The Fish Sniffer - Freezing Temperatures Transition Striped Bass to Cold Water Techniques
Freezing Temperatures Transition Striped Bass to Cold Water Techniques

Written By: David Hurley, December 18, 2013
Species: Stripers Bass
Location: Sacramento River- Delta, San Joaquin Delta,

Water temperatures in the Delta have plummeted as a result of a major cold spell throughout northern California with the effect of the transition to a classic winter bite for striped bass.

In response to the receding temperatures, Mike Pipkens of Gotcha Bait in Antioch advised, “The striper action is not as intense as it has been as the fish are not running with the bait anymore. You have to set the hook once you get a pull down since the fish are acclimating to the colder 50 degree water temperatures.”

He advised using smaller pieces of bait in the colder water, stating, “Even the big fish will take the smaller baits.” 

Captain Mike Gravert of Intimidator Sport Fishing said, “The San Joaquin River is becoming a grind, and although we are getting our clients fish, we are looking to put them onto even more fish.”

Prior to the cold spell, Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, found schools of striped bass on the main river channel, and they landed stripers to 7 pounds using 5-inch Optimum AA swimbaits in shad, silver/white, or white/chartreuse on a 3/8th or ½-ounce Persuader jig head over the flats at depths to 17 feet.

He said, “We have been targeting the flats on the main river.” The Hopkins Smoothie in green or blue continues to be effective for spooning up linesides, and there is a top water bite with the ima Big Stick on overcast days.

For largemouth bass, rip baits continue to be effective, and Pringle is scoring with the ima Flit in Misty Shad, Olive Herring, or American Shad on 12-pound 100% Trilene Fluorocarbon line. The size of the bass remain small with 3 pounds being a particularly large fish at the present time.

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