What's New in the Shop?
Under Assembly Bill 28, signed into law on September 26, 2023, an 11% tax will apply to gross receipts from retail sales of ammunition, firearms, and firearm precursor parts starting July 1, 2024.
This means that ammo and firearms will be 11% more expensive starting in July. If you were looking to add to your collection or stock up on ammo, now would be a good time.
Let our team know if you are looking to purchase over 1000 rounds of ammo of a particular caliber. We'll search through our suppliers for the best deal and availability, quote you a special bulk price, and order the ammo for you.
Report your harvest to CDFW by 1/31
Don't forget to report your harvest by January 31st. Even if you didn't fish or hunt in 2023 the CDFW requires annual reporting for fishing report card holders and hunters. Follow the instructions on your tag or report card to report by mail, or log in and do this online: https://wildlife.ca.gov/Licensing/Fishing#44521416-harvest-reporting
Should we carry it?
Alex came across a neat rod accessory at the ISE Sportsmen show yesterday. Check this short video and let us know if you'd buy one or more for your rods. Reply to this email with your feedback.
Catch Happy Deep Dive Podcast - Fly Fishing on Trinity River
Welcome to the Catch Happy Deep Dive Fishing Podcast! In this episode, Alex dives deep into the world of fly fishing on the Trinity River, joined by the knowledgeable guide, Robbie George from Bendco Fly Fishing Guide Service. They unravel the mysteries of the river, discuss the unique challenges, and share their passion for this extraordinary angling experience.
Live Bait Update
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.
We just went out and had pretty good luck trolling on Sunday. Golden Boy (Gold-colored Akuru Shad) and our custom-made Wild Things continue to produce results even in cooler waters. Try to stay between 3.5-5 mph GPS. The bite is slower than Sep-Nov, but they are still out there, looking to eat a fast-moving bait fish. We averaged one bite for every 30-40 minutes of trolling. Not too terrible for this time of year. So after a couple of hours of trolling, we switched to bait fishing.
The fish aren't as widespread 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.
Check our detailed sturgeon fishing instructional video and blog here.
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.
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