Fall 2014/Spring 2015 Delta Fishing Report

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September 15, 2014

San Joaquin, False River, Sandmound Slough, Taylor Slough, Pixley Slough

Water temp: 71-73

Water Clarity: 2-4 feet
Stripers - Fishing is good. A good number of fish are in the San Joaquin system now, but as usual for this time of year, most are small. However, it seems that almost every school holds a couple of fish that are large enough to put you on the reel if you can get past the juveniles. If you locate a large school, work upstream to the front since the largest fish seem to hang there. Get the line DOWN to get into those fish or you'll just keep picking up the dinks.

The fish have been willing where ever found but the best bit has been during the running tides with a definite low at tide change.
Topwater - Very hard to predict whether it's going to be a good day or bad one. Some days the fish are willing and easy to get strikes from, other days you can't bring up a fish no matter what. However, it's always worth the effort, early in the morning to give it a shot. Long casts, constant strips, keep stripping until you feel the weight of the fish.

Subsurface Some days the fish are so willing, you don't even need to strip the fly in, just cast, let it sink and you'll find a fish on the end of the line when you start to strip in. Other days you get a series of false takes and then feel the weight of the fish ending with a strip strike. I'm finding fish in water from two to twenty feet deep. Count the line down and start a series of quick strips mixed with pauses when 3/4 of the way to the bottom. Two and a half to four inch Chartreuse over white clousers do the trick most days.
September 8, 2014

San Joaquin, False River

Water temp: 71-73

Clarity: 2-4 feet
Stripers - Fishing is good. Not exactly consistent, fishing is generally good. Some days are better than others but you're going to catch at least a dozen fish, even obounds is a real bonus.

The main arm of the SJ river from the Antioch Bridge to the mouth of the Mok and openings to sloughs such as False River and Fisherman's Cut are
holding enough fish for a long days work. I haven't found the need to go inside the delta but I've heard good reports about Franks, Sandmound and Holland Cut.
Topwater - Still an on and off affair. Some days the fish come up in the morning. Other days, it's nothing but casting practice. The time around low tide appears to be more productive except when a north wind is blowing. That seems like a turn off for any action, even slowing the subsurface bite.

Subsurface - If you're using a graph, you should be able to locate some decent sized schools in water anywhere from 5 to 15 feet deep, especially along shorelines and flats. Grabs are easy to get with the larger schools but we've found that when graphing just  few fish, a faster retrieve will do a better job of bringing on strikes.
September 1, 2014

San Joaquin, False River

Water Temp: 71-73

Clarity: 3-4 feet
Stripers - Fishing is Good. While the big fish are not showing in numbers, the fish in the 18-22 inch class are plentiful enough to provide a very satisfying day on the water. 20 to 30 fish per rod is not too much to expect if you fish some good holding water. Almost all the tule lines and rock walls will yield fish, especially in water less than 15 feet A good graph will help you locate schools. Once on them, try to stay on them for lots of  hookups and doubles if fishing with a friend. Topwater - It doesn't happen every day, and sometimes the fish are small but when it happens, it's worth the early morning start it takes to get into this action. Toss a white gurgler, silvery creas fly or one of Charlie's Pole Dancers out and then use a steady strip to bring it back to the boat. And remember, stripers will miss the fly numerous times. Keep striping until you feel the weight of the fish before lifting the rod tip.

Subsurface - I'm finding fish almost everywhere but some schools are small while others are fun sized. Try rock walls, the edges of tules, flats 5-8 feet deep. If the fish are small, move on, if decent, try to stay with the school. Schools generally move with direction of the current, up river on an incoming, downstream on an out going. However generally not quite as fast as the current itself.
August 25, 2014

San Joaquin,False River, Washington Cut, Frank's Tract, Sandmound Slough

Water Temp:71-73

Water Clarity: 4-5 feet
Stripers - Fishing is Good. Lots of fish in the system but most are dinks. However there are enough fish in the 18-20 inch range to make it interesting. Because the water is warm, the little guys pull hard and they're fairly easy to find. Work the rock walls, casting within a few feet. Start stripping right away so you don't get hung up in the rocks. A good graph will really help find the larger schools.

The flats are also producing on days when the fish are taking topwater. Try any water less than 6 feet deep. If no strikes, move on.
Topwater - If you've never tried topwater for stripers now is the time. Use a 3 inch white gurgler, or buy a pole dancer. Tie it to a six foot 20 pound leader connected to a floating line, preferably one to two weights heavier than your rod. Make a good long cast in the shallow water and start a rhythmic one to two foot strip without pauses. If a fish goes for the fly, KEEP STRIPPING until you feel the weight of the fish.

Subsurface - Nothing new here. Use a smaller chartreuse over white clouser on a quick sinking line. Count the line down to within a foot or two of the bottom and use a series of strips and pauses as a retrieve. Look for grabs at any time, especially when the fly makes that turn from horizontal to vertical close to the boat.