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 firstname.lastname@example.org with “fish photo” in the subject line.
Eastman Lake and Pine Flat best bets for bass, Merritt Gilbert said. Aqueduct stripers active, Meng Xyong reported. Don Pedro bass and McClure bass hitting, Mike Gomez said. Delta bass and stripers eating, Randy Pringle reported.
Never miss a local story.
2-Have to work hard
4-Fish jumpin’ in boat
Delta Mendota Canal and Sloughs
Stripers 3; Catfish 3
The Fishaholics group based out of Fresno has become a sensation on social media, and their commitment to a family environment is bringing together a diversity in cultural backgrounds, creating a unifying bridge between generations while promoting good sportsmanship. Founded by brothers Meng and Nick Xyong of Fresno, the growth of the organization has been exponential, leading to nearly 10,000 members on social media within two years of existence. The organization held its second annual California Aqueduct Striped Bass Fishing Tournament out of the Cottonwood Fishing Access near Gustine on Oct. 22, with major sponsorship by Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis. The group is committed to sportsmanship, fishing ethics and continuing the tradition of fishing into future generations. The original focus of the organization was based on fishing the California Aqueduct and Delta-Mendota Canals and sloughs, but interest has expanded into saltwater and various freshwater lakes. Meng Xyong reported, “The fishing was easy with many participants landing over 10 to 20 fish on average at the FishAholics second annual California Aqueduct Striped Bass Tournament. Catching a quality fish was the issue. Our big fish winner went to Mary Elizabeth Grillo of Coalinga with a 20.5-inchstriped bass measured from mouth to the V of the tail. Silshary Saguindel of Stockton took second place and Brad Bethel of San Jose took third. We had 28 participants with many more who did not enter but came out to support us. It’s that family atmosphere that keeps this place special.” Xyong recently took part in the California Aqueduct Striped Bass Seminar 2016 at Sportsman’s Warehouse in Fresno, focusing on O’Neill Forebay and the aqueduct. Also along the aqueduct, Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun offered: “We are also seeing more interest in the California Aqueduct as our sales of Lucky Craft Pointers and Duo Realis ripbaits is continuing to increase.” In the south aqueduct in Kern County, Jake Rath continues to pick up stringers of catfish using Sonny “Super Stinky” Channel Cat Bait around current. A group of fishermen from Bakersfield conducted a huge cleanup of the local aqueduct as trash and debris left by others continues to be a huge problem along the waterway.
Bass 3; Trout 1; Bluegill 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis reported, “This is the top lake for size with a few fish pushing 10 pounds being caught and released during the week with jigs with a Strike King trailer at depths around 15 feet. There is still a bit of action with deep-diving crankbaits or lipless crankbaits, but the best fish are coming on jigs. With the stained water, chartreuse is a good color option.” Eastman Lake 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. The lake dropped slightly to 468.60 feet in elevation and 8 percent capacity.
Call: Six Star Tackle Box 673-5688; Eastman Lake 689-3255
Bass 2; Trout 1; Catfish 2; Bluegill 2; Crappie 2
Hensley produced one of the largest bass in recent memory, with Dan Rippertella catching and releasing the 9.16-pounder during Saturday’s Sierra Bass Club tournament at as the kicker to the winning 20.61-pound limit. Gilbert said, “This is the biggest fish out of Hensley for the past several months, but the limits dropped down to the 5- to 7-pound range after the winning limit.” The lake held at 19 percent capacity.
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 3; Trout 2; Kokanee 1; King salmon 2; Crappie 2
Don Pedro has been solid for numbers, leading Gomez to state, “There are a ton of bass in the lake, but most of the fish are small. The better fish have come on plastics on the drop-shot as they are actually moving up into the 20- to 25-foot range. The Pro Worm 124p, Pro Worm leech, new Strike King worm are the top plastics while jigs such as Berserk’s Purple Hornet or brown/purple are also effective. The 1-ounce Hopkins spoon has been producing bass, but most of the fish on the spoon have been small.” There have been few trout or king salmon trollers heading to the lake, but once the lake turns over near the end of November, the fish should rise to the surface, leading to improved action. The lake rose close to a half-foot to 65 percent capacity and 765.04 in elevation.
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; Stripers 3
Jacob Rutledge of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield reported minimal change at the lake with few largemouth bass or crappie reports for the past several weeks. Catfish are the top species, and most fishermen are concentrating around the dam area with a variety of baits including Sonny’s Stinky Bait, Katnip Beef Bait or Terminator stink bait. The lake dropped slightly to 2544.32 feet in elevation and 16 percent capacity. In the lower Kern River below the dam, smallmouth and largemouth bass are still available with small swimbaits or plastics on the drop-shot. There have been few reports from the upper Kern River above Lake Isabella. The local lakes remain quiet, but trout plants should begin by the end of November. The lake temperatures at Buena Vista are high, and the best fishing for catfish or crappie is occurring at night. Castaic continues to pump out striped bass, and south Valley fishermen have been heading there over the Grapevine.
Call: Bob’s Bait (661) 833-8657; North Fork Marina (760) 376-1812
Bass 2; Crappie 2; Trout 1; Catfish 2
The lake is very low at 5 percent capacity, but bass boats are able to launch in the low water conditions. The Success Bass Club second annual Cancer Benefit tournament raised $400 for the American Cancer Society with the team of Dave Simpson and Kyle Manes taking first with an 18.02-pound limit. With the low lake levels, the bass are concentrated and chasing the abundant shad schools.. Catfish remain 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 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
Chuck Stokke of the Sequoia Fishing Co. in Springville reported, “Bass fishing has improved with anglers using jigs with a trailer, crankbaits, or spinnerbaitss.” Catfish remain an option with stink baits. The lake dropped 1.5 feet to 581.67 in elevation and 6 percent capacity. In the Tule River, Stokke reported slow conditions, but anglers are picking up a few native trout on nymphs.
Call: Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626, sequoiafishingcompany.com
Bass 3; Trout 2; King salmon 1; Kokanee 1; Crappie 3; Catfish 3
Despite the launch ramp conditions at Lake McClure, the bass fishing has been outstanding for those willing to negotiate the long back up at Barrett’s Cove South. Don Pedro on the Tuolumne watershed continues to produce numbers of bass but finding fish over any size is a challenge. Mike Gomez of the Bait Barn in Waterford said, “McClure is wide open right now, and there have been several spotted bass in the 2- to 4-pound range landed this week. Working the bottom with jigs or plastics on the drop-shot has been the most productive technique, and one kayaker went out and picked up a number of quality spots drop-shotting out of his small boat. If you want quality in our area, McClure is the place to go.” There is also a crappie bite with minijigs or small minnows at McClure near the Houseboats. The lake has dropped to 35 percent capacity with the lake falling 2 feet to 734.93 in elevation.
Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505
Trout fishing is fair with the catchable rainbows from the plant at the beginning of the month moving out from the shore areas into deeper water toward Exchequer Dam up the river arm. The best action is in the early mornings or late evenings with Power Bait, inflated nightcrawlersor Kastmasters near the brush pile, handicapped docks or along the marina. Trolling is best in the river arm with Wedding Rings tipped with a nightcrawler behind a flasher, blade/’crawler combinations, or Kastmasters in blue/chrome at depths to 20 feet.
Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River
Bass 2; Striped bass 1; Shad 1; Bluegill 2
Millerton continues to produce numbers of spotted bass, but it has been difficult to pick up any bass in excess of 13.5 inches. Merritt Gilbert reported, “Everything at Millerton has been on the bottom, but there have been a few small spotted bass taken on quarter-ounce Kastmasters above Finegold.” Bass Lake at slightly more than 3,300 feet is starting to attract area bass fishermen with the end of the Sheriff’s Motor Fee, but small fish are the rule. Gilbert continued, “7- to 8-pound limits are possible, but you have to work hard.” There were no striped bass reports. Millerton dropped 2 feet to 500.27 in elevation and 42 percent capacity. In the San Joaquin River, a few bass fishermen are trying from the banks around Sycamore Island while jet boats are launching and running up the lower river west of Highway 99. 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 2; Trout 2; Kokanee 2
The holdover rainbow trout continue to make a showing at New Melones, leading John Liechty of Glory Hole Sports in Angels Camp to state, “This last week we saw one of the biggest trout we have seen in years with the 5.5-pound rainbow landed by Bob James of Murphys on a brightly-painted Rapala trolled as deep as 110 feet in the main lake. The trout are holding in deep water, and they are feeding heavily on shad. As water temperatures cool, the fish will start to move upward to the surface. Right now, most fishermen are not catching numbers of rainbows, but when they do hook up, they are usually rewarded with a fat rainbow in the 3- to 5-pound range. Fast trolling speeds from 2.6. to 3.6 mph is working best, and shad patterns as well bright colored spons or plugs are attracting fish from a distance. Bank anglers should also start to get active as the recent rainfall will draw the rainbows into the moving water in the feeder creeks and drainages.” For brown trout, Glory Hole encourages the catch and release of this species as the Department of Fish and Game will no longer be planting them in the lake. The Glory Hole Sports Fall Catfish Contest will begin Nov. 1 and run until the end of the month. The contest is limited to 50 entries. Liechty reported, “Some of the largest catfish will move into the shallows during and after periods of rain as they set up and wait for creatures to be washed into the lake. Now is a good time to go out and scout some of these catfish holes. Frozen shad, mackerel, and anchovies coated with Mike’s Lunker Lotion or similar catfish attractants are your best options along with soaking a huge ball of nightcrawlers.” The bass bite continues to be a bit tough and finding actively feeding fish has become a challenge. Liechty added, “The fish have been in a fairly negative mood and not willing to chase moving baits. Deadsticking and slow moving baits have been working best. A drop-shot rig with a shad patterned worm has been working when using a light weight and fish patiently. Hopefully the recent rainfall and cooler temperatures will push the fish closer to a fall bite.” The crappie bite has slowed, but there have been a few 2-pound slabs taken around tall standing timber near deep water as the crappie are feeding on the schools of migrating shad. Live minnows or minijigs under a slip-float rig are working. The Glory Hole launch ramp is on the dirt and will remain so until the lake rises during the winter. A courtesy dock is available. The drawdown of the lake has increased, with a drop nearly 2 vertical feet this week to 861.61 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, “Next on the list of best bass lakes is Pine Flat, but most of the bass have dropped on the bottom with plastics on the drop-shot or jigs producing the best action. There are still a few fish taken on crankbaits or chatterbaits, but most are found on the bottom at depths from the bank to 40 feet. The water is still warm. There have been some crappie coming out of the lake with minijigs, but the location has been kept quiet.” Pine Flat actually rose 2 feet within to 18 percent capacity and 750.20 feet in elevation. The lack of trout plants on the lower Kings River below the dam has limited interest in fishing from the banks. 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 2; Catfish 2; Bass 2; Crappie 2
O’Neill Forebay continues to attract most central Valley striped bass fishermen, but the main San Luis Reservoir is also producing school-sized striped bass. October and November generally bring some of the best fishing, and this year has been no exception. The main reservoir has held at 25 percent capacity with continued pumping out of the Delta – 8,289 acre-feet was pumped in Monday. Roger George of Roger George Guide Service said that the weather front passing through the area during this past weekend slowed the bite. “I fished Saturday morning with Les (Fresno ag commissioner) and Marilyn (Tulare ag commissioner) Wright of Visalia and we picked up seven fish by noon, with Marilyn scoring a new PR 26-incher on a trolled plug,” George said. “I fished Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning with Aaron Sims of Walnut Creek and we released nine fish to 25 inches saturday, then another nineto 25 inches Sunday by noon for a total of 26 fish in 1 1/2 days. The bite was sporadic and both days it suddenly shut off in the afternoon. Looks like they’re going to put more water in –with the lake rising 2 feet since Sunday.” In the main lake, Chris Chan of Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill reported, “Most fishermen are focusing on striped bass around the Trash Racks and Dinosaur Point with jumbo minnows, and there are some fishermen willing to make the long walk to the shoreline in order to throw swimbaits or soak anchovies. There have been boils in the early mornings and late evenings, and topwater lures are picking up the 4- to 6-pound stripers.” Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun said, “Fishermen have been doing a combination of trolling and casting for stripers to 6.5 pounds in the main lake, and every once in awhile, someone will pick up a larger fish.” In the forebay, Chan said, “We have been selling more lures such as flukes, 4- to 5-inch shad-patterned swimbaits along with topwater lures and ripbaits. The fish have been boiling in the mornings, and the best grade of striper is coming on topwater lures. Fishermen are finding consistent limits of 4- to 6-pound linesides.”
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
A small grade of spotted and largemouth bass is possible for limits in the 7- to 8-lb. range, but you have to work hard. There is more interest in the lake now that the Sheriff’s Motor Fee is over until Memorial Day, and the best action remains on the bottom with plastics on the drop-shot or dart head along the weed lines with some action on crankbaits in the clear water. Trout fishing remains exceedingly slow. The lake is starting to release water, falling to 77 percent capacity.
Call: Mike Beighey 642-3748; Bass Lake Watersports 642-3200
Brown trout 2; Trout 2
There has been minimal interest in the Kaiser Pass lakes, but Edison and Florence are kicking out a few rainbow and brown trout. Edison dropped slightly to 52 percent capacity while Florence held at 6 percent Mammoth Pool rose slightly to 29 percent.
Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000
Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake
Kokanee 1;Trout 2; Smallmouth 3
Few reports are coming out of Shaver with the exception of an abundant grade of miniscule smallmouth bass. The lack of trout plants has affected the overall action, limiting the numbers of fishermen traveling to the lake. The kokanee are heading up the creek channels in an attempt to spawn. At Huntington, trout action is also slow with few fishermen heading to the lake. Huntington dropped rapidly to 31 percent capacity this week while Shaver rose again to 89 percent.
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
Wishon appears to be improving as the water cools, and most fishermen in the high country are focusing on this lake. Kayakers are finding decent action for browns and rainbows at the upper end of the lake with Wedding Rings tipped with a nightcrawler. Shore fishing has been fair at best, but a few rainbows have been taken at the mouth of Short Hair Creek with trout dough bait in pink or orange. At Courtright, there are few reports from this high elevation lake as cold temperatures are keeping fishermen away. There is some action with blade/’crawler combinations at the upper end of the lake, especially when there is a slight ripple on the water. Few shore fishermen are trying.
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
Salmon 2; Rockfish 3; Striper 2
Captain Dennis Baxter of the New Captain Pete said, “The action both in the harbor and outside of the harbor has been slow, but this can change any day. The interest inside the harbor has waned within the past week. The best area for big salmon has been up north at Mussel Rock.” Baxter is running rockfish trips until the commercial Dungeness crab opener, leaving Captain Tom Mattusch on the Huli Cat as the only large boat running crab/rockfish combination trips starting Nov. 5. The Huli Cat continues to target rockfish, and Sunday’s trip brought out the school fish with Captain Michael Cabanas reporting, “The school fish were biting, but there were no whoppers to report for the day. The ocean was calm in the mornings, but the winds ramped up to around 15 knots in the afternoon.” On Saturday, the Huli Cat found a larger grade of rockfish with lings to 6 pounds taken on a shrimp fly/octopus combination and vermilions to 3 pounds on shrimp flies. The recreational rock crab season is currently closed north of Pigeon Point in San Mateo County because of high levels of domoic acid.
Call: Happy Hooker (510) 223-5388; Roger Thomas, Salty Lady (415) 760-9362; Emeryville Sport Fishing (510) 654-6040
Rockfish 2; Striper 2; Bluefin tuna 2
Keith Semler of Chris’s Fishing Trips in Monterey reported the big swell in Monterey Bay affected the rockfish bite with the Caroline posting only one-quarter limits of rockfish along with 17 ling cod for 17 anglers Sunday, with the CheckMate returning with half-limits of rockfish and 24 lings for 21 fishermen. Saturday was improved for rockfish, but the ling counts were down with the Star of Monterey landing 13 lings and three-quarter imits of rockfish for 35 fishermen with the Caroline also posting three-quarter limits of rockfish and only four lings for 19 anglers. Allen Bushnell of Santa Cruz Kayak Fishing and Surfcasting Guide Service reported, “Rockfish and lingcod fishing seems to have been unaffected by the early season storm. Reports indicate the schooling yellows, black and blue rockfish are still very willing to bite along local reefs outside Monterey and from Capitola to Natural Bridges in Santa Cruz. Forays to more remote locations near Big Sur or towards the San Mateo County line are sure to provide quicker limits of bigger fish. Ling cod counts in particular should be rising as their spawning season approaches and more lings arrive in the shallows. For a great fishing day, start out fishing for sand dabs from 120-240 feet of water. Save the big ’dabs for lunch and keep the small ones alive for lingcod bait. They are like candy for big lings. Todd Fraser at Bayside Marine reminds us that Dungeness crab season is expected to open as scheduled Nov. 5. Local anglers are holding out hope for bluefin tuna as several of the species have been seen 5-6 miles offshore from Cypress Point to Point Sur. One private boat landed six bluefin in the 50-pound range while trolling large plugs on a recent outing. Speaking of tuna, everyone is invited to the 39th annual Albacore Feed, a benefit dinner for the Monterey Bay Salmon and Trout Project. Fresh albacore is coming from Oregon this year for the yearly dinner and raffle extravaganza. The event takes place on Nov. 12 at the Castroville Recreation Center, 11621 Crane St., Castroville. Tickets are $20 and available at the door or via www.mbstp.org.
Call: Chris’ Landing (831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173
San Francisco Bay
Halibut 2; Striper 2; Rockfish 3; Leopard shark 3; Sturgeon 1; Salmon 2
Salmon action slowed considerably Saturday and Sunday with the Sausalito boats combining both days for 12 salmon to 27 pounds for 42 fishermen. The winds ramped up Saturday to 15 knots, but Sunday’s weather was flat calm up the Marin coastline. Rockfishing remains a solid option, and Captain Jim Smith of the Happy Hooker went to the Farallon Islands with 25 fishermen for limits of rockfish and 12 ling cod. He said, “We had a large group of children on the boat today, and the big rockfish bit, even on the high spots. There was zero drift in the flat calm conditions, but the rockfish bite is wide open. Saturday was a much different story, and we stayed along the Marin coastline in the rough conditions with a big swell, settling for half limits of rockfish and nine ling cod.” Out of Emeryville Sport Fishing, the New Huck Finn, Tigerfish, and Sea Wolf found great ling cod fishing at the Farallons with a combined 728 rockfish along with 101 lings to 15 pounds for 77 fishermen Sunday. The big ling of the day was landed on the Outer Limits out of Sausalito at 26 pounds as part of 34 lings and 26 limits of rockfish at the Farallons. Dungeness crab season is starting in less than two weeks on Nov. 5, and Bay Area six-packs are featuring crab/rockfish combinations at $200 per fisherman. Captain Trent Slate of Shelter Cove Sport Fishing is taking the combination trips at $200 with crab-only at $100 per angler. Inside the bay, the weather has been windy, leading to far less interest in fishing. There have been fits and spurts of salmon landed at the top of the tide at California City, and a new batch of big fish should be arriving this week. Small striped bass are plentiful, and Captain Trent Slate and local striper expert, Tommy Glaser, went plugging off Red Rock and the Marin Islands for over 100 striped bass with only a half-dozen of legal size to 5 pounds. Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle in San Rafael said, “One fly fisherman was working Red Rock over the weekend, and he caught and released 70 bass without landing a legal fish.” Incredibly, a few halibut continue to come out of San Francisco Bay despite the month of November on the horizon.
San Luis Obispo
Rockfish continue to be the story, and both San Luis Obispo County Ports had boats out on three-quarter-day trips Monday. Out of Port San Luis, the Avenger went out with 14 anglers for 18 ling cod to 13 pounds, 80 assorted rockfish, four vermilion and 42 bolina for near limits. The Fiesta out of Virg’s Landing in Morro Bay took out 13 passengers for 10 fish shy of rockfish limits with 28 vermilion, 14 copper rockfish, 87 assorted and a cabezon along with 12 lings to 12.4 pounds. Their last two-day trip of the year with any room starts Dec. 30; all two-day trips prior to that date are sold out. There are bluefin tuna holding in the area just north of Morro Bay with the fish found in the temperature break at 62-63 degrees. These tuna are in the 50- to 90-pound range, but actually landing the fish is a trick since the catch ratio is around 1 to 3 or 1 to 4. Private boaters have been doing their best to keep this information quiet.
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
Salmon continue to trickle through the Sacramento River-Delta, and the recent trend of big salmon along the Marin coastline is contributing to a larger grade of fish traveling up the river. Johnny Tran of New Romeo’s Bait and Tackle in Freeport said, “There have been some chrome-bright salmon in the 20- to 40-pound range showing up within the past week as a new school has come through. Bank fishermen are tossing Flying C spinners, trollers are pulling Silvertron or similar spinners while jigging with P-Line Laser Minnows or Slammer Minnows are all bringing in fish below the Freeport Bridge.” Another sign of salmon coming through the system has been on the Old Sacramento River from Isleton to Walnut Grove. Field scout Neil Simpson of Lodi reported, “There has been a good salmon bite near Walnut Grove with P-Line Laser Minows in the 2- to 4-ounce size, and trollers are scoring with chartreuse or chartreuse/purple Silvertron spinners.” In Suisun Bay, Tony Lopez of Benicia Bait reported salmon fishing from the shorelines at the State Park and First Street has slowed to the 3-5 fish per day range after great action on the weekend with over 30 salmon landed at First Street alone. With the big fish still coming in from outside the Golden Gate, the Benicia shoreline fishermen should get another crack at good action within the next two weeks. Striper fishing has been fair for small keepers from the shoreline while sturgeon fishing is best above Pittsburg. For striped bass, Liberty Island has been hit or miss with some good action on live mudsuckers reported by Tran, but Alan Fong, manager of the Fisherman’s Warehouse in Sacramento, said, “My nephew, Bub Fong, was in Liberty this past week, and he was lucky to hook two 5-pound stripers on glidebaits.” Tran touted Liberty Island, the Sacramento Deep Water Channel, Steamboat Slough, and the Port of Sacramento as the best locations for striped bass with live mudsuckers being the top bait. Spoons, swimbaits, frozen shad or sardines are working for mostly school-sized striped bass. Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, was on the north Delta on this week in search of stripers and largemouth bass. After heading into Liberty Island for minimal action, they worked the main river and the sloughs for largemouth bass with the ima Pinjack in shad patterns. He said, “The bass were just crushing the lure, and we also hooked and lost four salmon that were chasing up the crankbaits. I am prepared for battle next week as we were working along the outside edges of the weedlines for doubles of largemouth bass, and the salmon were also swinging at the lures. The bass are holding under or outside of the weedlines, especially on the high tides. We hooked a pair of stripers on the ima Big Stick in the morning along with a few other stripers on spoons, but I am looking forward to next week as the bite should be off of the hook with overcast conditions and a better tide allowing for a longer period of high tide. The fish should be up tight inside of the weeds on the high tide.” Mark Wilson, striper trolling expert, has been out on the Sacramento River-Delta, and he said, “It is the same as it has been with small stripers and not many of them around. On Saturday, we ended up with three keepers to 22 inches along with eight shakers, and I also landed an 8-pound salmon on a Rat-L-Trap on light tackle while trolling in the shallows in Montezuma Slough.” Sturgeon fishing continues to improve, and Cache Slough is the top location north of the Rio Vista Bridge while the Sacramento River from Sherman Island west to Bay Point is producing more and more diamondbacks. Grass shrimp has been in short supply during the past week, but local baits shops are loading up with ghost shrimp. The improved sturgeon bite has arrived just in time for the first major sturgeon tournament of the season – the Addathon Iron Man Derby out of Antioch. Striped bass have been the big story in the San Joaquin-Delta with the numbers of bass climbing and climbing. Captain Mike Gravert of Intimidator Sport Fishing out of Korth’s Pirate’s Lair said, “The striper bite remains solid both during and after last weekend’s rains, but it takes some looking around to find your keeper fish as there seems to be ‘rats’ everywhere you stop. The spoon bite has slowed, and we were unable to find any huge schools large enough to slide down our P-Line Laser Minnows or Blade Runner spoons. The water temperature has risen slightly to over 66 degrees, and we are looking forward to cooler days in the coming week.” Dan Mathisen of Dan’s Delta Outdoors in Oakley said, “Striper fishing is on fire right now with as many 3- to 7-pound stripers as I can remember. I went out this week, and we caught and released 27 stripers at the end of the tide using a 4-inch Optimum Bad Bubba Shad solo or on an umbrella rig. The topwater bite is starting to happen, and it is a good option to throw the topwater lures such as Dan’s Delta Mizers, Trinidad Tackle’s Heart Attack wooden plug, or the ima Big Stick in open water with current before switching to the Bubba Shad. The bait is starting to ball up with the water in the mid-60’s, and things are really looking for the remainder of the month.” For largemouth bass, Mathisen added, “The bite is still tough, but there is a jig or drop-shot bite at depths from 6 to 12 feet with an early morning wakebait, swimbait, or ripbait bite. The largemouth bass are holding in the striper schools chasing bait, and working the points in the main river is a good option as the fish are suspending along the points. There were 30 salmon landed off of the Humphrey’s Pier one day with week, and we have been selling out of Captain Stan’s Spinners since they don’t bend due to the split ring at the base of the lure.” Simpson was on the main San Joaquin River and Frank’s Tract on Saturday, and he reported, “There were plenty of shaker stripers but no big ones. The stripers are thick on the San Joaquin, but most of the fish are undersized..” In Clifton Court Forebay, there have been a number of fishermen targeting salmon within the past week but it is illegal to keep a salmon out of there. Anglers poaching salmon have had their gear and vehicles impounded.
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 2; White bass 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
With the launch ramp out of the water, there is limited fishing pressure at Lake Lopez, but there is a topwater bite in the mornings and evening as well as working plastics on the drop-shot or Brush Hogs on a slow retrieve. When the wind is blowing, the bass are holding on the main and secondary lake points, and spinnerbaits are the best choice. Catfish and panfish are available from the banks. At Nacimiento, the bass are rising to the surface in the mornings and evenings, and small topwater lures are picking up the fish in the boils. There is a subsurface bite with crankbaits or flukes along with plastics, Brush Hogs or jigs on a slow presentation on the bottom. White bass action is fair at best. At Santa Margarita, fishing pressure is also light with some action for catfish to 14 pounds with cut baits or nightcrawlers. The bass fishing is limited to some larger fish on reaction baits, but the most consistent action is on the bottom with jigs or plastics on the drop-shot. Santa Margarita’s launch ramp remains out of the water, but the marina has rental boats. San Antonio Reservoir is closed indefinitely.
Call: Lake Nacimiento (805) 238-1056, ext. 3; Lake San Antonio Marina (805) 472-2818; CentralCoastBassFishing.com (805) 466-6557
- Sierra Bass Club on Oct. 22 at Hensley: 1, Dan Rippertella 20.61 pounds (big fish 9.16); 2, Randy Rowe 7.35; 3, Mitch Mitcheltree 6.88
- Success Bass Club second annual Cancer Benefit on Oct. 23 at Kaweah: 1, Dave Simpson/Kyle Manes 18.02 pounds; 2, David Coy/Jerry Williams 10.10; 3, Jon and Brent Hillen 9.76
- Friday-Saturday: California Bass Federation at Delta/Ladd’s Marina
- Saturday: Delta Bass Club at Delta/Russo’s Marina; California Tournament Trail at Pine Flat
- Nov. 5: Tracy Bass Club at Delta/Tracy Oasis; Bass Anglers of Northern California at Delta/Russo’s Marina; Kerman Bass Club/Sonora Bass Club at Don Pedro; Sierra Bass Club at Bass Lake; Visalia Bass Club at Kaweah; Golden Empire Bass Club at Nacimiento
- Nov. 5-6: Addathon Iron Man Sturgeon Derby at Delta/Antioch; Dan’s Delta Outdoors at Delta/Big Break Marina; Bass 101 Team Open Two-Day Event at Pine Flat, 284-2768; Bakersfield Bass Club at Nacimiento
- Nov. 6: Manteca Bassin’ Buddies at Delta/Ladd’s Marina; Central Valley Anglers Sturgeon Derby at Delta/Brannon Island State Park
- Nov. 12: Mid Valley Bass Club at Delta/B and W Resort; Christian Bass League at Don Pedro; Clovis Police Foundation at Pine Flat; Visalia Bass Club/River Rat at Kaweah; Point Seekers Bass Club at Nacimiento
- Nov. 12-13: Taft Bass Club/Bass N’ Tubes at Nacimiento
- Nov. 13: Hook, Line, and Sinker at Delta/Russo’s Marina; Tracy Bass Club at Delta/Tracy Oasis; Riverbank Bass Anglers at New Hogan; Modesto Ambassadors at Don Pedro; Kings River Bass Club at Pine Flat; Kings VIII Bass Club at Kaweah
- Nov. 18-20: Best Bass Tournaments Striped Bass Tournament at Delta/Russo’s Marina
- Nov. 19: Tracy Oasis Marina at Delta/Tracy Oasis; California Tournament Trail at Millerton
- Nov. 19-20: California Hmong Bass Tournament at Lake Berryessa –
- Nov. 20: Fresno Bass Club at McClure
- Merced County: Los Banos Reservoir
- Stanislaus County: Modesto Reservoir; Woodward Reservoir
- Tuolumne County: Don Pedro Reservoir; New Melones Reservoir; Tulloch Lake
n = new moon > = peak activity