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Napa's Steve Orndorf with Canadian walleye

Napa angler Steve Orndorf caught this 7-pound Canadian walleye during his 38th trip to Quebec.

Parti Pecher Au Quebec?… Mais oui, Napa angler Steve Orndorf recently made his 38th fishing trip to La Reserve Beauchene in Quebec. Look at this marvelous selection of game fish and you’ll see why: Walleye, Northern Pike, Trout, Bass, Whitefish … and splake. (Splake? Yep, a cross between a lake trout and a brook trout. Present world’s record splake is 20 pounds, 11 ounces, caught in Ontario, Canada in 1987.)

Steve and his friend, Ken Goltara, were targeting smallmouth bass. They caught and released over 600 bass ranging up to 5 pounds in 10 days. Look at Steve’s 7-pound walleye, caught on a bucktail jig. They also had a steady and successful top water bass bite, too.

2018 Salmon Season Watch … final installment. The recreational king salmon ocean season starts Sunday. But promise me you won’t go. Don’t feel the pressure to be out there right at the beginning. It takes a while for the fish movement patterns to show. It takes a while for the operators to get dialed in to this season’s subtle differences. I’d be looking to fish after a couple of weeks while somebody else is paying to learn stuff.

Don’t worry, there is plenty of time to fish — the season will run through Oct. 31. Size must be 20 inches and up — with a two-fish daily limit. Tell me about your big ones, be sure to include photos.

Delta Summer Winds … are treacherous on the main river. The high inland temperatures create a chimney effect that pulls maritime air in over the Delta. And they are starting to blow. Smart Delta anglers have learned to target the sloughs where they can get out of the wind and still fish. Be safe out there; bring your catch and your mates back to the dock safe and sound.

This is a good time for any motorized boat operator in California, 20 years old or younger in 2018, to be sure he or she has the new, required California Boater Card. It has been required since Jan. 1 — but some boaters may have missed the news. The California Boater Card shows that its holder has successfully taken and passed a NASBLA/state-approved boater safety education examination. In 2018, the California Boater Card program will be phased-in by age for operators of motorized boats on state waterways.

Go online to and click on “apply now” for next steps and applications.

“Fish Like A Pro” … caught my eye on Outdoor Life’s website. Not the kind of news I want to sit on — so here it is:

Take a special look at the lead piece about Jordan Lee, who is a poster boy for getting into bass fishing early. He started fishing tournaments with his high school bass club. Jordan went on to fish for Auburn University then turned pro. And, won the Bassmaster Classic in 2017 — his first year as a pro. Moms and Dads, this might be an easier path to fame and fortune than your son getting banged up every Friday night on the football field.

How Big Is Bass Fishing?… It’s huge. Bassmaster Magazine reported this from a study by Southwick Associates in its June issue. Bass anglers spend $16 billion annually on fishing. That’s more than MLB and NBA combined, and even beats the NFL.

- MLB: $9.0 billion

- NBA: $5.2 billion

- NFL: $13.0 billion

Sounds like another good reason for Napa County to rebuild the fishing opportunities at Lake Berryessa. Bass guys spend $60,000 for their boats, $400 for a reel, another $400 for a rod. And lures cost up to $35 now. Let’s get them and their families pointed toward Berryessa and Napa Valley. They will be largely incremental customers who can be new and important sources of additional county revenues.

Email Bill Ryan at