I was about 7 when my dad took me along on a crappie fishing trip to Shaver Lake with a buddy of his. Back then, crappie fishing at Shaver was pretty good and Dad had found a place out in the lake where a pile of rocks had attracted some nice fish. We launched a 14-foot aluminum boat, piled in and took off for the hot spot. I was excited, because I hadn't caught many crappie and they seemed to be easy to catch -- a plus for a kid my age.
Anchoring over the rocks that Dad finally found by dragging the anchor for a few minutes, we settled down to getting the minnows out and on our hooks. Within minutes, we started catching nice sized crappie and within 2 hours had at least 15 nice slabs on the stringer.
Now as a young kid, it was almost as much fun to sit there and stare over the side into the unfathomable depths as it was to fish. The crappie sat there finning below me on the stringer. In my imagination I would think, "What other monsters of the deep could be swimming around down there in those mysterious waters below us?" The water was intriguing, dangerous and scary then.
Suddenly, after catching a fish, my dad accidentally released the clip holding the stringer to the boat and the whole batch sank to the bottom. We had lost them all!
With my father still a fairly young man then and in good shape, as was his buddy, the conversation turned to how we were going to get all of those fish back. After trying to blind-hook the stringer with a treble hook for awhile with no success, talk shifted toward the odds of being able to swim down and get the stringer. I realized they were seriously considering getting in the cold water and diving into the complete unknown! What if my dad got down there and something got him, or maybe he might get caught on a snag? Talk about scaring the pants off a youngster. My worst fears were being realized!
I remember them quickly pulling up the anchor and counting how deep it was to the bottom, about 22 to 24 feet. Deeper than they would have liked, but like most stupid, overconfident young guys (both under 30), they thought they could pull it off. I was getting frantic and feeling completely helpless.
Finally, Dad said he should be the one and, against my pleas, he stripped down, got over the side, took a few deep breaths and launched downward. Within seconds, I couldn't see him, and my imagination ran wild. After what seemed to be an eternity, I finally saw him coming up rapidly in the clear water. Breaking the surface, he held up the stringer he found by feel in the fairly dark water. Yeah, we had overcome the odds and gotten the fish back, but my father later confessed that the bottom was farther down than he thought and he had gotten a bit anxious himself before he hit bottom.
After all these years I still remember the incident, and it hits me that it was a stupid thing to do. What if there was barbed wire or something else that he might have gotten hooked on and in just a few moments could have drowned?
Guess we all think we're Superman at times. Upon further meditation, it hit me that I believe I've been guilty of many "Hey y'all. Watch me do this" moments, too. Where did that come from? It's got to be genetic! Sorry, Dad!
Roger George is The Bee's fishing expert. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Delta bass bite good, Randy Pringle said. Don Pedro trout hitting, Dave Hurley reported. Millerton bass on the prowl, Adam Moore said. Bass Lake trout pick up the pace, Patrick Movey reported. Pine Flat producing some big bass and trout, Mark Corrente said. New Melones trout action steady, Melanie Lewis reported.
THE FISHING REPORT
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.
* Try dynamite
** Have to work hard
*** Limits possible
****Fish jumpin' in boat
Delta Mendota Canal and Sloughs
Striper ** Catfish *
Not much change in the water conveyance systems, but the canals are running high and fast with increased pumping from the Delta. Heavy pumping out of San Luis Reservoir is contributing to a rapid current, and fishermen need to be very cautious on the slick and icy concrete banks in the early mornings. Most Fresno-area striper fishermen are heading north to San Luis Reservoir in search of linesides. The best canal action is in the Kern County, with Pete Cormier of Bob's Bait in Bakersfield reporting, "We were able to get blood worms in the shop again after the supply was interrupted due to freezing weather on the East Coast, and anglers are picking up a few legal fish with the worms or jumbo minnows."
Bass ** Trout ** Bluegill ** Catfish ** Crappie *
Pat Huddleston, camp host, said, "Kenny Allen from Monterey advised waiting a few more weeks for the water to warm up, and jerk baits at depths from 10-15 feet on sunny afternoons will work with the following presentation -- crank a few cranks, pause for 30 seconds, and jerk, 1, 2, or 3 times before letting it sit for another 30 seconds," adding, "This type of bite is indicative of the pre-spawn, which should occur within 4-6 weeks." Water temperature holds in the mid-40s, and action for all species with the exception of trout is slow. Recent trout plants have spurred on the bite with Power Bait in rainbow or tan glitter with or without a night crawler. Kastmasters also have been effective. The river arm is closed beyond the Keep Out Buoys, and will not reopen until Aug. 1. The day-use side and Codorniz recreation side have active ramps.
Call: Six Star Tackle Box 673-5688; Eastman Lake 689-3255
Bass ** Trout ** Catfish ** Bluegill * Crappie *
Patrick Movey at Fisherman's Warehouse in Fresno reported some large brooder trout have been landed on garlic Power Bait, but the catfish bite has slowed to a crawl in the cold water. Various colors of Power Bait, night crawlers or Kastmasters remain effective for the planted rainbows. The launch ramps remain closed, although the lake rose slightly to 448.73 feet in elevation and 6% 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 *** Kokanee * King salmon ** Crappie **
The trout bite continues to take center stage with trollers finding planters near the shore with a variety of offerings including heavy spoons, Wedding Rings tipped with a night crawler, or blade/crawler combination. Bass fishing remains very slow, and the best action is deep with small Senkos or plastics in shad-patterns on a slow presentation from 20-60 feet. Rainbow-trout patterned swimbaits worked with a slow presentation will pick up an occasional large fish, but fishermen are more likely to toss the lure all day without results.
Call: Monte Smith (209) 581-4734; Danny Layne-Fish'n Dan (209) 586-2383; Gary Vella (209) 652-7550; Bait Barn (209) 874-3011
Lake Isabella/Bakersfield area
Bass ** Trout ** Crappie ** Catfish ** Bluegill **
At Isabella, Pete Cormier of Bob's Bait in Bakersfield said, "There isn't much going on with the low water levels and fishermen reluctant to launch boats without a courtesy dock." The catfish bite has slowed, and the best action remains for planted trout from the banks near the Auxiliary Dam with various colors of Power Bait, night crawlers, Kastmasters, or spinners. The upper Kern around Kernville is decent for planted rainbows in deep holes with live crickets, night crawlers, salmon eggs, or Roostertails. In the Bakersfield area, the trout bite at Buena Vista has improved with rainbows to 6 pounds reported in the past week. Local reservoirs remain the best option, with planted rainbows at River Walk, Truxton, Hart Part and Ming landed with the new Chunky Cheese Power Bait with egg oil or Chunky Cheese with garlic. Green grass is another popular color; anglers are coating their Power Bait with Lip Ripperz Hatchery Dust.
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 a very tough bite during Wednesday's New Year's Day Open tournament. Kerns located the second largest fish among 13 boats at 2.11 pounds, but they landed only one legal fish. The top team weighed in a 10-pound limit, but the weights dropped rapidly down to 5 pounds for second. He said, "Drop-shotting brought in the most fish, but most anglers were able to pick up a fish here or there," adding, "There are a ton of fish at 55 feet in depth, but they aren't willing to bite." Rainbow-trout patterned swimbaits are producing the occasional large fish, with an 8.24-pounder caught on a Huddleston at Saturday's nine-boat American Bass Association Tournament. Banks are lined with trout fishermen along the second launch ramp, but action is only fair with Power Bait, night crawlers, or Kastmasters. The lake rose nearly a foot to 583.46 feet in elevation and 6% capacity.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212
Bass ** Trout ** Catfish ** Crappie *
Chuck Stokke of Sequoia Fishing Co. in Springville reported bass fishing remains slow at Lake Success in the cold water, but a large fish is possible with umbrella rigs, rainbow trout-patterned swimbaits, or large crankbaits. Trout fishing is fair from the banks, with most fishermen targeting the Rocky Hill side with Power Bait, spinners or night crawlers in search of the larger brooder fish. The only launch available is still on the Rocky Hill side. The lake rose three-quarters of a foot to 582.71 in elevation and 6% capacity. In the Tule River, Stokke reported continued good action for rainbows with a variety of nymphs. The water level is holding and waders needed to access better locations.
Call: Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626, www.sequoiafishingcompany.com.
Bass ** Trout ** King salmon * Kokanee * Crappie ** Catfish **
Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, was the tournament director for Saturday's Best Bass Tournament Open, and he reported an overall slow bite with fish moving as a result of rapidly dropping water levels. He said, "The best action was at depths to 50 feet with small jigs and plastics, but the fish are very lethargic in the cold water," adding, "A number of anglers tossed small swimbaits all day for the chance at a larger fish, but most efforts with the larger baits went unrewarded." Trout plants have created a much improved bite from the banks at McClure Point or Barrett's Cove with Power Bait or night crawlers as the fish are moving toward the shore. Trollers should work the coves and close to the shore for the planted rainbows. The lake dropped 1.5 feet to 686.46 in elevation and 22% capacity.
Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505; Bub Tosh (209) 404-0053
Victoria Sturdevant of McSwain Marina reported overall action has slowed since the last plant on Dec. 23 of 1,000 pounds from Calaveras Trout Farm. Another plant is expected Thursday or Friday. Best shore areas are close to the dam before the gates with white, corn yellow, or chartreuse garlic Power Bait. Trollers are working past the floating restrooms, with night crawlers behind a hammered nickel cowbell flashers, pink PPK Tomahawk spinners, or Dick's Trout Busters.
Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River
Bass *** Striper * Shad * Bluegill ** Trout **
The bass bite continues to be good as Adam Moore of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, "The fish are confused with warm weather," adding, "A variety of techniques are producing bass at depths from the banks to 50 feet." Rip baits, spinner baits, plastic worms on the drop-shot, or jigs are all working. Moore added, "Experienced anglers can expect a limit between 8 and 10 pounds." Striped bass are starting to show signs of life as there are large schools of shad near the dam. The lake dropped 1 foot to 502.23 in elevation and 43% capacity. All boats must fill out a Quagga mussel self-inspection form before launching. In the lower San Joaquin, trout plants continue on both sides of the river. Power Bait or night crawlers are the top offerings with the best action near Broken Bridge or Lost Lake. There are new regulations on the lower San Joaquin, and from Friant Dam downstream to the Highway 140 Bridge only two hatchery trout or hatchery steelhead are allowed with a total of four hatchery trout or hatchery steelhead in possession. Hatchery fish have a healed adipose fin clip. All wild steelhead or trout with an adipose fin present must be released immediately. Several of the introduced king salmon have been caught by bank fishermen. The river is closed to the take of salmon, and they may not be targeted by fishermen and must be released immediately if inadvertently caught.
Call: Fresno Fisherman's Warehouse 225-1838; Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474
New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch
Bass ** Crappie ** Catfish ** Trout *** Kokanee *
Melanie Lewis of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp said, "Trout fishing remains very good during another week of outstanding weather." The fish have moved from the main lake into coves and creek channels and in relatively shallow water. Bank anglers are scoring off Glory Hole Point and near Tuttletown Launch Ramp with floating Power Bait, Gulp Power Eggs, or Power Bait in rainbow, chartreuse, salmon egg, or pink. Lewis advised using garlic scents or adding garlic-scented oil to the Power Bait. Fan-casting Kastmasters or Krocodiles from the banks has been effective as has been a fly under a bubble. Trollers are working from the surface to 30 feet with firetiger, chartreuse, or fluorescent orange ExCels, Needlefish, or Speedy Shiners, and Lewis advised using sideplaners to get near shore and letting out 150-200 feet behind the boat. Big fish of the week was a 4.4-pound rainbow trout landed by Marty Morfey of Lodi trolling a Rebel near the dam. Bass fishing remains fair, but the quality of spotted bass has been excellent with the fish fat and healthy. There have been several spots in the 2- to 4-pound range. The fish are schooling in deep water from 40-70 feet in the morning before moving up in the afternoons. A slow presentation on light line continues to be necessary, and vertically jigging spoons, drop-shotting shad-patterned plastics on light fluorocarbon line, or three-quarters-ounce football head jigs with a crawdad-colored twin tailed grub, Brush Hog, or Sweet Beaver trailer are the top techniques. Catfishing remains slow, with fish moving toward the ledges and the deep water near the mouths of creeks as water temperatures plummet. Crappie and bluegill action is nonexistent. New Melones rose a half-foot to 949.34 in elevation and 43% capacity; Tulloch fell 1.5 to 499.43 elevation and 82%.
Call: Glory Hole Sports (209) 736-4333; Monte Smith (209) 581-4734; Danny Layne-Fish'n Dan (209) 586-2383; Sierra Sport Fishing (209) 599-2023
Pine Flat Reservoir/Kings River
Kokanee * Bass *** Trout *** King salmon * Catfish ** Crappie *
Most of the Fresno-area bass action has been focused on this lake, and large bass have been landed by anglers willing to toss a rainbow-trout patterned swimbait throughout the day. Mark Corrente of the California Bass Federation hosted two tournaments in the past week and said, "There were eight large bass up to 8.26 pounds landed during the events, primarily on swimbaits." Heavy dumping of rainbow trout and warmer weather than normal has contributed to the uptick in larger baits. The most consistent action remains on the bottom with drop-shotting or jigs, and Adam Moore of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, "The main lake is loaded with shad from the power lines to Edison Point, and working the bottom with shad-patterned plastics or jigs in the 40 to 50 feet range has been the best bet." Patrick Movey of Fisherman's Warehouse in Fresno touted vertical jigs or drop-shotting at depths from 10-60 feet. Moore added bank anglers are "knocking them dead," for planted trout along the banks at Deer Creek Marina with Power Bait or Kastmasters. Trollers are flat-lining Needlefish, Apex lures, or blade/crawler combinations or releasing them down to three colors of lead core. The lake is at 748.86 feet in elevation and 17% capacity. Trout plants in the lower Kings continue on a weekly basis with stream fishermen congregating along the stretch of the river below Pine Flat Dam. Chuck Stokke of Sequoia Fish Co. in Springville reported fantastic fly fishing in the catch-and-release section saying, "I just can't stay away," adding, "These fish are unbelievable fighters." He has been nymphing with a combination of two nymphs with an indicator and two small split shot. A combo of bright/bright followed by bright/dull nymphs is best, and he is scoring with red copperjohns or Hare's Ears. Spay casters using black streamers also are getting in on the action. There are special regulations in the Kings above and below Pine Flat Dam.
Call: Fresno Fisherman's Warehouse 225-1838; Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474, Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626, The I Forgot Store 787-3689.
San Luis Reservoir and O'Neill Forebay
Striper ** Catfish ** Bass ** Crappie *
The occasional large striped bass continues to be taken in the main lake for trollers working umbrella rigs, P-Line Predator Minnows, Rebels, or Yozuris near the trash racks and Portuguese Cove at depths of 70-100 feet. Drifting jumbo minnows remains the top technique for numbers. Heavy pumping in the evening continues, and the lack of daytime pumping has slowed the bite. Roger George of Roger's Guide Service said that water temps are about 51 degrees and the bite has changed to a mid-day bite, slowing later. He said, "Most guys are just getting a few fish flatlining and downrigging plugs, or soaking minnows, but we still got decent numbers of scattered small fish on two trips. The bigger fish seem to be tougher to pick up now, but I think it may really help to get a change in the flat calm warm weather we've had for a few weeks." In the Forebay, action is hit or miss, but there is a topwater lure, rip bait, and swimbait bite early for schoolie stripers as well as flukes on Scrounger heads for linesides in the 16- to 22-inch range. Best action is near the telephone poles or Check 12. Jumbo minnows are working from the shore. The lake rose to 30% capacity with an import of 6,498 acre-feet of Delta water. Important note: All boats, personal watercraft, kayaks, canoes, sailboards, inflatables and float tubes must undergo an inspection for Quagga and Zebra mussels. Failure to do so will result in refusal to launch.
Call: Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711, Roger's Guide Service-Roger George (559) 905-2954
Bass ** Trout *** Kokanee *
Patrick Movey of Fisherman's Warehouse in Fresno reported continued good trout action for trollers near the dam with ExCels, Rapalas, or spinners tipped with a night crawler in the top 10 feet of the surface. Boaters have to be prepared to launch without a dock, but the ramp is still in the water. Bank anglers are scoring near the ramp or the Sheriff's Tower with Power Bait, night crawlers, or Kastmasters. With the low launch levels and no courtesy docks, bass fishermen have avoided the lake. Bass fishermen should start targeting larger fish with rainbow trout patterned swimbaits in response to heavy trout plants. See the webcam at www.BassLakeFishing.com or www.BassLakeCA.com. The lake held at 48%.
Call: Todd Wittwer 288-8100; Mike Beighey 642-3748, Bass Lake Water Sports 642-3200.
Brown trout ** Trout **
Minimal interest at the Kaiser Pass Lakes, particularly with the road scheduled to be closed due to snow. Edison held at 4% and Florence at 8%; Mammoth Pool rose slightly to 13%.
Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000
Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake
Kokanee * Trout ** Smallmouth *
Dick Nichols of Dick's Fishing Charters said, "Shaver Lake fishing remains hit or miss with some trollers finding up to a limit of rainbows while others get skunked." Best action is in the top 10 feet with blade/crawler combinations or Rapalas behind mini-Mountain flashers. Nichols also recommended that boaters drift night crawlers on the bottom in areas with structure, and a few trophies have been landed using this technique near the Island, the dam, the Point and Black Rock. Bank anglers are doing quite well near the dam, Roads 1 and 2, the Point, and Black Rock, although a 1- to 2-mile hike is necessary to reach the latter locations. Power Bait or night crawlers are working for rainbows in the 14- to 16-inch range. Anglers should check Sierra Marina's webcam at http://www.sierramarina.com/camera.html before heading up the hill. Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project secretary/director Mike O'Connell said, "He appreciates the donations that came in this past week for the 2014 trophy trout plant," adding, "Donations can be sent to the SLTTP at P.O. Box 908, Shaver Lake 93664." The SLTTP is a non-profit. At Huntington, hard-core brown trout fishermen continue launching small aluminum boats, but getting reports from this elite group is nearly impossible. Shaver held at 60% capacity, Huntington at 28%.
Call: Dick's Fishing Charters 841-2740; Dinkey Creek Inn 841-3435; Rancheria Marina 893-3234; Shaver Lake Sports Inc. 841-2740
The gates are closed on McKinley Grove Road at Dinkey Creek, and Wishon and Courtright are inaccessible for the remainder of the winter months.
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
Striper ** Crabs***
Captain Tom Mattusch on the Huli Cat said, "There was plenty of crab to go around, and we all filled but two of the pots." Captain Roger Thomas of the Salty Lady is also in Half Moon Bay, and he reported excellent whale watching over the weekend. Whales are in the range of 4-6 miles offshore, highly unusual since the southbound grays are normally 14-20 miles offshore at this time of year. The whales are taking advantage of the healthy ocean conditions, and Thomas said, "There are even humpbacks out here gorging themselves on the abundant feed."
Call: Happy Hooker (510) 223-5388; Roger Thomas, Salty Lady (415) 760-9362, Bait and Switch Sport Fishing Center (650) 726-7133; Emeryville Sport Fishing (510) 654-6040; Don Franklin, Soleman (510) 703-4148
Striper ** White Sea Bass * Crabs ***
The tremendous whale watching in Monterey Bay continues, and Chris Arcoleo of Chris' Landing reported the Star of Monterey found gray whales and Risso's dolphins. The Check Mate scored bucketloads of sand dabs and limits of Dungeness crab for 12 anglers.
Call: Chris' Landing (831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173; www.usafishing.com
San Francisco Bay
Halibut * Striper ** Leopard shark *** Sturgeon **
The big news is the herring spawns that have been occurring in the south bay near Coyote Point, and John Akina Jr. of Oyster Point Bait, Tackle, and Deli said, "The spawn has been going on for three to four days from the Embassy Suites to Coyote Point, and there are a lot of herring in the area." A 56-inch sturgeon was weighed in from Coyote Point on Saturday with an oversized released off the pier. In San Pablo Bay, Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle in San Rafael reported few fishermen were out Sunday in response to the smaller tides. Captain Jim Smith of the Happy Hooker said, "Captain Gordie Hough of the Morningstar has been finding nearly a striper per rod in San Pablo Bay with nine bass to 11 pounds on his last trip." The leopard shark action in the south bay has slowed considerably.
San Luis Obispo
There is still fishing from San Luis ports despite the rockfish closure until May 1. Virg's Landing in Morro Bay will be offering sand dab/halibut combo trips on the Rita G for $69/angler. They ended the season with 4,978 ling cod. As is occurring further north, gray whales are unusually close to the coast, and the Fiesta saw 12 just 25 minutes from the harbor on a recent trip.
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 ** Bluegill ***
Sturgeon fishing has been best near the Mothball Fleet with one boat catching 10 diamondbacks on grass shrimp on New Year's Day. Captain Steve Talmadge of Flash Fishing out of Martinez Marina said, "We have found numbers of shakers on our recent trips, and there are big fish around, but our largest sturgeon on the past three trips has been undersized at 38 inches," adding, "We have released five shakers, seven shakers, and 12 shaker sturgeon on the last three trips." Do Doung of Dockside Bait in Pittsburg reported a few small legal sturgeon in the 40-plus-inch range have been weighed in at the shop from Buoy 31 on grass shrimp, and the average size of keeper stripers is 4-6 pounds. In the north Delta, Alan Fong of Fisherman's Warehouse in Sacramento caught and released striped bass at 10, 15, and 20 pounds in Snodgrass Slough using an Alabama rig. He said, "We averaged one quality bite every three hours, and with the large amount of bait in there, the fish don't want to eat." He is giving seminars on using Glide Baits for large striped bass at the Ultimate Bass Tank at the International Sportsman's Exposition at 3 p.m. Thursday, 6 p.m. Friday, and 6 p.m. Saturday. Mike Pipkins of Gotcha Bait in Antioch said, "Doug Chapman of our shop landed a 25-pound striper on fresh shad at West Island, and others have reported up to a dozen stripers to 14 pounds." Sturgeon fishing has been fair with shad, grass shrimp, or ghost shrimp in the main river. In the San Joaquin, Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, said, "You have to burn a lot of gas to keep up with the striped bass as you may find three one day and 20 the next as they are moving quickly in search of bait." He reported an excellent bite for largemouth bass on the ima Flit rip bait in shad-patterns such as Olive Herring, Misty Shad, or Royal Blue using a "dead stick" presentation. Pringle said, "The water is so clear that the fish can find it from a distance if you let it sit there long enough," adding, "The fish just can't stand it." The ima Pinjack crankbait in shad patterns on a 12-pound Trilene fluorocarbon line has also been a winner, and Pringle is bouncing this lure off the tops of weeds, wood, or brush, adding, "It is a deflection bite, and you have to bump into something as the action will create a cloud of silt, exciting the fish." The Zappu head and jig bite is at a crawl.
Call: Randy Pringle (209) 543-6260; Captain Stan Koenigsberger-Quetzal Adventures (925) 570-5303; 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 *
Nacimiento continues to be the top option among all coastal lakes with water levels remaining about 23%. There were 38 boats weighing in limits during Wednesday's New Year's Day Hangover Tournament won by a five-fish limit weighing 8.6 pounds, with a large fish of 3.4 pounds highlighting the tournament. Two tournaments are taking place at the lake this Saturday. Drop shotting with a "dead-stick" presentation will produce numbers of spotted bass. At San Antonio, there are no rental boats or launch ramps available, but there are continued reports of stripers biting plugs or cut bait in the lowered water pool by kayak anglers, shore fishermen, or from canoes or similar small craft. Nacimiento rose nearly a foot to 727.40 in elevation and 23% capacity. San Antonio dropped to 656.40 and 5%. Reminder: Consuming white bass, black bass, crappie, catfish, or carp are subject to safe eating guidelines due to excessive mercury. Quagga mussel inspections are now required before boat launching is allowed.
Call: Lake Nacimiento (805) 238-1056, ext. 3; Lake San Antonio Marina(805) 472-2818; Central Coast Bass Fishing.com (805) 466-6557
California Bass Federation Open at Pine Flat on Jan. 1: 1, Timmy and Reece Wells 13.45 pounds (big fish 8.26); 2, Ralph Encizo/Jeff Matthews 9.80; 3, Tim Wells/Jeff d'Allessandro 9.20.
Best Bass Tournaments Open at McClure on Jan. 4: 1, Joe Bruce/Andy Stilley 8.57 pounds; 2, John Chiarpotti/Alex Niapas 7.79; 3, Matt Schut/Bryon Cox 7.68(big fish 4.50).
California Bass Federation at Pine Flat on Jan. 4: 1, Mike Alvarez 12.78 pounds (big fish 7.65); 2, Ron Red Jr. 12.28; 3, Timmy Wells 12.18.
American Bass Association at Delta/Russo's Marina on Jan. 4: 1, Ryan Brewer/Dee Thomas 20.78 pounds; 2, Jerrad Jennings/Alex daSilva 18.76 (big fish 7.51); 3, Phil Dutra/Nick Nourot 17.29.
Saturday: Best Bass Tournaments at McClure; American Bass Association/Kerman Bass Club at Pine Flat; Best Bass Tournaments/Golden Empire Bass Club at Nacimiento; Taft Bass Club at Lopez
Sunday: Hook, Line, and Sinker at Delta/Russo's Marina; Fresno Bass Club/Kings VIII Bass Club at Pine Flat
Jan. 18: Mother Lode Bass Anglers at Don Pedro; Angler's Choice/Tri-Valley BassMasters at McClure; New J-Bass Club at Pine Flat; Best Bass Tournaments at Nacimiento
Jan. 19: Tracy Bass Club at Delta/Tracy Oasis; Kings River Bass Club at Pine Flat
Jan. 25: Eighth annual Diamond Classic Catch and Release Derby at Delta/Martinez Marina, <a href='http://www.diamondclassic.org' target='_blank'>www.diamondclassic.org</a>; Angler's Choice at Delta/B and W Resort; Bass N'Tubes at Delta/Ladd's Marina; Contra Costa Bass Club at New Melones; Angler's Choice at McClure; San Luis Obispo Bass Ambushers/Kern County Bass Masters at Nacimiento
Feb. 1: Tracy Bass Club at Delta/Tracy Oasis; American Bass Association at Delta/Russo's Marina; Best Bass Tournaments at McClure; American Bass Association at Pine Flat; 101 Bass at Nacimiento
Jan. 9-12: International Sportsman's Exposition, Cal Expo in Sacramento, www.sportsexpos.com
Fresno County: Avocado Lake; Woodward Park Lake; Kings River, below Pine Flat Dam; Shaver Lake
Kern County: Brite Valley Reservoir; Cat Fish Lake; Hart Park Lake; Lake Isabella; Ming Lake; River Walk Lake; Truxtun Lake; Woollomes Lake
Madera County: Bass Lake; Eastman Lake; Sycamore Island Pond
Mariposa County: Eastman Lake
Stanislaus County: Modesto Reservoir; Turlock Reservoir; Woodward Reservoir
Tulare County: Del Lago Park Lake
Tuolumne County: Tulloch Lake
AM PM Minor Major Minor Major
Q Today 11:06 4:54 11:30 5:18
Thursday 11:53 5:41 ---- 6:05
Friday 12:13 6:25 12:37 6:49
Saturday 12:57 7:09 1:21 7:33
Sunday 1:40 7:52 2:04 8:16
Monday 2:23 8:35 2:47 8:59
>Tuesday 3:07 9:19 3:31 9:43
Q = quarter moon; > = peak activity