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2017 AOTY/DOTY Entry

Topic: Want to fish the Napa river but never been out in current before.  (Read 844 times)

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  • Location: Napa County
  • Date Registered: May 2016
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So I want to do some striper and surgeon fishing this coming week on the Napa river. I just have never been out in current before and am a little wary of getting into trouble. Do you paddle to stay in place or do you anchor. Anchoring in current sounds like the easiest way for an inexperienced kayaker like myself to take an impromptu swim. I'd like to launch from Kennedy park and not travel too far downstream for the first time. I just got a 2016 Hobie outback with a mirage drive off craigslist and have only taken it out once  in a small pond while I wait for my trailer hitch and t bar to a drive. It's a little sketchy to transport right now.

So how do I safely bottom fish in the current? Do I beach the stern on a sandy beach? Thanks for any tips


DrHabanero

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Do this before fishing any rivers with currents. It could save your life.

http://www.norcalkayakanglers.com/index.php?topic=11957.msg111325#msg111325

I'll rest when I'm dead!
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i would say paddle/pedal around first to see how comfortable you are in the current before trying to anchor.  I don't know the napa specifically but don't think its any worse than the main stem sac.


  • Napa Fisherman
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The river up by kennedy really doesnt have that much current, but its still important to be safe. If you dont have a anchor trolley it can be kind of difficult, but you dont need it. I would find a way to anchor off of your stern with some kind of clip release so you could move quickly if you had to. Try to be cautious of where you anchor (around a blind corner).  If you cant anchor, backing up and beaching yourself would work okay. Another way would be to tie your stern off to a post or pier and again use a quick release clip to move quick.


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I'm gonna suggest first going out without fishing gear to any area outside your comfort zone to get a feel for what it's like before complicating things with extra gear.

Just a suggestion.
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Dale L

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If you really want to sturgeon fish, anchoring (safely) will almost be a must, but not til you have some experience and feel comfortable about it.

Use the search function in the upper right of the home page and search QRAS as in quick release anchor system. One of the best was a tutorial by Tote but I couldn't find the original post, but the topic is discussed at length and suggest you read up on it by what you find in the search results which BTW will discuss mostly river fishing cause that's where the QRAS comes into use.

Mine is like allot of others, read Totes, and made minor modifications to my likes.


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  • Location: Napa County
  • Date Registered: May 2016
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http://www.norcalkayakanglers.com/index.php?topic=16289.0

I found Totes tutorial and it was easy enough for a dummy like me to understand. Here it is for others that were looking for it.

So the plan now is to build and test out the qras on a farm pond so I am familiar with it. Then I'll go out on the Napa river on a "recon" looking for places I can beach at and to see how I do in current. Possibly test out the qras near my launching point a few times to see how it works with real current. Then, I will come back with my gear to hopefully have a dinosaur pull me on a sleigh ride.

Thanks again for all the tips. This forum is easily the most active, helpful, and informative forum I've been apart of on any subject. I'd love to meet up on the Napa river or wherever with whoever and just have a great time.


chattich

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Haven't checked on the status of the dredging project, but the Kennedy Park launch was still closed as of about a week ago. There is a small beach just to the south of the launch ramp (look for the oak trees along the paved path) that makes for an easy launch. You might need two people to get it down the levee though.

If you're striper fishing, you'd probably be better served to troll or cast while drifting promising areas. If you're dead set on going for sturgeon, make sure you're proficient with your QRAS before putting any bait in the water. Make sure to keep a knife on your person in case you get into trouble and need to ditch the anchor.

As far as paddling in the current, don't sweat it. Even on days that see an eight foot swing on the outgoing, you can still make decent time against the current in that section of the river. Just be wary of the current entering and exiting the side sloughs. They tend to bottleneck and can really rip at certain tide stages. The slough just north of the highway 29 bridge is a good example.

Good luck !
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The only way I really now how to striper fish is with a mudsucker from the shore. Could I drift with the same outfit? A sliding sinker above a swivel a 2ft leader?


chattich

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The only way I really now how to striper fish is with a mudsucker from the shore. Could I drift with the same outfit? A sliding sinker above a swivel a 2ft leader?
Absolutely. Maybe push the leader a little closer to 3 feet.
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CptSloppywood

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I am still hoping for a Kennedy Park fish and chill. Great spot for bbq and plenty of good shore access for some bank fishing.
If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck I'd swim to the bottom and never come up.


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Count me in for a fish and chill for sure.

Chattich, I should've asked this with my other post but what size and shape sinker should I use? I worry about getting snagged constantly?


bryan

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Ill join in getting otw im up for napa or if you wanna try montezuma some time let me know gonna be out there a lot for sturgeon season

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chattich

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I am still hoping for a Kennedy Park fish and chill. Great spot for bbq and plenty of good shore access for some bank fishing.
Let's make it happen. Drove by there today and the dredge equipment is still in the launch area. I think they're supposed to be finished later this month.
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chattich

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Count me in for a fish and chill for sure.

Chattich, I should've asked this with my other post but what size and shape sinker should I use? I worry about getting snagged constantly?
If you stay within the channel markers, you'll decrease your snag rate significantly. Most of the pilings and debris and other tackle thieves are between the shore and the channel edge. You could go with a three way swivel rather than a slider. Attach your sinker to the dropper on the three way with lighter line than your main line. That way, you'll only lose the sinker if you snag rather than the whole rig. Start with a 2 oz. sinker and go bigger if you're having trouble keeping it down. You don't need to drag it along the bottom, but just feel it tick the bottom every few seconds.
Ocean Kayak Prowler Big Game