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.
Pine Flat bass take center stage, Merritt Gilbert said. New Melones bass and trout active, John Liechty reported. Delta sturgeon action still good, Steve Talmedge said.
Never miss a local story.
2-Have to work hard
4-Fish jumpin’ in boat
Delta Mendota Canal and Sloughs
Stripers 2; Catfish 2
The California Aqueduct continues to flow high and muddy throughout the entire stretch of the conveyance system. Few fishermen are heading to the concrete river at present, but this will change once the water starts to slow down and warm up. With the water diversions blasting toward storage in the south Valley and Los Angeles Basin, the vegetation and debris also are being pushed southward. The flush of the aqueducts will pay dividends once the water clears within the next few months. Heavy exports should keep the section just south of O’Neill Forebay stained for the longest period with clearer water occurring the further south you travel from Highway 152. Jacob Rutledge of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield reported most area fishermen are still heading to the aqueduct with sardines, blood worms, or minnows as lures are getting stuck in the floating and submerged debris. He said, “There have been a number of tumbleweeds that have blown into the aqueduct, and striper fishing is slow with around one or two undersized stripers the rule after the same fishermen were averaging five or six linesides a few weeks ago.” Anglers are encouraged to keep their area clean to avoid future closures.
Bass 2; Trout 2; Bluegill 1; Catfish 1; Crappie 1
The lake rose an additional 14 feet within the past week to 560.49 in elevation and to 71 percent capacity. The bass bite is very tough amid the combination of cold and muddy water. Better fishing is expected once the weather stabilizes and the bass find new food sources along the previously dry shorelines. A trout plant occurred two weeks ago on the Madera and Mariposa County sides of the lake, but the bite is slow.
Call: Six Star Tackle Box 673-5688; Eastman Lake 689-3255
Bass 2; Trout 1; Catfish 1; Bluegill 1; Crappie 1
Water releases Monday dropped the lake 2 feet to 494.48 in elevation and 36 percent capacity. Cold and muddy water is the rule, and the number of fishermen is minimal.
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; King salmon 2; Crappie 1
Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing is ready to begin trolling for rainbow trout near the surface as the water continues to clear. King salmon are holding up the river arm in deep water, and the extra water this winter should make for a great spring bite. Bass fishing is best with plastics on the drop-shot, jigs or Brush Hogs at depths from 25-45 feet in the main lake. The lake is releasing water, dropping to 89 percent capacity and 812.24 feet in elevation.
Call: Monte Smith (209) 581-4734; Danny Layne-Fish’n Dan (209) 586-2383; Gary Vella (209) 652-7550
Lake Isabella/Bakersfield area
Bass 2; Trout 2; Crappie 2 Catfish 2 Bluegill 1
Jacob Rutledge of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield reported most local fishermen are heading to the California Aqueduct. with few going to Lake Isabella during this stretch of cold weather. The 28th annual Isabella Lake Fishing Derby is April 8-10, with early-bird registration closing at 4 p.m. March 4. No entries will be accepted after 7 a.m. April 7. Information and registration is available at http://www.kernrivervalley.com/. Campgrounds open during the derby are Boulder Gulch, Camp 9, French Gulch, Paradise Cove, Pioneer Point and Tillie Creek. Make reservations through the Sequoia Recreation Office at (760) 376-1815. The lake came up 2.5 feet to 2567.14 in elevation and 38 percent capacity this week. The local lakes of the River Walk and Ming were planted last week, and Rutledge touted Ming as the best location given the heavy pressure at River Walk. Buena Vista is to be planted next week. With the Kern River still running high and muddy, there have been few reports from the upper or lower stretches.
Call: Bob’s Bait (661) 833-8657; North Fork Marina (760) 376-1812
Bass 2; Crappie 2; Trout 2; Catfish 2
Sierra Sporting Goods in Exeter reported the lake rose several feet, but water releases have started. Bass fishing is best in deep water ranging from 30-40 feet, and plastics on the drop-shot, jigs or spoons are working best for the bass. Trout fishing is fair at best since the water is still stained. Quite a few crappie fishermen have shown up, and small to medium minnows are the top bait for the slabs. Water releases have lowered the reservoir 4.5 feet this week to 636.23 in elevation and 28 percent capacity.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212
Bass 2; Trout 1; Catfish 1; Crappie 1
Chuck Stokke of the Sequoia Fishing Co. in Springville reported slow action on the main lake, stating, “Fishing at Success is very slow, and the water is still stained. The best action for bass is with either jigs or plastic worms on a very slow presentation. Few fishermen are showing interest. No trout plants are scheduled at the present time.” Water releases are balancing the inflow and the outflow, but the water remains loaded with debris and stained after the quick rise, drawing flotsam from the banks. The Tule River continues to flow high and is unfishable. Water releases have started, with the lake dropping a foot to 630.51 in elevation and 50 percent capacity.
Call: Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626, sequoiafishingcompany.com
Bass 3; Trout 2; King salmon 1; Kokanee 1; Crappie 2; Catfish 2
The lake rose to 73 percent and 823.38 feet in elevation, and the water clarity has improved slightly with the week of good weather. Bass fishing is best with jigs or plastics on the drop-shot at depths from 25-45 feet. Berserk Jigs in Brown/Purple, Green Craw or Purple Hornet are working along with Pro Worms in 124p, 261 LT or 300.
Call: Bait Barn (209) 874-3011
With the most recent trout plant ocurring in October, fishing remains limited to a few planters with garlic trout dough bait, Power Eggs or nightcrawlers. The marina will not be installing bait tanks for live minnows, but live crawdads are a possibility in the future. Calaveras Trout Farm is back in operation, and there is hope for biweekly plants at the lake in the coming months.
Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River
Bass 2; Striped bass 1; Shad 1; Bluegill 1
The lake dropped to 67 percent capacity with water releases moving in earnest, and the lake is off-limits this week for anglers participating in the Feb. 4 California Tournament Trail event. The action is on the bottom in the main lake with plastics on the drop-shot, spoons or jigs on a slow presentation. The river arm remains dirty, and the best clarity is found in the main lake. Local Virgil Burgess reported that the bite had slowed, citing the dropping water and changing weather as causes. In the San Joaquin River, there are been few reports, but local anglers are taking their children to fish Woodward Park for planted rainbows in the wake of last week’s trout plant. 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 must be released immediately. The San Joaquin River is closed to the take of salmon; they may not be targeted and must be released immediately if caught.
Call: Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474
New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch
Bass 3; Crappie 2; Catfish 2; Trout 3
New Melones continues to rise daily, and the recent spate of clear weather has allowed for more fishermen to access the lake. Particularly helpful has been the opening of four lanes on concrete at the Glory Hole ramp as well as the access at the Tuttletown launch via four-wheel drive. John Liechty of Glory Hole Sports in Angels Camp was very pleased with the turnout for Saturday’s Big Bass Bash, and he was doubly-happy with the results as he and his partner won with a two-fish weight of 10.73 pounds – including a largemouth bass at 8.22. Liecthy said, “The format is a two-fish limit consisting of a largemouth bass and a spotted bass, and this forces the teams to work various techniques to target the different species. I was able to land the big largemouth right away in the morning on a Baby Brush Hog, and there were a variety of baits that were successful including jigs, soft plastics, and the occasional swimbait fish.” Twenty-five teams participated. The bass have become unpredictable with the changing water levels, but the overall bite is good with most fishermen scoring quality spotted and largemouth bass. A weedless presentation is advised near shore because of the flooded vegetation. The trout bite remains solid near the surface for trollers in the main lake pockets, creek channels, and wind-protected bends, and as the fish are feeding near the surface, a long setback from 150-200 feet is advised with brightly painted lures that create sound and vibration. Bank fishing should improve when the rain stops as the water clarity will improve. Trout dough bait/marshmallow or nightcrawler/marshmallow combinations will work best on light line with light hooks to float the bait above the vegetation. With the warming weather, crappie are becoming active and the slabs are moving into the back cove and creek channels. Small spinners or minijigs have been the top lures. Catfishing remains slow, but soaking a ball of nightcrawlers near moving inlets may produce a quality whiskerfish. New Melones is at 42 percent capacity and 942.31 feet in elevation.
Call: Glory Hole Sports (209) 736-4333; Monte Smith (209) 581-4734; Danny Layne-Fish’n Dan (209) 586-2383
Pine Flat Reservoir/Kings River
Bass 3; Trout 2; King salmon 1; Catfish 1; Crappie 1
Pine Flat remains the best bass bet of all the Central California lakes because of the bass tournaments it will host. From the end of January and into February, six tournaments are scheduled. That included the American Bass Association and Success Bass Club events this past weekend, as well as upcoming ones by the Kerman Bass Club (Feb. 4), Best Bass (Feb. 11), Roosevelt High School Bass Fishers (Feb. 12) and the Sierra Bass and Bakersfield Bass clubs (Feb. 18). Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun said, “Most fishermen are heading to Pine Flat, and it seems that everything is on the bottom at depths from 30-40 feet with plastic worms on the drop-shot or jigs, but there have been a few larger fish taken with small spinnerbaits or Alabama-rigs. The bass are scattered, and you have to find the fish, and once you do, it has been hard to catch more than one out of a school. Limits are averaging from 7.5 to 10 pounds, but the fish are clearly scattered throughout the lake.” The main lake has been the top location as the water is far clearer there than up the river arm above Trimmer Marina. Trout fishing has been slow, generally, but the quality of the few rainbows taken is impressive – with the occasional trout to 17 inches found. Pine Flat rose to 62 percent capacity and 878.35 feet in elevation. Water releases have begun. In the lower Kings below Pine Flat Dam, trout plants occurred last week and also at Avocado Lake. Fishermen continue to land planted rainbows with Power Bait, nightcrawlers or spinners such as Roostertails or Panther Martins. 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 1; Crappie 1
San Luis Reservoir has jumped up to 82 percent because of increased water exports out of the south Delta during this period of heavy inflow. The main lake is on its way to full capacity for the first time since 2011 after dropping below 10 percent as recently as August. Water exports are arriving from state and federal pumping projects. The state’s portion will be filled by early February and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation share by the end of March. The rapid rise of the main lake hasn’t translated into better fishing as of yet with Mickey Clements of Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill saying, “The lake level is high, and the fish are scattered. It is this time of year when the striper bite is usually slow, and our sales of jumbo minnows indicate that either action or interest is down. For those drifting minnows, the mouth of Portuguese Cove or in front of the Trash Racks remain the best areas.” Roger George of Roger George Guide Service said that the bite has been slow due to the rising water. “ I fished with Fresno State Athletic Director Jim Bartko and his CFO Terry Donavon Monday and we had a very tough bite,” George said. “The fish were inactive and suspended and just weren’t biting much. The water was off color and full of grass and floating wood- so trolling is tough in the coves where the stuff is more concentrated. It may turn around very quickly once the water stabilizes-hopefully at the top!” Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “Fishermen have been purchasing KeiTech swimbaits and Duo Realis jerkbaits for the main lake, but I haven’t received any reports of success.” In the O’Neill Forebay, Clements reported slow action for artificial due to the muddy water in the smaller reservoir, and the best action has been with blood worms, pile worms, jumbo minnows or sardines near Check 12.
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
Snow fell at the edge of the lake during the week, but fishing remains very slow. The trout bite should improve because of a recent trout plant, but more anglers are needed to gauge the results. Water releases have dropped the reservoir to 75 percent. Webcams of the lake are available at www.basslakeca.com/.
Call: Mike Beighey 642-3748; Bass Lake Watersports 642-3200
The final section of Kaiser Pass Road at Eastwood closed Dec. 1 and access to Edison and Florence Lakes is limited to those on snowmobiles. Edison dropped slightly to 34 percent capacity, with Florence is at 18 percent and Mammoth Pool at 94 percent.
Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000
Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake
Shaver is the only game in town for trout across the Central California stretch of the Sierra as access to Huntington, Wishon and Courtright reservoirs is limited given this winter’s heavy snowfall. After a very slow ending to the summer season, the recent trout plant has spurred on increased interest in the lake. Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters said, “I am still hearing about trout being taken from the shoreline ranging from 10 inches to a few in the 3-pound bracket from the normal locations along the Sierra Marina and the Point with trout dough bait. With the two recent plants from the Department of Fish and Wildlife, I think trollers working from the dam to the Point or from the dam to Road 2 with blade/’crawler combinations should have some success. Traditionally at this time of year, red/green or chartreuse/orange spinners tipped with a piece of nightcrawler work well from the surface to 20 feet in depth. The snow around the lake is deep, and it requires some effort to approach a fishing spot. With another storm on the horizon, it is always best to check the web cam at the launch at www.sierramarina.com and for conditions in Shaver Lake Village at www.capt-jack.com/.” Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “There have been more boats running up the hill recently, and the only place they could be headed is to Shaver. One of our customers fished the banks for a pair of rainbows using trout dough bait recently, but boaters really need to check the launch ramp conditions with the webcam before running up the hill.” The Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project will be starting its Trout In the Classroom Project at the local schools of Pine Ridge and Big Creek on Feb. 3 with the delivery of eggs to the school sites. Teachers and project program members attended the DFW training for raising trout in October. Shaver is at 69 percent, with upstream Huntington dipping to 54 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
The gates on McKinley Grove Road are closed, with vehicle access to Wishon or Courtright unavailable until the spring.
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
Striper 2; Crabs 2
The party boats will be limited to sand dab/crab or whale and bird watching trips for the next few months. The Huli Cat will continue to run sand dab/crab, crab-only, or whale watching trips until the anticipated salmon opener in April 2017. Captain Roger Thomas of the Salty Lady has brought his vessel down to Pillar Point for the winter and will be running three-hour whale-watching trips until the ocean salmon opener. Farther north in Pacifica, Rob Chaney of the Rusty Hook reported striped bass are starting to show up along the beaches, and there has been some good action near Mori’s Point as well as at Linda Mar with metal spoons. He said, “I don’t know if it has been a fluke, but the stripers have been the happening thing over the past few days. Crabbing remains solid from the pier with snares.”
Call: Happy Hooker (510) 223-5388; Captain Roger Thomas, Salty Lady (415) 760-9362; Emeryville Sport Fishing (510) 654-6040
Striper 2; Crab 2
Chris Arcoleo of Chris’ Fishing Trips said, “Last Thursday was the first day we have gone out for sand dab/Dungeness crab in the last 10 days, and the results weren’t very good with 17 sand dabs and 30 crab for 10 anglers. The swell was huge at between 15 and 20 feet, and the sand dabs don’t bite when there is a big swell. During our last trips, we slaughtered the sand dabs and even had limits of crab on one trip, but Tinker on the Check Mate was only able to locate 11 of 16 pots with the big swell. Last weekend brought the largest swell in recorded history in Monterey Bay at 34 feet. We will be running the combination trips depending upon both interest and the weather.” The 13th annual Sand Crab Classic is coming to Santa Cruz and the adjacent coastline March 11. Entries are limited to 300, with a registration deadline of Feb. 12. The most recent report had 185 participants registered. Allen Bushnell of Santa Cruz Kayak Fishing and Surfcasting Guide Service reported, “It is shaping up to be a historical winter with the succession of big wave events – especially this last storm that included the largest swell ever recorded from a Monterey Bay buoy (34 feet). The constant waves have a drastic affect on beach sand, especially combined with silt deposited in the ocean from gushing local creeks and streams. The Santa Cruz Harbor entrance is extremely shallow right now. The daily depth sounding report Wednesday showed zero to one foot across mouth of harbor, except for a small strip on the eastern edge measured at 8-10 feet in depth. Complicating harbor access is a sandbar just outside the jetties only three to six feet deep, effectively shutting the entrance. Minus tides in the afternoons over the weekend will make the harbor entrance dangerous. Harbor officials advise the boat launch ramp remains open but boaters should proceed with extreme caution. The dredge is working at full capacity and could have a navigable channel established within a week, two at the most. More big waves might slow that process. The National Weather Service forecast for Friday predicts a ‘west swell 11-15 feet with swell periods of 18-20 seconds, and ‘local breakers in excess of 20 feet.’ Monterey and Moss Landing Harbors remain fully open though both dealt with minor problems created by the surge effect from last week’s waves. Slip renters at all the Monterey Bay harbors would be well advised to doublecheck their moorings and lines as this wave train continues. As the conditions suggest, fishing is rather slow right now. Charter boats have remained at the dock for the past week. Big perch are here and the occasional striped bass should be no surprise. This week the beaches closer to the center of Monterey Bay were the best bet. Big sandbars have built up far from the beach, and there are plenty of trenches and holes to explore within easy casting distance. Reports from the beaches below Rio Del Mar included limits of barred surfperch and at least one legal striped bass. The two-inch ‘camo’ sandworms are still the bait of choice for perch and stripers will grab them as well. Tie a 24- to 48-inch leader with a #2 or #4 hook below a sliding egg sinker and use a slow steady retrieve to find the fish. Once you find the spot where fish are biting you can cast more precisely. Another alternative is throwing smaller sized Krokodiles or KastMasters. Stripers go after shiny hardware and the bigger perch will hit them as well. So far this winter, we have received a rainfall total measuring about 160 percent of an average season to date. And there’s more to come. These rainstorms also bring high winds, high tides and big waves, all of which we can expect this coming weekend. These severe conditions make it unadvisable and sometimes impossible to fish the open ocean, beaches or local streams and creeks.”
Call: Chris’ Landing (831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173; usafishing.com
San Francisco Bay
Striper 2; Leopard shark 2; Sturgeon 2; Crab 2
Sturgeon fishing was significantly slower Sunday, with most captains struggling for the occasional bite after a great Friday and Saturday. The big news was the arrival of live mud shrimp from the northwest at Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle on Saturday morning. Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond said, “We dispatched to the airport at 4 a.m., and the word got out with fishermen coming from as far as Placerville, Martinez and Antioch for the mud shrimp, and I have never seen mud shrimp as nice as these. Mud shrimp are truly the ‘filet mignon’ for sturgeon.” There have been up to 11 sturgeon hooked off the pier on recent days. Fraser added, “There has been a massive herring spawn in Tiburon and Belvedere, and I suspect the sturgies are dining on the herring in the area. It usually takes a week for them to return after a big spawn. I went out on Thursday to the Shellbanks, and we hooked four sturgeon, landing three with two in the slot along with two keeper bass. All fish were released to fight another day.” Fraser has plenty of ghost shrimp in the shop, and he is hoping to have another shot of mud shrimp for this coming weekend’s Super Bowl Sturgeon Derby. Captain Jim Smith of the Happy Hooker out of Berkeley had a banner day on Saturday fishing in the shallows in the back of San Pablo Bay. His clients put in a total of three keepers along with nine shakers and a pair of striped bass. Smith said, “We were using ghost shrimp, and they bit on both tides.” He has a trip next Saturday, but he is ready to go during the week. Captain Trent Slate of Shelter Cove Sport Fishing out of Loch Lomond Marina had a good day on Friday with a total of a shaker and a 52-inch keeper landed by Matt Smart of Vallejo on ghost shrimp on the outgoing tide.” Captain John Badger of Barbarian Sport Fishing put in some work Friday with legal sturgeon in the flats of San Pablo Bay. Reminder that sturgeon may not be taken in the following described area between Jan. 1 and March 15: That portion of San Francisco Bay included within the following boundaries – a direct line between Point Chauncy (National Marine Fisheries Laboratory) and Point Richmond, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and a direct line between Point Lobos and Point Bonita.
San Luis Obispo
Rockfish 3; Surf Perch 3
Rockfishing reopens April 1. The boats will focus on nature and whale watching trips until then . Jacob Rutledge of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield reported quality surf perch action for barred, striped, and calico perch in the 1.75 to 2-pound range at San Simeon using blood 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 2; Striper 2; Sturgeon 3; Catfish 2; Bluegill 2
The first of two large sturgeon derbies occurred over the past weekend with the 11th annual Diamond Classic Catch and Release Sturgeon Derby out of Martinez Marina. Derby organizer Captain Steve Talmadge of Flash Fishing said, “The derby was a great success, and it keeps getting better and better. Once again, I was encouraged by the number of children participating in the kids program. My weigh masters were kept very busy during the derby as they had 86 dispatches to fish with 40 legal slot fish and six oversized fish caught and released. There were also many missed fish – 131 kids participated in the derby and … all were entered into a drawing for prizes that included two custom rods and an Avet reel. There were children that didn’t catch fish, but due to the support of the derby’s sponsors, every kid went home with a prize. The Pier Crew that spent the day teaching and helping the kids fishing on the pier. A total of $9,700 was distributed to the seven top places. I want to thank all the fishermen that participated, releasing all the fish. The Sacramento River is starting to drop and clear, but many launches in the north Delta are still out of commission due to the high water.” Johnny Tran of New Romeo’s Bait and Tackle in Freeport said, “I went out on Saturday, and the bite was tough as there was so much current running down the river. Bank fishermen are using 12-14 ounces of weight in order to stay down, and it was very challenging to keep on the bottom.” Most fishermen were focusing on Suisun Bay and the sloughs during the weekend’s Diamond Classic Catch and Release Sturgeon Derby. The 33rd Original “aka Super Bowl” Sturgeon Derby is Feb. 4-5 at at the Foundation Sportsman’s Club at McAvoy’s Boat Harbor in Bay Point. Information is available at www.theoriginalsturgeonderby.com. All participants must sign up at McAvoy’s, and the entire boat crew must be entered on one entry form at the same time. In the San Joaquin River, the largemouth bass bite was slightly better over this past weekend, rebounding from the single 13-inch fish taking a tournament the previous weekend. Clear water is hard to find, but 17 anglers in the American Bass Association out of Russo’s Marina were able to land a total of 15 largemouth bass to 6.23 pounds with a total weight of 41.37 pounds Saturday. Dan Mathisen of Dan’s Delta Outdoors in Oakley said, “It was an improvement for bass fishermen this week, but the action is still tough. Discovery Bay is clearing up, and it is warming up in the low 50’s. I expect the bass bite to bust wide open in the coming weeks, and the weather fronts on the horizon shouldn’t make much of a difference. There have been a few striped bass taken on either Alabama rigs or swimbaits.” Steve Santucci of Steve Santucci’s Fly Fishing Guide Service said, “The Delta is very high and slightly off color in most areas so I have been heading to San Luis Reservoir for striped bass before returning to the Delta when conditions improve.”
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 1; Catfish 2; Crappie 1
At Nacimiento, the reservoir rose another 4 feet, for a total in excess of 54 feet in elevation during the past three weeks, to 786.55 feet in elevation and 81 percent. Debris and floating wood remain on the surface. But with the past week of clear weather, the lake is slowly clearing. Nacimiento will be hosting a number of tournaments within the coming months. Monterey County issued the following statement regarding special water releases: “Releases are being made from Nacimiento Reservoir to enhance adult steelhead migration conditions in the Salinas River. Releases are part of an adaptive management approach being followed in collaboration with the National Marine Fisheries Service to conserve steelhead in the Salinas River watershed. Releases from Nacimiento Reservoir up to 460 cubic feet per second (cfs) were authorized by the Monterey County Water Resources Board of Directors on January 17, 2017. Releases from San Antonio Reservoir are expected to remain at 3 cfs.” At Lopez, the launch ramp is open to all boats, and the lake level is at 33.8 percent capacity and still rising. All boats are inspected prior to launching and must be clean and dry upon arrival. Use caution while on the lake given floating debris and underwater hazards near shore. At Santa Margarita, the launch ramp remains out of the water, but the lake is rising. Rental boats at the marina are the only power option. Vehicle entry at Santa Margarita and Lopez is reduced to $5 Tuesdays. San Antonio Reservoir is closed indefinitely, but the lake has risen to 25 percent.
Call: Lake Nacimiento (805) 238-1056, ext. 3; Lake San Antonio Marina (805) 472-2818; CentralCoastBassFishing.com (805) 466-6557
- 11th annual Diamond Classic Catch and Release Sturgeon Derby on Jan. 28 at Delta/Martinez Marina: 1, Hugh Marchand; 2, Ian Ellingboe; 3, Aaron Lee
- Glory Hole Sports Big Bash Bash (one largemouth/one spotted bass) on Jan. 28 at New Melones: 1, John Liechty/Dan Perkins Jr. 10.73 (big fish 8.22); 2, Kyle Rasmussen/John Menzies 8.68; 3, Colin and Jace Degough 8.59
- Feb. 2: Hook and Line West Magazine at Delta/Russo’s Marina
- Feb. 4: Tracy Bass Club at Delta/Tracy Oasis; California Tournament Trail at Millerton; Kerman Bass Club at Pine Flat; American Bass Association at Nacimiento
- Feb. 4-5: Foundation Sportsmen’s Club Original, aka “Super Bowl,” Sturgeon Derby, at Delta/McAvoy’s Boat Harbor, originalsturgeonderby.com
- Feb. 5: Modesto Ambassadors at Delta/Ladd’s Marina; Success Bass Club at Kaweah
- Feb. 11: Delta Bass Club at Delta/Russo’s Marina; Manteca Bassin’ Buddies at Tulloch; Sonora Bass Anglers/Christian Bass League at Don Pedro; River Rats Bass Club at McClure; Best Bass Tournaments at Pine Flat; Bass N’ Tubes/Kern County Bass Masters at Nacimiento
- Feb. 12: Fresno Bass Club/Kings VIII Bass Club at McClure; Roosevelt High School Bass Fishers at Pine Flat
- Feb. 18: American Bass Association at Delta/Russo’s; Angler’s Press at New Melones; Best Bass Tournaments at Don Pedro; TriValley Bass Masters at McClure; Sierra Bass Club/Bakersfield Bass Club at Pine Flat; Taft Bass Club at Kaweah; New Jen at Success; SLO County Bass Ambushers at Nacimiento
- Feb. 19: Tracy Bass Club at Delta/Tracy Oasis; Kerman Bass Club/Valley Hawg Hunters at Don Pedro
- Feb. 25: California Delta Team Trail/Bass Anglers of Northern California at Delta/Russo’s Marina; Oro Madre Bass Club at Don Pedro; American Bass Association at Kaweah; Best Bass Tournaments/Golden Empire Bass Club at Nacimiento
- Feb. 26: California Bass Federation at Delta/B and W Resort; California Bass Federation at McClure; Kings River Bass Club at Kaweah
- March 4: California Delta Team Trail at Delta/Russo’s Marina; New Jen at Kaweah; American Bass Association at Nacimiento
- March 4-5: Valley Hawg Hunters at Delta/Russo’s Marina
- March 5: Success Bass Club at Success
- March 11: 13th annual Sand Crab Classic Perch Derby at Santa Cruz/Monterey County, sandcrabclassic.com. Final deadline is Feb. 12.
- Fresno County: Avocado Lake ; Kings River, below Pine Flat Dam
- Tulare County: Del Lago Park Lake
f = full moon > = peak activity