Chasing stripers on the Sacramento River can leave a guy pulling his hair out. Or in my case, scratching my bald head. “The stripers are up river”. “The Stripers are down river”. “They are spawning”. “They quit spawning”. All these things that leave a guy confused when he reaches his preferred boat launch. What happens one day on the Sacramento River may or may not happen again the following day. One days great success can be frustrating the next as you show up expecting the same results. Only to find out the striped bass are either off the bite or have moved up or down river. Some days fishing guides will do better at one boat ramp verses another. The following day the boat ramp that fished well the day before may be hit with abnormally high boat traffic and pressure. Turning the fish off the bite more or less. As they go lay down somewhere out of the way of the traffic. Coming out again when the boat traffic subsides. Usually late evening into the nighttime hours. Leaving the striper fishing during the day a bit tougher then the previous day. When that particular boat ramp fished well due to the lack of pressure. Anglers find themselves calling and looking for a last minute report, or over analyzing their decisions on which direction to head from the boat launch. Or even what boat launch to choose. It has been my experience, and my advise to new anglers targeting striped bass. One should just go fish. This is a striped bass “run”! Meaning they are scattered throughout the river system in its entirety. Yes some places may produce limits faster then others. But generally if you thoroughly fish a section of the Sacramento River you will find your limits of keeper striped bass. You just have to slow down and fish!
Striped bass fishing guides and recreational striped bass anglers did exceptional this week. While targeting “linesides” from Tisdale, Ca all the way up to Chico, Ca and yet even farther up the Sacramento River near Red Bluff, Ca. The primary focus as always has been around the Colusa, Ca region of the Sacramento River. Where the largest concentration of stripers have gathered to spawn. Also the most popular area for anglers targeting these striped bass as they await the spawn. Thus having the heaviest concentration of fishing guides and sport fishermen throughout the Sacramento River. Despite the constant daily boat traffic the striper bite has been up to par so far this season. Cooling water temperatures put the spawn off this week allowing for more calendar time to continue fishing for these hard fighting and highly sought after fish of Northern California.
Live minnows are always a sure bet when targeting these congregations of striped bass. They (stripers) just can’t help themselves when it comes to live bait. Although minnows are the most popular and preferred bait of striped bass fishing guides on the Sacramento River. Other choice baits, both artificial and real baits play a significant roll in targeting these spring run striped bass. Cut baits have shown their own success if you have a little patience and let the scent trail get going. As far as artificial baits are concerned, for casting a white 3 inch to 4 inch swimbait can be hard to beat. Casting a black plastic worm can leave you greatly rewarded if you can find the stripers in the target water needed to fish the rubber worm properly. If casting isn’t your thing, or you like the violent strike of a striper hitting a trolled lure. Then I’d say find yourself some broken back trolling plugs and hit the throttle. Another bait stripers almost can’t resist if brought to close to them. No matter the preference, you have to just get out there and use what you have confidence in. The stripers currently are very “bitey” and just being around a group of these little “river piggies” should put fish in your box.
There is roughly a month left in this 2019 spring striper run and there is no better time then the present to go get your hands on some of these delectable fish of the Sacramento River.
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