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Forty- and 50-pound stripers surprise Sacramento River anglers

BY ANDY MARTIN/WON Staff Writer
Published: Jan 16, 2018
COLUSA — Trophy-size stripers in the 40- and 50-pound range were feasting on recently released steelhead smolts surprised anglers on the Sacramento River near Colusa last week.

Resident stripers were in full-on feed mode near Colusa prior to last week’s storm. Fishing has since slowed down, in part because flows jumped from 4,000 cfs to more than 11,000 cfs.

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HUGE STRIPERS HAVE been feeding on steelhead near Colusa on the Sacramento River, where Adam Benoit of Vacaville caught this 44-pound giant while fishing with Driessen’s Guide Service using an 11-inch Hiroshima Custom Glide Bait. They also caught 7 more over 30 pounds! There was also a 53.15-pound striper caught by Paul Young of Redding in the same area.


Guide Billy Driessen of Driessen’s Guide Service in Colusa got in on the hot striper action a week ago. Adam Benoit of Vacaville caught a 44-pound striper with Driessen while drifting and casting an 11-inch Hiroshima Custom Glide Bait in a Fillmore Trout pattern below Colusa. The giant striper was 48 inches long with a 30-inch girth.

 Driessen said while guiding Benoit, he caught nine fish, seven of which were over 30 pounds. “The stripers were feeding on deep-water flats, pushing steelhead smolt and full-grown steelhead to the surface and chasing them in schools, allowing you to sight fish for them when they came up to feed,” Driessen said. “All fish were revived and successfully released healthy to fight another day.”

 Angler Paul Young caught a 53.15-pound striper on a Maven shad swimbait. He also was fishing near Colusa. “Josh St. John of JSJ Baits was with me fishing,” Young said. “He landed his personal best of 31 pounds and netted that beast for me. Without the net man that fish would have easily got away. The fish broke the back hook of the lure and bent out a 120-pound swivel. It was seconds away from just being a fish story nobody would believe. I hooked it in 7 feet of water close to the bank. It was a good 10-minute fight. It I was by myself it might not have been landed.”

 Western Outdoor News did see photos of the 53.15-pound striper and can confirm the veracity of the report, but the angler didn’t want the photos to run with this story.

 Guide Mike Rasmussen got Eric Robinson of Las Vegas into a 40-pound striper on Jan. 7. Rasmussen said the stripers were keying on steelhead smolts released recently from Coleman National Fish Hatchery. The hatchery released nearly 90,000 hatchery steelhead smolts, putting the stripers into a feeding frenzy as the baby steelhead moved downstream.

 The big stripers are resident fish that hang out near Colusa most of the year.

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