Sportsmens Report
April 9, 2020
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Sportsman’s Report: Fishing the Bay, Delta boat launches and turkeys

By: Bill Hanson
March 22, 2019

Here is a list of some boat launch sites for you to put in and follow your nose. From the south the first is Loch Lomond in San Rafael, just upstream of the Richmond/San Rafael bridge anchorage. This spot will give you access to fresh bait and congenial advice. Traveling north there is good bank fishing at the China Camp State Park, it is also a great place to spend a day. At the Highway 37 bridge over the Petaluma River is Black Point Boat Launch, this will put you in the heart of San Pablo Bay for Striped Bass and Sturgeon. If your quarry is sturgeon, boat south to the ‘pump house.’ No pump or house but easy to spot and a top producer. Where the Petaluma and Napa Rivers come into the bay you will be in bass country and white sturgeon. They will take live bait, spinners and slices of anchovy. One of the best baits to use is live grass shrimp.

 Going up the Sacramento River the Almar Marina in Martinez is a good bet. This is the doorway to the Carquinez Straits and the riverside park. Heading upstream to Bethel Island, there is a boat launch and other facilities. This is the lower delta, you will find fishing gems aplenty and no really rough water, well sometimes. Just up from Bethel Island is Honker Bay, twenty-five pound striped bass are not unusual. From the point of Honker Bay drive a straight line upstream or east to the convergence of the San Joaquin and Sacramento Rivers. Brown’s Island is right in the middle of this convergence and is often mentioned in fish tales.

March 30 is the last Sat. of the month and the opener for spring turkey. Tom turkeys with some beard showing through their feathers is the ticket. The season extends to 37 days and you can shoot three toms in a season. Wild turkey is a hoot to hunt and eat, be sure to check the regulations on the Fish and Wildlife web site: www.wildlife.ca.gov/Regulations 

This web site is designed to keep hunters and fishers up to date on the rules governing our fish and wildlife resources. The home page has links to hunting lands open to the public, suggestions on where, when and how with maps. In short, this is your guide to hunting and fishing in our state. This site also has links to hunter safety classes nearby.  

Bill Hanson is a Sonoma County native and a lifelong sportsman. He is the former president of the Sonoma County Mycological Association. Look for his column in The Community Voice each week.