Fish Sniffer Digital Edition Issue 3703 Jan 18-Feb 2 2018 - Page 3

Up-To-Date and Published Locally... By Sportsmen... For Sportsmen! Lower American River Map Feature MADE IN U.S.A See Page 16 Vol. 37 - ISS.03 Our 36th Year Since 1982 Jan 18 - Feb 2, 2018 “The Magazine for West Coast Sportsmen!” Great Fishing – And Catching – At Hotel Palmas De Cortez L ooking out over the balcony of our second story room, the Baja sunrise gleamed gold and orange over the calm Sea of Cortez. It was our first morning, and I was excited and anticipating a wonderful day of fishing out of Hotel Palmas de Cortez on Baja’s East Cape Our group consisted of myself and Bridget Looney of Colfax, Dave and Wanda Barsi of Oak Run, and my brother Ken Kneeland and Dena Salazar from Merino, Colorado. We met in the large dining room overlooking the bay for breakfast just as the sun was rising gloriously in the east. “What a morning!” exclaimed my brother, “It’s great to be alive in Baja!” We had a hearty, buffet style breakfast and then back to our rooms to pick up our gear and head to the dock where we would board our 28’ diesel cruisers. Dave, Wanda, Ken and Dena were on one boat, and Bridget and I had one to ourselves. Our Captain welcomed us aboard and asked what we wanted to fish for? Our answer “whatever is biting!” So we headed south to find the schools of tuna that had been marauding the bait! We stopped and got bait from fishermen in a panga, and I was glad to see they had sardinas, which are small 3 to 4 inch baitfish that everything in the Sea of Cortez loves to eat! We bought several scoops of live sardinas, and the mate also threw in a 5-gallon bucket of dead ones as well. I didn’t quite understand why we would want dead bait, but I was soon to find out. It was a gorgeous day on the deep crystal blue water. There was a slight breeze from the northeast that kept us cool as the day warmed. We ran south until Ken and Paul Kneeland and Bridget Looney with the 280 pound blue marlin that died at the side of the boat. Photo by Dave Barsi, Oak Run January Is Steelhead Time the Eureka to Crescent City area are full of steelhead in the first month of the new year. The Mad and the Smith in particular are real- ly good in January. Some years January will offer the first big shot of water on the north coast, and when that happens, the rivers will be jammed full of fish over- night. The Smith is the first river to clear after a major deluge in all of California, and some years, it may be the only river that is fishable at all for long stretches of time. The Smith drainage is mostly rock. Just drive down Highway 199, (925) 428-1103 www.dragonsportfishing.com and you can see for yourself all of the giant boulders and shale slopes. On the contrary, the rivers that drain out of the Six Riv- er’s National Forest like the Fish Sniffer field editor Mike McNeilly is an avid steelhead angler that has Mad, Van Duzen, South Fork sampled the action on most north coast rivers at one time or another. ’ve caught winter steelhead from mid-December all the way until the last weekend of the season in late March. However, there’s no time like January for the biggest and brightest fish of the year. Of course, every river has its own unique run timing, but it’s safe to say that every riv- er that hosts a steelhead run from the Carmel River in the south to the Smith River in the north has a chrome steelhead finning in it during January. In particular, the rivers and streams in Trinity and portions of the Eel take at least a week to clear after a major rainstorm. This region is characterized by loose soils that find their way into the river once the rain starts coming down hard. In drier years, these rivers offer significantly better fishing as they maintain their “steel- head green” color for much longer. Most savvy anglers will start up high in a drainage, and day after day, follow the perfect water conditions down the river. On a big river system, like the Eel, most people will start way up the South Fork a few days after the rain stops falling. A fortnight later, they may be down near the mouth of the Van Duzen if no more rain falls. So why is January the time to burn vacation time and head to the coast? Well, there won’t be as many fish in the river as there will be in February, but the ones that are there will be in excellent condition. Over the years, the novelty of catching steelhead has diminished for me to some WHAT’S HOT by Mike McNeilly Photo by MIKE MCNEILLY, Fish Sniffer Staff. ISE PG 16-18 INSIDE Area Reports FRESHWATER REPORTS Almanor Lake - American River.............................4 Berryessa - Davis/Frenchman Lakes................ 6-7 Del Valle Reservoir - Folsom Lake......................10 Klamath River - Rancho Seco Lake....................13 Redding - Sacramento Area................................14 Santa Clara Valley - Shasta Lake .......................18 Smith/Chetco Rivers - Southern Oregon Roundup.......................20 Lake Tahoe - Trinity River/Lakes........................25 West Delta - Wildhorsel/South Fork Lakes .........26 SALTWATER REPORTS Berkeley - Half Moon Bay.....................................29 Monterey Bay - Peninsula Shoreline.....................31 Where...When...How... by Paul Kneeland I SEE OUR NEW BAJA ROUNDUP SECTION ON FEATURES GONE FISHING CONTINUED ON PAGE 24 36 Years Serving Sportsmen CONTINUED ON PAGE 27 Delta Smelt Numbers Reach New Low as Reclamation Aims to Increase Pumping See Page 23 INTL SPORTSMAN’S EXPO SPECIAL PULL OUT SECTION................ ISE 1-28 BAJA ROUNDUP....................................... ISE 16-18 BULLETIN BOARD................................................... 4 COOKIN’ YER CATCH - Paulette Kenyon............... 26 FISH SNIFFER HOW-TO: Cal Kellogg..................... 5 GO FOR IT: Staff....................................................... 5 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR...................................... 3 MAP FEATURE: Dan Bacher.............................16-17 SALTY TIPS Steve “Hippo” Lau.............................. 29 SPOTLIGHT ON CONSERVATION - Dan Bacher.... 23 WHAT’S HOT SALTWATER by Sarah Louise......... 28 STAFF TACKLE What We’re Using Cal Kellogg - fished Folsom Lake with Captain James Netzel of Tight Lines Guide Service from his big Rogue Jet Chinook. For pulling Brad’s Kokanee Cut Plugs, Cal used a Cousins Tackle downrigger rod, matched with an Abu Garcia 5600 line counter reel spooled with 8 pound moss green Trilene Big Game Line. Paul Kneeland - fished New Melones reservoir with John Brassfield of Trucksmart in the Fish Sniff- er 21’ Rogue Jet Coastal. They caught rainbow trout to 16 inches, us- ing a Daiwa DXS 8’ light action IM-7 graph- ite trigger stick rigged with the new Daiwa Lexa 100 Line counter reel loaded with 8 lb test Yozuri Topknot line. They trolled small silver and shad pattern Tasmanian Devils off the Canon Downriggers at 10 feet deep and 2.4 mph. Dan Bacher - fished for steelhead on the American River below Nimbus Fish Hatchery on January 1 with Rodney Fagundes of Sacra- mento in his drift boat. Dan used a Lamiglas 7’6” Rogue River Special spinning rod, teamed up with a Huracan HC reel filled with 8 lb. test P-Line Floro- Clear line. He tossed out 2/5 oz. silver/blue and silver/orange Little Cleos outfitted with barbless treble hooks.