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West Delta sturgeon go on the bite

by Dan Bacher Stockton Record Correspondent

Fishing for white sturgeon has heated up in the West Delta region with the arrival of warmer weather.

Josh Emmett of Sacramento, an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweight competitor, and five others found top-notch sturgeon action fishing with Zack Medinas of Gatecrasher Fishing Adventures on Saturday, Feb.12.

“They caught and released four slot-size sturgeon ranging from 44 to 56 inches long and three shakers, as well as losing a big one,” Medinas said. “We fished with lamprey eel and salmon roe off Port Chicago in 50 feet of water. The outgoing tide produced the top fishing.”

During Medina’s previous trip on Feb.9, Jake Trujillo, who conducts the sturgeon creel census for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and his family caught four slot-size sturgeon ranging from 42 to 59-1/2 inches long. They fished with roe and eel in 28 feet of water below Garnett Point. The highlight of the day was a triple hook-up.

“We had a triple hook-up, then a double followed by several more singles,” said Medinas. “We went double digits on hook-ups and caught lots of undersize fish also. We lost our biggest (an oversize fish) right at the boat, but we saw him fly out of the water after he hooked himself.”

Medinas is currently helping CDFW with its sturgeon tagging program. He is scanning sturgeon for microchips, as well as measuring the lengths and girths of the fish released.

“Lot of fish we’re catching have sea lice on them, indicating that they are coming from the bay to head up the Sacramento River to spawn,” he said.

Information: (925) 497-7171.

Giant Sacramento River Striper: On Feb. 12, big trout expert Joshua Giordano of Bangor caught and released a striped bass estimated to weigh 60 pounds, based on measurements of 52 inches in length and 31 inches in girth. “I got to the ramp and the smell of monster fish was in the air,” Giordano said. “I launched my boat and headed down river, with the first spot producing a few undersize stripers. I started off with a 6 inch glide bait, but I always have a BBW (big black worm) tied on, as the lampreys are in abundance on the river. As the 75% full moon was just above me, I hooked a fish in the 7 to 10 lb. range. In 25 minutes, I hooked six, landing five,”

“Then it happened; the giant ate the BBW, ran straight at me and went right under the boat,” he recalled. “I pulled the anchor, dropped the trolling motor, and the chase was on. After the fish went under logs three times and I had to put my rod under a tree branch, I finally landed my personal best striper with no net. After a few photos, I released the fish unharmed. It bottomed out a 50-pound scale.”

Pardee Season Opener: Anglers are gearing up for one of the most anticipated events of the angling season in the Mother Lode – the opening weekend of fishing at Lake Pardee, the popular East Bay Municipal Water District (EBMUD) reservoir on the Mokelumne River.

The recreation area will open at 8 a.m. Thursday, Feb.17, for camping and at 5 a.m. Friday, Feb. 18, for fishing.

The lake management will plant 3,000 pounds of Mt. Lassen rainbow trout on Feb. 17 and 3,000 pounds on Feb. 18.

Those plants will be followed with another 2,000 pounds of trout on Feb. 24 and 2,000 pounds on Feb. 25.

Due to lowering water levels, the Pardee Marina /Camp Store will remain closed and anchored in its current location at the Woodpile Cove. The water level will drop to 546 feet until the end of February, and then the lake will begin refilling.

The lake hosts an array of kokanee salmon, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, channel catfish, black crappie and bluegill for anglers to pursue, but most anglers will be targeting rainbow trout on opening day.

Bank anglers should fish with spoons, spinners, PowerBait, nightcrawlers and other offerings in the main recreation area, Popular spots to target include Rainbow Point, Porcupine Point, Blue Heron Point, reported Tina Padilla of the Rocky Mountain Recreation Company,

Boat ramp facilities, closed down last October because of low water levels, will be back in operation. Information: (209) 772-1472.

Contact Record Correspondent Dan Bacher at

Originally appeared


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