Fish Sniffer Magazine Volume 41 Issue 16 | Page 12

12 September 30 , 2022 MAP FEATURE VOL . 41 • ISS . 16

The iconic Rio Vista Bridge spans the Sacramento River on the Delta . Photo by Dan Bacher

Most Stripers Never Left the Delta This Summer

T he striped bass bite on the

Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta never stopped this summer because the majority of the fish decided to stay in the Delta rather than migrating down to San Pablo and San Francisco bays and then outside the Golden Gate to beaches from San Francisco to Monterey . “ The stripers never left the system this summer ,” said Jeff Soo Hoo of Soo Hoo Sportfishing , who returned to Lauritzen Yacht Harbor in early August to fish for stripers after pursuing ocean salmon and bay halibut out of Emeryville Sportfishing Center starting in June . “ We caught a few stripers in the flats of San Francisco Bay this summer , but they fish never showed in numbers at spots like the Rockpile in the bay where they normally show .” Soo Hoo said he has been averaging 25 to 40 fish per trip while drifting live minnows and trolling with plugs on both the San Joaquin and Sacramento rivers . On his latest trip on Saturday , Sept . 17 , the four anglers on the boat caught over 35 stripers . the vast majority of keepers . The anglers kept their limits of stripers and released the rest . The keeper-sized fish ranged from 19 to 27 inches long . “ The fishing was fantastic ,” Soo Hoo stated . “ We started off the morning
This fisherman landed this hefty striped bass while drifting minnows on the Sacramento River below Rio Vista with Jeff Soo Ho of Soo Hoo Sportifshing this August . Photo courtesy of Soo Hoo Sportfishing
by drifting live minnows and then switched over to trolling when we ran out of bait . We trolled deepdiving Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnows at 12 to 14 feet deep .” The color of lure and wormtail trailers didn ’ t seem to matter , since the fish were hitting all of the rods he put out . The anglers caught their fish on the San Joaquin River towards Broad Slough and on the Sacramento River from Sherman Lake on up the river . “ The fish are stacked up where we have been fishing ,” he noted . Soo Hoo was scheduled to fish on Sunday , but cancelled the trip because the wind arrived earlier than was forecasted . Interestingly enough , the bellies of the fish that he ’ s seeing are empty . “ There are no crawdads or anything in them ,” he noted . “ I don ’ t know why the fish never went down to San Francisco and San Pablo Bays this summer .” “ All of the trips that I ’ ve made in the Delta out of Lauritzen Yacht Harbor in August have produced fast action . The fish look very healthy , but they are not fat ,” he added . Soo Hoo has been just fishing on weekends , due to lack of interest lately . He noted that the water temperature on the Delta now is good , ranging from 70 to 74 degrees , and the water color is “ ideal .” Information : ( 925 ) 899-4045 . Clyde Wands , striper fishing expert , reported “ very good ” striper fishing on the Delta on the Sacramento River below Collinsville .
Seven Burke of Lodi , a former pitcher for the Boston Red Sox and the Seattle Mariners , caught and released this 33 lb . striper on the San Joaquin River during a trip with Captain James Netzel on April 28 .
Photo by Dan Bacher
“ On my latest trip with Ron Burke of Turlock , we caught 20 keepers and 3 shakers , keeping four fish ,” said Wands . “ Our four largest fish weighed 9 , 8 , 7 and 6 pounds . We quit at 10:30 a . m ., but Mark Wilson and his friend stayed out later and caught 40 fish , keeping their limits and releasing the rest , including a 14 pounder .” The anglers trolled with Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnows over underwater humps on the bottom of the tide . Justin Leonard of Outcast Guide Service also reported returning with limits of stripers on three recent trips to the West Bank below Rio Vista . The anglers kept limits in the 20 to 29-inch range while trolling with Rat-L-Traps .