Can’t Have Too Many … young and local anglers. Look at 13-year-old St. Helena angler Liesl Wolf-Heinemann’s 30-pound Wahoo caught just off of Eleuthera in the Bahamas. You westerners know this fish as an Ono, which means “good to eat” in Hawaiian. These are elusive fish and hard to find, but they occasionally gather in a pack and will tear your line right off the reel.
Thanks, Liesl, for sharing your sunny family vacation highlight with us (while we were shivering back here).
Berryessa Glory Hole Update … On Jan. 15, by the latest data available, the lake level was just 21 feet below the glory hole, which is 440 feet above sea level. Thirty days earlier on Dec. 15, the lake level was just 402 – so we have made real progress this winter. The three storms starting this past Wednesday will give that lake level another big boost. The Berryessa News was kind enough to provide the glory hole photo.
Not Much … fishing action around. Weather and water conditions have been just plain mean for anglers in Northern California. Here’s a quick recap of the action for a few brave anglers here and there:
North Coast Rivers are getting a lot of water in rapidly approaching storms. Yet, guides are reporting 1 to 3 steelhead on most trips.
Bodega Bay action was centered on a few crab and dab combo trips. Rick Powers on the New Sea Angler (875-3344) caught a break in the weather Saturday and scored 342 sand dabs plus full limits of crabs.
Captain Jim Smith on the Happy Hooker (510-223-5388) had a couple of happy days hunting sturgeon on San Pablo Bay Friday and Saturday. He reported a bundle of oversize diamond backs caught and released on boats all around him. Danny Higginbotham released an 84-inch, 200-pound brute. This extended period of brown fresh water run-off in the bays and Delta can produce some of the best sturgeon fishing we have seen in 10 years.
Keith Fraser at Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle in San Rafael (415-456-0321) said this about sturgeon: “It’s good right now, but it is going to be unbelievable once we get over the herring spawns down bay … Once the spawns are over and the current slows down, the sturgeon will be back in our ballpark in even greater numbers.”
Slow down in the Delta, Mother Nature … The Monday Hot Sheet reported that last week’s heavy inflow from the Sac and its tributaries along with king tides resulted in some levee breaks in the Upper Delta, including Snodgrass Slough and Lost Slough. Alan Fong at Fishermen’s Warehouse in Sacramento told us the real Delta fishing story: “It is muddy everywhere in the Delta, and few fishermen have even been out on the banks.”
And, closer to home, not many anglers out ,and not many stories to tell.
But What’s Next? … I’m predicting the best freshwater bass year in the 30 years I have been fishing nearby lakes. Why? Because 2016 was one of the best on record. Hennessey, Berryessa and Clear Lake delivered plenty of big bass all year long. There are huge amounts of baitfish in the water, and these lakes will be fuller that most years. That covers vast stretches of sloping shoreline with water.
Bass love it as an ambush point when the water warms up. Clear Lake pro guide Bob Myskey said 2016 was the best year he has had for numbers and size of bass since he began to keep records years ago. If you have an itch to get a trophy-size, spring-time Clear Lake bass, call Bob now at 274-0373. He will book up fast.
Ring up pro guide Don Paganelli at 916-502-FISH to schedule a bass trip on Berryessa.
Say “Hi” to Kevin Brock … at the International Sportsman’s Show this weekend at Cal Expo in Sacramento. His booth is 3808 in the Pavilion Building and he’ll be presenting in the Sportsman’s Theater at 3 p.m. Saturday. Kevin says the rainfall pattern on the North Coast will deliver lights-out steelhead action in February on both the Smith River and the Chetco. Book him at 800-995-5543.