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Bragging Rights

Big salmon is hot! This six-pack of Sholly Terry, Robert Solomon, Kelly Solomon, Sean Wickersham, Jennifer Murphy and David Bridges ended up with 100 pounds of King salmon after a day on the Argo out of San Francisco.

Local Stuff… “All the guides fishing Lake Berryessa this past week rated the bass fishing as best in the region,” penned Western Outdoor News staff writer Pat Young. Guides mentioned “40 to 60 fish days” and “6-pound largemouths and 3.5 pound smallies.” Once again, throw top water lures like Spooks or poppers early then switch off to drop-shotting 6-inch MM3’s later.

Trout hunters can expect to score some Eagle Lake rainbows in the 18- to 22-inch range pulling Apex and Speedy Shiners at 48 to 65 feet in the Narrows, and from Skiers Cove to the Big Island. Thanks Troy Barr at T-Roy’s Guide Service for this trout news.

Live Jumbo Minnows… for Clear Lake bass? Pro guide Bob Myskey (349-4460) said he tried them last week with good success. It’s my favorite winter Clear Lake bass attack. In shallow water, under a slip bobber, you see the whole bite develop by just eyeballing that bobber.

First, a skittish little bobber dance as the minnow becomes frightened and tries to swim away from its problem, and then it disappears completely as the bass swims away with it in his mouth. No, don’t set the hook until you count 8 – or the guide tells you to. It’s critical that the bass turn the minnow around and swallow it before you strike; set too early and you’ll come up empty. We’re going up to start our winter minnow bite fishing in mid-October. Book Bob for this method; it’s perfect for novices and young anglers. Bob is very good with both.

Steelhead Dividend on the Sac… My river guide, Kevin Brock (800 995-5543), just told us that most days they are also targeting steelhead on their river salmon trips. This is a first that I heard of this in the 24 years that I have river-fished salmon with him.

As The World Turns… new seasonal fishing opportunities re-surface. And others fade away. Two of the most important and widespread ocean critters that we love to catch, and eat, are doing just that. The recreational season for Dungeness crab will open Nov. 3, just three days after our ocean season for king salmon closes.

Also in flux, but available, are stripers, halibut, shark, ling cod, rockfish. Go over to the California Delta to add largemouth bass, sturgeon, crappie and bluegill. Run north for albacore tuna, to round out a nice selection of fresh, tasty and healthful protein.

1½ Trophy Brook Trout Per Day… that averaged 5.3 pounds; with a top of 6.75 pounds. All on dry flies! Tell me an angler anywhere that wouldn’t keep reading a story that begins like that? It all happened when a group of dedicated fly anglers went fishing on the Minipi River in Labrador, Canada.

You can read it too, Just click on Don Muelrath’s August 2018 Monthly Newsletter at Don operates a World-wide fly fishing destination business right here in Napa.

Well, I Was Gonna Tell You How… to order your tickets for the Nov. 3 NorCal Guides and Sportsman’s Association annual fundraiser dinner in Yuba City. But it is already sold out with 625 people coming; that’s up from 500 last year. I’m a proud member and will be bringing some Napa Valley wines from M. Trinchero and Duckhorn for the dinner, like last year.

Please consider joining. NCGASA. Go online to for details and memberships. They are dedicated to making our voices heard and getting us more water and better fishing. My friend and river guide, Kevin Bock, is on their board.

Anglers! Aren’t You Tired of Getting Screwed… all the time? By your own state? Check out this latest kick in the ribs: For the second year in a row, our state assembly has killed a bill (SB 518) that would make your sport fishing license truly a 12-month permit.

Presently, all fishing licenses expire Dec. 31 – even the one you bought for your favorite nephew’s birthday on Oct. 10. That’s an 82-day “annual license” that you paid full price for. The Department of Fish & Wildlife’s website calls it an “annual license.” That is actually false advertising – “annual” means it should be good for 365 days. If it was such a good idea, wonder why the Department of Motor Vehicles doesn’t use it?

Tell your State Assemblymember and Senator to get it right for a change. Insist on a switch-over to a 12-month sport fishing license quickly. There’s way more at stake than just giving anglers a break from stupid rules. These “annual” licenses at the highest price of any state in the union (when all permits are purchased) are killing state revenues.

The sales of California’s annual sport fishing licenses have declined… more than 55 percent since 1980 – and 16 percent during just the past eight years of the Brown Administration. So, less bucks for improving our outdoor experiences in California – at a time of unprecedented growth in America’s angler count and fishing equipment sales. Why are we always bring up the rear?

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