This weeks warmer air temperatures in Northern California have brought river water temperatures in the Sacramento River up to the mid 60's. Ideal water temperatures needed by the striped bass for their annual spawn. Smaller spawning groups consisting of only a single female and a half a dozen to a dozen smaller males have been witness starting to spawn on the Sacramento River below Colusa, Ca. The onset of last weeks full moon cycle instinctively set some big hen striped bass into spawn mode. Regardless of the spawning activity the striped bass have continued to be hauled in every day on the Sacramento River from Colusa, Ca down river to Knights Landing, Ca. Large groups of striped bass have gathered in several different areas throughout the lower river system, waiting to spawn. Northern California fishing guides have had a very successful week this week as they keyed in on the larger groups locations. Easy limits with a much better grade of striped bass has been benefiting customs who booked trips with the local Sacramento River fishing guides. Fishing guides that have extensive knowledge of this fishery and put more then their fair share of time in on the river. Staying on top of its ever changing ways! And taking advantage of given opportunities!
The majority of striper action on the Sacramento River this week was down river from Colusa, Ca considerably. The Tisdale, Ca boat launch in Sutter Co. saw the majority of striper action this week as the parking lot on the weir was overflowing with trucks and boat trailers of all sizes. The striped bass were scattered both up river to Grimes, Ca from the launch and down river the fishing guides were running 20+ miles of ditch (the river) to stay on the larger groups of stripers that seem to randomly position themselves about as far from a boat ramp as possible. Recreational anglers and fishing guides alike shared good fishing this week on the Sacramento River and more of the same can be expected as new stripers are showing up from the delta daily right now as the recent full moon instinctively brought them to the final stage of their migration. Now holding and gathering with fish that have already been in the system waiting to spawn. Fishing is expected to last at least two more weeks if not longer depending on Northern California's weather.
As far as what baits to use? Take your pick! These are stripers we are talking about here. They will eat almost anything you throw at them. The most popular method of most river guides is to troll live shiner minnows downriver into awaiting stripers. This is hard to beat in the fact that you can try and replicate live bait in a hundred different ways and catch stripers on ninety nine of those ways. But nothing is going to catch them faster and more consistently then using real live minnows. With that said, limits will be caught and brought in to the docks using everything from anchoring with cut baits (anchovies, sardines, pile worms, liver, night crawlers and just about any other bait readily available), casting swim baits, casting black rubber worms, trolling broken back lures, and jigging spoons. Fly fishing is also gaining popularity for these hard fighting and highly aggressive fish. Generally large four to seven inch streamers in salmon smolt and baby lamprey eel are the favorites for the the fly fishermen on the Sacramento River. Striped bass provide plenty of excitement no matter what you throw at them and everyone has their own preferences. Just getting out on the water in the correct location is more important then the bait you use.
For those angler always looking for something new to try, you might consider fishing the night time for the stripers on the Sacramento River. The warmer daytime air and river temperatures this time of year, along with constant pressure from boat traffic keep the majority of the striped bass from acting and living as they normally would. What success you have while fishing during the daylight hours with the greater majority of other anglers can be expected to triple if you were fishing after dark as the river quiets down and the striped bass can go back to freely moving about the Sacramento River. The night fishing by locals with extensive experience and fishing guides with knowledge of safe navigation after dark are the only people out on the river taking part in this lights out night fishery! 20-50 stripers a outing is what can be expected when angling for these eating machines after dark! This is NOT recommended for someone who does not spend a great deal of time on the water. Navigational hazards such as partially submerged logs, sand bars, gravel bars, rock levee banks, other vessels with or without proper lighting, floating debris, and mechanical failure may cause very abrupt, dangerous, and even fatal consequences. If learning to fish for striped bass at night time interest you getting a Sacramento River fishing guide that offers these night trips is recommended before pursuing this adventure on your own for the first time. Mike Rasmussen of Mike's Guide Service ( 530-722-8876 ) and Raith Heryford of RH Guide Service ( 530-870-2697 ) are two fishing guides that offer night striped bass fishing trips and know the Sacramento River and it's navigational hazards better then anyone.
Plenty of great striped bass fishing is still to be had here in Northern California for the next couple weeks and the stripers have only been getting bigger. The weather has warmed up and daytime temperatures are generally in the 80's making for suitable fishing conditions for the whole family. Get out on the Sacramento River and catch California's best eating fresh water fish. American shad have also made a showing and are in the Sacramento River from Woodson Bridge in Corning, Ca to downtown Sacramento, Ca. So on your next outing don't forget to grab your shad gear. Always a blast to catch American Shad!
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