My little striper of about 18 inches. He was almost taken home by Willie, but one sore on the fish saved its life!
Willie’s little shaker striper that was tossed back.
I know, I know. Summer will not arrive this month, but it sure seemed like summertime fishing out on my beloved California Delta this week. It was not only warm, but hot – especially on Day 2. But I’m getting ahead of myself…
It seemed that I spent most of Day 1 moving from one spot to another, trying to get away from the grass that was just intolerable. In just 20 minutes I’d have a stack of debris caught on my leader that was about a foot deep.
Here is about a foot of accumulated weeds in about 20 minutes.
It seemed as though I repeatedly cast, waited a short while, reeled in and removed a pound of junk. As the junk collected it would make the leader float in the current instead of staying on the river bottom.
I tried several places on the Old Sac River, near Isleton, CA, but none were clear of debris except an area about five feet deep, and I wasn’t comfortable fishing such a shallow area with so many deeper areas for sturgeon to hold in.
I did talk to a buddy River Rat, SeaRay Bill, who was anchored upriver. He had released a sturgeon of about 7½ feet that same day. Wow! And I couldn’t entice even a pollywog to bite.
The sun set behind the hills across the river from Decker Island. I kept on trying for a fish.
I stayed faithful to the cause ’til well past sundown. I could finally accept the fact that I just wasn’t going to catch a sturgeon that day, so at about 2300 I reeled in, fired up the motor and headed around Decker Island for the night.
May 5, Day2:
I awoke about 0515. It had been a rather sleepless night for some reason. I did have another “log-bump” incident during the night when two very small branches bumped the boat, then somehow lodged against the hull and the anchor chain. They continued making light taps against the hull ’til I got up and removed them. I suspect that I’m getting a bit log wary after the last trip’s incident.
An overnight neighbor behind Decker Island where I anchored for the night.
At any rate, I tended to morning chores and headed upriver to meet my friend, Willie, at the marina. I cruised slowly for the first twenty minutes or so, propelled by my new Tohatsu 8 HP kicker engine. I ran her at just above idle, making about 5 MPH progress against a slow outgoing current. She would idle down slow enough for kokanee trolling, about .5 to 1 MPH. The little motor also serves as my backup power in the event the main engine should quit. The new Tohatsu is going to work out very well.
A flight of pelicans heading to breakfast as I motored past the north end of Decker Island.
Willie and I had breakfast at The Striper Cafe, as usual, then dropped by Hap’s Bait shop for another eel. We boarded the boat at the marina and headed downriver to Decker Island where we would spend the entire day trying for another elusive sturgeon.
During the afternoon, this DFG creel census crew pulled alongside to ask how we were doing. I told them they’d have to take some photos of us with my camera before I’d admit to anything. And so they did. We reported the three stripers – and gave them my zip code, as they always ask for that.
Soon after we began fishing Decker, the fellows who caught that eight foot sturgeon last year – I believe it was Bill and Don – motored up to us and we exchanged pleasantries. They then motored to their favorite spot, about 200 yards or so from our anchorage. An hour or so later, they had a big one on, and after a good fight, released it at their boat. They shouted to me that it was an oversized sturgeon of about 68 inches. We knew sturgeon were in the area.
Bill and Don, fishing a couple hundred yards away, released an oversize sturgeon early in the day. That’s always a welcome sight.
We fished a long, slow, outgoing current during most of the day. We managed to catch a few small stripers; one looked to be keeper size but all were tossed back. We weren’t targeting stripers because we were using only eel for bait and stripers generally don’t bother it. We nonetheless caught the stripers in spite of ourselves.
We continued fishing, faithful to the cause until about 1530 when we decided to call it quits. Some days a feller just can’t catch a sturgeon, and this was one of those days. As usual… there’s always next week!
Willie and I fishing off Decker Island aboard FishWisher. This photo was taken by the DFG creel census fellows. Life is good aboard a C-Dory!
Over the years I have posted many exciting fishing and boating stories here, but now in my seventies, it was time to sell the boat and find less demanding pastimes. All the fishing stories are still here! I will now post my travels aboard the motorhome and other activities. I hope y'all will still enjoy the fishing and boating adventures and perhaps peek in on my post-boating activities on occasion. Thanks for dropping in and I hope you enjoy your visit.