Sportsmens Report
April 8, 2020
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Sportsman’s Report: Bagging fish during the fall season

By: Bill Hanson
October 11, 2019

The Bay Area Fishing reports striped bass are schooling and hungry. You can bag this fish just about anywhere you can think of. On the other hand, trolling in the murky waters of San Pablo Bay does not make sense, you cannot see two inches in front of your spinner. Some are being taken up to thirty pounds. Cut bait like frozen anchovy, squid and herring are working, also live bait like grass shrimp and bullheads can lure in the big fish. The expectation is the bite will move upstream to the delta. Striped bass are schooling fish, keep that in mind when you get a few bites. It is fun netting these beauties even if they are short of the minimum size requirements. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife ‘CDFW’ advises anglers; To avoid catching too many undersized stripers, it is advisable to use hooks at least half an inch between the point and the shank. Fewer small fish will swallow the large hooks, so serious injuries will be reduced. Remember, for successful bait fishing, it is generally necessary to keep the bait near the bottom. Strong tidal currents are usually present on striped bass fishing grounds; therefore, it is particularly important to have a varied assortment of sinkers, so the amount of weight can be adjusted to match the changing strength of the current. The fall migration of bass to the Delta may start as early as Oct., even though fishing may still be excellent in San Francisco and San Pablo Bays at this time. Trollers and live bait drifters make good catches with regularity in Raccoon Strait, at the south tower of the Golden Gate Bridge, at submerged rocky reefs in central San Francisco Bay and off Alcatraz and Treasure Islands. In some years, large numbers of bass migrate into the Pacific Ocean and many are caught just off the beach by charter boat anglers. The beginning of the fall migration is marked by good fishing in Suisun Bay. 

You must have a current fishing license and follow acceptable fishing technique. You may keep two fish per day at a minimum size of eighteen inches, striped bass have no official season. Salmon are also being taken offshore, fewer fish than early summer but generally they are bigger. Charter boat fishing opportunities are numerous for striped bass in the bay. Consult your local professional store or bait shop for advice and charter boat recommendations.

This weekend will be the last ‘Steam Up’ of the year at the living history museum, Sturgeons Mill. Directions are simple enough, find Occidental Road or Graton Road and aim your horse towards Japan, well placed signs will guide you to Green Hill Road. Admission is free, docent lead tours are free, parking is free, and the most excellent draft horse demonstration is free. Great summer food at a fair price is available at the picnic grounds. Bring your own hamper is encouraged. Young children love the place, men and motor heads love seeing the old machinery and women love the setting. In the end, it is like visiting an old friend. Stop at the lumber sales desk and say hi. Sturgeon Mill web site: be sure to bring extra film, oops! Wrong century.

The local rock club is hosting a huge gem and mineral show at the Veterans building across the road from the Grace Pavilion in Santa Rosa. The show opens Saturday the 19 at 10 a.m.  to 6 p.m. and Sun., Oct. 20 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. One of the most popular demonstrations is the gold panning lessons by the local gold fever club, they salt the pans with a few flakes that the kids go wild over. For the first time this year there will be a Fluorescent exhibit, a really cool display. Games and prizes for the kids and craft classes for rock painting and other fun stuff to take home. There will be some excellent hand-crafted jewelry and other interesting things to check out. Get a buck off the already low price of $6 by visiting their web site: kids under twelve are free.