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A little fall of rain – finally

Courtesy of the Auburn Journal
By: J.D. Richey
Jan 11, 2018
Well, the storm door finally opened earlier this week, and we got a good, munch-needed soaking.
Prior to that, fishing was pretty stale just about everywhere. The prolonged cold snap had fish in most areas hunkered and feeling lethargic — but the rain should help kick things back into gear. 
The storm was pretty warm, so that is bringing water temperatures back up. Additionally, the increase in flow in many rivers and creeks also stirs up food and gets the fish moving around and eating again. 
Trout fishing at many lower elevation lakes – Berryessa and New Melones in particular –was already pretty solid and I’d expect other ones like Folsom, Camanche and Amador to follow suit. 
The sturgeon bite in the Delta has been on hold for awhile but higher, warmer flows working down the river systems should get them going again this week. 
Speaking of the Delta, striper fishing has been mostly a dud for the past month but I’m thinking they are going to come back on line here soon as well. 
There are fish on both sides – north and south – but the extreme northern end may get muddy with runoff this week so you may be better off fishing down on the San Joaquin. 
Steelhead fishing locally has been on the slow side as well but over the last few days I have been hearing reports of some fish being caught behind the hatchery on the American. 
For those of you waiting on making a trip north for steelies, this could be a good weekend to do it. We got the lion’s share of the rain here in the valley but rivers like the Mad, Eel and Van Duzen all rose enough to attract fresh steelhead. I had a buddy up on the Eel on Monday and he caught 12 fish bank hopping. 
Deep brush piles and docks on the Delta and lakes like Berryessa and Camanche have also been producing nice scores of crappie lately for anglers using small minnows or white mini jigs. The warming trend in the water should just keep that bite going! 
Local bass fishing has been slow as well and, so far, I really haven’t heard of any good reports after the rain. Big females should be moving around in  deep water that has access to spawning flats as they start to prepare for the spring spawn. You can catch some real toads this time of year if you are diligent! 
I also love to target the mouths of creeks, where they dump into lakes right after a good rain. Catfish will stack in those spots, waiting for a whole host of goodies to wash down to them. Night crawlers, sardines, mackerel and liver are all good choices. 
Hopefully, the winter doldrums are behind us from a fishing standpoint and the action just keeps getting better as we move closer to spring. 
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