Salmon hitting on Mokelumne River

Article from Stockton Record.

By Dan Bacher / Record Correspondent
Posted Oct 10, 2018 at 12:01 AM

Salmon fishing on the Mokelumne River and South Fork Mokelumne has improved as the Chinooks move upstream on their fall spawning run.

“Fishing is really good now,” said Jeremy Grimes at Fisherman’s Friend in Lodi. “Anglers are trolling with Brad’s Cut Plugs and Silvertron, Blue Fox and Monti Spinners. The fish range from 8 to 30 pounds.”

The Central Valley Anglers of Lodi’s Annual Salmon Derby, held on Sunday, October 7, out of Wimpys Marina, drew 48 participants.

Fred Nakagawa of Lodi won first place by catching a chinook weighing 17 pounds, 12 ounces, while trolling a Silvertron spinner on the South Fork near Sycamore Slough, according to Jim Fernandez, president of the organization.

Ted Handle placed second with a king going 17 pounds, 8 ounces. He landed his fish while trolling with a Silvertron spinner on the Sacramento near Ko-Ket Resort.

Ed Alvarez finished third with a king weighing 16 pounds, 7 ounces. He was trolling a Silverton spinner on the South Fork between Hog and Sycamore sloughs.

Anglers caught the majority of the fish in the Mokelumne River system, but also bagged salmon on the Sacramento River between Ko-Ket Resort and Walnut Grove.

“The fishing improved substantially over the last two weeks after EBMUD began releasing pulse flows from Camanche Dam,” said Fernandez. Information: (209) 369-0204.

The bag limit for fall-run Chinook Salmon on the Mokelumne River is two fish, and the possession limit is four fish, according to the 2018-2019 Freshwater Sport Fishing Regulations. The bag limit for fall-run Chinook Salmon on the American, Feather and Sacramento rivers is one fish, and the possession limit is two fish.

The good showing of fish follows a record salmon run last year. A total of 19,904 fall Chinook salmon went over Woodbridge Dam in the fall of 2017, according to William Smith, manager of the CDFW’s Mokelumne River Fish Hatchery. The past two years also saw record steelhead runs on the Mokelumne.

Factors behind the record steelhead and salmon runs include stronger river pulse flows, closures of the Delta Cross Channel gates, the use of tagging data to increase fish survival, barging salmon, habitat improvements and the 1998 Lower Mokelumne River Settlement Agreement.

Anglers can thank the CDFW, East Bay Municipal Utility District, California Sportfishing Protection Alliance and Committee to Save the Mokelumne for their hard work in restoring the river’s fish populations.

Delta Striped Bass: Striped bass fishing never shut down all summer – and the solid fishing is continuing into the fall. Boaters are hooking keeper and undersized stripers while trolling with Yo-Zuri and P-Line Predator lures on the San Joaquin from Franks Tract to Santa Clara Shoals, reported Jeremy Grimes. Bait fishing with shad, anchovies, pileworms and bloodworms is also productive.

San Francisco Bay Halibut: October is not usually considered a great month for halibut fishing, but the situation appears to be different this fall. The 22 anglers live bait drifting aboard the California Dawn out of the Berkeley Marina on October 7 landed 41 halibut to 25 pounds.

“We had an amazing day on the water,” said James Smith, Captain of the California Dawn. “We experienced a halibut bite that was as good as any trip in the spring time. Plus, we saw an incredible air show. The anglers finished up with almost 2 halibut per rod.” Information: (510) 417-5557.

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