Fishing Report: Week of June 25

The Fresno BeeJune 24, 2014 

Roosevelt High School Bass Fishing Club president Corrie Williams, left, and Bryce Her, right, hold forth the bass they caught midway through the April Extravaganza bass fishing tournament at Eastman Lake Sunday morning, April 14, 2013.

ERIC PAUL ZAMORA — Fresno Bee Staff Photo Buy Photo

Roger's remarks

Roger George's weekly fishing column will return. He can be reached at rogergeorge8000@sbcglobal.net, at www.facebook.com/Rogergeorgeguideservice and @StriperWars on Twitter.

Best bets

Delta bass fishing is good, Randy Pringle said. McClure trout are hitting, Diana Mello reported. Don Pedro top-water bass bite is good, The Bait Barn reported.

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.

Key:

Try dynamite

• • Have to work hard

• • • Limits possible

• • • • Fish jumpin' in boat

VALLEY

Delta Mendota Canal and Sloughs

Striper • • • Catfish • • •

The California Aqueduct and Delta Mendota Canals remain decent locations for area striper anglers, and bait fishing with blood or pile worms has been the most productive technique. Frozen shad, sardines or anchovies are working in the moving water. In the south aqueduct in Kern County, Clay Rutledge of Bob's Bait in Bakersfield reported a slowed catfish bite, but striper fishing is best with blood worm or lug worms. A 2.61-pound lineside leads Bob's annual Striped Bass Derby held during June. The entry fee is $1, with the pot at $252. Anglers are advised to be careful in measuring any fish close to the 18-inch limit in order to remain legal.

Eastman Lake

Bass • • • Trout • • Bluegill • • Catfish • • Crappie • •

Merritt Gilbert reported the bass fishing was fair to tough and the best bet had been for anglers to fish the face of the dam uphill with umbrella rigs. There have been a few 3- to 4-pound bass reported. The evening bite is picking up, according to Ranger Myers. Bass have been caught on most colors of crank bait or jig and drop-shot plastics that resemble shad or shiners. Myers said the trout bite is good with Powerbait or night crawlers. Catfish are taking shad, chicken livers and night crawlers. Gilbert said the catfish bite seemed to be the best on anchovies. Crappie, bluegill, and sunfish are all hitting worms or small crappie jigs. Eastman is a trophy bass fishery, and has a special bass limit of one fish per day, 22 inches or longer. The daily trout limit is five fish of any size, and total panfish daily limit is 25 fish. There is no limit or size restriction on catfish or carp. The lake level is dropping slowly due to reduced inflow and increased evaporation. They are on the lowest boat ramp on both sides of the lake. Be aware of unmarked hazards, including submerged rocks and trees, throughout the lake. The area of the lake extending upstream from the Keep Out buoy line is closed to fishing and boating, as is the Lakeview Trail, to protect nesting bald eagles. These areas will reopen Aug. 1. The lake is holding at an elevation of 471.68.

Call: Eastman Lake 689-3255

Hensley Lake

Bass • • Trout • Catfish • • • Bluegill • • Crappie • •

Merritt Gilbert said there had been a fair night bite on blades for fish in the 1 1/2-pound class and above. No trout bite reported. Overall, the low lake is not producing much and the crappie bite also died last week, Gilbert said. Eric Kaai of Fisherman's Warehouse touted the catfish bite as the best thing going at the lake. The low water levels continue to require extreme caution when boating. The ramp is barely in the water. The lake held at 458.75 feet in elevation and 10% capacity.

Call: Fresno Fisherman's Warehouse 225-1838; Valley Rod Gun, Clovis 292-3474; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Hensley Lake Hidden Dam 673-5151

Lake Don Pedro

Bass • • • Trout • • • Kokanee • • King salmon • • Crappie • •

The Bait Barn reported a good early and late window of bass fishing for anglers using top-water River to Sea Whopper Ploppers in Bone or Rainbow trout. If it gets windy, the bite is better on white or chartreuse/white buzzbaits for lots of small bass and some better quality fish. Drop-shotted shad-colored plastics, like the Reaction Innovation 4.95-inch Flirt worm in Bad Shad Green or the 4 inch Roboworms-Fat worm in Hologram shad, are working. Recreational anglers are having a blast with the bass, according to the Bait Barn. In addition, minnows have been effective. The key is to catch the early and late windows of the bite. Monte Smith reported a decent early kokanee bite on Uncle Larry spinners at 70-100 feet. In addition, he has been able to switch to a great trout bite when the koke bite fades for fish holding at 35-65 feet. He also mentioned he has been able to get some Kings into the mix as well. Trout fishing has also been decent for anglers using minnows or night crawlers at 5 feet under a bobber off of sloping shorelines near flats. Powerbait in rainbow glitter has also been a hot item for shore anglers. There is a new 5-mph speed limit from the ramp at Blue Oaks Recreation Area to the Buoy Line at the mouth of Fleming Bay. The lake is at 52% capacity.

Call: Monte Smith (209) 581-4734; Danny Layne -- Fishn' Dan (209) 586-2383; Gary Vella (209) 652-7550; Bait Barn (209) 874-3011

Lake Isabella/Bakersfield area

Bass • • Trout • • Crappie • • Catfish • • • Bluegill • •

Clay Rutledge of Bob's Bait in Bakersfield reported solid action with clams or frozen shad at Isabella for spawning catfish, making them the best bet for anglers. The fish are running 2-3 pounds. Bass fishing has slowed on deep running cranks, but there has been an uptick in the crappie bite by the dam on minnows. Boaters can launch at the Dam or Red's Marina as the lake continues to rise slowly. Blue gill are biting jumbo red worms or wax worms. Trout fishing has been solid in the upper river with live crickets and salmon eggs, Rutledge said.

Call: Bob's Bait (661) 833-8657; North Fork Marina (760) 376-1812

Lake Kaweah

Bass • • • Crappie • • Trout • • Catfish • •

The Visalia Bass Club held a tournament last weekend and reported a winning total of 14.04 pounds and a big fish of over 8 pounds -- showing that the bass bite is still pretty good. Sierra Sporting Goods confirmed the good bite and said that drop-shot plastics, jigs and Senkos are all working at 15-foot depths for 2- to 3-pound and bigger bass. Crappie are biting small minnows at night under lights. Trout are moving up into the cooler river area but are still available.

Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5922

Lake Success

Bass • • Trout • Catfish • • Crappie • •

Few reports on the lake, but the bass fishing has been slow at the very low lake. The only launch available is on the Rocky Hill side of the lake, and the rising water is making it easier to launch. There will be water releases within the next few months.

Call: Lake Success 784-0215

McClure Reservoir

Bass • • • Trout • • • King salmon • Kokanee • Crappie • • Catfish • • •

Diana Mello of A-1 Bait in Snelling said the bass fishing with minnows has been good. Crawdads are also working for the spots, and bank anglers are still doing well. Trout fishing for trollers using Wedding Ring spinners or flasher night crawler combos are seeing limits. Mello also said that the PPK Tomahawk has been a popular lure for trout trollers. There have been very few reports of any crappie this year with the lower water levels. The other bright spot has been the catfish bite, with a 7.1-pounder brought in that was taken by the dam -- and was unusually caught on a lure. There were several other good-sized catfish taken this week. Both A-1 and the Bait Barn are stocked up with all sizes of minnows due to high demand.

Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505; Bub Tosh (209) 404-0053

McSwain Reservoir

Trout • •

McSwain Marina reported fishing has been decent for trout, with shoreline anglers using nightcrawlers by the Handicap dock and the Marina areas. Trollers working the upper river between the floating restroom and the Marina are doing well on Blue/silver Kastmasters and Black/white Copcar Needlefish. The last Calaveras Trout plant was 1,000 pounds on June 19.

Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534

Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River

Bass • • Striper • Shad • • Bluegill • • Trout • •

Fishing has been fair for numbers of small bass on dartheads tipped with Hologram shad and Aaron's Magic plastics, Eric Kaai of Fisherman's Warehouse said. Echoing the trend, Merritt Gilbert reported anglers are catching up to 15 to 20 fish a day and a good limit would be in the 7- to 8-pound range. The fish are holding from the bank to 20 feet deep and most are in 11 to 12 inches. He felt that the numbers were better here than at Pine Flat. Dartheads and drop-shotting plastics were the best bets. There was a report by Patrick Movey at Fisherman's Warehouse of a local angler who caught and released a 30-pound striper while trolling. No other reports of stripers. Shad schools are hard to find, and most anglers have given up with the bigger inflows. The lake has risen to 334,000 acre feet and 64% capacity. All boats must fill out a Quagga mussel self-inspection form before launching. In the lower San Joaquin, fishing interest remains low with the lack of plants. There are new regulations on the lower San Joaquin, and from Friant Dam downstream to the Highway 140 Bridge only two hatchery trout or hatchery steelhead are allowed with a total of four hatchery trout or hatchery steelhead in possession.

Call: Fresno Fisherman's Warehouse 225-1838; Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474

New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch

Bass • • Crappie • • Catfish • • • Trout • • Kokanee • • •

Trout fishing is fair, with night fishing the most productive and anglers catching limits of chunky 2-pound trout. Nightcrawlers and Power Bait are working best, with live minnows a good choice as well. Anchoring in 40-60 feet of water that is near 100- to 200-foot areas, then dropping the light 10-20 feet down is key to the nighttime technique. Fish your presentations the light level. Trolling anglers have been doing better each week and bringing in a handful of nice trout along with kokanee. The main river channel will have the coldest water and is a good place to locate trout and kokanee. Try trolling in 30-50 feet of water at 2.5-3.0 mph. Bank fishing for trout has been slow. The kokanee are biting, and most anglers are catching limits. The average size is 11-13 inches with a few 14-16. The fish are schooling in deep water off of Glory Hole Point and near the dam, spillway and Rose Island. A variety of colors are producing limits. Orange has been a favorite for a couple of weeks. Adding a Scent Chamber/chain swivel is working for some anglers. Bass fishing has been fair, with the fish done spawning and moving into deeper water. Reaction baits in the cooler hours of the day and switching to slower moving baits during the heat is working. A great presentation that works at all depths is a Carolina Rig with a soft plastic lizard or brush hog. A Texas-rigged worm with a brass and glass weight and bead has been effective in the stained water, too. Catfishing has been good, with some big cats showing up in shallow water. Live minnows, frozen shad, mackerel, or anchovies are best bets. Crappie fishing has been slow. Fishing trees and flooded timber in 25-40 feet of water is working. The courtesy docks at Glory Hole have reached the end of their cable and they are putting out an extension of new cable to re-anchor the dock on the far left. New Melones Lake is holding at 739,507 acre-feet. The lake level dropped to 903 feet above sea level.

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 Reservoir/Kings River

Kokanee • Bass • • Trout • • King salmon • Catfish • • Crappie • •

Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun said the bass bite has been tough, with the last tournament producing a 9-pound winning total. Most fish are 8 to 25 inches and there is a moderate jig bite for a slightly better quality of fish. Gilbert said the trout bite has been moderate early morning in the main lake area with shad-like lures. Finding the baitfish and fishing the schools is the key to getting a limit. Thomas Buoyants and Needlefish are good choices, and trollers working from the power lines back to the Dam are having the best luck. Patrick Movey thought the trout were going deeper with the heat, and he had some anglers who were doing well fishing at night for the trout off houseboats. Few reports on the lower Kings. There are special regulations in the Kings River above and below Pine Flat Dam. The season is open from the last Saturday in April to Nov. 15 from Pine Flat Dam downstream to U. S. Army Corps of Engineers Bridge on Pine Flat Road with a five-fish limit.

Call: Doyal's General Store 787-2387; Fresno Fisherman's Warehouse 225-1838; Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474

San Luis Reservoir and O'Neill Forebay

Striper • • Catfish • • Bass • • Crappie •

Coyote Bait and Tackle reported anglers trolling the main lake at 40-80 feet with Smithwicks and Broken back Rebels were picking up a few schoolie stripers 3 to 8 pounds. Shore anglers in the Forebay and main lake were casting Rattletraps and flukes, while pile and blood worms were working off key points. Merritt Gilbert reported several anglers had been picking up school-sized Forebay stripers on Rattletraps in the Forebay at night. Gilbert reported one striper estimated at 40 pounds was taken from the Forebay at night. Wind continues to be the main issue for anglers in the big lake. The lake is at 31% capacity after and is falling nearly a foot a day. Important note: All boats, personal watercraft, kayaks, canoes, sailboards, inflatables and float tubes must undergo a mandatory inspection for Quagga and Zebra mussels.

Call: Ly's Fishing Goods (408) 629-9644; Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711

HIGH SIERRA

Bass Lake

Bass • • Trout • • Kokanee • •

Merritt Gilbert reported the bass fishing was fair for small spots on dartheads and splitshot rigs around the docks. Most of the bass were running about 1 1/2 pounds, but the real issue is the weed growth making fishing miserable. Patrick Movey said only a few Kokanee caught this week, but there were some good ones running 18-19 inches. Most were taken using pink or blue hootchies or spinners, he said. Todd Wittwer reported trout were holding in the 22-30 foot range, while the kokanee were in the 28-36 foot slot. He said that the Father Murphy Bug was a good choice for trollers, and that several boats had on average hooked up with about one bigger-sized kokanee the other morning. The bigger kokes are running 18-19 inches, and Wittwer said that it was normal to lose at least half of the bigger fish hooked as they went crazy fighting.

Call: Todd Wittwer 288-8100; Mike Beighey 642-3748

Edison/Florence/Mammoth Pool

Brown trout • • Trout • •

Patrick Movey of Fisherman's Warehouse said anglers fishing Edison were catching lots of fish casting Rapalas from the shore. He also said that anglers were doing well with Powerbait for mostly smaller rainbows.

Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000

Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake

Kokanee • • Trout • •

The bite is off compared to weeks past, Dick Nichols of Dick's Fishing Charters said. "Anglers continue to catch some fish, but they have got to work harder and change depths and colors more often -- and getting a limit has gotten tough," he said. Before the slump, Nichols noted that many trollers said they had picked up two to three limits late last week, but the kokanee bite has fallen off a lot with each passing day. In back-to-back trips last week, Dave Dungy of Shaver Lake picked up over five limits while fishing with Larry Johansson of Sanger. The Island, Black Rock and Eagle Point were good for Dungy and Nichols, while the Point, Dam and Sierra Marina areas were good for others. Dungy and Nichols have been using orange or pink Apex lures with a tip of corn behind Captain Jack's CJ Dodgers at 60 feet. Both were using Trout Busters tipped with corn and crawler behind weighted Mountain Flashers at 20-22 feet. Raul Perez of Fresno got a 3.4-pound rainbow on a Roostertail by the Dam. The DF&W planted catchable sized rainbow trout this past week and made the Scottish Rite derby more successful. Rainbows were reported in the Sierra Marina, roads 1 and 2 and the dam area just below the surface. Nichols noted that the planter trout bite was still decent for trollers. Spinners tipped with crawlers behind flashers seemed to be the best lure for the new rainbows. Bank fishermen had better success after the plant on shore in the same areas using Power Bait or crawlers. The Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project's 4th Annual Sportsmen's Dinner will be held at the Shaver Lake Community Center on Aug. 9th. At Huntington, boaters continue to drag aluminums to the shoreline for 8- to 11-inch kokanee and the occasional rainbow trout to 17 inches flatlining Rapalas, Merritt Gilbert said. The occasional rainbow is taken from the shoreline near Rancheria Creek with Power Bait or night crawlers.

Call: Dick's Fishing Charters 841-2740; Dinkey Creek Inn 841-3435; Rancheria Marina 893-3234; Young's Sporting Goods 841-8271; Jack Yandell 841-2522; Shaver Lake Sports Inc. 841-2740

Wishon/Courtright

Trout • • •

Chuck Crane at Wishon Village RV Park and Store reported good action at Wishon for planted trout, with the occasional holdover in the 16- to 18-inch range. The DF&W recently planted the lake, and the bite has responded in kind. The concrete launch ramp is out of the water, and boats will have to launch from the side of the ramp from the dirt road. Trollers are scoring with blade/crawler combinations and Needlefish or Speedy Shiners in a variety of color patterns at depths from two to four colors of lead core. Shore fishing is fair, with the best action from either side of the dam or by boaters motoring to the mouth of Wood Chuck with orange or rainbow Power Bait or inflated night crawlers. At Courtright, the lake is quite full, and boats can be easily launched with the benefit of a courtesy dock. Wedding Rings tipped with a night crawler at two to four colors of lead core are effective as well as long-lining a silver/black Needlefish on the surface at least 100 feet behind the boat. Shore action is fair from either side of the dam with various colors of Power Bait or inflated night crawlers.

Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361

OCEAN

Half Moon Bay

Rockfish • • • Salmon • • Striper • •

At this point in the season, the rockfish bite is the best thing going. Capt. Tom Mattusch said the Huli Cat has had a great bite on yellowtail rockfish, Olives and widows, with a few blues mixed in for some good rockfish scores.

Call: Happy Hooker (510) 223-5388; Huck Finn Sport Fishing Center (650) 726-7133; Emeryville Sport Fishing (510) 654-6040; Don Franklin, Soleman (510) 703-4148

Monterey/Santa Cruz

Rockfish • • • Salmon • • Striper • •

Chris Arcaleo said the rockcod and lingcod fishing was very good, but the salmon fishing had been sporadic for the last couple weeks. They had seen a fish a rod last week, then it fell, but there were several 30-pound salmon in the mix. The squid are out en masse and as many as 30-35 big trawlers are out scooping up the squid.

Call: Chris' Landing (831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173; usafishing.com

San Francisco Bay

Halibut • • Striper • • • Rockfish • • • Leopard shark • • • Salmon • • Sturgeon • •

James Smith on the California Dawn out of Berkeley went out in improved weather conditions on Monday for 24 limits of rockfish and 18 lingcod to 13 pounds before returning to the bay for three striped bass to 13 pounds and three halibut. The Happy Hooker reported that the wind has been the limiting factor, but that there were a lot of stripers in the Bay and that they had done well on cod and lingcod when the wind slowed. The halibut bite has been slow. Tides are expected to be favorable for striper fishing in the next few days.

San Luis Obispo

Salmon • Rock cod • • •

Patriot Sportfishing reported good rock cod fishing with some decent ling cod numbers thrown in to the mix. There were no salmon reports.

Call: Virg's Landing, (805) 772-1222, (800) 762-5263; Patriot Sports Fishing (805) 595-4100; Port Side Marine Sports Launch (805) 595-7214

OTHERS

Delta/Stockton

Bass • • • Striper • • • Sturgeon • • Catfish • • Bluegill • • •

Pam Hayes at Benicia Bait reported shoreline fishing has been dominated by undersized striped bass. In the Pittsburg area, Do Doung of Dockside Bait said small striped bass have been the rule rather than the exception with boaters attempting to avoid the wind by staying out of the main channel. Largemouth bass action is also strong in the usual Delta locations of Mildred Island, Frank's Tract, White Slough and Disappointment Slough. Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, reported a "phenomenal" crankbait bite in the wind with his novice clients catching and releasing 63 bass to 4 pounds during the past week. Pringle is using the Squarebill in white on Nano line for small striped bass. In the Antioch area, Doug Chapman at Gotcha Bait and Tackle reported striped bass to 31 inches have been taken from the Antioch Fishing Pier.

Call: Randy Pringle (209) 543-6260; Stan Koenigsberger/Quetzal Adventures (925) 570-5303; Mark Wilson Sport Fishing (916) 682-1630; Intimidator Sport Fishing (916) 806-3030

Lake Nacimiento/San Antonio/Santa Margarita/Lopez

Bass • • • White Bass • • • Striper • Catfish • • Crappie • •

Nacimiento bass fishing has been very good for boiling white bass and regular spotted bass. Top-water fishing has been the best bet, and local tournaments have done well on scoring good fish.

Call: Lake Nacimiento (805) 238-1056, ext. 3; Lake San Antonio Marina (805) 472-2818; Central Coast Bass Fishing.com (805) 466-6557

EVENTS

Results

Visalia Bass Club at Lake Kaweah on June 21: 1, Brandon Turner and Nick Bradford, 14.04 pounds; 2, John Beasley, 13.61 (big fish, 8.07); 3, Sergio Mendoza and Miguel Rodriguez, 13.57.

Upcoming

Tournaments

Day: This person, expert title, on subject, time at location

Saturday-Sunday: Delta/Ladd's Marina, Future Pro Tour

Sunday: Delta/Russo's Marina, Best Bass Tournaments

TROUT PLANTS

Fresno County: Big Creek (Huntington), Dinkey Creek, Mammoth Pool Lake, Mono Creek, Portal Forebay, Rancheria Creek, San Joaquin River (South Fork), Tamarack Creek, Tenmile Creek (Upper)

Kern County: Kern River (Section 4)

Madera County: Chiquito Creek West Fork, Chiquito Creek (Lower), Fish Creek, Mammoth Pool Lake, Nelder Creek, Rock Creek, San Joaquin River (Middle Fork), Starkweather Lake, Willow Creek (North Fork)

Mariposa County: McSwain Reservoir

Tulare County: Balch Park Lake (Lower), Balch Park Lake (Upper), Big Meadows Creek, Hedrick Pond (Redwood Lake), Kern River (Section 6), Stony Creeks

SOLUNAR TABLE

AM PM Minor Major Minor Major

Wednesday, 3:52 10:04 4:17 10:29

Thursday, 4:39 10:51 5:04 11:16

n - Friday, 5:27 11:40 5:52 12:04

Saturday, 6:17 12:05 6:40 12:29

Sunday, 7:07 12:55 7:29 1:18

Monday, 7:56 1:45 8:18 2:07

Tuesday, 8:45 2:34 9:07 2:56

n = new moon

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