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.
San Luis Forebay stripers boiling, Meng Xyong reported. Eastman Lake kicking out big bass limits, Merritt Gilbert said. Half Moon Bay salmon bite improved, Tom Mattusch reported. New Melones catfish on the feed, John Liechty said. San Luis surf perch bitefest continues, Dave Hurley reported. Delta bass, salmon and stripers hitting, Randy Pringle said.
2-Have to work hard
4-Fish jumpin’ in boat
Delta Mendota Canal and Sloughs
Stripers 2; Catfish 3
In the California Aqueduct, the water is clearing up as the flows have slowed, with the majority of Delta water used to pump up San Luis Reservoir and the O’Neill Forebay. Meng Xyong of the Fishaholics out of Fresno reported, “Catfish still remain the top species with several anglers catching them while soaking bait. Henry Nguyen of Stockton caught over 15 catfish to 26 inches using his home made stinkbaits. The striper boils may become more apparent in the following weeks to come. Fishermen are still catching them with SpeedLures, Duo Realis and LuckyCraft jerkbaits. Water flow remains high in the canal.” In the south aqueduct in Kern County, Jacob Rutledge of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield reported Jake Rath of Bakersfield put in a solid catch of catfish using Katnip Beef Bait. Catfish are the top species with the aqueduct still loaded with moss. There are stripers to be found, but they are small with bait working best.
Bass 3; Trout 1; Bluegill 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
After a long summer without a consistent bass bite, Eastman Reservoir east of Madera finally lived up to its reputation as a trophy bass lake with huge limits during last Saturday’s tournament. The lake has been drawn down to 8 percent capacity, and there has been an algae bloom on the surface for the past few weeks. But this didn’t stop fishermen from weighing in four limits of more than 20 pounds, with a 25-pound limit taking first place in the tourney. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “This was a tournament put on by one of our local fishermen, and they drew 32 boats with our manager Steve Newman putting up an 18-pound limit. The bass bite has been excellent, and since many fish were caught on lipless crank baits, I surmise that the algae bloom has dissipated some. In addition to the lipless cranks in the mornings, drop-shotting plastics at depths to 20 feet were the other top technique.” Eastman has been designated as California’s first Trophy Bass Fishery by the California Department of Fish and Game. Anglers may keep only one bass with a minimum length of 22 inches. It has been the top reservoir for larger bass throughout the summer, although the numbers have been limited. The bite finally broke out over the past weekend. The lake dropped less than a quarter-foot to 468.88 feet in elevation.
Call: Six Star Tackle Box 673-5688; Eastman Lake 689-3255
Bass 2; Trout 1; Catfish 2; Bluegill 2; Crappie 2
Hensley remains extremely slow for bass fishermen, and most locals have been avoiding the lake for several months. Catfish remain the top species with chicken livers or prepared stink baits. The lake is expected to drop precipitously in the coming weeks to less than 10 percent capacity. It is currently at 19 percent, holding at 475.46 feet in elevation.
Call: 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 1; Crappie 2
Mike Gomez of the Bait Barn reported few bass fishermen are heading to the lake, but the few fishing are finding a brief window for topwater in the early morning before working the bottom with plastics on the drop-shot or dart head. Gomez will be pre-fishing this weekend for an upcoming tournament. The action should break out sometime during the fall once the weather finally cools. There have been a number of thefts occurring within houseboats and campsites in the past week, and the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Department arrested a suspect and reported it recovered property stolen from the campsites at Moccasin along with a jet ski taken from a houseboat. Visitors are advised to secure vehicles and valuables and watch for suspicious activity. Reports can be made directly to the department at (209) 533-5815 or the Don Pedro Recreation Agency at (209) 852-2396. Plan on providing suspect/vehicle/vessel descriptions, plate numbers and vessel CF numbers. All three launch ramps are open; the lake fell a foot to 767.64 in elevation and 66 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 3; Bluegill 2
Jacob Rutledge of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield said, “A number of local fishermen have avoided Lake Isabella due to the reports of the algae bloom. The algae bloom is confined to the shallows in Paradise or Kissack Cove where there is minimal flow, and the main lake near the dam is free of the algae.” There is a catfish bite with garlic shrimp, Sonny’s Dip Bait or Katnip Beef Bait from the shorelines. Bluegill are the top panfish species with red worms. Crappie are holding in the marinas, but these areas do not have public access. The lake dropped a half-foot to 2,546.42 feet in elevation and 17 percent capacity. In the upper river, there are still planted rainbows holding in the deeper pools, but most serious trout fishermen are heading to the high Sierra to pack in for the rainbows, browns and golden trout. In the lower Kern River below the dam, smallmouth and largemouth bass can be taken on plastics worms. Lake Buena Vista is kicking out a few crappie at night with small minnows.
Call: Bob’s Bait (661) 833-8657; North Fork Marina (760) 376-1812
Bass 2; Crappie 2; Trout 1; Catfish 2
The lake has dropped to 5 percent capacity, receding 3.5 feet to 579.89 in elevation. The bass are holding in selected areas within the lake, and drop-shotting shad-patterned plastics or deep-diving crankbaits were working over the rockpiles. Catfish are a good option in the early mornings, evenings or later at night with stinkbaits, sardines or live crawdads.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212
Bass 2; Trout 1; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
Hot weather has limited the number of fishermen heading out to the lake, but it dropped less than a foot to 587.17 in elevation and 8 percent capacity. With the more stable water levels, there is a reaction bite in the mornings with topwater lures, crankbaits or spinnerbaits before switching to the bottom with plastics or jig/trailer combinations.
Call: Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626, sequoiafishingcompany.com
Bass 2; Trout 2; King salmon 1; Kokanee 1; Crappie 2; Catfish 2
Mike Gomez of the Bait Barn in Waterford reported bass fishermen have been holding off because of launch-ramp conditions given the receding water levels. A long backup is necessary to launch at Barrett Cove South Ramp. The best news has been for anglers working for bass, catfish, crappie or trout under lights near the houseboats. Catfish are still an option with frozen shad, sardines or anchovies from areas of shore with muddy, sloping banks. The lake has dropped to 40 percent capacity with water releases lowering it 3.5 feet to 747.29 in elevation. The McClure Point ramp also is open with the one at Barrett Cove North under construction and at Horseshoe Bend closed.
Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505
Trout action has been slow, given that the last plant was a month ago as well as effects of the recent full moon. The annual Merced Irrigation District Trout Derby is Oct. 1-2 and the reservoir will be planted in advance of the event.
Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River
Bass 2; Striped bass 1; Shad 1; Bluegill 2; Crappie 2
Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “Small spotted bass are the rule, but they are numerous in the upper end of the lake from Finegold up to the river arm. There is a reaction bite with crankbaits or ripbaits in the early morning before switching to plastics on the drop-shot.” Striped bass remain scarce, but there are crappie found up the river with small crankbaits intended for bass. Millerton dropped 2 feet to 507.46 in elevation and 46 percent capacity. In the San Joaquin River, there was no change with minimal fishing interest throughout the lower river amid the lack of trout plants. 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.
Call: Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474
New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch
Bass 2; Crappie 2; Catfish 3; Trout 2; Kokanee 2
The only launch ramp at the lake over the summer has been at Glory Hole Point, and lake has finally receded to the point when the concrete ramp is closed. The ramp is still accessible on dirt, and the courtesy dock will remain in place. Catfish are the top species at the lake, and Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp will be holding a Catfish Derby during November with registration starting Oct. 1 at $10 per angler. A total of three fish may be weighed in per angler during business hours at Glory Hole Sporting Goods, and there is 100 percent payback for the top three places. John Liechty of Glory Hole Sporting Goods said, “Some of our best catfishing of the year occurs during the next few months, and the whiskerfish are holding in the shallows at depths to 25 feet. November produces some huge cats, and we expect our tournament to bring out some big weights. Live minnows along with various cut baits work best, and fishermen need to be prepared to try a number of baits to determine what the fish are feeding upon.” Trout fishermen have been scarce, but there have been some large rainbows over 3 pounds taken by rolling shad in the deepest portions of the lake over the main river channel. Liechty said, “Running large spoons at a faster pace is best, and a tandem spoon rig with Speedy Shiners or Needlefish is a good option. Night anglers are scoring under submersible lights with live minnows, nightcrawlers, or jigging shad-patterned spoons.” The kokanee have begun their move upriver, and although there are few fish being caught, some in excess of 2 pounds are a possibility along the outside bend above Carson Creek and above the Highway 49 Bridge. Bass fishing is solid for numbers, but large fish are scarce. The fish remain suspended in deeper water, chasing the shad schools holding in the cooler locations in the lake. The crappie bite has slowed. The drawdown of the lake also has slowed, with it receding less than a foot to 864.88 in elevation and 22 percent capacity.
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, “Bass fishing has improved with crankbaits in the mornings for spotted bass to 2 pounds before working the bottom with plastics on the drop-shot or dart head when the sun hits the water. Trollers are picking up spotted bass at depths to 60 feet on red/green Wedding Rings near the dam while targeting rainbow trout. The rainbows have moved toward the deepest water in the lake by the dam, but the action for trollers is only fair. The Deer Creek launch ramp is still in the water, but the Cove Island launch ramp may be out of the water.” The water releases have slowed down from the rapid recession over past two months, but there is still water flowing out of the lake. Pine Flat receded another 3.5 feet to 749.44 in elevation and 18 percent capacity. 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: Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474; Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626
San Luis Reservoir and O’Neill Forebay
Striper 3; Catfish 2; Bass 2; Crappie 2
The live bait action in the main San Luis Reservoir is starting to heat up while the trolling bite is a bit more problematic. The lake continues to rise quickly because of heavy pumping from the south Delta, and the main reservoir has jumped to 22 percent capacity after dropping to 10 percent two months back. The Forebay is also full of water, and the smallish stripers continue to be plentiful for a variety of techniques. Roger George of Roger’s Guide Service reported, “Jordan Combs, a Los Banos dentist, caught and released a new personal best 39-pound striper using a Seaqualizer last Thursday evening while trolling the big lake. Combs has become a consistent big fish angler at the lake. I took out Kent Horn of Madera on Sunday and we caught and released 50 fish from 20-25 inches fishing in pretty hot conditions. Half were on top water early and the rest were trolling lures at 50-65 feet in depth. The big lake topwater bite is sporadic from day to day, with some good boils one day and little the next. The trolling bite is all over the map with no easy areas or lures. We had to really work to find good patterns and fish and most trollers were getting low numbers; however, this happened to be one of my best days for numbers guiding in three years. They have also moved the Basalt dock back to the main concrete ramp, making launching much safer. The green algae is terrible now – sticking all over the boat.” Mickey Clements of Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill reported, “Since jumbo minnows are back in the shop, along with the good weather on the main lake, there have been more fishermen drifting live bait around the trash racks using light kokanee rods and 12-pound test. The troll bite has been slower as the best is yet to come starting around mid-October when the water temperature cools down. Bank fishermen have been driving down to the Basalt Recreation Area with live jumbo minnows, pile worms or blood worms for schoolie stripers.” Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis added, “The stripers have been boiling in the main lake, and anglers are tossing small half-ounce spoons into the boils for stripers to 24 inches.” In the O’Neill Forebay, Meng Xyong of the Fishaholics out of Fresno reported, “The calm winds over the weekend did not affect the fishing for several anglers. They are boiling in the shallows in the early morning for anglers casting lures. Trolling the deep water flats is yielding good numbers for boaters. Travis Porter of Hollister caught over 56 stripers trolling from morning to midday. I took my sons out on Saturday and found the bigger fish in the shallows and a few deep in the channels. I took a fellow FishAholics member out the following day and we also caught the majority of our fish in the shallows. Once the boils die down, trolling will be your best bet.” Also in the Forebay, Clements said, “The pumping must be going on full bore since the lake is full of water, and there have been several fishermen working the Check 12 or Highway 33 Bridge areas. There is a topwater bite with the Heddon Spit’N Image lures as we have been selling out of up to 50 of these lures per week.” Gilbert confirmed the good action in the forebay for a smaller grade of striped bass, stating, “Our sales of Lucky Craft Pointers, Duo Realis jerkbaits, and SpeedLures has increased in the past few weeks, and fishermen are also starting to return to the California Aqueduct.” Bait fishermen are working around Check 12 with anchovies, jumbo minnows, or live grass shrimp.
Call: Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711, Roger George of rogergeorgeguideservice.com (559) 905-2954; San Luis Reservoir and O’Neill Forebay Wind Conditions (800) 805-4805
Bass 2; Trout 2; Kokanee 1
Bass fishing is starting to improve with plastics on the drop-shot for limits up to 7.5 pounds. The number of bass fishermen will increase in the coming weeks as the water temperatures cool and with the Sheriff’s Motor Fee on hold until Memorial Day 2018. Trout fishing remains exceedingly slow. The lake remains high at 91 percent capacity.
Call: Mike Beighey 642-3748; Bass Lake Watersports 642-3200
Brown trout 2; Trout 2
At Lake Edison, Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “We haven’t heard much from this lake, but with the opening of deer season this past weekend, there will be hunters that will also bring their fishing gear to try their hand in between hunting.” Edison dropped slightly to 54 percent capacity; Florence dropped precipitously to 9 percent with Mammoth Pool falling to 33 percent.
Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000
Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake
Kokanee 2; Trout 2; Smallmouth 3
At Shaver Lake, the trout bite continues to be next to non-existent with no rainbows brought to the weigh station during the Kokanee Power tournament. Most guides have called it a season much earlier than normal. Smallmouth bass remain a good option with live crickets or small crankbaits in the rocks. The lake actually rose with releases from Huntington this week to 81 percent capacity. Huntington has been one of the high spots in the central Sierra with kokanee to 11 inches found at depths to 25 feet with small spinners or spoons in a variety of color patterns. Trout fishing is fair with similar lures or blade/’crawler combinations. Shore fishing is fair at best. The lake has dropped to 87 percent capacity this week.
Call: Dick’s Fishing Charters 841-2740; Dinkey Creek Inn 841-3435; Rancheria Marina 893-3234; Shaver Lake Sports Inc. 841-2740; Todd Wittwer 288-8100
At Courtright and Wishon, Chuck Crane of the Wishon Village RV Park and Store reported a continued challenging trout bite, stating, “The best fishing has been with a black Woolly Bugger on a long set back along the shoreline at the upper end of the lake in Wishon, but blade/crawler combinations have been producing few fish. The shoreline bite in the most accessible areas has remained slow, but there are trout holding in the upper end of the lake for boaters anchoring along the shoreline and soaking red/pink Power Eggs. Courtright is more of the same with Woolly Buggers working best on a long set back, particularly when there is a ripple on the surface, but the spoon and blade/’crawler bite is slow with only a few fish taken at 2-3 colors of leadcore.” Shore fishing has been best in the upper end of the lake with pink or orange trout dough bait.
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
Salmon 3; Rockfish 3; Striper 2
Captain Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat is back in the harbor with a newly repowered vessel just in time to take advantage of the vastly improved salmon bite right out in front of the harbor. He said, “The commercial salmon boats have flooded into the harbor, and my normal berth is filled with a commercial vessel as the Huli Cat has been in Richmond for over a month. The salmon bite has been very good right outside the harbor from Buoy 1 South, and there are a huge number of boats working the small area. One commercial boat trolled for five hours for nothing before hooking five fish within 15 minutes after dark, and the fish have been big in the 20- to 25-pound range. The salmon are clearly from the Coastside Fishing Club project, and they will be moving into the harbor soon.” The Huli Cat is back in the business of recreational fishing, and he is taking reservations for crab combination trips starting with the Nov. 5 opener.
Call: Happy Hooker (510) 223-5388; Roger Thomas, Salty Lady (415) 760-9362; Emeryville Sport Fishing (510) 654-6040; Don Franklin, Soleman (510) 703-4148
Rockfish 3; Striper 2; White sea bass 2; Halibut 2
Keith Semler of Chris’ Sport Fishing in Monterey reported continued good ling cod and rockfish action with the Check Mate returning with 31 ling cod and three-quarter limits of rockfish for 26 passengers Sunday. The Caroline posted 17 lings along with half limits of rockfish for 17 anglers. Saturday’s scores were similar, with three boats posting from half to three-quarter limits of rockfish and a combined 51 ling cod for 83 fishermen. They have been picking up live sand dabs for the lings as the squid has been on the thin side. In Santa Cruz, Allen Bushnell of the Santa Cruz Kayak Fishing reported, “The next few weeks are ‘prime time’ for fishing in the Monterey Bay region. Summer crowds are gone, Days are warm, the number of low-wind days increase, and multiple species remain on the bite. Nearshore, rockfish and lingcod are being cooperative. The deeper reefs are a better bet, in order to avoid the juveniles who are hanging out in the shallows. Most of the 80- to 120-foot rocky areas are holding suspended schools of nice yellows and black rockfish. Big ling cod, grumpy browns and vermilion can be found right on the bottom, but watch out for snags!” Capitola anglers are pulling in lings from Adam’s Reef and the SC3 Buoy areas. Santa Cruz anglers fishing South Rock and the West Cliff Reefs are seeing near-limits of quality rockfish as well. Halibut fishing started slow this year, but the fall season seems to be pretty normal. The big flatties we find in 60-80 feet of water each autumn are here, and they are biting. Todd Fraser at Bayside Marine reported on Sunday, “There were a few halibut caught near Capitola in 70 feet of water. There was an angler bounce-ball trolling for halibut near the Cement Ship that did good. There were some halibut caught in Monterey near the Hotel.”
Call: Chris’ Landing (831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173; usafishing.com
San Francisco Bay
Halibut 2; Striper 2; Rockfish 3; Leopard shark 4; Sturgeon 1; Salmon 2
The salmon bite slowed considerably over the weekend, with three Sausalito boats picking up 19 salmon to 25 pounds for a combined 53 fishermen Sunday trolling from south of the main shipping channel north to Double Point in excellent weather conditions. Saturday’s scores weren’t much better with 50 fishermen returning with 21 salmon to 23 pounds along with a 12-pound halibut in the same general locations. The Sundance out of Emeryville, generally one of the highliners in the Bay Area salmon fleet, scored three salmon to 24 pounds for six fishermen Saturday. The Tiger Fish went out with 13 anglers for a pair of salmon to 10 pounds before switching to rockfish for 65 rockfish and a pair of lings to 6 pounds. It was similar action Sunday with the C Gull II and Sundance combining for 14 salmon to 25 pounds for 23 fishermen. The best score came off the New Salmon Queen with nine salmon to 23 pounds along with a 10-pound ling. The Tiger Fish really struggled for salmon on Sunday with a single 12-pound salmon for 26 fishermen before switching over to rockfishing for half limits along with a pair of lings to 10 pounds. Rockfishing remains solid with Captain Jim Smith of the Happy Hooker heading up the Marin coast for three-quarter limits of rockfish along with 13 ling cod to 15 pounds for 17 anglers Sunday. He said, “There has been an excellent quality of black rockfish, but there was a minimal drift today, limiting the willingness of the fish to bite.” Smith is running open load trips this week from Wednesday through Sunday for rockfish with the possibility of a salmon trip Thursday depending on interest and the weather. The Emeryville boats have been heading to the Farallon Islands with 98 anglers returning on the Sea Wolf, New Huck Finn, New Salmon Queen and C Gull II for limits of rockfish and 40 ling cod to 14 pounds on Saturday. Sunday’s scores were similar with 56 combined rockfish limits along with 38 lings to 13 pounds. Few party boats are working in San Francisco Bay, and the large tides over the weekend limited the halibut action. Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait in San Rafael said, “Small striped bass remain the rule, and they are abundant throughout the rockpiles and in San Pablo Bay. If you and I went out to drift live shiners or troll at the top of the tide, we could land between 50 and 100 stripers and maybe a half-dozen would be legal fish to 5 pounds. “ Fraser added that leopard shark action remains outstanding with Captain Don Franklin on the Sole Man out of San Francisco’s Pier 45 working Buoy 5 with frozen midshipmen.
San Luis Obispo
Rock cod 3; Surf Perch 4
The San Luis Obispo County ports are still featuring rockfish, with albacore yet to show in any perceivable numbers below Humboldt County. The Avenger and Patriot combined for 30 ling cod to 18 pounds to go with 15 vermilion rockfish, 62 copper rockfish, four bolina, one bonito and 120 assorted rockfish. Out of Virg’s Landing in Morro Bay, the Fiesta went out with 35 anglers on Monday for 18 lings to 12.7 pounds, 297 assorted rockfish, 36 copper rockfish and 15 vermilion rockfish. Jose Gamez of Bakersfield took the jackpot on the Rita G with the big ling. Bob’s Bait is hosting a trip on the Endeavor out of Morro Bay on Oct. 8 with only four spots available at present. Surf perch action remains outstanding from the area’s beaches with Berkley Camo and Sand Worms and Lucky Craft Pointers for the surf perch at San Simeon, Goleta, Pismo Beach, and Ventura.”
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 3; Sturgeon 2; Catfish 3; Bluegill 3; Salmon 2
The salmon continue to make a spirited push up the Sacramento River, and action has improved in a number of locations in the Delta including the Benicia and Antioch shorelines and below the Freeport Bridge. Dillon Point State Park, Courtland and Freeport are the most consistent locations, and with the number of salmon still holding outside from Bodega Bay south, the action should continue through the next several weeks. The best news is the fish are big with salmon in excess of 20 pounds arriving consistently. From the Benicia shoreline, Tony Lopez of Benicia Bait and Tackle said, “Dillon Point remains the top location, and the parking lots are filled up in the early mornings on the weekend. There were no spaces available by 6:30 a.m. on Saturday and by 7 a.m. on Sunday with fishermen coming from as far as San Jose and Sacramento in order to throw spinners from the shoreline. The fish are big and bright, and we have had a hard time keeping up with the demand for the Vee-Zee spinners. Our owner, Curtis Hayes, is making them daily, but they are flying out of the shop as quickly as they are completed. First Street is another good option with nine fish landed on Saturday from the shoreline despite the large tides, and the fishing should only get better. The winds have backed off over the weekend, and sturgeon fishermen are finally able to get out into Suisun Bay. Regular Ron Reisinger of Chico has arrived, and he released 10 shakers on Saturday fishing the shallows in Grizzly Bay with lamprey eel strips.” Lack of wind also has allowed the regular striped bass fishermen out of McAvoy’s Boat Harbor in Bay Point to work Garnet Point and the Firing Line with jack smelt, splittail, or mudsuckers for some huge striped bass. The majority of the big grade of striped bass is in Suisun Bay as the upper river is loaded with miniscule stripers. Steffen Masters of Lost Anchor Bait at McAvoy’s added, “The striper and sturgeon fishing has picked up outside of the harbor, and grass shrimp has been the top bait for sturgeon. We have been able to keep live grass shrimp in the shop for the past few weeks, and the quality of shrimp is good.” The Old Sacramento River is heating up for salmon with Sylvia Viera of Viera’s Riverside Bait near Isleton stating, “They are finally here, and trollers have been catching fish on green Silvertron spinners in the main Sacramento River near Light 36 and in the Old Sacramento from Isleton to Walnut Grove. The fish are big this year with lots of salmon over 20 pounds, and these are much larger fish than the past two years. Green Silvertrons seem to be the only lure anyone wants to use, but if someone tried a different color, it might work as well. Our parking lot has been filled once again early in the mornings.” Clyde Wands, shallow trolling expert, was on the Sacramento River this week, and he found there are numerous small fish in the system. Catching fish isn’t a problem, but finding any of size is a challenge. This was the same story for Mark Wilson, striper trolling expert, on Sunday with minimal action at Decker Island before heading down to Broad Slough and into the San Joaquin River near Eddo’s Marina for seven keepers to 6 pounds. Farther north near Freeport, Johnny Tran of New Romeo’s Bait and Tackle said, “The salmon bite has been on and off, but it was excellent on Friday with several fish ranging from 10-30 pounds by tossing Flying C’s from the shoreline in Courtland or Freeport along with jigging P-Line Laser Minnows or Slammer Minnows below the Freeport Bridge. Liberty Island is picking up for striped bass with live mudsuckers, frozen shad, sardines, or with swimbaits, but there are lots of shakers out there.” Alan Fong of the Fisherman’s Warehouse in Sacramento confirmed the good action for salmon fishermen jigging spoons below the Freeport Bridge, and he was also aware of the green Silvertron phenomenon on the Old Sacramento River. The Rio Vista Striped Bass Derby and Festival is Oct. 7-9, with information and registration available at www.bassfestival.com. For largemouth bass, Randy Pringle was the tournament director of the annual Bass Fest out of Russo’s Marina over the weekend of Sept. 10. He said, “The 30 mph winds on Sunday made for a very tough bite, but the winning three-fish limit was over 22 pounds with a 9-pound kicker. There were 141 boats in this specialty tournament which is designed to bring out first-time tournament anglers. Crankbaits in crawdad patterns such as the ima Pinjack on 8-lb. test along the edges of the weedlines was one of the best techniques as well as flipping the Havoc Pit Boss in orange/black known as the Vampire.” The overall bass bite has slowed with the larger tides and the up-and-down weather conditions, but Kris Huff of Stockton won a small club tournament Sunday with a solid limit including big fish. Out of B and W Resort on the Mokelumne, Harold Hass of the Fresno Bass Club said, “The hot weather change on Sunday turned on the small bass, but it shut off the larger one, and there were many fish landed on reaction baits early in the morning before the bite slowed. Ron Barksdale landed the big fish at 5.26 pounds on a Senko.” Fong reported a good chatterbait bite for largemouth bass, and he also was aware of the huge schools of striped bass on the San Joaquin, stating, “Once the weather cools down, the larger fish will be here.” Dan Mathisen of Dan’s Delta Outdoors in Oakley has canceled the Dan’s Delta Outdoors TOC scheduled for Saturday to allow anglers to meet their commitments to other circuits. His regularly scheduled tournaments will resume in October. Brandon Gallegos of H and R Bait in Stockton said, “There are tons of shaker stripers in the San Joaquin River and along Bacon Island Road to the Bacon Island Bridge, and fishermen have to release the sublegal fish in the 16- to 17-inch range. The best grade of linesides to 23 inches are taken on fresh shad or anchovies working for the smaller fish. There is a topwater bite with white Spooks for stripers as the fish are boiling on the surface in the early mornings, but these stripers are all small to 17 inches.” The Highway 4 Bridge on the Old River has been the best location for stripers to 26 inches with topwater lures. Whiskey Slough is also a good location for largemouth bass to 3 pounds with Speed Traps, Senkos, or Rat-L-Traps in crawdad patterns. Bluegill or big red ear perch are also coming out of Whiskey Slough and along Bacon Island Road with jumbo red worms. Fresh shad continues to be available in the Stockton-area shops on a daily basis, and the quality is still not as large as normal for this time of year.
Call: Randy Pringle (209) 543-6260; Intimidator Sport Fishing (916) 806-3030; Captain Steve Mitchell – Hook’d Up Sport Fishing (707) 655-6736
Lake Nacimiento/San Antonio/Santa Margarita/Lopez
Bass 3; White bass 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
With the launch ramp out of the water at Lopez, fishermen are limited to rental boats, kayaks or walking the banks. There is a topwater bite in the early morning before switching to the bottom with plastics on the drop-shot. Spinnerbaits are effective when the wind is blowing. Bluegill and catfish remain active with the normal baits. At Nacimiento, fishermen are returning to the lake after the containment of the Chimney Fire, and the spotted bass are getting active with jigs, plastics on the drop-shot, or creature baits. Kastmasters and Roostertails in white are working for the white bass. Santa Margarita is fair at best for bass with Senkos, jigs, or plastics on the bottom working best. The overall bite has been tough. Crappie or bluegill are the best bet with minijigs or red worms near structure. Catfish are found on cut baits, chicken livers, or nightcrawlers. San Antonio Reservoir is closed once again, but there were striped bass landed on swimbaits during the six-week access period, and the stripers have survived the exceedingly low water conditions over the past two years. They should still be around once the lake reopens to fishing access at some point in the future.
Call: Lake Nacimiento (805) 238-1056, ext. 3; Lake San Antonio Marina (805) 472-2818; CentralCoastBassFishing.com (805) 466-6557
Go to fresnobee.com/fishing for reports on Half Moon Bay, Monterey/Santa Cruz, San Francisco Bay and San Luis Obispo
- Fresno Bass Club on Sept. 18 at Delta/B and W Resort: 1, Mark Corrente 11.25; 2, Jose Guzman 10.83; 3, Joe Alanis 10.17. Big Fish, Ron Barksdale 5.26
- Saturday: 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
- Saturday-Sunday: California Delta Team Trail at Delta/B and W Resort
- Sunday: Hook, Line and Sinker at Delta/Russo’s Marina; Tracy Bass Club at Delta/Tracy Oasis
- Oct.1-2: Merced Irrigation District Trout Derby at McSwain
- Oct. 7-9: Rio Vista Bass Derby and Festival
- Fresno County: Kings River, Below Pine Flat Dam
- Merced County: Yosemite Lake
- Tuolumne County: Moccasin Creek
q = quarter moon