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.
Don Pedro bass and trout bites good, Randy Pringle said. Success bass hitting, Larry Kerns reported. McClure bass taking live bait, Diana Mello said. New Melones trout and big bass bites continue, Melanie Lewis said. Millerton spotted bass fishing" as good as it gets" Merritt Gilbert reported.
One thing I watch for each time I go fishing is what gadgets and accessories anglers are using. Some homemade contraptions I see are works of art. Most bass guys are conscious about how their boats look, so they tend to have clean rigs, but all bets are off when it comes to multispecies guys' rigs.
You can almost always tell who's a dedicated cross-fishing addict by the assortment of things that stick out from their boats. Since these anglers are pursuing different species all year, they use just about every square inch for things like a bimini top, pole and cup holders, bait buckets, chests, antennae, fishfinders, downriggers and any number of self-made items to meet a special need. These guys use their boats to catch fish and little else, at least from the looks and smell of it to me.
Get close to these rigs, and be willing to risk looking inside, and you'll usually experience the carnage wrought by at least the past 5-10 trips because it's still all over the deck and on the sides of the boat. Why bother cleaning up all the live and dead bait you've been using? Besides, once it hardens up, it takes a chisel and hammer to get it off -- and it's just going to happen again next time. And that's why these guys generally use boats from the late '70s. As long as it'll get you to wherever you're planning on fishing, at whatever speed, they don't care.
I'll be out striper fishing, see an antediluvian 1972 pale green tri-hull come trudging up, and usually just wait to see how this guy has adapted the monstrosity to all the different fishing he does. The amount of ingenuity some guys have built into their watercraft is truly unique but seemingly follows only two criteria. First, I find that they often are pretty sure it's a prototype no one else has ever thought of; and two, it can somehow be bolted on. There are light holders, masts, steps, buckets to slow the boat down, plywood decks, rotating pedestal deck chairs and whatchamajiggers.
Yes, I have marveled at some guys' sheer talent at getting the most out of these boats, but ultimately they really don't care and I have to respect that. These kind of fishermen are usually pretty confident that what they are doing will work and it seems to, with the ends justifying the means for them.
There are lots of nicer rigs set up to do all kinds of fishing, but a large segment of longtime multispecies anglers seems to prefer to keep breathing life into the old dinosaurs they own and are happy to hit the water with a rig they have complete confidence in, regardless of the boats' looks. Don't laugh. I had one myself for years. More power to 'em I say.
Roger George is The Bee's fishing expert. He can be reached at email@example.com
Have to work hard
Fish jumpin' in boat
Delta Mendota Canal and Sloughs
Striper * * * Catfish * *