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Fishing In The Sacramento Delta, Sacramento Delta Fishing Tips


Fishing the Sacramento Delta is some of the best fishing in California. This article is all about fishing in the Sacramento River Delta and the San Joaquin delta and where they meet before they flow out through San Francisco Bay and under the Golden Gate Bridge to the ocean. Once you learn where to fish in the Sacramento Delta for Striped Bass, the best sturgeon fishing areas in the Sacramento Delta, and where to fish for largemouth bass in the Sacramento delta, it will be hard to fish in your old fishing spots. This blog site is loaded with great articles on how to catch sturgeon , sturgeon tackle that you will need,  and the ever important  information on how to use a sturgeon snare.  Also, make sure you read the many truly unique striped bass fishing articles here in Capt. Garry's Blog  site, which is recongized by Google and fishermen as one of the top fishing blog sites on the net.  Now Read on about Fishing the Sacramento Delta in California.
The Sacramento delta fishing area includes about 1000 miles of waterways, including the Sacramento River, the San Joaquin River, and untold sloughs and back waters.  The best fishing in the Sacramento Delta may be right around any of the thousands and thousands of bends that meander around the hundreds of named and unnamed islands in the delta!  

How to fish the Sacramento Delta for Sturgeon, how to fish for striped bass in the Sacramento Delta, Black bass fishing in the Sacramento Delta, or just catching catfish in the Sacramento delta changes throughout the year and where the best fishing in the Sacramento Delta is will also vary during the year.  For instance, some folks like to fish sturgeon in the lower delta region near or below where the San Joaquin river and Sacramento River meet during the summer and fall and move further up the rivers and sloughs during the late fall and early spring when the Sacramento Delta waters get muddied by the runoff from the rains.  When the waters muddy, the sturgeon fishing is the finest throughout the Sacramento Delta and the Striper fishing in the Sacramento delta can liven up as well.  My nephew, Allan (Swab) and me, Capt. Garry, went fishing one weekend in February and put 13 sturgeon in the boat with us, of which 2 were keepers and we lost 2 at the boat and we missed quite a few.  We also landed our limit of striped bass all sitting in one place!  Went out to the same place the next weekend and caught one and no stripers!  Fishing in the wind in the Sacramento delta is pointless, especially if it is a north wind.  In the west wind, the fish will bite but you have to get to a spot where the boat will stay still enough to see your bites, especially sturgeon as their bites are so unnoticeable and subtle.

The best tide for catching sturgeon in the Sacramento Delta or for striped bass also is a huge factor.  This, again, depends on where you are fishing in the Sacramento Delta.  For one area we fish in the Sacramento Delta that is upstream where the sloughs dead end, we will catch ten sturgeon on the outgoing tide for every one on the incoming.  But, you will see guide boats shooting up to other areas at dusk just as we are leaving!  The delta has many flooded islands and waterways and the hydraulics vary at every one of these million places that cause the fish to be attracted to them.   All the old timers and guides, which are often one in the same, have their secret spots for certain tides, times of year, wind conditions, and times of day.  I might mention that the best time for catching sturgeon in the Sacramento Delta is late evening and at night.  Sturgeon love to feed at night!  

Fishing the Sacramento Delta in California means fishing in the wind much of the time.  The Sacramento Delta is where the San Joaquin river and the Sacramento river converge into one waterway at the Suisun bay, which is great striped bass fishing and sturgeon fishing, and then run into the San Francisco bay and out under the golden gate bridge into the ocean.  These two rivers drain most of the state of California and this area is the only place where there is a break in the coastal mountains where the rivers can meet the sea.  Due to this, the cold ocean air is swept into the valley under the rising hot air by convection and this causes a strong prevailing west wind in the Sacramento delta area.  In Rio Vista, at the seaward end of the Sacramento Delta, you will notice that all the trees lean to the east, and this is no accident!  As you get further up into the Sacramento Delta, the wind currents disburse and die down much more.   Often a jacket is necessary when fishing the Sacramento Delta even in the heat of the summer during the day, so be forewarned!  Luckily, the delta is a series of islands and the many of the waterways are narrow and the river banks are heavily treed which allows you to tie up out of the wind on about any day in a spot sheltered from the wind.  Also, you might fish much further up into the delta where the wind dies down and switch the type of fishing you are doing, such as from sturgeon fishing to trolling for striped bass or tying up and fishing for stripers using cut bait, like sardines or anchovies.  Under any circumstance, make sure your boat is able to take the rough waters in the wind and assume that the wind will kick up at any time!  If you are in doubt, don’t go fishing in a boat or stay close to the harbor or launching ramp you came from.  If you are caught in rough waters, go to another ramp or harbor that avoids them and bum a ride to get your trailer or to town!  Better safe than sorry.  It is a good idea to carry a map of the Sacramento Delta with you when you are fishing for this reason and for the fun of exploring the Sacramento delta as well, which is always interesting and exciting!

When you are planning your Sacramento Delta fishing trips, make sure you call the bait shops in the area and check that the bait that you are planning to use is available.  The bait shops often run out of ghost shrimp and grass shrimp which are two of the best baits to use for sturgeon fishing in the Sacramento Delta which can ruin your fishing trip before it starts!  When fishing for striped bass in the Sacramento Delta, using gobes or other live bait is popular and those often might get sold out as well. There is a great article here on catching your own live bait which saves huge money and allows you to use very large bait fish for catching huge striped bass.  If you call the bait shop ahead, even the day before, they will often reserve the bait you need for you.  You might also find yourself driving a little out of the way to get the best bait for fishing sturgeon in the Sacramento delta or the right bait for catching big stripers in the Sacramento delta.  If you don’t plan ahead and get your bait lined out, you may as well just fish with a bare hook!  However, you can always find frozen sardines, shad, eel, and anchovies as an old stand by and the stripers really like and bite well on cut bait!  

One other thing to be careful about when you are fishing the Sacramento delta is getting stranded on a levee or sand bar when the tide goes out.  The Sacramento Delta is tidal and the water rises and falls several feet twice a day.  If you inadvertently park on a top of a submerged sand bar or nose your boat up into the bank to get out of the wind when the tide is going out, you may find yourself stuck there until the tide comes back in several hours later.  I was once again reminded of this fact last time I went out!  This can be a true disaster if you out of bait or beer, or, worse yet, both!

Using Sacramento Delta fishing guide services to fish the Sacramento River Delta is a great idea if you are just passing through and want some killer fishing or if you are new to the area and want to learn about the best fishing in the Sacramento delta.  Sacramento delta fishing guides have usually been fishing the delta for many years and your fishing success can depend on using one.  I particularly like Captain Stan of Quetzal Adventures as he is one of the best fishing guides on the Sacramento delta and he guides sturgeon, striped bass, and salmon.  He is a nice guy and knows the Sacramento delta really well and operates his delta fishing guide business professionally and full time.  He has been fishing the delta himself a long time and truly knows how to catch fish in the Sacramento delta.

Fishing in the Sacramento Delta is an experience that you should try.  It is one of the most beautiful places in California and there is something new to see around every one of the thousands of bends.  Now, with the water being sucked out of it to feed southern California’s thirst, it has become salienated and some brackish water fish, such as flounders have moved in to where they are becoming a fishery.  The seals and sea lions have also migrated in and they can ruin your fishing so if they are hanging out where you are fishing in the Sacramento Delta, move!   Make sure you check out our many fishing blogs here on Fishnfools.com about catching sturgeon in the Sacramento Delta and about catching striped bass in the Sacramento Delta and make sure you show your pics off by posting them on our fishing site.    Our site includes every type of fishing, including frog gigging, getting sea urchins, to spear fishing,  the best fishing trip of my life and much, much more!

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