Tips & Techniques >
One of the most important aspects of all types of fishing is
location. If you don't present your bait to a fish you will
not catch anything - it's as simple as that.
Deep holes are popular places to fish for sturgeon in the
upper stretches of the Sacramento River.
I've personally never had much luck fishing holes in the
delta. I have marked lots of sturgeon
holding in deep holes, but I can never get them to
bite. Anchor above a hole and cast
When fishing from a boat, I like to find large flat areas in
20'-45' of water. You want to fish an area that has a silt
bottom, not rocky. Look for current breaks.
If you see some fast moving water, a current break and some slow
moving water, fish on the slow edge of the current break. If
you see and eddy of swirling water, fish on the outer edge, in the
main current. Fish between fast current and
(swirling current). Sturgeon don't like
regular eddies, but deep holes have underwater
eddies that sturgeon like. Clam beds are
also good. Mark them
with your GPS for future trips.
Some people like to fish on
slopes because they sturgeon move up onto slopes to feed. I
like to anchor at the bottom of slopes and edges of shipping
Cross section of the Sacramento River looking downstream
I strongly advise that you buy a map of the delta. There
are several good maps available that show depths, fishing areas, and
boat ramp access.
Places to Fish in the Delta
First of all, we all know how fast fishing conditions can
change. A hot bite one day will often lead to a cold bite
the next. Not to mention the fact that in the delta fish are
constantly on the move and are most likely miles away by the next
day anyway. Striped Bass, for example, travel an average of
eight miles a day. With that in mind, there are some general
locations in the delta that usually hold fish. I usually try
to avoid the fleet of boats and fish in more secluded locations.
Guess what - I still catch lots of fish. Look at where all
of the boats are fishing and now look at a map. Chances are,
the terrain 1/2 mile upstream or 1/2 mile downstream is very
similar and will hold just as many fish. Take a cue from
fishing guides and charter boats. They never stick to the
same "glory holes" day after day. They are
constantly moving around looking for fish.
Sacramento River - Rio Vista Area
- The stretch of river between Sandy Beach and Sherman Island is an
excellent area to fish. Anchor anywhere between the
shipping channel and the shore. This area is fairly flat
and deep. Do not anchor in the shipping channel!
- Channel marker 8 near Sherman Island is great for
stripers and sturgeon. Anchor between the shipping channel and shore
in 30'-35' of water. Be careful because there are submerged pilings in this area along
the shore of Sherman Island. You can see them at low tide.
- Anchor near channel marker 14 near the shipping
channel. This is one of the most popular spots in the
area for sturgeon.
- Anchor between channel marker 9 and the shore in 42'
of water when the current is moving slowly.
- The power lines between Decker Island and Sherman Island are a
very productive area. Fish along the red shipping channel
markers in 29'-33' of water.
San Joaquin River
- There are some deep areas between the mouth of Three Mile
Slough and Santa Clara Shoals that are popular for sturgeon
Fish for sturgeon downstream of the bridge at Belden's Landing
- There are lots of deep holes that hold fish
- 20' depth can be good along the edges of holes
Fish between lights 31 and 34
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