Rain puts fishing plans on hold

By: J.D. Richey Journal Outdoors Columnist
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Well, we’ve had some rain of biblical proportions here lately and the weekend looks pretty wet too. While there may not be a whole lot going on during the storms, things look good for next week and into the future. If we can’t go fishing this weekend, we may as well talk about it, right? So, here’s some news from the water… Sacramento Valley stripers Before the rain blew things out, the striper fishing in the Valley was really turning on. I’ve been spending time on both the Sacramento and Feather rivers dunking cut bait, drifting minnows and fishing with spoons and the action has been very solid. There are stripers being caught on sardines and blood worms from the Clarksburg Flats up through the Verona area and then on jumbo live minnows in the Colusa area. Flows will be muddy for a few days, but when they come back down, look for some very good fishing! There are also lots of stripers biting rip baits and spoons down on the main San Joaquin River, where the water is still clear. Ocean salmon Ocean salmon season off California opened last week and the results were largely positive. Boats from Shelter Cove all the way down to Morro Bay caught fish, with the best action centered, as it usually is this early, down in Monterey Bay. “Excellent predictions of abundant salmon in our area had anglers breathless with anticipation, waiting for the April 7 opener,” said my pal Allan Bushnell, co-host of “The Let’s Go Fishing Radio Show,” Thursdays 8-9 p.m. on KSCO 1080 AM in Santa Cruz. ”All their patience and preparation was rewarded this week with a good opening day last Saturday, and steady salmon fishing since.” Bushnell said that the weather has been an issue of late, but when the boats can get out, there are fish to be caught. “We have plenty of bait in the bay — lots of krill and anchovies — and most of the classic deepwater spots are holding fish,” he says. “Chris Arcaleo from Chris’ Fishing Trips in Monterey almost made a boat limit on Wednesday when skipper Nick Lemon on “The Star“ brought home 30 fish for the 16 anglers aboard. They have been fishing near the Pajaro Hole.” Time to step to the plate! If you like to catch salmon in the ocean or the rivers, it’s time to put your money where your mouth is and do your part to preserve our fisheries. The Sacramento/San Joaquin river and delta system is under constant attack from the water mongers to the south. Make no mistake, they will win the war and kill off our fisheries if we don’t stand up and fight. Luckily, the Golden Gate Salmon Association ( is taking up the battle against the water exporters. But they need your help! Come do your part by attending the GGSA’s inaugural dinner in Sacramento on April 26 at 5:30 at the Scottish Rite Temple. Tickets are $75 and include a great dinner and tons of fun. There will be some amazing raffle and auction items from fishing gear to a Yamaha outboard to fishing trips with the likes of yours truly. I’ll be there along with many other guides and captains, so come by and say hi. This is extremely important — if you’ve ever caught a salmon in California (or plan to), now’s the time to make your presence known. If you decide not to attend, please don’t gripe when our fisheries tank. For more info, contact the GGSA at 855-251-GGSA (4472) or on the web at: Thanks for your support! J.D. Richey is a 1986 Placer High graduate whose outdoors pieces have been published nationally. Find him online at