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.
• Try dynamite
•• Have to work hard
Never miss a local story.
••• Limits possible
•••• Fish jumpin’ in boat
Delta Mendota Canal and Sloughs
Striper ••• Catfish ••
Striper action in the California Aqueduct continues to roll. Adam Moore of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “99% of our striper guys are heading to the aqueduct between Kettlemen City and Firebaugh as (it) has been the top location with the Delta-Mendota the second option. Sales of Duo Realis 120 SP’s in ghost minnow or Sexy Shad or Lucky Craft 128’s have been in high demand with white flukes also working.” Patrick Movey of the Fisherman’s Warehouse in Fresno added, “The fish bite in waves, and the best fishing is in the early mornings or late evenings, and the 4- to 5-inch Jackal Glossy Shad swimbait has been a top selling lure.” The key is moving in order to find schools congregating around the headgates with moving water. As pumping from the Delta has increased in the past weeks, there are more periods of current in both conveyance systems. In the south aqueduct in Kern County, Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield reported good action for striped bass with topwater lures, blood worms, sardines, or anchovies. The moss and debris have cleared with the heavy flows. Catfish, bluegill and crappie all have been taken out of the aqueduct. The majority of striped bass in the south aqueduct remain undersized, and careful measurement is necessary when keeping a fish.
Bass •• Trout • Bluegill •• Catfish •• Crappie •
There has been minimal interest in bass fishing over the past week with the low water levels and heavy aquatic growth in the shallows. Colder temperatures should cause the weeds to die off. Catfishing remains best at night with shad, chicken livers and night crawlers, but the cooler water has slowed interest. There are unmarked hazards throughout the lake because of the low water levels. The area of the lake extending upstream from the buoy line near the Cordoniz Launch Ramp is open, but submerged hazards are not marked. This is currently a no-wake zone and will be open until Nov. 30, when bald eagles traditionally return to nest. The lake held at 469.08 feet in elevation and 8% capacity. Lakeview Trail remains open.
Call: Six Star Tackle Box 673-5688; Eastman Lake 689-3255
Bass •• Trout • Catfish •• Bluegill •• Crappie ••
Few fishermen are heading to the lake with the launch ramp unavailable to large boats. The ramp is not blocked and kayaks, canoes, or float tubes are able to be placed into the shallow lake. Catfish remained the top species with anchovies, sardines, chicken livers or night crawlers, although the whiskerfish action has slowed in the past week. The lake held at 447.84 feet in elevation and 5% capacity.
Call: Fresno Fisherman’s Warehouse 225-1838; Valley Rod Gun, Clovis 292-3474; Six Star Tackle Box 673-5688; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Hensley Lake Hidden Dam 673-5151
Lake Don Pedro
Bass •• Trout •• Kokanee • King salmon • Crappie ••
There has been minimal fishing interest. Heavy spoons on lead core line at 5-7 colors in open water have produced rainbows to 17 inches within the past week. Manny Basi of the Bait Barn in Waterford said, “Jumbo minnows remain the top techniques for shore fishermen, with tournament anglers scoring with shad-patterned plastics such as Reaction Innovation’s Bad Shad Green or Robo Worm’s Hologram Shad on the drop-shot.” The bass bite was reported to be tough during Sunday’s Fresno Bass Club tournament, with the best action on weighted Senkos in sunny locations. The Flemings Meadow Launch Ramp is still a viable option for launching, and the marina is still in the water. Jay Graham of the Fresno Bass Club advised boaters to be cautious when launching in the early morning in the dark since the ramp is quite narrow. He also warned boaters of an unmarked rock just above the current surface 50 yards from the west side of the Hetch Hetchy Aqueduct at its crossing with the lake. There is a 5-mph limit from the ramp at Blue Oaks Recreation Area to the buoy line at the mouth of Fleming Bay. The lake is at 692.80 feet in elevation and 37% capacity.
Call: Monte Smith (209) 581-4734; Danny Layne-Fish’n Dan (209) 586-2383; Gary Vella (209) 652-7550; Bait Barn (209) 874-3011
Lake Isabella/Bakersfield area
Bass •• Trout ••• Crappie •• Catfish •• Bluegill ••
The Taft Chamber of Commerce Trout Derby was Saturday at Buena Vista and the lake was stocked with trout to 15 pounds ahead of the event. A 7-pounder won the derby, and there was a 13-pound rainbow brought to the scales after the weigh-in had ended. Rainbow/garlic, Chunky Cheese or garlic Power Bait have been the top baits, but the big fish was landed on a Berkley Mice Tail. The local lakes all received heavy plants of rainbow trout over the past week, and Woolomes, Truxtun and Hart Park are to be planted again this week. In the Kern River, trout plants began in the upper section of the river a few weeks back, and action has been good in the deeper holes with night crawlers. More plants are also scheduled in the upper and lower Kern River during the current week. In the lower river, the plants have centered near Hobo Campground and Sandy Flats. At Isabella, Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield reported a few crappie can be found around the marina or in the deeper portions of the lake if “you find the right submerged tree and the right depth.” Small minnows or minijigs are working for the few slabsides. Catfish continued to bite garlic shrimp, garlic chicken livers, frozen shad or sardines. Bass fishing remains tough, and most fishermen do not recognize the locations of the remaining rockpiles with the low lake levels. Boats are still able to launch from the dirt near Red’s Marina, but a four-wheel-drive vehicle is advised. The lake dropped slightly to 2,529.62 feet in elevation and 8% capacity.
Call: Bob’s Bait (661) 833-8657; North Fork Marina (760) 376-1812
Bass •• Crappie •• Trout • Catfish ••
Small bass continued to be the rule, but locating larger fish is difficult. There is a reaction bite in the early morning or late afternoon with swimbaits. Drop-shotting shad-patterned worms is most effective during the day. The shad are starting to school up in the cooler water. Catfishing is slowing, but chicken livers, sardines, anchovies or dip baits are working for a few whiskerfish. The crappie bite is just starting to emerge as the slabsides are oriented to the exposed structure throughout the lake. The lake rose nearly a foot to 591.40 in elevation and 8% capacity. The launch ramp is open with “no problem” launching.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212
Bass •• Trout • Catfish ••• Crappie •••
Chuck Stokke of Sequoia Fishing Co. in Springville reported fishermen have been lining the banks of the lowered reservoir, seeking catfish or carp with a variety of baits. There haven’t been any small craft, including float tubes, on the lake over the past week. The deepest portion is only 21 feet, and few bass fishermen are working the banks with the fish holding in the deeper water. Both launch ramps are nearly 10 feet out of the water, but tubes, canoes or kayaks can be put into the lake from the shore. Stokke has been fishing the local ponds and reported excellent action for crappie with Woolley Buggers in rust or brown patterns. The lake rose slightly to 575.88 feet in elevation and 4% capacity. In the Tule River, Stokke reported the colder water has allowed for a nymph bite with Pheasant Tail Flashbacks or Psycho Mercers as the dry flies are only effective in the sun-drenched portions of the river. He said, “The Wishon Fork currently has a decent flow of water.” The gate is closed at Hidden Falls, but Balch Park is open.
Call: Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626, www.sequoiafishingcompany.com
Bass •• Trout •• King salmon • Kokanee • Crappie •• Catfish •••
Barrett Cove North Ramp remains the sole entrance for boats accessing the lake, and the ramp is open only in daylight hours. Drought effects have severely affected fishing interest in the lake. The South Ramp at Barrett Cove remains closed, as well as the Barrett Cove and McClure Point marinas. Small boats such as kayaks and canoes are able to be launched from the shore. Low lake levels have exposed locations previously inaccessible. The lake dropped another 1.5 feet to 602.41in elevation and 8% capacity. A 5.5-mile stretch of the Merced River in Snelling remains closed to fishing because of low water conditions.
Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505; Bub Tosh (209) 404-0053
Trout plants are scheduled on a weekly basis from Calaveras Trout Farm or the Department of Fish and Wildlife. Bank fishing continued to be best with rainbow or chartreuse Power Bait from the brush pile, handicapped docks or points near the marina. The lake levels have returned to full after the lake was lowered for maintenance at the end of October. The water clarity has returned. Trolling has been slower, but the clearing water and increase in trout plants should bring out better action above the floating restrooms.
Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
Millerton Lake/ San Joaquin River
Bass ••• Striper • Shad • Bluegill ••
Numbers of small spotted bass are the rule, with limits to 8 pounds possible with drop-shotting plastics such as Hologram Shad or Green Weenie at depths to 25 feet. Jigs or vertically jigging spoons also are effective. The swimbait bite should improve with the arrival of cooler weather in the coming months. The lake dropped one feet to 486.59 feet in elevation and 35% of capacity. All boats must fill out a Quagga mussel self-inspection form before launching, and a low-emissions sticker is essential on all motorized craft. In the lower San Joaquin, minimal action or interest remained the story. Trout plants have not started. There are new regulations on the lower San Joaquin, and from Friant Dam downstream to the Highway 140 Bridge, with two hatchery trout or hatchery steelhead allowed and 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.
Call: Fresno Fisherman’s Warehouse 225-1838; Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474
New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch
Bass •• Crappie •• Catfish ••• Trout ••• Kokanee •
The trout bite continued to be on the upward pendulum, with John Lietchy of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp saying, “Trout fishing is actually quite good with trollers finding limits at depths from 15-25 feet using spoons such as Needlefish or ExCels in shad patterns on lead core line or on downriggers as the rainbows are spitting up shad in the 1- to 2-inch range. Top-lining a Rapala JSR Plug is also an effective technique, and I advise trollers to let out plenty of line to ensure that your lure is clear of the boat wake." A 5.5-pound German brown was weighed in at the shop by a troller Sunday, but the fisherman was unable to release the fish as it swallowed the treble hooks. Bank fishing is starting to pick up as the rainbows move closer to the surface. Lietchy advised using a floating ball of rainbow or chartreuse dough bait on a long leader or fan casting a quarter-ounce Kastmaster from the shore. Bass fishing also continues to improve with the lake stabilizing at 21% capacity. Lietchy said, “We are finding most of our fish on the drop-shot; and once you locate the baits, you will be able to catch a bunch of bass.” Vertically jigging spoons also is productive, and the larger fish are coming off jigs such as the California Reservoir Lure’s jigs in crawdad or greens. Scenting the plastics with various Pro-Cure gels helps the fish locate the bait and hold onto the plastic longer in order to allow for a hook set. The schools of bass are holding over cuts, bluffs and points near major creek channels into the main river. Catfishing remained solid, although Lietchy said, “It has slowed down a bit with the cooling water temperatures, but whiskerfish at 11 and 13 pounds were weighed in over the weekend, with an average of 6-7 fish weighed in weekly for our November Catfish Contest.” Elmo Baur of Merced landed a 17.25-pound catfish this week at the Glory Hole Launch Ramp. Lietchy advised using an Oregon Tackle’s Scent Chamber, which replaces the swivel on the leader, and it can be filled Pro–Cure’s scents that will leak out slowly. Chicken livers, frozen shad, sardines, mackerel and anchovies are all working for the whiskerfish. The Glory Hole Launch Ramp is open with a gravel launch, but a four-wheel-drive tow vehicle is advised to pull the trailer off the loose gravel on the ramp. The lake is at 858.48 feet in elevation and 21% capacity.
Call: Glory Hole Sports (209) 736-4333; Monte Smith (209) 581-4734; Danny Layne-Fish’n Dan (209) 586-2383; Sierra Sport Fishing (209) 599-2023
Pine Flat Reservoir/Kings River
Kokanee • Bass ••• Trout •• King salmon • Catfish •• Crappie ••
Overcast days have produced spotted bass to 4 pounds on jigs, spinnerbaits or crankbaits. The bite is much better on cloudy than sunny days, and limits to 12 pounds have been reported. Roosevelt High sponsored its November Bass Tournament, and the young anglers found good success using jigs all day — from 10-30 feet early, before most of the fish moved to 20-35 as the sun got higher. Pro Worms 6-inch worm in Pro Gold with small red flake and Morning Dawn were perhaps the most popular patterns with the fish, and a brown and purple jig was what Jorge Ruelas and Brandon Lum used to win the tournament. Trout action remained very slow, with most heading up the hill to take advantage of the terrific action at one of the high country lakes. Catfishing also has slowed. The lake rose 1 foot to 722.26 in elevation and 12% capacity. The Department of Fish and Wildlife will be releasing 50,004 kokanee and 74,991 king salmon fingerlings this year. Boaters need to confirm ramp conditions as some are currently inaccessible. In the lower Kings River, the Fresno Fly Fishers continue to request that all club members refrain from fishing that stretch until further notice, based on the elevated average temperatures because of lower than normal flows over the past weeks amid minimal releases from Pine Flat Reservoir. Warm water in the river has severely affected the trout bite. Trout plants have yet to resume. There are special regulations in the Kings River above and below Pine Flat Dam.
Call: Fresno Fisherman’s Warehouse 225-1838; Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474; Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626; The I Forgot Store 787-3689
San Luis Reservoir and O’Neill Forebay
Striper ••• Catfish •• Bass •• Crappie •
San Luis Reservoir is set to produce quality striped bass during the generally productive months of November and December. Roger George of Roger’s Guide Service, one of the only guides operating on the lake, said, “The water levels have risen to over the 423,000 acre-foot mark, stabilizing the bite and causing the fish to seek out structure.” George has been trolling at depths from 60-80 feet with shad-patterned lures, and caught and released as many as 28 stripers to 24 inches on a recent six-hour trip with Louis Moosios and Jessica Fizak. “We lost a bigger fish, too, but a fishing buddy, Jordan Combs of Los Banos, caught and released a 22-pounder fishing near us. He used the new Seaquilizer release tool I’m also using that lets you grip the fish’s lip like a Boga grip. You then hook up the unit to your downrigger ball or cable with the fish attached and let it down. Once it reaches the preprogrammed depth it pops open and releases the now pressure equalized unharmed fish. Its an awesome tool, saving lots of big, deep caught fish. It’s really good for the big fish because it gently and quickly restores a tired big or small striper back to a depth where they can recover.” George caught and released numerous striped bass in excess of 20 pounds during the fall 2013/spring 2014 season. Andrew Yeh of Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill confirmed the good action within the main lake with sales of jumbo minnows increasing. He said, “Most of our anglers are drifting minnows near the bottom around the dam or trolling lures such as P-Line Predator Minnows, Smithwicks, Yozuri’s, or broken-backed Rebels for the larger striped bass at depths from 60-90 feet in front of the Basalt Recreation Area, Romero Visitor Center, Portuguese Cove or Goosehead Point between the exposed island tops. Anglers should always have a paddletail swimbait at the ready in the event of a topwater boil.” The ramp at the Basalt Recreation Area should be going back to the normal position soon. O’Neill Forebay also is producing linesides on white flukes, RatLTraps in chrome/blue back, shad or chrome/black back near Check 12. Yeh of Coyote Bait reported, “Paddle-tailed swimbaits fished weedless or with the hook on top are a good option as well as topwater lures during the boils in the early mornings or evenings.” The weed growth is starting to die off, and the best action has been around Check 12. Bank anglers are tossing blood worms, pile worms or jumbo minnows from the shore. All boats, personal watercraft, kayaks, canoes, sailboards, inflatables and float tubes must undergo a mandatory inspection for Quagga and Zebra mussels.
Call: Coyote Bait andTackle (408) 463-0711, Roger George of rogergeorgeguideservice.com (559) 905-2954
Bass •• Trout •• Kokanee •
Access for large boats is limited, with the lake holding at 47%. Most bass fishermen are reluctant to put their boats in the water. A few aluminum boats are launching, but there have been few bass reports. The swimbait action should pick up within the next few weeks as the lake continues to cool and trout plants begin. Trout fishing will improve once the lake turns over and trout plants resume.
Call: Todd Wittwer 288-8100; Mike Beighey 642-3748
Brown trout •• Trout •••
The Kaiser Pass lakes are open, but the effects of the drought have had major impact on the water levels. All high country lakes maintained their current level, with Mammoth Pool at 10%, Edison 4% and Florence 4%. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis reported trout fishing from the banks has been excellent, with rainbows over 20 inches taken on Power Bait or inflated night crawlers. There has been minimal interest, despite the solid action.
Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000
Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake
Kokanee • Trout •••
Trout action remains solid for boaters at Shaver and bank anglers at Huntington. At Shaver, Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters reported, “Most trout trollers are returning with one or two limits of rainbows during a morning trip, with the fish rising to the 10- to 20-foot level as the water temperatures continued to drop. Spinners tipped with a piece of crawler behind a weighted flasher such as Dick’s Trout Busters or blade/crawler combinations on lead core line at 2-3 colors around Stevenson Creek, the island, Black Rock or Eagle Point are the top options.” Bank fishing is fair around Roads 1 or 2 with trout dough bait or night crawlers. At Huntington, Moore reported excellent action for rainbows from the banks with the occasional 19-inch trout in the mix. Fishermen are walking the banks with garlic trout dough bait, night crawlers or spoons such as Kastmasters or Thomas Buoyants. Launching a boat is limited to small craft such as Port-A-Boat, canoes, or kayaks. Huntington held at 33% capacity. Shaver is at 51%, allowing for easier launching at the Sierra Marina ramp. The Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project will meet Wednesday at the Pizza Factory in Prather. The project board is attempting to increase membership among local anglers. All meetings are open to anyone interested in providing trophy trout to Shaver Lake and helping special-interest groups experience fishing at the lake. The group hosts youth and Native American fishing trips, projects for individuals with special needs, and trophy trout planting. There are no membership dues. If the meeting is successful, the group has plans to permanently move the regular meetings to the Prather area during the evenings on the third Wednesday of the month. An up-to-date view of the ramp and lake is available at www.sierramarina.com.
Call: Dick’s Fishing Charters 841-2740; Dinkey Creek Inn 841-3435; Rancheria Marina 893-3234; Shaver Lake Sports Inc. 841-2740
Most bank fishermen continued to head the extra distance to Wishon or Courtright to experience the “lights out” action. Wishon has been the top option, with the road still open due to rain at elevations over 7,000 feet in the past week. Adam Moore of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis reported, “The better quality of rainbow has been coming out of Wishon with Power Bait, inflated night crawlers or Kastmasters from the banks. Courtright may or may not be accessible at the present time, but action was still solid from the banks within the past week, but we are advising interested fishermen to check road conditions at the Sierra National Forest Service Station in Prather at (559) 855-5355.
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
Albacore • Rockfish ••• Salmon • Striper •• Crabs ••••
The commercial Dungeness crab season opened Saturday, and the first weekend of the season was spectacular with commercial boats loading up with heavy holds for distribution. Sherri Ingles of Half Moon Bay Sport Fishing reported the docks are full of commercial boats selling live crab to the public for $5-$6 per pound. Captain Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat is the only large party boat offering crab/rockfish combination trips, and he said, “Despite some wind in the morning making for dicey conditions getting out of the harbor, the rockfish were on the bite immediately just outside Red Buoy No. 2, and they cooperated everywhere we stopped.” There also are some schools of Spanish mackerel, and they jigged up the mackerel for ling cod bait. Their final count Sunday was 30 limits of rockfish and Dungeness crab along with plenty of ling cod. Mattusch has room Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday on the combination trips. Half Moon Bay Sport Fishing is running bottomfish-only trips into December, and the Queen of Hearts returned with 32 limits of rockfish including two cabezon along with 14 ling cod, while the Riptide posted 19 limits of rockfish and 21 ling cod to 18 pounds with both boats working the reefs from Martin’s Beach south to Pescadero. Ingles added, “Shoreline crabbing has been solid, with anglers tossing traps or snares off of the pier and the breakwater, and surfboards, kayaks, and even float tubes have been effective to get out to deeper water for crab.” She advised not using chicken as a crab bait inside the harbor since the chicken attracts marauding sea lions. Once attracted by the pots loaded with chicken, the sea lions have been tearing through all other pots. Ingles said, “It is best to stick with squid or mackerel as your crab bait inside of the harbor.” The final trip for the season on the Queen of Hearts will be Nov. 30, while the Riptide will run most of December. Farther north in Pacifica, Rob Chaney at the Rusty Hook reported the pier is packed with crab anglers by 5:30 a.m. on weekdays, and it has been crowded daily since the Nov. 1 opener. They have sold over 600 crab snares since the opener, including 50 within two hours at the end of the day on Nov. 15. Kayak and surfboard also are popular for heading out into deeper water in this section of the coast. Striped bass fishing has improved, with the best action in the late afternoons into the early evenings with red/white hair raisers or jigs. The stretch of coast from the Pier south to Mori’s Point has been the top location, and the largest striped bass reported in the past few weeks tipped the scales at 31 pounds.
Call: Happy Hooker (510) 223-5388; Roger Thomas, Salty Lady (415) 760-9362; Bait and Switch Sport Fishing Center (650) 726-7133726-7133; Emeryville Sport Fishing (510) 654-6040; Don Franklin, Soleman (510) 703-4148
Rockfish •• Striper •• White sea bass •• Crabs ••••
Chris Arcoleo of Chris’ Fishing Trips reported the ling-cod bite has been consistent along with limits of Dungeness crab, but the rockfish bite has been “on and off.” The Check Mate returned with 16 limits of rockfish and crab Sunday, but the rockfish sacks were only 25% filled. Star of Monterey scored 21 limits of lings along with three-quarter limits of rockfish. The Caroline produced three-quarter limits of rockfish along with limits of Dungeness crab and near limits at 30 ling cod for 16 anglers. Arcoleo added, “The local commercial action was good, but we are still averaging 20 legal crab per pot.” They have room on board through Friday this week.
Call: Chris’ Landing(831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173; usafishing.com
San Francisco Bay
Albacore • Halibut •• Striper •• Rockfish •••Leopard shark ••• Sturgeon •• Crabs ••••
The commercial fleet “carpet-bombed” the Marin coast over the weekend and huge hauls of crab were brought to market during the first days of the commercial season. Captain Jim Smith of the Happy Hooker went up the Marin coast with a private charter from Great Britain on Sunday. Despite the late departure, they returned early with 14 limits of rockfish, 17 limits of Dungeness crab and 11 ling cod. They went to the islands Friday and Saturday, posting a big score of 35 ling cod Friday along with 39 limits of rockfish and crab. The ling cod were less willing to bite Saturday with nine lings at the Farallons along with 40 limits of rockfish and crab. Smith said, “We only had to pull five or six pots for limits, so the counts are holding up.” He has room for the combination trips throughout the week. Captain Trent Slate of Shelter Cove Sport Fishing reported finding easy limits of crab outside the Gate on Sunday morning, and he moved his pots closer to the Gate since there were commercial pots stacked on top of his pots, potentially leading to tangles and clusters. He returned to the bay for stripers to 4 pounds casting and plugging at Red Rock, Angel Island, and Paradise. He said, “We fished four solid hours for seven bass with the best action at Red Rock.” Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle reported a few reports of sturgeon are popping up around the Pumphouse. One boat reportedly landed two diamondbacks while another had three, leading Fraser to state, “Things could be starting up.” Red Rock is the best location for striped bass, and one angler caught and released 30 fish there on Saturday drifting, you know, Loch Lomond shiners. Fraser advised drifting shiners or jigging spoons on the moving tides. Captain Gordie Hough has been finding limits soaking bullheads or mudsuckers in San Pablo Bay. Loch Lomond has plenty of shiners, bullheads and mudsuckers in the shop. Fraser has been very busy selling live crab since the opener of the commercial crab season with “a million people in for crab.” The 2-pound crustaceans sell for $16 apiece. In the Napa River, Sweeney’s Sports in Napa reported the Napa River has cleared out with the small amount of rain and smaller tides, and sturgeon are showing up in the lower river below Milton Road. Striped bass can be taken on live bait, trolling or casting plugs.
San Luis Obispo
Rock cod ••• Crabs •••
Rockfish action continues to roll from the coastal ports in San Luis Obispo County, and Patriot Sport Fishing has added Dungeness crab to the mix. Out of Patriot, the Sea Angler posted 36 limits of rockfish composed mainly of bolina along with 52 ling cod to 22 pounds Sunday, following up with nine limits including 27 vermilion and seven ling cod Monday. The Patriot went out on a “Rock’N Crab” combination trip for 185 assorted rockfish, 20 vermilion rockfish, nine ling cod to 12 pounds and 75 Dungeness crab Monday. Top local jackpot winner was Jeff Smith of Bakersfield with a 9-pound ling cod. Their ling cod count for the season has surpassed the 2013 count,and currently is at 4,894 since the May 1 opener. Out of Morro Bay, the San Pedro Special scored 13 limits of rockfish and 22 ling cod to 13 pounds on Sunday. The Princess out of Virg’s Landing in Morro Bay returned with 26 limits of ling cod, 50 vermilion, and 200 assorted rockfish on Monday. Virg’s has started John Rowley’s Biggest, Baddest Ling Cod Contest, with $1 from each fare for 30 weeks placed into a pool for the Grand Finale for the top 30 anglers on Dec. 6. The Fiesta is featuring Ladies Day every Wednesday with trips half off for lady anglers. The next two-day trips out of Virg’s Landing are Nov. 29-30 for $235 per angler.
Call: Virg’s Landing, (805) 772-1222; (800) 762-5263; Patriot Sports Fishing (805) 595-4100; Port Side Marine Sports Launch (805) 595-7214
Bass ••• Striper ••• Sturgeon •• Catfish •• Bluegill ••• Salmon ••
For striped bass, J. D. Richey of Richey’s Sport Fishing was able to keep his clients over a school for a half hour, and they caught and released numerous stripers averaging 8-12 pounds. He has been fishing north or south of the Rio Vista Bridge depending upon the tides and water conditions, and he expected that the recent rains will only help the action by cooling the water. In addition to spoons, Richey has been scoring with custom swimbaits in white/chartreuse or topwater Striper Squirrels. The north wind was brisk Sunday morning, but Richey reported the conditions settled down in the afternoon, and they were going to throw some topwater lures in the shallows in the early evening. Scott Feist of Feisty Fish Guide Service has been drifting live mudsuckers in the shallows in the north Delta, and he put his clients onto limits of striped bass within a few hours on Saturday morning. He said, “We have been opting for live mudsuckers as they are hardier than shiners, and we may be able to catch two or three fish on the mudsuckers as opposed to a single fish on a shiner. The fish clearly want live bait as the dead bait is not producing any hits.” Captain Manuel Saldana Jr. of MSJ Guide Service said, “We fished south of the Rio Vista bridge on Saturday and caught stripers with everything we used from live bait mud suckers, trolling shallow and deep diver plugs, and casting 5-inch white Optimum Baits AA swim baits topped with Pro Cure trophy bass gel. The stripers size ranged from schoolie size to 11 pounds, which was released.” Johnny Tran confirmed the improved sturgeon action, and he added the Sherman Island Power Lines or along Sherman Island Road from the shore with salmon roe and eel/nightcrawler or eel/pile worm combinations. James Nguyen of Dockside Bait in Pittsburg reported the boat launch parking lot was filled Saturday, but there were fewer fishermen out Sunday. They received a shipment of mudsuckers, bullheads and grass shrimp in the shop Sunday. There were few stripers or sturgeon brought to the shop for a weigh-in over the weekend. Tony Lopez of Benicia Bait reported salmon fishing has slowed considerably within the past week, but the striped bass fishing has taken up the slack. Linesides to a reported 41 inches have been landed off First Street with a variety of baits, and bullheads are in high demand. Lopez said, “We went through 200 bullheads on Sunday, and they have been hard to keep in the shop.” Pan-sized flounder have been reported off Ninth and 12th streets on grass shrimp, blood worms or night crawlers, and the flatfish generally make a migration up the river to spawn near Rio Vista. Bluegill and redeared perch are abundant along the Delta Loop, and Tran advised using an egg sinker rig on the bottom instead of a bobber as the fish have dropped in the water column due to the decrease in temperature. Water hyacinth dominates the Delta around Stockton with any finger of water south of Disappointment Slough loaded up with the surface vegetation. Striper fishing is on the upswing with big schools of marauding stripers moving through the San Joaquin system. The key is avoiding the floating hyacinth mats. Alan Fong of the Fisherman’s Warehouse in Sacramento said, “You can make it through the vegetation with an outboard motor; but if you have an I/O, it will be difficult to keep from overheating as we turned around in Disappointment Slough while pre-fishing for an upcoming bass tournament.” Captain Mike Gravert of Intimidator Sport Fishing out of Korth’s Pirate’s Lair at the mouth of the Mokelumne reported, “Solid striped bass action, but the schools are divided by size and never in the same spot from day-to-day. Live mudsuckers, Blade Runner spoons, or P-Line Laser Minnows have been the top offerings, and I landed a 33.5-inch striper just minutes before going on the California Sportsman Radio Show on Saturday morning. With some rain on the forecast, we can only look for things to get better and better out on the San Joaquin.” In the Antioch area, Doug Chapman of Gotcha Bait reported striped bass in the 20- to 25-inch range with live mudsuckers producing the larger fish. He said, “A 30-plus pounder was reportedly landed in Broad Slough, but the larger linesides are coming out of the Sacramento River.” Fresh shad has been more difficult to come by within the past week, and they are relying upon their stock of frozen bait. Bluegill action has slowed a bit, but shore fishermen continued to head out to their favorite spots with jumbo red worms or wax worms. Sturgeon interest has increased, and they sold out of 50 dozen ghost shrimp within the week. Near Stockton, Brandon Gallegos of H and R Bait confirmed the recent difficulty in obtaining fresh shad, but stripers in the 20- to 24-inch range are taken out of Empire Cut and off Whiskey Slough and Bacon Island Roads. The hyacinth is a plague, but these locations have been the clearest to fish. The Port of Stockton is producing stripers of similar size, but the hyacinth is thick in downtown Stockton and on the Calaveras River. Large bluegill and redeared perch are taken from the banks off Whiskey Slough Road with wax worms or jumbo red worms. Interest in catfishing has been minimal..
Call: Randy Pringle (209) 543-6260; Captain Stan Koenigsberger —Quetzal Adventures (925) 570-5303; Intimidator Sport Fishing (916) 806-3030
Lake Nacimiento/San Antonio/ Santa Margarita/Lopez
Bass ••• White bass ••• Striper •• Catfish •• Crappie ••
At Lopez, the water level is 40%, and this is by far the highest level of the four San Luis Obispo County lakes. The launch ramp is open, and bass fishing remained fair at best. Quality bass to 4 pounds are available for patient anglers tossing crankbaits. Crappie action is starting to pick up with crappie jigs. Trout plants should start soon, as the last plant was in September. The plants will bring out the swimbait bite for the larger bass. At Nacimiento, white bass are numerous with small swimbaits on an Alabama-rig near the entrance of Las Tablas. The weed growth is heavy in the shallows. Flukes or glide baits are effective for spotted bass within the weedy locations. Nacimiento is at 16% capacity and San Antonio at 3%.
Call: Lake Nacimiento (805) 238-1056, ext. 3; Lake San Antonio Marina (805) 472-2818; Central Coast Bass Fishing.com (805) 466-6557
California Hmong Bass Tournament at Delta/Ladd’s Marina on Nov. 15: 1,Michael and Anthony Her 14.88 pounds; 2, Khu Yang/Luexa Xiong 13.32; 3, Shado Vangyi/Kevin Cheng Moua 13.01; big fish, Xiong Heu 6.75 pounds
Fresno Bass Club at Don Pedro on Nov. 16: 1, Ron Barksdale 10.42 pounds; 2, Corey Squires 9.37; 3, Ron Red Sr. 8.17; big fish, Roger Lockhart 3.24
Roosevelt High School Bass Fishing Club November Tournament at Pine Flat on Nov. 15: 1,Brandon Lum (Clovis West) and Jorge Ruelas (Roosevelt), captain Jerry Jung 8.78 pounds; 2, Nealson Xiong and Richie Xiong (Roosevelt), captain Moe Bagunu 6.58; 3, Saul Cervantes (Roosevelt) and Ethan Worthley (Bullard), captain Mike Spencer 6.04; big fish, Brandon Lum 2.2
Nov. 1-30: Glory Hole Sporting Goods Catfish Tournament at New Melones
Nov. 22: Sierra Bass Club at Eastman; American Bass Association at Lopez
Nov. 23: Kings River Bass Club at McClure
Dec. 7: Fresno Bass Club at Don Pedro
Kern County: Kern River, Section 1-5; Brite Valley Reservoir; Ming Lake
Tulare County: Kern River, Section 5-6