Family Activities, Fishing & Crabbing

Russian River Fishing Review

If you’re looking for fishing spots in Sonoma county, then check out my real life review below of Russian River Fishing.

Note, you’ll want to review the California Department of Fish & Wildlife regulations for all updated rules. If you plan to cook and eat fish you catch, you should first conduct your own research regarding fish consumption guidelines and advisories.

Please keep in mind that links in my posts are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you go through them to make a purchase, I will earn a commission. Earning commissions enables me to write, manage and maintain this free blog for readers like you.

About Our Trip

We fished for three days along the Russian river in the Duncans Mills, CA area in July. We stayed at the Casini Ranch campground, which has onsite access to the Russian River. See my real life review of the Casini Ranch Campground, click here.

I caught two black bass (largemouth bass) between 9-10 am on the first day, but none on the other two days. I focused on placing my cast near trees/brush that were in or touching the water on the other side of the river.

Wearing rubber boots enabled me to wade 5-10 feet into the river from the shore, which helped me get better placement for my casts. Below is a short video of my fishing experience on the first day.

Rig Setup

I used a fish finder rig setup and an improved clinch knot to tie line to hook and barrel swivel. See my drawings below and a clinch knot video I found on Youtube.

Below are links to purchase the fishing line, barrel swivels, hooks and sinkers I used. I used 20 lb test line but that’s only because I use the same pole for surf fishing. If you’re only going river fishing you could use 5-10 lb test line. Note, you’re not allowed to use live bait or hooks with barbs in this part of the Russian river. Be sure to check the California Fish and Wildlife website for current fishing regulations.

Berkley Trilene Big Game Monofilament Custom Spool –

Eupheng Plus Best Barbless Fly Fishing Hooks –

Water Gremlin Removable Split Shot Super Pak –

Fishing Barrel Swivel –


I called King’s Sport and Tackle to find out what type of fish were in the Russian river and what bait is working for other people. He said people are catching bass and that they were using rubber worms and crayfish bait, specifically Gary Yamamoto’s brand.

So, I purchased various colors and sizes of senko worms and crayfish. I tried them all and found that the bass were biting when I used the 4″ pumpkin colored senko worms. I caught 2 bass using pumpkin colored bait. See links below:

Gary Yamamoto 4″ Senko, Pumpkin with Black & Green Flake –

Yamamoto Senko Bait (Various sizes/colors) –

Yamamoto PyschoDad 3.75″ Soft Plastic Punch Craw –

Other Equipment

I purchased the Goture Spinning Fishing Reel 5000 series reel below. Max test line is suppose to be 18 lbs I believe, but I put 20 lb test line on it because I also use for surf fishing. My fishing pole is old and I couldn’t find it on Amazon. I need to buy a new one. Knee high rubber boots are nice because they enable you to wade into the water for better casting placement. And, you don’t have to worry about stepping on fishing hooks. I couldn’t find my boots on Amazon. So, the link below are for cheap waterproof boots that have good reviews.

Goture Spinning Fishing Reel – Metal Spool 6+1BB Freshwater Fishing Reel 5000 Series –

Servus Comfort Technology 14″ PVC Soft Toe Men’s Work Boots –

My Camera, Harness & Extra Batteries

If you’re thinking about shooting your own fishing videos for posting on Youtube or for just personal enjoyment with your family, below is the camera and harness I used. The camera shoots high resolution video (.MOV format) in my opinion, but the sound quality is just okay. The harness works great!

Sametop Chest Mount Harness Chesty Strap –

AKASO EK7000 4K WiFi Sports Action Camera Ultra HD Waterproof DV Camcorder –

VVHOOY 3 x 1050mAh Rechargeable Action Camera Battery with USB Dual Charger –

I hope you found my real life Russian River Fishing Review helpful. Happy fishing!

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