Striped bass season arrives in NorCal, linesides charging up the Sacramento River

GUIDE JEFF GOODWIN with a respectable Sac River striper.


COLUSAStriper season is finally here, and it couldn’t come at a better time for guides and anglers alike. After what could be argued as a mediocre season last year, the closed salmon season, restrictions on sturgeon, halibut, and weather that soaked the coastal ranges, I don’t think that there is anyone who can’t wait to get out on the water and by all indications, this is going to be a very good year.

Captain Justin Thompson has his finger on the pulse of the river and has reported that the “striped bass season on the Sacramento River has started!”The Sacramento River is loaded with striped bass and with all the rain we got this winter these striped bass are now charging up the river!

After a successful trout and steelhead season Thompson has shifted to striper. He says drifting minnows is one of the most productive fishing baits, but highlights that plastics, spoons, and trolling all work. He recommends working the points and sand flats and trolling the deeper sections till you find the fish.


Captain Jeff Goodwin reported that despite some early season challenges with high water and stain, conditions are rapidly improving and there will be very little that prevents this action from turning on any day now. Goodwin has been working the Sacramento and Feather Rivers and reported stripers in both systems.  Boat pressure has been fairly light on the Sac but heavier on the Feather due to better water conditions. Once the Sac clears the traffic should spread out.

Guide Pete Franco has been working the lower Feather and is starting to see some very solid numbers of decent fish. Nothing overly impressive size-wise just yet, but certainly big enough to make getting out on the water worth your while.

Guide Garret Kenyon, has been working the early season between Corning and Verona and has seen a solid bite for fish to 5 pounds. Drifting minnows has been very effective but he’s pulling fish on A-rigs, and swim baits. He recommends fishing the main runs and then flipping into the cover or trolling the sides of the river once the traffic builds. He says pick your favorite spot and fish it! The conditions are still a bit challenging; the fish have been moving around, and action can be hit and miss, but you’ll still get on em. Kenyon will be night fishing in May and expects to see some of his largest fish at that time.

Dennis, at Sacramento Pro Tackle in Sacramento, reported that this year is shaping up to be phenomenal! Conditions are getting very good and he’s already getting reports of some solid numbers of fish moving through the port, the metro area and up into the lower sections of both the American and the Feather. Sac-Pro has an assortment of bait including minnows, and will keep jumbos in as long as they are available.