Compiled by Dave Hurley and edited by Roger George, a former Olympic-class decathlete at Fresno State and striper record-holder at Millerton Lake and who now guides in the greater Fresno area. Telephone numbers are in 559 calling area unless noted. Have a photo of a recent catch to share? Email it to email@example.com with “fish photo” in the subject line.
Delta bass hitting cranks, Randy Pringle said. Kaweah bass on solid bite, Dave Hurley reported. Shaver lake smallmouth- a great bite for kids, Merritt Gilbert said. Central coast rockfishing and lingcod bites attracting anglers, Chris Arcoleo reported.
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2-Have to work hard
4-Fish jumpin’ in boat
Delta Mendota Canal and Sloughs
Stripers 2; Catfish 3
In the California Aqueduct, catfish are the top species with stinkbaits as the water releases have slowed and the San Luis Reservoir has been rising rapidly from pumping from the Delta. In the south aqueduct in Kern County, moss is a limiting factor, but catfish are available with Sonny’s Dip Bait, Katnip Beef Bait or garlic shrimp. Small stripers are taken on anchovies, blood worms, or sardines.
Bass 2 Trout 1 Bluegill 2 Catfish 2 Crappie 2
An algae bloom exists on the lake, with essentially no water flow. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “A few bass to 1.75 pounds are landed on 6-inch plastics on a Texas-rig or jigs worked on the bottom.” Catfishing has been fair at best. The lake held at 469.22 feet in elevation and 22 percent capacity.
Call: Six Star Tackle Box 673-5688; Eastman Lake 689-3255
Bass 2; Trout 1; Catfish 2; Bluegill 2; Crappie 2
The lake is developing an algae bloom with no inflow to the reservoir. Said Merritt Gilbert: “An 8-pound largemouth bass was reported by an angler tossing a large profile topwater lure from the banks, but this was the only fish caught. Catfish to 4 pounds are possible from the banks at night with chicken livers or nightcrawlers.” The lake is expected to drop precipitously in the coming weeks to less than 10 percent capacity. It’s current at 20 percent, falling 2 feet to 476.43 in elevation.
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 2; Trout 2; Kokanee 1; King salmon 2; Crappie 2
Not much change with most trollers targeting rainbow trout and king salmon up the river arm. The kokanee are all but done for the season, and few fishermen have been trying for the landlocked sockeye over the past months. Bass fishing has slowed with a minimal reaction bite. Limited numbers are taken on plastics on the drop-shot. All three launch ramps are open with the lake dropping 2 feet to 769.66 in elevation and 67 percent 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 2; Trout 2; Crappie 2; Catfish 2; Bluegill 2
Lake Isabella remains plagued with a blue-green algae bloom, and interested anglers and boaters should check with officials at the lake for the current status of the blooms. As a result, few fishermen are heading up to the lake. The Cedar Fire northeast of the lake is 98 percent contained. The lake dropped 1 foot to 2,547.45 in elevation and 18 percent capacity. Trout are still holding in the upper Kern River above the lake, and salmon eggs, live crickets, Roostertails, Kastmasters, or nightcrawlers are picking up a few of the planters. In the lower Kern River below the dam, smallmouth and largemouth bass can be taken on plastics worms. Lake Buena Vista has been best for catfish with Sonny’s Dip Bait, garlic shrimp or Katnip Beef Bait.
Call: Bob’s Bait (661) 833-8657; North Fork Marina (760) 376-1812
Bass 3; Crappie 2; Trout 1; Catfish 3; Bluegill 3
The lake has finally stabilized after dropping rapidly for several weeks, and largemouth bass fishing remains solid with live bait such as crawdads or minnows. There is a topwater bite in the early morning before switching over to working the bottom with plastics or jigs. Catfish are a good option in the early mornings, or during the night with stinkbaits, sardines or live crawdads. Bluegill, catfish and bass remain the top species. The lake receded 4 feet to 584.07 in elevation and 7 percent capacity.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212
Bass 2; Trout 1; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
The lake has finally stabilized after several weeks of water releases, and the bass bite should improve with cooler evening temperatures along with stable water conditions. Senkos, lizards and Brush Hogs are working on the bottom by midmorning. There is a small window for topwater lures in the early mornings and late afternoons. The lake dropped 2 feet to 589.01 in elevation and 9 percent capacity.
Call: Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626, sequoiafishingcompany.com
Bass 3; Trout 2; King salmon 1; Kokanee 1; Crappie 2; Catfish 3
The recreational boating was heavy over the holiday weekend, but fishing boats should dominate the lake in the coming weeks. There is a night bite under lights for crappie, bass and rainbow trout with live medium minnows, nightcrawlers or trout dough bait. Catfishing is good with frozen shad, sardines or anchovies from the shore with muddy, sloping banks. The lake has dropped to 42 percent capacity with water releases lowering the lake more than 4 feet to 754.26 in elevation. The McClure Point and Barrett Cove South launch ramps are open, with the Barrett Cove North ramp still under construction.
Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505; Bub Tosh (209) 404-0053
The McSwain Marina reported trout fishing is still an option after the heavy plant a few weeks back, but the best times are prior to 10 a.m. or after 7 p.m. Garlic trout dough bait, red Power Eggs or red dough bait are the best bets from the banks while chrome/blue Kastmasters are a staple for casters. Trollers are scoring with blade/crawler combinations or chrome/blue Kastmasters near the upper dam in the colder water in the lake.
Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River
Bass 2; Striped bass 1; Shad 1; Bluegill 1; Catfish 2
Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “Small spotted bass are the rule with less than one-third of the fish landed over 13 inches. Plastics on the drop-shot or jigs on the bottom are the best technique, but the bite is tough. Catfish to 2.5 pounds can be found around Sky Harbor with live crawdads or anchovies.” There were no striper reports. Millerton dropped 3 feet to 512.45 in elevation and 51 percent capacity. In the San Joaquin River, not much change with minimal fishing interest throughout the lower river. Regulations on the lower San Joaquin, and from Friant Dam downstream to the Highway 140 Bridge, allow only two hatchery trout or hatchery steelhead with a total of four in possession. The 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 2; Crappie 2; Catfish 2; Trout 2; Kokanee 2
Trout fishing remains slow with only a few anglers out in search of the rainbows or browns; however, the size of the few fish landed has been excellent, averaging in excess of 2 pounds. John Liechty of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp said, “This year we are seeing some quality trout from 2-4 pounds, and we can expect to be catching these fish throughout the fall and winter. The rainbows are oriented towards the shad schools in 100 feet of depth in the main lake over the river channel as the shad are holding in the cooler water. Larger lures are the best in these conditions since there is minimal light penetration at these depths, and sound, vibration, and scent become more important.” Night fishermen are soaking live minnows, trout dough bait or nightcrawlers under submersible lights for rainbow trout, catfish and crappie. Kokanee fishing is winding down quickly, but the few fish landed are pushing 20 inches, holding in deep water at depths from 80-100 feet with large profile Apex lures behind a large dodger. Bass fishing is fair at best with the dropping water levels as most of the bass have pulled off the shoreline and are suspending in deeper water. Soft plastics on a light weight or 4-inch plastic worms on a light bullet weight or dart head are the best bets. Kevin Dye of Arnold has been tossing crankbaits, spinnerbaits and topwater lures from his kayak in the evenings for quality largemouth and spotted bass. Catfishing remains very good with frozen shad, anchovies, mackerel or sardines in the shallows with the best action in the early mornings and evenings. The crappie bite is fair at best with the most slabsides landed in the evenings under lights. The lake is releasing water on a daily basis, dropping a foot to 866.44 in elevation and 23 percent capacity. The Glory Hole launch ramp will be on the dirt once the lake level reaches 865 feet.
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 2; Trout 2; King salmon 1; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “The water level has finally stabilized after several weeks of heavy releases. Trout fishing is best near the dam from the Power Lines to the Buoys at depths from 50-60 feet with shad-patterned Needlefish or Apex lures. The trout are holding near the shad schools, and finding the shad is the key to catching the plump rainbows in the 15- to 16-inch range.” A few rainbows are taken in the middle of the lake in front of the Pine Flat Lake Resort. The lake ends at the mouth of Big Creek. Bass fishing remains very slow, and the small window for action dies after first light. There is a reaction bite with spinnerbaits, crankbaits, buzzbaits, and topwater lures before first light, but once the sun comes over the ridge, the action stops. A few catfish are found around the Deer Creek Marina or Pine Flat Lake Resort on anchovies or chicken livers. The Deer Creek Marina will be the only launch ramp remaining open soon. Pine Flat has receded nearly 4 feet to 754.14 in elevation and 19 percent capacity. The flows in the lower Kings are slowing, and trout fishing should be easier with less water movement. Regulations in the Kings River above and below Pine Flat Dam set the season as running from the last Saturday in April 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. The bridge is the first one west of the 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 2; Catfish 2; Bass 2; Crappie 2
The main lake has risen to 19 percent within the past two weeks after reaching a 27-year low at 10 percent in mid-August. The Dinosaur Point launch ramp was just moved to the second ramp and boaters need to be careful about the long peninsula that is to the east of the dock. Until the water rises to deeper levels, boaters should follow the shallow channel that runs to the south of the dock and parallels the shoreline for at least 200 yards before heading to the east. Four-wheel drive is still advised. Denise at Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill said, “We once again have jumbo minnows in the store, and although they aren’t the largest jumbo minnows, it is the first time in months that we have had a steady supply of this grade of minnows. Boaters are starting to drift minnows around the trash racks, and with the lake so low, the depth is only around 50-60 feet.” Roger George of Roger’s Guide Service in Fresno has caught and released three large stripers over the past few weeks at 27, 24, and 16 pounds trolling shad-patterned plugs in the flats to 50 feet in depth. He said, “I think we have somehow weathered the terrible near-dead pool level they took San Luis Reservoir down to in July. I was worried that the low 195,000 acre-foot level would expose the fish to possible heat dieoffs, but it turned out OK. The water level is coming up fast now, up around 28 feet from the low and we just hit the 370,000 acre-foot mark; a great start! Water temps are around 69 in the morning and 75 in the afternoon, not bad surface temps. They have been pumping like crazy and no one knows for how long, but there is hope they might fill it up this year. The fish have been unstable during the quick upward water changes, however finding active fish is still the key. The good news is that we are getting back to a level where normal structure is underwater again and holding fish. Fishing areas and structure no one had seen for 27 years was a trip, and they even discovered an unknown parking lot at the bottom of the Basalt dock and ramp. Winds should begin to become more stable as fall progresses. It's all about the water and what we get.” O’Neill Forebay has been the more consistent location for numbers, and the lake was crowded with boats chasing the boils on Labor Day. Earlier in the weekend the wind was a limiting factor, causing local fishermen to change their plans for launching at both impoundments.
Call: Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711, Roger George of rogergeorgeguideservice.com (559) 905-2954
Bass 2; Trout 2; Kokanee 1
The final weekend of heavy boat traffic is over now that Labor Day weekend has passed, and bass fishermen will return as the Sheriff’s Motor Fee goes on hold. The nights are getting cooler, and bass action should improve with plastics or jigs on the bottom. A few bass fishermen are tossing jigs or Senkos around the docks for spotted bass to 3 pounds. Trout fishing remains slow, and kokanee are basically non-existent since the dam reconstruction of a few years back. The lake dropped slightly to 92 percent.
Call: Todd Wittwer 288-8100; Mike Beighey 642-3748; Bass Lake Watersports 642-3200
Brown trout 2; Trout 2
Edison is still the best option for rainbow or brown trout to 13.5 inches. Edison dropped slightly to 55 percent capacity while Florence dropped to 34 percent and Mammoth Pool to 43 percent.
Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000
Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake
Kokanee 2; Trout 2; Smallmouth 3
The story hasn’t changed at Shaver Lake, with most anglers struggling for a few fish per rod. The kokanee continue to hold in small schools between the point and the Sierra Marina and all along Road 1, Road 2 and the dam. The key is to get on the lake before first light. This coming weekend’s Kokanee Power Team Derby should be challenging with very poor results over the past month. Experienced fishermen will be breaking out all stops in order to put winning limits in the box. However, with the overall slow, bite, the field is wide open. Information regarding the Shaver Lake Derby is available through Jim Travis at 240-6659 or Frank Benard at 871-3270. Dick Nichols found some reason for optimism over the Labor Day weekend with a good kokanee bite near Roads 1 and 2 at depths to 50 feet. He was surprised by the limited number of boats on the lake during the holiday weekend. Nichols is also the president of the Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project, and he added, “We raised over $34,000 thanks to the generous support of our fishing and outdoors community, and the funds will be used to continue our trophy plants along with enhancing our youth programs.” Steve Santoro of Fish Box Charters said, “I see most boats making a few passes and then giving up and moving on to other locations, but the key is to be persistent and keep working the schools by changing presentations and depths. A slow troll is necessary. Our best action this past week has been on the white/pink Captain Jack’s bug tipped with scented corn behind a gold C.J. dodger at depths from 40-45 feet. We had pretty tough fishing during the week, but Jim Hall of Shaver Lake managed a mixed limit of 4 kokanee and a 2.5-pound rainbow trout near Roads 1 and 2. The schools have spread out, and the kokanee are starting to turn red.” Smallmouth bass fishing is solid with Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun stating, “This is where I am recommending fathers to take their sons and daughters in order to catch fish since it is easy to catch and release numbers of 8- to 9-inch smallmouth bass in the rocky areas using live crickets.” At Huntington, Merritt Gilbert reported small kokanee in the 11-inch range are possible at depths from 20-25 feet with an average of seven or eight fish per boat. The trout bite has been slow for trollers. Shaver dropped to 80 percent capacity while Huntington remains high at 96 percent.
Call: Dick’s Fishing Charters 841-2740; Dinkey Creek Inn 841-3435; Rancheria Marina 893-3234; Shaver Lake Sports Inc. 841-2740; Fish Box Charters 871-3937
Wishon and Courtright remain slow for Central Valley trout anglers heading to the high country, but there is optimism for improved action upon the arrival of fall weather. Chuck Crane of Wishon Village RV Park and Store reported, “You have to work hard for a few fish by trolling, and the best action remains at the upper end of the lake with blade/’crawler combinations on a slow troll at 3-4 colors of leadcore. Anglers are averaging a few fish per rod, but they have to work hard for them. Shore fishing is only fair, but the best action has been at the mouth of Short Hair Creek with rainbow trout dough bait. Logan and Cole Hatfield landed their first rainbow from the shoreline this week, and they were so excited when they brought the fish to the store. Curtis Knapp caught and released a 21-inch brown trout on a silver Panther Martin from the dam.” Since brown trout will no longer be planted into the lake, it is advisable to release the browns that are caught.
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
Salmon 2; Rockfish 3; Striper 2; White seabass 2
There have been intermittent showing of salmon outside Pillar Point harbor, but for a sure thing, rockfish and ling cod remain top draws. Captain Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat added, “There were boats out in front of the harbor like mosquitos and the boat trailers were stacked in the parking lot and also along Highway 1 over the weekend, but since then, the bite has slowed.” Mattusch will be back and running by Friday after a major repowering of the Huli Cat. Out of Half Moon Bay Sport Fishing, the Queen of Hearts has been finding good rockfish action south of the harbor, and they are focusing solely upon salmon with the lack of consistent action. Commercial fishermen have been working southwest of the harbor in the Deep Reef at depths to 240 feet, running 15-pound weights on braided line on the downriggers to reach the fish just off the bottom. However, these are not accessible for most private boats. Commercial squid boats remain in the area, and the squid are fat and healthy. White seabass are showing up both north and south of the harbor in the squid schools, but private boaters are attempting to keep this information to themselves. The rock crab season was put on hold out of the harbor because of high counts of domoic acid in the rock crabs. This species of crustacean generally are more susceptible to domoic acid than Dungeness crab.
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 3; Striper 2; White seabass 2; Bonito 3
Chris Arcoleo of Chris’ Sport Fishing in Monterey reported the winds kept them close to the harbor, but the conditions were somewhat better Monday. He said, “The Check Mate landed over 70 ling cod for 20 legal fish, and short lings were the story of the weekend with one angler landing 17 lings without a legal 22-inch fish, another fisherman landed 15 with two of legal size, and a third finding a dozen lings without a keeper. This bodes well for the future.” The Check Mate went out with 25 anglers Sunday for three-quarter limits of rockfish along with 20 legal ling cod. The Caroline posted three-quarter limits of rockfish along with 12 lings Sunday. Saturday’s score on the Star of Monterey was impressive with 40 limits of rockfish along with seven lings while the Caroline returned with half limits of rockfish and 15 lings for 23 anglers. They have room through the week, but next Friday, Saturday and Sunday are already filled. In Santa Cruz, Allen Bushnell of the Santa Cruz Kayak Fishing reported, “The recent bonito bite in Monterey Bay has a lot of anglers excited. Bonito are related to both mackerel and tuna, and though quite edible are not highly desired as table fare. The attraction for anglers is they are a fast swimming, hard fighting predatory species that travel in large schools. They will hit on most lures or bait, and a medium-fast troll with spoons or plugs will guarantee good action. The bonito currently in the bay are also of the large variety this year.” Captain Jim Rubin from Go Fish Santa Cruz Charters said, ‘These are big-sized bonito, around 12-18 pounds each. The best spot right now is outside of Moss Landing about three miles, over the canyon. Some guys are picking them up from the Soquel Hole as well. They are a warm-water species, and we’re hoping the bluefin tuna will follow soon.’ If bluefin do show up as they did last year, you can bet that Captain Jimmy will be out there looking for the big scores of big tuna.”
Call: Chris’ Landing (831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173; usafishing.com
San Francisco Bay
Halibut 2; Striper 3; Rockfish 3; Leopard shark 3; Sturgeon 1; Salmon 2
The optimism of the salmon bite at the start of the holiday weekend went a bit sour Monday with party boat scores dipping precipitously to less than a fish per rod. Second captain Bob Wright of the Happy Hooker took his first salmon trip of the year Saturday and they returned with 23 fish. He said, “The weather was rough, but we stayed inside Duxbury Reef and worked the bottom over the reef for a steady pick.” After taking Sunday off, Wright returned to Duxbury early Monday and they had three fish on right off the bat. It was an ominous note when all three fish came unbuttoned. Wright stayed for a steady pick at Duxbury before running south to the Channel Buoys for another salmon, losing another one to a sea lion. Their 14 anglers ended up with nine salmon to 26 pounds. The highlight of the day was a 10-foot great white that came up to the boat just as deckhand Mike Verrone was netting a salmon. Captain Roger Thomas of the Salty Lady was also out at Duxbury on Monday, and they ended up with five salmon for 19 anglers, losing several in the process including some creative ways by getting stuck in the rudder and the normal sea lion attacks. He said, “The fish bit completely different today by short-striking everything, and the change in the barometer changed everything.” They also started at Duxbury before moving down to the channel buoys later in the day. The fish are there, and it is only a matter of time before they bite again. The Salty Lady has an open load Thursday of this week. Three boats out of Emeryville took out 27 anglers Sunday for 23 salmon to 19 pounds while three Sausalito boats returned with 35 salmon to 22 pounds for 55 anglers. Rockfishing remains a sure thing with two Emeryville boats scoring a combined 60 limits Monday along with 19 ling cod to 12 pounds. Inside the bay, Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait in San Rafael reported some decent halibut fishing with one boat returning with three legal halibut at Paradise. A 16-pound salmon was also landed at the top of the tide at Paradise, but overall, the California City salmon bite remains most miss. There are scores of small striped bass in San Pablo Bay around the Marin Islands and near Buoys 5 and 7 with the linesides breaking the surface, chasing bait.
San Luis Obispo
Rockfish 3; Surf Perch 3
It’s all about rockfishing and surf perch out of the San Luis Obispo County ports. The Avenger and the Patriot out of Patriot Sport Fishing in Port San Luis took out a combined 67 anglers on Monday’s Labor Day holiday, and they returned with a total of 25 vermilion rockfish, 32 copper rockfish, 2 boccaccio, 492 assorted rockfish, and 16 ling cod to 17 pounds. Timio Farias of Fresno took the jackpot on the Patriot with a 12-pound ling. Out of Virg’s Landing in Morro Bay, the Princess, Fiesta, and Rita G took out a combined 83 anglers on Sunday for a total of 43 ling cod to 17.8 pounds, 98 vermilion rockfish, 540 assorted rockfish, 6 cabezon, and 72 copper rockfish. Jeremy Moore of Bakersfield took the jackpot on the Princess with an 11-pound ling. Bob’s Bait is hosting a trip on the Endeavor out of Morro Bay on October 8th with plenty of room at the present time. Surf perch action off of the beaches in Santa Barbara and Pismo Beach remains solid with blood worms or artificial such as Lucky Craft Pointers or Berkley Camo Worms.
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 3; Striper 2; Sturgeon 2; Catfish 3; Bluegill 3; Salmon 2
The salmon bite below Freeport and from the Suisun Bay shore is picking up as the water temperatures continue to drop and the fish are coming in more frequently from the Golden Gate. Jigging with spoons, trolling with spinners, or casting heavy spinners below the Freeport Bridge are all producing fish while casting heavy spinners off First Street or the Dillon Point State Park are the top options in the Benicia Area. Johnny Tran of New Romeo’s Bait in Freeport said, “There were four fish brought to the shop early on Sunday morning, and anglers jigging Slammer Minnows or P-Line Laser Minnows at the Minnow Hole are doing well while casters are tossing Flying C’s from the banks. We are seeing more salmon every day, and the fish are bright and chrome.” In Suisun Bay, Benicia Bait reported First Street is finally starting to produce, and with only a five or six fishermen there, their catch ratio is better than the State Park which has been hosting up to 150 fishermen on the weekends. The water has cleared up at First Street, and a 16-pound chrome salmon was taken on a chrome silver Vee-Zee spinner on Sunday. This pattern of lure works best in the clear water. The Old Sacramento River remained slow for salmon, with Senior Field Scout Dave Scatena of Stockton reporting very slow action on two trips this week near Walnut Grove. He said, “Out of the two days, we only saw one salmon landed, and the grass made for challenging conditions.” Stripers continue to move into the system, but for the most part, they are on the small side. Mark Wilson, striper trolling expert, was out Sunday for a total between 40 and 45 striped bass with 17 of the linesides being of legal size. He started off near Broad Slough in the clear water for seven legal fish in the area before moving back upriver to the Decker Island area for 10 more keepers. He said, “The water became muddy in Broad Slough during the outgoing tide from the San Joaquin River, but it was clear in the morning. The Decker area was also clear until the outgoing tide, but it remained fishable throughout the day. The Sacramento River above Decker is clear. Everything came deep on Sunday, and at one point, the fish were down at 18 feet so we let out between 100-110 feet of line on the deep-diving lures to reach the fish. Of the keepers, there was one at 26 inches, but everything else was from 18-24 inches. By the end of the day, all four rods were loaded with a red head/white plug as this was working consistently. The water temperature has dropped to 68 degrees in the morning, rising to 70 degrees by afternoon.” Farther north, Tran touted sardines, anchovies or live mudsuckers for striped bass in Liberty Island, Prospect Slough or at the mouth of Steamboat Slough at Cache Slough. Sturgeon fishing is definitely on the upswing with Braydon and Devon Fedi of Stockton catching and releasing 3 jumbo shakers to 39.5 inches along with three green sturgeon, keeping a 46 inches along with three keeper stripers out of the 20 landed. They were fishing on the main Sacramento River near Decker Island. Captain Stan Koenigsberger of Quetzal Adventures out of Bethel Harbor put Nate Knollenberg from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Brandon Sanford from South Lake Tahoe with a 49-inch sturgeon along with limits of striped bass, catching and releasing more than 20 linesides with most being undersized using frozen shad from Gotcha Bait in Antioch. They were on the main Sacramento River near the Red Barn, and all of the action came on the incoming tide. The weather is quickly moving into a fall pattern over the past week, transitioning from triple-digits to the 80-degree range. The changing weather has put the largemouth bass in flux, but the arrival of stable weather will bring back the bite. Striped bass are beginning their move into the east Delta with the cooling trend over the past few weeks, but largemouth bass remains king on the San Joaquin-Delta. Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, said, “The action was just ‘ridiculous’ with crankbaits on Wednesday, Aug. 31, as we caught over 40 largemouths with 80 percent of these being keeper-size with most action with the ima Pinjack crankbait in chartreuse belly or red/black. I flipped all morning and couldn’t find a pattern, but once we tied on the crankbaits, it was on. The fish want something that is bouncing off of the weeds or rocks, and the best action was on the high tide to the switch as the Pinjack drops to around 8 feet deep. We also ran into some schools of stripers, and since the larger fish will tear up the hooks on the crankbaits, we switched over to the Optima AA 4-inch Bubba Shad in white with a chartreuse tail for linesides from 2-7 pounds. I like to use the 4-inch swimbait on a longer shaft half -ounce jig head so I can easy release the fish without too much trouble. The longer shaft allows for easy access for removal.” Brandon Gallegos of H and R Bait in Stockton reported, “I was out on Friday in the Middle River/Columbia Cut area, and there was no end to the small stripers hitting our topwater Whopper Ploppers.”
Call: Randy Pringle (209) 543-6260; Captain Stan Koenigsberger – Quetzal Adventures (925) 570-5303; Intimidator Sport Fishing (916) 806-3030
Lake Nacimiento/San Antonio/Santa Margarita/Lopez
Bass 2; White bass 2; Striper 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
At Lopez, the launch ramp is out of the water, and fewer fishermen are coming to the lake. Bass fishing is decent with an early topwater or buzzbait bite before switching over to working the bottom with plastics on the drop-shot, Senkos or jigs. At Nacimiento, the Chimney Fire is 97 percent contained, and the lake has been relatively smoke-free for the past few days. There has been minimal fishing pressure during the period of the fire, but with fewer recreational boats on the lake and the extinction of the fire, the spotted bass bite should break out within the next week. At Santa Margarita, the surface temperature is dropping, but there is still a bit of a reaction bite in the mornings. There are tournaments scheduled during September, but a close watch is necessary to see if they will be held given the low lake level. Red ear perch and bluegill are holding in the shallows off main lake points with red worms. After a closure for over a year, San Antonio Reservoir will be open on a limited basis through this weekend, ahead of its closing Sept. 11. Hours are noon to 8 p.m, Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, with all boat launching at the Harris Creek ramp and Quagga Mussel inspections are required. The lake was closed during the Chimney Fire, so those interested need to check for updated conditions.
Call: Lake Nacimiento (805) 238-1056, ext. 3; Lake San Antonio Marina (805) 472-2818; CentralCoastBassFishing.com (805) 466-6557
- Saturday: American Bass Association at Delta/B and W Resort; Visalia Bass Club at Pine Flat; Lake Isabella Bass Club at Isabella; Golden Empire Bass Club at Nacimiento; Kokanee Power Shaver Lake Team Derby at Shaver Lake, kokaneepower.org
- Saturday-Sunday: Best Bass Tournaments at Delta/Russo’s Marina; Success Bass Club at Success; Bass Ackwards Bass Club at Santa Margarita
- Sept. 16: Jim’s Pro Bass Tackle at Nacimiento
- Sept. 17: Forrest L. Wood, LLC at Delta/Russo’s Marina; Tracy Bass Club at Delta/Tracy Oasis; American Bass Association at Isabella
- Sept. 18: Fresno Bass Club at Delta/B and W Resort; Delta Bass Club at Delta/Russo’s Marina; Riverbank Bass Club at Delta Ladd’s Marina; Kings River Bass Club at Pine Flat
- Sept. 24: Sierra Bass Club at Delta; Future Pro Tour at Delta/Ladd’s Marina; Hook, Line and Sinker at Delta/Russo’s Marina; Dan’s Delta Outdoors at Delta/Big Break Marina;Christian Bass League at Tulloch; Bakersfield Bass Club at Lopez; Tri-Valley Bass Club at Santa Margarita
- September 24-25: California Delta Team Trail at Delta/B and W Resort
- Sept. 25: Hook, Line and Sinker at Delta/Russo’s Marina; Tracy Bass Club at Delta/Tracy Oasis
- Fresno County: Kings River, Below Pine Flat Dam
- Tuolumne County: Lyons Canal (Columbia Ditch); Moccasin Creek; Powerhouse Stream
q = quarter moon > = peak activity