We've had vacillating weather patterns the past few months that have kept a lot of boaters off the water, but that is about to change this weekend with a hot forecast. I think you can expect just about everybody who owns a boat -- but hasn't gone out yet this year -- to hit the water to cool off and get old Betsy back up to speed. It could get pretty crazy, so here are some key issues to be prepared for if you decide to join the mob.
First of all, most boaters are really still not fully aware of what the low-water season means. Many will show up and try to get on the water without looking at the reduced surface area of many of our lakes -- or the possibility of rocks and underwater structure they don't have to consider during regular water years.
Millerton, for example, is at about half capacity, which is not bad. But last year at this time, it was up another 100,000 acre-feet. That's a big difference in surface area and that impacts the number of boats that can be on the lake safely at one time. In addition, the narrow canyons upriver are smaller by far (although I've never seen that slow down the high-powered boats maneuvering around those hairpin turns with speed). Folks used to speeding up to Temperance Flats may be in for a shock when they get up there because the rock piles are way different than most years.
It's a dangerous situation being played out at many lakes, because most boaters are pretty sure of themselves and familiarity breeds contempt. Alcohol doesn't help either. In other cases, some people just don't know and head out at full speed wherever the water looks deep to them -- unaware of the danger lurking in the unmarked channel. There are lots of rocks upriver that have paint all over them from prior seasons. I've heard that's been getting played out all over the region, even among experienced anglers.
The ramps at the lakes are decent, but they aren't the kind that can handle a rush of hundreds of desperate boaters trying to launch. Millerton is on the third ramp on the Fresno side and the one on the Madera side is pretty narrow and can accommodate only two boats at a time -- that is, if both boaters know what they're doing. There is not a whole lot of parking and you may be walking a quarter-mile or more back to your boat after you park on the Madera side. You can expect the usual unconscious boaters who will back down to the water -- followed by the 5-minute fire drill of getting the rig loaded while everyone else waits. Or you'll see the one who pulls a boat out of the water 10 feet then decides to wipe down the prized possession -- in front of 15 waiting boaters coming in or trying to get launched.
Funny, it seems there are two types of boaters. One group likes to have solitude and sanity. And the other seems to live to crowd into a very small space with total chaos, and think it's heaven. I've always doubted the sanity of the second group -- but to each to their own!
If you're joining the fray, I suggest bringing some extra equipment. Make sure you have a good tow rope as well as jumper cables and tools. Broken-down boaters and fully depleted batteries are part of an opening day fiasco. These items prepare you for an emergency -- just in case you see your next-door neighbor broken down.
The best advice I can offer is to get to the lake when the gate opens at 6 a.m. and have the best ramp, parking and conditions of the day almost all to yourself. If you join the madness, you better have your head on a swivel and bring your patience -- you'll need it. Never give up!
Delta bass bite is phenomenal, Randy Pringle said. Shaver Lake is kicking out trout and kokanee limits, Dick Nichols said. Don Pedro bass are taking live bait, Manny Basi reported. Millerton bass numbers are good, Adam Moore said. New Melones kokanee bite is good, Gary Burns reported. Pine Flat trout and bass bites have improved, Patrick Movey said.
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 ••
Striped bass action has heated up in the California Aqueduct from Firebaugh south with rip baits such as RC Sticks, Reaction Innovation's Skinny Dippers, Lucky Craft Slender 127's, Pointer 100's or 128's in ghost minnow or American Shad along the access areas with moving water near the headgates. In the south aqueduct in Kern County, Pete Cormier of Bob's Bait said, "The most consistent striper fishing has been with sardines, but anchovies, sardines, lug worms, blood worms, RatLTraps, or Gitzits are also working for the small fish," adding, "I haven't heard of anything over 5 pounds in quite a while." Anglers are advised to be very careful in measuring any fish close to the 18-inch limit to remain legal.
Bass ••• Trout •• Bluegill •• Catfish •• Crappie ••
Pat Huddleston, camp host, reported high winds with gusts to 40 mph wreaked havoc on Saturday's club derby with 12 of the 20 boats leaving early. He said, "Every boat brought in a limit as expected and the smaller male bass were the majority of fish taken to the weigh-in, with a few female bass in the 3- to 5-pound range that had just completed the spawn weighed in." The pesky males were getting to the baits before the female bass had a chance. Adam Moore of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis reported the action "isn't bad," with an 8-pound largemouth landed on an ABT Suicide Glide swimbait for an angler throwing it all day long at the dam. Rip baits, jigs and Senkos also are working; the key is to work down the banks or over individual rockpiles. Rip baits work best on slightly windy days. Huddleston added, "A few trout, catfish, bluegill, and crappie continue to be reeled in, but it won't be long until the water temperature climbs, and the trout will struggle to the bottom." Catfish are starting to show on mackerel or anchovies. The river arm is closed beyond the Keep Out Buoys and iwill not reopen until Aug. 1. Bank fishing is also off limits in the area and the citations very costly. The Lakeview Trail is closed until further notice. Orange buoys show the numerous rockpiles and other hazards near the surface and should be avoided. The day-use and Codorniz recreation sides have active ramps. The lake held at 472.57 feet in elevation and 9% capacity.
Call: Six Star Tackle Box 673-5688; Eastman Lake 689-3255
Bass ••• Trout •• Catfish ••• Bluegill • Crappie ••
Adam Moore of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis reported good number of smaller bass off the dam for fishermen dragging lizards or Senkos. The dam is a good location, since the water is deepest and there is more current in the area. Walking the banks with similar baits also has been producing smaller male bass. A few crappie are taken with live minnows or minijigs, but fishermen have to search for the small slabsides near structure and be patient. Catfishing remained solid with anchovies or mackerel from the banks. Low-water levels continue to require extreme caution when maneuvering a boat. The ramp at Hensley is barely in the water. The lake rose slightly to 458.80 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 ••
Manny Basi of the Bait Barn in Waterford continued to tout high sales of extra-large and jumbo minnows, as live bait remained the top bait for bass, especially over the weekend. The Huddleston 6-inch 58 Special in rainbow trout is working with a slow roll off the bottom similar to fishing a jig, and the Robo Worm 4-inch Fat Hologram Shad SK version is effective on the drop-shot. Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing found good action Friday with two limits by noon, and after canceling Saturday because of the wind, he found much tougher action for kokanee and rainbow trout Monday with the fish scattered. He said, "We went a few hours before getting our first bite, and we finally went into Hatch Creek to work for five kokanee and three rainbows rolling shad or dragging Uncle Larry's spinners or micro-hootchies tipped with corn scented with various Pro Cure gels behind a Vance's or RMT dodger at depths from 38-80 feet. The lake rose over a foot to 739.73 in elevation and 54% 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 ••
The bass bite has improved considerably. with Pete Cormier of Bob's Bait in Bakersfield saying one angler caught and released more than 30 to 8 pounds from the banks with plastic worms. Minnows remained popular for crappie fishing, and the slabsides are found around Paradise Cove. Bluegill are biting jumbo red worms or wax worms, and there is a decent catfish bite with garlic shrimp or frozen shad. The lake rose a foot to 2.538.86 in elevation and 12% capacity. The upper Kern River is fair for the recently planted trout with live crickets, Power Bait, salmon eggs, or spinners. In the lower river, largemouth bass to 6 pounds have been taken closer to town, and Democrat Beach continues to be decent for bass, crappie, and catfish. In the Bakersfield area, Buena Vista is producing a few crappie, but the bite overall has slowed with anglers averaging about 10 slabsides for a whole day while bass fishing remained decent. Local lakes are putting out a few bass and bluegill. Bob's will host their Striped Bass Derby in June.
Call: Bob's Bait (661) 833-8657; North Fork Marina (760) 376-1812
Bass ••• Crappie •• Trout •• Catfish ••
The Vox Pops Influentials Magazine Trout Derby is this weekend, and Sierra Sporting Goods in Exeter reported high interest for an event featuring 100 tagged fish -- 97 resulting in cash prizes from $20-$100 and three reserved for $10,000, an 18-foot fishing boat and a 2013 truck. The fourth annual derby is sponsored by the Visalia-based magazine in celebration of National Safe Boating Week; a portion of the proceeds benefit the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Kaweah Flotilla 10-6. The USCGA will provide free boat inspections. Derby entrants catching a tagged trout while wearing an official 2014 derby shirt will have their cash prizes doubled. For bass, a number of large fish in the 10-pound range have been landed with live jumbo minnows, Brush Hogs, Senkos, or lizards in the shallows. Crappie action has slowed over the past few weeks, but anglers are finding enough near rocks, trees, and the House Boats with live minnows or minijigs to keep them interested. Horse Creek has been a top area. Trout are moving toward Slick Rock and cooler water. Small catfish can be taken at night with chicken livers or anchovies. The lake rose 6 feet to 647.58 in elevation and 36% capacity.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212
Bass ••• Trout •• Catfish •• Crappie ••
Chuck Stokke of Sequoia Fish Co. reported good bass action, with large swimbaits picking up the occasional big fish. A more consistent bite is taking place with Brush Hogs or jigs in the concentrated pool of water. Success will be hosting two tournaments this weekend, and anglers are prefishing the lake in preparation. Crappie fishing remained slow. Planted rainbow trout are migrating up the river arm and the bite limited to an occasional fish with few fishermen trying. The only launch available is on the Rocky Hill side, and the rising water is making it easier. The lake rose 2 feet to 601.05 in elevation to 16% capacity, but there will be releases within a few months. In the Tule River, Stokke reported a surprisingly solid flow down the river near Moses Gulch and found great action for primarily brown trout to 13 inches with nymphs in the morning before switching to a stimulator by midmorning. He said, "Most of the browns were in the 10 to 11-inch range, and they were hitting the flies very aggressively." Planted trout are found near Balch Park with spinners, and the Balch Park Pack Station should be opening within a few weeks. Gates to Hidden Falls and Moses Gulch are open.
Call: Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626, www.sequoiafishingcompany.com.
Bass ••• Trout •• King salmon •• Kokanee • Crappie •• Catfish ••
King salmon and kokanee are showing up in greater numbers at depths from 70-85 feet near the dam and McClure Point. Bass fishing has been best with live large or extra-large minnows near McClure Point and Barrett's Cove. Anglers have been lining the banks on the weekends to toss out live bait. Crawdads also are producing bass and catfish as the fish are feeding heavily after the spawn. A-1 and the Bait Barn are stocked up with all sizes of minnows due to high demand. The lake rose 2 feet to 712.85 in elevation and 29% capacity.
Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505; Bub Tosh (209) 404-0053
Trout action was slowed by the high weekend winds and the lack of a plant since April 30. There was an additional 1,000-pound plant released before Saturday's Mariposa Fish and Game Protective Association Trout Derby. The lake is down a few feet because of repairs on the dam. Power Bait in purple, orange, or chartreuse glitter, Power Eggs in white, or Kastmasters in gold or silver are working from the bank, while trollers are scoring up the river arm near the floating restrooms to the chimney with PPK Tomahawk spinners in orange, pink sparkle or chartreuse.
Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River
Bass ••• Striper •• Shad •• Bluegill •• Trout ••
Adam Moore of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis reported good action for spotted bass with topwater lures in the mornings or evenings, rip baits, plastic worms on the drop-shot, jigs, or Senkos at depths from the bank to 25 feet. Anglers have to wade through a number of fish to post a limit, but five-fish takes in the 7- to 8-pound range are possible. Numbers of bass remained the top feature of the lake, and it still remains a good option for taking a child fishing despite increasing recreational boating pressure. Striped bass are showing signs of life, with a few linesides coming from up the river arm on shad-type lures. American shad are showing in small numbers so far. Many local striper anglers are actively releasing any they catch because of the small declining population they feel could be decimated. The lake rose 9 feet to 516.43 in elevation and 51% capacity with 4,361acre-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 the fishing interest thus remains low. 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 in possession. Hatchery fish have a healed adipose fin clip. All wild steelhead or trout with an adipose fin 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 •••
Despite the winds, clouds, and rapid recession of the lake's waters, the kokanee bite was still good until a slowdown Monday. Gary Burns of Take it to the Limit Guide Service reported putting several quality limits of kokanee to 14 inches during the past week, stating, "The fish are putting the weight on, and they are getting bigger every week." With triple-digit temperatures expected by Thursday, kokanee action should improve as the fish start to school up in the stratified water columns. The main lake near the dam, Rose Island and around South Island is active at depths of 30-55 feet with Uncle Larry's spinners with pink splatters or Simon Baby Wobblers in pink or pink tiger behind a Rocky Mountain Tackle UV Pink Thunder or UV Orange Thunder dodgers. Burns said, "83 year-old Mary Ann White fished with us with her nephew Jim, and she landed all the big kokanee to 14 inches." Burns is using Pro Cure's garlic scent and dying the corn with beet juice and loading the corn on a single No. 2 hook to allow for a successful release of the smaller fish. For rainbow trout, the trolling bite was still fair at best, but there are a few quality fish to be had as evidenced by the 4.25-pound rainbow taken on a pink micro-hootchie by Dick Stockton of Valley Springs. Bank action is slow, and the best fishing from the shore is occurring in local planted streams. Lietchy said, "Bass fishing is good, and the fish are still biting and can be caught at many different depths." There is a good reaction bite with crank baits or jerk baits in natural color patterns in clear water or bright colors in stained water. Carolina-rigged Brush Hogs or lizards are effective in deeper water, and half- or three-quarters-ounce football heads loaded with crawdad, baby bass, or bluegill-patterned jigs are also effective in both shallow and deep water. Catfishing has been good, with the whiskerfish moving into the shallows feeding heavily. Frozen shad or a ball of night crawlers are working with additional Pro Cure scent added to the bait. Crappie fishing is fair. New Melones dropped 5 feet to 922.08 in elevation and 36% capacity with the release of 5,580 acre-feet of water. Tulloch rose slightly to 506.13 and 91%.
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 ••
Trout trolling improved significantly, with Patrick Movey at the Fisherman's Warehouse in Fresno reporting Shasta Tackle's Wiggle Hootchies in pink at depth of 25-40 feet in the main lake from Deer Creek Marina to Pine Flat Lake Resort and near the Power Lines to the dam. Adam Moore of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis confirmed improved trout action with Apex lures, Needlefish in silver/blue, chartreuse Wedding Rings, or PPK Tomahawk spinners in purple sparkle or pink at depths from the surface to 30 feet at first light to midmorning. Bass fishing has improved also, and Moore said, "Everything is working with action some days better than others." Shad-patterned spinnerbaits, rip baits in ghost minnows, RatLTraps in chrome/blue back or shad-patterned plastic worms on the drop-shot are effective from the banks to 25 feet deep. Moore touted Pro Worms Pro Gold or Robo Worm's Aaron's Pro Shad for bass from 1.5-1.75 pounds. Occasional crappie are found near the docks at Deer Creek Marina with small minnows or minijigs. The lake rose 8 feet to 811.68 in elevation and 35% capacity with 3,123 acre-feet of inflow. Trout plants in the lower Kings continue, but trophy fish continued to be scarce in both the open and catch-and-release sections of the lower Kings. Chuck Stokke of Sequoia Fish Co. in Springville reported fly fishermen are still picking up river planters with Woolley Buggers or nymphs, but the big fish have been taken out. Anglers are urged to leave the banks clean upon departure. 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 Co. 539-5626, The I Forgot Store 787-3689.
San Luis Reservoir and O'Neill Forebay
Striper •• Catfish •• Bass •• Crappie ••
The Forebay may have experienced a fish kill over the past week, with reports of stripers and threadfin shad floating near Check 12. Striper fishing has improved in the aqueducts, and interest in the Forebay waned; pile worms and blood worms continued to be the top baits in the moving water near the Highway 152 Bridge and Check 12. White flukes or Lucky Craft Pointer 128's are working from banks in the main lake; high winds kept boaters off the lake for several days. With the temperatures expected to reach triple-digits by midweek, main-lake conditions should be much calmer, and the striped bass should be busting bait on the surface in the early mornings or evenings. Before the winds, jumbo minnows drifted in front of the trash racks has been the top draw with the troll bite slowing the past few weeks. Important note: All boats, personal watercraft, kayaks, canoes, sailboards, inflatables and float tubes must undergo an inspection for Quagga and Zebra mussels. These invasive species threaten recreational opportunities, the state;s water delivery infrastructure and the aquatic habitat of San Luis Reservoir.
Call: Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711; Roger George Guide Service 905-2954
Bass •• Trout •• Kokanee ••
The annual Bass Lake Chamber of Commerce Trout Derby paid out more than $19,000 for 260 tagged fish, but the action has slowed since derby weekend. Todd Wittwer of Kokanee.net Guide Service put in a total of 16 rainbows on two trips Monday, trolling blade/crawler combinations, pink hootchies, Rocky Mountain Tackle's Assassin spinners, or Father Murphy's Bugs at 4 colors of lead core. Kokanee action has slowed, and there have been very few second-year or the remaining third-year kokanee reported the past few weeks. Another trout plant will occur May 21, with a bonus of 750 pounds of trophies dumped into the lake. Senkos are the top artificial bait for bass, as fish are holding 10-12 feet deep near the docks. A webcam is available 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 ••
Kaiser Pass is to open Tuesday, a bit earlier than the traditional date over Memorial Day weekend. Edison held at 11%; 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 ••
The kokanee are putting on a growth spurt, and Shaver Lake continues to kick out quality kokanee to 14-plus inches along with several trophy-sized rainbows. Dick Nichols of Dick's Fishing Charters said. "Our clients and others are finding great success in limiting on kokanee and trout, but the kokanee are moving every day or so causing trollers to move to new locations to find the fish." He took out three Sierra High students, Tommy Hayashi, a foreign exchange student from Japan, Josh McCandless, and Brandon Falk, catching and releasing four limits of mixed kokanee and rainbows to keep 10 fish. Nichols said, "The action was a bit slower than the past couple of days, but still good." He has been scoring with orange Apex lures, Captain Jack's Super Hootchies tipped with corn, Dick's Trout Busters loaded with corn and a piece of night crawler behind Mountain Flashers at depths of 17-34 feet near the point, dam, and around Roads 1 and 2. Bank fishermen are picking up planted rainbows with the occasional trophy trout near the point, Roads 1 and 2, or Dorabella Cove with Power Bait, Gulp! Worms, or night crawlers. The SLTTP Sportsmen's Dinner is Aug. 9 at the Shaver Lake Community Center. Tickets go on sale July 1; contact treasurer Bob Bernier at 360-7185 for information. Leading fish in the Fresno Ag Hardware /SLTTP season derby is a 16.2-pounder. Weigh-in stations are Shaver Lake Sports, Young's Sporting Goods and Ken's Market. At Huntington, the lake is low, and the best action for holdover rainbow trout near the mouth of Rancheria Creek with night crawlers or Power Bait. Not much interest because of to the low water.
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. Chuck Crane of Wishon Village RV Park and Store reported high weekend winds, but trollers have been finding quality rainbows flatlining 4-inch Rapalas at least 100 feet behind the boat on the surface in the early morning before dropping down in the water column by midmorning. Speedy Shiners or ExCel spoons in rainbow trout are effective as the fish are schooled up. Bank fishing has been slow, but Patrick Movey of the Fisherman's Warehouse said, "Bank anglers are picking up a few fish on Power Bait or night crawlers, and trollers are finding good action with blade/crawler combinations early in the morning until 11 a.m." Crane said, "The launch is on the concrete, but the lake is dropping on a daily basis in order to make power." The store is open and has a good supply of night crawlers. At Courtright, Crane reported shore fishing was slow, but holdover rainbows to 15 inches have been taken. The launch is open and on the concrete. For stream fishermen, Crane advised hitting creeks early as water levels are decent right now and there are trout in the deep holes in Dinkey Creek. The streams will be all but over by July. There haven't been any insect hatches yet, and as a result minimal interest in the streams.
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
Salmon •• Striper •••
Captain Dennis Baxter of the New Captain Pete went to the same numbers that he found three limits on Friday and put in seven limits of salmon fishing six miles below the Farallon Islands on Monday. Sheryl Jimno of the Rusty Hook in Pacifica reported the pier was open over the weekend but will close down again during the week for repairs. Striped bass fishing along the beaches continues to improve, and hair raiser, blood worms, and pile worms are all working for the linesides. In fact, she said, "Everything is working."
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 ••
Chris Arcoleo of Chris' Landing in Monterey said, "The Check Mate looked for salmon near the Whistle Buoy, but it was too rough, and they went out to the canyon to find 'tons of anchovies, whales, and working birds,' but the salmon were absent." The Caroline went rockfishing for 18 ling cod and half limits of rockfish for 20 anglers before winds blew them back in. They are rockfishing daily this week; Wednesday is the only day with availability for salmon fishing.
Call: Chris' Landing(831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173;usafishing.com
San Francisco Bay
Halibut ••• Striper ••• Leopard shark •• Salmon •• Sturgeon ••
Salmon action had been slow, but Monday the New Rayann out of Sausalito went south of the Farallons to the numbers found by Captain Dennis Baxter the previous Friday and put in 17 limits of salmon to 23 pounds. Halibut fishing went off the charts as predicted, with big scores on party boats and good scores on private boats. Angel Island and Alcatraz have been top locations, with huge flatties hitting the decks. Captain Jim Smith of the Happy Hooker had a great weekend with an apex of 30 halibut to 28 pounds and three striped bass for 31 anglers Saturday after 23 halibut to a whopping 35 pounds and two stripers to 12 pounds Friday. He predicted a much improved bass bite in the coming days with larger tides and thought the action might even start Monday. Bill Clapp of Bill's Sport Fishing found good action at Angel Island and Alcatraz over the weekend with halibut at 14 and 20 pounds taken on live bait from the San Francisco receiver.
San Luis Obispo
Salmon • Rock cod •••
Patriot Sport Fishing in Avila has taken over operations of Virg's Landing and is running the majority of party boats in this section of the coast. On Monday, the Fiesta out of Morro Bay returned with 20 lings, 152 vermilion rockfish and 38 assorted rockfish for limits for 19 anglers. Lady's Day aboard the Fiesta is Wednesdays, with trips half off for female anglers. Out of Port San Luis, the Patriot returned with 30 ling cod to 12 pounds, 35 vermilion rockfish, 116 Bolinas rockfish, and 58 assorted rockfish for 21 anglers. They have boated a total of 150 legal ling since the May 1 opener. Both harbors are running a variety of trips, including the first two-day rockfish trip out of Morro Bay on 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 •••
Northwest winds plagued boaters desiring to access the main Sacramento River. Striper fishing has been contingent on when and where the linesides are running back downstream in the direction of the bay. Pay Hayes at Benicia Bait said, "The winds have kept our boaters off of the water, but bank fishermen have been finding decent action for striped bass in the protected areas of Glen Cove and under the Benicia/Martinez Bridge with pile worms, blood worms, or anchovies. Plug casters are focusing upon the banks at the Dillon Point State Park with various lures such as RatLTraps or heavy spoons." Doug Chapman at Gotcha Bait in Antioch reported few anglers are targeting sturgeon, but there have been a few diamondbacks landed on the Buoy 2 side of Broad Slough went winds allow. The wind did pay dividends to largemouth bass fishermen with an improved reaction bite in shallow water. For largemouth bass, Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, found phenomenal action with the ima Squarebill crankbait in red or chartreuse during the windy periods, stating, "This has been one of the best in history with fish everywhere, and the bass are hitting the cranks while they are running through the balls of fry." Pringle advised "ticking the tops" of the weeds with the crankbaits, getting down in the 3- to 4-foot range using 15-pound Trilene Big Game monofilament. When the wind dies by midweek, Pringle advised switching to stealthy techniques by tossing the ima Helli P prop bait or Optimum Furbet the Frog along weed lines, over mats, or along the edges of tules with bluegill, orange, or yellow patterns showing up best in the off-color water. He said, "The frog bite will be very good by week's end, but since the bass are loading up on crawdads, a Texas-rigged Chigger craw in black/red or the 6-inch Bottom Hopper in June Bug on a Zappu Head is also an excellent choice."
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 ••
White bass action has been fair with small white lures as the fish are preparing for a spawning run up the river arm. Las Tablas to the dam is the top area for spotted, smallmouth, or largemouth bass on plastic worms. Santa Margarita continued to produce larger bass with plastic worms, jigs, or live night crawlers with the fish starting to move off of the banks. San Antonio is limited to kayaks, canoes, or inflatables with the low water and bass have backed off the banks into deeper water. Lopez has been the top coastal lake for crappie, bluegill, or redeared perch with red worms or minijigs tipped with various baits. Bass fishing has been best with drop-shot plastics or live night crawlers. Nacimiento dropped slightly to 725.40 feet in elevation and 21% capacity; San Antonio dropped to 654.45 and 4%.
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 Tournament 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
Thursday-Saturday: FLW Outdoors at Delta/Russo's Marina
Saturday: 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; Best Bass Tournaments at Lake Berryessa
Saturday-Sunday: Fresno Bass Club at Clear Lake; Sierra Bass Club at Delta Russo's Marina; Vox Pops Influential Magazine Trout Derby at Kaweah
Sunday: 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: Big Creek, Huntington; Dinkey Creek; Kings River, below Pine Flat Dam; Rancheria Creek; Shaver Lake; Tamarack Creek
Kern County: Kern River, Sections 1-5
Madera County: Big Creek; Lewis Creek; San Joaquin River, Middle Fork; Starkweather Lake
Mariposa County: McSwain Reservoir; Merced River, Section I-ll
Tulare County: Kern River, Section 5-6
AM PM Minor Major Minor Major
f-Today 5:00 11:14 5:27 11:41
>Thursday 5:56 ---- 6:24 12:10
>Friday 6:56 12:42 7:26 1:11
Saturday 8:00 1:45 8:29 2:15
Sunday 9:05 2:50 9:34 3:19
Monday 10:08 3:54 10:36 4:22
Tuesday 11:08 4:54 11:35 5:21
> = peak activity; f-full moon