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The Striped bass is a saltwater species that comes into freshwater to spawn. To watch them spawn is amazing: they do not make a nest, instead they spawn on the surface. Sometimes when you are just sitting, quietly fishing, you might suddenly see fish everywhere around you. Striped bass are also vicious and powerful, and would like nothing more than to rip your line right off the reel. They’ll attack almost anything that looks like food and have been known to grow up to 75 lbs. They are found in both the Sacramento River and the Feather River.
The sturgeon is a fish that goes back to prehistoric times. They are bottom feeders and have cartilage rather than true bones. They take bait lightly and you must let them take the bait and the hook long enough to get it into their cerbascus (sucker mouths). Hold on tight and don’t let go, because once you’ve hooked one of these guys, you won’t have a fight, you’ll have a battle. You’ll find you have muscles in your body you never knew existed. They can be found in Shasta Lake and the Sacramento River. They grow to be very large and weights have been recorded in the triple digits. They’ve been known to live over 100 years, and some experts believe they can live many years longer. Their full life span is unknown.
This highly prized game fish is an oceangoing trout that comes into the river system to spawn. After spawning, Steelhead return to the ocean to repeat the cycle, and return as larger fish. They are a monster of a fish—very smart—they keep you on your toes through tricks, like trying to break your line by maneuvering it into snags and various other places. They are acrobats that leap out of the water to shake the lure. They can be caught on roe, glo-bugs, various flies and hard crank baits. They can be found in the Sacramento River, the Feather River and the Trinity River where fish up to about 19 lbs have been caught. When you hook one of these, be prepared for a battle of wits.