FISHING TALK - March 18, 2020

By Boots Johnson


The storm has arrived and the reservoirs are receiving storage. The rivers will turn brown and the snow will fall in the mountains. All this means better fishing conditions for all of us, regardless of which species of fish you go after. It appears we will see a good fishing year after all.


The catfish are on the bite in the Sacramento River at this time. This time of year, especially with the rain making the water on the murky side, is an excellent time to add a delicious catfish fillet to your dinner plans. These fish can be caught on just about any type of bait and they have been known to after live bait as well. One of my favorite baits is chicken livers. It is best to offer enough to get their scent glans excited. I always tied mine onto the hook with thread. It certainly does not hurt to dip the bait in a strong mixture of whatever smells to add to the offering.


Rising waters also will improve the catfish success in the Sutter Bypass and all ditches and creeks which empty into them. In the old days we used to throw smelly things in gunny sacks into waters accompanied by some weight to hold it down. After a week or so we would return to the same spot and usually had a couple of catfish ready to be taken. I believe this is now illegal so before you decide to “chum” I strongly recommend you check the regulations.

Striped Bass are currently in the system and are hungry and ready to bend your pole. These fish are amazing in regard to their strength and stamina. A twenty inch fish will appear to be a big one and many of us have screamed and hollered bringing in the “Big One” only to find out it is only a couple inches over the size limit. Sometimes it can be downright embarrassing.


As we move into the beginning of the fishing season let us not forget to include the younger generation in our fishing plans. On this topic we recommend safety, patience and lots of help which will make the kids have a great day on the water.


Closing thought: “Opportunities to make things better surround us all the time…… if we would only open our eyes.”