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 bite good, Randy Pringle reported. Kaweah bass tearing it up, Larry Kerns said. McSwain trout plants trigger good bite, Dave Hurley reported. Millerton spots feisty, and San Luis stripers improved, Steve Newman said. Courtright trout action continues, Chuck Crane reported.
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2-Have to work hard
4-Fish jumpin’ in boat
Delta Mendota Canal and Sloughs
Stripers 2; Catfish 2
Most Fresno-area striped bass fishermen are heading north to the main San Luis Reservoir, but a few fishermen are starting to toss lures in the California Aqueduct. Vandalism and theft remain concerns at parking spots in all sections of the aqueduct. Fishermen are advised not to leave items within sight inside of their vehicles. In the south aqueduct in Kern and Kings counties, Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield reported interest in fishing has waned over the past week. But catfishing is still decent with sardines, pile worms, mackerel, and stink baits. The moss is still hanging around, and an extended cold snap is necessary to break down the weeds.
Bass 2; Trout 1; Bluegill 3; Catfish 3; Crappie 2
The bass bite remains tough with some action on Senkos, jigs, or deep-diving crankbaits over rockpiles. The bait fish are pushing out into deeper water. There is a catfish bite from dusk to dark and also from midnight to 4:00 a.m. with chicken livers or anchovies. The river arm is now open. The lake held at 69 percent this week and 558.13 feet in elevation.
Call: Eastman Lake 689-3255
Bass 2; Trout 1; Catfish 3; Bluegill 3; Crappie 2
The bass bite has improved with deep-diving crankbaits as the bait fish have moved off the shorelines into deeper water. Catfishing is productive with chicken livers or anchovies in the evening hours through early morning. The lake continues to release water, dropping to 27 percent capacity and 484.50 feet in elevation.
Lake Don Pedro
Bass 2; Trout 2; Kokanee 1; King salmon 1; Crappie 2
Bass fishing has slowed in the warm water, but cooler nights should improve action. Mike Gomez of Berserk Baits said, “The bite is tough overall, but there is a small window for topwater lures before working the bottom at depths to 30 feet with Berserk’s Purple Hornet jigs or the Pro Worm Pro Gold 300 on a shakey head. The fish are holding on the bottom and not suspending at the present time. Finding bait is the key to success for both species.” The lake dropped to 84 percent capacity and 804.82 feet in elevation.
Lake Isabella/Bakersfield area
Bass 2; Trout 3; Crappie 2; Catfish 3; Bluegill 3
Fishing interest in the Bakersfield area has diminished with the arrival of the Kern County Fair, but there are catfish to be had at Lake Isabella. Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield said, “The catfish bite isn’t hot, but there are whiskerfish taken in the South Fork near Red’s Marina with clams, mackerel or sardines. We could sell all of the Sonny’s Stink Bait we could get, but it has been hard to obtain recently. There are also crappie taken off of the shoreline in the South Fork with minijigs. Bass fishing remains slow with few reports.” The upper Kern River is flowing well at 519 cfs, and trout fishing is good with live crickets, nightcrawlers or salmon eggs. The lower river has also slowed, and a few trout are coming from locations with slower water such as Democrat Beach. The lake dropped to 40 percent capacity and 2568.82 feet in elevation with water releases. There is local enthusiasm for the upcoming Taft Chamber of Commerce Trout Derby, but this derby is still two months away on Nov. 18 at Lake Buena Vista. Buena Vista is kicking out a few catfish and crappie for those trying.
Bass 4; Crappie 2; Trout 1; Catfish 2
The bass bite has broken out as the lake has finally stopped the heavy water releases, leading Larry Kerns of the Visalia Bass Club to state, “Kaweah is hot, you can catch them on just about anything right now. Once the lake stabilizes, this always happens as the fish are chasing the shad in the lower pool of water. We have a tournament next month, and the limits should be heavy.” The lake has dropped to 8 percent capacity and 592.46 feet in elevation.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212
Bass 2; Trout 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 3
Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield reported a hot bluegill and crappie bite. Red worms, wax worms, meal worms and crickets are working for the bluegill and minijigs and small minnows along with cricket for the slabs. Campgrounds along the Tule River have been stocked with planted rainbows. In the upper tributaries, native rainbows and browns can be found on dry flies. Success has dropped to 24 percent capacity and 609.86 feet in elevation.
Call: Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626
Bass 2; Trout 2; King salmon 1; Kokanee 1; Crappie 2; Catfish 3
The bass bite is tough overall with Mike Gomez of Berserk Baits reporting a small window for topwater lures before working the bottom at depths to 30 feet with his Purple Hornet jigs or the Pro Worm’s Pro Gold 300 on a shakey head. He said, “I was struggling until I went to the bottom with the jig as there were no suspended fish. The bass were holding at depths from 17-30 feet around the shad schools.” The bass bite should improve with the arrival of cooler water. Catfishing is good along muddy, sloping banks with anchovies, nightcrawlers, mackerel or jumbo minnows. There were no reports of trout, kokanee or salmon. Launch ramps at Barrett Cove, McClure Point, Bagby and Horseshoe Bend are open. The lake dropped to 79 percent capacity and 834.27 feet in elevation.
The extended drought affected all Northern California bodies of water, but Lake McSwain was particularly hard hit given last year’s closure of the Calaveras Trout Farm in Snelling. This year’s high flows have allowed for the Calaveras farm to be back in the business of raising trout, and there have been two plants within the past two weeks – 1,500 pounds Aug. 31 and another 1,500 on Sept. 8. The trout plants have spurred on the bite from the shore and for trollers working the river arm, and fishermen are returning to the lake in droves. The lake remained busy for campers and recreationists for the past several months, but the arrival of the planted trout was just what was necessary to bring back fishermen. The 22nd annual Lake McSwain Trout Derby, hosted by the Merced Irrigation District, is 7 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, to noon Sunday, Oct. 8, with no registrations accepted after Oct. 5. Entry is $15 per individual or $35 for a family of two adults and three children. It will be limited to the first 200 boats or 500 entrants. There will be 50 tagged fish released with prizes at $2,000, $1,000, and $500 with the remainder of tagged fish sharing equally from the prize pool. A $200 prize will be awarded for the heaviest fish by weight. Registration is available at www.lakemcclure.org. Currently, the best action is in the normal locations of the brush pile, handicapped docks or along the peninsula by the marina with trout dough bait, Power Eggs, Kastmasters or inflated nightcrawlers. Trollers are pulling blade/’crawler combinations or Wedding Rings tipped with a nightcrawler behind a flasher from the second to first fence line.
Call: McSwain Marina 209-378-2534
Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River
Bass 3; Striped bass 1; Shad 2; Bluegill 2
Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “Spotted bass are plentiful, but the size remains on the typical Millerton 1.5-pound range for keepers, and the best bite is taking place up the river arm with plastics on a finesse presentation.” There are a few more largemouth bass showing up along the shorelines in the upper arm of the lake, and this species has not moved out into deeper water as of yet. Plastics on the drop-shot or dart head are best for the suspended fish. No striper reports. The lake dropped to 70 percent capacity and 543.34 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. All wild steelhead or trout with an adipose fin present must be released immediately. The San Joaquin River is closed to the take of salmon; they may not be targeted by fishermen and must be released if inadvertently caught.
Call: Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474
New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch
Bass 2; Crappie 2; Catfish 3; Trout 3; Kokanee 1
There are still large rainbow trout in the deepest waters in the main lake, and the trout to 5 pounds can be landed by trollers working shad-patterned spoons from 40-75 feet. Bass fishing remains fair with reaction baits or finesse techniques. There are plenty of small bass in the lake with the high water conditions, along with loads of shad and small bluegill. There is a brief window for topwater lures in the early mornings. Catfishing is good with cut baits or live minnows with Glory Hole Sports holding their annual monthlong tournament from Oct. 1 to Nov. 1. New Melones has dropped to 1,054.87 feet in elevation and 84 percent capacity.
Pine Flat Reservoir/Kings River
Kokanee 1; Bass 2; Trout 2; King salmon 1 Catfish 2; Crappie 2
Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “Increased numbers of small largemouth bass are showing up in the river arm, but spotted bass remain the top species in the lake. There is a deep-diving crankbait bite up the river arm as the baitfish have been moving into deeper water in the typical fall pattern. Rockpiles or rocky areas have been the best locations for brown/purple or brown/green jigs. Trout fishing has been slow with fewer trollers working the lake.” The best action remains in the main lake from the power lines to the dam. The lake dropped to 64 percent capacity and 882.31 feet in elevation. The bass bite has improved up the river arm for the first time this season, but the limits remain 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 the 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. 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 1; Crappie 1
Striped bass remains an excellent option, and trollers are starting to get in on the action in the normal locations of the islands in front of the trash racks or at the mouth of Portuguese Cove. Bank fishing also is an option, and there have been some big stripers caught and released from the shore on lures. With the high water conditions, the action should only improve as the water continues to cool. Roger George of Roger George Guide Service said that he took out Mitch Graham and his dad, Don, both of Fresno on Saturday and they landed more than 40 school fish to 23 inches on reaction baits. “They just wanted to catch a few fish, but when we found some active schools it was on. There are a lot of smaller fish in the mix but the blend is great to see. There is some topwater action at times, but mostly smaller ones so far so we’re not focused on that much.” George continued, “I fished with Los Banos natives Marion Santos and Rick Gong on Sunday in windy conditions for 24 school fish that were mostly smaller sized ones, but everyone seemed to be struggling in the heavy wind. Trolling was working OK with shad colors, but the fish seemed to be moving a lot more in the waves than on Saturday.” Jesus Reyes Silva of JKings Lures in Hollister said he has also been scoring schoolie stripers with a variety of his rip baits. Topwater lures, flukes or jerkbaits in shad patterns are working inside of the coves early in the mornings or late in the afternoons towards dusk. Brandon Dean Jenkins caught and released a 15-pound striped bass casting from the shore on Saturday at the big lake. Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “One of our customers, Ryan Bailey, has been at the lake on a regular basis, and he has been catching a good number of stripers running Alabama rigs or large plugs in the 7- to 8-inch range such as P-Line Predators at depths from 30-40 feet in the main lake along points or over island tops.” Jumbo minnows have been absent at most bait shops so bait drifters are having to settle for extra-large minnows. As a result, trolling has been more productive within the past week. San Luis has dropped to 88 percent capacity.
Bass 2; Trout 2
The Sheriff’s Motor Fee will remain in effect throughout the year now, and boaters are expected to pay at the Sheriff’s Tower prior to launching. The fee had traditionally been administered from Memorial Day to Labor Day, but it will be enforced year round. Bass fishing is best early in the morning with 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 are available at basslakeca.com/. The lake is releasing water, dropping to 97 percent capacity.
Brown trout 2; Trout 2
There have been few reports from the high country lakes, but Edison remains high at 77 percent capacity and is the best bet for trout fishing in the Kaiser Pass area for bank fishermen and trollers. Florence Lake has dropped rapidly to 2 percent for dam maintenance. Mammoth Pool is releasing water, dropping to 57 percent.
Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000
Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake
Kokanee 2; Trout 2; Smallmouth bass 3
The Shaver Lake Kokanee Power Derby is normally one of the most challenging events of the year. It is traditionally held in September, with the kokanee normally in the process of hugging the bottom. This year was no exception for the big fish, but the largest limits in this event in years provided one of the highlights of the year for Kokanee Power and Shaver Lake. Gary Coe, president of Kokanee Power, along with his partner, John Lico, took first place at 86 ounces for three fish, followed closely by the team of Kenny MacDonald, John Zemen and Mike Giovacchini at 85.1 ounces. Coe said, “It was an epic day as we landed four big mature healthy males from 55-100 feet in depth. We didn’t go 150 yards at 55 feet in depth before hooking our first fish, but we saw big fish on the meter hugging the bottom, and we hooked fish while slowing down to fight a fish. We specially targeted the deep fish, and we were able to get them to go as most anglers were working from 35-50 feet. We changed our tactics by going to the bottom and going as slow as 1 mph, and we also lost one large fish at 100 feet in depth. The Paulina Peak’s dodgers and lures were working for us, and these are the best new stuff I have seen on the market as there is an extra bend in the dodger that works very well as slow speeds.” Since the derby, the kokanee action has been up and down with Todd Wittwer of Kokanee.net Guide Service saying, “Monday’s thunderstorms shut down the bite, but it rebounded before slowing down again over the weekend. The boats scattered out into locations that haven’t been tried for a while, but a number of trollers continue to try for the deep fish in the trough out in front of the marina. Orange or chartreuse Apex lures, the Tasmanian Devil in Smashing Pumpkin, or Dick’s Koke Busters behind ball trolls are all working when the fish are willing to bite. Shaver has dropped to 89 percent capacity. At Huntington Reservoir, Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun said, “Trolling has been very slow as the kokanee are turning towards the spawn, and the action that is taking place has been for bank fishermen around Rancheria Creek or the Auxiliary Dam with trout dough bait, Power Eggs, or inflated nightcrawlers.” Huntington is at 97 percent capacity.
Wishon trout 2; Courtright trout 3
Courtright continues to routinely kick out limits of rainbows with a few brown trout mixed in while Wishon is showing signs of life after slowing down for the past few weeks. Chuck Crane of Wishon Village RV Park and Store said, “Courtright remains the top location for both bank fishermen and trollers, and the Trapper Springs Campground remains hot with trout dough bait in red or pink. Shore fishermen are picking up limits on a regular basis while trollers are pulling Rapalas on leadcore from 5 to 6 colors. There have been a lot of limits taken, and there are a number of brown trout mixed in with the rainbows.” Wishon is starting to heat up for trout as the high county is getting colder, and Crane said, “Fishing is picking up with a few nice limits taken on Rapalas at 40-50 feet on the downrigger as well as on leadcore at 4-6 colors. The key is to go slow. Shore anglers are picking up a few more fish on trout dough bait in red or pink. Richard Joseph, the dock man at Wishon, was casting a Rapala off of the docks, and he landed a nice brown trout. This could have been a fluke, but I don’t know.” Maintenance on the power plant is taking place at both lakes over the next several weeks.
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
Salmon 2; Albacore 2; Rockfish 3; Striper 2
After a few-day flurry of albacore action north of the 601, the weather hasn’t been conducive for fishing offshore, but there still are salmon to be found out in front of the harbor along with rockfish south of the harbor from Martin’s Beach to Pigeon Point. The warm water has brought in schools of bonita, and anglers are just starting to target this species. Captain Dennis Baxter of the New Captain Pete has been occupied with pelagic bird trips, but he reported a trickle of salmon outside of the buoys at the end of the week, stating, “There was a trickle of salmon on Thursday, but a wave of big fish moved through on Monday and Tuesday. These were all spawners. The other news is bonita are staging right outside of the harbor in the warm water.” Captain Tom Mattusch on the Huli Cat was trolling for salmon in front of the harbor on Friday for a limit of salmon to 12 pounds landed by Jim Diamigo of Pacifica. and deckhand Donovan Ash picked up a large bonita on a bird watching trip in the 64 degree water on Saturday. Mattusch said, “There has been a lot of interest in albacore, but the weather just hasn’t been cooperating.” Private boats are picking up a few salmon off Pedro Point on straight bait in front of a flasher or watermelon Apex lures at depths to 50 feet, but patience and persistence is necessary for success.For rockfish, the Huli Cat went to the Deep Reef on Sunday for limits of rockfish including Boccaccio to 7 pounds along with a 10-pound ling cod hitchhiking by Joanna Nelson from Castro Valley. Dungeness crab season is only a few weeks off, with a Nov. 4 opening date, and party boats are gearing up for crab/rockfish combination or crab-only trips. The crab opener at Half Moon Bay is one of the signature events of the season with campgrounds and launch ramps filled for the weekend.
Rockfish 3; Striper 2
Keith Semler of Chris’s Fishing Trips in Monterey said, “The anchovies are stacked from the top to the bottom of the bay, and the ling cod have been harder to catch as they are loading up on the anchovies. Rockfishing remains good, and our fishermen have been picking up lots of big vermilions. The Check Mate posted 19 limits of rockfish and six lings on Sunday with the Caroline returning with half limits of rockfish and 5 lings. Saturday’s action was better with the Check Mate coming back with 18 lings among 23 limits of rockfish and the Caroline posting 19 limits and half limits of rockfish for 15 fishermen.” Humpback whales are all over the bay feeding on the anchovies. Squid boats are working south of Twin Rocks instead of seining the less profitable anchovy.
San Francisco Bay
Halibut 2; Striper 2; Rockfish 3; Leopard shark 2; Sturgeon 2; Salmon 2
Salmon fishing was decent for some boats Sunday, with the New Salmon Queen trolling up 14 salmon to 17 pounds for 12 anglers. New Huck Finn, also out of Emeryville Sport Fishing, went out on a rare salmon trolling trip for seven salmon to 11 pounds for 14 anglers. Three boats out of Sausalito fishing south of the Golden Gate near Pedro Point had 29 salmon to 20 pounds for a combined 47 anglers. Rockfishing was a better option with Captain James Smith of the California Dawn opting for the Marin coast on Sunday due to the rough weather conditions, and they returned with 20 limits of ling cod along with three-quarter h limits of rockfish. On Saturday, both the Happy Hooker and the California Dawn went to the Islands for lings and rockfish with the Happy Hooker posting two lings over 22 pounds. There still is room on the Friday, Sept. 29, Ego Trip on the Happy Hooker, a contest for the largest limit of ling cod with prize money in the $2,000 range. Also out of Fish Emeryville was the Sea Wolf, which went up the coast for 26 limits of rockfish and 44 lings to 16 pounds. Inside the bay, Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle in San Rafael said, “California City was very good for salmon during the week, but the bite appeared to be slower on Sunday with one boat with three regulars fishing all day. Normally, they will call back to the shop every time they hook a fish, but I received no calls today even though they were out all day.” Captain Trent Slate of Bite Me Charters out of Loch Lomond is planning on hitting California City on Monday as he landed his second salmon there this past week. He said, “I haven’t been able to break 10 pounds with my two salmon inside the bay, but I witnessed four or five over 20 pounds being netted there this week.” Halibut fishing has been decent, and Ross Peterson put in nine to 28 pounds fishing commercially inside and outside of the bay. Loch Lomond will have live mudsuckers in the shop by midweek. The Sundance out of Fish Emeryville stayed in the bay for six limits of striped bass and a leopard shark Sunday; the 4-pack Wet Spot put in three striped bass to 10 pounds, an 11-pound halibut, and a bonus 11-pound white seabass.
San Luis Obispo
Rockfishing remains outstanding out of the Morro Bay party boats, and the Avenger out of Morro Bay Landing went out with 21 anglers on a three-quarter-day trip Monday for limits of rockfish and 27 lings to 13 pounds. The Fiesta out of Virg’s Landing also put in 21 limits of rockfish composed of 80 vermilion and 130 assorted rockfish to go with 2 lings. Curtis Butler of Bakersfield took the jackpot with a 6.4-pound vermilion. It was limits all around out of Patriot Sport Fishing at Port San Luis on Monday with the the Patriot and Phenix returning with a combined 36 limits of rockfish and 21 lings to 20.5 pounds including 22 vermilion, 28 copper, four Boccaccio, and 306 assorted rockfish. Andy Anderson of Coarsegold took the jackpot on the Patriot with an 8-pound ling. Both harbors have a variety of trips running from half through two-day trips in the coming weeks.
Bass 3; Striper 3; Sturgeon 2 Catfish 3; Bluegill 3;Salmon 2
Salmon continue to trickle into the Sacramento-Delta as the fish are running rapidly upriver toward the cooler waters in the Feather and American rivers. Stripers also are on the move, and the schools are there one day and gone the following day. Sylvia Viera of Viera’s Riverside Resort near Isleton said, “Most of the action has been taking place from the mouth of the river to Walnut Grove, and Long Island has been particularly hot. The fish are all bright, and they are averaging from 15-25 pounds with the big fish so far this season at 31 pounds.” The Bureau of Reclamation has started weekday closures at its Delta Cross Channel gates. The closures, expected to last at least into mid-October, are intended to help reduce fall-run Chinook salmon straying from the Sacramento River. The gates will close Mondays about 10 a.m. and reopen Fridays about 10 a.m. Out of Freeport, Johnny Tran of New Romeo’s Bait and Tackle said, “There is a steady flow of salmon from 5-25 pounds for those throwing Flying C’s off of the banks or jigging with P-Line Laser Minnows or Slammer Minnows below the bridge. Striped bass are showing up in Miner Slough, Liberty Island, and the Sacramento Deep Water Channel with jumbo minnows, pile worms, blood worms, sardines, and frozen shad. “ Alan Fong of the Fisherman’s Warehouse in Sacramento likes the overall conditions at Liberty Island, but he will wait until the high tide arrives in the morning hours as the topwater and glide bait action is far more effective in high water. In Suisun Bay, Tony Lopez of Benicia Bait, said, “Salmon fishing has been really slow from our shorelines as these fish must just be bypassing up. Clyde Wands, shallow trolling expert, was on the Sacramento-Delta on Tuesday, and he reported that the school that they have been working for the past three weeks near Collinsville have moved out, and they only were able to pick up a few stripers to 6 pounds. A friend of mine released a heavy 46-inch striper this past week, and they were able to get it revived for the release.” The launch ramps at Brannan Island State Park remain open, but the restroom and parking lot area is under construction, possibly through November. The temporary fence around the parking lots is making it difficult to transport a large boat around the fence. Vince Borges of Vince Borges Outdoors and Phenix Rods said, “The bass bite is turning on with consistent quality, and the reaction bite has been outstanding with a variety of baits. We have also been punching the grass and mats, and my client hooked an estimated 8- to 9-pound largemouth on a Sweet Beaver under the weeds, and the big fish was just laying on top of the mats, but he couldn’t drag it across without breaking it off. We tried to move in through the weeks to lip the fish, but the rod turned and the fish slithered back into the hole that it just came out of. When the mats are heavy, I am using from 1.5-1.75 ounces depending on the height of the vegetation with only an ounce when there is only grass. Senkos have also been effective for largemouth bass to 7 pounds.” Fong reported the best striper fishing on the San Joaquin occurring for trollers working from the Antioch Bridge to Eddo’s Marina. He added, “The largemouth bite has been good, but there have been few large fish. Topwater lures in the mornings and punching in the afternoons have been productive.” The Bass Fest was held out of Russo’s Marina on September 9-10 and 131 boats participated in the half-day tournament and 22 booth trade show on both days. The tournament was a three-fish weigh-in, and it was taken by Ed Christo and Joshua Lim at 18 pounds. The big fish of the event was landed by Lori Birch with a largemouth at 10.45 pounds while drop-shotting. Tournament director Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, was on the water this past Wednesday and he reported an excellent bite with the ima Little Stick or the Heli P prop bait in the afternoon. He said, “If your worked the bait slow and kept it in the strike zone, you got hit, but if you retrieved the lures too fast, the fish didn’t want it. The key is to find moving water and toss into the glancing current. The bass know there is a weather change on the way, and they are loading up on shad and crawdads. The ima Squarebill crankbait and the Rock N’Vibe Suspend are also working in crawdad patterns. The river is looking beautiful with green water.” Captain Mike Gravert of Intimidator Sport Fishing out of Korth’s Pirates Lair Marina at the mouth of the Mokelumne said, “We have been fishing our regular haunts in and around the San Joaquin this week with a mixed bag of results as the water temperatures are still running high and the transition has yet to take place. We drifted Golden State baits jumbo minnows along with bluegill, and the stripers seemed to prefer the bluegill. There are a ton of ‘Rats,” shakers in the system, and the Blade Runner/P-Line Laser minnows spoon bite was wide open for all the small ones you wanted.” The Don Lee Memorial Scholarship Fund tournament was held out of Russo’s Marina on Sept. 9, and Tanner Austin and Matthew Abella took first place with a 19.10-pound limit including the big fish of the tournament at 10.10 pounds. Dan Mathisen of Dan’s Delta Outdoors in Oakley said, “Stripers are showing up in Frank’s Tract to the Old River Flats, and topwater lures such as Pencil Poppers are working on the high tide.” Optima’s Bubba Shad swimbait is also effective. Largemouth bass are found near current with reaction baits such as chatterbaits and spinnersbaits, and the angler’s thumbs are getting raw as the bass are eating more soft profile baits such as shad instead of digging in the rocks for crawdads. Drop-shotting is also working in the current at depths from 8- to 10- feet.
Lake Nacimiento/San Antonio/Santa Margarita/Lopez
Bass 2; White bass 2; Striper 2; Catfish 3; Crappie 3
Lopez remains the best coastal lake for all species with the normal pattern of topwater lures in the early mornings before working the bottom with creature baits or large plastic worms on the drop-shot. Panfishing is good with crappie hitting minijigs or small plastics while bluegill and red ear perch are gobbling red worms, meal worms or wax worms close to structure. Catfishing is fair with cut baits or nightcrawlers. A webcam is available at 805webcams.com/lopez-lake-webcam/. At Nacimiento, white bass remain off and on with a few schools holding near the normal locations of Las Tablas or the Narrows. Spotted bass are following the pattern of topwater lures in the early mornings before throwing crankbaits or working the bottom with plastics on the drop-shot. The most consistent bite remains with plastics on the drop-shot or dart head. The lake continues to release water slowly. A webcam of the lake is available at www.lakenacimientolive.com/. San Antonio has been kicking out quality catfish with stink baits, cut baits or nightcrawlers while bass fishing is far with the best action with plastics on the drop-shot. There is still some remnants of the algae bloom remaining in the lake. Striped bass trollers are finding slow action with swimbaits in the deepest water near the dam. Santa Margarita is improving for all species with crappie hitting minijigs or small plastics on the outside weed line while bluegill can be found with red worms or meal worms. The catfish can be found in the coves at night with cut baits or stinkbaits. For bass, the reaction bite remains slow and working the bottom with plastics is the best bet. Reminder thatconsuming white bass, black bass, crappie, catfish, or carp are subject to safe eating guidelines due to excessive mercury. Quagga mussel inspections are required before boat launching is allowed.
- New Jen Bass Tournaments on Sept. 16 Pine Flat: 1, George Rosales 10.82; 2, John Albidrez/Mark Corrente 9.76; 3, Gary Wasson/Daniel Moreno 8.41
- Don Lee Memorial Scholarship Tournament on Sept. 16 at Delta/Russo’s Marina: 1, Tanner Austin/Matthew Abella 19.10 (bosh fish 10.10; 2, Garrett Bradshaw/Josh Gonzalez 17.10; 3, Tom Budesilich/Carlos Delgado 7.20
- Fresno Bass Club on Sept. 17 at Delta/B and W Resort: 1, Dan Marshall 13.76; 2, Bob Trater 10.58; 3, Morgan Swisher 10.39 (big fish 5.03)
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
Oct. 13-15: Rio Vista Bass Festival and Derby at Delta/Rio Vista, www.bassfestival.com.
- Fresno County: Kings River, below Pine Flat Dam
- Tuolumne County: Moccasin Creek, Stanislaus River Clarks and Middle forks
n = new moon > = peak activity