit.ly/2UYKppEto learn how to sign up for this brand new contest. The entry deadline is June 1.

Bodega Bay… had a blowout along the Sonoma County coast last weekend as the winds kept boats at the dock. Dave Hurley’s Monday Hot Sheet went on to say that the green and cold water was not an ideal condition for salmon.

Ditto Winds… in the Bays and Delta. However, Jonathon Smith on the Pacific Dream got into some Bay halibut with nearly a fish per rod on Sunday and released a number of undersized fish.

Monster sturgeon didn’t know the wind was howling in the Delta. Steve Mitchell of Hook’d Up Sport Fishing took his three clients from Sweden out to the Little Cut for a trophy day. Using salmon roe for bait and fishing the outgoing tide, they scored five sturgeon, releasing the unharmed three that were oversized.

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Email Bill Ryan at acorn_3@comcast.net.

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