Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Can we start fishing yet?

© 2010 Joshua Stark

For those of you not living in Northern California, we've had an El Niño year, which means a lot of precipitation.  In the Sacramento region, that almost always means rain, which we've had off-and-on (mostly on) for months now.  Last week, though, it hailed a couple of inches.  For the Sierra Nevada, it means snow (hence the name "Sierra Nevada"), and remarkably low elevations for it, too.

Late April in sunny California...
For fishermen, then, it means more waiting.  Here it is May, and we are getting breezy to windy (40mph gusts) conditions, snow at 4,500 ft., and another storm slated for Monday.

I just want to catch some crappies, man.

My local marginal lands, the Barge Canal in West Sacramento, has some great spots for crappies and bluegills, two of the best-tasting species around, as well as striper runs.  In the next few weeks, too, the shad are supposed to start pouring into the Sacramento River.  And if the Sierra ever starts its runoff, the trout will become fishable.

But right now, everything is still sluggish.  Sheesh.


Bpaul said...

I am trying to find good panfishing near Portland that isn't polluted, so I can bring home some eatin' fish. It's not easy. You really got a good thing going there.


Anonymous said...

Really, it's that tough up there? That stinks, man.

Although... what, exactly, do you mean by "polluted"?

I'll be out fishing soon. They've already started catching shad in the Sacramento river. Are you near a shad run?

Bpaul said...

Well, I have pretty high standards for water quality. And, to be honest, I'm working harder on finding farms to hunt than waters to fish.

We have a very robust shad run on both the Columbia and the Umpqua rivers. The Umpqua is a bit of a drive, but the Columbia isn't. I don't know of any spots as of yet to fish them on the Columbia without being elbow to elbow with dozens of other enthusiasts, though.

I look forward to smoking and canning shad some day though. Or even smoking and just freezing.

What do you do with your shad?


Josh said...

Woops, CSUC was me, in another incarnation.

Shad are great! I only caught two last year, and I pressure cooked them, and I also ate shad milt and eggs... mmmmmmmm! Very good, indeed!

This year, I hope to smoke, can, and even try cooking them on the board. I also hope to catch a limit one day; 25.