I went out striper fishing with my friend Forbes. We were doing a little prefishing before the Purple Heart Anglers Striper event. I was showing Forbes some of the areas I fish and some of the techniques I use. He mainly striper fishes on the Napa River.
We started the day catching a just legal fish at 18 1/2 inches long. It took the lure fairly deep and was bleeding badly so we kept it. After about another 30 minutes and moving slightly to a different spot we got our second fish of the day another keep at just over 19 inches. It too, was hooked deep and we kept it also.
After continuing trolling the same area we got hit by a much larger fish. After a nice fight we netted this 8.8 pound striper. It had inhaled the lure. I don’t recall ever catching a striper that had taken the lure as far in as this fish. The trailing hook had gone through the fish’s gills. I had to remove the front hook from the split ring and then pull the lure through the fish’s gills. It bled too much and we were not able to revive it so it too was kept.
We were now down to trolling with only two rods. We landed and released another striper going about 22 inches. We then took a tour of some of the other areas I like to fish, including the Sacramento River which was slightly dirty from all the rain. We then returned to the productive area as the tide had turned and was now coming in. Soon after starting to troll a fish hit the inside pole that had been bouncing off the bottom. This fish fought very hard and we didn’t see it for the first few minutes of the fight. It made quite a few good runs until it finally tired out enough to come to the net. The fish was 10 1/2 pound and 31 inches long.
We were lucky to land this fish as the front hook came off of the lure. It was in the fish’s jaw and the split ring was gone from the hook and lure. The rear hook was hooked on the outside of the fish as they sometimes do when the fish turns and fights. The split ring must have got damaged when I removed it from the hook early in the day on the other fish. It took us a few minutes to revive the fish at the side of the boat, before it could be safely released.