Compiled by Dave Hurley and edited by Roger George, a central San Joaquin Valley native and local fishing expert.
Eastman Lake bass still biting, and Pine Flat trout and Kings hitting, Adam Moore said. South Valley Aqueduct producing big striper, Pete Cormier reported. Success bass on a tear, Larry Kerns said. Nacimiento white bass and bass action red hot, Will Hesch reported. McClure bass on livebait binge, A-1 Bait reported. Monterey salmon bite breaks out, Sonny Arcaleo said. Shaver Lake trout hitting, Dick Nichols reported.
Compiled by Dave Hurley and edited by local fishing expert Roger George, a former Olympic-class decathlete at Fresno State and striper record-holder at Millerton Lake. Telephone numbers are in 559 calling area unless noted.
Every time I talk to someone about fishing lately, they always bring up how incredible the fishing will be at Shaver. The funny part is they are not anglers, yet, but people excited about maybe going fishing there this summer. How's this possible? Seems the Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project has sparked imaginations and done things we need to be doing for other fisheries as well.
The vision of Dick Nichols and Captain Jack Yandell to restore the fishery wasn't deterred by the naysayers who predicted failure because of funding. Nichols and Yandell produced a vision of a lake that could not only be restored but greatly improved by adding trophy trout, adding a certain energy and synergism the project needed to succeed.
It would appear we have lots of folks in the Valley who have been waiting for something they could get behind! No money for fishing projects? Baloney! The donation money keeps rolling in!
Having a program that could take lemons (draining Shaver) and make them into lemonade (a trophy fishery) galvanized the community.
If you've watched the successful fishing programs in the Valley for the last few years, it's no secret trophy-type opportunities draw folks. The trophy planting programs in both rivers have been huge hits. Trophy bass regulations, like the ones at Eastman, have somewhat preserved a fishery that still draws excited hog hunters.
The Shaver Lake project has shown Central Valley fishermen can get behind something that would improve our fisheries.
The biggest project most folks are pushing is the river restoration salmon project. But I would suggest taking existing fisheries and promoting them to produce bigger fish would benefit us more for a lot less and in a shorter time.
We have great fishing here, in spite of some obvious problems. Imagine what we could have if we decided fisheries were worth actively managing and protecting, if anglers donated and we promoted the trophy aspect.
I'd like to have a chance each time I hit the water to hook a 7-pound rainbow, a 10-pound largemouth and a 25-pound striper. I'd give up eating a few fish to get those kinds of results, and I bet you'd see a waiting list to get on a lake that gave you that kind of chance!
I hope we can learn from this great project, reinvigorating other lakes while building something that anglers can support and believe in for themselves and future generations.
Roger George can be reached at email@example.com
* Try dynamite
** Have to work hard
*** Limits possible
**** Fish jumpin' in boat
Delta Mendota Canal
Striper *** Catfish **
Large striper in the 30-pound range have been landed in the south aqueduct near Taft, and anglers have been bringing in cell phone photos of the huge linesides to Bob's Bait in Bakersfield. Pete Cormier said, "There have been a number of fish over 10 pounds with the best bite on jumbo minnows or top water lures such as Lunker Punkers." Smaller linesides are found on blood or sand worms. In the Fresno area, bass to 6 pounds have been landed in Mendota Slough by anglers walking the banks tossing wacky-rigged Senkos. Punching the cover tight to the banks has been effective, and crappie are locating adjacent to submerged structure. Catfish action in the aqueducts has improved with fish to 12 pounds taken on chick livers.
Bass *** Trout *** Bluegill ** Catfish ** Crappie **
Eastman remains very good for quality bass with the fish holding on beds in the 5 mph zone in the clear water. Anglers can see the fish in the shallows, and jigs, Texas-rigs, dart-heading or swimbaits are all working with the action from the banks to 20 feet. Plastics in greenpumpkin, shad-patterns or salt/pepper are effective. Adam Moore of Valley Rod and Gun said, "Throw whatever plastic that you are comfortable with, and you should get fish." There is a reaction bite in the early mornings with rip or crank baits, but the fish move out from the banks once the sun hits the water. Trout trolling remains steady with Kastmasters, Wedding Rings tipped with a night crawler or Speedy Shiners along the Buoy Line. Bank fishing remains fair from the access areas. A trout plant is scheduled for next week. The Lakeview Trail is closed until further notice. The lake rose a half foot to 561.11 feet and 72% capacity.
Call: Eastman Lake 689-3255
Bass *** Trout ** Catfish ** Crappie **
Hensley remains the best local lake for large bass, and the lake is experiencing a resurgence after a few consecutive years of overall slow action. Adam Moore said, "The bite takes off in small windows with long periods of inactivity followed by a period of hot action." Robo Worms in Margarita Mutilator, Senkos, brown/purple jigs and Carolina-rigged plastics are the most consistent with the larger fish taken on umbrella rigs or swimbaits. Crappie gear is starting to sell at local tackle shops, and the majority of slabsides are hand-sized. The best access for crappie remains in deeper water on a boat with bank action limited. The trout bite is fail for rainbows to 16-inches with blade/crawler combinations or Wedding Rings tipped with a night crawler behind a dodger. The bank action has been fair with Power Bait. The next trout plant is scheduled for next week. The lake rose one foot to 504.01 vertical feet and 47% capacity.
Call: Fresno Fisherman's Warehouse 225-1838; Valley Rod & Gun, Clovis 292-3474; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Hensley Lake Hidden Dam 673-5151
Lake Don Pedro
Bass *** Trout *** Kokanee ** King salmon **
Danny Layne of Fishn' Dan's Guide Service said, "The warming air and water temperatures have produced a good bite with rainbow trout active off Laughlin Island, Jenkins Hill and into the Big Creek Arm at depths from the surface to 20 feet with Uncle Larry's Spinners, ExCel lures or night crawlers behind a Sling Blade, small set of flashers or dodger." Layne found kokanee at depths from 25 to 40 feet in Graveyard Bay with spinners tipped with garlic scented corn. Gary Vella of Vella's Fishing Adventures has been limiting out daily on king salmon, but the size of the fish has decreased, and the bite has gotten tougher. Layne and Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing will be giving seminars this coming Saturday in Angels Camp at the annual Glory Hole Sporting Goods Seminars. For bass, Manny Basi of the Bait Barn in Waterford reported drop-shotting with 4-inch plastics such as the Robo Worms Hologram Shad in ST or SK, brown jigs with a greenpumpkin trailer, or the 5-inch twin tailed Hula Grub in color 301 on a half-ounce jig head are all working from the banks to 30 feet in depth. The occasional large fish is taken on the River2Sea swimbait in light trout. The bass continue to move into the shallows. The small lakes of Woodward and Modesto Reservoirs are scheduled for trout plants this week
Call: Monte Smith (209) 581-4734; Danny Layne-Fishn' Dan (209) 586-2383; Gary Vella (209) 652-7550; The Bait Barn (209) 874-3011
Lake Isabella/Bakersfield area
Bass ** Trout *** Crappie *** Catfish *** Bluegill **
The trout action remains good with a large number of rainbows still swimming around since the heavy plants prior to the Kern Valley Chamber of Commerce Trout Derby. Power Bait in rainbow/garlic, Berkley pinched night crawlers, or night crawlers continue to be the top bets from the shoreline areas. Pete Cormier of Bob's Bait in Bakersfield reported a vastly improved crappie bite with small minnows or minijigs over the crappie cages. Catfishing has also exploded with anglers reporting from 30 to 50 small fish taken on frozen shad, clams, or night crawlers with the best action in the shallow areas of the South Fork such as Paradise or Joachim Coves. Bass fishing is improving, but local anglers are keeping quiet about their success. The fish are still holding in deeper water, and umbrella rigs, jigs, swimbaits, or deep-diving crankbaits are working in the 20-foot range. The lake rose a half foot to 2,561.07 feet in elevation and 31% capacity. Cormier reported continued good action on the lower Kern River for catfish, bass or trout with live crickets, night crawlers, salmon eggs or plastic worms, and the upper river has been planted on a regular basis. Buena Vista is producing bass on Senkos or plastic worms, but catfish and crappie action has slowed. The local lakes are transitioning towards the warmer water species of bass and bluegill, although a few planted trout are still in the lakes.
Call: Bob's Bait (661) 833-8657; North Fork Marina (760) 376-1812
Bass *** Crappie *** Trout ** Catfish **
Sierra Sport Fishing in Exeter reported very good bass action with larger fish showing up on live crawdads with Senkos, Brush Hogs, lizards and drop-shotting all working with the fish moving into the shallows. A number of bass in the 3- to 4.5-pound range have been landed. Trout fishing has transitioned to the river arm near Slick Rock with various colors of Power Bait, night crawlers or Kastmasters. Local Fresno fishermen have been heading south to Kaweah for crappie since the action has heated up from the banks near the Campgrounds or at night under lights at the Houseboats with minijigs or small minnows. The lake rose 5 feet to 652.86 feet and 40%.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5922
Bass *** Trout *** Catfish **
The bass action has heated up, and Larry Kerns of the Visalia Bass Club fished the lake on Saturday with great results with drop-shotting and Senkos in shallow water. He said, "We tore them up with a number of bass ranging from 2 to over 4 pounds." The water is clear, and they could see the fish in all stages of the spawn with fish cruising, looking for beds or bedding down. Trout anglers continue to be lined up on the Highway 190 side of the lake, as the Rocky Hill side of the lake is currently closed due to road construction. The work should be completed within a week. The launch ramps on the Highway 190 side are accessible at the present time. The lake rose 3 feet to 630.48 feet and 50%.
Call: Lake Success 784-0215
Bass *** Trout *** King salmon ** Kokanee * Crappie ** Catfish **
Live crawdads are the rage, and A-1 Bait in Snelling sold out within one day over the weekend due to high demand. Anglers have been reporting limits of spotted bass to 5 pounds on the live bait. Large minnows have also been effective, and McClure Point has been producing bass from the banks. The top artificial offerings are Robo Worms in Hologram Shad, Texas-rigged watermelon Brush Hogs or the River2Sea light trout swimbait. Trout fishing has improved up the river arm near Horseshoe Bend with Apex lures at depths to 20 feet. Rainbow Power Bait is producing planters from the banks near Barrett's Cove Marina. Crappie action is improving with sales of small minnows increasing in the past weeks. The lake rose 1.5 feet to 808.96 feet and 65% capacity.
Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505; Bub Tosh (209) 404-0053
Diana Mello at A-1 Bait in Snelling reported good action for trollers pulling limits out with small broken back Rapalas in rainbow trout or blade/crawler combinations with Ford Fenders being an effective dodger. The best action has taken place from the Floating Restrooms upstream to the Exchequer Dam. Bank fishing remains good along the Marina, the Brush Pile or the Handicapped Docks with various colors of garlic Power Bait, night crawlers or Kastmasters. Regular trout plants from either Calaveras Trout Farm or the Department of Fish and Game are occurring on a weekly basis.
Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River
Bass *** Striper ** Shad * Trout **
Adam Moore of Valley Rod and Gun reported an improved bass bite for numbers as the fish are moving up in the water column. The best action has been taking place up the river arm in the canyon with Senkos, drop-shotting, and reaction baits. He said, "You need some wind or inclement weather to turn on the reaction bite, and spinnerbaits, crankbaits or swimbaits should produce an occasional larger fish under the right conditions." Anglers have to cull through a number of small fish to find spots in the 2- to 4-pound range. Striper reports remain minimal. The lake rose 2 feet to 526.18 feet and 58% with the launch on the second ramp. The lower San Joaquin River continues to be planted on a weekly basis, and catchable trout are found at the normal spots of Lost Lake or the Broken Bridge with Kastmasters, Roostertails, orange Power Bait or night crawlers. The action isn't hot and heavy, but anglers can pick up a few fish.
Call: Fresno Fisherman's Warehouse 225-1838; Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474
New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch
Bass *** Crappie ** Catfish ** Trout *** Kokanee **
Melanie Lewis at Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp said, "The big news of the week was the 17.4-pound largemouth caught and released by our employee, John Lietchy, on the south side of the lake on a Senko. This fish is just a few ounces short of the lake record of 18-pounds." This was only one of two trophies taken this week with Adam Kamikawa of Reno with a 8.75-pound brown trout landing trolling a night crawler at a depth of 20 feet near the dam/spillway area. She reported a good trout bite with plenty of 3-pound fish showing up. Bank anglers have been having the majority of their success with Power Bait in rainbow/garlic, Gulp! Power Eggs or night crawlers fished solo or in combination with a marshmallow. Trolling has improved since the fish are moving into open water. Apex, Needlefish, Wedding Rings, Rapalas, Cripplures or hootchies have all been productive at depths from 5 to 45 feet. The kokanee are starting to school up and become more aggressive with anglers putting a couple of the salmon in their five-fish limits. The best action has been on pink or orange Micro Hootchies or tube bug behind a small teardrop dodger or Sling Blade at depths from 10 to 30 feet in the main lake. Lewis advised using either night crawler or shoepeg corn on the hooks of the lures. Besides the huge fish, bass fishing has been good with the spotted bassholding at depths from 15 to 30 feet and the largemouths in shallower water between 5 and 15 feet. Senkos in greenpumkin on a wacky-rig, or jigs are the top techniques, but the reaction bait will heat up with the warmer temperatures. She predicted tremendous action during the next full moon occurring May 5. Lewis advises anglers to practice catch and release, particularly with the increasing scarce largemouth bass. Catfishing is fair, but the water temperatures are rising, and the big cats should be moving shallow. There is a large amount of shad baitfish in the lake, and frozen shad on a sliding sinker rig has been effective. Chris Limas landed a 9-pound whiskerfish on a night crawler by the spillway. The lake dropped to 1,049.52 feet in elevation and 81% capacity. The big Glory Hole Sporting Goods Annual Seminar is taking place Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with numerous guides presenting on trout, kokanee, and bass, info: gloryholesports.com. Lake Tulloch produced some huge bass limits during Saturday's Kerman Bass Club tournament, and 13 limits were landed by 33 solo anglers.
Call: Glory Hole Sports (209) 736-4333; Monte Smith (209) 581-4734; Danny Layne-Fishn' Dan (209) 586-2383; Sierra Sport Fishing (209) 599-2023
Pine Flat Reservoir/Kings River
Bass ** Trout *** King salmon *** Catfish **
Trout action remains good with king salmon also taken on a regular basis. The best fishing is in the main lake along the point across from the dam or near the Power Lines with white hootchies, Wedding Rings tipped with a night crawler, Apex lures and Needlefish at depths from 50 to 60 feet with the larger fish found below 80 feet in depth. A few fishermen are rolling small anchovies for the salmon. The lake will be hosting the Kokanee Power Team Trout Derby this Saturday, and fishermen from throughout the state have been prefishing the lake. The bass bite remains fair with Adam Moore of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis, stating "The action is slow, but it changes from day to day, and should improve once the fish move up into the shallows." A few fish are starting to bed up, but a more consistent depth is around 15 feet near submerged trees. The lake rose 1 foot to 884.57 feet and 64% capacity. The lower Kings River continues to be planted on a weekly basis, and rainbows are available with Joe's Flies, Mepp's, Roostertails, Power Bait or night crawlers. Trout plants will take place over the next two weeks with plants at downstream Avocado Lake also during the next two weeks.
Call: Doyal's General Store 787-2387; Fresno Fisherman's Warehouse 225-1838; Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474
San Luis Reservoir and O'Neill Forebay
Striper ** Catfish ** Bass ** Crappie **
Striper action has slowed in the main lake with the fish dropping in the water column to beyond 80 feet. A few linesides can be taken in deep water around the Trash Racks with blood worms, live jumbo minnows or spoons, and anglers are advised to be prepared with a fizzing needle to puncture their air bladders for a successful release. Mickey Clements at Coyote Bait in Morgan Hill said, "The action has switched over to the Forebay with the best action under the bridges at night from sunset to midnight with white flukes, swimming flukes, rip baits." Blood worms, frozen shad and pile worms are also working. The majority of these fish are small with many of less than legal size. The main lake dropped slightly despite increased pumping from the Delta to 86% this week.
Important note: All boats, personal watercraft, kayaks, canoes, sailboards, inflatables and float tubes must undergo a mandatory inspection for Quagga and Zebra mussels. These invasive species threaten recreational opportunities, the water delivery infrastructure of California and the aquatic habitat of San Luis Reservoir. Failure to allow inspection will result in the refusal to launch.
Call: Ly's Fishing Goods (408) 629-9644; Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711
Bass ** Trout ** Kokanee **
Todd Wittwer of Kokanee.net Guide Service was able to launch his pontoon boat with a minimum of trouble since the lake has risen to 52%. The public Wishon Launch Ramp is accessible for medium-sized vessels, and trout planting trucks can access the lake. The courtesy dock is still out of the water. Wittwer said, "The full moon slowed the bite, but holdover rainbows to 19 inches and kokanee to 14 inches are taken from the surface to 15 feet with blue/yellow or pink/chartreuse Rocky Mountain Tackle Assassin spinners or Bill Dunn's Green Hornets from the Pines to Fawn Point. Wittwer added that there are more rainbows holding near the Dam or Millers. He has been scenting his corn with Pro Cure in either Bloody Tuna or Shrimp/Prawn. The 32nd annual Bass Lake Fishing Derby is May 5-6 with the possibility to land one of two $10,000 rainbow trout, a $5,000 trout, 150 tagged trout worth $100, and 849 trout worth $20. Registration fees are $25/individual or $60/family. Entry forms and rules are at www:basslakechamber.com. Trout plants are scheduled for the next two weeks.
There are two scheduled blasts this week: one was Tuesday, the second is 12:15 p.m. Thursday. A blasting schedule should be updated every Friday and is available at cranevalleydam.com/blasting-schedule.
Call: Todd Wittwer 288-8100; Mike Beighey 642-3748
The gate at Kaiser Pass is closed until further notice. Vermilion Valley Resort at Lake Edison is planning quad trips starting Thursday-Friday, and the cost is $389 for two nights and $489 for three-night trips. The lakes remain high for this time of year, but they are starting to drop with Edison at 35%, Florence at 7%, Mammoth Pool 69% and Redinger 84%.
Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000
Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake
Kokanee * Trout ***
The first of the trophy plants were Monday consisting of 350 rainbows to 7 pounds with three more loads over the next three weeks. Dick Nichols of Dick's Fishing Charters and president of the Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project was on hand for the first arrivals, and he said, "The fish all lived, and they were beautiful." By Memorial Day weekend, approximately 60,000 trout, including about 4,500 trophies, will have been planted. By the end of summer, the amount will raise to about 80,000 trout planted. In addition thousands of fingerling rainbow and brown trout have been introduced to Shaver Lake. Bank fishermen have been picking up stringers in the 14- to 16-inch range around Sierra Marina or Roads 1 and 2 with Power Bait, Gulp! or Pautske's salmon eggs. There have been a few boats on the lake, and trollers are hooking rainbows with Dick's Trout Busters or Wedding Rings tipped with a piece of night crawler. Nichols added, "Trollers are experiencing some drift material hanging up on their lines in some areas, but should clear shortly." The Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project will be sponsoring the Shaver Lake season-long trout derby which will run from Sunday to Aug. 15. Shaver Lake Sports and Young's Sporting Goods, both in Shaver Lake, are the official weigh-in centers, and the winner will be the guest of the SLTTP at its annual Sportsmen's Dinner on Aug. 18 at the Shaver Lake Community Center. Last year's event was a quick sellout, tickets for this year will go on sale as a first-come, first-served at the Shaver Lake Sports the day after Memorial Day. Interested fishermen can keep track of the lake's progress at the webcam at Sierramarina.com. Shaver has risen to 61% with Huntington holding at 74% capacity.
Call: Dick's Fishing Charters 841-2740; Dinkey Creek Inn 841-3435; Rancheria Marina 893-3234; Young's Sporting Goods 841-8271; Jack Yandell 841-2522; Shaver Lake Sports Inc. 841-2740
Half Moon Bay
The opening day of the salmon season was a hit and miss affair for the combined Half Moon Bay and Golden Gate salmon fleets. Some party boats did real well landing better than a fish and a half per rod, some private boats limited while others struggled and some suffered the agony of defeat. Once the fish were located, the fleet zeroed in on some decent scores. Mike Aughney of USAfishing.com said, "There were two spots that produced today the first being down at 22/35 where Captain Dennis Baxter of the New Captain Pete started his day, but the best action was outside S buoy at 27/35," adding, "There was spotty flurry type action found all along the 45 to 50 fathom curve. Due to the high winds Wednesday and Thursday, the surface temperatures cooled and upwelling during the waters from brown to green and clear. Baxter ended his opener with ended 11 cookie cutter fish in the 6- to 8-pound range for 15 anglers. Captain Tom Mattusch on the Huli Cat came in with a fish per rod with 16 salmon for 16 anglers trolling around 8 to 8.5 miles south/southwest of the Pillar Point Harbor. He followed this up with 14 fish for eight anglers on Easter Sunday before quitting early in the afternoon. Guy Anthony on the New Gravy came in on Monday with a fish a rod for five anglers to 22 pounds, which is the largest fish reported on the coast for the first three days of the season. He said, "The water has been clear, but it is just starting to brown up." He has another trip this coming Thursday. Baxter and Anthony are booking out of Bait and Switch Sport Fishing (formerly Huck Finn Sport Fishing).
Call: Happy Hooker (510) 223-5388; Huck Finn Sport Fishing Center (650) 726-7133; Emeryville Sport Fishing (510) 654-6040; Don Franklin, Soleman (510) 703-4148
The salmon season went off with a bang in Monterey Bay with nearly 500 boats launching out of Monterey, Moss Landing, and Santa Cruz to work the area around the Soldier's Club close to Moss Landing or the Soquel Hole near Santa Cruz. On Saturday morning, the bite was wide open off of the Soldier's Club with Chris Arcoleo at Chris' Fishing reporting over a fish per rod to near limits with the Checkmate putting in 27 salmon for 17 anglers, the Caroline with 16 for 14, and the Star of Monterey with 27 salmon. They were mooching in the area of the Soldier's Club and reported 100 to 150 boats packed along the edge of the canyon. Dennis Phanner of Sacramento Pro Tackle booked Captain Brad Miller of Ultimate Charters out of Moss Landing for the weekend, and they had a spectacular start to their weekend with limits of eight salmon by 10 a.m. on Saturday. He said, "We went the first 45 minutes without a strike, but a move to the edge of the canyon paid off and we immediately got hooked up." Within minutes, they had doubles and triples on, trolling hootchies or metal Silver Horde spoons at depths from 90 to 125 feet on the wire. Phanner added, "Once the sun came out, the fish actually came up higher from 70 to 80 feet with a larger grade." They ended up with only a couple of shakers released, and their fish ranged from 6 to 14 pounds with two in the 13- to 14-pound range. The hot bite slowed to a crawl on Sunday and Monday with a change in the barometric pressure. Arcoleo said, "The commercial fleet found anchovies high in the water column in the canyon on Monday morning, but the bait disappeared by the time we arrived in the area." The Star of Monterey only put two fish in the box for 18 anglers and the Checkmate boated three for 25 fishermen on Monday. Arcoleo thought the action would improve once the pressure gradient decreases closer to the weekend. There is still plenty of bait in the bay. They found a few patches of krill on Sunday and pulled eight fish out of the area.
Call: Chris' Landing (831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173
San Francisco Bay
Salmon *** Striper *** Leopard shark ** Halibut ** Sturgeon ***
The Golden Gate Fleet took some time to locate the salmon on the opening day, but most boats got in on the action off of the San Mateo coast by early afternoon. Captain R.J. Waldron on the Sundance out of Emeryville Sport Fishing went south from the get go to outside of S Buoy, and they ended up with six limits to 14 pounds, plus some bonus red meat for the crew trolling straight tray bait. Captain Jim Smith of the Happy Hooker searched far and wide to put his customers onto fish, and they started at Double Point before moving to the Islands and then to N Buoy for absolutely nothing. They picked up and went south to 4 miles outside the Pillar Point harbor for 12 fish to 15 pounds for 24 rods. There six of the anglers accounted for all of the fish in the box, including: Kyle Burnett of Placerville with a limit at 10 and 15 pounds, son Jeff Burnett with limits at 7 and 8 pounds, Bill Steele, Bruce Sumers and Eric Sumers of Placerville with limits ranging from 6 to 9 pounds, and Aaron Sims of Walnut Creek with limits at 8 and 9 pounds. All fish were taken on straight anchovies at depths from 25 to 45 feet. Craig Stone at Emeryville Sport Fishing said, "There was a lot of running around in the early morning before the fish were located off of the San Mateo coast, and the bay area boats came out with scores ranging from eight to 36 salmon from 7 to 15 pounds. Out of their harbor, the Sundance, Tigerfish, Superfish, and New Seeker came back with a half fish per rod with 42 salmon to 14 pounds for 81 anglers. They have plenty of space for tomorrow and the coming days for their salmon trolling techniques. There were far fewer that ventured out on Easter Sunday for obvious reasons, but most ports managed to get at least one party boat out to represent them. On Sunday, the New Seeker out of Emeryville went south around S Buoy for 20 salmon to 13 pounds for their 13 anglers. Mike Aughney of USAfishing.com said, "This is a great score considering the lack of boats out over such a big area it is often tough to dial in and locate the fish." Inside the bays, Don Franklin of Soleman Sport Fishing went out on Saturday with six anglers, and they had some action with a 55 sturgeon kept, a 69-inch sturgeon released, an estimated 52- to 54-inch sturgeon lost at the boat, a 23-inch striper, and a shaker striper. The crab let up enough to allow a few fish to get to the bait. He followed this up with a 52-inch legal sturgeon on Easter Sunday. Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait in San Rafael reported good striper action with live shiners or bullheads from the shorelines, and one fisherman landed a limit at 41 and 36 inches on live shiners from the banks in the small feeder creeks leading into the bay. He thought the drifting and trolling bite would improve with this weekend's smaller tides. The bait stealing crabs are still around, but the problem is 50% less than previous weeks. He predicts an outstanding April, May, June, July and August to sturgeon similar to last year's great action. Joel Sinkay of Leonard's Bait at Port Sonoma reported good striper action from the shoreline near the Marina with blood worms, bullheads, or grass shrimp. The Napa River has been devoid of crabs, and sturgeon action has been excellent in the lower river near the Highway 37 Bridge. Boat pressure on the river has been high since the news of the strong sturgeon bite. Halibut fishing has been slow, but things may improve with this weekend's smaller tides.
San Luis Obispo
The salmon action ranged in the half-fish per rod in both ports with Patriot Fishing reporting five salmon to 10 pounds for 11 anglers on the opener, followed by five fish to 12 pounds for 11 anglers on Monday. Mark Waymire of Lemoore posted the jackpot salmon on Monday. They are running crab/salmon combinations on Wednesdays and Fridays with straight salmon trolling trip on all other days with all trips limited to 16 anglers for $84/person. Virg's Landing in Morro Bay had a combined 25 anglers on their opening day salmon trolling trips, and they landed seven fish to 18 pounds, losing another five hookups. The best action was on watermelon Apex lures, red or pink/white Krocodiles or purple haze hootchies with a dodger. There was a fleet of at least 37 boats working north of Morro Bay. Wednesday is Ladies Salmon Day with ladies fishing for $69 with all others paying $89. Thursdays are a special promotion known as "Thrifty Thursdays" with fares for all dropping to $69. The rockfish opener is May 1, and Virg's is offering a 10% discount on charter prices for early booking. Bob's Bait Bucket in Bakersfield and Papa's Jigs are hosting a rockfish tournament on May 11.
Call: Virg's Landing (805) 772-1222, (800) 762-5263; Patriot Sports Fishing (805) 595-4100; Port Side Marine Sports Launch (805) 595-7214
Bass *** Striper ** Sturgeon *** Catfish **
The river on the Sacramento side continues to be muddy due to the recent inflow and minus tides. Although the water has been stained, sturgeon fishing has been good with the large tides, and striper fishing should take off once the water clears within the week. James Nguyen of Dockside Bait in Pittsburg said, "We went out on Saturday, and I netted a 60-incher from an adjacent boat before landing a 64-inch diamondback on a pile worm/eel combination in shallow water at 15 feet." Striper fishing has been limited to school sized fish on live bullheads or on the anchor with frozen shad in the off colored water. Rick Frisk of the Fishermen's Friend in Lodi confirmed the dirty water on the Sacramento River, and he said, "Most of our guys are trolling in the San Joaquin around the Peacock, Seven-Mile Slough, and the Old River." For largemouth bass, Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, said, "The top water bite is just starting to emerge, and we have been scoring with 7-inch OB Minnows in shad or bluegill patterns." As there is a minimum of weed growth in the San Joaquin River at the present time, the bass are holding tight to the tules and rocky structure. Pringle advised anglers to keep their bait in the strike zone on all presentations, and he has been throwing a varied arsenal of 10-inch Berkley Hand-poured Power Worms in black/blue or the half-ounce black/blue Persuader E-chig jig with a Chigger Craw trailer. The half-ounce Persuader spinnerbait with magnum willow blades in black/blue, or shallow running crankbaits in chartreuse/blue or crawdad pattern are productive, and the rip bait bite with the ima Flit in shad-imitation patterns is also starting to heat up. Pringle will be giving a seminar on Springtime Bass Fishing Techniques at the Fisherman's Warehouse in Manteca at 6 p.m. Thursday.
Call: Randy Pringle (209) 543-6260; Stan Koenigsberger/Quetzal Adventures (925) 570-5303; Mark Wilson Sport Fishing (916) 682-1630; Intimidator Sport Fishing (916) 806-3030; Jolly Jay's Guide Service (209) 478-6645; Mark Delnero-Fin Addict Sport Fishing (209) 367-4665
Lake Nacimiento/San Antonio/Santa Margarita/Lopez
Bass **** White bass **** Striper ** Catfish ** Crappie **
Large striper in the 30-pound range have been landed in the south aqueduct near Taft, and anglers have been bringing in cell phone photos of the huge linesides to Bob's Bait in Bakersfield. Pete Cormier said, " There have been a number of fish over 10 pounds with the best bite on jumbo minnows or top water lures such as Lunker Punkers." Smaller linesides are found on blood or sand worms. In the Fresno area, bass to 6 pounds have been landed in Mendota Slough by anglers walking the banks tossing wacky-rigged Senkos. Punching the cover tight to the banks has been effective, and crappie are locating adjacent to submerged structure. Catfish action in the aqueducts has improved with fish to 12 pounds taken on chick livers.
Call: Lake Nacimiento (805) 238-1056, ext. 3; Lake San Antonio Marina (805) 472-2818; Central Coast Bass Fishing.com (805) 466-6557
Angler's Choice/Western Rookie League at McClure on April 1: 1, Ryan and Larry Accardo, 15.26 pounds (Big Fish 4.54); 2, Seth Rowe/Mike Alvarez, 14.66; 3, Mark and Rubin Gomez, 13.35
101 Bass at Lopez on April 1: 1, Jim Slusher/Erik Zilig, 25.18 pounds (Big Fish 9.09); 2, Ken Sauret/Kenna Sauret, 22.56; 3, Damon Meeks/Jay Short- 19.62
Firemen/Police/Military Tournament at Delta/B and W Resort on April 5-6: 1, Corey Vasquez/David Cog, 54.75 pounds (Big Fish 8.85); 2, Allen Barba/T.J. Alves, 45.36; 3, Eric Noyce/Richard Mayo, 44.11
Kerman Bass Club at Tulloch on April 7: 1, Rusty Baron, 21.33 pounds (Big Fish 9.46); 2, Bob Horton, 17.29; 3, Jordan Smith, 14.74
Thursday: Randy Pringle, The Fishing Instructor, on Springtime Bass Fishing, 6 p.m. at Manteca Fisherman's Warehouse
Saturday: Glory Hole Sporting Goods annual seminars at New Melones
April 19: John Yurkovich of Uncle Larry's Lures on Mother Lode Lakes Trout/Kokanee Techniques, 6 p.m. at Manteca Fisherman's Warehouse
April 19: Charlie Almassey, FLW pro, Roger George and Allen Borden on ABT Multirig Techniques/setups, 6 p.m. at Fresno Fisherman's Warehouse
April 28: Ultimate Bass and California Sportsman Radio Show Media Day at Lake Pardee, info: www:pardeerecreation.com
Saturday: Kokanee Power Team Trout Derby at Pine Flat, information: www:kokaneepower.org/derbies; Fresno CSBA Gary Alcorn Memorial Trout Derby at Pine Flat; Best Bass Tournaments at Delta/Russo's Marina; Future Pro Tour at Don Pedro; Christian Bass League at Los Banos Detention Reservoir; Visalia Bass Club at Kaweah; American Bass Association at Clear Lake; Fresno Sheet Metal Workers at Eastman
Sunday: Best Bass Tournaments at Don Pedro; Fresno Bass Club at Tulloch; Kings VIII Bass Club at Bass Lake; Tracy Bass Club at Delta/Tracy Oasis; Kings VIII Bass Club at Eastman
May 5-6: 32nd annual Bass Lake Fishing Derby, information: www:basslakechamber.com
Fresno County: Avocado Lake; Kings River, Below Pine Flat Dam; Shaver Lake; San Joaquin River, below Friant Dam
Kern County: Cuddy Creek Pond; Kern River, Section 0 ; Kern River, Section 1; Kern River, Section 2 ; Kern River, Section 3; Kern River, Section 4; Kern River, Section 5
Madera County: San Joaquin River, below Friant Dam
Mariposa County: Merced River, Section 1
Merced County: Merced River, Section 1
Stanislaus County: Modesto Reservoir; Woodward Reservoir
Tulare County: Kern River, Section 5; Kern River, Section 6 ; Murry Park Pond
Tuolumne County: Tulloch Lake