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.
2-Have to work hard
Never miss a local story.
4-Fish jumpin’ in boat
Delta Mendota Canal and Sloughs
Stripers 2 Catfish 2
The northern section of the California Aqueduct is starting to get some play, but the key is to find moving water. Duo Realis jerkbaits on a planer board or Lucky Craft 128’s are effective, but the Lucky Craft 120’s will be in limited supply in area bait shops through December. In the southern aqueduct in Kern County, the story is the same with striped bass and catfish focusing on bait, in particular, blood worms, lug worms or sardines. Lures are not effective at present, but this will change once the moss and debris dissipates and the water cools. Catfishing is best with frozen clams or live crickets. The popularity of the aqueduct has led to increased numbers of anglers, but in order to maintain the right to continue to fish along these public areas fishermen are encouraged to take out all trash and other debris when departing. Some fishermen have been conducting their own cleanup efforts, removing leftover bags of trash left on the levees.
Bass 2; Trout 1; Bluegill 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 1
Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun said, “Deep crankbaits are working best for largemouth bass at depths from 15-20 feet over the larger rockpiles. Creature baits or plastic worms on a Carolina-rig are also effective. The open river arm has been a top location, and moving baits or jigs are another possibility.” A few catfish are taken in the evenings with chicken livers or nightcrawlers. The lake held at 57 percent capacity.
Bass 2; Trout 2; Catfish 2; Bluegill 2; Crappie 1
Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun said, “Trout plants have accounted for decent action from the banks with nightcrawlers or trout dough bait, but the bass fishing is fair at best. Senkos, plastics on the drop-shot, or jigs are all producing numbers of small fish while the opportunity for a larger bass is found with shallow crankbaits or spinnerbaits.” The lake remained stable at 18 percent capacity. Catfish are a possibility with anchovies, nightcrawlers or chicken livers in the evenings.
Lake Don Pedro
Bass 2; Trout 2; King salmon 1; Crappie 2
At Don Pedro, Gomez said, “This lake is starting to take off as there have been limits in the 15- to 18-pound range for a huge improvement. Jigs and plastics on the drop-shot remain the staple. There are a number of big fish in Pedro, but most anglers are tournament fishermen who are looking for a limit. You have to be willing to throw the big baits all day long for the opportunity for a trophy. The big fish season is coming up within the next few weeks, and I will be targeting the larger fish with Huddleston swimbaits.” The Huddleston swimbait in yellow trout with a 12-foot rate of fall is traditionally a go-to lure when the big fish are willing to bite in winter. For rainbow trout and king salmon, action will improve as the water temperatures continue to drop, bringing around the turnover. Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing will return to the lake in December in search of big rainbow trout. Don Pedro rose slightly to 79 percent capacity.
Lake Isabella/Bakersfield area
Bass 1; Trout 1; Crappie 2; Catfish 3; Bluegill 2
Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield said, “Few fishermen are heading up the hill to Lake Isabella, and the best fishing at the lake is for catfish with frozen clams, sardines or nightcrawlers. There have been few bass reports from the past several months, but the shad should start balling up and dropping in the water column soon.” The lake held at 29 percent capacity. The upper and lower sections of the Kern River are scheduled to be planted with rainbows, and this will help the action with salmon eggs, Power Bait, Power Eggs or nightcrawlers. There was a load of trout dropped into Buena Vista before last Saturday’s Taft Chamber of Commerce Trout Derby, but the action on derby day was slow with only 30 or 40 planted rainbows to 6.2 pounds landed out of the 2,000 pounds released. Fishing should improve once the trout acclimate to the small reservoir. The local lakes are scheduled to be planted with catchable rainbows this week.
Bass 3; Crappie 1; Trout 1; Catfish 2
Kaweah has been producing largemouth bass with plastics on the drop-shot along with an early-morning topwater bite. Bass are chasing shad throughout the lake, and they are boiling on the surface at times. The water level has been stable for several weeks, and bass and panfish action has been solid with Bakersfield fishermen taking the drive north to target the lake. The lake is still warmer than normal, and temperatures are expected to be in the low 80s this week. Bluegill can be found with red worms, meal worms or wax worms. The lake rose slightly to 11 percent capacity.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212
Bass 3; Trout 1; Catfish 2; Crappie 2; Bluegill 3
Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield reported good bass action with a variety of lures including crankbaits, plastics, jigs or topwater lures with the lake levels stable. The panfish bite is excellent for bluegill with red worm, meal worms or wax worms. The bass are holding around rocky piles or main lake points, feeding heavily on shad. The lake came up slightly to 10 percent capacity.
Bass 2; Trout 1; King salmon 1; Kokanee 1; Crappie 1; Catfish 2
The Mother Lode lakes of Don Pedro and McClure have been unkind to bass fishermen for the past several weeks, but there seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel as the water temperatures are starting to drop. Mike Gomez of Berserk Baits said, “McClure is getting a little better, and there was a 14-pound limit during Wednesday’s Turkey Shoot from the Breadmen, and jigs did the trick at depths to 35 feet. The Berserk Purple Hornet or brown/purple were the hot colors. The bass have moved up a little bit higher in the water column, and I will be targeting the larger fish with Alabama rigs over the next few weeks. There are a few active fish around 10-15 feet, and this will only get better and better in the coming weeks.” The Fresno Bass Club held a tournament at the lake Sunday, and Morgan Swisher reported 16 limits were weighed in from 25 anglers. The lake rose slightly to 65 percent capacity.
There were 2,000 pounds of rainbow trout from the Calaveras Trout Farm in Snelling released Nov. 9, and trout action has been good with the lake lowered for dam maintenance. The normal locations of the brush pile, handicapped docks and peninsula near the marina are the top locations with trout dough bait, Power Eggs or inflated nightcrawlers. Kastmasters are effective in gold or silver. The lake will be at normal elevation by Thanksgiving.
Call: McSwain Marina 209-378-2534
Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River
Bass 3; Striped bass 1; Bluegill 1; Crappie 2
Millerton remains the top reservoir for numbers, and most central Valley bass fishermen are targeting this location, but Pine Flat is starting to pick up the pace with more tournaments available. Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “Millerton is starting to fish well as we picked up a good mix of fish on a recent trip with the fish holding at depths around 20-30 feet with plastics on the dart head or drop-shot Ned rigs or wacky-rigged Senkos. The Alabama-rig bite has yet to emerge in shallower water, but I did pick up quality largemouth bass to 2 pounds around large boulders with a squarebilled crankbait. The bait fish are holding around the large boulders and in creek channels, and the bass are spitting up bright rusty-red crawdads or shad. Their mouths are red like they are digging around for crawdads. Sandy flats or smaller boulders are not holding the bass right now. There have been far more largemouth bass in both Millerton and Pine Flat this year, most likely due to the high water and warmer water temperatures.” The lake rose slightly to 62 percent capacity.
Call: Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474
New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch
Bass 3; Crappie 2; Catfish 2; Trout 3
As mentioned last week, New Melones has developed a reputation for big spotted and largemouth bass in the winter, and as if on cue, John Liechty of Xperience Fishing Guide Service put meaning to these words with a 15.19 largemouth bass landed on a shad-patterned drop-shot on 4-pound test. Liechty said, “The big female came on a small shad-patterned fluke at 20 feet in depth, and she was spitting up small shad, crappie, and a larger shad in the 5-inch range. It is this time of year for big fish, and I have been picking up a number of larger fish on baits other than swimbaits, so it has changed my approach. I have been using the light line since I get a a few more bites, but the largest bass I have landed so far this year on the light line was a 6-pound spot. Although this was a massive largemouth, my personal-best at 17.4 pounds was also caught and released at New Melones.” Also adding to the amazing week at New Melones, Joann Dunn of Linden smashed the 40-day old lake record for rainbow trout with a massive 9-pound, 10-ounce rainbow landed in Carson Cove on rolled shad at 37 feet deep. The previous record was 8 pounds, 4 ounces set just last month by Ken Hopper of Sonora. Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing is back to the Mother Lode lakes from a few weeks of river salmon fishing out of metropolitan Sacramento, and he is ready to get back to hooking the huge rainbow trout that he was on during August and September. The Glory Hole Sports Catfish Tournament started Nov.1 with 45 entered contestants and the largest fish so far at 9.85 pounds on nightcrawlers. The derby ends Nov. 30. Crappie are holding in the marina and around Angels Cove near structure at 20 feet with pearl tube jigs or Mepps spinners with a paddle-tail minnow. The lake rose slightly to 83 percent capacity.
Pine Flat Reservoir/Kings River
Bass 2; Trout 1; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
At Pine Flat, Newman said, “You have to run and gun for them right now just like at Millerton as the fish aren’t stacked up, but crankbaits, plastics on the drop-shot or Alabama rigs in deep water from 30-50 feet are working for spot along with more largemouths. There is a good spoon bite with ice jigs at depths to 30 feet. The majority of fish are small, but there is the occasional 2- to 5-pounder landed. Ned rigs are also working. The crappie bite has not been as wide open as in the past few weeks, but the slabs are starting to settle down into more predictable locations around structure. Anglers are using one-sixteenths or one-thirty-second jigs on a slow presentation as the water is getting colder. The trout bite has been slow with the best action in the lower Kings with salmon eggs, Kastmasters or trout dough bait.” The lake rose slightly at Pine Flat to 46 percent capacity.
San Luis Reservoir and O’Neill Forebay
Striper 3; Catfish 2; Bass 2; Crappie 1
San Luis Reservoir continues to pump out numbers of striped bass, and the hot action of the past few weeks continues as the water temperatures are cooling and lake levels falling. Roger George of Roger’s Guide Service said, “I took out Dr Mark Chin and his son Steven (30) of Fresno and Stan Wong (brother in law) of San Jose. We caught over 30 stripers to 23 inches on white or shad colored lures in the 40- to 65-foot range. Overall the bite was off that day for many anglers I talked to. After the storm, the fish were more finicky than usual it seemed. The water temperature is in the 65-degree range. I feel the patterns are becoming more like they were before the lake rose so much this year. The mild conditions are helping things stay fairly stable for now, too. We had fish coughing up small shrimp and gobies, too. There also are a lot of smaller fish in the system right now. There are a lot of reports touting the bite, but I see a lot of anglers who are struggling. It can be tough; the fish are moving.” Jesus Reyes Silva of JKings Lures and Hollister was out Saturday with John James Sanchez along with Steve Stahope, and he said, “We launched at Dinosaur Point at 7 a.m., and we started trolling straight ahead toward Highway 152, and within 5 minutes, we saw stripers splashing on the surface. Investigating further, when we got to this spot, there were striper boils all over the place. For the next hour, we caught and released stripers from 22-28 inches on topwater lures including Lucky Crafts, River2Sea, and my lures. When the fish moved into deeper water, we started trolling again in the back of Portuguese Cove with JKings Lures in shad-patterns at depths from 20-35 feet. The fish were very aggressive in striking the lures, and Steve Stahope caught and released his personal best at 30 inches.” Travis Porter of Hollister found similar action Saturday, saying, “K.C. Wilson and I were out from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., and we found a decent bite, catching and releasing 14 legal linesides to 24.5 inches trolling JKings Lures and 5-inch swimbaits at depths to 40 feet around Highway 152 and in Portuguese Cove. I also saw a group soaking anchovies in Portuguese Cove for stripers to 27 inches. The fish are still scattered out, but the bigger ones are starting to come around.” Mickey Clements of Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill said, “San Luis has been outstanding for some time, and several anglers are chasing boils in the coves to the left of Dinosaur Point and in Portuguese Cove. Jumbo minnows have also been good in the main lake, and trollers are working the humps by the Trash Racks with Lucky Craft 128’s, Yozuri Crystal Minnows, or large Rat-L-Traps. The smaller schoolies are getting larger and larger, and fish in the 22-inch range are the norm.” Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “The striped bass are pushing the bait into the coves around Dinosaur Point, Portuguese Cove, and the Romero Visitor Center are the top areas in the early mornings or evenings for topwater action with River2Sea Whopper Ploppers or shad-patterned stickbaits. The umbrella rig bite is also good, and the shallows are holding big fish in the mornings and evenings.” In the O’Neill Forebay, Clements said, “It is more of a lure bite right now with ripbaits, umbrella rigs and topwater lures as the fishermen are chasing boils. Bank anglers are focusing around areas with moving water such as Check 12 or the 33 Bridge with pile worms, blood worms or chicken livers.” San Luis held at 70 percent capacity.
Bass 2; Trout 1
The bass bite is fair at best, but the fish are moving shallower during the hours from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. with ripbaits and crankbaits, In the early mornings, plastics on the drop-shot are best, but the bite is slow. Weeds continue to be a concern, and drop-shot rigs on a 16-inch leader are the best way to stay above the weeds. When the wind blows, there is a squarebill crankbait or ripbait bite in the shallows around the mud line. Crappie are found on a dead-stick presentation at 10-15 feet as the slabs are suspended off the shoreline. There still are no trout reports. The lake dropped to 60 percent capacitty. Webcams of the lake are available at basslakeca.com/.
Brown trout 2; Trout 2
Lake Edison continues to produce rainbows and browns from the banks with trout dough bait. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun said, “One couple landed seven trout to 14 inches within 3 hours.” The Vermilion Valley Resort at Lake Edison has closed for the season. Edison is at 46 percent capacity, Florence at 2 percent and Mammoth Pool at 7 percent.
Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake
Kokanee 1; Trout 2
Shaver Lake trout fishing is fair at best, but Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters will be back on a part-time basis for the 2018 season. Nichols has established quite a clientele at Shaver over the past several year, and he contemplated and announced his retirement from guiding earlier this fall. However, due to interest from his client base, Nichols will be back on the lake Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays starting in April 2018. He said, “After fishing over 200 days a year for the past several years, it was time to move on to other interests, but it is difficult to let go completely so I will be back on a part-time basis to do what I love to do. I will be taking on more youth projects through the Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project including the annual Shaver Lake Youth Fishing Derby, the Boy Scouts Fishing merit badge program at Camp Chawanakee, and the new Captain Jack Yandell Scholarship program. Yandell is the co-founder of the SLTTP, and we will be awarding a scholarship for college for a deserving high school senior. The annual Sportsman’s Dinner provides the majority of the funds for our projects including the trophy trout plants in the spring, and the coming year’s dinner will be Aug. 11. The dinner will also be a tribute to Captain Jack.” The SLTTP is soliciting donations , which can be sent to P.O. Box 998, Shaver Lake 93664. A letter of thanks and tax deductible information will be returned to each donor. Shaver Lake has dropped to 60 percent capacity, with Huntington at 67 percent. There were no reports from Huntington.
The arrival of cold and wet weather has slowed interest in the central Sierra reservoirs for rainbow trout, but Courtright remains the best option with trout dough bait or inflated nightcrawlers. The lack of snow has kept the high country lakes open, but the roads to Courtright, Wishon, and Edison will close once the snow arrives. Chuck Crane of the Wishon RV Park and Store said, “The gate at Dinkey Creek will close on Dec. 1, and although the road to Courtright in currently open, a snowstorm will close access to the lake. There have been few fishermen heading up to Courtright, but Wishon is still kicking out a few rainbows for trollers working at depths to 20 feet with blade/’crawler combinations or Rapalas.”
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
Rockfish 4; Striper 1; Crabs 4
Second Captain Michael Cabanas of the Huli Cat ran the boat over the weekend while Captain Tom Mattusch was making a presentation to the PFMC on the deepwater chilipepper rockfish, and they put in lings to 18 pounds along with cabezon to 7 pounds in addition to crab limits. Some of the pots are holding as many as 25-30 legal Dungeness. Farther north in Pacifica, Rob Chaney of the Rusty Hook in Pacifica said, “The pier was closed on Saturday, but there were fishermen lining up at 4 a.m. on Sunday morning to enter the pier. The pier is very crowded on the weekends, and weekdays are also filled with crabbers, but not as intense as on the weekends. Crabbing has been fair at best with the best action with snares loaded with squid or anchovies.”
Rockfish 4; Striper 1; Crab 2
Chris Arcoleo of Chris’ Fishing in Monterey reported the big lings are moving in, and Captain Tinker Neece ran south about halfway to Point Sur for 20 limits of lings to a whopping 35 pounds with several others in the 15- to 25-pound range. They weren’t using live bait, and the lings were taken on bars. In addition to limits of lings, they also had limits of big rockfish. Crabbing remains slow with an average of two crab per angler. Arcoleo added, “Another small boat went to Point Sur with four anglers for limits of lings and rockfish.” Chris’ only has the occasional room on weekdays for the coming month as the interest in the combination trips remains high.
San Francisco Bay
Halibut 1; Striper 4; Rockfish 4; Leopard shark 3; Sturgeon 2; Crab 4
Captain Chris Smith of the Happy Hooker put together a tremendous weekend for his customers with two trips to the Farallon Islands producing a total over 75 lings to nearly 20 pounds along with limits of crab and rockfish. He said, “This is an incredible time to be out on the water!” Second Captain Mike Verrone of the California Dawn out of Berkeley is also producing with 32 limits of big crab, 32 limits of rockfish and 12 ling cod. He said, “The guys who were targeting lings got them.” They have a crab-only trip on Thanksgiving Day leaving at 6 a.m. and returning around 11 a.m. for $100. Inside the bay, Captain Trent Slate of Bite Me Charters out of Loch Lomond continues to find great action on crab/striped bass combination trips, and he said, “The shallow strings aren’t producing crab, but the deep strings have been tremendous. The pots were so heavy and loaded with big crab that we had a hard time lifting them over the rail. The bass fishing has been crazy as the birds continue to work. Captain Jim Smith was driving over the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge this week, and he saw Soleman and my boat working the birds. He said, ‘Back in the day, all of these bass would be in the 15- to 20-pound range.” Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle confirmed the great striped bass action, and he has added live jack smelt to his bait tanks for drifting for striped bass or ling cod. He said, “The tides are a bit weak over the Thanksgiving Weekend for sturgeon fishing since the San Pablo Bay sturgeon prefer the minus outgoing tides. It is just a matter of time before the sturgeon bite takes off. Ghost shrimp has been difficult to obtain with the inclement weather in the Pacific Northwest, but the local supply of grass shrimp and bullhead have been a bonus.” Big striped bass to 30 pounds continue to be landed both in the flats of San Pablo Bay and off the Burlingame shore with live jack smelt or cut bullheads.
San Luis Obispo
Limits of rockfish and the occasional ling cod are still possible with just over a month left in the 2017 rockfish season out of both San Luis Obispo County ports. Out of Morro Bay Landing, the Endeavor and Avenger put up tremendous ling cod numbers Sunday with a combined 94 lings to 17 pounds to go with limits of rockfish including 100 vermilion, 60 copper, 100 Bolina, 246 assorted rockfish, seven ocean whitefish and four cabezon. The Fiesta out of Virg’s Landing in Morro Bay was out Monday with 25 anglers for limits of assorted rockfish along with 14 ling cod to 9.7 pounds. Out of Patriot Sport Fishing in Port San Luis, the Phenix and the Patriot went out Monday with 36 anglers for limits composed of 30 vermilion, 39 copper, 131 Bolina, 159 assorted rockfish and one cabezon to go with 15 ling cod to 10 pounds. All landings are taking a variety of trips ranging from half-day to long range in the coming weeks with the season ending Dec. 31.
Bass 3; Striper 3; Sturgeon 3; Catfish 2; Bluegill 3; Salmon 1
Salmon action has slowed to a crawl, but striped bass and sturgeon are moving into prime time in the Sacramento-Delta. The coming rain should only make for a better and better bite for these species as the Sacramento River muddies up. Alan Fong, manager of Fisherman’s Warehouse in Sacramento, said, “Normally by this time of year, the Sacramento River is muddy, and the north Delta is very clear and devoid of striped bass. My last trip to Liberty Island only produced one 10-pounder on a swimbait, and I went in at the optimum time at high tide. The water is gin clear, and the bass aren’t there. They might be zipping in and out, but they aren’t staying long. Most guys are looking at the calendar and figuring that the stripers should be here, but striped bass don’t look at the calendar. They come when the conditions are right. The best action has been around Decker Island and below, and there are a number of striped bass on the San Joaquin. Once the Sacramento River muddies up, the bite will be on.” The sturgeon bite was slower, but the bite broke out with the larger tides over the weekend. Second Captain Shawn Taylor of Barbarian Sport Fishing out of Martinez stuck it out at Roe/Ryer Island on Saturday, and they were rewarded with five limits of sturgeon for their clients. Captain John Badger of Barbarian Sport Fishing said, “We put in four keepers on Friday as well, and we have been limiting out every trip but Wednesday in the last week. They bit on both tides on Saturday, and salmon roe has been the hot bait. This coming week, the tides will be smaller.” Captain Steve Mitchell of Hook’d Up Sport Fishing out of Pittsburg Marina found good action on both Saturday and Sunday for sturgeon near the Middle Grounds and the Pittsburg PGE plant. He said, “There are lots and lots of fish out there, and we had nine or 10 good opportunities on Saturday as the fish were biting aggressively. The difficult part of sturgeon fishing is setting the hook, and my clients had a big learning curve with several missed opportunities. We ended up a slot fish and two shakers on both Saturday and Sunday, and uncured roe was the top bait.” Tony Lopez of Benicia Bait and Tackle said, “The striped bass bite for big fish out of McAvoy’s remains outstanding with several big fish taken on live splittail or bullheads. We are selling out of bullheads on a regular basis. Sturgeon fishing is solid near Chain Island, and one of our customers put in two limits on consecutive days. When the fish are around Chain Island, they move in thick. The salmon bite has all but died as we haven’t had a fish reported in the past 10 days.” What a difference a week makes as the striped bass have moved into the San Joaquin-Delta in larger numbers after relatively slow action the prior week. Crappie are found in the back sloughs of the south Delta with live minnows or minijigs, and large bluegill are the rule with large red worms on a drop-shot rig. Captain Stan Koenigsberger of Quetzal Adventures out of Bethel Harbor was soaking shad in False River with three generations of fishermen on Sunday, and they landed five striped bass to 18 pounds, releasing the big fish. After the tide slowed, they trolled near Marker 17 for another few fish before ending the day at 17A on the anchor with shad. He said, “We put in three limits of quality stripers, releasing the big fish along with several other keepers.” Dan Mathisen of Dan’s Delta Outdoors in Oakley was out throwing Optimum’s Bad Bubba Shad swimbait on Sunday, and he reported a vastly improved bite with swimbaits as the water temperature has dropped into the high 60s. For largemouth bass, he said, “The big is decent at the base of the weed lines with the Walk A Sack from Greg Gutierrez along with 6-inch KVD ripbaits, spinnerbaits, or prop baits such as the Devil Horse.” Fong confirmed the quality grade of striped bass moving into the San Joaquin. He said, “There have been a number of double-digit fish landed in the past week, but once the water muds up on the Sacramento River, they will be moving over to the other side.” Captain Mike Gravert of Intimidator Sport Fishing out of Korth’s Pirates Lair said, “This week the fish through us a curve ball and have all went deep at depths from 35-45 feet, leading to a number of undersized linesides that weren’t present a few week’s ago. False River has produced some fish, but its a day-to-day,hour-to-hour , and minute-to0minute bite battling the weed mats that come on and off the tracts during the tides. On Sunday, Piper Slough was good to us on the outgoing tide, but it is still a hunt and peck bite.” Vince Borges of Vince Borges Outdoors and Phenix Rods was out on the San Joaquin-Delta the past two days including during Thursday’s rainstorm, and he said, “We must have landed 40 bass on Thursday, and we were throwing big baits such as white flukes, chatterbaits and River2Sea swimbaits in white ice. The fish are oriented to the flats and along the edges of the flats. My client had an estimated 7- and 5-pound largemouth come unbuttoned on Thursday, and we could have put in limits of striped bass in the 18- to 20-inch range. There were loads of tiny stripers out there in the San Joaquin. The water actually warmed up a degree to 58 degrees, and the temperatures have been around the 56- to 58- degree range.” Luther Thompson of H and R Bait in Stockton reported striped bass to 36 inches have been landed off Bacon Island Road with live bluegill, but the majority of bluegill have been too large for bait. He said, “The bluegill are up to 12 inches in length, and the first and second bridges off of Eight Mile Road or Whiskey Slough are the top areas for panfish. Crappie are also holding in these areas with live minnows. We have fresh shad in the shop now.” Christian Lauritzen of Lauritzen’s Yacht Harbor in Oakley said, “Some fisherman but not all had their limits of stripers, and Paul Wong of Antioch was out fishing with his buddy Tony Demaso and limited out to 10 pounds using live bluegill. Some of the stripers have been caught caught right outside the harbor on the sand bar drifting blue gill. For the most part I would say that striper fishing will continue to be good to great as long as the water conditions are what they are today. To mean the water does not muddy up due to the incoming rain storm that the Bay Area is supposed to be experiencing in the next day or so. As far as I can see with the naked eye almost up to False River, there are no mats of water hyacinths floating in the river right now. If we do get a good rain/wind storm in the next day or so the San Joaquin River could be a sea of green. What will happen is in all of the areas of the Delta where the water hyacinths are protected all summer long, the southeast wind will blow out the water hyacinths from those protected areas and that big green mat will float out on to the Sacramento and San Joaquin River impacting everyone. What really helps is to have about two or three weeks of hard freeze that will go a long way towards killing the water hyacinth. The down side is that if the water hyacinths dies and is now blown out by the southeast winds then that dead bio mass just sinks in that slough where it grew all summer long and will re grow next spring when the water temperature gets just right.”
Lake Nacimiento/San Antonio/Santa Margarita/Lopez
Bass 2; White bass 1; Striper 1; Catfish 3; Crappie 3
Lake Nacimiento spotted bass action has been very good with spoons or plastics on a drop-shot, but the topwater and spinnerbait bite has slowed a bit. White bass are showing up at times in the main river channels and in the deepest water in coves with small white spoons or spinners. The lake has dropped to 43 percent. A webcam of the lake is available at lakenacimientolive.com/. At Lopez, there is a topwater bite early in the mornings or late in the afternoons with small poppers before working reaction baits by mid-morning and throughout the day. Spinnerbaits are effective when the wind is blowing. Bluegill are thick with red worms, meal worms, or wax worms. A webcam of the lake is available at 805webcams.com/lopez-lake-webcam/. At San Antonio, the lake is on its winter schedule and open on weekends only from Friday morning at 6 a.m. until Sunday at 6 p.m. There is a striped bass bite with shad swimbaits packed on an umbrella rig along with larger swimbaits soli. Crappie are showing up around structure, but they are small. At Santa Margarita, the crappie bite is good with minijigs or small spoons, and catfish are taken on nightcrawlers. Largemouth bass are taken on a variety of lures including plastics on the drop-shot, spoons, and crankbaits. Reminder that consuming white bass, black bass, crappie, catfish or carp is subject to safe eating guidelines because of excessive mercury. Quagga mussel inspections are now required before boat launching is allowed.
- California Bass Nation State Team Qualifier on Nov. 12 at Nacimiento: 1, Brad Sheppard 21.64 pounds; 2, Darrin Bishop 21.09; 3, Nick Wood 21.07
- 16th annual Clovis Police Tournament on Nov. 18 at Pine Flat: 1, Dave Nishimoto/Pierre Matthews 12.45 pounds; 2, Bob Boyd/Mike Haroutunian 10.76; 3, Xang Vang/Yeng Her 10.22 (big fish 4.39)
- New Jen Bass Tournaments on Nov. 18 at Pine Flat: 1, Dave Nishimoto/Pierre Matthews 12.45 pounds; 2, Brett Kemmer/Derek Burns 10.32; 3, Xang Vang/Yeng Her 10.22 (big fish 4.39)
- Fresno Bass Club on Nov. 19 at McClure: 1, Joe Alanis 8.84 pounds; 2, Mark Corrente 8.54; 3, Mike Brossard 8.50 (big fish 3.25)
- Central Valley Kayak Fishing on Nov. 19 at Kaweah: 1, Chava Moua 54.5 inches; 2, Chue Vang 53.75; 3, Kongo Thao 52.5; Ken Bma, big fish, 23.75 inches. Kayak tournaments don’t weigh fish, but instead they are measured on a predefined board and digital pictures taken that are then judged based on a set of rules.
- Dec. 2: Delta/Russo’s Marina, American Bass Association; Delta/Tracy Oasis, Tracy Bass Club; McClure, California Tournament Trail; Pine Flat, Kerman Bass Club; Nacimiento, American Bass Association
- Dec. 9: McClure, New Jen Bass Tournaments; Pine Flat, Sierra Bass Club
- Dec. 10: Don Pedro, Riverbank Bass Anglers/Modesto Ambassadors; McClure, Fresno Bass Club; Pine Flat – Kings VIII Bass Club
- Dec. 16: Millerton, New Jen Bass Tournaments
- Dec. 17: Delta/Russo’s Marina, Hook, Line, and Sinker; Eastman, Central Valley Kayak Fishing
- Dec. 19: New Melones, Sonora Bass Anglers
- Fresno County: Kings River, below Pine Flat Dam; Pine Flat Reservoir
- Kern County: Hart Park Lake; Kern River, sections 2, 4; Ming Lake; River Walk Lake; Truxtun Lake
- Madera County: Eastman Lake; Hensley Lake
- Mariposa County: Eastman Lake
- Tulare County: Success Reservoir
q = quarter moon