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  • Writer's picturealexosen

How to Fish for Striper Bass in Sacramento River

Updated: May 18, 2022

Welcome to Catch Happy weekly fishing adventures and education. Our goal is to help more people enjoy amazing experiences outdoors. You can find top-notch fishing guides, gear kits, and follow our weekly fishing expeditions at

This week Alex and I (Austin) planned on targeting and chasing stripers up on the Sacramento River. We were fishing just below Grimes, CA, and just above Knights Landing, CA. I picked that section of water based on what time of the year it was, the temperature of the water, and the water level flows. Stripers make their way up the Sacramento to spawn so they are not going to go up far if the water temperature is on the warmer side.

We kept our equipment very simple. We used a 8’6 Shimano Scimitar rod. I like a little longer rod to have that nice backbone with a nice soft tip. I paired the rod up with a Shimano Curado with 50 lbs. braided Powerpro line. We used that setup for drifting live minnows. For our terminal tackle 1oz weight and size 1 Owner Mosquito hook. A very light wire hook so you don't kill your minnows when going to hook them. We also used an 8’6” Okuma Celilo rod paired up with Shimano Nexave 4000 with 20 lbs mono line. We used that setup when we were casting swimbaits as we drifted down the river looking for that school of fish. You can pick up the full Striper gear kit and get access to our video training here:

It took us a couple of hours to locate a school of fish that morning, but when we did it was game on. Got fish on minnows and swimbaits and they were all excellent size fish. We’ve learned that stripers can move very quickly overnight, covering miles of water. These fish are amazing and fun fish to chase. Our recommendation is to keep things very simple and not overthink your fishing gear and methods. Focus on having fun and working the water to locate the fish. Once you do, hit that stretch of water multiple times with variations of live bait and lures.

If you are traveling to Napa, or live nearby, consider booking one of our Napa fishing guides for a trip to Sacramento River. Or stop by Sweeney's Sports, in Napa CA for all your striper fishing gear needs. We have the expertise to help you prepare and gear up for your next fishing trip.

Catch fish. Be happy.


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