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Napa Outdoor Digest - August 10th, 2023

On today's blog

  • Shop Update

  • Salty Crew Hats and Apparel

  • Fishing Report

  • Best catch picture contest

If you've been wondering what's been going on at Sweeney's lately, you are not alone. We've been busy moving things around and making some changes.

The biggest change that you probably already know about is that we're discontinuing our archery department. We know this is a bummer for some of you, but it was a tough decision we had to make. The economics just didn't make sense for us to continue carrying archery gear. Our end game is to be excellent in a few categories, rather than being just ok in many.

We're, however, expanding our fishing, gun shop, and hunting accessories departments, so we hope you'll enjoy our expanded selection and service in these categories.

On the bright side, we're having a 30% off sale on all of our remaining bows and archery accessories! Now is a great time to stock up.

If you can't find what you're looking for at Sweeney's, there are a couple of great archery shops nearby. West Coast Archery Shop in Petaluma and Fat Shafts Archery in Benicia are both family-owned businesses with archery ranges.

And if you need work done on your bow, Chad Hole is the man to see. He's an absolute master when it comes to archery and he'll get your bow shooting like new again. We’ll be happy to share Chad’s contact info upon request.

So what is new?

Reel Section

Let's start with the new reel section. We've expanded our reel selection and moved the reel counter to a designated spot where you can spread your arms and take your time choosing the next reel. You can now browse, touch, and feel all of our spinning reels. They are on display in a designated area, and you'll no longer have to stand in the way of gun shop traffic, hoping that someone will hand you the reel to check out.

Fly Shop

We have relocated the Fly Shop to a new designated spot and are actively expanding our fly fishing product selection. The fly table is now spotlight-lit for your convenience. Pete is our Fly Master and is here Wednesday through Saturday to answer your questions and outfit you. We also offer a couple of fly fishing classes. If you are interested in learning fly fishing, please see the details below.

Live Bait Section

We are putting the finishing touches on a brand-new live bait section. Besides our two minnow aquariums and two frozen bait fridges, we have added two more industrial-sized holding tanks for grass shrimp, ghost shrimp, pile worms, and bullheads. Once we have everything ready and get our suppliers lined up, we will make the announcement here and on social media. We are also planning on setting up a live bait delivery service. More on this later. A quick reminder that we are open at 7am on Saturdays and Sundays for your early morning bait needs.

Gun Shop Expansion

You'll notice that we've expanded the gun shop with a new workbench for scope mounting, added new displays, and are working with our suppliers to double the number of accessories we stock.

Oh, and we just got a shipment of uber-cool Salty Crew hats. These are hard to get and fly off the shelves in a matter of days. Check them out and pick one up on your next visit!

Do you think shopping local is important?

Did you know that on average, 67 cents of every $1 you spend at a local business stays to benefit the local community, according to American Express estimates?

Please read my article where I present 3 reasons why shopping local isn't charity or some kind of sacrifice we have to make for the greater good. Shopping locally is a sound financial decision. It is a firm vote for greater prosperity and higher quality of life for us and our local communities.

Read the article button here.

Fishing reports.

Napa River

Napa River Stripers are on the bite! The shallow-diving P-Line Predator lure has been working the most consistently when trolling in the sloughs.

We custom-make Napa River P-Line Predator lures here at Sweeney’s. You can make your own or buy it in the shop or online.

Here is some general advice on how to catch stripers trolling on the Napa River.

  • Lures: The best lures for Napa River fishing are those that look like anchovies or other small baitfish. Shallow-diving lures are the most effective, and many people add soft squid tails to the back of their lures. Some popular lures include the Lucky Craft LV 500 Chartreuse and Shad patterns, Rattle Traps, Pline Predators, and various color swim baits.

  • Colors: Anchovy colors or white are the most common colors for lures in the Napa River. Chrome can also be effective.

  • Trolling speed: Trolling speed is important for enticing stripers to bite in the Napa River. Generally, you should keep your trolling speed between 3 and 5 mph. You can experiment with different speeds to find what works best. The tides and water flow will also affect the optimal trolling speed. Let the lure out so you can see its action in the water. Adjust your speed for the best action. Repeat the process for trolling with and against the tide.

  • Set your lures 60–80 feet from the boat.

  • Location: The best places to fish in the Napa River are in the sloughs and cuts. Timing-wise, the top of the tide seems to work best. A couple of hours before and after high tide.

Lake Berryessa

Trout, bass, and catfish are the best fish to target right now. Kokanee and Kings are spread out, but you may still catch them using speedy shiners. Set up a couple of bottom rigs with hot dogs, night crawlers, anchovies, or chicken breasts in any cove. Night fishing is best for catching large catfish.

Putah Creek Fishing Report

8-9-23 Flows 555 CFS

The creek is fishing Fair.

No reports this week. Fish early to beat the heat. Fish the edges at these flows. Last weeks report sticking big fish in a deep slot, down and dirty with a worm pattern. Changing zebra midge colors in good water has resulted in hook ups. Caddis hatch occurring on some rifles in the evening, Birds Nest #16-18 convincing fish. BWO #18 -20 nymphs and Midge larva #20-22 are present all year long. BWO—Hogan’s S&Ms, FB Pheasant tails, Quilldigon, May it be, micro may, juju baetis….#18-20 Midges—--WD-40, zebra midge, jujubee midge….#20-22 in different colors. Bird Nest #16-18. San Juan and Squirmy worms

Fishing for beginners

How to Bank Fish for Striped Bass for Beginners

Thank you for reading. See you next week.

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