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The temperatures have warmed up over the past 10 days, but no rain on the horizon has kept the San Joaquin River system extremely clear for this time of the year.
For largemouth bass, Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, reported, “The fish are still willing to bite, but you have to slow way, way down since most fishermen are fishing over them and as fast as in the past few months. The fish are acclimating to the colder water, but you can’t use the same speed as in the past few months.”
He continues to score with rip baits such as the ima Flit in shad patterns, but the presentation is an absolute ‘dead stick.’ The water remains clear in the central Delta, and Pringle is concentrating in the back sloughs with slower current, finding the fish in deeper holes.
For striped bass, Pringle continues to score with the 5 or 6-inch Optimum Double AA swimbait, grinding the bottom as the fish are very lethargic. Pringle advised, “It is important to keep the bait in the strike zone longer, and you will lose more baits on the bottom.”
Striped bass are moving quickly through the system as there is insufficient bait to hold the schools in the area. Brandon Gallegos of H and R Bait reported the striper bite has slowed down in the Stockton area with the cold temperatures, but bank anglers are scoring stripers near the Old River Bridge on Highway 4 on the outgoing tide with mudsuckers or fresh shad.
Stan Koenigsberger of Quetzal Adventures reported solid striper fishing in the San Joaquin River for linesides in the 21/22-inch range using frozen shad from H and R Bait in Stockton.
He said, “The bite is very light, and sometimes you don’t even feel the it. Once the rod goes down, set the hook in the 48 degree water.”
Chris Lauritzen of Lauritzen Yacht Harbor in Oakley said, “One benefit of the recent cold snap is the water hyacinth started to die off with the biggest clumps of hyacinth sinking to the bottom of the sloughs or the main rivers.” Larry and Gene Jones of Oakley has been able to land stripers to 32 pounds drifting live jumbo minnows near the Antioch Bridge.
The best sturgeon action remains on the western end of the San Joaquin River with Mike Pipkins at Gotcha Bait in Antioch reporting, “There have been at least 15 keeper sturgeon taken from Humphrey’s Pier in town to the Antioch Bridge this week with grass or ghost shrimp.”Back To Reports
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