Winding angler: Excellent trout opener

Sometimes you have to go that extra mile to find a good catch, especially in a dry year, which is why Sonoman Bill Fernandez drove his life 250 miles east last weekend, across the Sierra to find trout fishing. Premier League Opening Day at Bridgeport Reservoir.

One would think that Bridgeport, which is on the eastern side of the Sierra along Highway 395, would be drier than our part of the state. But Bill mentioned that not only was there plenty of water, the fishing was great. At more than 6,000 feet, Bridgeport was a cold 18 degrees when Bell first put his boat in the water on opening day.

But he forgot about the cold when he started catching trout, including several pounds over five pounds. His biggest rainbow weighs in at over six pounds, and is currently sitting second in the Bridgeport Fishing Derby. After a great day on Saturday, a big wind storm blew on Sunday, forcing everyone out of the reservoir, so he led Bill and a group of local fishermen into the nearby mountains to Virginia Lakes, a chain of small alpine lakes, all over 9,000. Ben Lee Feining and Bridgeport. It was still winter there, snow on the ground and freezing water. Not to be denied, they cut holes in the ice, dropped their bait and started pulling loads of delicious trout out of the lake.

Bell returned to Bridgeport Reservoir the next day and grabbed more rainbows before heading back to Sonoma.

He’s an avid fisherman and makes the 4.5 hour drive from Sonoma to Bridgeport multiple times during the season. He said public water conditions on the eastern side of the Sierra near Bridgeport are now good, and he plans to return for more fishing as the weather improves.

Near Sonoma (3-hour drive) the Lower Sacramento River between Redding and Anderson provides some of the best trout fishing for fly fishers in the northern part of our state. Fair to good water flows allow for good fishing now on the Fall River, Hat Creek, Macloud River, and now Upper Sacramento River.

Close to home, the San Francisco Bay halibut fishing along the Marine Shoreline continues to be the best in several seasons according to Keith Fraser at the Loch Lomond Bait Shop in San Rafael. Keith carries the best (and only) live bait who loves halibut and his clients catch plenty of ranger-sized halibut near the dam near his store. There is also good fishing off McNear’s Pier in Marin. Call Keith at 415-456-0321 for the latest information and for guidance on where to fish. Better yet, visit his shop, buy some bait, and have him direct you to a fishing spot.

High northwest winds kept most of the fishing boats in the ocean tied to the pier this week, but Captain Rick Bowers of Bodega Bay Sportsfishing managed to break out between hits a few times. He found a complete rockfish full boundary for everyone on board, and managed to get a fairly good average for salmon as well, although below the full boundary for everyone. He says there’s a lot of salmon out there and all that when the wind dies off, the fishing will get better. Expectations are for better conditions at the end of this week. He has plenty of room on his boat for combo cruises that include salmon, rock, and cod. Call BRIC at 707-875-3344.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife this week ended the rest of the 2022 ocean salmon season based on recommendations from the Pacific Fisheries Board. For the San Francisco Management District, of which the Sonoma Coast is a part, the current portion of the season, which opened on April 2, will run through May 31. Then there will be a pause, and the second phase will start from June 23 to October 31. Minimum size is 24 inches through May 15, then decreases to 20 inches after that.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: