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A Comprehensive Guide to Sturgeon Fishing in 2024

What's New in the Shop?

The Wild Thing lures continue to work magic on Stripers, even as temperatures drop. Dave just pulled this 19.5-inch 5 minutes ago as I write this. He is using our Stout-Trout and Italian-Stallion deep diver patterns today. Stop by and get your own before your next trip.

CDFW is lifting the temporary recreational crab trap restriction

CDFW is lifting the temporary recreational crab trap restriction, beginning Jan. 12, 2024, at 8 a.m., from the Sonoma/Mendocino county line to Lopez Point, Monterey County (Fishing Zones 3 and 4). A fleet advisory remains in effect for both the commercial and recreational fishery for all Fishing Zones (1-6). Full news release here.

Don't Let Muck Slow You Down!

Ready to ditch the soggy shoes and embrace the mess? Our selection of Muck Boots is back in stock and ready to ship! Shop now and conquer any challenge that comes your way.

Click here to shop Muck Boots now or visit the shop.

A Comprehensive Guide to Sturgeon Fishing in 2024 - San Francisco Bay Area

These ain't fish like the rest. Sturgeon swam when dinosaurs waddled, watched empires rise and fall like the tide. They're ghosts from the deep, armored in bony plates, silent as shadows. A hundred years they can live, a hundred pounds they can grow, muscles like steel wire under leather. Respect you gotta have for a creature like that, a thrill too, of course. But it's more than just the fight, more than the bragging rights.

Sturgeon fishing is a handshake with history, a whispered promise to the future. It's the river running cold and clear, the ghosts swimming strong, and the line humming between us, a thin thread binding man and monster, present and past, life and legacy.

Live Bait Update

Large Minnows, and they are going fast.

All of our live bait suppliers got rained out, so we are not expecting live Ghost, Grass, Bullheads, or Pile Worm this week.

Fingers crossed for next week.

Fishing Reports

Lake Berryessa


The weather is now getting really cold with plenty of storm systems filtering in and out. Expect the majority of fish to head for the depths where you can catch them on smaller swimbaits or even an a-rig, spoons, worms, and jigs. Targeting that 20-40 foot depth range is where most of them should be. Low and slow is the name of the game at this time

  • Action: The bass bite has slowed down compared to the fall, but it's still decent with the right approach.

  • Target: Focus on deeper areas, particularly rocky points and submerged structures, between 20-40 feet deep.

  • Lures: Finesse tactics like drop-shotting with plastics or wacky-rigged worms on heavy weights are working well. Cranking deeper crankbaits can also be productive.


  • Action: Trout trolling remains strong, especially for those targeting shad schools with spoons or Rapalas.

  • Target: Look for baitfish concentrations near the dam or deeper coves. Early mornings and evenings offer the best chance for success.

  • Lures: Shad-patterned spoons, Speedy Shiners, and Rapalas in various sizes are the go-to lures.

Catfish: Catfishing can be good year-round at Berryessa. Try fishing deeper areas with cut bait, liver, or nightcrawlers for whiskered friends. Try free spooling your bait. Drop it without any weight and let it drift and sink slowly. Got big cats using this technique

If you'd like to read our deep dive fishing report on Lake Berryessa winter fishing, click here.

Napa River


The Wild Thing deep-diving lure that we make here at Sweeny's is still the king of the hill. We just had a customer walk in to purchase 2 more. He landed 8 fish this morning on the Italian Stallion color scheme and was going back out there.

The Wild Thing lure is Followed closely by gold-colored Spro Akuru Shad and other mulity-colered Rat-L-Traps. You'll find a full variety on offer here at the shop. Experiment with trolling speeds of 2.5-4.5 GPS mph.

The fish aren't as spread out as they were in October/November. However, if you find them, multiple hookups aren't unheard of. There are larger schools of them out there. Keep looking until you find them and then run through the school a few times using different colored Wild Things and Rattle Traps until you find what they like.

Bank fishermen are doing well with live grass shrimp, pile worms, and frozen anchovies. Use the Magic Thread to keep your bait on the hook.


It's bait fishing time! The sturgeon should start pushing into our river system.

Use live Grass or Ghost Shrimp, Pile Worms, Salmon roe, or Eel threaded onto a barbless hook, wrapped with magic thread (twine), and terminated with a bait button.

It's important to keep your bait on the bottom with a 4-8 ounce pyramid sinker and, ideally, a weighted leader. We now make Custom Sturgeon Leaders here at the shop. Come and check them out. $5.99 apiece.

Click here for the detailed video on Napa River Striper lures, bait, and tactics.

As always,

We truly appreciate every time you walk through our doors. Thank you for choosing to spend your hard-earned dollars with us. It's a privilege to be of service.

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