Fall: the season of plenty

By: J.D. Richey Journal Outdoors Columnist
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Fall’s here…and right on cue…there’s a ton of cool stuff to do out on the water right now. From the high country lakes to valley salmon to big game in the ocean, it’s all happening and your biggest problem this weekend is going to be deciding which option to pursue. Here’s a look at what’s going on: Sacramento River Salmon The season below Knights Landing is open to the take of two kings per day and, so far, the fishing has been about on par with pre-season forecasts. It definitely has not been wide open and there are more boats turning in blanks than not, but you still have a legit shot at catching a nice bright king. A week back, there was a little push of fish near Garcia Bend and the trollers down at the Sac Yacht Club and Merritt’s Landing have been picking off the occasional salmon. Same holds true for the mouth of the American, Isleton Bridge and down by Vierra’s. The best bite lately has been from Verona down to Rio Ramazza, where there’s actually been some days of 3 to 5 fish per boat. Silvertron spinners and Kwikfish are the ticket. Avoid the jig-snagging trap… Berryessa Kokanee It’s all but over here for kokes…there are still a few dark fish to be had but you’re going to have to work for ‘em. The upside to all this is the fall mixed-bag fishery just kick in soon. Try Cache Creek near the bridge over the next few weeks and look for schools of shad. Under them will be kings, bass, trout & cats! Monterey Bay Sea Bass Okay, this is one you’re going to want to get in on! The white sea bass bite off Seaside continues to be really, really good (although it’s been a bit windy the last few days) as the fish chase spawning schools of squid. It’s an easy game for anybody with a boat of 15 feet in length or better…you run about a mile out of the harbor, jig up some squid, pin it on a hook and hang on! If you’ve never felt the thumb-burning run of a WSB, you’re in for a treat! The fish are ranging from 30 to 50 pounds! Trinity River Salmon & Steelhead The lower 60 miles of the river is loading up with kings and steelies and boats are hooking as many as 20 fish a day right now and it should only get better. I’m headed up there next week to start guiding and only have a couple days left on the schedule available thanks to a late cancellation. If you’d like an awesome drift trip through some unbelievably beautiful canyons…give me (916-388-1956) a call ASAP! Delta Stripers The cooler than normal weather has the stripers piling into the Delta a little earlier than normal and the fishing has been good! There are fish for trollers and bait dunkers around Rio Vista, the Old Dairy and Cache, while anglers throwing topwater there and down around the lower San Joaquin have been seeing some nice fish to 24 pounds. West Carson Trout The river was planted heavily near Sorenson’s Resort for Labor Day weekend and there still plenty of big trout around both up and downstream. Spinners, crawlers and Pautzke’s eggs are the hot tickets.