Saturday, December 22, 2012

Great take!

One of more memorable fish for the year happen today. It was about 20 ft down the bank in shallow water cruising away from me with a brush pile between us. I wouldn't make this cast count 95 out of 100 but I nailed it about a 18" ahead and just to the right of the fish and everything connected. It was really rewarding! Yeah I know, I guess you had to be there.  Anyway, the weather was less than ideal for sight fishing carp but I went anyway today. The defused light with light amber lenses isn't too bad to fish in if there is no wind glare. Suprising number of close range shots on cruisers despite the shit weather.. We had about 20  minutes of beautiful sunshine filled windless sky about 3pm and they shut off like a switch and I didn't so much as see fish the rest of the afternoon.  I'll hit em again in the morning as it seems I was a bit late today and I sense they are on a morning bite. I actually passed on a coupl of little rat Carp and that doesn't happen very often in Late Dec/Jan so I would rate the fishing as good for my neck of the woods.  In an attemp to get a self xmas Carp photo, I had it set on a 20 sec delay. Just as I gatheered up the fish in my hands a gnarly gust with sideways pounding rain rolled through and the camera took a dive and did a lens plant in the mud just as it flahed the shot..I will remember that fish.

Go fishing!

This one put up a good battle and then surfaced and called uncle

Calm before the storm

Nice! Ha


Monday, December 17, 2012

Winter Carp

Targeting Winter Carp here means small waters. The area I live in is dotted with about 25 small man made lakes and ponds. The vast majority of them are Urban or district owned ponds nestled behind Malls, fast food places and off major freeways and traffic corridores.  So, they arent city parks which I despise and avoid completly. Some are surounded by chainlink with cut openings or a required fence jump but most are just overlooked resouces and scuffed off as lifeless scum ponds. I usually have the place to myself or maybe a Bass guy or homeless camping lakeside, but for the most part they are quiet isolated oasis' in the middle of 2 million people..

With the exception of a couple, none are no more than 10-12ft and stay relatively clear with little run off all Winter. Carp and Bass are in vertually all of them, and they are connected via an elaborate system of culverts, ditches and the odd canal or pump. The sight fishing is at it's best Dec-Feb when they draw the levels down exposing the flats and giving me access to creep around them. I seldom if ever fish these during the Spring and Summer since sight fishing them with high water is tough. Two of the ponds I just happened to see from a Jet coming into local AP one day.. I could actually see the mudders from the air as we flew about 400ft above coming in for a landing. I found it and caught fish there the next day! I've only scratched the surface and I know there is at least twice as many I have never fished.

Some hold better quality than others and a few are adjecent to Industrial buildings with connecting cooling towers. Those are the ones I like to start with in the dead of Winter. It's an almost gaurantee you will get a shot or two and a few fish can be found shallow every day of the year regardless of the weather. The one I fished ysterday was no exception and I saw a dozen fish in three hours. They won't stay up on the flats in the winter..They will move up and down all day with short windows of shallow feeding. I spotted a couple of nice fish in the 10lb class from a distance but the ones I eventually fed a fly too were much smaller and about average for these small bodies of water.

The major food sources on the lakes is definitly clams. The mud is chocked full of them. Also crayfish and Japanese Smelt. I did see about 10 fish attacking a subway sandwich that was thrown off an overpass one day so I guess they will eat about just about anything, but they really like dark buggers and small flashy baitfish patterns.

Have a great holiday folks!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Fall fishing

Fishing has been slow. Hopefully I can turn that around soon. Stripers are eating flies but it's tightened up on quality fish as of late and you have to work for them on both the lakes and the rivers. At least for me anyway. Cant really complain about conditions since everything is fishable even with all the rain and some beautiful days low 70s the last week. I'm gong to focus on the Saltwater the next week or two for some different scenery and fish. Happy holidays!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

winter release

Sunday, November 25, 2012


Spent the last couple of days chasing Stripers. Key word here is chase becouse it was pretty slow fishing. It was great to get out on the water and take in the warm weather were having right now. We are supposed to get front mid week so maybe that will shake things up a little. The fish have not quit moved into there winter pattern with water temps still in the mid 60s and bait spread out from the surface to 80' and deeper..Stuck a few fish here and there and really couldn't have asked for better fishing conditions so I cant complain. They'll come around soon enough.

Jeff hooked up


Friday, November 23, 2012

Tench on the fly

What a beautiful warm Thanksgiving day! Got a few hours in early before I headed home and into a food induced coma. Regarding the Tench. We have two small coastal lakes with established populations. Ive never caught any much bigger than the one here. Ive heard of 6-7lb fish coming from this water but frankly I would be really suprised.  They fight well for there size and by far produce the most slime of any fish I have ever caught. These two small lakes certainly hold the decendants from the first stock brought over by Italian imigrants in the 1800s as a food fish. They introduced into small farm ponds and other places from the Central Coast to Northern California.  I could be wrong, but I have never heard of any other US locations where they are targeted and caught on fly or bait with any regularity. One lake is about an acre in size next to horse stables adjecent to a beach trail system and the other is where I fished today. It's about 50 acres and a half mile long. A really shallow horse shoe lake with terrible access. It was shown to me so I'll just leave it at that.

Small tench were cruising around the shallows with some decent size carp. I was able to manage three tench and two Carp. All the ate a small Black Matuka. One carp was caught blind casting to mudders the other was a challow cruiser. The Tench also were cruising in and out of two shallow pockets.

I also hit two larger lakes to check the flats and it was really dead. A few deep mudders that I cast too but that was about it and i never connected. Not much life in the shallows with the cooler nights we have now so things have tightened up. They will be available right on through the winter but it's tough fishing and most days are going to be 0-1 or 2 fish on a good day.  Seasons are changing here and it's looking alot like fall in the Valleys with the Sycamore's and Willows lit up along the creeks.  I'm looking forward to winter!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

"Fall" fishin..

Well,  I guess it's Fall somewhere!  Today was in the mid 80s and supposed to be a little warmer over the next couple of days. 

Yesterday was the 2012 Striperfest on the Delta.  My brother and I went out on his boat and flogged the river for a bunch of small Stripers and Largemouth. It was a beautiful day out on the Delta with hardly a breeze and boat traffic was light everywhere we went. Fish were on the small side but it was still great to be out. The highlight of the day was getting shortlined by a really nice fish right at the boat. High teens maybe better but it wasn't meant to be. We worked that area over hard for only dinks but fish like that keep me thinking about the next cast all day. We got over to Bethel Island for the Fest in the evening and had a great time and some good grub! Striperfest raises funds for the protection of our Striped Bass fishery in the SF Bay/California Delta..It is the war chest funds that the Striperfest raises that help the front lines fight off private interest groups from steeling precious water from our California Delta. It's an on going battle with much work to do but it seems we are making ground. 

Beautiful day on the Delta!

Good day for paddle boarding..

Lots of these guys



Today I spent the day Carpin..A few hot days and they were back in business. First lake gave up a couple of 5 lbers and went dead..Moved over to another reservior that usually gives up better quality and camped on a qtr mile long flat and took the shots it gave me. I was able to feed three and land two. All good quality Carp, including the one I missed. Hard fighting healthy fish. The sweet spots on the flat had some depresion or small inlet channels that led to deeper water. Ocasionally a good one will pull up in the skinny water pockets those small channels provide and browse around. Couple of them got there day wrecked! At some point things will cool off and the fish will pull off the flats for the season. At this point I have another month of good sight fishing so I might as well take advantage of it.

Where once was water...



Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Recent fishing..

Smaller Carp are active but I'm concentrating on Stripers the last week or two. With that, the Striper fishing isn't all that good on the Delta, for me anyway. Warm water and lots of small fish with a few in the 4-6lb class. Good strong sea run fish but playing the " here one day gone the next" game consumes a lot of fuel. I may switch over to lake fishing for them before to long. The weather has been beautiful up until the last couple of days with lows in the 60s and highs in the low to mid 80s. Really can't ask for better fishing conditions.

small fish like these are whats on tap right now

a good one from a week ago..they have left the shallows for now

sunrise out the kitchen window 
I hit a the beach and harbor jetty a few days ago for Surf Perch and blanked. I do pretty well this tiome of year and the bait guys were catching a few but I couldn't get bit on a fly to save my life. Stunning beach weather and all the tourists are gone so it was worth it. Just didn't happen fish wise. I did spot a small Leapord Shark cruising the inside flats but he wasn't anywhere near in range to cast too. Guys get them to eat flies often enough to give it shot with a low tide like I had so I stuck around but didn't see anyhting else after that one.

Elkhorn Slough, Moss Landing  Cal

Surf Perch grounds

Moss Landing Jetty

cheap and effective stripping basket. a must for the beach and rocks

Shark flats

First light on the California Delta

Sherman Lake, Cal Delta

As a life long Giants fan this has been one of the best Octobers for me in a while.. That was sick!!

Saturday, October 20, 2012


Our fall fishing hasn't quit taken off just yet. Nights are in the high 50s - low 60s and were coming off of some 90 degree weather this week so things are still a little warm. A touch of color some places but for the most part it feels like summer and it was hot out there today. Lakes are dropping fast and the river fish have been tough as nails and very frustrating. I started the morning hitting a stream that can hold very nice steelhead this time of year. The stream closes Nov 15th so I wanted to put some time on it while the coastal fog was overhead in the AM and then go hunt a carp or two after the sun got overhead. Three hours gave up 5 small Bows. Flows were good and the conditions were perfect but I just couldn't connect with anything but dinks.  I'll give it another shot before closes.

First Lake I stopped at has been holding great numbers of smaller fish but has been stingy as hell with any quality this year. I walked the flats for over an hour and only spotted one fish about 70ft from me. I had no shot but thought maybe they would move up so I kept after it. Mut told me to move on since there just wasn't the life on the flats that there has been so I bailed and went on to Lake #2.  This place is more of a one or two fish type lake and it held true to that this time. The road in sits about 50ft above the lake leval and you can actually see almost the whole dam flat from the truck. I saw two very nice fish working a bank so I geared up and got down to lake level to find they split. Walked some good looking shallows and came up on a tailer that was digging big time about 25ft from me. First cast was long but the second shot was perfect and she turned and jumped it instantly. After a terrific battle  I was able to slip a beautiful teener in the net. One of my more rewarding Carp of the year so far and I enjoyed every second of it. Took a quick Photo and she bolted off strong! Almost as soon as I retied I had another shot on a fast moving 8-9lb fish and that one ate too. Took a break to let things settle down a bit and I only had two more shots the next two hours. All in all a good day! I'll be fishing less and less for Carp and start merging into Striper fishing this next week or two. I'll still hit themas long as they stay up shallow but i'm ready for some Stripers and Steelhead.

This fish ate simple brown bugger

Sunday, October 14, 2012

One fly..

I worked the morning and didn't get my first look at a fish till almost 1:30.  Since I went strait from work I some how just assumed I had all my stuff. I was able to park close and could see a school working toward the back of a shallow creek channel so I grabed my shit and was ready for them as they moved toward me at a good clip. I had a heavy crawfish fly tied on from other water and made a good cast..plop and fish gone! Ok, so they're a little touchy. Reached in for my fly box for something lighter and I had a box of dries in there! WTF Not good..Ran up to the truck and I knew I had left the box I needed on my boat. Tore the truck apart and went through half a dozen fly boxes full of Marine/Striper flies for nada.  JUst about to call it and I score a crusty black bugger in the ash tray!. A little trim here and there and I was in business. That one fly saved the day and I ended up catching a good number of fish on it. Wouldn't have been my first choice but what ya gonna do.

Saturday, October 6, 2012


Spent the day flogging the local Carp grounds. Kind of a so so day with some fish lost, some fish caught and some scouting of new water with added bonus of running into random luggage and Cactus jungles to navigate..All in all a pretty good day to be out with an easy to deal with 80 degrees. See what happens manana!

Oh, I ran into Wilson. Wilson was randomly sitting in the weeds not near any trail. Just sitting there in the middle of nowhere. Wilson might have had 50K or maybe someones dope stash or perhaps body parts but we'll never know becouse it freaked me out to find a new,clean duffle bag filled with "something" (i poked it with my rod butt) just sitting in the bush like that. The shit you run into while Carp fishing eh?!.No other Specie provides as much fun and mystery!

Things are just starting to feel and look "Fallish"

Access is tough with gin clear water here but a good population resides!

This creek is LOADED with these. Also saw two Salmon

Clear water!! Caouldn't get a clean shot so I took a photo