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.
Delta bass and striper action solid, Dan Mathisen said. Don Pedro trout and bass hitting, Monte Smith reported. McClure bass still biting, Mike Gomez said. New Melones kicking out multispecies limits, according to John Liechty. Pine Flat producing good bass and trout fishing for anglers finding parking, Merritt Gilbert said. Wishon and Courtright trout on the bite, Chuck Crane stated. San Francisco and Half Moon Bay salmon bites good, Dave Hurley said.
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2-Have to work hard
4-Fish jumpin’ in boat
Delta Mendota Canal and Sloughs
Stripers 2; Catfish 2; Bass 2
Triple-digit heat is keeping anglers away from the aqueduct during the day, but in the early mornings or late evenings they are finding action for catfish and striped bass. The striped bass remain small. Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield said, “The moss is getting thick in the south aqueduct. Bait is still working best for striped bass, and we are selling lots of lug worms and anchovies as sardines have slowed down a bit.” Catfishing is best with cut baits such as mackerel or sardines. Sonny’s Stink Baits have been hard to option. Bob’s July Catfish Derby is under way with an entry of $1. The leading whiskerfish is 12 pounds. In Mendota Slough, Merritt Gilbert reported the mats are starting to form, and largemouth-bass fishermen are starting to punch the mats with creature baits on a heavy weight.
Bass 2; Trout 2; Bluegill 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
Catfishing is best with chicken livers for whiskerfish to 3 pounds from the banks at night. Bass fishing has been slow; there are tournaments in the next few weeks. The river arm remains off limits until Aug. 1. The lake fell 2 feet to 81 percent capacity and 569.69 in elevation.
Call: Eastman Lake 689-3255
Bass 2; Trout 2; Catfish 2; Bluegill 2; Crappie 2
Crappie and bluegill are the top species. The crappie remain about palm-sized dimension. Kayak anglers are working the rockpiles and humps at depths to 25 feet with Carolina-rigged lizards, Keitech swimbaits or jigs for bass to 2.75 pounds. The lake has fallen to 58 percent capacity and 512.47 feet in elevation.
Call: Valley Rod & Gun, Clovis 292-3474; Six Star Tackle Box 673-5688; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Hensley Lake Hidden Dam 673-5151
Lake Don Pedro
Bass 3; Trout 3; Kokanee 1; King salmon 1; Crappie 2
The bass bite remains solid at these Mother Lode reservoirs, but the key is to get on the water early before the recreational boaters arrive in force. The extended period of triple-digit heat has resulted in crowds amassing at both reservoirs throughout the week. Mike Gomez of the Bait Barn in Waterford said, “There is a topwater bite with the River2Sea Rover or similar lures early in the morning or evenings, and buzzbaits have also been effective. By 9 or 9:30 a.m. when the sun is on the water, you have to work your way down in the water column with crankbaits, jerkbaits, or swimbaits before going as deep as 60 feet by noon with Pro Worms in 124p or 300 or Berserk’s brown/purple or Purple Hornet jigs. At this time of year, I like to use a one-eighth-ounce shakey head on 4-pound test in order to get down to the 45- to 60-foot level. The fish become inactive during the heat of the day, but they will move up once again at night with anglers using fluorescent line with black spinnerbaits or crankbaits. At both lakes, anglers are getting on at first light and getting off by 10 a.m. when the water skiers arrive in force.” Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing is also getting on the lake early for limits of quality rainbow trout using his custom shad-patterned spoons at depths to 40 feet and below. With the hot temperatures, the rainbows have dropped in the water column over the past few weeks. Current weather conditions are available at https://map.bloomsky.com/weather-stations/gqBxp6apnJSmrqen and a live webcam at https://video.nest.com/live/tE7MzhI0BG. The lake rose slightly again this week to 99 percent capacity and 828.61 feet in elevation despite controlled water releases down the Tuolumne River.
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 2
At Isabella, Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield reported a decent catfish bite with mackerel, frozen clams or nightcrawlers. Anglers are even picking up a few rainbows on nighcrawlers while targeting the whiskerfish. The best area remains the South Fork, but Cormier thought the catfish will move farther west with the warm water. The crappie bite has slowed. There are still a few slabs to be taken, but anglers will have to search for the right tree. Bass fishing is fair at best. The lake dropped 2 feet to 2,580.10 in elevation and 55 percent capacity. The upper Kern River is flowing fast, but there are locations in which the planted rainbows are holding in the pools. Live crickets, salmon eggs, nightcrawlers or spinners are working for the planters. In the lower river, there are a few areas such as Democrat Beach where the water is slower, and smallmouth bass or catfish can be landed. Overall, the lower river is high and flowing fast. Buena Vista has the leading catfish at 12 pounds in the July Catfish Derby; in addition, a few crappie are coming out at night. Carp fishing is picking up steam, and Wussy’s Carp Bait is a big seller for the buglemouth bass in Hart Park, the River Walk, Truxton and Ming lakes. In the upper Kern, guided fishing trips at the Golden Trout Wilderness Pack Station are filling up quickly. Information is available at 542-2816.
Call: Bob’s Bait (661) 833-8657; North Fork Marina (760) 376-1812
Bass 2; Crappie 3; Trout 2; Catfish 2
The New Jen Bass Club held a tournament at the lake Saturday with 19 teams for a winning weight in excess of 12 pounds. The recreational boating is reaching a zenith by midmorning, so it is a matter of getting on the lake early. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun reported Fresno-area fishermen are heading to the lake for a small grade of crappie with minijigs or small to medium minnows. Live bait such as minnows or crawdads remain productive. The lake fell to 694.13 feet in elevation and 77 percent capacity.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212
Bass 2; Trout 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
Chuck Stokke of Sequoia Fishing Co. in Springville said, “Bass fishing is very tough in this heat, and the lake has seen minimal fishing interest and a lot more shore swimming and recreational boaters over the past week. Balch Park, Camp Wishon, and Belknap are stocked with trout. The Tule is still closed in designated areas, but the open areas have been excellent for native browns and rainbows. The Golden Trout Wilderness tributaries are fishing excellent with dry flies.” Success dropped a foot to 98 percent capacity and 651.88 in elevation.
Call: Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626, sequoiafishingcompany.com
Bass 3; Trout 2; King salmon 1; Kokanee 1; Crappie 2; Catfish 2
The lake is at 97 percent capacity and 862.76 feet in elevation, and Mike Gomez of the Bait Barn in Waterford said, “Bass fishing is good in the early mornings or evenings with topwater lures such as the River2Sea Rover or Whopper Plopper before working down in the water column to as deep as 60 feet with finesse techniques. The Berserk’s Purple Hornet or brown/purple jig or Pro Worm’s 124p or 300 worm on the shakey head on 4-pound test is a good option.” Fishermen are getting on the lake at first light and leaving by 11 a.m. to avoid heavy recreational boat traffic. Launch ramps at Barrett Cove and McClure Point are open.
Extremely hot weather has limited trout fishing to the early morning hours or late evenings. There still have been no further trout plants. The occasional rainbow is taken from the banks from the brush pile, handicapped docks and peninsula with garlic trout dough bait, salmon eggs or Power Eggs.
Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River
Bass 3; Striped bass 1; Shad 1; Bluegill 2; Crappie 2
At Millerton, small fish are the rule, and anglers will go through 25-30 bass to put together a 9-pound limit. Gilbert said, “There is a good topwater bite early and late, and overall the topwater action is better than at Pine Flat, but the grade of fish is smaller. Plastics on the drop-shot or 3-inch Keitech swimbaits on a jig head are also working. There haven’t been any oddball stripers reported this week, and the river arm near Temperance is still loaded with floating wood. The crappie bite has slowed.” Millerton is at 100 percent capacity and 578.08 feet in elevation. 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 3; Crappie 3; Catfish 2; Trout 3; Kokanee 2
New Melones continues to rise, both in water level and in temperature, and the addition of more land surface underwater has scattered the bass throughout the lake. The bass are in a full summer pattern with topwater lures early in the morning and evenings before working subsurface and finally the bottom as the day progresses. John Liechty of Xperience Fishing Guide Service said, “The water temperatures jumped 10 degrees within the past few weeks, and most of the lake is a warm 85 degrees. The bass have completed their spawn, and summer techniques are in play. Topwater lures such as the River2Sea Whopper Plopper in all three sizes are working early before switching to subsurface lures such as swimbaits, spinnerbaits, jerkbaits, or crankbaits once the midday heat arrives. Once you have found an area holding fish, I have been changing over to a drop-shot or Senko to keep the bite going.” Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp reported a few quality kokanee are taken at depths between 45 and 70 feet in the main lake from the dam to the spillway with pink hoochies behind a pink/pearl white Vance’s Dodger. Gary Burns of Take It To the Limit Guide Service has been picking up quality rainbows while targeting kokanee in the same areas. Burns said, “We are a little shy on the kokanee this year, but the bows are out strutting their stuff. In three trips we put 25 bows in the boat this week and lost five kokanee, and most of the rainbows are 2-4 pounds with the occasional 5-pounder. We have been using pink and purple Apex lures or pink Wiggle Hoochies tipped with garlic corn or a piece of nightcrawler behind a Rocky Mountain Tackle Dodger in pink or orange Moonshine.” The crappie bite is improving again with small to medium minnows or crappie jigs near vertical structure and submerged tree cover. Catfishing is also improving in the hot weather with the whiskerfish holding near the banks with submerged rock. Stinkbaits, a ball of nightcrawlers, chicken livers, or live minnows are working best. The lake is steady at 91 percent capacity and 1,067.41 feet in elevation with inflow from the Stanislaus River balanced with water releases. All launch ramps are open.
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 3 King salmon 1 Catfish 2 Crappie 2
Pine Flat continues to be plagued by a lack of parking given the high water level, and local fishermen are avoiding the reservoir despite a solid bass bite. The Sierra Bass Club moved their upcoming night tournament to Ladd’s Marina in the Delta due to the lack of parking. Millerton is touting an excellent topwater bite, but the grade of bass is much smaller than at nearby Pine Flat. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “Since fishermen have to walk a half mile in order to make it to the ramp after parking, few fishermen are heading to Pine Flat, but there is a good bass bite with limits in the 12- to 13-pound range possible. One of our customers was night fishing this week from 6 p.m. to 2 and he reported steady action throughout the evening with no lulls in the action. Normally you might have a 2- to 2.5-hour window where they stop biting, but he had no periods without action. There is a good topwater bite in the early mornings or evenings along with ripbaits, and anglers are switching over to plastics on the drop-shot or Texas-rig or jigs to 20 feet by mid-morning.” Trout fishing remains good for the few trollers; rainbows to 16 inches can be taken on Needlefish, Rainbow Runners or Apex lures from 4-6 colors in the main lake. A few crappie are landed off the docks at Lakeridge Marina under submersible lights at night. Gilbert said, “There is tons of bait in the lake.” The upper end of the lake remains loaded with floating debris.Pine Flat is at 97 percent capacity and 946.68 with water releases starting in earnest. Recreational boating is intense on weekends and during the week. Some locations on the lower Kings are accessible for fishing, but caution is necessary with 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.
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
In the main lake, fly fishermen are finding solid action for big stripers with 4-inch Clouser or Deceiver patterns, and bank fishermen at night still are tossing white Magnum flukes, Duo Realis jerkbaits or Lucky Craft Pointers. With the hot weather and the lack of jumbo minnows, boat traffic has slowed considerably. Jesus Reyes Silva of “How to Fish” said, “The striped bass are starting to boil on the surface chasing shad. Allen Day from Morgan Hill and Octavio Gonzalez from Hollister landed 15 stripers on topwater lures on Sunday while Armando Carrillo of Atwater caught quality stripers from the banks near the Basalt Recreational Area parking lot.” Roger George of Roger George Guide Service said that he guided Larry Copyn of Morgan Hill and Dennis Highfill of San Jose for eight fish to 24 inches Thursday, then Friday took out Larry Hemphill of Visalia, his son Patrick and grandson Ryan, 15, with Ryan getting his personal-best fish at 23½ inches. “The troll bite was slow, but it seems that the fish are holding shallower than I remember for this time of year, with most fish at the 40- to 50-foot range. Shad colors are working. The wind is the issue most of the time and the algae is pretty bad in some areas,” George said. A state health advisory to avoid contact with the lake’s water or consume fish from the reservoir given the presence of the toxic blue-green algae has been a factor in lower fishing interest. In the forebay, Mickey Clements of Coyote Bait and Tackle said, “Most striper fishermen are working Check 12 or under the Highway 152 Bridge for small striped bass with chicken livers or pile worms. Anglers are going through 25 or 30 fish for perhaps a keeper or two in the mix. Anchovies are also effective, but chicken livers have been the hot bait. The larger grade of striped bass is found under the bridge, but numbers are more available at 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
A few large rainbow trout can be taken by trollers working around the 5-mph zone near the dam, but overall the action is very slow. Recreational boaters take over the lake by 8 a.m.. A few rainbows are taken off the banks with trout dough bait. Interest in bass fishing has waned with the Sheriff’s Motor Fee in place, but a few anglers are walking the banks in the evenings. Webcams are available at http://basslakeca.com/. The lake has fallen to 96 percent capacity
Call: Mike Beighey 642-3748; Bass Lake Watersports 642-3200
Brown trout 2; Trout 2
All high-elevation lakes are nearing capacity. Edison is kicking out rainbows and trout for those soaking Power Bait or inflated nightcrawlers. Vermilion Valley Resort is back in operation, but plenty of snow remains at the highest elevations. Edison is at 94 percent capacity, Florence at 84 percent and Mammoth Pool at 100 percent.
Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000
Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake
Kokanee 2; Trout 2; Smallmouth 3
Shaver Lake is experiencing an unprecedented number of trollers along with recreational boaters as we move into the peak of the summer season through early August. There are big trophy trout to be had, but the combination of heavy boat traffic and a low pressure front moving through has led to a much slower bite. Todd Wittwer of Kokanee.net Guide Service said, “It was slow for us on Sunday with one fish for one opportunity as the low-pressure system and cloud cover brought in 51 percent humidity. We have been finding our best action with orange Father Murphy’s Bugs or pink hoochies behind a Rocky Mountain white ice dodger at depths from 30-45 feet from the point to the island. We have been regularly losing four or five fish as the kokanee are jumping and coming unbuttoned. Judith Stewart hooked a big fish with 140 feet of line out, and it ran out to over 200 feet before she was able to get it back to around 60 feet before becoming unbuttoned. We dragged it around for awhile before it came off, and it really pulled some line. There has been a lot of boat traffic, and anytime a boat brings up a net, they get boxed in by other boats running over to the same area. The orange Smashing Pumpkin Tasmanian Devil spoons continues to be productive, but the overall trout bite has slowed. There are some huge kokanee in the lake, and I expect some male fish in the 19- to 19.5-inch range coming weeks. A few fishermen are jigging for the larger kokanee.” Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters said, “After catching four trophy trout last week and about 17 big kokanee to 17.5 inches along with providing limits of mostly kokanee, the action slowed down this past week. We picked up mostly double limits, but we did have days with just one limit. Brent McCaffery and his son Breadon of Fresno picked up two limits of mixed fish this week while Rob Nobles and his son John of Oakhurst scored two limits including two kokanee at 17.5 inches. A trout plant scheduled for this week should give a boost to the trout action.” Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis confirmed the heavy boat traffic, saying, “It seems like 80 percent of our high-country fishermen are heading up to Shaver Lake.” The smallmouth bass bite has improved near the rocky shorelines, and Nichols said, “Ryan Fisher landed a 3-pound smallie on a twin-tailed grub on a dart head, and this is the largest smallmouth I have personally seen at Shaver.” The annual sailboat regattas took place at Huntington Reservoir over the weekend, and this slowed down trollers from accessing the lake, but shore fishing remains good for rainbows near the inlets and also off of Dam 2 with trout dough bait in various colors, salmon eggs or nightcrawlers. Shaver is at 85 percent with Huntington at 99 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; Fish Box Charters 871-3937
The 21st annual Kiwanis Special Olympics Trout Derby was Saturday at Wishon Reservoir, and the lake was loaded with anglers both on shore and in boats. Trout action remains solid at Wishon and Courtright, and many anglers not in the derby opted to run higher up the hill to take advantage of fewer fishermen there. Chuck Crane of Wishon Village RV Park and Store said, “There were 559 anglers in the derby, and 52 tagged fish out of the 400 tagged rainbows were returned with 36 $25 tags, 15 $50 tags, and a single $100 tags. The big prize remains in the lake, and it is worth $1,000 if landed by a derby participant by the end of August. It is tag number 1006. There was also a prize for the longest five-fish limit, and Chia Yang took first place in the adult division with 78.75 inches and Hailey Walford at 65.50 inches in the youth division. Trolling flies, Needlefish, or Speedy Shiners are working for trollers while bank fishermen are finding best action with trout dough bait near the mouth of Short Hair Creek. Anthony Tomasetti and Aaron Flores of Kerman hiked down below the reservoir on the Kings River, and they landed a 37-inch/14-pound brown trout on a Roostertail.”
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
Salmon 3; Striper 3
Captain Dennis Baxter of the New Captain Pete was down 15 miles south of the harbor, six miles outside of Pescadero in 200 feet of water, and they put in 12 fish in short order after struggling up above near Pedro Point earlier in the day. He said, “There are plenty of anchovies and spots of krill there, and the fish are of a mixed grade, but they are on the surface and biting. They also landed a thresher shark. On Sunday morning, Benedict Clark of Walnut Creek landed the first two fish on the boat at the Deep Reef, and they were loaded with fresh anchovies.” Baxter has room throughout the week after Tuesday. On the birding front, Captain Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat reported a possible San Mateo coast first with the sighting of a wedge-tailed shearwater. This species is one of the most common seabirds in Hawaii, and breeding populations occur on the ocean. Mattusch is running rockfish research trips from Monday through Wednesday with an open load salmon trip Thursday. Striped bass action along the coast from Thornton Beach south to Half Moon Bay has been outstanding in the evenings with Diawa’s SP Minnows, Deadly Dick’s Lures, Kastmasters or Krocodiles to 3 ounces.
Call: Happy Hooker (510) 223-5388; Captain Roger Thomas, Salty Lady (415) 760-9362; Emeryville Sport Fishing (510) 654-6040
Rockfish 3; Striper 2
Chris Arcoleo of Chris’ Fishing Trips in Monterey reported 25 knots of wind made for a tough trip down the coast on Saturday for the Check Mate, but they returned with 92 big rockfish and 42 lings for 23 anglers. The Caroline put in three-quarter limits of rockfish and 26 lings for 15 on Saturday before posting half limits of rockfish and 15 lings for 20 anglers on Sunday. He said, “The rockfish have been quality with a number of vermilions and plenty of Boccaccios in the sacks. We are rockfishing every day this week with room, but the coming weekend is already sold out.”
Call: Chris’ Landing (831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173; usafishing.com
San Francisco Bay
Halibut 2; Striper 2; Rockfish 3; Leopard shark 2; Sturgeon 3; Salmon 3
Captain Steve Mitchell of Hook’d Up Sport Fishing out of Berkeley ran way south on Sunday in rough conditions to put his clients onto six limits of salmon. He said, “I went south, and I didn’t find anything that I liked around Pacifica so we kept going south until we found the fish above Pigeon Point. After running half-way to Santa Cruz, it made for a rough ride back up the hill, but our clients were happy.” Mitchell has room throughout the week on salmon trips. Captain Trent Slate of Bite Me Charters out of Loch Lomond Marina put in easy limits Thursday and Friday on the south side near Pacifica, but he had to scratch for a fish per rod for six clients Saturday. After finding no action on the southside, he ran north to Stinson Beach to put in a fish per rod. He said, “These fish were a mixed grade, but one private boat was in the shallows, and he put in two limits from 22 to 30 pounds.” Slate also went into the shallows, and they hooked a huge fish that couldn’t be stopped so he thought it must be a thresher shark. Captain Jacky Douglas of the Wacky Jacky out of San Francisco also went north on Sunday for 12 salmon to 23 pounds for 18 anglers. She said, “There were lots of big fish today, and we had many lost opportunities.” The transition to working the coast for rockfish has begun, and the Sea Wolf out of Emeryville Sport Fishing posted 26 limits of rockfish and 25 lings to 12 pounds Sunday since it was too rough to run to the islands. The California Dawn worked the Marin coast for rockfish before making a few drifts back in the bay for halibut and striped bass. They put in 250 rockfish and 39 lings for 30 anglers up the coast before finishing with four halibut and three striped bass. Smith took out the third annual Phenix Rods/Optimum Baits swimbait trip Monday for an amazing total of 22 limits of ling cod, 32 halibut to 25 pounds, 18 striped bass to 17 pounds and 49 rockfish. Captain Chris Smith on the Happy Hooker went back down the southside on Sunday in search once again for striped bass, but this was the second consecutive dry run down the coast. He said, “All of the conditions are there, but the bass were absent. We ended up with 26 ling cod and half limits of rockfish for 32 anglers. We have a bay trip with room on Wednesday with a live bait potluck trip on Thursday before being chartered on Friday and Saturday.” Inside the bay, Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle reported good halibut in the north bay with a boat with four anglers putting in 10 legal halibut and seven legal bass with the best action under the Richmond/San Rafael Bridge. He said, “They started off at Paradise with a shaker fest before going through another 40 halibut under the bridge for the 10 keepers. Loch Lomond live anchovies did the trick as live shiners have been absent with the warm weather. There has been some good sturgeon action, and there are great tides this coming weekend for sturgeon. There are some garbage fish in the bay, but this is not a big deal. We have live mudsuckers, pile worms, grass shrimp, ghost shrimp, and anchovies in the shop.”
San Luis Obispo
San Luis County party boats are working over the reefs for rockfish, and the Endeavor and Avenger out of Morro Bay Landing went out with 43 anglers on Monday for 250 vermilion, 20 Boccaccio to 8 pounds, 130 assorted rockfish, and 13 ling cod to 13 pounds. Out of Virg’s Landing in Morro Bay, the Fiesta took out 35 anglers for limits of rockfish including 70 vermilion and 280 assorted rockfish to go with seven ling cod to 6 pounds. The Rita G took out a Cal Poly rockfish research trip, catching, tagging and releasing 707 rockfish. Out of Patriot Sport Fishing at Port San Luis, the Phenix and Flying Fish took half-day trips with a combined 29 anglers for limits of rockfish composed 50 vermilion, 184 assorted rockfish, six Boccaccio, 40 coppers, 10 canaries and 10 ling cod to 8 pounds. Curt Hanson of Porterville took the jackpot on the Flying Fish with an 8-pound ling. Both harbors have upcoming trips ranging from a half day through two days
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 2; Bluegill 3; Salmon 2
The expectations for the opener of the river salmon season were muted given the lack of success in the past few years, but there were definite signs of life in lower Suisun Bay and the north Delta with multiple salmon landed from the banks. Johnny Tran of New Romeo’s Bait and Tackle in Freeport said, “Our regular Davis Cochrane of Sacramento came in by 11 a.m. this morning with a limit at 10 and 15 pounds off the shoreline at Freeport using Flying C spinners. There were quite a few people out there, and we also had fish reported north of the bridge at Garcia Bend. The fish were bright and clean. Striped bass are still in the Sacramento River with sardines coated with garlic spray, and catfishing is best in the Sacramento Deep Water Channel with nightcrawlers or chicken livers. Smallmouth bass are in Steamboat Slough and in the Old Sacramento River with deep-diving crankbaits, plastics on the drop-shot or wacky-rigged Senkos.” Bryce Tedford of Bryce Tedford Fly Fishing said, “Topwater smallmouth action is going strong in the north Delta, and in the last few weeks, the bite has really turned on. Smallmouth bass are ideal for getting anglers hooked on the sport, and in addition, seasoned veterans cannot resist the lure of topwater explosions on light tackle. We primarily target smallmouth bass with 4-5 weight rods and size #6 poppers in various colors. When the fish shy off of poppers, we used popper droppers consisting of a popper followed by weighted patterns from 12 to 18 inches from the popper’s hook. These droppers can include small Woolley Buggers, crawdads, bead-head nymphs, and Cary specials to keep the smallmouth biting when the sun gets high.” Steve Santucci of Steve Santucci’s Guide Service is also targeting smallmouth bass in the north Delta, and he said, “Small flies are working best, and we have caught most of our fish under the surface. You can catch fish on topwater flies, but its best fishing under the surface on a T-11 type 6 sink rate.” In the central Delta, Steffan Masters of Lost Anchor Bait and Tackle reported a solid striped bass bite with anchovies, sardines, or pileworms out of McAvoy’s Boat Harbor or off of Pittsburg. He said, “The linesides are averaging from 10-15 pounds, and there are still a group of fishermen targeting huge bass with live splittail. Sturgeon fishing has been hit or miss, but there have been diamondbacks to 45 inches landed. We are carrying ghost shrimp and grass shrimp along with live mudsuckers.” Tony Lopez of Benicia Bait said, “There was a 10-pound salmon landed off of First Street on the opener, and when I drove down there at 10 a.m. this morning, there was no one there even though the water was good. I don’t know about the State Park, but the fishermen there have been much quieter about their success within the past year as this spot tends to get very crowded. Striped bass fishing has been good under the Benicia/Martinez Bridge with pile worms or grass shrimp, and we have plenty of quality grass shrimp in the shop with Curtis Hayes back in action in San Pablo Bay. There have been few sturgeon reports with the exception of bass fishermen out of McAvoy’s hooking the occasional oversized sturgeon on live splittail.” Largemouth bass continue to take center stage in the San Joaquin side of the Delta, and there is great anticipation for the two upcoming specialty frog tournaments. There is an increased opportunity for catfish, bluegill, and even crappie, and more and more striped bass are starting to show up in the west Delta. The Ultimate Frog Challenge is July 29-30 with the original frog tournament, the Snag Proof Open, holding its 16th annual event Aug. 5-6.” Dan Mathisen of Dan’s Delta Outdoors in Oakley held his circuit’s tournament out of Big Break Marina on Saturday, and Joey and Gary Skym of San Francisco took first place with a 22.99-pound limit with a big fish at 7.34 pounds. Mathisen said, “We had a good showing of 26 boats for the tournament, and most fishermen are punching or throwing swimjigs with the fish holding in current and shade with the hot weather. Where are all these fishing coming from as I just saw a picture of a pre-spawn 7-pound largemouth. The smaller than normal limits are opening up the tournaments and evening up the playing field for fishermen. Chatterbaits, blades, punching, and frogs are the hot baits right now. There are loads of schoolie stripers chasing bait, and two fishermen went through 30 fish on the Optimum’s Bubba Shad in order to put in 2 limits of keepers. Salmon fishing opened this Sunday, and there should be fishermen tossing lures off of Humphrey’s Pier. With the cold water in the Delta, I expect a good season.” Delta Dan’s will be holding pre-tournament seminars at 6 p.m. July 26-27 at the shop to prepare for the upcoming tournaments. There is also a seminar on July 28 at a time to be determined. Don Paganelli of Paganelli’s Bass Fishing Experience reported fair action in the east Delta near White and Disappointment Slough with plastics. He will be focusing on frog fishing this weekend in the south Delta. Steffan Masters of Lost Anchor Bait and Tackle in Antioch said, “We have plenty of Flying C’s Spinners in the shop in anticipation of a good salmon season out of Antioch along with piers. Striper fishing has been very good out of Antioch with some larger linesides showing up.”
Call: Randy Pringle (209) 543-6260; Intimidator Sport Fishing (916) 806-3030; Captain Steve Mitchell – Hook’d Up Sport Fishing (707) 655-6736
Lake Nacimiento/San Antonio/Santa Margarita/Lopez
Bass 3; White bass 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 1
At Nacimiento, the spotted bass are seeking cooler water, and subsurface baits are working better than topwater lures. Deep-diving crankbaits are effective while finesse techniques of working the bottom with plastics is a solid option for the spotted bass. White bass are starting to get active, but you have to find the schools in order to find success. A webcam of the lake is available at www.lakenacimientolive.com/ Lopez is kicking out quality largemouth bass with a variety of reaction baits including topwater lures, crankbaits, jerkbaits, and swimbaits. Working the bottom by mid-morning is a must with the hot weather. Panfishing is still solid with meal worms, wax worms, or red worms.. Lopez Lake Marina is now open for their summer hours to 9:00 p.m. A webcam of the lake is available at http://805webcams.com/lopez-lake-webcam/. San Antonio still has areas of blue-green algae in the lake, but fishermen are finding largemouth and smallmouth bass on topwater lures early before working the bottom with plastics on the drop-shot. Catfishing is good with cut baits. Few anglers are trolling for striped bass due to the heat, but the linesides can be taken early in the morning with swimbaits. Santa Margarita is a good option for whiskerfish with mackerel, sardines, or anchovies, and there is a good topwater bite for largemouth bass in the early, early morning. There are repairs occurring at both the marina and White Oaks on the weekdays.
Call: Lake Nacimiento (805) 238-1056, ext. 3; Lake San Antonio Marina (805) 472-2818; CentralCoastBassFishing.com (805) 466-6557
- Dan’s Delta Outdoors on July 15 at Delta/Big Break Marina: 1, Joey and Gary Skym 22.99 pounds; 2, Nick Nourot/Scott Hellesen 20.57; 3, Gary Mullins/Byron Byers 19.02 (big fish 9.19)
- Kiwanis Special Olympics Trout Derby on July 15 at Wishon: Adult Division – 1, Chia Yang 78.75 inches. Youth Division – 1, Hailey Walford 65.50 inches
- New Jen Bass Tournaments on July 15 at Kaweah: 1, Pops and Crystal Gonzalez 10.29 pounds; 2, Sergio Mendoza/Miguel Rodriguez 10.15; 3, David Coy/John Barron 9.29
- July 21-22: Pine Flat, Sierra Bass Club Night tournament
- July 22: Delta/B and W Resort, Mid Valley Bass Club; Don Pedro, Valley Hawg Hunters; Eastman, Pheng Tommy Vang Bass; Isabella, Lake Isabella Bass Club/Taft Bass Club; Santa Margarita, Best Bass Tournaments
- July 29: Delta/Russo’s Marina, Angler’s Press; Pine Flat, Bass 101 Open Tournament; Isabella, American Bass Association; Lopez, Golden Empire Bass Club
- Fresno County: Hume Lake; Huntington Lake; Shaver Lake; Tenmile Creek, Upper
- Kern County: Kern River, sections 4-5
- Madera County: Granite Creek (West Fork); Lewis Creek; Manzanita Lake; Willow Creek North Fork
- Mariposa County: Big Creek, Madera
- Tulare County: Big Meadows Creek; Kern River, sections 5-6; Stony Creek
- Tuolumne County: Beaver Creek; Herring Creek; Lyons Canal (Columbia Ditch); Lyons Reservoir; Moccasin Creek; Powerhouse Stream; Stanislaus River Clarks, Middle, North and South forks; Tuolumne River North Fork
n = new moon > = peak activity