I've watched a lot of anglers practice catch and release, and it still amazes me how badly some folks handle their fish when they intend to let them go.
I was once bass fishing at Eastman Lake when I ventured into a cove where a couple of guys were wading out to fish. I was about 40-50 yards away when one of them proudly informed me of all the big fish they were hauling in, just as he hooked a nice 2-pound bass. Since it wasn't a legal fish, I was curious to see how they were going to handle it. Reeling like crazy, the angler skied the fish in over weeds, lifted it up and slammed it down to the shore from a height of at least 5 feet! He then roughly removed the hook, grabbed the poor bass by its lower lip and heaved it — spinning through the air — a good 30 yards into the lake. I was shocked. "Number 12," one of them yelled, and I realized they were doing the same thing to every fish they caught. "I don't think those fish are going to survive your helicopter releases," I said. They chuckled and replied they hadn't seen any of them floating up. I knew right then it was time to leave the cove before I lost it.
The more fish I've caught, the more it's become obvious to me that you've got to have a system and strategy in place to give the fish the greatest chance of surviving. My journey of landing fish started with us either lifting the fish in the boat, netting it or trying to hand land it by grabbing it by the mouth or gills. All three work, but each has drawbacks that become obvious the more fish you catch and try to release. Of course, landing a fish that has swallowed a rubber worm is far different than one that has a ripbait with three No. 2 treble hooks.
Lifting a thrashing fish in the boat by the line, with a ripbait hanging out, can be difficult to manage as the flopping fish wheels all over the place, slinging the hooks around in a small area. How fast can you move? Is it going to survive the beating?
I hate nets — they get tangled with treble hooks and the fish moves around, fouling up the mess even more and possibly bending your hooks, too. You still have to reach in and hold the fish down to undo the hooks, taking more precious time. Holding the fish in the net in the water helps if the procedure keeps dragging on.
Reaching down to gill a good fish with a lure attached can be very dangerous, but if you don't have a net you might have to do it. These fish will also twist out of your grip, falling on the floor hard.
Trying to blend safety and speed while being gentle is the trick. I now use a Bocca Grip to lip the fish and lift it into the boat. Controlling the fish with the Bocca allows me to quickly use pliers to remove the hook in seconds, the fish never touches me or the deck and I can put it right over the side and pull the trigger. Gone in seconds! Even if I swing a fish in, I will grip it with the Bocca before I remove the hooks. For real big fish, I do use the net, but I reach in with the Bocca to control it before I get my hands in there with it.
Handling fish coming up from depth is another issue, but my main concern is to keep everyone — and the fish — safe.
Developing a clean and quick strategy will protect both you and the fish you're attempting to release. Odds are that using bad technique, cutting corners or solely relying on quick reflexes will catch up with you someday. Never give up!
Roger George is The Bee's fishing expert. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Delta sturgeon, striper and bass action are all heating up, Alan Fong said. McClure rainbows are hitting, Jason Mello reported. Millerton bass bite is the best around, Merritt Gilbert said. Shaver brooders are on the prowl, Dick Nichols reported.
THE FISHING REPORT
Compiled by Dave Hurley and edited by Roger George, a former Olympic-class decathlete at Fresno State and striper record-holder at Millerton Lake who now guides in the greater Fresno area. 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 • •
Heavy pumping toward Pyramid and Castaic reservoirs has increased flow, but most Fresno area striper fishermen are heading to San Luis Reservoir. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis reported sales of white flukes for striper slowed along with anchovies. Bank anglers should use caution on concrete as conditions make it slippery. In the south aqueduct in Kern County, Pete Cormier of Bob's Bait in Bakersfield reported little change with fair action for mostly undersized striped bass with lug worms, blood worms, sardines or anchovies. Most fishermen head to the Buena Vista Golf Course, but more remote locations such as Tupman or Twisselman Road access areas have been more productive.
Bass • • Trout • • Bluegill • • Catfish • • Crappie •
The lake remains very low at 472 feet and 9% capacity, and Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun said, "Most area bass fishermen are targeting Pine Flat or Millerton." Anglers have been scoring three to four bass per trip with drop-shot plastics or jigs over submerged rock piles. The ramp is barely in the water and there are underwater hazards that rise quickly and are unseen in the murky water. Trout plants are set for the next two weeks, which should improve action from the banks with Power Bait coated with Lip Ripperz Hatchery Dust, night crawlers or Kastmasters. Trolling is difficult due to water conditions. The river arm is closed beyond the Keep Out Buoys until Aug. 1. The Day Use and Codorniz sides have active ramps.
Call: Six Star Tackle Box 673-5688; Eastman Lake 689-3255
Bass • • Trout • • Crappie • Catfish • • Bluegill •
Trout plants are set for the next two weeks and should aid bank fishermen targeting planters with various colors of Power Bait coated with Lip Ripperz Hatchery Dust. Bass action remains very slow. Ramps are closed. The lake rose a half foot to 450 feet and 6%.
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 •
Monte Smith of Gold County Sport Fishing received a good report from Ron Wilson of Western Outdoor News who found good action trolling spoons for planter and holdover rainbows. Smith planned on similar techniques this week, but is bringing night crawlers and side planers for hugging the shorelines in the event spoons aren't effective. "You always have to be prepared with a backup plan," Smith said. A trout plant is this week. Mike Gomez of the Bait Barn in Waterford said, "The bass bite is fair, but you have to locate the fish in deep water from 45 to 60 feet with shad patterned plastics. You have to use a light line around 6-pound test with a three-sixteenths drop-shot weight in order to feel the bite at these depths." Live jumbo or extra-large minnows remain effective for those wishing to soak live bait. Boats over 20 feet are advised to launch at Fleming Meadows. The lake is at 734 feet and 51%.
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 • •
At Isabella, Pete Cormier of Bob's Bait in Bakersfield reported launch conditions -- the lake is at 10% and 2,535 feet in elevation -- are a disincentive for bass fishermen, but a few boats have been launching from the dirt with the help of a 4-wheel drive. Catfish are providing the top action from the banks with frozen shad, garlic-scented clam meat or shrimp. Crappie fishing is fair to slow in French Gulch Marina with small minnows or mini jigs.Trout fishing is slow with few fish taken from the Auxiliary Dam with various colors of Power Bait. Trout plants will be heavy leading up to the Isabella Trout Derby from April 12-14. Bass fishing should start to improve around mid-February with jigs, crankbaits, plastics worms or RatTraps. "The bass bite generally starts up around Whiskey Flat Days which are coming up in a few weekends," Cormier said. The upper Kern River will be planted next week in sections 4, 5 and 6, and action should improve for planters heading to deeper holes. Night crawlers, live crickets, salmon eggs or Power Bait are top baits. The small impoundments of Hart Park, Ming, Truxtun, the River Walk and Woollomes will be planted with rainbow trout this week and the week of Feb. 16. Chunky Cheese Power Bait with garlic continues to be the top bait. The third annual Bakersfield Fire Fighters Trout Derby is March 8 at the River Walk, and 25 tagged fish to $1,000 will be released along with a boat raffle, pancake breakfast and BBQ.
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 tough bite with surface temps holding near 49 degrees. They worked hard for a decent limit drop-shotting in deep water while pre-fishing for Saturday's Visalia Bass Club tournament, but a few huge bass to 13.7 pounds were taken on trout-patterned swimbaits. Kerns said, "Randy Berger landed a 13.7-pounder and his partner picked up a 12-pounder." Planted trout are providing action from the Second Launch Ramp. The banks are filled with fishermen tossing Power Bait, night crawlers or Kastmasters. A trout plant is next week. The lake rose 1 foot to 586 feet in elevation and 7% capacity.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212
Bass • • Trout • • Catfish • • Crappie •
Bank interest for planted trout remains high and last week's plant brought out a number chucking Power Bait or night crawlers from the Rocky Hill side. Chuck Stokke of Sequoia Fishing Company in Springville said, "The action is decent and there have been some large trout taken from the banks." A plant is next week. Bass fishing is fair at best on the bottom with plastics on a slow presentation. The occasional larger fish is found on a trout-patterned swimbait for the patient and determined. The only launch is on the Rocky Hill side, but launching without getting soaked takes effort. The lake rose nearly a foot to 585 feet and 7%. A plant is next week at Murray Park in Porterville. In the Tule River, Stokke reported a continued slow pick with the action all but shut down after the storm.
Call: Sequoia Fishing Company 539-5626, www.sequoiafishingcompany.com
Bass • • Trout • • • King salmon • Kokanee • Crappie • • Catfish • •
Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, was director for the Best Bass Tournament over the weekend, saying, "There were no large fish taken on swimbaits, and anglers worked hard for small limits averaging less than 2 pounds per fish." Mike Gomez of the Bait Barn in Waterford confirmed the lack of size of the bass, saying, "The fish were active but landing a large fish was difficult as it only took 6 pounds to get in the money." Jigs such as the Berserk Bait's Purple Hornet or Brown Craw with a green pumpkin/black flake grub trailer from Zoom or Yamamoto worked. The brown/purple TNT jig has been effective. Bass were as deep as 100 to 120 feet on the drop-shot, and Gomez advised using 6-pound test with a three-sixteenths drop-shot weight to get to the bottom and feel the bite. A trout plant is this week, which should help the swimbait bite for bass and the bank action for planters. Jason Mello of A-1 Bait in Snelling reported action for trollers pulling limits near Temperance or the dam with blade/crawler combos or Wedding Rings tipped with a night crawler behind a dodger. One scored a limit of planters trolling blade/crawler combos on a setback of 120 feet over main lake points. Rainbow Power Bait is working from McClure Point banks for planters while those targeting bass are scoring with live minnows. Live crawdads have been picking up catfish to 4 pounds. The lake dropped over a foot to 681 feet in elevation and 21%.
Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505; Bub Tosh (209) 404-0053
Trout • •
Jason Mello of A-1 Bait in Snelling reported a slow rainbow trout bite with the best action up the river arm for trollers with blade/crawler combos or Wedding Rings tipped with a crawler behind a flasher. A plant is next week and should spur action from the banks with Power Bait, white garlic Power Eggs or night crawlers.
Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River
Bass • • • Striper • Shad • Bluegill • • Trout • •
"Millerton has the best bass bite in the area," according to Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis. "With an upcoming tournament, more anglers have been pre-fishing for limits around 7.5 pounds to the occasional 10-pound limit." The best bite is on the bottom at 20 to 45 feet along steep banks with plastics on a Texas-rig or dart-head, or with jigs. A few fish are found drop-shotting shad-patterned plastics. The lake is dropping and the launch is on the fifth ramp. No striper reports. The lake dropped 2.5 feet to 492 feet and 37%. All boats must fill a Quagga mussel self-inspection before launching. In the lower San Joaquin, action has slowed considerably with the lack of trout plants. Plants are set the next three weeks at Woodward Park in Fresno and Sycamore Island Pond. On the lower San Joaquin and from Friant Dam to the Highway 140 Bridge, only two hatchery trout and two hatchery steelhead are allowed. The hatchery fish have a healed adipose fin clip. All wild steelhead or trout with an adipose fin must be released. The San Joaquin River is closed to the take of salmon -- they may not be targeted and must be released if inadvertently caught.
Call: Fresno Fisherman's Warehouse 225-1838; Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474
Bass • • Crappie • • Catfish • • Trout • • Kokanee •
Little change in the trout action with Melanie Lewis of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp reporting fair action for bank fishermen off Glory Hole Point and near the Tuttletown Launch Ramp with Power Bait, Gulp! Eggs or night crawler/marshmallow combos fished off the bottom as rainbows are congregating in shallow water. Brent Goucher of Murphys scored a limit of rainbows to 1.87 pounds soaking Power Bait in Angels Cove. Trollers continued to find their best action from the surface to 15 feet long-lining a small F5 or F7 Rapala at least 150 feet behind the boat. A threaded crawler behind a tear drop dodger worked close to the shoreline with a side planer another good trolling technique. Large brown trout continue to be landed. Trout plants are this week at New Melones this week with a double-plant at Tulloch next week. Bass fishing is fair with Mike Gomez of the Bait Barn in Waterford reporting, "Drop-shotting with Reaction Innovation's Bad Shad Green or Pro Worms 124p have been working best as the swimbait bite remains very slow." Lewis reported, "The hardest part is finding the fish, as they are moving from one day to the next." Carolina-rigged Brush Hogs or Senkos on a slowly dragged presentation or half- or three-quarter- ounce football jigs with crawdad colored twin tail grubs, Brush Hog or Beaver as a trailer are productive. Catfishing is slow with the fish moving toward the ledges and the deep water near the mouths of creeks. Crappie and bluegill action is non-existent.
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/Kings River
Kokanee • Bass • • Trout • • King salmon • Catfish • • Crappie •
Bass fishing has returned to finesse techniques off the bottom with the trout-patterned swimbait bite slowing down over the past two weeks. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis reported, "The swimbait bite has been slow, but Timmy Wells landed an 8-pounder on a plastic worm." Texas-rigged or dart-heading plastics in shad imitations have been the top artificials, as the drop-shot bite has slowed. Trout fishing is contained to one or two fish per rod at depths from 3 to 5 colors with Apex lures or Needlefish. Most area trout fishermen are heading to Shaver Lake for the opportunity for a trophy rainbow. A trout plant is this week. The lake rose slightly to 750 feet and 18% capacity. Trout plants in the lower Kings continue on a weekly basis with stream fishermen congregating along the stretch below Pine Flat Dam. Plants are scheduled for Avocado Lake the next three weeks. Chuck Stokke of Sequoia Fish Company in Springville reported much slower action on the catch and release section of the river with only 12 squawfish to count. The squawfish are sucking up trout eggs, and Stokke was targeting rainbows with a salmon egg-patterned nymph but only caught the undesired species. There are special regulations in the Kings River above and below Pine Flat Dam.
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 •
Jeff Boyle of Bass Pro Shops in Manteca reported fair action in the Forebay on a trip with Tony Lopes and Tim Huber of Turlock, finding their best action on swimbaits for three limits of striper to 6 pounds. "The fish were very fat and healthy," Boyle said. "We started out tossing swimbaits before the weed growth became too much prior to trolling plugs." In the main lake, Roger George of Roger's Guide Service said, "The weird weather has kept the bite at around 2 of 4 stars with the bright sun and clear water pushing the fish down during the day. The early bite has improved a little, with a slower midday bite. With the lack of pumping during the day, the striper and bait are scattered and most fishermen are averaging from one to four striper per rod, either drifting live minnows or trolling plugs. I also think there are more guys proactively releasing fish now, rightly concerned that we have a very limited resource of water and fish to protect this year." George guided Steve Thao, Fresno Director of Trout Unlimited, for over 20 striper to 24-plus inches, with one released 13-pounder. The lake dropped to 30% capacity due to water releases into the California Aqueduct. The water temp is holding around 51 degrees and relatively clear with some small algae clumps.
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: Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711; Roger George of Roger's Guide Service (559) 905-2954
Bass • • Trout • • Kokanee • •
Chuck Crane of Wishon Village RV Park reported a 23-inch rainbow was landed on an ExCel spoon at 20 feet, saying, "This proves there are some good sized rainbows." Patrick Movey of the Fisherman's Warehouse in Fresno reported decent rainbow action while kokanee to 12 inches are showing up on occasion. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis reported one group landed 10 rainbows in five hours with eight in the 14- to 16-inch range in addition to a pair of 14-inch kokanee. They were trolling a Father Murphy's Bug. The best action is between the Eagle's Nest and the Sheriff's Tower or close to the dam. A trout plant is this week. The ramp is barely in the water despite levels rising to 49% capacity, and very few bass fishermen are willing to launch. "Plastics on a Texas-rig have been the top technique for bass," Gilbert said. A webcam is at www.BassLakeFishing.com or www.BassLakeCA.com.
Call: Todd Wittwer 288-8100; Mike Beighey 642-3748; Bass Lake Water Sports 642-3200
Brown trout • • Trout • •
Minimal interest with Kaiser Pass Road closed. Edison is at 4%, Florence 8% and Mammoth Pool 13%.
Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000
Kokanee • Trout • • • Smallmouth •
Shaver continued to pop out trophy trout nearly every day with bank anglers finding the best action. Dick Nichols of Dick's Fishing Charters said, "Even with the adverse weather the trophy hunters continued their move in search of a trophy trout. The Sierra Marina, dam, Roads 1 or 2, and the Point have produced the most big fish from the shoreline." Dina Young of Young's Liquor in Shaver Lake reported a number of large trout were brought to the shop this week. The trophy trout are on the prowl for food during this extended period of spring-like weather, and trollers are finding the best action with blade/crawler combinations such as Dick's Trout Busters tipped with a crawler pulled in the top 20 feet from the surface. One troller returned with a 9.75-pound trophy rainbow, but other trollers have been empty-handed. Lee Gates of the Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project checked five incoming boats to the Sierra Marina with scores ranging from zero to a few fish per boat. A few brown trout to 14 inches were landed by trollers near Eagle Point, and these were the result of a plant by Southern California Edison in 2011. Drifting night crawlers along the bottom from a boat continued to be productive. The ramps remain open for launching despite the recent snow. Check conditions via webcam at www.sierramarina.com. The Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project has planted approximately 2,500 rainbows from 2.5 to 8 pounds. Donations can be sent to the SLTTP at P.O. Box 908, Shaver Lake, CA 93664. The SLTTP is a nonprofit organization. At Huntington, few reports continue to be the rule. Snow in the higher elevations will make access more problematic. Shaver rose slightly to 60%. Huntington held at 29%.
Call: Dick's Fishing Charters 841-2740; Dinkey Creek Inn 841-3435; Rancheria Marina 893-3234; Shaver Lake Sports Inc. 841-2740
Trout • •
Wishon and Courtright are inaccessible for the winter.
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
Striper • •
Sand dab/crab trips are the only fishing game in town. Saturday's trip on the Salty Lady was productive for the Oceanic Society, with Captain Roger Thomas saying, "After covering about 30 miles and around 9 miles offshore to find only sea lions, harbor seals, porpoises and sea birds, we had yet to find any whales. But with 45 minutes remaining in the trip, we came across three gray whales right offshore near the Ritz Carlton Hotel. In Pacifica, Sheryl Jimno of the Rusty Hook reported pier anglers are crabbing with snares during the periods of rough water and the occasional striped bass is landed on either lures or bait from Linda Mar or Ocean Beach.
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
Striper • •
Todd Arcoleo of Chris' Landing in Monterey reported continued excellent sand dab and crab action with anglers returning with bucketloads of sand dabs and limits of Dungeness. One of the best shore fishing events is the Sand Crab Surf Perch Derby, a benefit for the Monterey Bay Salmon and Trout Project, March 8 in Santa Cruz. Info: www.theletsgofishingradioshow.com or through Allen Bushnell at email@example.com.
Call: Chris' Landing (831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173; usafishing.com
San Francisco Bay
Halibut • Striper • • Leopard shark • • Sturgeon • •
Out of the Golden Gate, there hasn't been much taking place with minimum interest in running 45 minutes to the Gate only to have a longer ride to fish for sand dabs. Inside the bay, Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle in San Rafael reported one boat with four anglers returned with a 56-inch sturgeon and a few striper from the Mothball Fleet on Sunday after fishing for bat rays on Saturday near the Pumphouse. The occasional striped bass is landed from the Pinole shore on mudsuckers or blood worms.
San Luis Obispo
Crab • •
The Rita G out of Virg's Landing in Morro Bay is offering sand dab/crab trips while the rest of the fleet is offering whale watching trips. They spotted six gray whales on a weekend trip. Out of Patriot Sport Fishing in Port San Luis, the Patriot is offering sand dab/crab trips on Fridays and Saturdays through March. Patriots is offering a limited number of rockfish 2014 season passes for $1,000. Salmon season is anticipated to open April 5. Both harbors are offering whale watching and nature trips through the winter. Rockfish season starts May 1.
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 • • • Catfish • • Sturgeon • • • Bluegill • • •
The second major sturgeon derby in as many weeks was Feb. 1-2, with the 30th Foundation Sportsmen's Club "Original Sturgeon Derby" out of McAvoy's Boat Harbor in Bay Point. There were 1,043 participants.This year's target length was 58 inches for both days and the spread between first and seventh was only 1 5/16 inches. John Badger of Barbarian Sport Fishing landed several diamondbacks with a total of seven keepers to 55 inches. He added, "There was a big dumping ebb tide on Saturday night and the fish were biting everything. Salmon roe and eel worked best with less action on ghost shrimp." J. D. Richey of Richey's Sport Fishing continues to find outstanding action for striped bass north and south of the Rio Vista Bridge with white Robo Worm swimbaits on jig heads from a quarter- to a half-ounce. "I may have had my best day ever for average size on Friday with linesides to 18 pounds with the average size ranging from 8 to 10 pounds," Richey said. In addition to striped bass, Richey has released a pair of steelhead on recent trips along with the occasional smallmouth bass. Striper fishing is showing signs of life on the western edge of the reaches of the San Joaquin River with Tyler Landrum of Gotcha Bait in Antioch reporting, "The best action has been around the Antioch Bridge east toward False River with frozen shad." Alan Fong of the Fisherman's Warehouse in Sacramento confirmed the good striper action in the north Delta near Liberty and Steamboat Slough. In the Stockton area, striped bass fishing remained very slow. For largemouth bass, Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, found great action for numbers during a recent stormy morning with the ima Flit or the Berkley Havoc 5-inch Flat Dawg on a Zappu Head, but the big fish were absent. The Flat Dawg is a stick-type plastic. Pringle said, "Everything is still slow on the bottom."
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
Nacimiento/San Antonio/Santa Margarita/Lopez
Bass • • • White bass • • Striper • • Catfish • • Crappie •
Nacimiento remains the top coastal lake and jigs or drop-shotting shad-patterned plastics from 15 to 35 feet on main lake points remains the top technique for spotted bass to 1.5 pounds. Rip baits are producing the occasional larger spot to nearly 2 pounds. Lopez is hosting the Best Bass Tournament this Saturday and with the trout plants, a few large fish should be located on a trout-patterned swimbait. Nacimiento dropped slightly to 726 feet and 22% capacity. San Antonio dropped to 656 feet and 5% capacity.
Call: Lake Nacimiento (805) 238-1056, ext. 3; Lake San Antonio Marina (805) 472-2818; Central Coast Bass Fishing.com (805) 466-6557
30th annual Foundation Sportsman's Club "Original Sturgeon Derby" at Delta/McAvoy's Boat Harbor on Feb. 1-2: 1, Cris Kent/Chris Martinez, $6,518; 2, Jason Singh/Richard Mendoza, $2,607; 3, David Portscheller/Vincent Ferrer, $1,303
American Bass Association at Delta/Russo's on Feb. 1: 1, Pat and Joel Leiser, 28.75 pounds (Big Fish, 9.72 pounds); 2, Mark Mendez/Isaac Budiselich, 28.11; 3, Dan Flood/Marc Young, 23.62
Best Bass Tournaments at McClure on Feb. 1: 1, Randy Whited/Michael Gaston, 7.78 pounds; 2, Tom Richards/Eladio Garcia, 7.53; 3, Jason Higginbotham/Nathan Harbison, 7.77
American Bass Association at Pine Flat on Feb. 1: 1, Tim Turner/Ryan Accardo, 11.86 pounds; 2, Timmy Wells, 11.78 (Big Fish, 6.02 pounds); 3, Vince and Kendall Bryan, 10.05
California Bass Federation at McClure on Feb. 2: 1, Corey Squires, 10.18 pounds (Big Fish, 8.04 pounds); 2, Randy Pierson, 9.71; 3, Tim Wells, 7.86
Saturday: Angler's Choice at Delta/Ladd's Marina; Kerman Bass Club at McClure; Best Bass Tournaments at Lopez; Tri-Valley Bass Club Inc. at Santa Margarita
Sunday: Modesto Bass Ambassadors at New Melones; Best Bass Tournaments at McClure
Feb. 15: Western Outdoor News at Delta/Russo's Marina; Tri-Valley BassMasters at New Melones; American Bass Association at Don Pedro; Kerman Bass Club at McClure; Roosevelt High Bass Club at McClure (Barrett's South Launch), info: Mike Spencer, 261-5296 or firstname.lastname@example.org; 100 Plus Bass Fishing at Millerton; Bakersfield Bass Club at Pine Flat; American Bass Association at Lopez
Feb. 16: Stockton Bass Club at Delta/Ladd's Marina; Riverbank Bass Club at New Melones; Kings VIII Bass Club at McClure; Kings River Bass Club at Kaweah
Feb. 22: Mother Lode Bass Anglers at McClure; New J Bass Club at Eastman; Sierra Bass Club at Pine Flat; Kern County Bass Masters at Pine Flat; Dinuba High Bass Club at Kaweah, info: John Celum, 797-5793; 101 Bass at Lopez; Golden Empire Bass Club at Santa Margarita
Feb. 22-23: California Tournament Trail at New Melones
Feb. 23: Hook, Line and Sinker at Delta/Russo's Marina; Success Bass Club at Kaweah
March 1: American Bass Association at Delta/Russo's Marina; Mother Lode Bass Anglers at Tulloch; Angler's Choice at Don Pedro; Best Bass Tournaments at Pine Flat; San Luis Obispo County Bass Ambushers at Lopez; 101 Bass at Santa Margarita
March 2: Stockton Bass at Delta/Ladd's Marina; Western Outdoor News at Delta/Russo's Marina
March 8: 10th annual Sand Crab Surf Perch Derby at Portuguese Hall in Santa Cruz, info: www.theletsgofishingradioshow.com or through Allen Bushnell at email@example.com; Roosevelt High Bass Club at Millerton (Day Use Launch), info: Mike Spencer, 261-5296 or firstname.lastname@example.org
April 5: Roosevelt High Bass Club at Eastman (Campground Side), info: Mike Spencer, 261-5296 or email@example.com
May 18: Student Angler Federation's California State Championship at Delta/Russo's, info: Mike Spencer, 261-5296 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Fresno County: Avocado Lake; Fresno City Woodward Park Lake; Kings River, Below Pine Flat Dam; Pine Flat Reservoir
Kern County: Brite Valley Reservoir; Hart Park Lake; Ming Lake; River Walk Lake; Truxtun Lake; Woollomes Lake
Madera County: Bass Lake; Eastman Lake; Hensley Lake; Sycamore Island Pond
Mariposa County: Eastman Lake; McClure Reservoir
Merced County: Yosemite Lake
Monterey County: El Estero Lake
Tuolumne County: Don Pedro Reservoir; New Melones Reservoir
Minor Major Minor Major
Wednesday 9:47 3:35 10:12 4:00
Thursday 10:39 4:26 11:03 4:51
q Friday 11:28 5:15 11:58 5:40
Saturday ---- 6:02 12:14 6:26
Sunday 12:34 6:46 12:58 7:10
Monday 1:17 7:29 1:41 7:53
Tuesday 1:59 8:11 2:22 8:34
q = quarter moon