"Fishing The Southern California Aqueduct"
1. Best Times: I have found early morning during March, April, and May to be the best months to catch these eating machine stripers. I have found the early mornings from 5:30 am to 11:00 am. Afternoons from 1:00 until sundown. Also just before sunset, for stripers and catfish. Best for Cat fishing is at night. Full moon nights are good too, with pencil poppers and jumping minnows for the stripers.
2. Tackle: I recommend, you use a good freshwater casting reel for good lure action, as well as sufficient strength and leverage for reeling in the big ones. I recommend a 6.5 -8 foot medium action Ugly Stick made by Shakespeare rod, or what suits you, because smaller, faster action rods may break fighting a big striper against a fast current. Of course, you always want to use the lightest line that will do the job. I currently use 15 lb Trilene but if your not confident in your fighting skills, you may want to use something heavier as lite weight deep sea so you don't risk losing a big one. So remember the 'lb test' rating of a rod and reel should be matched to the line for proper performance and to prevent rod and reel damage and risk loosing your fish.
3. Bring a large, long-handled net: A few words of caution, the sides of the aqueduct, are steep and at times the ground quite wet and therefore slippery, especially during the winter months. If you get a big enough striper, you may not be able to just haul it up without breaking your line. It Is Not Safe, especially when the gates are open. This lowers the water level and creates a strong current. The exposed cement that was normally under water is extremely slick and one can slip into the fast moving water. Please use your net to get the fish out of the water without getting too close to the wet area that was once under water and very slippery!
4. Baits: Stripers are fast, powerful, aggressive, roaming eating machines. They rarely stay in one place for long. They scavenge along with the Catfish and Carp, in search for food. So try using cut up or whole shad, chicken liver, anchovies, and mackerel, large blood worms and night crawlers with a combination of one of the above. Also try not to hold the bait too long, stripers have a good sense of smell and water magnifies fragrances, as cologne, after shaves, so just a good rule is to wash your hands before touching bait. Also live shad work well with active stripers. This works well for catfish too! Catfish very rarely go after lures. When bait fishing never set your pole down on the side and walk away, fish are known to hit and there goes your pole. Buy a pole holder if you don't want to sit and hold it. I personally made my own pole holder. Here is a shad I got out of the belly of a Striper.
Another small Fish type of (Sculpin) out of the belly of a Striper!
These smelt were taken out of Striper's stomach's
Certain times of the year certain crustasians hatch out of their shell and these areas are good to fish around.
5. Lures: Lures comes in a variety of configurations and sizes and colors. I recommend Crank baits, Rattle Traps that are similar in color to shad, trout, blue gill, mackerel or minnow colors. Pencil Poppers work real well in the summer months, along with any top water plugs and top water jumping minnows.
6. Work The Area: I recommend that you work each area thoroughly, at all depths, with assortments of lures in several colors, using variations in your retrieves. A good 2 hours is the time I would give to any area before moving on. This, of course, it is dependant upon how fast you are at "rigging".
7. Try Near Gates: I prefer to fish before the gates or after the gates, I've found that stripers hold up for a short time to feed upon shad, the shad hold up in and around the grates.
8. Opened Gates: I prefer, and recommend to fish when the gates are wide to half open. This is when the water is moving fast and at a medium speed, and it stirs the bottom of the aqueduct and the fish too! These stripers love the fast moving current after all they are mean, fast, and aggressive fish. Low water is when the gates are opened all the way, and when the water is high the gates are closed. I personally don't fish if the gates are closed.
9. Techniques: I recommend that you do adjust your drag so as you pull feed line from the reel, that it does come out enough so the fish can run and you can set the hook. If your drag is too tight, the fish will break your line. Always be prepared to adjust your drag again. Present the bait or lure easy and natural to the fish with the current. Casting with a lure, cast your line at a 45 degree angle across and with the current. I also recommend that you keep your rod tip up, and tight lines and don't slack the line while they are hitting or they will spit the lure out and try fast, medium, and slow retrieves.
10. Handling Stripers: Be cautious when handling the stripers, they have two distinct dorsal fins. The first has seven to 12 stiff spines, which make this fin taller than the second. The second dorsal fin has only one stiff spine also behind their gills is very sharp and can cut.
Safety: Children should ware life preservers at all times. Observe all warning signs. Rubber sole shoes are a good thing to ware. There are safety ladders on both sides of the Aqueduct and are spaced every 500 feet apart and other area's will be 1000 feet apart and they are marked. Try not to fish alone. Just in case bring a rope. Don't fish from bridges that cross the Aqueduct, these are not safe and illegal fishing spots!
Safety Tip: When you plan to fish for Stripers or any type of fish think of "Safety First". Look what happens when you forget your needle nose pliers! These fish are strong, so don't try taking a hook out of the Stripers mouth or any fish for that matter with out the needle nose pliers. These fish will flop around and one got me! A Striper no less to boot! I had to actualy head lock the fish because he was playing tug of war with my thumb.
Laws By Fish And Game For Aqueducts: Must have valid current fishing license and must be worn or on you someway. Two tagged license for two poles are legal now, as of 1-1-08 as long as you purchase it.
|Second Rod Validation||$13.78||Required for all persons taking fish with two rods or lines in inland waters, except for waters in which only artificial lures or barbless hooks may be used.|
|Resident Sport Fishing||$45.93||Required for a resident 16 years of age or older to take fish, mollusks, crustaceans, invertebrates, amphibians or reptile in inland or ocean waters. Additional validations and report cards are required for certain species and areas.|
No firearms! The Sacramento perch are illegal to use for bait. Shad are legal to use for bait. Please pick up your trash when you leave! The Chicken liver containers do sink and please take them with you, they are clogging up parts of the areas at pumping plants. Thank You, Striper Bill
Silent no right click.