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Bragging Rights: Tom Atkinson

Napa angler Tom Atkinson holds up one of the nice king salmon he limited on in the Delta.

Delta Salmon … by Napa’s Tom Atkinson. Tom sent me this photo of a king salmon he caught just above the Rio Vista bridge in September. While he launched from Viera’s Resort, he caught his salmon in the deeper water of the main channel. The 94-degree air temperature that day made this a very good, and successful, decision.

Delta update: Salmon action pretty much times itself to when schools are moving through – heading upstream. The Hot Sheet tells us that trolling with Brad’s Cut Plugs behind an 11-inch Pro-troll E-chip flasher has worked from the Freeport Bridge to Clarksburg. Meanwhile, the striper bite has improved with the colder water temperatures and anglers switching over from salmon. And, sturgeon are on the chew. Steve Mitchell at Hook’d Up Sport Fishing out of Pittsburg said that grass shrimp was the go to bait – instead of roe or eel. Fly guys and gals – call Steve Santucci at Steve Santucci’s fly Fishing Guide Service who told us that stripers were hitting four-inch Clouser Minnows.

Lake Berryessa … crappie bite stays good. Rick Tetz, the Blade Runner guy caught and released over 100 in the trees at depths from 20-30 feet on his own signature lures.

As The World Turns … so do fishing opportunities. Recreational ocean king salmon season closes Monday. The recreational Dungeness crab season begins five days later on Saturday, Nov. 4. You can bet there will be a lot a last minute attempts to book a trip for either – or both. Don’t wait.

Another Option At Fisherman’s Wharf … Captain Craig Hanson on the Argo just announced his upcoming striper/sturgeon combo season on San Pablo Bay. That action usually takes place on the upper bay flats and should remain solid throughout the winter. With the stripers already active and an influx of sturgeon due in on the early rains – it will become “fish central.” The Argo is a lovely six pack with plenty of room for your business team builder day or family outing.

Close your eyes and imagined yourself as Captain – but with Craig doing all the work. Remember, tackle, bait and fish cleaning are all included in the price. Call Craig now at 415-361-7757 for a booking. BTW, It’s not too early to think about those special Holiday gifts – just around the corner. Talk to Craig about creating a special fishing adventure that you’ll be proud to put under the tree.

The Wharf is an interesting place for kids of all ages. Make this a special trip with your kids by taking the Vallejo ferry that stops at the Wharf, stay at a close-in motel, eat fish for supper and have fun. Before you pack it in for the night, stroll over to Boudin Bakery, my favorite for san Francisco sour dough bread for some sandwiches and fixing’s for your fishing trip. They are open till 10 p.m.

Rockfish Action … slowed by some big coastal swells last week? Well as it turned out, ling cod were more affected than the rocks. At Bodega Bay, the New Sea Angler (875-3344) had rockfish limits all around for its 43 clients – but only 10 lings on a recent trip.

Meanwhile the Golden Gate Fleet is chasing down the tail end of their salmon season. For example, The Lovely Martha’s last salmon day corralled 13 kings to 23 pounds for its clients.

Napa County Resource Conservation District … comes through again. The RCD is a marvelous Napa County entity that spreads a long shadow over everything outdoors—we reap the benefits of their professional and enthusiastic efforts every day. I admire them for their flexibility and stretchability. A perfect example is their brand new website headed “Steps to Fire Recovery” with solid advice for us all. Take a look at

Thanks Mike Thompson … for taking action along with five other House Democrats to ask the General Accounting Office to issue a legal opinion out the Bureau of Reclamation’s funding scheme for the Delta Tunnels project.

There are more snakes in the halls of political leadership than in all of the California Delta Waters. They have been bamboozled into suggesting twin tunnels that will start way up high in the Delta and take more water to give to the Wall Street farmers down south – at a discount – meanwhile leaving the Delta a mud pit and harming the hundreds of local farmers who have farmed it for generations. Click on for the rest of the story.

Email Bill Ryan at