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.
Monterey rockfish and ling cod “wide open”, Chris Arcoleo said. Don Pedro kokanee starting to emerge, according to Monte Smith; Millerton spotted bass numbers solid, Merritt Gilbert reported. Don Pedro largemouth, spotted, and smallmouth bite holding up, said Pete Cormier.
2-Have to work hard
4-Fish jumpin’ in boat
Delta Mendota Canal and Sloughs
Stripers 2; Catfish 2
Most Fresno-area striped bass fishermen are heading to San Luis Resevoir, but there is still a solid bite for undersized to barely legal striped bass in the southern sections of the aqueduct in Kern County. Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield said, “We are selling lots of sardines, blood worms, and lug worms since most of our fishermen like to soak bait, but there are some who are casting lures. Our striped bass contest starts on Thursday, and there is an entry fee of only $1.” Sonny’s Stink Bait or Katnip Beef Bait have been best for catfish. Areas around the Buena Vista golf course, Highway 166/Old River and Tupman remain top locations to target in Kern County.
Bass 1; Trout 1; Bluegill 1; Catfish 2; Crappie 1
Bass fishermen are working the lake in the evenings, and the best action for largemouth bass in the 2- to 4-pound range has been over submerged rockpiles at 20-22 feet in depth with jigs or plastics on a Carolina-rig. Those walking the banks are only finding small fish. Bluegill are in the shallows with jumbo red worms. Small crappie are found near structure with live minnows or minijigs. Eastman rose slightly to 92 percent capacity and 579.95 feet in elevation.
Call: Eastman Lake 689-3255
Bass 1; Trout 1; Catfish 1; Bluegill 1; Crappie 1
Small palm-sized crappie have been the highlight as the bass bite has been slower during the past few weeks. There haven’t been any catfish reports. The lake is as at 79 percent capacity and 526.89 feet in elevation after languishing around 5 percent for several years.
Call: Valley Rod & Gun, Clovis 292-3474; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Hensley Lake Hidden Dam 673-5151
Lake Don Pedro
Bass 3; Trout 2; King salmon 1; Crappie 1
Don Pedro is producing some huge kokanee for this time of the season, but there is concern that there may only be a small number of big fish in the lake. A consistent bite has yet to be found, but the emergence of a thermocline should provide some answers in the coming weeks. Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing was on the lake this week and they landed a 2-pound kokanee along with another large kokanee early in the morning and a short, fat rainbow that looked like an “awkward football.” Smith said, “We lost another kokanee that was possibly even larger as it keep taking line before coming unbuttoned. After this, we went searching for 2-3 hours before finally picking up a fourth fish. Earlier in the week, we had found good action, and I had thought the boat pressure was the issue in the slowdown, but now I think it is the rising water levels. The fish have been used to a falling lake since early February, and now it is rising once again with the snowmelt. The kokanee are actually shallower than the rainbows at depths from 30-40 feet. I checked the thermocline and found it from 30-35 feet so there must be a band of oxygenated water with feed at this level. I am puzzled as to where the fish are at since there must be schools in the lake. The fish we caught came on pink hoochies behind a Mac’s Slong Blade or on an Uncle Larry’s spinner in copper/red behind a Vance’s Dodger.” The upper Tuolumne River arm is now open to boats as 98 percent of the floating wood has been contained by the log booms. As the lake rises with the snowmelt, the woody debris outside of the containment booms will continue to refloat off the shore. The lake rose 6 feet this week to 806.45 in elevation and 86 percent capacity, with all launch ramps open. Because of the Controlled Spillway Operation in February, Bonds Flat Road remains closed between Blue Oaks Campground to the DPRA Headquarters Visitor Center. If you are going to Fleming Meadows or the Visitor Center, access is available by taking Highway 132 through La Grange, driving 8 miles east, and then turning left on Bonds Flat Road. Access to Moccasin Point via Highway 120 and Blue Oaks via J59/La Grange Road is not affected. Bonds Flat Road repairs are scheduled this summer.
Call: Monte Smith (209) 581-4734; Danny Layne-Fish’n Dan (209) 586-2383; Gary Vella (209) 652-7550
Lake Isabella/Bakersfield area
Bass 1; Trout 1; Crappie 1; Catfish 2; Bluegill 1
Lake Isabella is finally starting to show signs of life as the catfish are becoming active with Sonny’s Stink Bait or Katnip Beef Bait. Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield said, “The bass bite is not nearly as good as it should be at this time of year, but an 8-pound largemouth was caught and kept this week on a live minnow. Plastics on the drop-shot, Senkos or crankbaits are also possibilities for success. A few crappie are starting to show up.” A Bowhunting Tournament for carp is June 3. The lake rose to 58 percent capacity and 2581.98 feet in elevation. Both the upper and lower rivers are affected by the high flows and are marginally fishable. In the small local lakes, carp fishing is starting to pick up with prepared dough bait. Buena Vista is kicking out some crappie and catfish. Bob’s will host its annual Striped Bass Derby in June. In the upper Kern, Chuck Stokke of the Sequoia Fishing Company in Springville said, “The Golden Trout Wilderness Pack Station is now booking fly-fishing trips into the Kern River, and the phone number is 542-2816.”
Call: Bob’s Bait (661) 833-8657; North Fork Marina (760) 376-1812
Bass 2; Crappie 2; Trout 1; Catfish 2
Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield reported a good bass bite with live minnows or crawdads. Crankbaits, plastic worms or Senkos are also effective. Crappie are taken around structure with small minnows or minijigs near Horse Creek, and a few more Fresno-area fishermen are starting to make the drive south for the slabs. The removal of the female bass from the lake will contribute to the decline of the number of large fish available. Catch and release of the larger female bass is recommended to maintain the lake’s trophy possibilities. Kaweah rose 10 feet to 683.74 in elevation and 67 percent capacity.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212
Bass 1; Trout 1; Catfish 2; Crappie 1
Chuck Stokke of Sequoia Fishing Co. in Springville said, “Bass fishing is good to excellent with swimbaits, deep-diving crankbaits, or plastics on the drop-shot.” The lake rose 2.5 feet to 650.10 in elevation and 93 percent capacity. The Tule River remains closed because of snowmelt.
Call: Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626, sequoiafishingcompany.com
Bass 3; Trout 1; King salmon 1; Kokanee 1; Crappie 1; Catfish 2
Lake capacity climbed again to 77 percent and bass are suspending with the rising water. The action remains solid with with Pro Worm’s 266 or Berserk Baits Green Craw jigs at depths from 25-45 feet as they in post-spawn mode and actively feeding. The launch ramps at Barrett Cove and McClure Point are open. The lake is as full as it has been in several years at 831.08 feet in elevation.
The cold water afterbay of Lake McClure has finally been planted with rainbow trout for the first time since October 2016 – 1,500 pounds, including 220 pounds of trophy-sized rainbows in excess of 3 pounds, were released before Memorial Day. Bank fishermen are focusing on the normal locations of the brush pile, handicapped docks and the peninsula near the marina with trout dough bait, nightcrawlers or Kastmasters. There are small park-model rental cabins overlooking the lake under construction and scheduled to be open in the coming months. The Exchequer Bike Park will be opened with a constructed cross-country bike loop.
Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River
Bass 3; Striped bass 1; Shad 1; Bluegill 1
At Millerton, numbers of spotted bass are possible but heavy boat traffic at the start of the Memorial Day weekend kept many anglers off the water. Earlier in the week, Merritt Gilbert said, “I landed between 40 and 50 fish fishing from 7:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., but nearly everything was on the bottom. I tried reaction baits in the morning but didn’t get a bite using chatterbaits, ripbaits and Rico’s, but I went back over the same back on the bottom with plastics on the drop-shot and I started to catch fish. Of all of the bass landed, only six were keepers to 2.5 pounds with most fish in the 11- to 12-inch range. I did have a 15-pound striped bass follow up a hooked spot near Finegold, and the bite shut down in the area once the striper showed up. I was catching a fish every other cast before this happened.” There are still crappie at Squaw Cove, but the bite is tapering off. The lake has risen near 20 feet in the past week, and it is halfway up the Fresno Ramp. There is floating debris from the Fresno Ramp toward the dam, but the water clarity is about 8 feet. The lake rose to 551.21 feet in elevation and 77 percent capacity. In the San Joaquin River, the Sycamore Island Pond is open Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and all state holidays. Passes are $9 per day or $85 for the season and can be purchased online or at the bait shop. Camp Pashayan, at Highway 99 and Herndon, is open Saturdays and Sundays from 6 a.m. through 5 p.m. Entry is $6. If you purchase a day pass at Camp Pashayan, it can be upgraded to include Sycamore Island access for that same day at the Bait Shop for $3. If you start at Sycamore Island, entrance to Camp Pashayan is free with a valid day pass from the same day. The two primitive boat launches at Camp Pashayan are not usable by trailers with the current river flows, but should be again soon when flows change as expected. Hand-launched boats are still able to use the ramps and our park hosts would be happy to provide assistance. There have been a number of large spawning bass removed from Sycamore Island Pond over the past few weeks, and anglers are encouraged to catch and release the spawning fish. Regulations on the lower San Joaquin, and from Friant Dam downstream to the Highway 140 Bridge, allow only two hatchery trout or hatchery steelhead with a total of four in possession. The hatchery fish have a healed adipose fin clip. All wild steelhead or trout with an adipose fin present must be released immediately. The San Joaquin River is closed to the take of salmon; they may not be targeted by fishermen and must be released immediately if inadvertently caught.
Call: Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474
New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch
Bass 3; Crappie 2; Catfish 2; Trout 3
John Liechty of Xperience Fishing Guide Service said, “The bass fishing has been hit or miss as on some days, we are finding plenty of fish along with giants while other days we are working for every bite. Even on the tougher days, we are averaging 15-20 fish. Changing techniques and adapting to the conditions has been a major key to our success. The fish are at the tail end of their annual spawn and are in a post spawn stage. When the surface warms we have been finding topwater fish in the mornings and evenings. When it cools we are going with a subsurface reaction presentation. Spinnerbaits, crankbaits and small swimbaits will put fish in the boat. Rick Helmonds stuck a giant 6.2-pound largemouth on a swimbait in shallow water in an area that held both spawning and post-spawn fish. The trout are still up near the surface chasing shad and sipping on small insects in the evenings, and ususally they will have moved down to deep water by this time of the year.Rob Betsch landed three beautiful rainbow trout and missed one giant at the boat while targeting bass in the evenings. He was casting near the banks that had flooded grass, and the trout would take a soft plastic on the fall or with a slow and steady retrieve.” Josh Parris of San Andreas was targeting largemouth bass in the shallows with an Umbrella rig, and he caught and released a huge catfish at 22 pounds, losing another larger whiskerfish that wrecked his rig. Bill Lewellen of Glory Hole Sports in Angels Camp said, “Local guide Gary Burns of "Take it to the Limit Guide Service" is putting 15- to 16-inch healthy Kokanee in the boat trolling at depths from 15-16 feet on the downriggers while pulling spinners and hoochies behind a Rocky Mountain sling blade in purple/pink.” Catfish are getting active with frozen shad, mackerel, anchovies or sardines near submerged structures in the lake inlets. Angels Cove and the main ramp on Glory Hole Point are open with two ramps available and one at Tuttletown. For campers, there is one campground open on the Glory Hole side and two at Tuttletown. New Melones has started releasing water down the Stanislaus River, but the reservoir remains at 86 percent capacity and 1,058.66 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 2; Trout 1; King salmon 1; Catfish 1; Crappie 1
Pine Flat has been holding up for all species as the lake continues to rise quickly from snowmelt on the Kings River watershed. Heavy water releases from the dam have led to the closure of the lower Kings River below Pine Flat, but the lake and upper Kings remain open. The Memorial Day weekend was marred by a boating accident in upper reservoir that claimed a life when the fishing boat struck a rock and the craft sank in the river arm of the reservoir. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “The bass bite is holding up with the best results for numbers on the bottom with plastics on the drop-shot or dart head, but the better grade of spotted bass is found on the surface with topwater lures such as Zara Spooks, River2Sea Whopper Ploppers, or buzzbaits. Ripbaits are also working. Limits in the 9- to 10- pound range are possible, and the best fish reported this week was a largemouth at 4 pounds. Most of the bass are spots in the 1.25- to 2.75-pound range.” Trout trolling is only fair with trollers averaging 2-3 fish per rod as the fish are scattered, but they are not real deep. Needlefish, Apex lures, Thomas Bouyants, and blade/’crawler combinations are all working at depths to 20 feet. The crappie bite remains decent in the river arm, but the action is tapering off over the past week. The lake rose to 71 percent capacity and 898.55 feet in elevation this past week. In the lower Kings, the river is closed because of extreme danger posed by the high water flows. 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. The area from Cobbles (Alta) Weir downstream to the Highway 180 crossing is open all year with only artificial lures with barbless hooks with a zero limit. The Thorburn Spawning Channel, the 2,200-foot long channel 5 miles downstream from Pine Flat Dam, and the reach of river within a 200-foot radius of the channel exit are closed to all fishing all year.
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
Big striped bass continue to be taken from the banks at San Luis Reservoir as anglers are walking down to the lake’s edge in the early evenings to cast topwater lures and flukes on a jig head. Huge striped bass have been coming from the shore at night. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “A group of anglers are heading down in the evenings before dark and an 18-pounder was caught on a Super Spook while two others at 15 and 16 pounds were landed on a white ice Magnum Super Fluke on a three-quarter-ounce lead head. It is not a long walk with the water so high this year. Most fishermen are walking the banks with big flukes, and there have been bass chasing shad on the surface in some locations.” Dinosaur Point has been a popular location for bank fishermen, and the bass are boiling in the early mornings and late afternoons. For boaters on the main lake, Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill reported trollers are pulling P-Line Predator Minnows or Lucky Craft Pointers; some also are drifting extra-large minnows or mooching anchovies. In the forebay, numbers of undersized striped bass are the rule, and the best action is in the early morning or evenings with jerkbaits or flukes. Kayakers are getting in on the action for largemouth bass with ripbaits working in the shallows. The dam area is off limits for any fishing, day or night, and the Basalt side requires anglers to walk to the lake from the locked road gate just past the Basalt State Park Kiosk if you are night fishing past closing time. San Luis has dropped to 95percent capacity.
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 1; Trout 1; Kokanee 1
Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun said, “Bass fishing is good for spots in the 1.25- to 2.5-pound range for those pitching plastics on a Texas-rig or drop-shot around the docks. Anglers have been catching and releasing over 20 spotted bass per trip.” Trout fishing remains very slow, but there has been the occasional quality rainbow to nearly 5 pounds still in the lake. Kokanee remain absent after the dam reconstruction, but a plant of 80,000 kokanee fingerlings is expected this year. Webcams of the lake are available at basslakeca.com/, and capacity is at 96 percent.
Call: Mike Beighey 642-3748; Bass Lake Watersports 642-3200
Snow plows are working 12-hour days on Kaiser Pass Road, but access to Edison and Florence Lakes is still limited to those on snowmobiles. Edison rose to 52 percent capacity and Florence to 87 percent as a result of snowmelt. Mammoth Pool is at 102 percent.
Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000
Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake
Shaver Lake remains one of the top kokanee venues in California at the start of this season, with the possibility of huge fish to 16 inches. In addition to the kokanee, there is a variety of rainbow trout ranging from small catchables to trophies over 8 pounds swimming in the lake. Heavy boat traffic over Memorial Day weekend slowed kokanee action as Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters said, “We picked up two mixed limits of kokanee and rainbows on Friday and Saturday, but there is definitely a slowdown over the Memorial Weekend. I marked some good fish, but they just wouldn’t hit. There were very few nets out on Saturday, but Todd Wittwer of Kokanee.net Guide Service was able to boat nine fish.” Earlier in the week, Rick Roberts of Shaver Lake and brother-in-law John Garcia of Madera, landed a pair of limits using Trout Busters and Koke Busters at depths to 20 feet. Steve Santoro of Fish Box Charters found limits for clients Maury and Luke DeBenedetto at midweek, but the fish were mostly the catchable rainbows from the recent Department of Fish and Wildlife plant. Upstream reservoir Huntington Lake is now completely open water, and the brown trout trollers have found very good early-season action for browns in excess of 5 pounds, but this bite will fade as the lake is open for recreational boating. Small rainbow trout are the norm for trollers pulling blade/’crawler combinations or small spinners or spoons from the surface to three colors of lead core. Shaver is at 73 percent capacity, much higher than anticipated for this time of the year amid expected water releases; Huntington is at 88 percent with the launch ramp open. Both marinas are open at Shaver; ramp conditions can be viewed at www.sierramarina.com.
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; Fish Box Charters 871-3937.
Chuck Crane of the Wishon Village RV Park and Store said, “There have been a number of quality brown trout to 20 inches caught and released within the past week as Dan Joseph of Coarsegold released a 20-incher at 2-3 colors of leadcore on a small broken-back Rebel while Jeff Gossett of Fresno and his fishing partner released two limits of browns running from 15-18 inches at 3-4 colors on a mid-range red/brass Thomas Buoyant. The Department of Fish and Wildlife planted Friday, and bank fishermen are picking up the catchables in the 10- to 12-inch range with pink Power Bait or a nightcrawler below a casting bubble. Most trollers are using Rapalas or small spoons or spinners, and the trout plant is starting to scatter into the main lake. The shoreline was crowded over the weekend. Things have been improving around here.” The Wishon Village RV Park and Store is open for business. The road to Courtright is closed, and it may take a few weeks for snow to melt away. All of the creeks are running very high and will be difficult to fish.
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
Rockfish 3; Striper 1; Crabs 2
Rockfishing has been outstanding when the weather is cooperative. With the emergence of the salmon near W Buoy, private and party boats are making the run short of the Farallons for solid scores of salmon. Captain Dennis Baxter of the New Captain Pete went on a scouting trip for salmon on May 27 and returned with what they went for – limits for the few friends on board. He will be running salmon trips on the upcoming weekend. Out of Half Moon Bay Sport Fishing, Sherry Ingles reported good action for rockfish when the weather is decent, but the bite varies from day to day. She said, “The No. 1 rig for rockfish has been shrimp flies tipped with squid on a 16-ounce sinker as bars and swimbaits have not been as effective. There have been salmon taken outside of W Bouy, and there have been some good scores on the outside. There are also salmon outside of the Deep Reef, but fewer private boats are heading this way. Stripers are moving along the beaches, and Diawa’s SP Minnows are the top sellers. Crab are still found from the small pier or along the jetty, and there are still surf perch from the beaches.” Second Captain Michael Cabanas of the Huli Cat found good action for both rockfish and crab with quality rockfish including a vermilion at 7 pounds from Mike Shaffer of Hayward on a swimbait and limits of lings to 13 pounds with the big fish landed by Anil Kumar of Modesto hitchhiking on a small rockfish.
Call: Happy Hooker (510) 223-5388; Captain Roger Thomas, Salty Lady (415) 760-9362; Emeryville Sport Fishing (510) 654-6040
Rockfish 3; Striper 1; White sea bass 1; Crab 2
Chris Arcoleo of Chris’s Sport Fishing reported continued spectacular rockfishing with limits of ling cod on nearly every trip along with quality rockfish. He said, “We are smashing the lings with live squid, and it can’t get much better with big rockfish consisting of vermilions, coppers, and yellows.” The Check Mate put in 26 limits of ling cod and rockfish Sunday while the Caroline scored 18 limits of lings along with half limits of rockfish. Saturday’s scores were similar with the 26 limits of lings and rockfish on the Check Mate with 24 limits of both on the Caroline. Salmon fishing has been generally slow for the party boats over the past week after a flurry of good action last week with up to 30 commercial-grade salmon. The ocean salmon season from Pigeon Point south to Point Sur is open until July 15.
Call: Chris’ Landing (831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173; usafishing.com
San Francisco Bay
Striper 2; Rockfish 3; Leopard shark 3; Sturgeon 3; Crab 3
Some inclement weather moved in Sunday and Monday and salmon scores took a dip. The fish are still there, but the 15- to 20-knot winds were a limiting factor. The three Sausalito boats took out 55 anglers on Memorial Day for 20 salmon to 22 pounds fishing from Point Reyes Buoy south to N Buoy. Captain Steve Mitchell of Hook’d Up Fishing out of Berkeley took the ride out to short of the Farallons on Sunday in search of salmon, and he said, “We ended up being out there a bit late as the bite was in the early morning with the New Easy Rider picking up 21 salmon for 18 anglers, but by the time we got to W Buoy, the wind was kicking hard. We roughed it out, and after catching one right off of the bat, we ended up with four salmon for our clients. After the conditions became too rough, we made the run back in with waves crashing over the bow. The boat performed great, but we will be staying in the bay on Monday.” Captain Trent Slate of Bite Me Charters was out Friday and came up one fish short of three limits of salmon to 17 pounds with three in the 12- to 15-pound range. He was out near W Buoy with straight bait behind a flasher at 60 feet in depth. Big tides slowed the weekend halibut bite, but not as much as one would think. Captain Chris Smith on the Happy Hooker put in 13 halibut and a pair of striped bass on Sunday for 15 anglers; on Sunday, they put in just six halibut. Sturgeon fishing remains incredible in San Pablo Bay as Captain Trent Slate of Bite Me Charters out of Loch Lomond took a short ride to below the Richmond/San Rafael Bridge for two legal sturgeon at 58 and 55 inches, with the smaller of the two fish released as his clients were satisfied with the amount of fish in the box. There also were more than a few of the classic pumpers that were missed. He was in 19 feet of water near the bridge and the fish started hitting within 15 minutes of setting anchor. By the way, Loch Lomond mud shrimp did the trick. Speaking of Loch Lomond, Keith Fraser reported incredible sturgeon fishing with Hot Sheet subscriber Tim Marsh and his wife, of Ukiah, catching and releasing six sturgeon consisting of one oversized, three slot-limit fish, and a shaker Saturday near the Shellbanks. Captain Don Franklin of Soleman Sport Fishing out of San Francisco took out four clients Sunday for limits of slot sturgeon along with and oversized and two shakers released. They also had a few more missed opportunities. Franklin was looking for more mud shrimp Sunday night. Captain Armand Castagna on the Imagine also found great action with three sturgeon for three clients. Fraser said, “There weren’t many bass this week as the big tides may have pushed them out.” They have plenty of live ghost shrimp at the shop with an extremely limited supply of frozen mud shrimp.
San Luis Obispo
Both San Luis County ports are taking various types of trips for bottom fish. Endeavor and Avenger out of Morro Bay Landing had a stellar day on half and three-quarter-day trips on Memorial Day with a combined 390 vermilion rockfish, 10 coppers, 40 Boccaccio and 23 ling cod to 16 pounds for 44 anglers. The Fiesta out of Virg’s Landing in Morro Bay was also out Memorial Day with 32 anglers, returning with 169 assorted rockfish, 32 vermilion, 30 coppers, 15 ling cod and a 15-pound sheephead. The Patriot out of Patriot Sport Fishing in Port San Luis was out with 31 fishermen Monday for 30 vermilion, 214 assorted rockfish and 5 ling cod to 10.6 pounds. Jiliberto Pimentel of Lemoore took the jackpot with the big ling. Both harbors have a variety of trips running from half-day through through-day trips in the upcoming weeks.
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 3
Memorial Day weekend brings out the recreational boaters in full force to the Delta. Most fishermen and guides stay off the water, with most anglers settling in along the banks from Freeport to Sherman Island to Benicia. With the majority of striped bass in the Feather and upper Sacramento Rivers finishing up their spawn, the linesides will be moving back through the Delta system in a hurry to get to the colder waters of San Francisco Bay. Johnny Tran of New Romeo’s Bait in Freeport said, “Shad fishing continues to be good from Discovery Park in Sacramento south to Clarksburg, and bank fishermen are using 1-ounce egg sinkers above their leader with a chartreuse or pink shad dart in order to stay down. The shad are moving upriver toward the Feather, Yuba, American and upper Sacramento River, and more and more large females are arriving. Striped bass fishing has been outstanding with pile worms or sardines coated in garlic spray from the banks. There is also a good bluegill bite with red worms off of the Delta Loop.” Sturgeon fishing is best in the deep water between the Benicia/Martinez and Carquinez Bridges or in the Big Cut, but the wind has been a limiting factor in anchoring in the straits. Captain Steve Mitchell of Hook’d Up Sport Fishing, now out of Berkeley, was on a fun trip to the Big Cut, and they released a 46-inch sturgeon on salmon roe. He said, “The sturgeon are still around, but most fishermen are heading to the bay for halibut or the ocean for rockfish or salmon.” Tony Lopez of Benicia Bait said, “We have been extremely busy over the weekend, and we sold out of ghost shrimp within a day with more on the way. Pile worms are best for the schoolie stripers along the Benicia shoreline as blood worms have been unavailable.” Grass shrimp may once again be a possibility as Steffan Masters of Lost Anchor Bait and Tackle at McAvoy’s Boat harbor has their shrimp boat up and running once again. Curtis Hayes of Benicia Bait also has his shrimp boat, the Haley Haze ready once again, and once the minus tides are over, they should be out searching. The largemouth bass bite continues to be challenging, but once fishermen adjust to the changing weather conditions, success can be found. Striped bass action is best with live bait in the upper tributaries such as the Mokelumne River. Mike Gravert of Intimidator Sport Fishing said, “The stripers will be biting well after we are out for the summer. It's been a solid season for ISF and our clients. We fished 74 days this spring with only a few days of flow action. We have been drifting live bluegill or shiners in the upper northeast Delta for our fish, and Frank Hulck of Sacramento caught and released a 20-pounder on a recent trip. We will be bait on the Detla after Labor Day to kick off the fall/winter striper season as I am heading to Alaska to guide Steve Huber of Nusuak Adventers. www.fishthenush.com.” For largemouth bass, Randy Pringle, the fishing instructor, said, “The water is muddy and cold in the south Delta with the releases out of the Stanislaus and Tuolumne Rivers. The walkway on the Stanislaus in Ripon is underwater, and the river is as high as I have seen it. All of this water will be making its way into the San Joaquin system, and the water levels in the south Delta are a half foot to a foot higher than normal. I hear anglers say that there is something wrong with the Delta over these past few weeks. There is more water in the Delta, and the high tides will be higher than expected, and the lows will never reach the level listed on the tide books. The majority of largemouth bass have spawned, and when the fish get done spawning, they aren’t easy to catch. Plus, the water is murky, and the bass don’t like murky water. There are areas of clearer water, but the fishermen are concentrated in these sections, and the pressure will put the bite down. I recommend that you slow down with lighter line and smaller plastics than normal. There was a better bite in February than there is now, and I would be using a Flat Dog or Bottom Hopper on a slow presentation. Normally, I would be using a 10-inch Power Worm at this time of year, but I am downsizing to smaller baits including the Crazy Legs Chigger Craw. We are just way behind the normal bite for this time of year, and anglers will have to keep this in mind while targeting bass.” Vince Borges of Vince Borges Guide Service and Phenix Rods had to adjust his techniques during last weekend’s Costa Bass’N Fly tournament out of Sugar Barge. He said, “We fished a number of areas, and on the second day, we changed over to Clouser Minnows at noon and landed our first fish at 1 p.m. We limited out by 2 p.m. and ended up cashing a check. The traditional bite is tough, but the stable, warmer weather will bring out the topwater, buzz bait, and frog bite once again as these surface reaction baits were starting to work a few weeks ago.” Neil Simpson of Lodi was on the water after work out of Pirate’s Lair on early in the week, and he confirmed the tough bite for largemouth bass with a variety of techniques. He did report a 9-pound plus largemouth was landed by Jason Pitchford on a Senko in the San Joaquin River near a rockwall. Steve Santucci of Steve Santucci’s Fly Fishing Guide Service reported some great topwater action on Wednesday for bass in the 2- to 4-pound range. He said, “Stripers are coming and going so we will have fish until the end of June as the water temperatures are still OK for the linesides.” J. D. Richey of Richey’s Sport Fishing was on the San Joaquin River twice this week in search of striped bass, and he said, “We caught lots of stripers, but it was tough to get anything over 5 pounds.” Restrictions in the San Joaquin River were modified May 22 and eased in many areas. Detailed information is available at https://www.sjgov.org/department/oes/current.
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
Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield reported Valley anglers are heading over to Lopez Lake for bluegill on red worms and crappie on small minnows or minijigs. He said, “There is something about Lopez as it is one of the best panfishing lakes around.” Bass are taken on topwater lures, chatterbaits, spinnerbaits, and crankbaits in the early morning before dropping to the bottom with plastics. The lake has topped 60 percent capacity, and launching is not a problem. A webcam is available at http://805webcams.com/lopez-lake-webcam/. At Lake Nacimiento, small spotted bass are taken on shad-patterned worms, small ripbaits, or swimbaits. The bass are scattered, but anglers will do well once they find the right location. White bass are also scattered, but there are signs of the fish starting to school up. A webcam is available at http://www.lakenacimientolive.com. At San Antonio, the North Shore is expected to open on a full-time basis June 9. There is an algae bloom in the east end of the lake and striped bass are relocating to the other side. The lake is warm, ranging from 70 to more than 80 degrees, and there are shad schools forming along the shore. At Santa Margarita, there are repairs occurring at the marina and White Oaks. There is a topwater bite early and late with the best action remains on the bottom with plastics or jigs. Panfishing is getting better with waxworms, meal worms or jumbo red worms. Reminder: that consuming white bass, black bass, crappie, catfish, or carp is subject to safe eating guidelines because of the risk of excessive mercury. Quagga mussel inspections are required before launching a boat.
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
- Sierra Bass Club on May 20-21 on the Delta: 1, Brian Herman/Jeremy Nagy 19.27 pounds; 2, Cesar Gonzalez/Ozzie Diaz 18.98; big fish, Mitch Mitcheltree 5.69
- June 2: CA Delta Team Trail at Delta/B and W Resort
- June 3: CA Delta Team Trail at Delta/B and W Resort; Angler’s Press at Delta/Russo’s Marina; Tracy Bass Club at Delta/Tracy Oasis; Best Bass Tournaments at Don Pedro; Kokanee Power Team Tournament at Pardee; Clovis Elks Lodge Trout Derby at Shaver; River Rats Bass Club at Eastman; New Jen Bass at Bass Lake; Kerman Bass Club at Kaweah; American Bass Association at Success; Lake Isabella Bass Club at Isabella; 101 Bass at Lopez
- June 4: Modesto Ambassadors at Delta/Ladd’s Marina; Success Bass Club at Success
- June 9: 101 Bass Night Tournament at San Antonio
- June 10: Manteca Bassin’ Buddies at Delta/Ladd’s Marina; Central Valley Anglers Kokanee Tournament at Pardee; Contra Costa Bass Club at New Melones; Sonora Bass Anglers at Don Pedro; Kings River Bass Club/Bakersfield Bass Club at McClure; American Bass Association at Isabella; 23rd Youth Fishing Derby at Shaver, ages 3-15, with big fish and casting contests by age group, Greg Marks, derby coordinator, 855-8752
- June 10-11: Modest Ambassadors at Don Pedro; Calvet Bassmasters at Pine Flat
- June 11: Fresno Bass Club at Delta/B and W Resort; Bass N’ Tubes at Delta/Ladd’s; Riverbank Bass Anglers at Pardee; Kings VIII Bass Club at Eastman
- June 17: Best Bass Tournaments at Delta/Russo’s Marina; American Bass Association/Valley Hawg Hunters at Delta/B and W Resort; Yak A’ Bass at Delta/Ladd’s Marina; U.S. Forest Service Trout Derby at Pinecrest; Sierra Bass Club at Eastman; Visalia Bass Club at Kaweah; Golden Empire Bass Club at Success; Best Bass Tournaments at Nacimiento
- June 18: Bass 101 Open Tournament at Millerton; Gold Old Boys at Santa Margarita
- June 21: Bass Pro Shops at Delta/Ladd’s
- June 24: California Delta Tournament Trails at Delta/B and W Resort; Angler’s Press at Delta/Russo’s Marina; Phil Johnson Memorial Kokanee Power Tournament at Don Pedro; New Jen at Eastman
- June 25: Porterville Bass Club at Success
- Fresno County: Courtright Reservoir; Kings River, below Pine Flat Dam
- Kern County: Lake Isabella
- Tulare County: Kaweah Reservoir
- Tuolumne County: Lyons Canal (Columbia Ditch); Moccasin Creek; Powerhouse Stream; Stanislaus River Clarks Fork, Middle Fork, South Fork; Tuolumne River North Fork
q = quarter moon