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.
Delta bass, stripers and sturgeon cranking up, Randy Pringle said. Kaweah bass fishing good, Larry Kerns reported. McSwain trout plants spur action, Dave Hurley said. Millerton spotted bass bite going, Merritt Gilbert reported. New Melones kicking out big trout, Monte Smith said. Courtright best bet for high country rainbows, Chuck Crane reported. Shaver kokanee bite good, Dick Nichols said. San Francisco stripers, sharks and rockfish hitting, Trent Slate reported.
2-Have to work hard
4-Fish jumpin’ in boat
Delta Mendota Canal and Sloughs
Stripers 2; Catfish 3; Bass 2
The northern section of the California Aqueduct is starting to show some life, but most Fresno-area striper fishermen are heading to the main San Luis Reservoir or O’Neill Forebay. Vandalism of and theft from vehicles remain a concern throughout the parking locations along the aqueduct. Bass fishermen are punching the weeds or throwing topwater frogs in the Delta-Mendota Canal. In the south aqueduct in Kern and Kings counties, Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield reported catfish are the top species with sardines, pile worms, mackerel and stink baits. Striped bass are starting to hit lures such as tubes or flukes, but the moss is still a concern. An extended cold snap is necessary to break down the weeds, but this will not occur for the next few months.
Bass 2; Trout 1; Bluegill 3; Catfish 3; Crappie 2
Catfish are the top species, with some large whiskerfish arriving within the past week in the evenings close to the boat launches with chicken livers, sardines or anchovies. Bass fishing has been hit or miss, but mostly miss at present. The river arm is now open. The lake dropped slightly to 69 percent capacity.
Call: Eastman Lake 689-3255
Bass 2; Trout 1; Catfish 3; Bluegill 3; Crappie 2
Catfish are the top species at this lake. with quality whiskerfish on cut baits, chicken livers, or stink baits. Bass fishing remains slow during this period of hot weather on the small reservoir. The lake continues to release water, dropping to 30 percent capacity.
Lake Don Pedro
Bass 2; Trout 2; Kokanee 1; King salmon 1; Crappie 2
The bass and trout bite has slowed over the past few weeks as water releases continue. The bass are suspending at depths to 60 feet, and finesse presentations are working best. Trout trolling has been slow with the vast amount of bait in the lake. Finding bait is the key to success for both species. The lake dropped to 86 percent capacity.
Lake Isabella/Bakersfield area
Bass 2; Trout 3; Crappie 2; Catfish 3; Bluegill 3
The upper Kern River remains the best fishing option in the south Valley with trout holding in the deep pools above the Johnsondale Bridge. Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield reported good action with live crickets, nightcrawlers or salmon eggs. The river is still flowing steadily, but it is starting to slow down. At Isabella, Cormier said, “Catfishing is best in the North Fork and around the dam with sardines, mackerel, clams, Sonny’s Dip Bait or the new Wicked Sticky Stink Bait.” Minimal information on bass fishing, but the last club tournament was taken with an 11-pound limit, which is on the small side for the lake. The lake dropped to 41 percent capacity with water releases. The local lakes including Buena Vista have been kicking out a few bluegill and carp with red worms or prepared dough baits. Trout plants will not start for perhaps two more months in the local lakes because of the hot water and weather.
Bass 3; Crappie 3; Trout 1; Catfish 2; Bluegill 3
The lake has finally stabilized, halting major water releases, dropping only just over a foot to 592.20 feet in elevation and 8 percent. Larry Kerns of the Visalia Bass Club said, “The bass bite is always great once the lake is stable, and this year is no exception. The winning weight in Sunday’s Success Bass Club tournament was over 20 pounds, and Dave Coy put in a big kicker to this limit at 9 pounds. There is a small window for topwater lures before working mid-range with crankbaits or the bottom with jigs or plastics. The bass are holding around the shad, and there is plenty of shad in the lake.” Crappie and bluegill action is also good, and Sierra Sporting is selling lots of wax worms for bluegill and small minnows for the crappie.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212
Bass 2; Trout 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
Chuck Stokke of Sequoia Fishing Co. in Springville reported tough bass fishing with the heat, and the fire in the Springville area has contributed to more recreational boaters and swimmers than fishermen. With the end of summer, and the arrival of cooler temperatures, the bass bite should improve. All the campgrounds in the Tule River have been stocked with planted rainbow. In the upper tributaries, native rainbows and browns can be found on dry flies. Success has dropped to 32 percent capacity.
Bass 2; Trout 2; King salmon 1; Kokanee 1; Crappie 2; Catfish 3
The bass have moved off the shorelines with the dropping water levels; the best action is with plastics such as Pro Worm’s 300 pattern or jigs such as the brown/purple or Purple Hornet Berserk’s jigs. Unseasonably hot temperatures have contributed to fewer anglers targeting the lake. Catfishing is good along muddy, sloping banks with anchovies, nightcrawlers, mackerel or jumbo minnows. There were no reports of trout, kokanee or salmon. The launch ramps at Barrett Cove, McClure Point, Bagby and Horseshoe Bend are open. The lake dropped to 82 percent capacity.
Another 1,500 pounds of rainbow trout were released into the lake this week for a total of 3,000 pounds during the past two weeks. Shore fishermen are finding good action for the plants with trout dough bait, inflated nightcrawlers or gold Kastmasters from the brush pile, handicapped docks and the marina. The Merced Irrigation District annual fall trout derby is Oct. 7.
Call: McSwain Marina 209-378-2534
Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River
Bass 3; Striped bass 1; Shad 2; Bluegill 2
Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “The spotted bass remains solid with plenty of small spotted bass to be caught and released. Spots in the 2- to 3-pound range are showing up more regularly for those with topwater lures in the early mornings before working jigs or plastics on the drop-shot or dart head by midmorning. The bass are suspending at depths from 15-25 feet with the dropping water levels, and there is some movement towards the shoreline in the afternoons.” There were no striper reports. The lake dropped to 72 percent capacity. 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 1
New Melones has been the top location for quality rainbow trout over the past several weeks, and this one was no exception as the number of trollers targeting the rainbows has increased. The bass bite is up and down, but there is the opportunity for an excellent reaction bite on occasion. Catfishing is picking up with cut baits, and it should hit a zenith within the next two months. Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing has put his downriggers in storage for the time being as he will be focusing on Sacramento River salmon during September and October. However, he found good action for rainbows to 4.14 pounds for his clients this past week. He said, “We ended up with three fish right off of the bottom in the early morning, losing a few more. I knew the bite was going to be slow down at one point in the morning, and as it had been windy in the morning, once the wind died, the bite went with it. We ended up with a flurry at the end of the day with our best action at depths from 48-75 feet with my custom spoons on the downrigger. We have landed 50 rainbows on the boat during the past few weeks since I started working the lake, and I am not opposed to putting the downriggers back in the next few months for another go at Melones.” Bill Llewellan of Glory Hole Sports in Angels Camp said, “The trout bite doesn’t show any signs of slowing down, and I went out with my son Dillon in the early morning for an hour or so for two rainbows apiece from 3.5-6.79 pounds trolling at 75 feet with a pink/purple hoochie tipped with a nightcrawler behind a half silver/half brass dodger.” For bass, John Liechty of Xperience Fishing Guide Service took out fellow bass angler Josh Parris of San Andreas this week, and he said, “We put on a crankbait clinic with squarebills, just pounding them, but the following day, the reaction bite died completely. We ended up with only a few fish on topwater lures in the early mornings before all of our action took place on the bottom with plastics on the drop-shot. The wind died on Friday, and the temperature went up 10 degrees. We still had a great time with 40-50 fish with a lot of ‘rats’ with one out of three being keeper-size.” Gene Hildebrand of Glory Hole reported good catfish action in Angels Cove for whiskerfish to 7 pounds with anchovies, mackerel, sardines or chicken livers; Angels Cove is producing crappie along the shorelines with tubejigs in white or pearl along with live minnows on a drop-shot rig. Glory Hole Sports is holding its annual month-long Catfish Derby from Oct. 1 to Nov. 1 with an entry fee of $10.
Pine Flat Reservoir/Kings River
Bass 2; Trout 2; King salmon 1; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “The bass bite has improved up the river arm for the first time this season, but the limits remain small in the 7- to 7.5-pound range. The fish are suspending with the dropping water levels, and there has been little change in the techniques used with spoons or Spy-rigs working for deep fish with plastics on the drop-shot or dart-head finding suspended fish from 15-25 feet along vertical walls.” Larry Kerns of the Visalia Bass Club was part of the winning 10-member team during Saturday’s King of the Clubs Challenge with a combined weight of 57 pounds, four pounds heavier than the second-place New Jen Bass Tournaments club. Also participating in the first annual event held by Sportsman’s Warehouse were the Mid-Valley, Success, Bakersfield and Sierra Bass Clubs. Kerns said, “There was a small window for topwater, but after this was over, everything for us came on the bottom with jigs or plastics on the drop-shot. With the falling water, the bite changes from day-to-day.” Trout fishing has been slow with the hot conditions. The lake dropped to 67 percent capacity this week. There are some locations on the lower Kings that 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.
San Luis Reservoir and O’Neill Forebay
Striper 3; Catfish 2; Bass 2; Crappie 2
Striped bass fishing continues to be outstanding for schoolie linesides to 27 inches, and various techniques are working. The lake remains high, and as the water continues to cool down, the bite should only improve in the coming months. Roger George of Roger George Guide Service said that he took out Kevin Gunner, Brandon Jarboe and Jim Cooter for a decent bite on smaller schoolie fish to 21 inches last Friday. “My trolling motor broke in the morning so I had to go to guns, but we still managed to get over 30 fish for the day on reaction baits. There is a new bunch of small fish coming into the system that we haven’t seen before, and it bodes well for the future of the lake! There are a few fish up to 28 inches that some friends of mine released. too,” George said. Paul Jolley of Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill reported good action for those drifting live minnows over the submerged islands in front of the Trash Racks or near Dinosaur Point. He said, “We only have large minnows right now, but they are still working. Dinosaur Point usually fishes very well during high water years as the stripers congregate over the submerged road bed.” In the O’Neill Forebay, Jolley said, “There is a group of local fishermen who head out to Check 12 in the very early morning for stripers with topwater lures. The majority of fish are small, but one fishermen landed 18 stripers, including four keepers within a few hours.” San Luis has dropped to 89 percent capacity.
Bass 2; Trout 2; Kokanee 1
The Sheriff’s Motor Fee remains in effect, even after Labor Day, and recreational boating remains heavy. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “Bass fishing has improved with largemouth bass to 3 pounds taken early in the morning on topwater lures before working the docks with plastics on the drop-shot or Senkos.” Trout fishing remains very slow, but the bite should improve as the water cools. Webcams of the lake are available at basslakeca.com/.
Brown trout 2; Trout 2
The opening of rifle deer season will bring more outdoorsmen into the Kaiser Pass high country, but reports are scarce from this area of the Sierra. Florence Lake has dropped rapidly to only 2 percent capacity for dam maintenance. Edison is releasing water, but was still at 81 percent capacity and remains the best option along Kaiser Pass for bank fishermen and trollers. Mammoth Pool, at 68 percent, is a good option for shore fishermen with trout dough bait, and the lake has a bonus population of freshwater crayfish.
Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000
Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake
Kokanee 3; Trout 3; Smallmouth bass 3
The Kokanee Power Shaver Lake Tournament was a big success as the kokanee went back on the bite within the past week, just in time for the derby. Gary Coe and John Lico won with a three-fish limit weighing 86 ounces including a big fish at 30.1 ounces. They found four big fish in the depths from 55-100 feet in front of the point. The second place team of Kenny MacDonald, John Zemen and Mike Giovacchini put in a limit at 85.1 ounces. Coe and Lico won the big trout side pot with a 2-pound rainbow. Coe has been using Paulina Peak Tackle, and he said, “These are some of the best new products that I have seen in years. We were getting hit when we were slowing down to fight fish so we slowed way down to the slowest speed we have run this year between 1.1 and 1.2 mph.” Coe was effusive in his praise for the organization of the derby and its local director, Jim Travis. Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters, who took his final guided trip for this year Sept. 8, said, “We managed to put multiple limits in the boat during my last week as a charter operator. Sometimes it was difficult, and it took a lot of effort from my clients as the fishing has varied all week. One day you can’t find a trout, and on the following day, they are there in abundance. The kokanee have cooperated all week, and we have been fishing in front of the island into Boy Scout Cove to get out limits. However, on my last day out, we put in four kokanee in 30 minutes during the middle of the morning in front of the Sierra Marina. Chris Hall and Tim Brock of Auberry, Stan and Scott Janenian of Fresno, and 90 year-old John Pokorny along with his daughter Beth and Jim and Debbie Dixon, all limited out with mostly kokes this week.” Nichols thanks everyone who had a part in his charter service over the past decade, along with the 3,000 fishing friends who have joined him on the boat during the past years. Todd Wittwer of Kokanee.net Guide Service confirmed the excellent kokanee bite, stating, “We put in easy limits of kokanee on Sunday morning running Rocky Mountain Tackle’s pink Hornet spinners, orange Apex lures, or Dick’s Koke Busters behind a Rocky Mountain Tackle Brookie dodger using ball trolls at depths from 35-45 feet in front of the Sierra Marina. We also used trout dough bait up the river arm for four keeper rainbows to 4.5 pounds for my clients, Steve and Christy Heriford of Bakersfield.” Shaver has dropped to 90 percent capacity. At Huntington Reservoir, the mouth of Rancheria Creek remains the top location for rainbow trout to 13 inches with trout dough bait or inflated nightcrawlers. Trolling for kokanee and rainbow trout continues to be slow. The lake has dropped slightly to 98 percent capacity.
Wishon trout 2; Courtright trout 3
Courtright Reservoir remains the top location for trout fishermen in the central Sierra, with routine limits of rainbows and browns for the numerous fishermen heading to the 7,000-foot level. Wishon continues to be a challenge for trout fishermen, but there are a few fish to be squeezed out by bank fishermen and trollers. Maintenance on the power plants has started, and there will be more traffic from construction crews around the dam areas. Chuck Crane of Wishon Village RV Park and Store said, “Courtright is our top location with trollers scoring at 3-5 colors with blade/’crawler combinations all around the lake. Shore fishing is also good with bank anglers picking up limits on trout dough bait in red or pink near the boat ramp by Moro Rock or from the Trapper Springs Campground. Inflated nightcrawlers are also working well with most fishermen producing limits within a short period of time.” Wishon is attracting far less interest, and Crane said, “A few fish are taken with blade/’crawler combinations at 3-4 colors of leadcore, but it has been slow for the most part. Bank fishing is also slow, but there have been some fish taken at the mouth of Short Hair Creek with red or pink trout dough bait or inflated nightcrawlers.” There is plenty of water remaining in both lakes, but maintenance around the power plants is starting.
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
Salmon 2; Striper 2
Captain Dennis Baxter said, “The salmon bite slowed way down on Saturday with the highliner being the six-pack, Mooch Better, with nine fish to 23 pounds. However, he said, “The action improved on Monday with local boats picking up salmon in front of the harbor. The bite has been on one day and much slower the following day.” Second Captain Michael Cabanas of the Huli Cat also went salmon fishing on Saturday, and he reported a slow bite with only a fish fish landed. John Gallino of Sonora was one of the lucky ones with an 18-pound salmon taken on an Apex lure behind a flasher.
Rockfish 3; Striper 2
Keith Semler of Chris’s Fishing Trips in Monterey reported great live bait action with fresh squid on Sunday with the Caroline posting 25 ling cod and three-quarters limits of rockfish south of the harbor off of Twin Rocks. On Saturday, the Caroline had a similar score with 24 lings and three-quarters limits of rockfish. They have plenty of room on board this week for the first time in awhile. Semler added, “There are whales all over the bay with blues and humpbacks along with dolphins, and Captain Nick Lemon of the Star of Monterey, who has been around for a long time, said, ‘There is more anchovy in the bay than I have ever seen.’ ” There is still krill in the bay, and the whales are feeding on the krill and anchovies.
San Francisco Bay
Halibut 2; Striper 3; Rockfish 3; Leopard shark 3; Sturgeon 2; Salmon 2
Captain Trent Slate of Bite Me Charters out of Loch Lomond limited out on salmon Friday mooching near Duxbury. They put in several large fish during the day among the 12 fish for six limits. The following day, the bite was very slow as Slate went from “hero to zero” with nada on Saturday. He salvaged the day by making a stop at Red Rock for limits of striped bass using Loch Lomond worm-tailed jigs in white. Sunday was a similar story for Slate, with 13-year old Nicholas Smart of Rodeo putting in a 24-pound salmon on the mooch – one of two landed before coming back into the bay for striped limits at Red Rock, once again using the Loch Lomond worm-tailed jigs. Slate made a stop at California City for salmon, but there were no nets flying out of the five boats trolling at the top of the tide as the tide was ripping with an abundance of grass on the top of the water. Earlier in the week, Slate landed a small salmon at California City, and he knew of at least three other fish landed this week over 20 pounds. Salmon fishing was on the slow side on Sunday with three Sausalito party boats scoring around a half fish per rod with 27 salmon for 48 anglers fishing inside the bay at California City and outside of the Gate to Double Point. Rockfishing remains outstanding with the Tigerfish and Sea Wolf combining for 59 limits of rockfish and 65 lings to 25 pounds on Sunday. Captains Chris Smith of the Happy Hooker and James Smith of the California Dawn out of Berkeley continue to load up on ling cod and rockfish at the Farallon Islands with the California Dawn making the three-hour run northwest to Fanny Shoals for the best grade of rockfish. Inside the bay, Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle in San Rafael said, “The California City bite turned on during the week, but there haven’t been a lot of people fishing in the bay. There are plenty of halibut and bass out there for the taking, and there are a lot of small fish everywhere. Leopard shark fishing is very good with midshipmen, and live mudsuckers also work well for the shark. We have live mudsuckers in the shop along with anchovies and pile worms. The warm bay water has been a limiting factor, and it is tough to keep the anchovies alive.”
San Luis Obispo
Rockfishing remains outstanding out of the Morro Bay party boats, and the Avenger out of Morro Bay Landing went out with 31 anglers on a three-quarter-day trip Monday for limits of rockfish and four lings with 240 vermilion to 8 pounds, 20 Boccaccio and 50 assorted rockfish. The Fiesta out of Virg’s Landing in Morro Bay took out 12 anglers Monday for limits of bottom-grabbing rockfish composed of 75 vermilion, 33 copper and 12 canary rockfish along with two lings to 7 pounds. Out of Patriot Sport Fishing at Port San Luis, the Patriot and Flying Fish were out Monday with a combined 23 fishermen for limits of rockfish and 25 ling cod to 13 pounds composed of nine copper, eight Boccaccio, 84 Bolina, and 129 assorted rockfish. Both harbors have a variety of trips running from half day through two-day trips in the upcoming weeks. Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield reported continued solid perch fishing with blood worms near San Simeon.
Bass 3; Striper 3; Sturgeon 2; Catfish 3; Bluegill 3; Salmon 2
All signs are looking good for an outstanding striped bass season as experienced topwater anglers are finding some terrific action in the early mornings in the west Delta while salmon continue to trickle in with more consistency in the arrival of schools in Suisun Bay and at Freeport. Craig Kamikawa of the Fisherman’s Warehouse in Sacramento said, “The bank bite for salmon is picking up at Freeport with Flying C spinners as the transition from the summer to the fall run is beginning.” There have been some good reports for trollers out of Clarksburg with as many as five salmon reported on one boat Saturday. Sylvia Viera of Viera’s Riverside Resort near Isleton said, “There have been more fishermen out within the past week, and we are getting more reports of success. There were several salmon that came in this week with the largest at 31 pounds. A number of fish have also been lost at the net with one boat losing two on Saturday near Ryde. The Ryde Hotel to the Windmill has been a good location along with the mouth of the river. The fish are bright and chrome, and the incoming tide has been the best time to troll.” In Suisun Bay, Tony Lopez of Benicia Bait added, “We have heard good reports from both of our salmon locations at 1st Street and the Dillon Point State Park with Vee-Zee Spinners along with Flying C’s. Striper fishing remains good from the shorelines with grass shrimp, pile worms, or anchovies as the bank guys are ‘tearing them up.’ ” The stripers continue to move in, and Clyde Wands, shallow trolling expert, was on the troll Thursday, starting on the San Joaquin River because of the wind in the morning. He said, “We picked up a few shallow fish on Rat-L-Traps after finding a school near the Antioch Bridge before trolling through Broad Slough for no action. We ended up near Collinsville where we found another school with fish in the 5- to 6-pound range. It wasn’t as good as it was on Tuesday, but there is a full moon bringing big tides so it is understandable.” The topwater striped bass bite has started in earnest with Kenji Nagakawa of Lodi, Delta Wood Bombers pro-staff, out on the Delta on his new Ranger 521VX most every day this week. He said, “The fish are in!” He added, “The heat was pretty miserable over the weekend, but we did manage a few keepers to 5 pounds. Liberty has been fairly slow. Our best action has been the west and central Delta, and after messing with the dinks for a few days, it was nice to finally get into some quality fish last night. We had the perfect conditions for a good topwater bite, wind, clouds and a high tide on a super shallow grass flat. I landed one around 9 pounds on a Pencil Popper in 3 feet of water. The next few drifts we had some giant fish blow up and miss, and I hooked a true 20-pound striper which was released. After 45 minutes of good action, the sea lions rolled in and ruined the party. No more bites. It's shaping up to be a great fall run.” Nagakawa took out Kris Huff, another DWB pro-staff, on Sunday morning for stripers to 19 pounds caught and released on the Liar DWB pattern along with a trout-pattern glide bait. Sturgeon are starting to get active. More likely, they have always been there, and it’s the sturgeon fishermen who are getting more active. Steve Mitchell of Hook’d Up Sport Fishing will be back in the Delta out of Pittsburg after Oct. 1, and he said, “My friends are already tearing it up in the Big Cut, and October is always a good opening month for sturgeon fishing.” The launch ramps at Brannan Island State Park remain open, but the restroom and parking lot area is under construction, which may continue through November. The temporary fence around the parking lots is difficult get around with a large boat, but it is possible. The Bass Fest on Sept. 9-10 out of Russo’s Marina was a celebration of the largemouth action in the Delta as the bite continues to improve into the fall. Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, reported phenomenal largemouth action with the ima Rock N’Vibe Suspend in shad patterns. He said, “We started out throwing topwater lures in the overcast conditions, and although we got a few fish to slap at them, there were no takers so we switched to the Rock N’ Vibe. We landed fish after fish before the tide dropped out, and when this happened, we switched to the ima Pinjack crankbait and just smashed them. We were using the new Sexy Minnow pattern which is a translucent shad pattern with a chartreuse line as well as crawdad patterns. The fish are oriented in the current, and every fish we caught was either in or near current and finding locations with staggered patches of weeds is also a key. The largemouth bass are holding along the weeds and ambushing the bait from these positions. The larger tides make for more water for the largemouth bass to explore, and the more water volume, the better. There were tons of 10- to 13-inch stripers in the San Joaquin, and they were breaking all over the surface in the mornings.” John Liechty of Xperience Bass Fishing Guide Service took out UC Merced professor Nate Monroe in the east Delta on Friday, and he said, “ I generally don’t fish the Delta very often, but since I competed one of the recent frog tournaments, we wanted to throw a frog. We had some decent blow ups for fish to 5 pounds, and since it was overcast throughout the morning, we stayed with topwater Whopper Ploppers or small poppers for an extended time. The crankbait action was outstanding with squarebills along with spinnerbaits and chatterbaits.” Dan Mathisen of Dan’s Delta Outdoors in Oakley said, “Spinnerbaits in white have been very effective for largemouth bass, and my son, who doesn’t fish very often, put in four fish to 12 pounds within a few hours. There are a lot of small stripers out there as well. In Discovery Bay, chatterbaits, crankbaits, swimjigs, and bladed jigs are working for bass to 5 pounds.”
Lake Nacimiento/San Antonio/Santa Margarita/Lopez
Bass 2; White bass 2; Striper 2; Catfish 3; Crappie 3
Lopez remains solid for bluegill with Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield saying, “We are selling lots of red worms for bluegill and red ear perch for both Lopez and Santa Margarita.” Bass fishing remains fair with a reaction bite with topwater lures in the early mornings before switching to the bottom with medium-sized plastics or Brush Hogs. A webcam is available at 805webcams.com/lopez-lake-webcam/. At Nacimiento, spotted bass are starting to get larger, and there is a brief window for topwater lures in the early mornings before throwing crankbaits or working the bottom with plastics on the drop-shot. White bass remain elusive. The lake continues to release water slowly. A webcam of the lake is available at www.lakenacimientolive.com/. Quagga mussel inspections are required before boat launching is allowed.
Call: Lake Nacimiento (805) 238-1056, ext. 3; Lake San Antonio Marina (805) 472-2818; CentralCoastBassFishing.com (805) 466-6557
- BassFest (three-fish weigh-in) on Sept. 9 at Delta/Russo’s Marina: 1, Ed Christo/Josh Lim 18.00; Michael and Lori Birch 17.43 (big fish 10.45); 3, Juan Acosta/Austin Splaine 16.29
- Kokanee Power Team Tournament Adult Division (three-fish weig-in) on Sept. 9 at Shaver Lake: 1, Gary Coe/John Lico 86.0 ounces; 2, Kenny MacDonald/John Zeman/Mike Giovacchini 85.1; 3, Ken McDonald/Rick Silva 79.9
- Kokanee Power Team Tournament Junior Division (one-fish weigh-in) on Sept. 9 Shaver Lake: 1, Nicholas Hernandez 13.1 ounces, 2, Cody Hight 12.9.; 3, Nick Stubblefield 11.1
- Sept. 13: Delta/Ladd’s Marina, Bass Pro Shops
- Sept. 16: Delta/Ladd’s, Sonora Bass Anglers; Delta/Russo’s Marina, FLW Outdoors; Delta/B and W Resort, Outlaw Bass Club/Taft Bass Club; Don Pedro, Tri Valley Bassmasters; McClure, Manteca Bassin’ Buddies; Millerton, New Jen Bass.com
- Sept. 17: Delta/B and W Resort, Fresno Bass Club; Delta/Russo’s Marina, Hook, Line, and Sinker; Pine Flat, Kings River Bass Club
- Sept. 23: Delta/Ladd’s Marina, Angler’s Press/Yak-A-Bass; Delta/Russo’s Marina, California Delta Team Trail; Tulloch, Christian Bass League; Pine Flat, Bakersfield Bass Club; Kaweah, Golden Empire Bass Club; Nacimiento, Kayak Bass Fishing
- Sept. 23-24: Delta/Ladd’s Marina, Sierra Bass Club
- Sept. 24: Delta/Ladd’s Marina, Riverbank Bass Anglers
- Sept. 30: Delta/Big Break Marina, Dan’s Delta Outdoors; Delta/Tracy Oasis, Tracy Bass Club
- Oct. 1: Delta/Wimpy’s Marina, Central Valley Anglers Salmon Derby; Kaweah, Success Bass Club Fishing for a Cause, 50/50 benefiting Valley Children’s Hospital, $140, David Coy 280-8884
- Fresno County: Kings River, below Pine Flat Dam
- Kern County: Kern River, sections 4-5
- Tulare County: Kern River, sections 5-6
- Tuolumne County: Lyons Canal (Columbia Ditch); Moccasin Creek; Powerhouse Stream; Stanislaus River Clarks, Middle forks
f = full moon > = peak activity