To say the least, we as Northern California sportsmen and anglers, have been more then patient throughout this new year. Waiting on the chance to get out onto the Sacramento River and do some fishing. Targeting the trophy striped bass fishery. As well as the white sturgeon fishing that has been available to Northern California anglers in the early winter months. The past couple years anyhow. Mainly available to anglers because of the drought stricken circumstances surrounding the North State in recent years. I myself, as a local fishing guide on the Sacramento River. Along with recreational sport fishing enthusiasts as a whole. Became accustom to, and dependent on these fisheries to keep us busy and on the water. During a time of year that historically hasn’t allowed much in the way of angling on Northern California waterways. Mainly due to the amount of Northern California rainfall run off occurring annually. Keeping local waterways much to high and to muddy to fish effectively for either of the two species this time of year. Very similar to this wet Northern California winter we are experiencing currently. Making for a lot of twiddled thumbs, and Netflix bingeing.
As things are looking at this current time for NorCal anglers. It appears there is a finally a break in the wet weather. Which will allow for Sacramento River levels to recede to a level conducive for targeting spawning white sturgeon. Sturgeon that have been, and are currently spawning in the Sacramento River. From Butte City, Ca to Knights Landing, Ca, primarily. Much of this sturgeon fishing season has been spent under the surface of a very high, and debris littered Sacramento River. Typically starting in February, as the first major waves of annually migrating white sturgeon show up to the spawning grounds. In and around the Colusa, Ca region of the Sacramento River. With the spawning generally lasting until the middle of April. On normal years. This only leaving sturgeon fishing guides and local sturgeon fishing fanatics, roughly a month or less to target these prehistoric fish. Native to California’s Sacramento Valley, and its major river systems. Before the largest anadromous ( fish born in fresh water, living in salt water, but returning to fresh water to reproduce ) fish species in the country, returns back to salt water to continue it’s lengthy life span. There is still plenty of time for eager, and patiently waiting sturgeon fishermen, to head out on the Sacramento River and get there hands on the most challenging, but most rewarding of California’s fish to catch in fresh water. River conditions are likely to not be exactly ideal for the remainder of this week. It may even be late next week. Before success reaches the anglers who will start putting their time in by this coming weekend. There is finally light at the end of the tunnel for this 2019 sturgeon season.
The exciting and explosive action of a good “schoolie” striped bass bite is bearing down on the Sacramento Valley and it’s two biggest tributaries. The Feather River and Sacramento River systems. Both rivers historically hosting generous populations of the spawning striped bass. The Feather River in Yuba City has been very popular the last couple of years. Primarily due to higher then usual flows on the Feather River and Yuba River. Which happen to meet right in town. Making it a very popular spot to target arriving striped bass. With all this years rain run off I would expect the same exceptional action out of the Feather River in Yuba City, Ca. Not excluding the surrounding area boat ramps of course. Johnson’s Bait & Tackle in Yuba City will have all the terminal tackle and bait supplies needed for those who are heading out after the “linesides” on the Feather River in and around the Yuba City area this spring.
On the other side of the Sacramento Valley in Northern California. Almost directly across the valley from Yuba City, Ca. Is the Sacramento River at Colusa, Ca. With just as much, or more history in the Spring striped bass run as the Feather River. The Sacramento River for several decades now has hosted the majority of the striped bass fishing. By both striped bass fishing guides, and for recreational sport fishermen targeting the striped bass on their own. With more available miles of river to fish, and generally a larger population of migrating striped bass to fish for. The Sacramento River predominately is the go to river for Northern California striped bass destinations. When targeting striped bass once the season gets underway (April-June). Kittle’s Outdoor & Sport https://www.kittlesoutdoor.com in Colusa, Ca becomes the central hub for striped bass fishermen in Northern California. Starting around the first of April. Kittle’s Outdoor and Sports has striped bass anglers covered on all fronts. With the City of Colusa opening a brand new public boat launch facility only a rocks throw from Kittle’s. The convenience of having live and cut baits available within a minute or two from the boat launch. Couldn’t make it any easier for anglers to “one stop shop” if you will. Kittle’s opens at 5:00am. Giving striped bass fishermen plenty of time to get supplies before daylights chaos.
The striped bass will start to show up in the days following this months full moon ( March 20, 2019 ). Regardless of river hight or river water visibility. Once the stripers arrive, they will bite! Period! Cut bait ( sardines and anchovies ) is the preferred method to catch the striped bass in high muddy waters. Which I would presume to be a likely scenario for the Sacramento River at the time of the stripers arrival. This in consideration of the current flows of the Sacramento River is sustaining, and the surplus of Northern California rain water at this time. Striped bass fishing guides local to the Sacramento River and Feather River, will start looking around for schools of these hard fighting and highly aggressive anadromous fish, in the weeks to come. Booking a guided striped bass fishing trip will provide fast and exciting action for the day spent on the water. Also allowing anglers a chance to learn specific techniques and tricks used by the fishing guides to successfully target the “linesides”. Information that can later be used when fishing on your own. To improve your own success while targeting striped bass on your own. There are many Sacramento River fishing guides to choose from locally. Booking a day trip early in the season is a recommended approach to learning any changes that may have happened on the rivers this winter. As a result of sustained high river flows this winter. As well as how to target striped bass in these conditions. Calling 530-722-8876 will put you in contact with striped bass fishing guide Mike Rasmussen of SalmonSacRiver. Who has extensive knowledge pertaining to local striped bass fishing. Many other reputable guides exist and can be found with a simple google search or on most social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram. This kind of high pace fishing is great for families as well. Children seldom have a chance to become bored or distracted before another rod bends over. Making for a great family outing in the outdoors.
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