California Delta Fish Report

Michael Fong of Sacramento with a Liberty Island striper.

Updated July 26, 2021

DELTA, Sacramento Side — The river salmon season is limited to the very occasional salmon taken from Courtland to Freeport on heavy spinners or from boats back-trolling Flatfish, but the bulk of the run is months off. The Benicia shoreline has been devoid of both fishermen and salmon during the week of muddy water from minus tides. Striped and largemouth bass fishing is excellent for those braving the low waters of submerged Liberty Island to fast-retrieve red Z-Man’s Jackhammer chatterbaits or red LV500 lipless crankbaits ran over the grass. The wind lay down for a few days, allowing trollers to find some striper action along the West Bank from Rio Vista to Collinsville for striped bass. Catfishing is excellent with chicken livers or nightcrawlers in the Sacramento Deep Water Channel and Lisbon Slough. Smallmouth bass are taken along rocky banks in the north Delta sloughs with live minnows, plastics on the drop-shot, or small Keitech swimbaits. Bluegill are thick in the sloughs with wax worms or red worms on a drop-shot rig or under a bobber. Sturgeon are still present in numbers with Montezuma Slough being the top location, but few anglers are targeting the diamondbacks.

DELTA, San Joaquin side — Largemouth bass remain top story, and the first of the two major frog tournaments will start this coming weekend out of Russo’s Marina, highlighted by the original frog tournament, the Snag Proof Open on August 7/8th. Striped bass trolling has been improving on a regular bass from Three Mile Slough to the Antioch Bridge with both deep- and shallow-diving lures. There is a buzzbait, topwater, and finesse plastic bite for largemouth bass, but the key to is to work moving water. Catfish are abundant throughout the Delta as the warm water conditions have sparked up the bite with various baits. Bluegill and crappie are taken in the sloughs in the south and east Delta. Blue-green algae is forming throughout the central and south San Joaquin, even in the main river channel.



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