Fishing by Jay Sorensen (courtesy of Cecile Giacoma and the River News Herald) - December 6, 2017

Presently the sturgeon fishing has been off the charts with many guides reporting limits on a daily basis for their clients. The top locations have been in deepwater off Pittsburg, Middlegrounds, Suisun Cut, Mothball Fleet between Roe and Ryer islands. The top baits continue to be eel strips, salmon roe and grass shrimp. Both the incoming and outgoing tide have been productive. December is one of the better months fishing for sturgeon on both the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers.
On the striped bass scene experienced trollers continue to take two Fish limits averaging 18 to 25 inches in length on the troll using Yozuri with a white plastic worm trailer on both the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers. Bait dunkers tossing cut bait and threadfin shad taking Fish to 18 pounds on the sandbar in front of Eddos Harbor, False River between Jersey and Bradford islands on the outgoing tide, upper and lower Santa Clara Shoals, San Andreas Shoals, mouth of the Mokelumne river, Old River Flats into the South Delta‘s middle River and Old River near Discovery Bay. Good numbers of fish being caught on the drift using either live bluegill or mud suckers. Water conditions are perfect with excellent clarity. H&R Bait  in Stockton reports that they are receiving about 35 pounds of fresh shad daily.
 Not much happening on the salmon fishing scene with the exception of an 18 pounder  coming out of Garcia Bend on the Old Sacramento River last week. Most of the salmon fishing guides are now moving into the Delta Waters to fish for sturgeon and striped bass.
Los Vaqueros reservoir located in the rolling hills east of Byron California is now rated as a prime destination for hooking hefty rainbow trout, striped bass and catfish. The lake recently received a trout plant totaling 4500 pounds and another totaling 4000 pounds last month. Some of the trout weigh over 9 pounds. Most of the trout fishing is taking place in the lake’s South Cove using garlic flavored power bait, while rental boaters are finishing Kastmasters Rapalas in Howden cove. Striped bass limits averaging 18 to 22 pounds are hitting cut sardines and anchovies. Catfish action is solid with several taken recently weighing 10.51 pounds and a 14 pound 6 oz. fish taken in Cowboy Cove .
The Dungeoness crab pot pulling is not quite as productive these days. Most of the pot pullers are only averaging from 3 to 8 crab per person but in the interim, to pick up the slack, to lingcod bite has been fantastic. James Smith, aboard the California Dawn, states: “if you want to catch A ling cod over 20 pounds now is the time to go. In lieu of the shortage on crab, most of the clients on charterboats are catching their limits of rockfish and lingcod. The final score last Saturday was 245 rockfish, 101 Dungeoness crab and 33 lingcod to 26 pounds. Information: 510-417-5557
Dungeness crab. Information: (510) 417-5557.
Here we are now in the month of December I can’t believe that Christmas is just around the corner.  The new 2018 California sportfishing licenses will be available for purchase in about two or three weeks and they make a great stocking stuffer. The weather has been ideal and now is the time to spend a day in the great outdoors. Good fishing and stay safe to fish another day.
Sacramento River - striped bass, sturgeon, salmon
San Joaquin River - striped bass, sturgeon, largemouth bass, catfish
Camanche Lake - trout
Amador Lake - trout
San Pablo Bay - striped bass, sturgeon
Ocean - rockfish, lingcod, Dungeness crab
Quote Of The Week:  Go to bed. What you’re staying up for isn’t worth it”
                 -Andy Rooney
December 9–10, 2017  The second annual Dixon gun show will be held at the Dixon fairgrounds. This year the show will be bigger and better with 220 vendors showing off their wares. The doors open at 9 AM $10 admission fee, free parking, This event offers fun for the entire family. For more information:
International Sportsmens exposition January 18 Dash 21, 2018 it’s coming! The international Sportsmens exposition at Cal Expo. This year the show has it all a vast array of all things related to fishing hunting guides destinations seminars vendors and much much more you are reminded to visit to California sportsman/ultimate bass booth on the corner in the fishing hole where you will have the opportunity to meet the fishing and hunting pros that you listen to on the radio.
 Passing on the tradition the California Department of Fish and wildlife in the California wildlife officers foundation SPON sore the only annual passing on the tradition essay contest which is open to all junior hunting license holders and use under 18 years of age you have earned 100 education certificate the winner gets a lifetime California hunting license to purchase a paid contact Lieutenant John Nouri‘s and oRES @john.and ohres at or call 408-591-5174
Nimbus hatchery, fish ladder on the American River is open, for returning fall run Chinook salmon that hatched in Coleman hatchery in 2014. Visitors can see the fish and view spawning at the visitor center. Take the kids! More info: .
Guided wetland tours at Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, Gridley. Route includes wildlife ID, behavior patterns and conservation. Reservations required 530-846-7505
REGISTRATION IS OPEN FOR SANDHILL CRANE TOURS at Woodbridge ecological reserve near Lodi. Late afternoon guided tours run through February on first through third Saturdays and Sundays each month, more info at – tour.
CDFW WILL OFFER FREE SWAN TOURS near Marysville on Saturdays, 9:30 to 11:30 and 1 o’clock to 3 o’clock, Beginning of November through mid January. Ducks, geese,shorebirds, herons, egrets and raptors are often seen too. Pre-registration required., or 916) 358-2869.
December 10, 2017 - The fall turkey hunting closes throughout much of the state. For more information, check out the California DFW website at
December 24, 2017 - The general pheasant hunting season closest throughout most of much of the state. For more information check out the California DFW website at
January 28, 2018 – the quail hunting season closes statewide for both Mountain and Valley Quail. For more information , check out the California DFW website at
REMINDER - Non-lead shot required when taking upland game birds with a shotgun...except for dove, quail, & game birds taken at licensed clubs. Also applies to take small game mammals and any wildlife for depredation purposes.Next phase goes into effect July 1, 2019 when hunters must use non-lead ammo when taking any animal anywhere in the state for any purpose.
            CDFW NEWS
NOVEMBER 30, 2017
At its Nov. 30 quarterly meeting, the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) approved approximately $2.6 million in grants to help restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat throughout California. Some of the 12 approved projects will benefit fish and wildlife—including some endangered species—while others will provide public access to important natural resources. Several projects will also demonstrate the importance of protecting working landscapes that integrate economic, social and environmental stewardship practices beneficial to the environment, landowners and the local community. The state funds for all these projects come from bond measures approved by voters to help preserve and protect California’s natural resources. Funded projects include:
A $310,000 grant to the California Waterfowl Association for a cooperative project with the North American Wetlands Conservation Council to construct water conveyance infrastructure and restore wetlands and upland habitats on 507 acres of privately owned property, approximately seven miles south of Oroville in Butte County.
A $385,000 grant to the U.S. Forest Service for a cooperative project with the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to restore five meadows, stabilize head-cuts and fill sections of incised stream channels. This project will restore channel form, floodplain connectivity, stream bank stability and meadow vegetation on Stanislaus National Forest lands, seven miles northeast of Pinecrest in Tuolumne County.
$340,000 for in-fee acquisition of approximately 12 acres of land by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and a Transfer of Jurisdiction of the land by CDFW to the San Joaquin River Conservancy (SJRC), to protect riparian habitat and provide future wildlife-oriented public use opportunities within the San Joaquin River Parkway, near the City of Fresno in Madera County.
A $400,000 augmentation to an existing grant to the Elkhorn Slough Foundation for a cooperative project with CDFW, California State Coastal Conservancy, DWR, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Santa Cruz County Public Works. This project will restore 46 acres of tidal marsh and five acres of perennial grasses on CDFW’s Elkhorn Slough National Marine Estuarine Research Reserve, two miles east of Moss Landing in Monterey County.
For more information about the WCB please visit
Commercial Dungeness Crab Season in Northern California (Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties) Delayed Due to Crab Quality Testing
NOVEMBER 27, 2017
Due to poor crab meat quality test results conducted at the beginning of November, the Director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has issued a memo delaying the opening of the commercial Dungeness crab season in Fish and Game Districts 6, 7, 8 and 9 (Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties) for a minimum of 15 days until Dec. 16, under authority of Fish and Game Code section 8276.2. Crab quality tests ensure that crab are filled out enough prior to harvesting and follow the testing guidelines established by the Tri-State Dungeness Crab Committee that is overseen by the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission.
“We are trying to schedule a second round of testing to take place before Dec. 7 to determine whether the fishery can open Dec. 16 or will need to be further delayed,” said CDFW Environmental Scientist Christy Juhasz.
If quality tests remain low, CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham has the authority to delay the season an additional 15 days. The season cannot be delayed beyond Jan. 15 due to crab quality as mandated in section 8276.2 of the Fish and Game Code.
The fishery is currently scheduled to open at 12:01 a.m. Dec. 16, 2017. This opening will be preceded by a 64-hour gear setting period that would begin no earlier than 8:01 a.m. on Dec. 13, 2017.
No vessel may take or land crab within Districts 6, 7, 8 and 9 during the closure period. In addition, any vessel that lands crab from ocean waters outside of Districts 6, 7, 8 and 9 is prohibited from participating in the crab fishery in Districts 6, 7, 8 and 9, or any other delayed opening areas in Oregon or Washington, for 30 days following the opening of those areas.


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