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Bill Ryan, Doug Roberts

Bill Ryan, left, and Doug Roberts pose with four of the 19 Clear Lake bass they caught last month.

First, It’s Even More Important … to thank those thousands of men and women who braved certain injury and death to help save our lives and homes during the recent wine country fires. We will never forget you and your bravery.

Plus, A Note Of Sadness … Andy “Cooch” Cuccia died suddenly last week. He had a big heart that focused his life on helping kids get into bass fishing on the Delta as a bass guide, pro and tournament organizer, and tireless cheer leader.

Look at this local story:

When my St. Helena friend Stefano Particelli was just 15, Cooch helped me get him registered for the annual Delta Pro-Teen Bass Tournament. Even better, Cooch paired him with the leading Delta bass pro, Dee Thomas. I was able to ride shotgun for an up close and personal story. The winds on the main river were howling, making fishing tough. But old pro Dee said, “We’ll stay up in these little sloughs where the wind doesn’t blow and catch some fish.” Stef tied into such a good one that Dee pronounced it, “the winner of the big fish award.”

Long story short, Stefano weighed in the tournament’s biggest bass and placed in the Top Five Teens as the youngest. Some days later, I saw Stefano’s grandma in town. She said, “Stefano will never forget that day.” I replied, “Neither will I.” Hope you all enjoyed it, too.

Today’s Fresh Water Bass Bite … is almost non-existent. That’s unusual because we have enjoyed robust fall bass action at Clear Lake in October for any years. It’s also frustrating! They didn’t all die; they didn’t all go away – I’m convinced that they are still there and that the fall bite is just late. Stan Press and I will sample the action on November 3 and keep you posted. In case you have forgotten what they look like, here are four wimps from the last trip Doug Roberts and I had with guide, Bob Myskey (274-0373).

Bodega Bay … The Hot Sheet declared, “The salmon activity is clearly winding down, but there still are a few fish to be scratched out south of the harbor off of Ten Mile Beach.” But the dandy rockfish season continues to fill out limits all around. Recent New Sea Angler charter runs have delivered full limits of rocks with some ling cod kickers. On Nov. 4, the recreational Dungeness crab season is scheduled to open, adding big fresh sweet crabs to combo trips. You can expect to pay $130 per angler on the large 65-foot New Sea Angler (875-3344). Better book now; they fill up fast especially on weekends.

On San Pablo Bay … Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle’s Keith Fraser said that the smoke blowing down from the wine country wildfires has cleared. He went on to say that, “fishing in the bay is very good with a few salmon, a few halibut and lots of striped bass”. Loch Lomond is the place to go for bait; they’ve got live grass shrimp, ghost shrimp, bullheads, mud suckers, anchovies and pile worms.

Delta Doings … It was reported in the Hot Sheet that the Delta fall fishing season has taken off with a big bang. The Delta “S“ Tri-fecta of sturgeon, stripers and salmon is on tap . Add in catfish, black bass and bottom fish for a full plate of angling activity for every fisherperson.

You are going to need some salmon roe, grass shrimp and lamprey eel to entice those big sturgeon – my own favorite Delta target.

Dan’s Delta Outdoors in Oakley said anglers are finding largemouth bass to four pounds in Discovery Bay using chatter baits and crank baits. Prank Poppers and swim jigs are best for numbers.

Revised Salt Water Take Regulations … for groundfish, effective Oct. 16 through the rest of the year:

Mendocino Management Area (Cape Mendocino to Point Arena): Take is prohibited seaward of 20 fathoms (120 feet) in depth. The “all-depth” groundfish fishery slated for November and December 2017 in this area is canceled.

San Francisco Management Area (Point Arena to Pigeon Point): Take is prohibited seaward of the 30 fathom depth contour (180 feet).

Central Management Area (Pigeon Point to Point Conception): Take is prohibited seaward of the 40 fathom depth contour (240 feet).

A Special Note … on yelloweye rockfish in this ground fish category . They are on a strict federal rebuilding program to allow that population to recover—so don’t target them and, if caught inadvertently, release them quickly and unharmed.

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