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Striper Derby in December

Shop News


Last week you saw Alex posing with our 38 lbs Striped Bass mount and today we wanted to share a story of its origin.


Around 30 years ago, John Corrigan fished a Napa River salt pond with a light bass rod soaking a cut anchovy. When his rod hit, the fish spooled him almost immediately. He was able to turn it around and ran all over the bank to land the fish. At the time Sweeney's was hosting the striper derby and he won. The fish's official weight was 36 lbs (it lost a couple of pounds of water overnight). John commissioned the fish to be turned into a mount and gifted the mount to the shop.


Thank you, Jonh!



In honor of John's catch and his kind donation, we are going to help all of you fall back in love with Napa River fishing by hosting a kick a$$ Striper Derby on December 15th, 16th, and 17th. We've applied for a permit and will share all of the details once we are papered.


As our subscriber and reader, you get special benefits. This week, we are giving away a remainder inventory of our 2023 Dot's Tide guides (reg $2.99) at no cost to our subscribers. All you have to do is ask for it. We have around 40 books left. Come get your free book.


Live Bait Update


While supplies last. Stock up early if you are fishing this weekend. If you need to brush up on best practices to keep your bait alive for 36 hours or more, watch this video.


- Live Ghost Shrimp

- Live Grass Shrimp

- Live Mudsuckers

- Medium, Large, and XL Minnows

- Live Pile Worms

Deep-Dive Articles and Videos

Fall and Winter Bass Fishing Strategies and Tactics

Winter fishing doesn't mean it's time to hibernate! Get ready to uncover the secrets of cold-water fishing with expert angler Luke Lipanovich.


Introduction: Catching in the Cold


You're probably wondering if winter is a time to stow your fishing gear and call it a day. After all, the water's colder, the fish seem less active, and the lure of a warm, cozy man cave beckons. But before you retreat, hear us out. Winter fishing is not only possible; it can be fantastic. Today, we're diving into cold-water angling with Luke Lipanovich, a seasoned pro at Sweeney's Sports, who is here to unlock the mysteries of winter fishing. Read the rest of the article here or watch the video below.



October Best Catch Contest


Thank you for your submissions. We'll host the Instagram head-to-head voting next week and announce the winners in next week's newsletter.


Catch Happy On Youtube


Ready to reel in a good time? Dive into the world of fishing, adventures, and education with Catch Happy.


Subscribe now and let's make a splash in angler's paradise!



Fishing Reports


Lake Berryessa


Lake Berryessa continues to be on fire. No changes to the report below. Follow these steps and you'll get on fish.


The one key ingredient to your success on Lake Berryessa is to be on the water at first light. The bite is really good until around 8am-9am, and then it slows down considerably as the fish gorge themselves on large bait balls.


Nate with Big Nate Guide Service took this picture. You can see Berryessa trout gorging on shad bait balls. That's why the bite slows down in late morning.

You can still find hungry fish later in the day, but you'll have to cover a lot of water.


In terms of where to fish, look for the bait balls in the deepest parts of the lake (80ft-100ft) and start fishing there. These bait balls are full of plankton and threadfin shad. They will show up on your sonar as a fat line with a fairly dense composition about 35-40 ft deep and around 3-5ft thick.


Watch the video for detailed instructions. The trout swims in and out of these bait balls to feed. Troll fairly fast through them using speedy shiners and watch your rods bend.


We now stock a complete line of Speedy Shiners and Optimizer lures that work so well on Berryessa trout.


Napa River


The Napa River Striper bite continues to be on fire. Follow these steps and you'll get on fish.


Here is our detailed video on Napa River Striper lures, bait, and tactics.


We are getting a lot of reports of keeper-sized Stripers being caught in numbers. The fish are everywhere in the river and it's just a matter of offering them what they are hungry for.


Multi-color Rat-L-Traps and P-Line Predators (custom-made at Sweeney's Sports into a Wild Thing lures) work the best. Trolling speeds around 3.5-3.8 GPS MPH worked the best.


Keep changing lures until you get bit. Turn around and troll the same spot again. Seemingly, the fish are dialed in on something different every day. The weather, tides, water color, bait fish behavior, wind, pressure, lunar cycle, and a dozen other factors shift constantly. That's why we never get tired of fishing the river. It's an ever-evolving puzzle with an abundance of options and action.


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.


Go get them.


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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