The best striped bass fishing in Northern California is taking place right now on the Sacramento River from Colusa downstream.
Plenty of water and steady flows have overcome the less-than-ideal cool water to provide excellent action on stripers from three to seven pounds, said Bob Sparre of Rocky River Guide Service.
Sparre has been fishing below Colusa, between Wards and Tisdale, and enjoying steady action while trolling deep-diving Yozuris despite the boat traffic in the area.
“There has been a big push of water from the Sacramento so this year Colusa has been a good spot,” Sparre said. “The bass go where there is a current.”
Because there is more water on the Sacramento this year than past years, there are more stripers in that river. There are lesser runs in the Feather and fewer yet in the American.
Sparre and his clients have been catching and releasing 20 to 25 fish per day, on a slower day, like Mother’s Day turned out, he landed 15 stripers. Biggest fish so far for Sparre was a 22 pounder landed last week. There were rumors of a 40-pound plus fish landed last month, but a picture hasn’t turned up. Go here for an assormtnet of photos Sparre's client have recently caught http://www.norcalfishingnews.com/photo_gallery/main.php?cmd=album
“It’s been a lot better than last year,” said Richard McKey at Kittles Outdoor & Sport in Colusa, provider of most of the live minnows being used on the river. “There are more fish although I don’t know if the size has been as good.”
Boat traffic has been thick from Colusa downstream with busy days attracting well over 50 boats and sometimes close to 100, but most angers are anchoring with bait or drifting bait.
“Most of the bait fishermen are in the middle of the river,” Sparre said. “I try to find pockets of water they haven’t hit.”
Sparre trolls at a fairly rapid clip of two to three miles per hour, depending on the current.
Bait anglers are anchoring and drifting. Drifters use live minnows with ½-ounce to an ounce of weight while others prefer to get to the bottom with two- to three-ounces of weight and use sardines, anchovies or pile worms.
As the water recedes and the spawn finishes the bass will head back toward the Delta but there will be bass in the river through June.
But if you want plenty of striped bass action, there’s no time like the present.
Sacramento River Striped Bass Resources
Bob Sparre http://www.bobsparre.com
Kittles Outdoor & Sport http://www.kittlesoutdoor.com
Keywords: striped bass, Sacramento River, feature, california sportfishing, Delta