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Alan Fong
Fisherman's Warehouse
(916) 362-1200
Email  fishfong@aol.com

Delta Stripers

During the fall months of the year the stripers start to move into the delta system, which consists of over a thousand miles of waterways. The stripers are on the move constantly chasing baitfish (shad) into dead end sloughs, flooded islands and on weeded schouls. Stripers will travel a long ways in one day feeding on shad, they will go were ever they can trap the bait. The tides play a big part in finding the stripers day to day, stripers use the currents to round up and trap the shad against schouls and into flooded islands. I have found that on out going tide from high to low is usually the best because the current goes faster than on incoming tide. Look in the flooded islands and back in the dead end sloughs on the high outgoing tide and on the incoming tide the main San Joaquin river is the best. On a normal winter with a normal amount of rain the stripers are easy to locate, because the Sacramento river which feeds the delta gets dirtier than the San Joaquin river. The stripers tend to stay in the central delta systems along the San Joaquin river because it stays a lot cleaner. During the fall the Delta will turn over and thats when it gets real good, the water will turn real clear and cool off to around 45-50 degrees. The stripers will feed real heavy for the next three months until its time to head up the Sacramento River to begin there spawning season. This time of year the stripers tend to be in large schools consisting of hundreds of fish, mostly consisting of school size. The larger stripers tend to be more loaners, but I have found schools of fifteen pound fish in the flooded islands.

The use of a Delta map and good electronics will help you locate stripers. Look for flooded islands, dead end sloughs and schouls (sand bars) on the main river systems. On the San Joaquin river fish the schouls in which the current flows into the island, the stripers sit there waiting for the current to bring the bait fish to them. Always look for Seagulls milling around in circles there usually looking at the bait balls under the surface of the water, the gulls will wait till the stripers start feeding forcing the shad to the surface, then the gulls will also feed on the shad.

When the stripers trap the shad in the flooded islands rattletraps, hair jigs, zara spooks and woodchopper lures work real good. When fishing in the river I like to use hopkins, perk minnows, gibbs minnows and duh spoons fishing them vertical, straight up and down.

The rods, reels and line are very important when fishing any type of lures. Graphite rods 6 Ĺ to 7 feet, medium to medium heavy action will work best. 7ft glass rods with a medium heavy action will work spoons better than a graphite rod, all the other baits work better with graphite rods. Baitcasting reels that hold 125 yds. of 15# line will work fine, spiderwire also works good. When spooning heavy mono (25lb) test work the best because it hangs the spoon up longer giving it a more natural dying shad look.

Each lure has itís own best presentation , rattletraps and hair jigs reeled in fast with a pause over weed beds on the schouls will get strikes. Top water baits fished when the stripers are chasing shad to the surface, jerk the bait and then let it sit still, the striper will hit when you move it again. Spoons work best when fished vertical, you need to make sure your line is straight up and down. Jerk up hard on the rod, pause then follow the spoon down, the stripers always hit the spoon on the way down. You will feel a lite tick on the way down, set the hook!

On a good day fishing on the Delta you can catch over fifty fish a day!


      Good Luck,     Alan Fong

         Practice catch and release!

You can contact "Alan":  Email  fishfong@aol.com  or at:

Fisherman's Warehouse
9035 Folsom Blvd.
Sacramento, Ca
(916) 362-1200




 1. Alan's Tip On Fall Delta Striper Fishing

 2. California Delta Large Mouth

 3. Using Fish Finder 

 4. Spring Run Striper

 5. Springtime Delta Bass

 6. Springtime Shad

 7. Frogging For Bass

 8.Delta Summer Fishing

9.Vertical Spooning For SALMON


11.Night Fishing For Salmon