The Delta is home to Bluegill, Readear, Largemouth, Smallmouth, and Striped Bass, Crappie, Bullhead Catfish, Channel Catfish, and Shad, Salmon, Steelhead, and Sturgeon runs as well as delectable crawdads. Fishing Derbys are held through out the Delta during the winter and spring offering substantial prizes to winners, see events for dates. The Striped Bass migrate through the Delta twice a year, usually in November and May. Though beautiful fish are caught year round. A Crawdad Festival is held in Isleton each year on Father's Day weekend. With a bounty of delicious crusteans to enjoy. With a thousand miles of waterways to explore and enjoy its easy to "get away from it all" and enjoy the peace and solitude.
Angler Guide Service | Local Bait Shops | Other Fishing Links | Delta Fish Species (fish list)
CATFISH (Bullhead, Channel, and White)
Bait: Best are clams, anchovies, nightcrawlers, stink baits, dough baits, sardines, chicken or turkey livers, and bloodworms.
Tackle: Should be reasonably strong, about 15 to 20 pound test line. Striped bass can also take these baits, so be prepared.
Best Season: Fishing for Catfish is productive all year, but the summer months are usually best.
Best Areas: Almost any place in the Delta produces catfish. Threemile, Sevenmile, Georgianam Cache, and Miner Sloughs, the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers, Frank's Track SRA, and Sherman Lake are good. Equally good are Old and Middle Rivers, White Slough and most other cuts and sloughs of the Delta.Try a spot for 1/2 hour, no luck, move on.
Depths: About three to twenty feet, deeper in winter.
Best Season: The spring spawning run up the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers is probably the best season in the Delta, but the fall run is also a heavey producer of lunker-size bass, the fall and sppring runs almost seem to merge, creating good fishing from September to June, and resident stripers are caught during the summer.
Best Areas: For boat fishing: Sherman Lake when the water depth is less than five feet; the power lines on the Sacramento River within two hours of low tide and two hours of high tide (fish the incoming tide); Threemile Slough where it empties into the Sacramento River and where it empties into the San Joaquin River; Decker Island on the Sacramento River on the west side of the island, on the north end of the island near the entrance to Threemile Slough, and on the south side of the island near the pilings; the dairy located approximately a mile and a half north of the Brannan Island SRA park entrance on the east side of the Sacramento River (look for a sandy beach with some trees - fish about fifty yards offshore and south of the beach about half to three-quarters of a mile), Franks Tract SRA, Middle and Old Rivers, San Andreas shoals on the San Joaquin, White Slough, the Mokelumne River from the San Joaquin to Hwy 12 and near the Cross Delta Channel.
Tackle: A medium to heavy weight rod with a sensitive tip and conventional bait casting reel is probably most common, though many people use spinning reels. Use a 30 to 50 pound test line with wire leaders and single or double hooks, and sliding sinker setup. They strike hard!.
Best Season: Usually from the beginning of winter, when the water starts to get muddy and looks like chocolate syrup, until early summer.
Best Areas: On the Sacramento River, the Decker Island entrance to Threemile Slough, off the old dairy, the Rio Vista bridge, the Isleton bridge. San Pablo and suisun Bays and the Mothball Fleet are prime areas; Cache Slough and off Liberty Island are also very good.
Depths: Sturgeon have been caught in water from 14 to 80 feet deep; usually deep holes are best.
Angler Guide Service(s)
Delta Fish Species
|Acanthogobius flavimanus||Alosa sapidissima||American shad|
|Bigscale logperch||Black bullhead||Black crappie|
|Blue catfish||Bluegill||Brown bullhead|
|Brown trout (sea-run)||Cagelef topeni||Carassius auratus|
|Carp||Chameleon goby||Channel catfish|
|Cyprinus carpio||Dorkus molorkus||Dorosoma petenense|
|Fathead minnow||Fathead moron||Gambusia affinis|
|Gasterosteus aculaetus||Golden shiner||Goldfish|
|Green sunfish||H. eymacrena dorkus||Ictalurus catus|
|Ictalurus furcatus||Ictalurus melas||Ictalurus natalis|
|Ictalurus nebulosus||Ictalurus punctatus||Inland silverside|
|Largemouth bass||Lepomis cyanellus||Lepomis gulosus|
|Lepomis macrochirus||Lepomis microlophus||Lucania parva|
|Luckbe crappie||Macarelena||Menidia audena|
|Micropterus dolomieui||Micropterus salmoides||Morone saxatilis|
|Mosquito fish||Notemigonus crysoleucas||Obnoxi|
|Perca flavescens||Percina macrolepida||Pimephales promelas|
|Pomoxis annularis||Pomoxis nigromaculatus||Rainwater killifish|
|Red ear sunfish||Rollwaz snakeiz||Salmo trutta|
|Seadoo fish||Small mouth bass||Striped bass|
|Sturgeon||Threadfin shad||Threespine stickleback|
|Tombroka mediayappalot||Tridentiger trigonocephalus||Velocitus|
|Warmouth||White bubbafish||White catfish|
|White crappie||Yellow bullhead||Yellow perch|
|Yellowfin goby||Yellowfinch gobyeby|
Other Fishing Links
Much of the fishing information was provided courtesy of Chuck's Bait & Tackle of Bethel Island, The Trap of Rio Vista, Bob's Bait Shop, Delta Fish Finders of Isleton, and my good friend Mark Pacini (who left us in 2007).