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Jim Pickens: Salmon fishing takes off from Bodega Bay to Golden Gate

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Posted: Thursday, July 31, 2014 12:38 am

Ocean: Salmon fishing has blown wide open from Bodega Bay down to the Golden Gate. Many limits are being taken with slugs over 30 pounds.

Trolling anchovies, herring and mooching are equally producing fish. Most report the salmon are on the bottom from 80 to 100 feet. Rock and ling fishing continues to be outstanding with several lings in the 15- to 20-pound class taken this week from Bodega Bay down to Santa Cruz. Still receiving reports of a few sea bass being taken in the Santa Cruz area, but they’re definitely few and far between.

Bay waters are finally clearing and more halibut are showing. Striped bass is fair over the rock piles.

The Delta: Few salmon reported being taken this week. There was a report that a limit of salmon to 28 pounds being taken in the Freeport area while jigging. Big news for the Delta is the late summer striper bite. Several anglers are trolling deep-divers and are catching 10-plus pound stripers with a 30-pounder caught and released this week. Decker Island, West Bank, The Diary up through the deep water channel seems to be the most productive locations. Smallmouth bite continues to be productive in the Walnut Grove area, fast action with 20 to 30 hook-ups a trip.

Sierra: Great fishing and cooler weather makes the upcountry a great pick for a day or weekend of fishing. Late season trout releases in the Carson is always tempting, you just have to deal with some rolled and dirty water on the East Carson when the thunder showers roll through. Lakes on the 88 and 4 corridor are full of water and fish. Shore fishing and trolling are both productive.

Camanche: Late summer kokanee fishing has arrived. A few kokanee over two pounds being taken. The anglers catching them are not disclosing their techniques, but with kokanee you need to find the deepest, coolest water. Dark colors with hootchies and spinners, copper dodgers and Apex’s are the usual late summer lures. Catfish are still a good choice on chicken liver and sardines. Some trout being caught at night under a sunken light in the deeper parts of the lake.

Pardee: The lake is almost full and the kokanee bite continues to be strong. Many limits being caught, but you have to drop to the 60- to 90-foot range. Darker colors and copper flashers are the rule in the deeper water. Uncle Larry’s and Mag Tackle spinners and spinner hoochies working the best. Short leaders between the lure and dodgers is important as you drop deeper.

New Melones: The kokanee bite has been off and on the last couple of weeks. Some days anglers are done by 10 a.m., and other days they struggle to get a limit. They have dropped down between 70 and 90 feet, with some anglers even trolling below 100 feet.

Dark colors are the rule in the deeper water. Uncle Larry’s spinners, Mag Tackle mirco hootchies with spinners and watermelon Apex’s are the lures of choice. Glory Hole boat ramp is down to one lane and is the only ramp open.

Local fisherman Jim Pickens is the owner of Fisherman’s Friend in Lodi. Visit the Fisherman’s Friend website at

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