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The Myth of Speed, Striper on the Budget, and Berryessa News

What's New in the Shop?

First cast:

If you haven't yet heard about the best spoons for Trout and King Salmon fishing on Lake Berryessa, you are about to find out why all the top guides are running these lures.

These magic spoons are called Optimizer Junior, made by Trinidad Tackle.

What is so special about these lures?

Consider the myth of speed and the lure of efficiency in fishing.

Conventional wisdom suggests a direct correlation between speed and success in fishing. However, this simplistic narrative ignores crucial nuances. While speed may enhance lure coverage, exceeding a certain threshold can render it unnatural and counterproductive. The "OPTIMIZER" lure disrupts this paradigm by maintaining realistic action even at higher speeds.

This innovation translates to several advantages. Firstly, it allows anglers to cover more territory efficiently, maximizing their search for elusive fish like King Salmon. Secondly, it facilitates quicker returns to productive fishing grounds.

However, it's crucial to remember that speed is just one element of the equation. Optimizing presentation is equally important. The "OPTIMIZER" addresses this by maintaining proper action even during changes in speed, a valuable feature, especially in rough water conditions.

In conclusion, the "OPTIMIZER" challenges the simplistic narrative of speed and prioritizes a holistic approach that combines efficiency with realistic presentation, ultimately improving the odds of landing that trophy catch.


Expect to find a wide selection of Optimizer Junior lures in the shop starting next week.


Please note that we are changing our weekend hours. Starting this week and through March 31st we are shifting to our winter hours:

Saturdays: 9am-6pm

Sundays: 9am-3pm

Once the spring rolls in we are planning to go back to opening at 7 am on Saturday and Sunday.

If you missed it last week, we are launching two deep-dive newsletters, if interested, sign up below.

Click Here to Subscribe to the Gun Shop Newsletter

Click Here to Subscribe to Fishing Adventures and Education

Second cast:

Forget expensive gear, striper fishing is about enjoying the outdoors, the hunt, and the peacefulness of nature, all for under $125!

In our featured arcilte and video this week we are covering top 5 budget striper fishing setups $50-$125.

Setup 1: Striper Spinning Bait Fishing Under $125

For anglers who prefer to fish from the shore, a versatile setup is key. Our top recommendation is:

Rod: Okuma Celilo CE-S-862ha - $64.99

Heavy Action 

Line 12-25lbs 

Lures 1oz-4oz

Reel: Okuma Avenger Av-6000 - $58.99

Line Capacity - 16/195, 20/165

Drag 33.1 lbs 

Gear Ratio 4.5:1

6+1 Bearings 

Tip: Not sealed. Rinse after fishing in salt water.

Alternative applications: Catfish, Carp, Perch, Trout (Powerbait), and Live Bait fishing of any kind. 

Third cast:

Let's go crappie fishing next Satuday!

Sweeney's Sports is proud to sponsor the Crappie Closet Lures Lake Berryessa tournament hosted by Marlin with

Watch the video for details.

To register, email:

To pay, Venmo @Crappieclosetlures

Fishing Reports

Napa River


All the rains bring Sturgeon into our river system. It's bait fishing time!

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.

Lake Berryessa

Big Nate Guide Service Report for Lake Berryessa

Wednesday, February 28th

The lake is muddy to dingy with a lot of debris, trash, and some very large logs scattered throughout. The key is to searching for areas null and void of all the crap and focusing on staying in those very small areas. We used the "kitchen sink" today, and spoons dominated our action from the surface down to 60ft!!! I know that seems deep for this time of year, but chasing marks produced fish.

Well we didn't Kill it by any means but we did HOOKUP SOME DONKEYS!!!! We stuck 4 of the 7 bites we got on the day and these fish went absolutely BALLISTIC!!

We fished our butts off today, but it was worth it!! I feel like the lake needs a bit more time to clear until I feel completely comfortable with running trips.

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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