Matt Tollefson

Napa angler Matt Tollefson, 11, caught this wild cutthroat trout on the beautiful Smith River up in Del Norte County.

Smith River Cutthroat Trout… caught by 11-year-old Napa angler Edward Matthew Tollefson, who goes by Matt. No, not a real cutthroat. It is the term used to describe a red-colored slash across the trout’s throat.

While the Smith River and its channel flowing between steep granite cliffs is wild and beautiful, Matt has added some other special angling destinations like Alaska and New Zealand where the fishing is also world-class. Keep those pictures and stories coming, Matt (thanks to Jerry Foster for this nice local story).

Berryessa Koke Bite… for Alan Fong of Sacramento’s Fishermen’s Warehouse. He took his grandson out and they scored 15 kokanee at Lake Berryessa. Sizes ranged from 14 to a dandy 17 inches. Stop in at Sweeney’s to see what koke lure colors are fashionable this year – pinks and oranges are some that I remember. I’d bring a full set of fishing gear – to target kokes, trout and bass.

Sea Lions Need To Be Controlled… Listen to this in the Monday Hot Sheet from Mike Aughney of Reel Magic Sport Fishing: “We hooked 12 salmon throughout the morning, but they were plagued with a marauding band of sea lions that took 8 of the fish off of the lines.”

I’m no fan of sea lions. They have been known to eat up to five salmon a day all year long – without a license! Even with a license, human anglers can only keep two per day and only in season. California sea lions have become unbalanced in nature because some do-gooder civilians thought they were cute. Take another look.

Changes in regulations have been the major reason that the California sea lion population skyrocketed from fewer than 90,000 in 1975 to 306,200 in 2012. Sure, there are shorter term fluctuations up and down, but this massive overall increase isn’t very smart. I’m told that a salmon trying to navigate river mouths like the Columbia cannot find any room to run from “marauding bands of sea lions.” Let’s figure out how to give salmon an even chance. Read more online in Science Daily’s January 17, 2018 recap at bit.ly/2DcLRId.

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The Dungeness Crab Season… closes June 30. If you want another bag of those sweet meat beauties, the New Sea Angler (875-3344) will continue to have crab pots in the water till then. Now is the time for a super combo trip, targeting king salmon, rockfish and crab.

More On Epic Halibut Year… Read all about it in Dave Hurley’s Monday Hot Sheet: “… The ‘Year of the Halibut’ continues with captains reporting the best action in memory.” Anglers are finding them stacked up in rock piles at Arch, Harding and Snag Rocks. Cue the BBQ please!

Captain Steve Mitchell of Hook’d Up Sport Fishing used the hot halibut bite to put his clients on to striper limits, too.

Over In The Delta… summer heat creates summer winds. And it can be deathly dangerous out there in the main channels. Please be careful. That being said, I’d hate for you to miss the annual largemouth bass bite on top water lures. This is a big fish system – the real experts use rubber frogs to pull those big bass right off their beds. It is exciting because you see the whole attack, big largemouth bass tracking a chugged frog across the water. Then they leap up out of the water to try to stun the bait, and take it back down with them. Strike too early because of all of this hubbub, and you lose the fish. It’s easier said than done, but wait till you feel some weight on the line before a strong side sweep hook set. My English friends tell me that you have to say, “God Save The Queen” before setting the hook.

Our Own State Senator, Bill Dodd… reminds us that we have a marvelous system of state parks ready to help us enjoy our summer holidays with the whole family. Take a look online at bit.ly/2XKy31Y.

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Email Bill Ryan at acorn_3@comcast.net