Compiled by Dave Hurley and edited by Roger George, a former Olympic-class decathlete at Fresno State and striper record-holder at Millerton Lake and who now guides in the greater Fresno area. Telephone numbers are in 559 calling area unless noted. Have a photo of a recent catch to share? Email it to email@example.com with “fish photo” in the subject line.
San Francisco salmon bite “wide open,” Steve Mitchell reported. Isabella trout hitting, Pete Cormier said. Delta bass fishing good, Alan Fong reported. Aqueduct stripers improved, Merritt Gilbert said. Don Pedro trout active, Monte Smith reported. Half Moon Bay salmon on epic bite, Dennis Baxter said. Courtright trout on the feed, Chuck Crane reported.
2-Have to work hard
4-Fish jumpin’ in boat
Delta Mendota Canal and Sloughs
Stripers 3; Catfish 2
The northern section of the aqueduct is getting more play. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun reports more Fresno-area anglers are heading to the Manning Avenue section with Duo Realis jerkbaits or Lucky Craft Pointer 128’s. In the south aqueduct in Kern County, Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield said, “The aqueduct remains hot with both striped bass and catfish coming out of the concrete river. Lug worms and anchovies are working best for the linesides while mackerel or sardines are best for the whiskerfish. A huge carp at 41 pounds was weighed in this week from the aqueduct. After our catfish derby ends on the 31st, our August Carp Derby will start next Tuesday with an entry fee of $1.”
Bass 3; Crappie 2; Catfish 2; Trout 2
Few reports of bass fishing, although a night tournament was held on the lake on Saturday. Mike and Anthony Her of Fresno took first in the Pheng Tommy Yang Bass Tournament with an impressive weight of 20.13 pounds. A few catfish are taken off the banks at night with chicken livers or stink baits. The river arm remains off limits until Aug. 1. The lake fell 2 feet to 79 percent capacity and 567.67 feet in elevation.
Call: Eastman Lake 689-3255
Bass 2; Trout 2; Catfish 2; Bluegill 2; Crappie 2
Small crappie and bluegill remain a possibility, with catfish to 4 pounds landed from the shore in the evenings on chicken livers or cut baits. Kayak fishermen are picking up bass to 2.5 pounds working jigs or lizards on a Carolina-rig over submerged islands or rockpiles off the shore at 20-25 feet. The lake is releasing water, dropping 3 feet to 509.69 in elevation and 55 percent capacity.
Call: Valley Rod & Gun, Clovis 292-3474; Six Star Tackle Box 673-5688; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Hensley Lake Hidden Dam 673-5151
Lake Don Pedro
Bass 2; Trout 3; Kokanee 1; King salmon 2; Crappie 2
Heavy smoke from the Detwiler Fire along Highway 49 engulfed the lake during the week, but the smoke didn’t stop the solid trout bite. Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing said, “The smoke had dissipated by Friday, but it was heavy on Thursday with less than a half-mile of visibility. We have been finding quality rainbows stuffed with 1-inch or larger shad at depths from 30-55 feet running my custom spoons on the downrigger on Phenix Rods. We found the fish in one area on Wednesday and were done by 10:30 a.m. with a few limits. The following day, the fish had moved around 100 yards away, and it was a different bite, but we stayed with it. Friday’s bite was outstanding with limits by 10:45 a.m. There is a lot of bait in the lake, and the fish are spitting up ground shad while their bellies are loaded with whole shad. Sometimes I coat my spoons with Pro Cure’s Super Sauce in either tuna or herring, and the scent certainly can’t hurt. We even picked up three king salmon this week, but kokanee were absent, and we aren’t targeting them anymore. The water clarity has changed to the normal summer pattern of a green tinge, and we have around 8 feet of visibility. The lake is nearly full despite releasing water, but the majority of the snowpack has melted although there is still snow on Sonora Pass.” Recreational boating is heavy after 10 a.m. on weekends and, in particular, weekends. Anglers are advised to get on very early and off by noon before the flotilla arrives in force. 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 at deep at 60 feet by noon with Pro Worms in 124p or 300 or Berserk’s brown/purple or Purple Hornet jigs. Bonds Flat Road has reopened, helping users avoid the 45-minute drive around the lake to Fleming Meadows. Don Pedro weather updates are available at https://map.bloomsky.com/weather-stations/gqBxp6apnJSmrqen with a live webcam at https://video.nest.com/live/tE7MzhI0BG. The lake dropped slightly to 98 percent capacity and 827.34 feet in elevation because of 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 3; Crappie 2; Catfish 2; Bluegill 2
At Isabella, Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield reported a solid trout bite with Power Bait or Power Worms from the banks in the river arm to the Auxiliary Dam. Catfishing is best with mackerel, frozen clams or nightcrawlers in the South Fork. The lake dropped 2 feet to 2,578.39 in elevation and 53 percent capacity with heavy water releases. Trout plants are occurring in the upper Kern River, and trout fishing has been good with live crickets, salmon eggs, nightcrawlers or spinners. Cormier said, “A number of fishermen are heading into the upper river.” The lower river is still limited to catfish or smallmouth bass in the slower waters near Democrat Beach. Buena Vista is kicking out a few catfish and crappie and the largest catfish in the July Catfish Derby was landed in Buena Vista by Will Reynolds of Bakersfield. Carp fishing in the local lakes is heating up with prepared dough baits; the Wussy’s Bait is a hot seller.
Call: Bob’s Bait (661) 833-8657; North Fork Marina (760) 376-1812
Bass 2; Crappie 2; Trout 2; Catfish 2
Larry Kerns at the Visalia Bass Club reported a challenging bass bite at Kaweah with the fish moving out with the rapidly dropping lake levels. Kerns and his partner, David Coy, took the last Visalia Bass Club tournament with a 14-pound limit, but the following day at the Success Bass Club tournament on the lake, they struggled for 4 pounds. He said, “The water is dropping, and it is hard to tell where the bass are moving as you have to find the right rockpile. There is a lot of bait in the lake, and the bite will be tough until the lake level stabilizes.” There is a small grade of crappie with minijigs or small to medium minnows. The lake is experiencing heavy water releases, dropping 9 feet to 685.36 in elevation and 68 percent capacity. Recreational boating is heavy on the weekends and after 10 a.m. on the weekdays.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212
Bass 2; Trout 3; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
The heat continues to keep anglers off of the lake, but there is some action in the early mornings with crankbaits or plastics. Recreational boating is the top draw to the lake with the high water levels and triple-digit temperatures. 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. Success has dropped a half foot to 96 percent capacity and 651.17 feet 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 has dropped 2 feet to 96 percent and 860.87 in elevation. During the past week, the effects of the nearby Detwiler Fire kept fishing interest to a minimum. Bass fishing remains solid with with topwater lures such as the River2Sea Rover or Whopper Plopper in the early mornings or evenings 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 boating traffic. Launch ramps at Barrett Cove and McClure Point are open.
The lake still has not been planted with rainbow trout for the past few months, but anglers continue to wake up early to try their luck from the banks at the brush pile, handicapped docks and peninsula near the marina. The lake’s campgrounds hosted residents evacuated from the Detwiler Fire during the week, but the evacuation order has been lifted and the smoke has dissipated.
Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River
Bass 2; Striped bass 1; Shad 1; Bluegill 1
Recreational boating is heavy both during the week and particularly on weekends. Fishermen are getting on the water early before leaving by noon, with the recreational boats arriving in force by 10 a.m. Small spotted bass are the rule, and the topwater bite is limited to early or late. Once the window closes, working the bottom with plastics on the drop-shot is most effective. The river arm has a blockade of wood. A few anglers are anchoring near Temperance and soaking bait for striped bass. Millerton is at 99 percent and 577.10 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 2; Crappie 2; Catfish 3; Trout 3; Kokanee 2
Bass fishing is tough overall as the lake is dropping and the fish have dispersed from the flooded vegetation into main lake points. Crankbaits and ripbaits on windy days are working best, but the staple remains working the bottom for numbers with plastics on the drop-shot. John Liechty of Xperience Fishing Guide Service has been putting in 20- to 40-fish days, with about a dozen of the bass in the 1- to 4-pound range. Quality rainbows can be found at depths to 60 feet in the main lake near the dam, spillway, and between the two bridges with Apex lures or Wiggle Hoochies. Kokanee remain very slow. Catfishing continues to be solid in the hot weather with the best action at night with frozen shad or a ball of nightcrawlers scented with garlic or fish scents. Crappie fishing is best under submersible lights with small to medium minnows or nightcrawlers. The lake dropped to 1,066.90 feet in elevation and 90 percent capacity.
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 2; Crappie 2
Parking remains a major deterrent as there are only a few spaces for boat trailers with the high water at the lake. As a result, most fishermen are heading to Millerton. The anglers finding parking are discovering good action for spotted bass with fish in the 1.5- to 2.25-pound range on topwater lures in the evenings from 6 p.m. until dark. Limits from 9-10.5 pounds are possible. After the topwater bite has passed, working the shallows to 9 feet with crankbaits or plastics on the drop-shot to 25 feet is best. Trout fishing has slowed, but there are still rainbows to 15 inches found with shad-patterned lures at six colors of leadcore. Recreational boating is heavy. The lake has dropped 4 feet to 942.52 in elevation and 95 percent capacity. Some locations on the lower Kings are accessible for fishing, but caution is necessary with the high water flows. Jeff Steward caught a large 7-pound brooder trout in the Kings River just below the dam on Powerbait last week. 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
San Luis Reservoir continues to kick out enough huge striped bass from the banks to keep fishermen coming to the lake in the evenings in order to toss Magnum Flukes, Duo Realis jerkbaits or 4-inch Storm swimbaits in bluegill. The lake is still under an advisory for blue-green algae (cyanobacteria). Until further notice, the Department of Water Resources continues to urge boaters and recreational users to avoid direct contact with or the use of water. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “We are selling a number of Duo Realis, Storm swimbaits, and Lucky Craft Pointers now for the big lake as our regular customers normally come in around 5:30 p.m. before they make the hour run north to the big lake.” Lue Thao of Fresno landed a 43-inch striped bass from the bank at Dinosaur Point. Steve Santucci of Steve Santucci’s Fly Fishing Guide Service reported, “Striper fishing is good right now with fly fishermen catching and releasing good numbers of good-sized fish.” Roger George of Roger George Guide Service said that the trolling bite has been much tougher than the casting bite with fish up closer to the bank right now. “Most trollers are getting from 1-2 fish per rod-with fish to 28 inches. A friend of mine got just a few fish, but hooked one around 30 pounds and lost it right at the boat when it got caught in the downrigger cable,” George said. “The fish are not in some normally good areas at all, but loaded in others right now. It’s been an unusual pattern for this time of year. The water temps are getting up to 83 degrees on top during the day.” In the O’Neill Forebay, small fish to 22 inches are the rule, and there is a reaction bite with jerkbaits and flukes, but most fishermen are using blood worms, pile worms, or anchovies from the shoreline areas at Check 12 or Highway 152. Anglers are avoiding the heat of the day and fishing either in the early mornings or late afternoons into the evening. The lake is at 96 percent capacity, alternately pumping and releasing water.
Call: Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711, Roger George of rogergeorgeguideservice.com (559) 905-2954; San Luis Reservoir and O’Neill Forebay Wind Conditions (800) 805-4805.
Bass 2; Trout 2; Kokanee 1
Bass fishing is limited to working the docks and points from the banks with plastics on the drop-shot for small largemouth bass to 12 inches along with a few spotted bass. Recreational boating has dominated the lake, particularly after 8 a.m. A few trout trollers are starting early in the main lake from Indian Cove to the dam, but after 8 a.m., they have to stay behind the 5-mph zone near the dam. Trout action remains slow. Webcams of the lake are available at http://basslakeca.com/. The lake is at 101 percent capacity.
Call: Mike Beighey 642-3748; Bass Lake Watersports 642-3200
Brown trout 3; Trout 3
All high-elevation lakes are nearing capacity, and Edison is kicking out rainbows and trout for those soaking Power Bait or inflated nightcrawlers. Vermilion Valley Resort is back in operation, but there is still plenty of snow in the highest elevations. Edison is at 94 percent capacity, Florence at 84 percent, and Mammoth Pool at 100 percent as a result of snowmelt.
Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000
Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake
Kokanee 2; Trout 2
Shaver Lake remains a location for big kokanee, but the action overall has slowed considerably within the past two weeks. A trout plant was scheduled for last week, but it was postponed because of a shortage of workers. Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters said, “I was really looking forward to the plant because I have been on a long, heavy schedule of guiding and fishing has been slow, A limit or so is the norm; however, some boats are coming up empty. I spoke to one fisherman who has always done well on kokanee at Shaver, and he was skunked for the first time fishing here. The trout bite is mostly off as well, and along with a so-so kokanee bite, from 4-7 fish is possible with a few big kokanee in the mix. The best area has been around the Sierra Marina and in front of the dam at depths from 27-35 feet with Dick’s Trout or Koke Busters tipped with a piece of nightcrawler or corn behind a CJ Dodger. We are also picking up one or two fish on our side poles at depths to 20 feet.” Steve Santoro of Fish Box Charters had a similar report, saying, “It was a pretty tough day of fishing on Friday despite boating five nice kokanee to 1.56 pounds and 16 inches using orange Apex lures between 30-35 feet. There has been a lot of boat traffic from trollers and from those jigging for kokanee along with recreational boat traffic. Paul and Andrew Sanchez took their fathers Albert and Paul from Fresno for the five fish after losing a number earlier in the day.” There are still a number of the trophy-sized rainbow trout planted in April and June by the Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project, but these fish have moved out into deep structure. There is a solid flow of food washing in from the inlets, and the abundance of the food supply has led to a much slower bite similar to last year. Shaver has risen once again to 87 percent capacity. At Huntington, the Fresno Yacht Club’s High Sierra Sailboat Regattas are over for the season, and trolling access is again possible at the lake. Trollers are picking up limits of rainbows to 13 inches running Wedding Rings tipped with a nightcrawler behind a dodger on the surface. Shore fishermen are finding rainbows with trout dough bait or inflated nightcrawlers near the inlets with flowing water. Huntington is at 98 percent capacity.
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
Wishon Reservoir has slowed after heavy action the previous Saturday for the 21st Annual Kiwanis Special Olympics Trout Derby. Higher elevation Courtright is by far the better option with trollers routinely scoring limits of trout consisting of both rainbows and brown while shore anglers are also finding solid action. Chuck Crane of Wishon Village RV Park and Store said, “Courtright is doing very well with trollers picking up limits nearly every time out running #2 Speedy Shiners or Needlefish at depths from 3-5 colors of leadcore. There have been a number of brown trout taken by trollers along with rainbows. Some fishermen are deep-trolling Rapalas with success from 6-8 colors of leadcore. Shore fishing has been solid with trout dough bait or inflated nightcrawlers.” At Wishon, Crane said, “The lake has slowed down quite a bit, but boaters running up to the upper end of the lake to soak live crickets or inflated nightcrawlers are working best, particularly where the river is coming into the lake. Overall the bite has been ‘hit or miss’ in the lower part of the lake. I haven’t received any reports from those trolling flies in the upper part of the lake near the shorelines, but I figure this technique should still be good.” In the upper Kings River, Craned added, “The river has finally settled down enough for fly fishermen, and dry flies such as ants or mosquitos are working well. One of our customers used a #12 Mosquito pattern to catch and release numerous trout in the upper Kings. This is the first time this year the rivers and creeks have slowed down enough to be fishable.” Tagged fish #1006 remains in Wishon, worth $1,000 if landed by a derby participant by the end of August.
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
Salmon 3; Striper 3
Half Moon Bay is the epicenter of the California salmon world with easy limits reported by all boats making it to the area. Captain Dennis Baxter of the New Captain Pete put in 26 limits on Sunday after posting 21 limits on Saturday. He said, “This has been the salmon bullseye for a solid week now, and we are seeing krill, anchovies, and market squid in their bellies. For a week, we have stopped in the same location 10 miles southwest of the harbor as those fish haven’t budged in a week. There is still a trickle of fish between the buoys for the Valco fleet.” Captain Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat said, “I haven’t seen anything like this in a long time. The epic Half Moon Bay salmon bite continues as we started at 21/37 before working up to 23/40 for 21 limits and back in the harbor by 12:05 p.m. on Sunday. Most of our fish came on straight bait on crowbars at 15-25, but we did get a few fish in the 45- to 60-foot range. Monday’s action was just as hot with 15 limits and tied up at the harbor at 11:30 a.m. The fish moved south on Monday with a slight southerly wind, but there is so much bait out there along with 15-20 whales working the bait.” 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 up 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; White sea bass 1
Chris Arcoleo of Chris’ Fishing Trips in Monterey reported excellent rockfish and ling cod action Sunday with the Check Mate pouring in 24 limits of rockfish and 15 lings while the Caroline scored three-quarter limits of rockfish and eight lings. They have room throughout the week, but the weekends are filled on their rockfish/ling cod trips. At least one private boat made a tuna run to 36.14/122.40 around the 451 Fathom Spot, and the ocean became rough after a calm run for the first 20 miles. The boat trolled 5 miles to the spot to find 61.4 degree deep blue water, and although the water looked great, there was minimal life out there yet.
Call: Chris’ Landing (831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173; usafishing.com
San Francisco Bay
Halibut 3; Striper 3; Leopard shark 2; Sturgeon 2; Salmon 4
The salmon boats ran south to the Deep Reef for spectacular action over the weekend with two Sausalito boats returning with 46 limits Sunday. Captain Steve Mitchell of Hook’d Up Sport Fishing out of Berkeley was on his way back to the bay by 11 a.m. Saturday with six limits of salmon to 28 pounds with special guest, linebacker Dekoda Watson of the San Francisco 49ers and his wife on the boat to enjoy the “light’s-out action.’ ” Sunday’s action was just as solid with six limits to 14 pounds and back to the harbor within hours. Monday’s action was just as solid with six limits of quality salmon within a short period of time after arriving at the Deep Reef. Mitchell said, “It was wide open as we had five fish on at one time, and we were able to net every one of the fish as my customers worked together to make this happen.” Captain John McGee of Legal Limits Sport Fishing had four limits of salmon in the box within 20 minutes on Sunday morning at the Deep Reef, and to say the action is “wide open” would be an understatement. The Sundance, Dragon, C Gull II, and New Salmon Queen out of Emeryville Sport Fishing combined for 53 limits of salmon to 22 pounds south of the harbor off of the San Mateo coastline. The Sea Wolf, Tiger Fish and New Huck Finn out of Emeryville Sport Fishing went rockfishing for a combined 88 limits of rockfish and 141 ling cod to 17 pounds. With the good ocean conditions, the boats may have run to the Farallon Islands. Inside the bay, the big tides in the morning didn’t slow down the halibut bite for the California Dawn with 20 halibut and 25 striped bass for 30 anglers. The bay is expected to be windy in the central bay during the afternoon hours for the next few days while the ocean calms down.
San Luis Obispo
The San Luis County party boats continue to work for rockfish until the warm water is close enough for a run for albacore. The Endeavor and Avenger out of Morro Bay Landing went out Monday with 75 anglers limits of rockfish composed of 700 vermilion, 30 Boccaccio, 20 assorted rockfish and 64 ling cod to 18 pounds. Out of Virg’s Landing in Morro Bay, the Fiesta took out 35 anglers Monday for limits of rockfish including 105vermilion, 210 assorted rockfish and 35 canaries to go with five ling. Curtis Butler of Bakersfield took the jackpot with a 7.5-pound wolf eel. Out of Patriot Sport Fishing at Port San Luis, the Phenix took two half-day trips Monday with a combined 24 anglers for 13 vermilion, 227 assorted rockfish, and five ling cod to a whopping 26.5 pounds. The Patriot went on a three-quarter day trip with 25 anglers for 25 vermilion, 13 copper, one Boccaccio, 134 bolina, 75 assorted, 2 cabezon, and 50 ling cod to 12 pounds.. Both harbors have a variety of trips running from half-day through two-day trips in the coming 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 3; Striper 2; Sturgeon 2; Catfish 2; Bluegill 3; Salmon 2
The river salmon opener brought some optimism after a few fish were landed in lower Suisun Bay and in the Freeport area on the opening day, but in the week since, the action has slowed to a crawl in all Delta locations. The fish are moving through the Delta and the Old Sacramento River as there is action in the Feather River, but they are blasting through the Delta with the warm water conditions. Sylvia Viera of Viera’s Resort near Isleton said, “We have only had a half dozen boats out since the opener, and there haven’t been any fish landed in our area although the salmon have to be coming through the Old Sacramento River. The water is warm, but when the colder water releases come out of Shasta Dam, the fish should hold longer. We expect our season to start in earnest by the end of August, and there are a number of reservations at the resort during September and October. With the high water in the reservoirs, fewer recreational boaters are coming to the Delta.” New Romeo’s Bait and Tackle in Freeport reported a slowdown on salmon in the area after at least one angler, Davis Cochrane of Sacramento, landed a limit from the banks on the opening day. Since then, it has been very slow. A few stripers are still in the north Delta, and 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. The bass are dropping deeper in the water column with the warm water conditions. Dan Mathisen of Dan’s Delta Outdoors in Oakley confirmed the slow action, saying, “I went up Highway 160 this to Sacramento, and there were no boats on the water trolling for salmon. We have received no reports from Humphrey’s Pier or from Pittsburg yet. The stable weather and moderate tides have limited the results of fishermen in the Isleton area this week, but the smallmouth bite is on the upswing with Strike King crankbaits or plastics worms for the hard-fighting smallies. Near Walnut Grove, small stripers are the rule for trollers running from Courtland to Walnut Grove with P-Line Predator Minnows or Angry Eyes. In the west Delta, bait dunkers soaking anchovies or sardines are finding action for striped bass from Honker Bay to Broad Slough. Sturgeon fishing has been limited with the best action on the outgoing tide with pile worms, roe, or lamprey eel in Broad Slough, around Buoy 1, or the Pittsburg PGE plant.” In Suisun Bay, Tony Lopez of Benicia Bait reported slower salmon fishing from First Street and the State Park because of muddy water from the larger tides. Striper fishing is decent from the shorel, but there is no one fishing for sturgeon. They brought in 50 pounds of grass shrimp on Friday along with pile worms and blood worms. The summer fun is just getting started with the arrival of the Ultimate Frog Challenge on July 29-30 and the original frog tournament, the Snag Proof Open, on Aug. 5-6. Both tournaments are at Russo’s Marina on Bethel Island. The best thing going is largemouth bass in the San Joaquin River system. Dan Mathisen of Dan’s Delta Outdoors in Oakley said, “Largemouth bass fishing is solid with frogs or 6- to 7-inch Senkos in normal colors such as green pumpkin or black/blue. We will be holding seminars at the shop next Wednesday and Thursday at 6 p.m. in preparation for the Ultimate Frog Challenge on the weekend of the 29. Our seminar on Wednesday will feature Charlie King of Savage Gear, and I will hold Thursday on frog fishing techniques. Striped bass fishing has been fair at best with a few to 6 pounds taken on hair raisers or Bad Bubba Shad swimbaits. In Discovery Bay, bass to 8 pounds have been landed, but anglers have to work through the hot weather to target areas with current and shade. Punching Fatsack Tackle punch skirts or Megastrike plastics are great choices, and if the wind is blowing, spinnerbaits and buzzbaits are working well. There is also a jig bite on points with current. A few stripers are showing up on the Indian Creek side of Bethel Island.” Don Paganelli of Paganelli’s Bass Fishing Experience reported several hookups on frogs this week. He said, “I alternate between the Snag Proof and River2 Sea frogs, and I have been using dark colors such as black/yellow or swallow.” Field reporter Neil Simpson of Lodi said, “We launched out of Honker Cut around 3 p.m. and headed southwest as our plans were to punch, flip, frog, and throw chatterbaits. We only ended up throwing chatterbaits and a frog for a number of fish for a 27-pound limit, losing two more fish that would have pushed the limit over 30 pounds. The majority of the fish came on the River2Sea Bullywa and chatterbaits.” Alan Fong of the Fisherman’s Warehouse in Sacramento reported excellent largemouth action with topwater lures, plastics on the drop-shot, or Senkos. Kris Huff and Joe Bryson of Stockton put in a 26.83-pound limit Saturday night to win a local tournament of the Valley Backlashers by over 10 pounds on plastic worms fishing current breaks off of points. Steve Santucci of Steve Santucci’s Fly Fishing Guide Service reported, “Delta fishing is good for both largemouth and smallmouth bass, and the stripers should come back in August.” Important note: Highway 12 both eastbound and westbound will be closed for 55 hours between State Route 160 and Interstate 5 for construction work beginning at 10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 4, through 5 a.m. Monday, Aug. 7. Scheduled work consists of paving and grading to construct a temporary transition from the old alignment to the new alignment of State Route 12. The detour is from Highway 160 to Walnut Grove Road on Interstate 5.
Call: Randy Pringle (209) 543-6260; Intimidator Sport Fishing (916) 806-3030; Captain Steve Mitchell – Hook’d Up Sport Fishing (707) 655-6736
Bass 3; White bass 2; Striper 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
Santa Margarita hosted the Best Bass Tournaments event Saturday with 35 teams, and the team of Matt Clausen and Troy Tidwell put in over a 2-pound average at 11.83 pounds. There is a topwater bite with small poppers or buzzbaits before working the bottom with big plastics. Catfishing is improving with cut baits while pan fish are taken on red worms or meal worms. At Nacimiento, there is a topwater bite for the small grade of spotted bass in the early mornings before most fishermen get off the lake with the hot temperatures. The action starts up once again on the evenings. White bass are starting to boil on the surface in the normal locations of Dip Creek and Las Tablas, but the action has been “hit or miss.” A webcam of the lake is available at http://www.lakenacimientolive.com/. Lopez remains solid for pan fish with red worms or meal worms near structure. Crappie also are possible with minijigs tipped with a chunk of prepared bait. The topwater bite dies after the sun hits the water, but subsurface lures such as crankbaits or ripbaits are picking up a few largemouth bass. Lopez Lake Marina is now open for their summer hours to 9 p.m. A webcam of the lake is available at http://805webcams.com/lopez-lake-webcam/. At San Antonio, the blue-green algae warning as been downgraded to cautionary status. Largemouth and striped bass are possibilities with the linesides sucking up trolled swimbaits at depths to 20 feet while largemouth bass are found on topwater lures before working the bottom with plastics or jigs. Catfishing is good with cut baits. Reminder that consuming white bass, black bass, crappie, catfish or carp are subject to safe eating guidelines because of excessive mercury.
Call: Lake Nacimiento (805) 238-1056, ext. 3; Lake San Antonio Marina (805) 472-2818; CentralCoastBassFishing.com (805) 466-6557
- Sierra Bass Club Night Tournament on July 21-22 at the Delta: 1, Randy Rowe/Quincy Marrs 10.68 pounds (big fish 3.51); 2, Cesar Gonzalez/Ron Moreno 9.41; 3, Carlos Contreras Sr. and Carlos Contreras Jr. 8.51
- Pheng Tommy Yang Bass on July 22 at Eastman: 1, Michael and Anthony Her 20.13 pounds; 2, Xang Vang/Fang Xiong 11.13; 3, David Coy/John Barron 11.12
- Best Bass Tournaments on July 22 at Santa Margarita: 1, Matt Clausen/Troy Tidwell 11.83 pounds; 2, Geno and Jason Lazzerini 10.88; 3, John and Erik Zillig 7.26
- July 29: Delta/Russo’s Marina, Angler’s Press; Pine Flat, Bass 101 Open Tournament; Isabella, American Bass Association; Lopez, Golden Empire Bass Club
- Aug. 4-5: Delta/Russo’s Marina, Snag Proof Frog Open
- Fresno County: Big Creek, Huntington; Courtright Reservoir; Dinkey Creek; Mono Creek; Portal Forebay; Rancheria Creek; San Joaquin River, South Fork; Tamarack Creek; Ward Lake
- Madera County: Chiquito Creek, Lower; Rock Creek
- Tulare County: Kern River, Section 6; Peppermint Creek, Upper; Tule River Middle Fork, North Fork Middle Fork 1, South Fork Middle forks 2-3
- Tuolumne County: Lyons Canal (Columbia Ditch); Moccasin Creek; Pinecrest Lake; Powerhouse Stream; Stanislaus River Clarks, Middle and South forks; Tuolumne River Middle, North and South forks
q = quarter moon > = peak activity