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.
South valley aqueduct striper fishing excellent, Pete Cormier said. Don Pedro multispecies bite good, Monte Smith reported. Isabella crappie bite wide open, Pete Cormier said. New Melones kokanee bite off the hook, Bruce Hamby reported. Wishon trout action good, Patrick Movey said.
I didnt realize it when I was growing up, but we had a huge network of anglers we trusted that we relied on to figure out where and what we were going to fish for. Back when there wasnt any kind of system to get instant reports -- this is what we had to rely on. In fact, lots of anglers still do today.
Many times, I remember my Dad getting a call from a trusted fishing buddies and hearing the excitement in his voice as his friend told him about the incredible bite they had just hours ago! Of course, I listened in, to see whether I should start getting the stuff and boat ready to go. When it came to hearing about good bites, my father didnt let moss grow under the boat when it was on. Sometimes, we were off and on our way to either a fantastic bass, crappie or trout bite as soon as we were loaded up.
Looking back, this type of fishing network is still the best one for locating and taking advantage of good bites. Why is this kind of communal system so effective? In a few words, I think its the best way to get the fastest, most accurate, trustworthy and productive fishing information you can ever hope to collect.
First of all, I think its critical for this to work to have anglers who have built up trust in each other. It can sometimes take decades to build a group of guys who are willing to share their best tips, tactics and techniques. Trust is earned over time. The results can be amazing when you have a large group of anglers who mutually respect each other and are openly willing to share key information on patterns or locations.
Another advantage of this kind of group is having the ability to access very good anglers and learn from them, something most anglers never have a chance to do. Ive found that almost all the anglers in a trusted networking group are able to become much better than guys fishing by themselves. Coaching, teaching and good examples are usually part of belonging to an exclusive club of fishermen who are good at what they do. I cannot over emphasize how important the time I spent with a few of my fathers best fishing buddies was in helping me become a better angler.
On another level, a group like this can act as a practical laboratory in the field as anglers in the group try out new lures, techniques, lakes and locations that you can learn from. Breakthroughs in your fishing can certainly come from another guys experiences on the water-giving you enough confidence to try out something thats foreign to you and find out if its really effective. Our own preconceived ideas about things can be our biggest stumbling blocks to becoming a better fisherman, and these friends can be just what you need to push you out of your comfort zone. Your learning curve can go up very quickly.
At times, I wish I could fish more lakes, but its just not possible to try all of them out when I want to go. In a group, youll almost always have somebody trying out the lake or river youre wondering about, or have a friend of a friend who has. Its an unwritten rule, but whenever you give out any information from a third-party source, especially one your friend doesnt know, its key to pass on your confidence level in this source. This preserves both you and your sources credibility as well as establishing that what youre passing on is genuine and trustworthy. Ive found that its best not to pass on questionable fishing information it may be suspect or exaggerated because in the end it could be your judgment that could be in questioned if things go south.
Lots of anglers tend to fish alone, maybe because they have been burned in the past, and I can understand this feeling. However, if you can somehow develop a group of like-minded anglers who want to share general fishing information for everyones' benefit and who are trustworthy - it can be a mutually beneficial arrangement for everyone involved on many levels.
Roger George is The Bee's fishing expert. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
* Try dynamite
** Have to work hard
*** Limits possible
**** Fish jumpin' in boat
Delta Mendota Canal and Sloughs
Striper * * * * Catfish * *
Striper action remains excellent in the south aqueduct in Kern County with Bobs Bait in Bakersfield reporting the size of the linesides have improved progressively with a number of fish over the 18-inch minimum. Blood worms, sand worms, jumbo minnows, Gitzits or RatLTraps are all working, but blood worms have been the top choice. Catfishing is only fair. In the Fresno area, a few anglers continue to work the headgates with Zoom Flukes or Lucky Craft 128s.
Bass * * * Trout * * Bluegill * * * Catfish * * Crappie * *
Ranger Andrew Steele of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Ranger Station reported good bass action during the current week with small plastics working for fish in the 12- to 15-inch range. He said, "The bass are moving into the shallows, particularly during the hotter periods in the early afternoon." The reaction bite remains slow. Crappie and bluegill action is improving, particularly from the banks with red worms. No trout reports. The lake is beginning to drop slowly and the launch ramp in on the second level on the Codo r niz side and the top level on the Chowchilla Day Use side. Steele advised, "Boaters are encouraged to launch from the Cordoniz boat ramp if they wish to avoid the long walk from the water to the ramp parking lot." Be aware that unmarked hazards, including submerged rocks and trees, are present throughout Eastman Lake. Don't hesitate to tell a ranger or call the park office if you see a hazard that needs a new buoy. The area inside of the 5-mph buoy line is particularly shallow and hazards are not marked in this area. The Lakeview Trail is open to hiking, biking and equestrian use, but remains closed to hunting through July 15. The area of the lake extending upstream from the Keep Out buoy line is closed to fishing and boats. The new regulations specify that the area 1000 feet south of the Raymond Bridge downstream to the Corp s Buoy Line near the Codo r niz Boat Ramp will be open to recreational fishing annually from Aug. 1 through Nov. 30. Anglers or visitors with questions about this new regulation can contact the park headquarters at (559) 689-3255. Park headquarters is open Monday through Friday, 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The lake is on the middle boat ramp on the Codo r niz Campground side and on the top ramp on the Chowchilla Day Use side. The lake held at 516 feet in elevation and 33% capacity.
Call: Six Star Tackle Box 673-5688; Eastman Lake 689-3255
Bass * * Trout * * Crappie * * Catfish * * * Bluegill * *
Hensley has gotten tough for bass fishermen with the majority of fish in the 10 to 11-inch range. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, "It is tough to get a 13-inch fish." Fresno area crappie fishermen are heading south to Isabella as crappie fishing at Hensley remains slow. No trout reports. Catfishing remains best at night with chicken livers, mackerel or sardines. The lake rose slightly to 49 4 feet in elevation and 35% capacity.
Call: Fresno Fisherman's Warehouse 225-1838; Valley Rod Gun, Clovis 292-3474; Six Star Tackle Box 673-5688; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Hensley Lake Hidden Dam 673-5151
Lake Don Pedro
Bass * * * Trout * * * Crappie * * Kokanee * * * King salmon * * *
King salmon, kokanee and rainbow trout are all available and Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing reported strong action on two trips during the past week. They focused on king salmon and kokanee during a mid-week trip and they landed two kings in the 3-pound range and limits of fat kokanee to 15 inches. The kokanee are scattered into small groupings, but they can be found at depths from 40 to 80 feet with Uncle Larry's Sierra Spray Spinners, Rocky Mountain Tackle hootchies or Vance's Hootches behind either a Vance's or RMT dodger. Danny Layne of Fishn' Dan's Guide Service confirmed the hot action with the rainbow trout active in Fleming Bay with Slim Willies tipped with a night crawler, ExCel spoons or small Triple Teasers in silver at depths from the surface to 30 feet. Smith found rainbows as deep as 80 feet on a recent trip with the king salmon in the 54- foot range. Layne has been working for the kings at depths from 80 to 120 feet with 3-inch glow hootchies, rolled shad or anchovies behind a ball troll off School House Point or Hatch Creek. Manny Basi of the Bait Barn in Waterford touted live bait such as minnows or night crawlers for both bass and trout. The half-ounce Berserk Purple Hornet jig with a Yamamoto twin tail trailer in cinnamon purple is an option as well as top-water action with shad-patterned Rico's or similar small profile lures. The River2Sea Rover is another possibility. The lake is at 78 1 feet in elevation and 72% capacity.
Call: Monte Smith (209) 581-4734; Danny Layne-Fishn' Dan (209) 586-2383; Gary Vella (209) 652-7550; Bait Barn (209) 874-3011
Lake Isabella/Bakersfield area
Bass * * * Trout * * * Crappie * * * * Catfish * * Bluegill * * *
Wide open crappie action remains and 25-fish limits from 1 to nearly 3 pounds are located by shore fishermen, float tubers and boaters with live minnows or crappie jigs tipped with Crappie Nibbles. The best action is taking place in Paradise Cove, Rocky Point, Piney Point and Paradise Cove. Fin-S-Fish, Crappie Stingers or Triple-Tail Grubs are also working. Fresno-area fishermen are making the long drive south to Isabella to cash in on the hot action. Catfishing remains fair with frozen shad, live minnows or cut baits. Bob's Bait in Bakersfield reported improved bass action with the fish in the shallows with either live minnows or plastics such as Baby Brush Hogs, spinnerbaits or plastic worms at depths from 5 to 10 feet. Heavy trout plants from April's Chamber of Commerce Trout Derby remain in the lake, but there have been few trout reports. The Lake Isabella Fishing Derby Headquarters has announced that they will be extending the deadline to catch and cash in several tagged trout in the Lake. There are still nine $10,000 fish that haven't been caught as well as the prized $20,000 fish. The bounty will expire on Labor Day. The lake rose nearly 2 feet foot to 2, 547 feet in elevation and 18% capacity. Three consecutive weeks of trout plants have improved action in the upper river with salmon eggs, night crawlers, Berkley Mice Tails or spinners. Fly fishermen are working small nymphs. No trout plants are scheduled this week.
Call: Bob's Bait (661) 833-8657; North Fork Marina (760) 376-1812
Bass * * * Crappie * * Trout * * Catfish * *
Larry Kerns of the Visalia Bass Club reported numbers of bass were available with dr op-shot ting, spl it-shot ting or crankbaits during Sunday's Fresno Bass Club Open tournament, but the majority of bass are in the 1.25- to 1.5-pound range. The tournament was won with a 10-plus-pound limit taken by Terry Hamblin and Bryan Shishido. The bass have moved off the beds. Crappie fishing is fair with small minnows or minijigs in the submerged trees or brush around Horse Creek and along the lake's edges; however, Fresno-area fishermen are heading further south to Isabella for greener pastures. Trout fishing is fair with live crickets, Power Bait or night crawlers in the cooler waters of the river arm. Catfishing is best at night with anchovies or chicken livers. The VoxPops Influentials Magazine Lake Kaweah Trout Derby is May 18- 1 9. Tagged fish prizes of $10 k c ash, a 2013 Voyager Pontoon Boat and a 2013 Ford Fusion, plus all other kinds of tagged prize fish will be planted into the lake for the event. The lake continues to rise quickly and it came up 8 feet to 660 feet in elevation and 46% capacity.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212
Bass * * * Trout * * * Catfish * * Crappie * * *
The first Wounded Warrior Bass Tournament took place Saturday with over 40 boats participating and Chuck Stokke of Sequoia Fishing Company reported good action with jigs loaded with a Yamamoto twin-tail trailer in dark pumpkin. Stokke said, "I landed a total of 11 fish including bass at 4 and 5 pounds. Umbrella rigs, crankbaits, jerkbaits or Brush Hogs were also effective. The most action from the banks has been along the Rocky Hill side of the lake or the Tule Point side in the willows. Crappie action remains good in the submerged trees under the bridge with small minnows or minjigs. The lake rose less than a foot to 620 feet in elevation and 35% capacity. All of the launch ramps are operational including the Rocky Hill launch ramp and the two main ramps on the Tule side of the lake. In the Tule River, Stokke reported continued excellent action on the Tule River with micro stone flies or pheasant tails with a weighted leader in the upper river near Hidden Falls and Balch Park. The river is running high in this stretch of the river and it is anticipated to run high for another three weeks. Lower in the river, black ants, stimulators and grasshopper patterns are effective. Stokke is now a distributor for the highly desired Sage Fly Rods.
Call: Sequoia Fishing Company 539-5626 ; Lake Success 784-0215
Bass * * * Trout * * * King salmon * * Kokanee * * Crappie * * Catfish * *
Small bass are dominating action, but a large fish over 7 pounds was landed near the dam on a Robo Worm in Hologram Shad. Since the slot limit has dropped to 12 inches, anglers are removing limits of smaller bass on a regular basis. Jason Mello of A-1 Bait in Snelling encourages fishermen to release the largemouth bass, particularly the larger fish. A variety of techniques are working for bass including Yamamoto twin-tail Hula Grubs, Keeper worms in 1, 001, live crawdads or live minnows in a number of different locations. Horseshoe Bend, the Cottonwood Arm, the Dam and McClure Point have all been productive. Trout fishing continues to be solid for trollers pulling blade/crawler combinations, Wedding Rings tipped with a night crawler behind a dodger or Kastmasters at depths to 45 feet in Horseshoe Bend or the Cottonwood Arm. An occasional crappie is taken, including large crappie inhaling live crawdads. The lake level is rising rapidly and there is some floating debris on the surface and it came up 6 feet to 785 feet in elevation and 54% capacity.
Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505; Bub Tosh (209) 404-0053
Trout * * *
McSwain Marina reported good action for trollers with Wedding Rings tipped with garlic-dipped night crawlers up the river arm from Gilligan's Island to the Chimney at depths to 20 feet. A Calaveras Trout Farm plant of nearly 1, 000 pounds on May 1 and the shoreline was crowded with fishermen over the past weekend. Limits have been taken by the campgrounds with chartreuse garlic Power Bait. Bank fishing is best near the Brush Pile, Handicapped Docks and the peninsula near the Marina with Power Bait, Power Eggs or night crawlers.
Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River
Bass * * * Striper * Shad * Trout * *
The bass bite has slowed a bit, both in total numbers and size after several weeks of outstanding action. The lake has risen several feet within the week and the best offerings remain Senko's, drop-shot ting, spinnerbaits or rip baits in the main lake. The fish have moved off the banks in post-spawn mode and they are suspended in open water. Still no reports of striped bass. A few crappie to 1.5 pounds are taken in Squaw Cove or Finegold with live minnows or minijigs. All boats must fill out a Quagga mussel self-inspection form before launching. The lake rose nearly 5 feet to 538 feet in elevation and 66% capacity. In the lower San Joaquin, trout fishing around the Broken Bridge and Lost Lake remains very slow.
Call: Fresno Fisherman's Warehouse 225-1838; Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474
New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch
Bass * * * Crappie * * * Catfish * * * Trout * * * Kokanee * * * *
Kokanee action remains exceptional with Bruce Hamby of Sierra Sport Fishing commenting, "Kokanee fishing is off the chart!" He has been scoring near the Highway 49 Bridge and in Carson Cove with Uncle Larry's spinners or Glitter Bug hootchies with shoepeg corn scented with Pro Cure Bloody Tuna. Danny Layne of Fishn' Dan's Guide Service has been trolling in the main lake at depths from 50 to 60 feet with similar lures scented with vanilla, garlic, shrimp or ginger for kokanee in the 12- to 13-inch range. Rainbow action is solid for fish in the 14- to 16-inch range at depths of 30 feet with Vance's Slim Willies paired with a night crawler or a 6-inch plastic root beer worm. Hamby has also been targeting German browns by rolling shad at 70 feet near the shorelines and client Michael Moorman of Lodi released four browns ranging from 3.5 to 5.25 pounds. Bank trout fishing is fair with anglers picking up a few fish on Power Bait/marshmallow combinations. Lewis said, "Bass fishing is good with the fish completing their spawn and in a post-spawn mode. There are a number of fish in the shallows in the early morning and evening, although the larger fish are in deeper water recovering from the spawn." The early morning t op-water bite is good with Zara Spooks, Lucky Craft Sammies or River2Sea Rovers. Carolina-rigged Brush Hogs are another good option. Lewis continued, "It is very important to practice catch and release during the spring months; and if you do keep a bass, keep the spotted bass and release the female largemouth bass." Catfishing has improved and 11-year old Mark McCall landed a 7.25-pound whiskerfish on a red crappie jig. Live minnows, frozen shad, mackerel or anchovies are all working on a sliding sinker rig. Crappie fishing is also good with small minnows under slip-float bobber around standing timber or brush. Night fishing is improving with submerged lights in the backs of coves. The lake dropped over 6 feet and 59% capacity. Lake Tulloch rose 2.5 feet and 91% capacity.
Call: Glory Hole Sports (209) 736-4333; Monte Smith (209)
Pine Flat Reservoir/Kings River
Kokanee * * Bass * * Trout * * * King salmon * * Catfish * * Crappie * * *
King salmon action continues to be extremely slow with anglers picking up the occasional fish with Apex lures or frozen shad in the main lake near Deer Creek. Merritt Gilbert said, "The trout action is holding up, but the heavy boat traffic on the weekends is creating a challenge for trout trollers." Rainbows in the 13- to 14-inch range are taken on Rainbow Runners, Needlefish, Wedding Rings tipped with a crawler or Apex lures. No kokanee reports. Bass fishing is fair and Gilbert said, "It is second best in the area next to Millerton." Senkos remain the top bait, but drop-shot ting or jigs are good options. A few catfish are taken from the docks at Deer Creek Marina, particularly at night. Crappie fishing is good under lights from the Houseboats. The lake rose 8 feet to 839 feet in elevation and 45% capacity. Trout plants continue in the lower Kings River, but the high water has resulted in better action with spinners such as Joe's Flies.
Call: Fresno Fisherman's Warehouse 225-1838; Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474 ; Sequoia Fishing Company 539-5626 ; The I Forgot Store 787-3689
San Luis Reservoir and O'Neill Forebay
Striper * * Catfish * * Bass * * Crappie * *
Heavy water releases continue at the reservoir with over 6, 000 acre-feet pumped out of the main lake into the Aqueduct this week. The effect of the water movement plus consistent high winds has slowed things way down. Mickey Clements at Coyote and Tackle in Morgan Hill said, "A number of guys are struggling right now and two of our guys went out on Friday and dropped minnows and spoons to depths of 80 feet for no action." Trollers continue to drag Lucky Craft 128s, P-Line Predator Minnows or Smithwick Deep Suspending Rattlin' Rogues for fair action at best around the mouth of Portuguese Cove to the Trash Racks. Roger George of Roger's Guide service scouted the Forebay and Big lake-catching a few 18- inch fish on silver ripbaits in the Forebay early, then switched to the big lake trolling for 12 more 19- to 23- inch fat fish, all released. "You've got to work hard for the fish and know the bite. The lake is falling fast for this time of year and at this rate, we may have a puddle in a few months, he said. Water temps are near 65 degrees. Weed growth has exploded in the Forebay and fishermen are tossing LV 500s in chartreuse shad or American shad along the weed lines. With all of the pumping out of the main lake, Check 12 has been impacted with over 200 fishermen over the weekends. Pile worms or blood worms are also good options. Catfishing should also improve in the Forebay with the water flow. The main lake dropped to 53% capacity.
Important note: All boats, personal watercraft, kayaks, canoes, sailboards, inflatables and float tubes must undergo a mandatory inspection for Quagga and Zebra mussels. Failure to allow inspection will result in the refusal to launch.
Call: Coyote Bait and Tackle (408)
Bass * * Trout * * * Kokanee * *
The big news of the weekend was the $10,000 tagged fish was landed during the 33rd annual Bass Lake Fishing Derby. Pete Antonino of Fresno was the fortunate anglers with one of the $10 k trout taken at a depth of 22 feet by the dam while fishing with his partner, Anthony Donato. Todd Wittwer of Kokanee.net Guide Service reported, "A total of $21,840 was paid out to lucky anglers who landed a total of 357 tagged trout." Approximately 1, 000 fishermen participated in the weekend derby. Wittwer said, "Shore anglers are catching trout ranging from 12 to 24 inches on rainbow Power Bait while trollers are scoring rainbows at depths from 15 to 25 feet at dawn, dropping to 20 to 30 feet once the sun hits the water. Wedding Rings tipped with a small piece of crawler, watermelon Apex lures behind a silver dodger or a rainbow Needlefish behind flashers are most the most productive setups. The rainbows are outnumbering kokanee five to one for most anglers, but kokanee can be found from the Pines to Miller's Landing at depths from 15 to 25 feet on pink Radical Glow Tubes or pink and cotton candy hoochies trolled at 1.4 mph behind 4/0 teardrop dodgers in pink, watermelon and silver using shoepeg with herring oil." The majority of the kokanee are 2- year- olds in the 11- to 12-inch range with an occasional 13- to 14.5-inch fish that will spawn. For bass, Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, "The bed fish will be moving off the banks, but they will relocate to the docks soon." Senkos remain the top technique with the size of the limits dropping from over 20 pounds to the 9- to 10-pound range. The lake has risen to 76% capacity. A webcam is available at BassLakeFishing.com or BassLakeCA.com.
Call: Todd Wittwer 288-8100; Mike Beighey 642-3748; Bass Lake Water Sports 642-3200
Kaiser Pass Road is scheduled to open May 15. Jim Clements of Vermilion Valley Resort will be providing two-day fly fishing clinics with an open clinic on June 21- 22, a women's-only clinic on June 29- 30 and a family clinic on July 15- 16 for $250/angler. The two-day clinics are for beginning to intermediate fly fishing student and include basic casting, entomology, knots, fly fishing techniques and water strategies taught by their own local guides. Vermilion has also started running ATV trips into Edison Lake with the three-day package including motel room and meals for $389/person. Their Quad Adventure Trips will run every Friday in May until the road opens to the general public. The Mono Springs or Vermilion campgrounds are open and accessible by ATV for camping and the store, café and boat rentals are available. Edison is at 20%, Florence at 50%, Mammoth Pool at 99% and Redinger at 94%.
Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000
Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake
Kokanee * * Trout * * *
Small rainbow trout in the 9-inch range and second-year kokanee from 10 to 12 inches are climbing onto the lines at Shaver Lake and Dick Nichols of Dick's Fishing Charters said, "If you can get by the smaller fish, you will have a chance at landing a mixed limit of kokanee and trout." Nichols took out father and son Doug and Colin Perkins plus Joey Mather of Fresno on Saturday, for nearly three limits of rainbows to 16 inches. Nichols said, "The better locations were the Island, the Point and Eagle Point with my regular setup of Trout Busters behind a Mountain Flasher at depths from 20 to 27 feet." Nichols added the kokanee are moving rapidly and they only landed one kokanee on Saturday after 'really getting into the kokes' on Friday. Shore fishermen are picking up from two trout to limits with the best action near the Sierra Marina, the Shaver Lake Marina and along Roads 1 or 2 with Power Bait or night crawlers. The SLTTP Summer derby started April 15 and a 6.5 pound rainbow is the current leader. Official weigh stations are Shaver Lake Sports and Young's Sporting Goods. Donations can be sent to the SLTTP at P.O. Box 908, Shaver Lake, CA 93664. The Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project welcomes an usable unwanted boats for sale to go toward purchase of more trophies. Contact SLTTP treasurer Bob Bernier at ( 559 ) 360-7185 for boat donations. The SLTTP meets the third Wednesday of each month at Edison Camp office and everyone is welcome - no dues. Shaver held at 63% capacity with Huntington rising to 77% capacity. Fishermen can check sierramarinawebcam.com for conditions.
Call: Dick's Fishing Charters 841-2740; Dinkey Creek Inn 841-3435; Rancheria Marina 893-3234; Shaver Lake Sports Inc. 841-2740
Trout * * *
Patrick Movey of the F ishermans Warehouse in Fresno reported good action for mixed limits of rainbow and brown trout to 16 inches trolling blade crawler combinations from the surface to 4 colors of lead core near the main inlet. Speedy Shiners in copper/gold or red/gold, Tasmanian Devils or Needlefish are productive spoons. The lake levels are fluctuating and the boat launch has been on and off the concrete ramp. There have only been a few bank fishermen. Courtright remains closed, but the road is scheduled to open Friday. The boat launch at Courtright is in the water. The upper campground is open and campers are requested to call 865-6361.
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
Rockfish * * * Salmon * * Striper * *
Dennis Baxter of the New Captain Pete said, "The quick moving front made it impossible to go out, but the upcoming week looks very good, adding, "We have found another school down south." Captain Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat is planning his next trip for Tuesday as the weather is coming down on Monday. He said, "All the conditions are there and the fish are south of the harbor." He put in 11 salmon to 20 pounds for 20 fishermen on Sunday. The RipTide, also out of Half Moon Bay Sport Fishing, went south below Pigeon Point for 17 limits of rockfish including a cabezon and three ling cod. The rockfish season is open below Pigeon Point which is 18 miles south of Half Moon Bay.
Call: Happy Hooker (510) 223-5388; Roger Thomas, Salty Lady (415) 760-9362 ; Bait and Switch Sport Fishing Center (650) 726-7133, (650) 726-7133; Emeryville Sport Fishing (510) 654-6040; Don Franklin, Soleman (510) 703-4148
Rockfish * * * Salmon * * Striper * *
Todd Arcoleo of Chris' Landing in Monterey reported excellent rockfishing with the Star of Monterey putting in two-third limits for 37 fishermen in Carmel Bay while the Checkmate returned with 30 limits. Salmon fishing remains very slow with the CheckMate only finding two salmon for 15 anglers on Saturday. Salmon fishing remains very slow, but experienced private boaters continue to find an average of one fish per boat to limits working either the eastern or western edge of the Soquel Hole. Vic Rosasco of Stockton found great action at the Soquel Hole with two limits ranging from 15 to 20 pounds on straight bait or mother-of-pearl spoons at depths from 35 to 140 feet. He said, "The water was a perfect green/brown color with birds, bait and whales all around."
Call: Chris' Landing (831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173; usafishing.com
San Francisco Bay
Halibut * * Striper * * Leopard shark * * Salmon * * * Sturgeon * *
On Saturday, the Emeryville boats found good action with the C Gull II returning with 20 limits to 22 pounds, the Seawolf boating 12 limits to 16 pounds and the New Salmon Queen with 17 limits to 24 pounds. Inside the bay, Captain Jim Smith of the Happy Hooker put in two solid days in the bay with five halibut to 14 pounds, six striper in the 8-pound range and one 20-pound leopard shark on Sunday drifting live shiners near Red Rock. Captain Chris Smith ran the California Dawn into the south bay near Oyster Point for six halibut to 25 pounds. He said, "We lost a few fish in the process, but the grade of halibut is very respectable." Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle in San Rafael reported slow action on Sunday with poor weather conditions, but there was a 20-pound halibut landed off Red Rock on Saturday to immediately jump into second-place in the Lord of the Sea Summer Halibut/Striped Bass Derby. Fraser is looking forward to this week's sturgeon tides starting with minuses on Wednesday. He said, "Things will really get good by Friday." At Leonard's Bait and Tackle in Port Sonoma, Captain Joel Sinkay said, "Smaller bass have been the rule in the Napa River and the Cuttings Wharf and the area below Highway 29 have produced sturgeon last week. The Napa is most likely your best striper/sturgeon option since the Petaluma is loaded with sharks." In the south bay, John Akina of Oyster Point Bait, Tackle and Deli said, "A few halibut came in on Sunday, but there were only a few boats out. It has been a mild week with only a few halibut taken."
San Luis Obispo
Salmon * * Rock cod * * *
Rockfish season started last Wednesday and both Patriot Sport Fishing in Port San Luis and Virg's Landing in Morro Bay have abandoned the slow salmon action for steady rockfish action. On Saturday, the Fiesta out of Virg's Landing put in 37 limits of rockfish including 111 vermilions to go with 20 ling cod to 12 pounds. The Princess scored 32 limits of rockfish including 130 vermilions to go with 14 ling cod to 9 pounds with the jackpot taken by Casey Jones of Bakersfield. The Black Pearl went out for two days and they returned with 44 ling cod to 20 pounds, 115 vermilions and 115 assorted rockfish.
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 * *
Tony Lopez at Benicia Bait reported good action for sturgeon in the Big Cut with one father and son loading up with two limits of sturgeon weighing 51 and 50 pounds. On the local shoreline scene, the tiny Dungeness crabs are out in full force and fishermen using bait in a hurry. Lopez said, "It is far less expensive to feed them bag anchovies." Captain Stan Koenigsberger of Quetzal Adventures was out for three consecutive days and he scored three limits of s triper to 26 inches on the Sacramento River near the Sherman Island Power Lines. For largemouth bass, Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, reported good action with half-ounce Persuader spinnerbait with chartreuse/white Magnum willow blades due to the dirty water from the high winds and big tides. He said, "The key is to cast beyond and go through the target, bumping rocks and weeds along the way and the heavy thump of the Magnum blades makes for extra vibration." Pringle said, "This week has very large tides and the fish will pull off to the last piece of structure on the low tide. Always look for the secondary weed line since the fish will be holding there."
Call: Randy Pringle (209) 543-6260; Vella's Fishing Adventures (209) 521-0164; Mark Wilson Sport Fishing (916) 682-1630; Intimidator Sport Fishing (916) 806-3030
Lake Nacimiento/San Antonio/Santa Margarita/Lopez
Bass * * * White bass * * * Striper * * Catfish * * Crappie * *
Smallmouth and largemouth action at San Antonio is improving with plastics in the shallows. An occasional large crappie is also found on crappie jigs. The big fish continue to come out of either Lopez or Santa Margarita and limits near 20 pounds were weighed in from Lopez during Saturday's Golden Empire Bass Club tournament. At Nacimiento, spotted and white bass are boiling on the surface, but the best locations remain in the No Wake Zone around the Narrows and in the calmer water in the No Wake Zone. The best action is in the early morning since the bite will die after 9 a.m. before starting up again in the evening. Spotted bass are hitting plastics on the dr op-shot, Texas-rig, split-shot or pea-head with a reaction bite with spinnerbaits, spoons and Lucky Craft Sammies or Pointers. Quagga mussel inspections are now required before boat launching is allowed. Nacimiento dropped slightly to75 7 feet in elevation and 46% capacity with San Antonio dropping 1.5 feet to 73 9 feet in elevation and 47%.
Call: Lake Nacimiento (805) 238-1056, ext. 3; Lake San Antonio Marina(805) 472-2818; Central Coast Bass Fishing.com (805) 466-6557
Best Bass Tournaments at Clear Lake on May 4 : 1, Aaron and Ron Britt, 36.67 pounds; 2, Ron Howe Jr./Bob Miller, 33.03; 3, Mike and Chris Park, 29.01
Stockton-Kerman Bass Club at Delta/Ladd's Marina on May 4: 1, Steve Swarts/Ryan Vorhees, 20.52 pounds (Big Fish, 6.09); 2, Ed and Cory Kerber, 16.13; 3, Ron Brown/Mike Mayer, 15.32
Anglers Choice at McClure on May 4 : 1, Jeff and Tyler Frey, 11.34 pounds; 2, Kirk Sakamoto/Keith Friesen, 11.21; 3, Art and Bryan Roland, 8.99
Best Bass Tournaments at Millerton on May 4 : 1, Rod and Scott Burns, 9.53 pounds; 2, David Simpson/Bobby Blaswich, 9.28; 3, John Gallardo/Mike Ploharz, 8.81
Golden Empire Bass Club at Lopez on May 4 : 1, Richard Carrier/Kevin Dan Dees, 19.42 pounds; 2, Roy and Justin Neal, 10.81; 3, Bill Whitted/Erik Brock, 9.25
Thursday : Danny Layne of Fishn' Dan's Guide Service on Trout and Kokanee 101, 6 p.m. at F ishermans Warehouse in Manteca May 16 : Jack Erickson on Trout and Kokanee Techniques, 6:15 p.m. at Fishermans Warehouse in Fresno ; Howard Black and Richard Ernst on High Country Trout Fishing, 6 p.m. at F ishermans Warehouse in Manteca
May 23 : John Albridrez on Bass Fishing Techniques, 6:15 p.m. at Fishermans Warehouse in Fresno
May 30 : Eric Kaai on Rigging a Kayak for Fishing, 6:15 p.m. at Fishermans Warehouse in Fresno
Friday : California Correctional Officers at Don Pedro; Stockton Bass Club at Delta/Ladds Marina
Saturday : Western Outdoor News at Delta/Russo's Marina ; Angler's Choice/Sonora Bass Club at Don Pedro; Best Bass Tournaments at McClure; American Bass Association at Kaweah; Lake Isabella Bass Club at Isabella; Santa Barbara Bass Club at Lopez; 101 Bass at Nacimiento
Saturday-Sunday : Tracy Bass Club at Delta/Tracy Oasis Wednesday, May 15 : Kings River Bass Club at Bass Lake May 17 : California Correctional Officers at Don Pedro May 18 : Future Pro Tour at Delta/Ladd's Marina ; Kerman Bass Club at New Melones ; Angler's Choice at Don Pedro ; Future Pro Tour at Millerton; Visalia Bass Club at Kaweah; Angler's Choice at Isabella; San Luis Obispo Bass Ambushers/Tri Valley Bass Club at Nacimiento; Golden Empire Bass Club/Kern County Bass Masters at Lopez; Best Bass Tournaments at San Antonio
May 18-19 : Sierra Bass Club at Delta/Russo's Marina ; VoxPops Influentials Magazine Trout Derby at Kaweah, info : www. lakekaweahtroutderby.com
May 19: Roosevelt High Bass Club at Delta/Russos, info: Mike Spencer, 261-5296 or email@example.com; Stockton Bass at Delta/Ladd's Marina ; Angler's Choice at Delta/B and W Resort ; Angler's Choice/FLW Outdoors at Delta/Russo's Marina ; Kings VIII Bass Club at McClure; Success Bass Club at Success
May 24 : California Correctional Officers at Don Pedro; Jim's Pro Bass Tackle at Nacimiento May 25 : New J Bass Club at McClure; Western Outdoor News at Isabella; Western Outdoor News at Nacimiento June 22: Roosevelt High Bass Club at Pine Flat, info: Mike Spencer, 261-5296 or firstname.lastname@example.org July TBA: Roosevelt High Bass Club at TBA, info: Mike Spencer, 261-5296 or email@example.com
Aug. 3: Roosevelt High Bass Club at Eastman, info: Mike Spencer, 261-5296 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Sept. 14: Roosevelt High Bass Club at TBA, info: Mike Spencer, 261-5296 or email@example.com
Oct. 12: Roosevelt High Bass Club at TBA, info: Mike Spencer, 261-5296 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Nov. 9: Roosevelt High Bass Club at TBA, info: Mike Spencer, 261-5296 or email@example.com
Dec. 7: Roosevelt High Bass Club at Pine Flat, info: Mike Spencer, 261-5296 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Calaveras County: Angels Cree; Stanislaus River North Fork; White Pines Lake
Fresno County: Fresno Sportmens Club Pond; Kings River, Below Pine Flat Dam; San Joaquin River, below Friant Dam
Madera County: San Joaquin River, below Friant Dam
Mariposa County: McSwain Reservoir; Merced River, sections I & II
Merced County: Merced River, Section I; Yosemite Lake
Santa Clara County: Sandywool Lake
Tulare County: Balch Park Lake Lower & Upper; Hedrick Pond (Redwood Lake)
Tuolumne County: Beaver Creek; Lyons Canal (Columbia Ditch); Lyons Reservoir; Moccasin Creek;