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Striper Trolling 101: Trolling for Stripers in the Sacramento Delta

By Wes HamasakiNovember 30, 2009

Wes Hamasaki - big striped bass


Striped bass, also called Stripers or morone saxatilis, were first introduced here in California in the late 1800s.  Two small plants of striped bass were brought over from the East Coast.  The first release came in 1879 near the town of Martinez, CA where 132 were released into the inland waters of the California Delta system which feeds into the San Francisco Bay and ultimately the Pacific Ocean.  The second release of an additional 300 fish occurred in 1882 in the lower Suisun Bay region.  Within 10 years, Stripers had flourished in their new habitat and has since developed into one of the most popular game fish in the Northern California region today.  Stripers can be found from the surf in the San Francisco Bay and Pacific Ocean all the way to the upper reaches of the Sacramento River near Colusa, CA and anywhere in between.  While there are endless areas to fish for these amazing game fish, the most popular place to find them is in the Sacramento River Delta system.

There are three popular techniques that anglers utilize when fishing for Stripers, and those three techniques are:  (1) bait fishing with dead or live bait, (2) throwing lures, and (3) trolling, which is the main topic of discussion for this article.  Trolling is typically defined as a fishing technique where one or more fishing lines are attached to either lures or bait fish and are drawn through the water behind a moving boat.  Trolling and catching Stripers in the Sacramento Delta consistently is not attributed to luck but more about knowing where to fish, when to fish, what lures to use, and the proper presentation of those lures. 

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