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Coho salmon, renowned for their many leaps when hooked as well as the great table fare that they provide, are one of the most prized gamefish found in the Pacific Northwest.
These beautiful fish once spawned in huge numbers in California rivers and creeks from the Oregon border to the San...read more ››
On Friday's trip to Lake Sonoma, I caught and kept a 14-inch smallmouth, while we both released a lot of smaller fish. The key to catching bass, as it so often is, was to cast a floating lure toward structure in shallow water, wait until the ripples have disappeared, then start your...read more ››
In August David and I accepted a neighbor’s invitation to fish salmon out of Bodega Bay. Yes!
At 4:45 Wayne picked us up and we headed to the Sonoma Coast, specifically to Mason’s Marina, home of the boat that Wayne had borrowed. We trudged down the dock in darkness and carried our gear...read more ››
While some fish have your name on them right from the start, others seem fated to streak across your fishing trip like a shining meteor. Their flash in the pan turns out to be merely the reflection of a vanishing rainbow riding bareback aboard a whirlwind. For the rest of your life you give...read more ››
Some fish were never meant to be yours. Like young love, some fish explode into your life, igniting the day with boundless excitement that you hope will never end. You cross your fingers and hold your breath, your pulse pounding and goose bumps rising. At breakneck speed you rush headlong...read more ››
You start with a dream. Blue skies, clouds maybe, a release of tension. Blue water, a sunny breeze, and a surge of adrenaline. A glimpse of something you’ve never before seen, or commonplace but strangely different here in your dream. This is why we fish.
Disabled military veterans are no...read more ››
My imagination painted Convict Lake as a very dark place. The violent deaths of escaped prisoners had given the lake its name. And a mysterious breed of hard-core anglers known as Brown Baggers spent hours plumbing Convict’s dark waters in hopes of catching the legendary trophy trout...read more ››
It was August, tuna time in Moss Landing. The albacore have been as close as 10 miles from Santa Cruz so far this season. I have not fished for albacore very often and when Carol Jones, the owner of Kahuna Sportfishing, asked me if I wanted to go out with them on Wednesday, I blurted out...read more ››
If we hadn’t got there when we did, those fish would have died of hunger. David always checks stomach contents when he fillets our catch, and the stripers we caught on our last Napa River trip were empty.
We had headed first to the Pond, but the tide was surging out and taking with it...read more ››
When he sent me the T-shirt 20 years ago, Carroll had no idea what he started. Neither did I. J-A-M-A-I-C-A in hot shades of pink, lime green, and orange was spelled out across a white background. David wore it fishing.
Hopkins Pond was the prettiest of the ponds we fished regularly, and...read more ››
Because it was a holiday, we left early enough to be at the public launch ramp by 8:30. Lake Sonoma, in our experience, doesn’t wake up until the sun has been on the water for an hour or two. It was just two days before new moon, whatever omen that might be.
David chose to go up the Dry...read more ››
I’m still on cloud nine over that sturgeon I caught last month. I think of that story by Ernest Hemingway, “The Old Man & the Sea.” It’s a story as old as time. And, yet, when it happens, it’s an extraordinary moment.
For me, it’s that moment when I know that the fish on the other end of...read more ››
I didn’t want to write about Eric again; so, I told Dan, “Eric is taking me striper fishing on Saturday; can I get my article in on Monday?”
Dan said, “Sure; go fishing; go get your story.”
So, Eric, the dogs, and I went out of Martinez into Suisun Bay and fished for stripers all day. We...read more ››
As duck season neared, it was obvious that Deke’s spine wasn’t getting better; so, Eric had to come to terms with the fact that he wouldn’t be duck hunting every weekend as usual this year.
So, what’s open now? Crab season…. Yes! Crabs! But, one big problem stood in our way. Now that we...read more ››
Wow! A couple of days ago, I was wearing shorts and a tank top; all of a sudden, I’m wearing warm gloves & winter clothes. Shoot! I hope it’s not too late to plant the rest of my garlic.
Eric just got back from Wyoming, where he went for antelope. Last month, Eric got a real big...read more ››
Eric arrived home the other day with a sack of the most beautiful pomegranates I’ve every laid my eyes upon. I know they are labor intensive (or, seem that way) and they are messy.
Yes. This all is true… But, if you just resign yourself to the task at hand, they’re worth the venture. Just...read more ››
While I’ve been unable to join Eric on his excursions these past couple months, Eric has been having a blast fishing out of Santa Cruz and Monterey. Along with the halibut, salmon, rockfish, lingcod, and sand dabs, Eric’s seen wonderful sights and taken amazing photos of whales, seals,...read more ››
This is a great time of year! Eric has been coming home with tasty shellfish treats. We’re having great weather and fishing at the same time, kids are still in school (less jet skis and boom boxes at the lakes), turkeys are strutting and putting on their shows, and there’s wildflowers...read more ››
Eric was chomping at the bit to go fishing today instead of going to work. Tony had gotten two 20 lb. salmon and was going out today again to try his luck.
We’ve been waiting for the next batch of salmon to show up; and, it appears that they have arrived. And, it appears that Eric is going...read more ››
Fishing’s been pretty darn great lately. Eric hasn’t come back with a sea bass like some lucky folks are getting out of Santa Cruz; but, he’s been bringing home delicious, deletable salmon. This past weekend, he brought home 3 halibut, 2 salmon, and a bunch of sand dabs.
Yet, what did he...read more ››
As far as what’s going on lately, it’s back to goose and duck hunting at our household. I’m sad that Proposition 21 didn’t pass; that’s the one where we would’ve paid extra money for registering our vehicles, but, get free entrance into all the state parks in exchange.
I really liked that...read more ››
It is not much of a secret that striped bass are basically a nocturnal feeder. That we more often than not catch them during the daylight hours does not negate the fact that they prefer dining in darkness.
I remember, as a youth, reading a number of articles in magazines such as Outdoor...read more ››
Grubbing for surfperch has become very popular in the last few years along the California coast from Crescent City all of the way to San Diego.Surf perch are available year round, with the exception of a seasonal closure in San Francisco and San Pablo bays. They are scrappy little battlers...read more ››
AS we were discussing the acquisition of jacksmelt for the future of your lingcod fishing, let's now explore the world of preserving that precious bait for future use.
I am a big believer in the presentation of the most beautiful bait you can get a hold of, no matter what species you are...read more ››
Back in the 1970's, when I was first introduced to rock fishing from party boats, drifting bait for lingcod was the most popular way to fish for these toothy critters.
Sure, there were those that preferred to catch lings with big 16 oz. diamond jigs, but for the rest of us, bait was the way...read more ››
It may seem like a silly question to ask, but ... when are you sturgeon fishing?
The answer to the question is, you are sturgeon fishing when you are trying to catch a sturgeon, duuuuh! But the answer to the question can be more complicated than that of first appearance.
From as far back as...read more ››
Fishing in 2012 brought along a lot of different challenges, to say the least. One of the staple fishing opportunities of the bay area, striped bass, was for the most part a total bust. Never have I heard from so many fishermen that they caught few, if any, stripers last season.
Personally,...read more ››
The last few years have been very good years for sturgeon fishermen. Even though the major factor that perks up the sturgeon bite in winter, a big herring spawn, hasn't been a contributor to angling success, many sturgeon fishermen have been doing better than in the past.
There are many...read more ››
The new crab season has been rather unusual. For the first time in a long time, the crab season opened on time because crabbers and buyers agreed on a price before the new season.
This was a relief to me as my mom had asked that we get crabs for Thanksgiving dinner. I first started...read more ››
2012 will go down as one of the better salmon fishing years we have experienced in many, many years. In terms of numbers, it was an above average year, but the quality for most of the year was outstanding.
The main reason for the outstanding quality to the salmon was that this was an...read more ››
Just the other Sunday after church, my ol' buddy Bob said for me to wait for him because he had something to show me. I waited after the second service and Bob walked towards me with a folded over shopping bag. Reaching into his bag, he pulled out the biggest unholy tangled mess I had ever...read more ››
The North Coast Rivers Alliance, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations, San Francisco Crab Boat Owners Associations and Winnemem Wintu (McCloud River) Tribe on Friday, June 14 filed a lawsuit against the Delta Plan approved recently by the Delta Stewardship Council.
The details of...
The power of the oil industry in California was demonstrated on Thursday, May 30 when the State Assembly voted 35-24 to kill a bill originally designed to halt fracking throughout the state.
Catherine Reheis-Boyd, President of the Western States Petroleum Association and former Chair...read more ››
In the latest episode in the long saga of Arnold Schwarzenegger's Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) issued a press release on May 23 announcing that wardens recently cited two Southern California men for illegally taking...read more ››
The Delta Protection Commission voted 9-2 on May 24 to oppose the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build the peripheral tunnels as currently drafted. This is a huge victory for Delta advocates, fish, the environment and the people of California.read more ››
The construction of the twin tunnels...
As opposition to Governor Jerry Brown's plan to build two massive tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta increases every day, Brown administration officials continue to mount a full court press for the project's completion.
Dr. Jerry Meral, Brown’s point man for the Bay Delta...
Representatives of fishing groups united with family farmers, environmentalists and elected officials on May 16 to oppose the Final Delta Plan adopted by the Delta Stewardship Council because of the big threat the plan poses to Central Valley Chinook salmon and Delta fish populations.
In...read more ››
In spite of overwhelming opposition from environmentalists, fishermen, family farmers, elected officials and the majority of Californians, the Delta Stewardship Council (DSC) on Thursday, May 16 unanimously adopted what it described as a "comprehensive management plan" for the Delta.
The...read more ››
Despite intense political pressure by the oil industry, the Assembly Natural Resources Committee on April 29 approved three bills proposing to halt fracking (hydraulic fracturing), a controversial method of oil and natural gas extraction, in California.
Fracking opponents fear that...read more ››
Congressman Jim Costa has introduced legislation to exempt the Central Valley and State Water projects from Delta pumping restrictions required under the Endangered Species Act to protect Central Valley salmon and Delta smelt.
Costa claimed the “More Water and Security for Californians...read more ››
I’m in my middle 40’s. This makes me roughly the same age as a significant percentage of Fish Sniffer readers. In terms of technology we were born on the brink of a major upswing.
When we were kids there were computers. They were huge and heavy and run by organizations like NASA. About the...read more ››
“If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every gun and told every Mr. and Mrs. America turn ‘em all in I would have done it.”
Those were the words from Dianne Feinstein, one of California’s leading Tyrants in terms of banning guns...read more ››
Last time we took a gander at problem solving that truly helps us average angler types. One of the tips discussed was the new drop shot hook.
Since then, I took my first bass trip of the season, with a twist. Rather than use a sinker at the bottom end of my drop shot rig, my choice was a...read more ››
Last time we took a gander at the new sturgeon regs, which appear to have a few serious questions. Mainly, the one day angler and under age angler. Do the kids need the card and do one-day anglers have to buy a card, and then remember months later to mail it in? Just asking, Moving on.
As...read more ››
Last time we took a gander at steelheading as well as the new sturgeon regs. I have since spoken with a few skippers and mostly the responses are semi-positive. Barbless hooks…fish are still hooked fairly well, a few more lost when they jump, but easier to release in the water.
This...read more ››
Last time we skirted the steelhead issue, and now, in spite of one of the worst storms ever experienced, the fishin’ is pretty good. The main river above the Benicia Bridge had some wide open bites for stripers.
Six packers, such as Fish Hookers, were landing 20-30 fish per day. Of...read more ››
Last time we took our first look at the upcoming steelhead season, and now it’s here. Of course, the coastal rivers are completely rain dependent, but we are extremely fortunate to have the Feather River within just a few hours drive. So’s, why is this important?
Well, it gives us the...read more ››
Last time we did a little angling for stripers, however the bite was either red hot or blue cold. As the guy said in the movie, “when you’re hot, your hot and when you’re not, you’re not.” That about summed it up.
Early season steelies are already in the Feather though, and that’s good...read more ››
The stripers are here, albeit a tad scattered. Fall is “THE” time to fish for stripers in the upper bay and delta area. Montezuma Slough is a weak choice so far this year, as the fish appear to be in the more open bay, ie: the middle grounds and/or the Ryer Island area.
The number one...read more ››
Does anyone out there still use the old cast iron skillet? We had one and both of my grandparents used them for everything from fried chicken, (of course), to after church breakfast of fried spuds, bacon, ham or steak and eggs, topped off with ½ pound biscuits and jam, both homemade.
My...read more ››
Last time we were into a wide-open kokanee bite at Berryessa. It’s still going on, but not quite wide open anymore. How can any river angler not now be cranked up for the upcoming Sacramento River salmon season?
Yes, I know it’s already open, but the results during the first few weeks in...read more ››
Last time we took a bunch of pictures, not pitchers, of our trophy fish, so I can’t wait to see the salmon pics in the near future. Just one reminder: wash off the dripping blood prior to snapping your award winning photo.
One item I failed to mention, just a thought. It’s just fine to...read more ››