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Fishing the Aqueduct
05-16-2008, 08:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Fishing the Aqueduct

So who said fishing the aqueduct was hard??? Living in Bakersfield isn't the most desired location when you earn for the smell of morning ocean mist and love to target saltwater species!! But I can't just sit around and do nothing!! One thing Bakersfield has going for it angling wise is the California Aqueduct!!

The California Aqueduct spans 444 miles, with a typical section averageing 40ft wide and 30 ft deep while most palces I've fished are wider then this with the widest section being 110 ft wide and 32.8 ft the deepest and begins at the Delta in Northen Cali and traveling south throughout California providing drinking and argriculture water as well as angling oportunities for us stuck inland!!

There are a variety of fish that call the aqueduct home, but the most sought after are Stripers and Catfish. Other fish that can be caught are
carp, LMB as well as other species but they are not usually targeted or in great numbers in the Aqueduct.

The primary forage food in the ducts are american shad, grass shrimp, sculpin and other smaller bait fish that make there way into the ducts through the delta.

That is just a basic overview of the ducts and the types of fish found in it. I actually hate fishing the ducts but it provides me an opportunity to fish and besides catching stripers are fun!! The limit for stripers out of the Aqueduct is 2 fish with a minimun size of 18 inches.

I have caught a buch of stripers out of the ducts but what keeps me going back is trying to catch a DD (double digit) on artificials. Now large fish up to 30+ pounds are frequently caught but the majority are caught on bait which I hate to use!!!

Bait fishing is a popular method to catch stripers but I prefer to use artificials. If you prefer to be a baitsoaker, popular baits are anchovies, bloodworms, nightcrawlers and chicken liver. Also, I reccomend you use braid with a short leader as your line gets pretty chewed up rubbing the concrete when fishing bait on the bottom. Carolina rig or dropper loop are 2 good methods as well as fly lining your bait with the current with a splitshot.

For artificials, I like to use Lucky Craft pointers and LV 500 lipless crankbaits with my favorite colors in American Shad, Ghost Minnow, Auroa Black and Chartruese. Other less expensive alternatives are rat-l-traps and rapalas but you'll save money in the long run using quality baits like the LC's.


Other baits I like to use are tube jigs, bucktails and swimbaits in the 4-6 inch range and I use 3/4oz lead heads for most of my fishing. Colors I like are white, browns and greens.


My typical set-up is a 7ft 6" MH fast action casting rod and a low profile bait caster spooled with 12 lb test. This gives me a good all around set-up for throwing baits from 1/4 oz to 1 oz and has enough power to bring in most fish. Any 10-12 lb set-up will be just fine for fishing the ducts.

Miscellaneous items to bring are tape measure if you plan on keeping fish, a net, water or your favorite beverage, camera and a good pair of walking shoes with good traction !! This is very important as the ducts side are sometimes steep and dusty and you can easily fall in.

Saftety. As just mentioned, good walking shoes with traction are paramount for your safety!! If you do happen to get unlucky and fall in, don't panic!!! Swim at a 45 degree angle down current untill you get to a safety ladder which are usually space every 1000 ft or so and pull your self in. In the summer months, the sides get slippery making it a tough task to come straight out. Just remember to excersise good judgement when fishing the ducts!!

Lastly, have fun!!! Although the ducts can be frustrating to fish, its provides a great fishery that is rewarding in the end!! Have fun and good luck!!!

p.s. A good resource for fishing the ducts can be found here:

Stripe Bills Site










Al
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05-16-2008, 08:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hmmm...looks familiar. Oh yeah, we've seen most these pics already. They're the one with the same striper on 'em.

Great article Al. Thanks for sharing the wealth. Much obliged! Now I must sign off to work on my shopping list...
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05-16-2008, 09:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Nice article Al. good selection of lucky crafts
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05-16-2008, 09:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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beautiful combo of hardbaits Al. They glissen like Christmas tree ornaments. You're on a mssion!
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05-16-2008, 10:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Nice work Al!
When you are casting do you cast across the canal or do you try to work it closer to the bank in a more parallel route? Also, how swift of a current do you look for?

Thanks!
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05-16-2008, 11:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for the insights! Very informative. Love the selection of LC's! Looks like the American Shad pattern is your top choice!

Btw, would you agree that the chartuese pattern works best during overcast conditions?
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05-16-2008, 11:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Nice work Al!
When you are casting do you cast across the canal or do you try to work it closer to the bank in a more parallel route? Also, how swift of a current do you look for?

Thanks!
I preffer to fish up current and across when using rip,crank and swimbaits. If using a jig, I work it up current, across and down current with short poping strokes. Be ready to reel and hook when using a jig as the fish normally hit on the fall and the bite can be subtle or they'll just hit and run.

:
Thanks for the insights! Very informative. Love the selection of LC's! Looks like the American Shad pattern is your top choice!

Btw, would you agree that the chartuese pattern works best during overcast conditions?
I like the american shad color around Bako as there is an abundance of them around. And yes, chartruese works well in overcast and clear to semi clear water conditons encountered at the ducts.

Al
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05-16-2008, 11:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Great info Al!!! Thanks for sharing!!!
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05-17-2008, 04:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
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hhhhhhhhm, those are some nice baits.......

mickey, would you say 07 or 06 pictures??
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05-17-2008, 06:53 PM   #10 (permalink)
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hhhhhhhhm, those are some nice baits.......

mickey, would you say 07 or 06 pictures??
Quit hating!! I give you tools of the trade and tips and you still end up with a stripe!!! I do private lessons for a nominal fee!!!!
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05-18-2008, 05:57 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Excellent article! This was great for someone like me--a newbie who has yet to fish the mighty 'Ducts. Usually when someone writes a "how-to" like this one, there always seems to be some questions re: issues either not covered, unclear information, or personal bias by the author. This was the not the case here. Kudos for a great job!
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05-18-2008, 06:34 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Excellent article! This was great for someone like me--a newbie who has yet to fish the mighty 'Ducts. Usually when someone writes a "how-to" like this one, there always seems to be some questions re: issues either not covered, unclear information, or personal bias by the author. This was the not the case here. Kudos for a great job!
I'm glad it was helpful!! While not gospel, just what I've found to be successful and works for me. There are a ton of variations to the baits I use and work just as well.

The key is to have a variety of baits and pinpoint what the fish want. I like to start off throwing the LC pointers and then switch to swim baits or jigs afterwards. I use a 10 cast rule unless I'm getting bit and will work bait a little longer until I find the right bait and technique.

The one key though is to be mobile. The fish are not stationary and you shouldn't be either. If there not biting, move around. You would be surprised how many more fish you will catch by moving just a 100 ft from where you started!!
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05-31-2008, 04:42 PM   #13 (permalink)
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cool report

I think the aqueduct is a far far away canal with gates that close and open
letting fish travel or close, letting the skuns loose.

like a lottery game

a big striper with lure is not impossible but is hard to do
since they are lazy not active like the teens

cheers
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06-02-2008, 07:37 PM   #14 (permalink)
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where do u fish ? i went to the avenue s and walked up and down stream ..also went up to the quartz hills off of 70th st i think ...no luck tried many different baits ,,minnows,trout lure,catfish blood .nightcrawlers..no luck!! and by the way its a frustrating place to fish ,,it seems so empty and no fish ..lol
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06-02-2008, 10:41 PM   #15 (permalink)
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where do u fish ? i went to the avenue s and walked up and down stream ..also went up to the quartz hills off of 70th st i think ...no luck tried many different baits ,,minnows,trout lure,catfish blood .nightcrawlers..no luck!! and by the way its a frustrating place to fish ,,it seems so empty and no fish ..lol
Don't despair, grasshopper! Your fishing prowess has not been rendered null & void by vicious karmic forces. The problem is the current state of the lower aqueduct system--it's all about the current--or the lack of current. On my first visit to the lower Palmdale 'ducts, I was lucky enough to meet up with Striper Bill, a true guru of fishing the aqueduct(it's just up the hill from his house!) It's pretty simple, really. When the need for water & energy is high, they open the gates and the water flows like gangbusters. The increased water flow pushes the fish downstream where they are quick to inhale all manner of baits and lures. But when demand is low--and the gates are closed--even the best fishermen will draw blanks. When I was there, the gates were closed and the dreaded skunk was dancing rings around our rod-holders. Until the gates are open on a more regular basis--like further into the summer months--fishing the Palmdale 'ducts will be a total waste of time and gas
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