Editor's note: This column was originally published Jan. 29 and is being re-run in celebration of Mother's Day on Sunday.
My dad and I fished, hunted and explored together for years, and the real secret to being able to do it all was my mom. She was always uplifting, generous to a fault and completely dedicated to family. I think Mom reflected the traits that I've seen in many other moms with outdoor-oriented families: They're self-sacrificing saints who keep it all together at their own personal expense. It may sound like an outdated concept, but having an unheralded yet fully committed mom in my corner is probably one of the biggest reasons for any so-called success I've achieved. If you have one also, count yourself among the lucky.
In my early teen years, I can recall hearing Dad on the phone with his buddies about the latest and greatest fishing action. Within seconds, Dad would be working out what our ranch hands needed to do if he could get away, and then he'd go ask Mom if he could go. It was a formality, as I never heard her say no to him -- ever! Looking back, I realize she wanted Dad and me to go fishing and that's how Dad became my best fishing buddy and friend. We built a strong bond that's forged only through spending time focused on a mutual passion and it was all made possible because Mom had the vision to see how important it was.
Funny, but she wasn't an outdoors person. Raised in a big city, she loved reading books, researching genealogy and spending time with friends. Living on a ranch wasn't her idea of heaven, but she felt that raising her family in a small community and doing things as a family was a better choice. I think she was right! No matter how late we returned from one of our all-out fishing trips (Dad didn't know any other kind), Mom would always want to know how we had done. If we did really well, she would be excited about it -- even though I think she went fishing with us only about two times ever. She was never negative (except if we were going too late and didn't call) and I believe she lived out our victories vicariously and celebrated them as if she had been there, too!
Mom was proud of the legacy of fishing we had in the family although I didn't realize until much later how much she had given up to make it possible. I was always able to talk to Mom -- she would listen and point me in a positive right direction. She was always behind the scenes encouraging us, while putting herself second, to move us ahead. My parents never missed a track meet or football game I was in and later when I was competing internationally they traveled all over the U.S. to support me.
I believe that there are many more moms out there who are the unsung heroes of their families, making it possible for their children and spouse to pursue their outdoor passions. In this crazy world of self-promotion, it's an incredible blessing to have someone behind you who is committed to your success no matter what sacrifices it takes. Thank you, Mom!
Maybe you have a mom who's sacrificed greatly for you, too. Did she pave a path that allowed you to fish or hunt? Is she your advocate and cheerleader? If she is, you need to celebrate her commitment and be thankful for her. I sure do.
Coastal rockfishing enjoyed a good opener, Chris Arcaleo said. Shaver kokanee bite is good, Dick Nichols reported. Millerton bass are still hitting, and Eastman bass bite on the rebound, Merritt Gilbert said. Don Pedro bass are hitting minnows, Manny Basi reported. New Melones kokanee action is good, Gary Burns said.
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 ••
The California Aqueduct near Firebaugh and Los Banos has been kicking out a few stripers with white flukes or Lucky Craft Pointer 128's in moving water near the headgates. The most consistent striper action remained in the south aqueduct in Kern County with anchovies, sardines, lug worms, or blood worms for mostly undersized fish, but legal limits are possible for those willing to cull through a number of stripers. Anglers are advised to carefully measure any fish close to the 18-inch limit in order to remain legal.
Bass ••• Trout •• Bluegill •• Catfish •• Crappie ••
Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis reported improved bass action, with anglers picking up 15-18 per trip and some to 8 pounds taken in the past week. Pat Huddleston, Eastman Lake camp host, confirmed the good action. His wife, Lynda, caught and released a 5.5-pounder on a dark green crawdad-patterned crank bait. He landed several small bass drop-shotting 4- to 6-inch worms. Trout fishing is fair with night crawlers, Power Bait, or spinners, but water temperatures are driving planted fish to the deepest parts of the shallow lake. Catfish are starting to show on mackerel or anchovies. The river arm is closed beyond the Keep Out Buoys, reopening Aug. 1. Bank fishing is also off limits in the area. Lakeview Trail is closed until further notice. The day-use and Codorniz recreation side have active ramps. The lake held at 472.70 feet in elevation and 9% capacity. Boaters continue to be advised to be cautious of underwater hazards in the low water conditions.
Call: Six Star Tackle Box 673-5688; Eastman Lake 689-3255
Bass •• Trout •• Catfish ••• Bluegill •• Crappie ••
Bass fishing has improved, with Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis reporting a few 5-pound fish taken during the past week, stating, "The bite is definitely on the upswing." A few crappie are taken, and anglers can find as many as 15 of the small slabsides if they are willing to stick it out all day long. The key is to keep moving in order to locate the schools of fish. Catfishing remained solid with anchovies or mackerel from the banks. The low water continues to require extreme caution when maneuvering a boat around the lake. The Hensley ramp is still barely in the water. The lake rose a half-foot to 458.55 feet in elevation and 10% 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 ••
Large and jumbo minnows continued to be the top draw for bass fishermen, and Manny Basi of the Bait Barn in Waterford reported sales of live minnows remain high, particularly on the weekends. Swimbaits such as the Huddleston 6-inch 58 Special in rainbow trout are finding larger fish with a slow roll off the bottom similar to fishing a jig. Basi advised, "You fish the lure like a jig but with a faster retrieve." Senkos in natural shad or green pumpkin/ purple copper flake are also working. The kokanee schools have scattered, and Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing found primarily rainbow trout on a recent trip. He said, "A small front came through the area, and the kokanee were hard to find, but we managed a couple of limits of mostly rainbows pulling kokanee gear in open water." Uncle Larry's spinners or Rocky Mountain Tackle hootchies tipped with corn scent with various Pro Cure gels behind a Vance's or RMT dodger worked for rainbows, with an occasional kokanee at depths of 38-80 feet. The lake rose over a foot to 738.76 feet in elevation and 53% capacity.
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 ••
Crappie fishing remained solid at Isabella with small to medium minnows or minijgs, particularly around Paradise Cove. Bob's Bait in Bakersfield sold out of minnows over the weekend. Bass fishing remains fair, with few boats venturing out in the low water. Catfishing has improved with garlic shrimp or frozen shad. The lake rose over a foot to 2,537.93 in elevation and 12% capacity. The upper Kern is producing planted trout with live crickets, Power Bait, salmon eggs, or spinners. In the lower river, action has centered near Democrat Beach for bass, crappie, and catfish. In the Bakersfield area, Truxton and Ming are the best lakes for bass. Buena Vista is fair at best for crappie, bass or bluegill. Bob's will host its annual Striped Bass Derby in June.
Call: Bob's Bait (661) 833-8657; North Fork Marina (760) 376-1812
Bass •• Crappie ••• Trout •• Catfish ••
Crappie action has slowed, but anglers continue to line the banks at night with lights for the slabsides. The lake is rising rapidly. For bass, numbers of small fish are possible with drop-shot plastics or lizards on a Texas-rig. Finding larger fish is a concern. Bass have basically completed their spawn. Trout action is slow with fish seeking warmer water, but plants will occur before the Vox Pops Influentials Trout Derby on May 17-18. The lake rose 7 feet to 641.95 in elevation and 32% capacity.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212
Bass •• Trout •• Catfish •• Crappie ••
Success will host two tournaments on the weekend of May 17, and anglers are prefishing in preparation. Larry Kerns of the Visalia Bass Club reported an overall tough bite, catching and releasing eight bass to 4 pounds fishing hard from daybreak to 11:30 a.m. with crank baits or jigs. An 11.14-pound largemouth was caught and released by a fellow fisherman, and Kerns said, "This fish was spawned out and skinny, so it could have weighed as much as 16 pounds prior to spawning." He said, "The bass are all in good shape, but they are spawned out." Chuck Stokke of Sequoia Fish Co. in Springville said, "Senkos and Brush Hogs are working, and there is a topwater bite in the morning and evenings." Crappie fishing remains slow. Planted rainbow trout are migrating up the river arm, and the bite has been limited to an occasional fish. The only launch available is on the Rocky Hill side, and the rising water is making it easier to launch. The lake rose 9 feet to 599.40 in elevation and 15% capacity. In the Tule River, Stokke reported excellent action with dry flies. The gates to Hidden Falls and Moses Gulch should reopen within the week.
Call: Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626, www:sequoiafishingcompany.com.
Bass ••• Trout ••• King salmon •• Kokanee •• Crappie •• Catfish •••
Jason Mello of A-1 Bait in Snelling reported king salmon and kokanee action is heating up, with reports of salmon to 3 pounds taken on rolled shad or blue Cripplures behind a Shasta Tackle's Sling Blade at depths from 70-85 feet near the dam and also near McClure Point. Small kokanee were hitting pink or green hootchies to 70 feet near the dam, and rainbow trout have been plentiful at depths from 30-45 feet with Wedding Rings tipped with a night crawler behind a dodger, Dick's Trout Busters, blade/crawler combos, or Needlefish. Mello reported good action for spotted bass with large minnows; he released a 7-pound catfish on a crawdad from the banks near McClure Point. Both A-1 and the Bait Barn are stocked with all sizes of minnows. The lake rose 6 feet to 710.23 in elevation and 28% capacity.
Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505; Bub Tosh (209) 404-0053
High wind plagued the lake Monday, limiting bank fishing, but trollers found good action up the river arm with gold Kastmasters or PPK Tomahawk spinners in pink sparkle or chartreuse. Jason Mello of A-1 Bait in Snelling reported limits of quality rainbows on blade/crawler combos or night crawlers behind a Ford Fender flasher. Bank anglers are scoring with Power Bait in Bubble Gum garlic, rainbow garlic, the new Berkley Magnum Power Egg color CGFO (Clear-Green/Fluorescent Orange), or Cheese Dough. Salmon eggs are making a comeback. Mariposa Fish and Game Protective Association will hold its Mother's Day derby Saturday and 1,000 pounds of trout sponsored by Foster True Value Hardware in Mariposa will be released Friday. Bank areas such as the handicapped docks, brush pile, and near the Marina should be packed with anglers over the weekend.
Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River
Bass ••• Striper • Shad •• Bluegill ••
Millerton continued to feature 30-40 bass days. It is still the best spot to take a child bass fishing, since the small bass are ready to pounce on plastics on the drop-shot or dart head or Beetle Spins. The fish average 11.5-14 inches; fishermen have to wade through a number of bass to locate keepers. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun said, "Every fifth or sixth fish is a keeper over 13 inches." The river arm has been producing the better grade of bass, and rip baits are locating larger fish. No striped bass reports, but the river area has a moderate flow and is fairly small due to lower than normal water levels. A few shad are showing , but no schools so far. Roger George reported boaters need to be careful going up the river due to some very tricky rocks just under the surface. The lake rose 6 feet to 507.84 in elevation and 46% capacity with 3,184 acre-feet of inflow. All boats must fill out a Quagga mussel self-inspection form before launching. In the lower San Joaquin, no trout plants are scheduled this week, and thus the fishing interest remains low. There are new regulations on the lower San Joaquin, and from Friant Dam downstream to the Highway 140 Bridge -- 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.
Call: Fresno Fisherman's Warehouse 225-1838; Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474
New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch
Bass ••• Crappie •• Catfish ••• Trout •• Kokanee •••
Kokanee action remained solid, with Gary Burns of Take it to the Limit Guide Service finding good action Sunday for two limits of kokanee to 13 inches, releasing another 15-20. He said, "The kokes are getting bigger, and they are starting to fight a lot harder thanks to the warmer weather." He has been finding his best action near the spillway with Uncle Larry's spinners in orange or pink, Simon Baby Wobblers in pink and nickel, or Glitter Bug hootchies in pink or orange behind Rocky Mountain Tackle dodgers in UV orange or pink Thunder at depths from 38-50 feet. Burns is using Pro Cure's garlic scent and dying the corn with beet juice and loading it on a single #2 hook to allow for a successful release of smaller fish. For rainbow trout, the bite has been fairly tough with fish scattered at various depths. John Leitchy of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp said, "In the next couple of months, they will be favoring the cooler water near the river channel in the main lake." ExCel, Needlefish, or Speedy Shiner spoons work best from 10-60 feet for trollers in the main lake. Bank fishing is very slow, with the best action in the local streams above the lake. Night fishermen are starting to drop submersible lights and catching rainbows in the shallows with live minnows or night crawlers. Bass fishing remains good despite the lake falling on a daily basis. Best action is found in the shallows in the mornings and evenings before the bass move deeper at midday. Senkos, Brush Hogs, or lizards are working on Carolina-rigs in the deep water, and Leitchy reported a good reaction bite with crank baits or jerk baits. Jigs in crawdad, baby bass, or bluegill patterns on a half or three-quarters football head are working in shallow and deep water. Liechty said, "The post-spawn fish are eager to feed and chase top water baits and reaction type baits. Once the bite starts to slow down we have been switching to Senkos and other soft plastics." Catfishing has been good as they move into the shallows. Frozen shad or a ball of night crawlers are working with additional Pro Cure scent. Crappie fishing is fair. Exposed wood or standing timber are the top areas. New Melones dropped 6 feet to 927.47 in elevation and 37% capacity with Tulloch up slightly to 505.84 and 90%.
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
Bass •• Kokanee •• Trout •• King salmon • Catfish •• Crappie ••
Trout fishing is fair, with trollers averaging near-limits to limits of rainbows for a long day of fishing. Fish are found at depths of 20-40 feet, and some fishermen are dragging lead core line while others are going deeper with downriggers to the 40-foot depth. Patrick Movey at Fisherman's Warehouse in Fresno said, "Pink Shasta Tackle's Wiggle Hootchies behind a dodger have been working for the rainbows." Needlefish in shad-patterns or similar lures are also a good choice. Bass fishing remains decent, with fish averaging 1.5-1.75 pounds. Senkos and plastics on the drop-shot or dart head are working best, with some topwater action at night. Morning topwater action has yet to develop, but the larger grade to 2.75 pounds is taken on reaction baits. Movey added watermelon or green pumpkin Trick Worms on a shaky head as another productive rig. A few catfish to 1.5 pounds are taken on anchovies or night crawlers in the river arm past Trimmer. The occasional crappie are found near the docks at the Deer Creek Marina with small minnows or minijigs. The lake rose 10 feet to 803.42 in elevation and 33% capacity with 5,132 acre-feet of inflow due to snowmelt. Trout plants in the lower Kings continue. Trophy fish remain scarce in the open and catch-and-release sections of the lower Kings. There are special regulations in the Kings above and below Pine Flat Dam. The season is open to Nov. 15 from Pine Flat Dam downstream to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Bridge on Pine Flat Road, with a five-fish limit.
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 Forebay continued to provide the best action, according to Mickey Clements of Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill. Anchovies, pile worms, and blood worms have been top baits, and they ran out of pile worms Sunday morning after going through three cases. Stripers ranging from sub-legal at 15 inches to 24 inches have been the rule, and fishermen are culling through a number of fish to post a limit. Under the Highway 152 Bridge or around Check 12 remained the best locations, particularly when water is being pumped in or out of the reservoir. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, "A number of our local fishermen have been walking the banks at the main lake, and our sales of white flukes and Lucky Craft Pointers increased this past week." The winds started blowing Saturday, keeping most boaters off the main lake. Roger George of Roger's Guide Service fished the big lake for less than three hours and got eight fish to 24 inches before getting blown off. "The fish were all good sized and the bite was decent at 65-85 feet -- once we found fish. Fish are in all phases of spawning, too, right now," George said. Prior to the winds, jumbo minnows drifted in front of the trash racks were the top draw, with the troll bite slowing the past few weeks. The lake held at 47% capacity, with 2,759 acre-feet of water from the Delta matching the outflow from the reservoir. 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) 463-0711; Roger George of Rogersguideservice.com (559) 905-2954
Bass •• Trout •• Kokanee ••
The annual Bass Lake Chamber of Commerce Trout Derby took place this past weekend, and Chuck Crane of the Wishon Village RV Park and Store took part. "The lake is low, and we had a hard time getting the boat in and out of the water, but our group landed over $800 worth of tagged fish," adding, "I landed a $200 fish as well as three $20 trout using a brass/maroon red Speedy Shiner at 3 colors of lead core." Another successful setup was a light yellow plastic worm behind a dodger. Crane released five holdover trout from 14-17 inches, with his best action near the Pines. Todd Wittwer of Kokanee.net Guide Service reported six big kokanee from 16 to nearly 18 inches were landed one day last week before the arrival of the fleet for the derby. Another trout plant will occur May 21, with a bonus of 750 pounds of trophies. Bass fishing is best in 10-12 feet of water near the docks with Senkos working best. There is a webcam at www.BassLakeFishing.com or BassLakeCA.com. The lake is at 62% capacity.
Call: Todd Wittwer 288-8100; Mike Beighey 642-3748; Bass Lake Water Sports 642-3200.
Brown trout •• Trout ••
Kaiser Pass is to open May 20, a bit earlier than the traditional opening over Memorial Day weekend. Edison held at 11%, while Florence rose to 37% and Mammoth Pool to 50%. The reservoir is closed for fishing and boating through June 16 for the annual deer migration.
Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000
Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake
Kokanee ••• Trout ••
Kokanee continue to grow, and Dick Nichols of Dick's Fishing Charters scored limits to 14.25 inches trolling with John Wheeler of Fresno on Sunday. He said, "In addition to the kokanee, I have a story to tell. As we were trolling in 50-foot deep water, the side pole that was at about 17-18 feet deep hit and the tip went back and bounced and then started going to the right side of the boat and bouncing so savagely I couldn't believe it. I put the boat in neutral and reeled in the other poles and downrigger. The fish started ripping off line, but John was doing a great job of controlling his nerves and maintaining a cool head. The fish then came toward the boat and I had the net extended and ready to get it. All of a sudden the fish shot to the left and went around to the aft and started heading to open water. I put the boat into gear and followed it as it continued to rip line. Finally it stopped and started a right turn toward the starboard side. John was beginning to start to control the fish, when the line suddenly went down and then a quick turn back toward the aft. Again, John coolly hung on for dear life as the fish ripped more line and then stopped. Suddenly the line went limp and John brought in the line and flasher with only a swivel and about 3 inches of line as to what had been a Trout Buster. The leader finally gave up 3 inches below the swivel. The hooks had stayed intact, as did the tie at the swivel. Another boat nearby watched as we went through this for 25 minutes. I have no idea of the size of the fish, but it is my guess that it was the 17-pounder that SCE planted three years ago that has grown. We caught a 14-pounder at Pyramid this year and it did nothing compared to this fish. And we were sick. When we lost the fish, we were in 73 feet of water and had moved at least 75 yards from our initial hookup." They settled for two limits of kokanee, and Nichols believes these fish will grow to between 16 and 18 inches by summer. Kokanee are found from 17-60 feet with Captain Jack's Double Spinner Hootchies on downriggers and Dick's Trout Busters tipped with corn and a piece of night crawler on the side poles. Several large rainbows were landed in the past week with trophies to 5 pounds weighed in. A nice 3-pounder was caught by Montana resident Elaine Spina, who fished with brother Jim Burgess of Visalia and dad Dr. Fran Burgess of Hanford. Local regular trollers Joe Beck and Dan Pronold picked up multiple limits of kokanee and a trophy rainbow. Bank fishermen are doing well from Road 2, Point and Edison Campground using Power Bait or crawlers. Shaver was planted heavy two weeks ago. The SLTTP fourth annual Sportsmen's Dinner is Aug. 9 at the Shaver Lake Community Center. Treasurer Bob Bernier has information at 360-7185. Shaver Lake held at 62% capacity. The leading fish in the Fresno Ag Hardware/SLTTP season derby is a 16.2-pounder. At Huntington, Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis reported fishermen dragging aluminum boats to the lake: "It is a real chore to get a boat in there." A few brown trout to 22 inches were reported, and bank fishermen are soaking Power Bait at the Rancheria Creek inlet for rainbows to 14 inches. The launch ramp may or may not be open during the summer months as the lake has risen to 54%.
Call: Dick's Fishing Charters 841-2740; Dinkey Creek Inn 841-3435; Rancheria Marina 893-3234; Shaver Lake Sports Inc. 841-2740
McKinley Grove Road opened up to Wishon recently, and a few fishermen have been working the banks for rainbows from 16-22 inches with Power Bait or night crawlers. Braden Oneida landed a 22-inch rainbow from the shore near the launch. Merritt Gilbert reported a 7-pound brown trout was landed by a troller in the past week. Chuck Crane of Wishon Village RV Park and Store reported the lake rising slowly; the launch is on the concrete ramp. The store and campgrounds are open, and the store stocked with night crawlers. The road to Courtright closed after 16 inches of snow fell shortly after it first opened, but that has melted. The ramp is in the water, and Crane said, "You can get a boat in the water, but there have been few reports."
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
Rockfish ••• Salmon •• Striper ••
Captain Dennis Baxter of the New Captain Pete out of Pillar Point went out Saturday with a group of newbies with rent rods for a total of 16 salmon to 20 pounds, with a number of salmon lost in the process at 39'35/22.56 -- 8-9 miles below the main Farallon Island. The Rip Tide out of Half Moon Bay Sport Fishing was in the same area for 15 salmon Sunday. Half Moon Bay Sport Fishing scored 49 ling cod to 15 pounds over three days, with a 15-pound cabezon also reported. In Pacifica, Sheryl Jimno of the Rusty Hook said, "Interest in striped bass from the beaches north and south of Pacifica has taken off, and although the bite is fair, anglers are showing interest with topwater lures or shallow diving plugs in ghost patterns."
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
Rockfish ••• Salmon •• Striper ••
Rockfish season opened Thursday, and Chris Arcoleo of Chris' Landing in Monterey reported bottomfishing has been a solid bet; salmon fishing is "spotty" at best. Over the weekend, the Check Mate returned with six salmon for 13 anglers Saturday and nine for 23 fishermen Sunday. Arcoleo is expecting another major rush for salmon during July when current undersized salmon will be legal, in addition to new fish moving in from south of Monterey Bay.
Call: Chris' Landing(831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173;usafishing.com
San Francisco Bay
Halibut •• Striper ••• Rockfish •••• Leopard shark ••• Salmon •• Sturgeon •
Salmon boats ran southeast of the 50 Fathom Curve and southeast of the Farallon Island to intercept salmon. The C Gull II of Emeryville Sport Fishing returned with a fish a rod -- 17 salmon to 20 pounds for 17 anglers. Salmon are spread over an area estimated to be 10 miles long and 4 miles wide. Striped bass action is "off the hook." Captain Jim Smith of the Happy Hooker returned with 20 limits of stripers and five halibut from 12-22 pounds Sunday. "The bass were all over the place in every location we looked," Smith said, "and the larger bass came once the tides got rolling." They picked up a few halibut at Alcatraz and inside the Raccoon Straits. Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle in San Rafael said, "The minus tides ended Sunday, and next week's tides for both halibut and striped bass should be good."
San Luis Obispo
Salmon • Rock cod ••••
Rockfish season started with a bang from both harbors. The Patriot out of Patriot Sport Fishing in Port San Luis found spectacular action Monday with 26 ling cod to 10 pounds, 50 vermilion rockfish, 110 assorted rockfish, and 18 Dungeness crab for limits for 16 anglers. The Fiesta out of Virg's Landing hauled in eight ling cod, 60 vermilion, 180 assorted rockfish, and a 9-pound jackpot-winning cabezon for near limits for 28 anglers Monday. Both harbors are running a variety of trips; Virg's first two-day rockfish trip is June 7-8.
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 •••
James Nguyen of Dockside Bait in Pittsburg, who had recently found an excellent striper bite in the shallows on grass shrimp, reported few, if any, boats on the Sacramento River due to the wind. Mike Pipkins of Gotcha Bait in Antioch reported fair sturgeon fishing with grass shrimp, ghost shrimp, or pile worms from Pittsburg to Rio Vista when the wind cooperates. Captain Mike Gravert of Intimidator Sport Fishing confirmed the generally slower action in the east Delta, with larger tides muddying the water. Mike Pipkins at Gotcha Bait in Antioch said, "Shaker stripers have been the rule on either pile worms or fresh shad." Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, found great action with crankbaits during Monday's high winds, stating, "We found a phenomenal bite, with the bass loading up on crawdads and with bluegill fins sticking out of their mouths," adding, "We tossed the ima Squarebills in red in the morning before switching to chartreuse in the middle of the day when the water turned dingy from the persistent winds."
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 •
Lopez White said bass are biting at Nacimiento, and white Rooster Tails are trolled to locate the schools before dropping Kastmasters or Real Image jigs on the submerged white bass. Spotted bass are found on drop-shot plastics or lipless crank baits around rocky shores. Lopez and Santa Margarita continued to produce the largest fish in the region, with bass to 5 pounds taken in each lake on rainbow trout-patterned swimbaits or crankbaits in the backs of coves. At San Antonio, low water near Half Moon Bay has been the top area for multiple species. Nacimiento dropped slightly to 725.80 feet in elevation and 22% capacity; San Antonio held at 654.55 and 5%.
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 Don Pedro on May 3: 1, Scott Parsons/Doug Naruo 22.53 (big fish 12.94); 2, Ed Armbrister/Jimmy Smith 17.92; 3, Jim and Rick Littlejohn 11.08.
Saturday: Angler's Choice at Delta/Russo's Marina; American Bass Association/TriValley Bass Masters at Don Pedro; Angler's Choice/Christian Bass League at McClure; Mariposa County Fish and Game Trout Derby at McSwain; Bass 101 Open Tournament at Bass Lake, Mark Corrente 284-2768; American Bass Association at Success; Lake Isabella Bass Club at Isabella; Bakersfield Bass Club at Nacimiento
May 15-17: FLW Outdoors at Delta/Russo's Marina
May 17: Kerman Bass Club at New Melones; Best Bass Tournaments at Don Pedro; Stanislaus Consolidated at McClure; New J-Bass Club at Eastman; American Bass Association at Pine Flat; Golden Empire Bass Club at Kaweah; Visalia Bass Club at Success; American Bass Association at Isabella; 101 Bass at Nacimiento; Conejo Valley Bass Club at Lopez
May 17-18: Delta/Russo's Marina - Sierra Bass Club at Delta Russo's Marina; Vox Pops Influential Magazine Trout Derby at Kaweah
May 18: California Bass Federation at Delta/Ladd's Marina; FLW Outdoors/Modesto Ambassadors at Delta/Russo's Marina; Kings VIII Bass Club at McClure; Success Bass Club at Success; Best Bass Tournaments at Nacimiento
May 24: 100 Plus Bass at Pine Flat, Tim Torres 859-1822; Kern County Bass Masters at Lopez; San Luis Obispo Bass Ambassadors at Nacimiento
May 25: Tracy Bass Club at Delta/Tracy Oasis
May 31: American Bass Association at Delta/Russo's Marina; Mother Lode Bass Anglers at Don Pedro; Kokanee Power Team Kokanee Derby at Don Pedro, kokaneepower.org; Angler's Choice at McClure; Best Bass Tournaments at Pine Flat
May 31/June 1: Tracy Bass Club at Delta/Tracy Oasis
Fresno County: Dinkey Creek; Kings River, below Pine Flat Dam; Tenmile Creek, Upper
Tulare County: Balch Park Lake, Lower; Balch Park Lake, Upper; Big Meadows Creek; Hedrick Pond (Redwood Lake); Stony Creek
AM PM Minor Major Minor Major
Wednesday 2:02 6:13 12:24 6:35
Thursday 12:44 6:55 1:06 7:16
Friday 1:24 7:35 1:46 7:56
Saturday 2:03 8:14 2:25 8:36
Sunday 2:42 8:54 3:05 9:17
>Monday 3:24 9:36 3:48 10:01
>Tuesday 4:09 10:22 4:35 10:48
> = peak activity