The Fish Sniffer - Winter Storms Bring Muddy Waters to the San Joaquin
Winter Storms Bring Muddy Waters to the San Joaquin

Written By: David Hurley, February 17, 2014
Species: Bass Stripers
Location: San Joaquin Delta,

In the San Joaquin River system, the first major winter storm arrived during the weekend of February 7 and the river will finally change from its unseasonably clear condition to a sediment-filled stream. The warmer storm from the south, combined with increased sediment in the water, will raise the water temperatures with the potential for bringing more baitfish into the system.

As of press time, bait fish have been at a minimum. Bob Wright of ‘The Wright Guide,’ out of Lauritzen’s Yacht Harbor in Oakley, has been scouting the San Joaquin River system with swimbaits.

He said, “I have been working my spots from Broad Slough through False River and into Frank’s Tract looking for locations with current on the outgoing tide. Normally, there will be scattered groupings of stripers in each location, but my first two trips produced nothing for my efforts.”

Wright found more encouraging conditions on Friday, February 7 with a pair of stripers to 21 inches taken on swimbaits, and he said, “The stripers are just sucking in the swimbaits and holding it in, so it is important to set hook when the line tightens up.”

For largemouth bass, Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, also noted a shortage of baitfish in the river system, so striper fishing is ‘hit or miss,’ but he found great action for numbers of largemouth bass during a recent stormy morning with the ima Flit or the Berkley Havoc  5-inch ‘Flat Dawg’ on a Zappu Head. The Flat Dawg is a stick-type plastic.

The action for big fish improved a few days later with limits in excess of 28 pounds taking top spot at an American Bass Association tournament out of Russo’s Marina.  


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