Talk about reasons to be thankful, look at the bounty provided to Northern California anglers. This weekend you can find excellent bass, trout, catfish, rock cod, crab prospects and the possibility of salmon on the north coast in the Smith River. Steelhead are thick in the Trinity and starting to enter the Russian River. Trout planting is in full swing at all the Bay Area lakes so you can’t make a bad choice. Oh, and don’t forget about all the striped bass in Suisun Bay. Here are this week’s Best Bites;
LAKE BERRYESSA bass, trout: The lake has nearly turned over and fishing is outstanding. Trout are attacking minnows under bobbers or spoons. Bass anglers using spoons are getting bass, trout and catfish to 15 pounds. Putah Creek, Pope Creek and the Narrows are good spots. Fish are 30 to 45 feet below the surface. Sweeney’s Sports (707) 255-5544, Guide Don Paganelli (916) 502-3474
SANTA MARGARITA LAKE Bass: Bass bite is good and catfish bite is comparable. A seven pound bass was caught over the weekend. Bass are all over the lake in 15 to 20 feet of water. Best method is drop-shotting or using jigs and a trailer. Catfish are across from White Oak. Cut baits get cats to 12 pounds. (805) 438-1522
LAKE SONOMA bass/steelhead: The lake has turned over and both bass and steelhead are feeding on shad and pushing the bait toward the surface. Bass anglers catch trout and trout trollers get bass. Mega-bass jerk baits or Lucky Craft pointers work well for bass. Drop-shotting with Senkos will work. Outdoor Pro Shop (707) 588-8033
TRINITY RIVER steelhead: Rain blew out the river Wednesday but it should be fishable by today or Friday at the latest. Fresh water should spread the steelhead that were present and bring new steelhead upstream. That should spread the fishing pressure, too. (530) 623-4999
PITTSBURG striped bass: Striper bite continues to be very good at Chain Island or Honker Bay. Bass are found from four to 40 feet with live bait. Sturgeon take shrimp baits/eel in depths of 40 feet or deeper. Dockside Bait (925) 252-0151
BODEGA, GOLDEN GATE, PILLAR POINT crab/cod: It bears repeating, every trip this season has come back with limits. Nothing like kicking off the holiday season with fresh Dungeness crab.