Sherman Lake, Stripers and more
Striper anglers are now starting to pick up fish along the lower reaches of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers. Lure tossers and bait anglers are both finding lots of small stripers with an occasional ten-pounder. Some of the more dedicated anglers have picked up some fish in the twenty-pound class already this year.
Bait fishermen are having the best success when fooling the linesides. The most popular bait for striper in this area is shad; however, Sardines and Anchovies are always top choices for big striped bass.
Many anglers fish their shad baits in a variety of different ways. The most effective technique for fishing shad is butterflied on a sliding sinker rig.
The biggest disadvantage to butterflied shad is the number of undersized fish being caught and then released. Releasing these small fish properly is very important for their survival. Here are a couple of tips for releasing the undersized fish.
The most important step is to handle them as little as possible, use barbless hooks. Keep a pair of needle nosed pliers close by so they can be shaken off the hook easily. This often can be done without even touching the fish.
If you must handle the fish, pick it up by the lower jaw, the same way you would a black bass. Sometimes these small stripers can get the hook deep in their mouth or esophagus. Don't try to remove the hook. Just cut the leader.
In many cases, the fishes body chemistry will dissolve down the hook. Barbless hooks are encouraged because they are easier for the fish to break down.
Bluegill and Shiners are deadly baits for big stripers. Freelining these live baits with as little weight as possible, especially in Sherman Lake and other lower current areas is extremely effective for big bass. The biggest advantage to using live baits is there are fewer chances of hooking up with small fish. Normally, you'll catch a keeper.
The biggest mistake anglers make when fishing these baits is setting the hook too soon. Let the fish run with the bait quite a ways before setting the hook.
The lure tossers who take the time to explore around the many coves and islets in Sherman Lake can have a lot of fun casting small Hair Raisers, bubba Shad and Rattle Traps. Anglers casting these lures on light tackle have an excellent and challenging way to hook up with the stripers. Most of the fish taken by the lure tossers are smaller than those taken by bait anglers, yet some are experts catch quality fish with consistency.
This West Delta area isn't limited to stripers it is also one of the most consistent producers of quality Black Bass. The bait and access to current, makes this area perfect for those looking for blackies getting ready for the fall feeding binge.
Crankbaits on the current breaks are a good way to locate willing largemouth. Strike King 6XD are a good bet in the area. Other baits are also good bets in black/red patterns like 6Th Sense and Livingston.
Jigs are also a good bet here on the current edges. Flippin' in heavy cover with big jigs will get going here in the next month or so. This bite will get better though the fall months. For now you better keep a Spinnerbait and a swimmer ready, the tulles and weedbed adjacent to the current will draw strikes.
Want to learn more about bait fishing for Stripers? Dan’s Delta Outdoors will start there bait fishing seminar series November 19th 6 pm Enjoy!