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Launched at Bidwell early, about 6:40 or so, not a single trailer or vehicle in the parking lot, spooky feeling, stopped fishing right at 10:35 am. Amazing hardly a breeze this am, unusual for launching early at bidwell. Headed about half way to the rock pile in the N. Fork and found fish willing to bite. First fish about 7:10 am, still half dark. Tried about 6 locations and got fish at each stop, but just 3-4 fish at each stop. Fish still deep, just about all caught 30-35 feet. Thought I had a giant for a while, ended up just a 13" but hooked exactly top of the back, just front of the fins. Wow, they fight when hooked that way. Made a stop in potters cove on the way in and got the 15" fish. Picked up 22 fish today, best right at 15", one 14" most 13" or so, along with a couple 11-12". As always, released all to grow bigger and catch again one day.
Eat them...the regulations intend for there to be a certain amount of harvest, particularly of the most abundant size classes, allowing others to reach better size. If you release all the 13" back - they wont grow.
I do a finesse Carolina rig using just McCoy plastic stoppers, 1/8 oz bullet weights with about a 15" tail. Roboworms, nose hooked tubes with portion of a worm to fill the cavity only, smaller 2-3" tubes. Hit bottom, lift, drop, work down the bank. Rare to feel a hit, feel mostly pressure of a fish. Use extra fast tips, helps know fish are on.
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