Big Numbers … from Clear Lake. Last week, in two days with pro guide Bob Myskey (274-0373), Stan Press and I scored 135 largemouth bass – caught and released. That’s an incredible average of a fish every six minutes. The good news is that they bit at every stop and all day long.
For a year or two now, a couple of old favorite lures have done well for us – soft plastic purple Margarita Mutilator straight worms and natural colored Baby Brush Hog lizard copies. Yep, we caught a few on Speedtraps and a spinner bait, too. Don’t be afraid to change up in a location that doesn’t deliver a bite quickly; show ‘em something different. Bass fishing is a morning sport; get out early – at daybreak for the first round of action. It will be the best “catching” period of the day. You might have to fish hard all day to equal your catch in the first 90 minutes.
You know that I have great respect for Bob Myskey’s guiding excellence. Here’s another reason to like him – the truth. When I asked him what the fish thought the wild purple MM III replicated in nature, he said, “I have no idea.” My kind of guide – no wild story about fish food preferences.
Stan had the hot rod. At one stop we caught nine bass and he caught eight of them. I wanted to name him Hot Dog because he was “on a roll!”
Local Fishing … continues to be solid here all summer long. Just remember to slow down; leave that lure on the bottom until you can’t stand it – then slow down some more. Napa River bankie action for shaker stripers is always on tap. Both Hennessey and Berryessa have fished well for bass; especially in low light conditions. We’re told that summer flows on Putah Creek can make fly fishing there a bit more challenging.
The Kenai … is next. Megan and Merle Hendrickson from Healdsburg went salmon fishing in Alaska, where Megan caught her first Alaskan king salmon; a 30-pound beauty. Her husband Merle caught a 40-pounder, too. Thanks to Elane Coon for this dispatch.
And, Closer To Home … the Bodega Bay section salmon bite continues to grow, producing early limits. Look at this good example: Sunday, on the Samantha Irene (875-2323), Captain Jeff had five limits to 22 pounds by 8:45 a.m. What a nice accomplishment for a dad and three kids from 8 to 13 years old.
The New Sea Angler (875-3344) trolled SW of Bodega Head at 140 to 170 feet for 18 limits to 19 pounds. A mixed grade of salmon indicates movement of pods of fish chasing bait, giving anglers a wider chance to hook up. The NSA had fish from 6 to 15 pounds on the lower end and others in the mid to high 20-pound class.
Start The King Salmon Migration … through the Delta and up into the rivers? The slowdown of the hot action down south might indicate the start of their staging back up here to enter the Gate for that long swim home. Stay tuned. I’ll try to signal the start of the river salmon bite on the Sac soon. Don’t expect any lights-out action till September.
Golden Gate Report … on the rock/ling bite. Don’t forget this marvelous action that fills the BBQ and freezer with sweet-tasting, locally caught fish. Captain Chris Smith on the Happy Hooker put in 25 limits of rockfish and ling cod to 16 pounds at the Farallons on Sunday (thanks again to the Hot Sheet for some key updates here).
Fall Is Just … around the corner. It is the fly fishing season I like best – Hopper Time. That’s when the fall winds blow big grasshoppers out of the tall streamside weeds where they make a splash in the water. We try to duplicate that by slapping our big hopper imitation flies on the surface as hard as we can. Try it; big trout will be lurking by for a big bite of hopper.
Years ago while fall fishing in Idaho, I failed to let my line stretch out fully on my back cast – and drove that huge hopper fly hook deep into the inside of my elbow. Try as he might, my good friend, Dirk Beasley just couldn’t back it out; he said I turned grey every time he pulled. So, off to the local hospital, where they made me pay $55 in advance before they had a young doctor extract it without a hitch. Well, the real problem was that I delayed our hostess’s dinner hour a bit.
End Note … As I walked over bone-dry Sulphur Creek this week, a young fawn was using it as her own little trail – trotting along smartly on those little stiff legs without a worry in the world. Thanks, Mother Nature.