Striped Bass also called, Stripers or Linesides are one of the most popular target species in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Although striped bass are not native to California, they have developed a sustainable population since they were first planted in 1879. At one time there was a commercial fishery in California, but overfishing put and end to that. Now they are only available to sport anglers.
Striped Bass are an anadromous species, however, many of them remain in the river system and never make their way out to the ocean. They are voracious aggressive predators feeding on many fish species in the delta. They feed on shrimp, bluegill, mudsuckers, smaller largemouth bass, split tails, shad, salmon smolt, and other bait fish.
Fishing for Striped Bass
Striped Bass make two runs through the delta. One in the spring and another in the fall. The spring provides more action, while the fall run provides bigger fish.
Striped Bass are typically targeted with two techniques, bait fishing, and trolling. When water temperatures are warm and the water is clear, anglers target stripers with shallow and deep diving plugs, Rattle-Traps, and bucktail jigs. This allows anglers to cover significant territory and often results in numerous hookups in a day. It is not uncommon to bring 20-40 stripers to the boat. Trolling provides a lot of action and is our favorite method of targeting stripers.
When the water temperature is cooler and murky, anglers prefer to target stripers with live or dead bait. This is usually done from the bank or a boat on anchor. Life bait can also be drifted with the current. Popular bait for striped bass are grass shrimp, ghost shrimp, pile worms, Threadfin Shad, anchovies, herring, mackerel, or chicken liver. While the bite is often slower bait fishing, the biggest fish are often caught while bait fishing.
NOTICE: We are no longer fishing the Delta. Give us a call and we can refer you to guide in the Bay Area.