Thursday, March 26, 2009

Stop Wishing - GO Fishing!

"and then it was on!..."

Spring rolls in with a bang!! Almost out of nowhere, everyone is getting hammered with fishing options -- take your pick, but make a choice and GO! It is good. Now.

Striped bass are ripping up bait and artificials like cut anchovey or jigs, rip baits like the Rapalas, Rat-L-traps and soft-bodied Storm and Calcutta swimbaits, at places like China Camp, in the San Rafael area around Home Depot, and further north near Bahia and the Petaluma river just to name a few. It may be early to tell, and it could shut off just as quickly, but folks are catching them similar to the wholesale SLAMMING we were seeing four years ago.

Almost right on schedule, anglers have been nailing the start of the spring halibut in the South Bay and up in San Pablo Bay. Best options have been trolling plugs, jigs, swimbaits, and frozen anchovies, or by drifting live shiners or jack smelt on soft tides. The success hasn't been limited to the boaters either - bank fishing has produced as well with success using with striper lures like Rat-L-Traps, jigs, and swimbaits. These are not huge fish yet, but sticking a limit of keeper size halibut is not uncommon.

Sturgeon to 75" are nailing shrimp and herring from Paradise to Buck's Landing and in the South Bay from Coyote Pt to the Oakland airport.

Whew! let me catch my breath. Ok, thanks!

Trout fishing
Kent Lake and Alpine Lake have continued to kick out monster Rainbow Trout on spinners and live bait. Even Bon Tempe is has been producing with reports of holdovers to 20" and great smallmouth action with best bets being Powerbait and live nightcrawlers.

For those who want to relax and fish for planter trout San Pablo reservoir is kicking out huge brood stock trout up to 12lbs or more on Powerbait fished from the bank. Lafayette reservoir seems to have been given all the planters that were banned elswhere because that lake is brimming with 2-3lb trout and everyone is getting them. The trollers, the bankies... anyone and everyone who can manage to get a hook or lure in the water!

Carp and Panfish
Euro-style carp fishing is off the hook as well with Nicasio reservoir and Clearlake leading the charge. Both areas have been kicking out fish from 5-25 lbs for anglers using corn, meal worms and boilies.

For the more sophisticated approach - fly fishermen interested in stalking these "golden bonefish", Nicasio offers plenty of shots at schools of tailing fish. Nope. I'm serious! We've had a number of excited fly anglers who have rushed back to the store to stock back up on black or olive bead-headed wooly buggers after snapping off some larger fish. We've also seen some home made "bread flys" and attractive white panfish poppers.

Take the KIDS!! If you want to get these little versions of yourselves out and on fish before their micro- attention span falters........what was I saying? oh right... Your kids can have a field day at Phoenix Lake - where after a long winter, the bluegills have moved up and will readily attack a red worm under a bobber for all to see.

Bass Report - Wow, I've never made it this far without talking about bass fishing... But, I can stand it no longer.

Right now, Alpine, Nicasio, and Kent Lakes in Marin County will offer you the best shot of the year to stick a new personal best. Best bets are jigs in darker craw colors, 5-6" Senko plastic worms (watermelon with black flake or green pumpkin with black flake), Chatterbaits like the Boogie Bait in chartreuse, chartreuse white, or natural colors, and the drop-shotted Roboworm in purple or green.

You can find males in the shallows and flats killing everything that moves and the bigger females in the deeper areas closest to males. Swim jigs, spinnerbaits and swimbaits slow-rolled through these staging areas will draw strikes, but if you want a tougher challenge that will produce bigger fish, know that these larger bass will be using wood cover as well. So if you find a flat covered in males look for the nearest tree in deeper water.

Big Congrats to Andy Mercado for winning the first Marin Bass Club derby at Phoenix Lake with 5lb 7oz bass, and to Ryan Gilliflan for "best set" with four good fish from 2-3.5 lbs. I will be posting the date of our next derby shortly and it will be at Lake Alpine.

See ya at the shop!

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