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Call Ed Smith… when you need something done in St. Helena. That’s what I did when I needed help to put my third Clear Lake bass trip of June over the top. Here is “the rest of the story.” I fished solo with pro guide Bob Myskey on two earlier June trips. My fish counts, caught and released, were 37 on Trip 1 and 41 on Trip 2.

To be sure, Trip 3 was the best of them all. Ed Smith joined me for it this past Tuesday and Wednesday. We caught and released 58. Ed was out of the box at first light. He out-fished me 2-to-1 both days and scored the big fish of 5 pounds.

High winds played an interesting part in our fishing choice. Usually wind is a pain in the butt, putting bellies in your line, etc. But this time, Bob selected two spots on the lake where wind can blow baitfish onto a shallow submerged ridge. Opportunistic bass hover over those spots and scarf up bait, and our lures.

We had other opportunities, but this was a new learning curve for me – so, for once, I’m glad the wind blew. Clear Lake is still high – and clear. Now is the time to book Bob (349-4460) for a trip. Ask if you can try some top-water action if the water temperature is 80 degrees or more. It’s exciting and fun.

One day when the water temperature was 80, a 6-pound, 2-ounce brute blew up from behind a submerged rock and ate a top-water popper as I skittered it across. Umm, it doesn’t get any better than that. Next day, though, with every other variable the same except water temperature of 79, we couldn’t get the top water action to go!

St. Helena Angler… Dave Yewell and his son Erik boated and released 24 nice Clear Lake largemouth bass on a trip with pro guide Bob Myskey last week.

Napa’s Larry Scorza… stuck a big 6.75-pound Lake Berryessa bass with a rubber worm on June 19. Larry beat my big one from Clear Lake by 2 ounces.

Matt Tollefson Is On A Quest… Here he is again with a bag full of big Lake Sonoma fish. Matt went all organic for this trip, using night crawlers on the bottom to score two largemouth bass over 6 pounds – and a 6-pound catfish as a nice dividend for the trip. Keep ’em coming, Matt.

Salmon Bite Hot… at Bodega Bay. Dave Hurley’s Monday Hot Sheet told us about this continuing salmon action for both bigger party boats and smaller six-packs. On Sunday, Rick Powers at Bodega Bay Sport Fishing (875-3344) put his 33 clients on to salmon limits and 33 rockfish limits. That’s a total of 396 fresh sweet fish for someone’s Summer BBQ.

On the Reel Magic six-pack, clients had salmon limits in a short run of 3 to 4 miles. Testimony to the number of salmon stacked up there. They are looking for this wide open bite to last until August. You can book trips with them at 875-2628.

Bay Halibut Action… remains wide open. While tidal action is usually a key to the halibut bite, the Hot Sheet tells us that “… the fish are biting on nearly every tide, minus or not.” I’d call Captain Craig Hanson on The Argo, berthed at San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf. His newly refurbished six-pack is roomy with all the amenities . It’s perfect for a family outing or an office brain storm. Best of all, you’ll be treated to Craig’s 40 years of experience in the salt – and he does all the work. Call Craig at 415-361-7757 to book some trips.

California Delta Largemouth Bass… time is here. It took a bag totaling 24 pounds with a kicker fish of 10 pounds to win the Wednesday Night Shootout at Ladd’s Marina in Stockton. For the five fish, that’s as close to a 5-pound average as you can get. Look for this to get better as the water continues to warm, and top-water lures come out. Testimony to that are two important “frog tournaments” coming up in the next six weeks, the Ultimate Frog Challenge at the end of July and The Snag Proof Open the first weekend in August. Thanks Hot Sheet for these key updates.

Here’s A Teaser… to a marvelous local story that I want to unfold for you. It’s about the dedicated team at Napa Wildlife Rescue. A single barn owl family (three or four) will eat 1,000-3,000 rodents in a year. Just think of how much better that is than using poisons – that kill everything. Stay tuned. But go to bit.ly/2YgwcCf if you want a sneak peek.

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Email Bill Ryan at acorn_3@comcast.net

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