Before internet fishing reports, and social media bragging rights (as to the first fish caught on any particular season), an angler would use more traditional, backwood style of knowing when a particular run of fish would start running up the Sacramento River. Eagerly awaiting fishermen of the Sacramento River would use these signs given by old Mother Nature herself, to know when to start fishing. A much more simple time for sportsman in Northern California, for sure!! For instance, if you asked a Northern California angler (over 40 years of age) when the American Shad fishing is best on the Sacramento River, your answer would most likely not be a physical date like July 1st. It would be more of a nature based answer such as "When the cotton from the Cottonwood Trees fall on the water, it's time to shad fish." Shockingly, this natural occurring annual phenomenon is a sure bet when used to judge the run timing of the American Shad, which migrate annually up the Sacramento River in early summer. A similar natural indication of run timing for the White Sturgeon of the Sacramento River was used in years past. The annual bloom of the Northern California almond crops signaled the start of the sturgeon fishing season on the Sacramento River. When these monster fish returned to the fresh water of the Sacramento River to spawn, before returning to the Pacific Ocean to continue their life cycle. Currently in the Northern Sacramento Valley, the aroma of the almond blossoms accompanied with the postings of sturgeon recently being caught locally on the Sacramento River, it would be fair to assume that now would be a good time to venture out on the river in search of California's biggest and strongest inland fish. Kittle's Outdoor & Sports kittlesoutdoor.com in Colusa, Ca opens its doors at 5:00am, making it possible for the earliest of daily anglers to get their bait fresh/live. Ghost Shrimp, Pile Worms, and frozen Eel are currently in stock at Kittle's. Along with plenty of striper gear for the "line side" enthusiast. Popular swimbaits like Keitech keitechUSA.com , and Reaction Innovations www.reactioninnovations.com . If its glide baits you're after Kittle's has custom glide baits like "Sneaky Pete" G-Ratt.com made by Colusa, Ca local Garrett Dixon. As well as more main stream glide baits like the S-wave from River2Sea river2seausa.com. Kittle's is ready for the sturgeon and spring striped bass run here on the Sacramento River in Northern California. Stop in for any supplies needed before you head out on the river for your adventure.
The big sow striped bass again stole the show this week in Northern California for both river guides and recreational anglers alike on the Sacramento River. Despite the numerous sturgeon showing up in all the popular holes above Tisdale, Ca, the interest of anglers hitting the river last week remained primarily on the giant striped bass fishing which has been bought to the public eye this winter in the low water conditions. Since December, 2017 scores of trophy striped bass averaging from 20 to 40+ pounds have been landed by anglers booking guided trophy striper trips with local guides like Billy Driessen, Anthony Crawford, and Mike Rasmussen of SalmonSacRiver.com. Recreational anglers like Paul Young, Brett Woolley, Greg Comer, and Christopher Tocatlian all joined in on the oversized striper action, each catching striped bass in the excess of 30 pounds this past week. Striped bass enthusiast Christopher Tocatlian hit the river this week for his first striper outing of the new year. Tocatlian along with friend and co-angler James Rathjen hit the Sacramento River north of Grimes, Ca mid week, for a quick evening on the river casting glide baits and big swimbaits. The two anglers efforts were rewarded when they ran across a "wolf pack" (group of giant striped bass) of aggressive stripers, just before sundown. The two hooked up only seconds apart as they unknowingly threw their big baits into an awaiting group of giant stripers. Consequently, due to the big striped bass' size and stature, and veracity of fight, both ends of the double hook-up were lost. Quickly shaking off the heart wrenching feeling of losing two giant stripers, Tacatlian launched a "Hail Mary" cast back up river in the vicinity of the original hook-ups and retrieving the bait down river back to the boat he again got jumped on in explosive manner by what turned out to be a trophy striped bass that tipped the scales at just over 40 pounds. The big sow striper was pictured and released by the anglers, whose first striper fishing trip of the year could now be considered a huge success.
Local Sacramento River fishing guides also got into the giant striped bass action this week landing some hogs of their own. Striped bass fishing guide Anthony Crawford got his birthday wish this last Sunday (February 11, 2018). Crawford who is no stranger to these trophy stripers of the Sacramento River, chose to spend his birthday morning on the river with a friend, casting big glide baits. Finding exactly what he was looking for, Crawford tangled into a birthday giant. When finally brought to the net and landed, quick measurements were taken by the pair of anglers before releasing the probably 20 plus year old fish back into the Sacramento River. A overall length of 47 inches long was recorded as well as a 27 inch girth. Putting the giant striper in the 40+ pound class. A true trophy striper by any standards these days and a hell of a way to spend your birthday! Billy Driessen, to no surprise also brought some quality striped bass to 30+ pounds to his boat this week as well and still averaging a successful daily catch rate of nearly 100% for a full days effort in casting big glide baits. Driessen could be considered "the best in the business," when it comes to these trophy stripers and throwing glide baits for them. He can also be accredited for a couple hundred of these trophy class striped bass being brought to his boat since salmon season ended on October 15, 2017 to current date. Immediately switching over from guiding salmon on the Feather River near Oroville, Ca to targeting giant stripers the very next day on the Sacramento River. Driessen has spent the last four months targeting this fishery and knows it extensively and would be solid choice when deciding to book a guide for giant stripers on the Sacramento River.
Sacramento River fishing guide Mike Rasmussen stayed busy this week doing a combination of sturgeon and striper trips for his customers, who jumped at the opportunity to enjoy the great Northern California weather, while fishing on the Sacramento River. Rasmussen reports mixed success this week for sturgeon, claiming warmer weather last weekend and the early part of last week drove water temperatures in the Sacramento River around Colusa, Ca to nearly 60 degrees in the afternoon hours. Well above the 55 degree water needed for the white sturgeon to spawn. Infant with a spawning temperature variance ranging from 55 to 65 degrees the white sturgeon were well in their comfort zone as far a river conditions are concerned. Rasmussen believes some of the groups of sturgeon he has been targeting the last three weeks have spawned and left. Returning to the Pacific Ocean to repeat the process in the future. This does not mean the sturgeon fishing is slowing down or is over by any means. Infant its only going to get better as the majority of the white sturgeon are currently making their way up the Sacramento River system. Showing up daily in better numbers at their favorite locations. At the time of this report water temperatures have settled down into the low 50 degree range and things should return to normal for the sturgeon fishing on the Sacramento River. On the other hand for Northern California fishing guide Mike Rasmussen, the stripers have continued to steal the show. Although boat shy, and splash shy, if approached quietly and targeted with a select cast or two, the giant stripers are still showing their ferocity at a well placed, good swimming bait. Clients Dan and Joy Silva, from the Stockton, Ca area joined Rasmussen this week for some Sacramento Valley sun, and a day of striper fishing on the Sacramento River. Joy Silva didn't let the "lady luck" theory down as she quickly took to fishing live minnows for the more standard schoolie sized stripers that are also in the river currently. Joy hooked and landed a half dozen schoolie stripers on her own! Much later in the day it was her husband Dan's turn to do the catching as he landed a great striper while casting "sneaky pete". Dan's striped bass went 22 pounds and was as strong as they come. The couple ended their day on the Sacramento River with smiles and a mild sunburn, maybe even a few mosquito bites.
The highlight of Rasmussen's week came during a mid week solo fishing outing that lasted until just after dark, when Rasmussen hooked his personal best striped bass. With the stripers feeding heavily at night in the wake of the full moon, Rasmussen continued fishing for the giant stripers before setting anchor for sturgeon and calling it a night. Just after darkness fell on the Sacramento River the fishing guide hooked and landed what would be his biggest stripper to date. After landing the colossal striper, Rasmussen motored to near by friend and fishing guide Brett Brady of Bare Bones Guide Service, who incidentally was sturgeon fishing in a close proximity to where Rasmussen had been striper fishing. Striped Bass fishing guide Mike Rasmussen called on the aid of Brett to help him take a few pics and help in the release of the giant striper. Brett Brady measured and weighed the striped bass before reviving the giant sow striper and releasing her back into the Sacramento River. The fish weighed in at 48 pounds on the Boca Grip scale he used, and stretched the tape at 47 inches in length. Beating Rasmussen's previous personal best of 44.5 pounds (which the river guide had done twice) by three and a half pounds. Unfortunately despite the revival efforts and what appeared to be a successful release, the 48 pound sow striper was found expired several miles down river the next morning as Rasmussen made his way down river. These big fish get worn out and occasionally despite revitalization efforts, can be too wiped out from the battle to regain proper strength for survival.
As the spawning season of the striped bass approaches quickly, the large females and occasionally large male striped bass are feeding heavily prior to the spring spawn. The trophy sized stripers caught in the late fall which for example may have been 30 pounds then, may have put on another half dozen pounds or better, with the extensive feeding and the maturing of their sexual organs. Right now is the optimal time for a chance to catch these striped bass of the Sacramento River at their peak weight for the year. The giant bass are swollen and appear to be ready to burst at the seams. If you have interest in catching one of these fish of a lifetime, please contact striped bass fishing guide Mike Rasmussen on the web at SalmonSacRiver.com or by email at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org and/or by cell phone at callto:530-722-8876 .
A quick reminder that the Feather River Hatchery started releasing their steelhead juveniles this week and will continue to do so. The trucks are dumping the young steelies at Boydes Pump south of Yuba City and traditionally this means lights-out striper action for the Feather River below Yuba City, Ca down the Feather River to Verona, Ca. Caution should be taken if you are not familiar with this water way. Barely submerged sandbars cause many bad wrecks for boaters that are unaware of their presence. The severity of these sand bars and navigational hazards depends solely on the river levels. It is recommended to hire a local guide who is familiar with these waters. A sure bet for local knowledge and safe navigation when looking to book a fishing guide for the Feather River can be found by contacting Raith Heryford rhguideservice.com. Another striped bass fishing guide on the Feather River with extensive knowledge of the area would be Scott Feist feistyfish.net.
Mike's Fishing Guide & Charter Service For Sacramento River Fishing targeting King Salmon, Sockeye Salmon, Striped Bass, Sturgeon, Shad And Trout the best Sacramento River Fishing guide and Sacramento River Charter on Sac River