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
*** Limits possible
**** Fish jumpin’ in boat
Delta Mendota Canal and Sloughs
Striper ** Catfish **
Northern sections of the California Aqueduct between Firebaugh and Kettleman City continued to slow down along with sales of Lucky Craft 128’s and Duo Realis ripbaits. Anglers are traveling up and down the tops of the levees in search of stripers working the shad schools on the surface but must travel a long way. In the south aqueduct in Kern County, Jacob Rutledge of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield reported largemouth bass are showing up in numbers, and local fishermen are tossing Lucky Craft Sammies, SP 100’s, or Lucky Craft Pointer 128’s in ghost minnow or Aurora black for striped and largemouth bass. Live minnows are also working for the largemouth bass. Catfish are taken on minnows, sardines, anchovies, or chicken livers.
Bass ** Trout ** Bluegill ** Catfish ** Crappie **
The lake remained very low, with few bass fishermen targeting it. Slow action is the rule, with one or two bites reported from fishermen working several hours with deep-diving cranks or drop-shot plastics. Trout plants have begun, but spurred few reports of success. The area of the lake extending from the buoy line near the Cordoniz Launch Ramp is closed for the traditional nesting period for bald eagles. There are unmarked hazards throughout the lake because of the low water. The lake is at 469.35 feet in elevation and 8% capacity.
Call: Six Star Tackle Box 673-5688; Eastman Lake 689-3255
Bass ** Trout ** Catfish ** Bluegill ** Crappie **
The lake continued to rise slightly, and the launch ramp is again accessible for large boats. Boaters should contact the dam information number for the latest information. Bass fishermen are just starting to become reacquainted with the lake. Trout plants occurred during the past week, but the action has been slow. The lake is at 450.22 feet in elevation and 6% 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 **
Trout fishermen have been scarce, but some huge largemouth bass in excess of 8 pounds were the highlights of Saturday’s Best Bass Tournament won by the team of Jason Remmers and Josh Fry with a 24.74-pound limit. Large rainbow trout-patterned swimbaits such as Huddleston ROF 12 in light trout are working on a slow presentation along the bottom for the larger fish. Drop-shotting with shad-patterned plastics with heavy scent has been effective for numbers. Trout action has been best for trollers with fire tiger Rapalas near the surface; bank fishermen are picking up planters with salmon eggs, floating nightcrawlers, or various colors of trout dough bait near the Fleming Meadows or Blue Oaks ramps. The The lake has risen to 40% capacity and 700.49 feet in elevation.
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 **
Catfish are starting to turn on with garlic shrimp, frozen shad, garlic chicken livers, or sardines, with the best action near Red’s Marina, French Gulch or Paradise Cove. There is still minimal interest in the lake because of low water conditions. Crappie action is fair, with small minnows or minijigs in the deeper water over submerged structure. Bass action is slow, and there have been few reports of trout. Boats are still able to launch from the dirt near Red’s Marina, but a four-wheel-drive vehicle is advised. The 26th annual Lake Isabella Fishing Derby will be March 28-30, and a payout of $18,500 for the longest trout from first to 10th place is guaranteed. Entry is $30 per individual or $65 per family. Call (760) 379-5236 or e-mail email@example.com. Online registration is available at www.kernrivervalley.com/#!online-registration/c1d5e. The lake is at 2529.54 feet in elevation and 8% capacity. Trout fishing in the local impoundments of Truxtun and Hart Park is decent immediately after trout plants. A plant is anticipated at Buena Vista this week. Power Bait, or Berkley Mice Tails are the top baits for the local lakes and Buena Vista. Trout fishing is only fair in the lower Kern River near the plant sites at Hobo Gulch or Sandy Flats.
Call: Bob’s Bait (661) 833-8657; North Fork Marina (760) 376-1812
Bass ** Crappie ** Trout ** Catfish *
Sierra Sport Fishing in Exeter reported the bass are holding in deep water, and drop-shotting shad-patterned plastics has been the top technique. Jigs or vertically-jigged spoons also are effective at depths below 40 feet. Small bass are the rule, with few fish of more than 3 pounds showing at present. The lake is rising steadily, keeping the fish suspended. Crappie have been the top species with small minnows or minijigs over submerged structure. Only one trout plant has occurred this season, and action will continue to be slow until the next plant. The ramp is open with no problem launching. The lake is at 605.59 feet in elevation and 13% capacity.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212
Bass ** Trout ** Catfish ** Crappie **
Chuck Stokke of Sequoia Fishing Co. in Springville reported fair trout action with garlic Power Bait, nightcrawlers or Panther Martins. He said, “Trout fishermen are experiencing more success this week, and hopefully the lake will be stocked again in the near future.” Bass fishing is best with Silver Buddies or deep-diving crankbaits. The lake is at 581.69 feet in elevation and 6% capacity. In the Tule River, Stokke said, “Trout action is slow with a few fish taken on dry flies in caddis patterns on the North Fork, but nymphing with Psycho Mercers is the top option.” The local ponds are kicking out bluegill and crappie on Woolley Buggers, with the occasional bass in the mix.
Call: Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626, www.sequoiafishingcompany.com
Bass ** Trout ** King salmon * Kokanee * Crappie ** Catfish **
The lake remains extremely low, and the only access for boats is from the shore for small portable vessels such as kayaks or canoes. All launch ramps are closed. Few anglers are targeting the lake, which at 591.32 feet in elevation and 7% capacity.
Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505; Bub Tosh (209) 404-0053
The lake has not been planted since Dec. 18, and the best action remained from the banks with various colors of trout dough bait such as chartreuse or with trout eggs in bubble gum. The brush pile or handicapped docks have been the top areas. There were only three boat trailers in the parking lot over the weekend, as few have been launching even though the lake is full.
Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River
Bass ** Striper ** Shad * Bluegill**
The best action remained in deep water with drop-shot plastics such as Robo Worm’s Hologram Shad, Reaction Innovation’s Bad Shad Green, or Pro Worms Pro Gold at depths from 40-60 feet. Tim Torres of Bass 100 Plus said, “All but one of our 13 boats weighed in limits, but the bite was tough with the best action on drop-shot or darthead plastics. Despite having only 13 boats, first place still paid out $1,350 to the winners — Rod Burns and Denny Bowling with a 10.97 total.” Limits in the 7- to 9-pound range are the rule, with the better fish taken on jigs. Striper fishing has improved, and several incidental hookups of linesides in the 10- to 20-pound range have been reported by bass fishermen. Midlake or above the 35-mph buoy around Finegold have been the best locations. All boats must fill out a Quagga mussel self-inspection form before launching, and a low-emissions sticker is essential on all motorized craft. Millerton is rising slowly and is at 487.63 feet in elevation and 35% capacity. In the lower San Joaquin, minimal action and interest remains the story. Trout plants on the river have not started, but Woodward Park Pond and Sycamore Island Pond have been planted recently. There are still few reports, but these remain good locations to introduce small children to fishing. 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.
Call: Fresno Fisherman’s Warehouse 225-1838; Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474
New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch
Bass *** Crappie ** Catfish ** Trout *** Kokanee *
At New Melones, trout action remains solid with trollers working the open stretches of water near the surface with large plugs such as Rapalas on a long setback. John Lietchy of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp said, “Trolling Rapalas at 10 feet below the surface has been the best technique, and I would advise running a natural shad-type of lure on one line while pulling a Hot Steel or firetiger Rapala on the other line to see what the fish want on that particular day. Sometimes the fish prefer the brighter colors since the water is a bit stained. The same thing happens with Kastmasters for trout from the shoreline or spinnerbaits for bass, using both types of lures will let you know what the fish are wanting.” Bank fishing remained strong as the cold winter weather and freezing temperatures have encouraged the rainbows to follow winter patterns. The larger trout are moving up in the water column and are cruising near shore. Bank fishing has been best near the Highway 49 Bridge or off Glory Hole Point with Rapalas, Kastmasters, Tasmanian Devils or Little Cleos for lure casters. Those preferring to soak bait are using trout dough bait or eggs floated off the bottom with a Corky. The Glory Hole Sporting Goods January Trout Derby has been postponed. Bass fishing remained good, with bass suspended and holding around the shad schools. Lietchy said, “The smaller bass are oriented to the shad schools, and you can pick up between 20 and 30 spots on the drop shot, but the larger fish are holding tight to structure or in the creek channels, and they tend to hold to one location.” Roboworm’s Alive Shad or Zoom Tiny Flukes on a drop-shot rig scented with ProCure shad, shakeyheads, dartheads, or jigs are all working for the abundant spots at depths from 25-65 feet. A very slow presentation while dragging the bottom has been the key to success. The Sonora Bass Club tournament over the weekend featured a 17.20-pound winning limit with a 7-pound kicker. Catfishing has been slow in the cold water with the fish moving into deeper water. The concrete ramp at Glory Hole Point is open with two lanes and a dock and a four-wheel-drive vehicle no longer necessary. The Tuttletown Launch Ramp remains closed.
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 **
At Pine Flat, overall bass action has slowed considerably, but the possibility for an occasional large fish remains on rainbow trout patterned swimbaits worked along the bottom with a slow presentation. Working all day for one or two bites from the large fish is the process, while others are finding numbers with drop-shot plastics in the deep water of about 50-60 feet. The Kerman Bass Club held a tournament with 20 boats over the weekend, with 10 of those weighing in limits. Trout plants have started, but most trout fishermen continued to head to Shaver Lake. The lake is rising and is at 728.89 feet in elevation and 13% capacity. In the lower Kings River, trout plants have occurred recently, and there has been more interest in fishing the river. Salmon eggs, nightcrawlers, and Power Bait continue to be the top baits with Roostertails and Panther Martins the top spinners. There are special regulations in the Kings River above and below Pine Flat Dam. The season is open from the last Saturday in April to Nov. 15 from Pine Flat Dam downstream to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Bridge on Pine Flat Road with a five-fish limit. The Army Corps of Engineers Bridge is the first bridge to the west of the dam. The area from Cobbles (Alta) Weir downstream to the Highway 180 crossing is open all year, but only with artificial lures that have barbless hooks with a zero limit. The Thorburn Spawning Channel, the 2,200-foot long channel 5 miles downstream from Pine Flat Dam, and the reach of river within a 200-foot radius of the channel exit is closed to all fishing all year.
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 continued to rise at a steady pace with a supply of water imported from the California Delta, and several sections previously out of the water are now accessible as the lake has risen to 45%. Jason Coslovich of Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill said, “Although the overall bite has been slow, drifting jumbo or super jumbo minnows near the trash racks, along the Highway 152 shoreline, or in Portuguese Cove are working for stripers in the 18- to 26-inch range.” Patrick Movey of the Fisherman’s Warehouse in Fresno added: “60 to 80 feet seems to be the best depth, and trolling with large plugs such as P-Line Predator Minnows, Yozuri Crystal Minnows, or broken-backed Rebels is working.” Roger George of Roger’s Guide Service put in three days of trolling over the weekend in the main lake, and his clients caught and released over 55 linesides in the 18- to 24-inch range — with personal best stripers of 13 pounds for Craig Hamman of the Bay Area and 13.5 pounds for dentist Cliff Laurtizen of Merced. “I was also only trolling with one pole the whole time, to get more control all three days, since finding and working the scattered active feeding groups of fish was key,” Geroge said. “A friend of mine, Jordan Combs of Los Banos also caught and released a 25-pounder using the new Seaquilizer release tool to get it back down to depth. We used it on both our bigger fish, too!” Also in the main lake, bank fishermen are soaking pile worms or blood worms from the shore at Dinosaur Point or Basalt Recreation Area. In the O’Neill Forebay, the weed growth has died off, and anglers are tossing small paddletailed swimbaits or white flukes for the best action for small linesides. Bank fishermen are using anchovies, blood worms, or pile worms from the shore around Check 33 or along the Highway 152 side. The main lake has risen to 46% capacity with the import of 14,948 acre-feet of Delta water. 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 *
A trout plant is scheduled this week and should improve the overall action at the lake. Trollers have the upper hand with Rapalas or blade/crawler combinations near the surface. Bank fishing continued to be slow with an average of one or two planted rainbows from the shore around the public launch ramp or the Sheriff’s Tower with trout dough bait or nightcrawlers. Small boats are still the rule as a few more feet or inflow is necessary in order to comfortably launch larger boats. For bass, the swimbait action should pick up within the next few weeks as the lake continues to cool. The lake held at 49% capacity.
Call: Todd Wittwer 288-8100; Mike Beighey 642-3748
The Kaiser Pass Lakes are done untill snowmobile trips planned for the early spring months. Mammoth Pool has held at 17%, with Edison at 4% and Florence at 6%.
Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000
Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake
Kokanee * Trout ***
A week of beautiful weather at Shaver Lake enticed several Fresno-area fishermen to roll their boats up the hill. Rainbow trout to 16 inches have been consistent for trollers working depths from 15-20 feet with blade/crawler combinations, Dick’s Trout Busters tipped with a piece of night crawler or corn, or spinners around Black Rock, have been the most productive rigs. Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters said, “Dan Comer and Rich Paredes of Fresno brought their limits by Shaver Lake Sports this week as proof of their success, and they were fishing the Black Rock area at 15-20 feet down using a crawler behind a blade combination. Another angler from Visalia picked up an easy limit there, too. The reason for the success, simply a lot of holdovers from the 2014 heavy plant season. I think the action will continue as long as you can get on the water and try.” The ramp at Sierra Marina is still in the water; however, the walkway connecting the permanent walkway and the marina that most use to enter their boat is missing from the shoreline. Additional members of fishing groups must board from shore after parking their towing rig and trailer. All anglers should check conditions via the webcam at www.sierramarina.com and be prepared for adverse weather. Bank action remained slow in the cold water, and Nichols checked the shore over the weekend, finding limited success for anglers. He added, “I do think there are some trophies still swimming along the shoreline, and they could hit any line that was set out there with trout dough bait or nightcrawlers.” The Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project upped their order on Nebraska-bred hybrid rainbows this month, and 2,000 bows from 3-8 pounds will be planted this spring under the guidance of project treasurer Bob Bernier. Bernier searched high and low for the near pure rainbows after their normal hatchery experienced a high rise in temperature in their pond water causing the 2015 supply to die. Bernier said, “Even though it cost us extra money, we feel that those who come to Shaver deserve the best of trout, and we will have them.” Bernier asks for those willing to donate toward the additional cost of recovery to mail donations to the SLTTP at P.O. Box 908, Shaver Lake 93664. All donations are tax deductible. Captain Jack Yandell and Nichols will present a Shaver Lake fishing seminar slide show with updates on the trophy plant at Herb Bauer’s Sporting Goods at 6 p.m. Feb. 26. The best locations, techniques for catching trout and kokanee, and a free raffle drawing will be featured. Nichols is a longtime successful guide on Shaver Lake, having conducted 128 fishing trips last year with great success. Yandell is a longtime kokanee expert and producer of kokanee tackle. Tackle maker and noted kokanee angler Terry Walton will join in to share his ideas. Shaver is at 47% capacity with Huntington at 30%.
Call: Dick’s Fishing Charters 841-2740; Dinkey Creek Inn 841-3435; Rancheria Marina 893-3234; Shaver Lake Sports Inc. 841-2740
Access to both lakes is over for the winter with the closure of the gate at Dinkey Creek.
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
The end of the rockfish season brings about a long, dry stretch until the anticipated ocean salmon opener in early April. However, with more and more commercial crabbers stacking their gear and closing up shop or moving on, the crab counts have improved within the past weeks. Second captain Mike Cabanas of the Huli Cat said, “We took out a group of eight on Sunday, and they only wanted crab instead of combining for sand dabs, so we pulled the pots for limits of Dungeness. The counts have improved, and some of the pots had six or seven legal crab inside.” The Huli Cat will be running crab-only or crab/sand dab combination trips until the salmon opener. Humboldt squid appear to be a no-show for the third consecutive year as earlier rockfish research trips to Pioneer Canyon didn’t locate any of the huge squid. Further north in Pacifica, Rob Chaney of the Rusty Hook in Pacifica reported continued good crabbing from the pier. He sent his niece out with a crab pot and squid on Saturday evening, and within 45 minutes, she had eight males in the bucket, including a “monster” of more than 3 pounds. Chaney said, “She released four more females, and I was even reluctant to pick up the biggest crab since its pinchers looked like finger-breakers.” Striped bass remain in the area much to the surprise of Chaney, as one young fisherman caught and released three large stripers from 17-23 pounds on hair raisers farther south of the pier closer to Mori’s Point.
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
Chris Arcoleo of Chris’ Landing in Monterey reported outstanding sand dab and Dungeness crab action on their combination trips with bucketloads of sand dabs along with limits of crab on all trips during the week. These are great trips to initiate small children to the ocean since the boat rarely travels more than a few miles from the harbor for both species.
Call: Chris’ Landing (831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173; usafishing.com
San Francisco Bay
Halibut * Striper ** Leopard shark ** Sturgeon **
Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle in San Rafael said, “Nothing terribly exciting happened over the weekend with the small tides, but if we had the tides starting next Thursday along with the flat calm conditions on the bay, it would have been the ‘good old days.’ It was ‘Today, we wish you luck,’ but next week, ‘We give you a guarantee.’ ” There were still some sturgeon landed, including two shakers along with a 45-inch keeper within 45 minutes off of McNear’s Pier on Friday. A 5-footer was landed at McNear’s on Saturday. Fraser added, “One thing is for certain, these fish are very aggressive as my oversized released last week was a suicide, and by next weekend, the big tides should bring out the bite.” They are working hard to keep grass shrimp in the shop along with ghost shrimp, but live mud shrimp has yet to make an appearance so far this season. Herring spawns have been occurring in Richardson Bay, Sausalito, along the Alameda Rockwall, and various locations in the central and north bays. The herring spawns will attract surf perch as well as sturgeon to feed on the roe. Reminder of Department of Fish and Wildlife regulations regarding bay sturgeon: Green sturgeon and white sturgeon may not be taken in the following described area from Jan. 1 to March 15. That portion of San Francisco Bay included within the following boundaries — A direct line between Pt. Chauncey (National Marine Fisheries Laboratory) and Pt. Richmond, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and a direct line between Pt. Lobos and Pt. Bonita.
San Luis Obispo
The San Luis Obispo County ports are limited to sand dab/crab, whale watching, or nature cruises until the April salmon opener. The first crab/dab combination trip out of Patriot Sport Fishing will be Saturday. Patriot ended the season with 5.668 ling cod, the highest total in many years. They are selling season passes for the 2015 rockfish season for $1,000. Whale watching and nature cruises will be held out of Morro Bay Landing and Virg’s Landing in Morro Bay for the next several months.
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 ***
The water temperature in the Sacramento River warmed a few degrees. Sturgeon fishing remained a struggle, particularly with the small tides, but better tides are on their way by the end of the week. Steve Talmadge of Flash Fishing out of Martinez Marina said, “We had a lot of action over the weekend, but landing legal fish was a challenge as we went through 14 shakers in order to land a 43-inch keeper on Saturday, followed by four more shakers on Sunday. It isn’t due to a lack of fish, since the area around the Benicia Bridge is loaded with sturgeon. We ran up to Grizzly Bay on Sunday morning on the outgoing tide, but after finding slow action, we motored back between buoy 2 and the Benicia Bridge for all of our fish. Straight eel or grass shrimp/eel combinations provided all of the action.” Talmadge is the organizer for the Jan. 24 Diamond Classic out of the Martinez Marina. Deadline information is available at www.diamondclassic.org. This derby also features a Kid’s Catch and Release Any Fish with free entry for those ages 3-15. There is special pier fishing in the Kid’s Division, with gear provided at no charge. It is anticipated that all youth participants will receive a prize. Tony Lopez at Benicia Bait reported striper action remains decent from the shore, and flounder are showing up with pile worms or grass shrimp. Grass shrimp have been very scarce, so most fishermen are using pile worms for the flounder. They received 18 pounds of grass shrimp Sunday morning, but it was gone within a few hours. Montezuma Slough and Suisun Slough also have been good locations for sturgeon with ghost shrimp, pile worms, or lamprey eel. Lopez said, “All of the sturgeon fishermen want grass shrimp, and all of the striper fishermen want bullheads, but both baits are very hard to obtain with Curtis Hayes only finding two bullheads over the weekend.” Eckley Pier in Crockett has been a hot spot for sturgeon and striped bass for shore fishermen as a sturgeon was landed from the pier on Saturday night along with limits of stripers on ghost shrimp. Big stripers remain the rule, and one six-pack captain got a 46-inch, 41-pound striped bass that was landed on Saturday by a friend. The big fish apparently came belly-up after an extended fight. James Nguyen of Dockside Bait in Pittsburg reported solid sturgeon and striper action in the shallows during the week, with a boat picking up two limits of stripers from 10-18 pounds with mudsuckers in shallow water. Three keeper sturgeon were brought into the shop Wednesday in the 50-plus-inch range, also on live mudsuckers in the shallows. Honker Bay and Grizzly Bays, along with the Big Cut have been the top areas. The upper Delta in the Rio Vista area continued to be slow for striped bass with the stained water, particularly above Ryer Island. Cache Slough is kicking out a few sturgeon on ghost shrimp or cured lamprey eel. With the upcoming sturgeon derbies and the relative scarcity of bait, anglers are advised to reserve bait well in advance of the events with their favorite bait shop. The 2014 Sturgeon Report Cards are due to Fish and Wildlife by Jan. 31. Anglers can complete this requirement at www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/InternetSales/Customer/Options/280340. Anglers are advised to write their confirmation number on their 2014 report card and keep it for an extra 90 days to be on the safe side. The Mokelumne River Bridge on Highway 12 is scheduled to be closed one weekend per month from January through May for major repairs. The highway and bridge will be closed for 10 weekends during the first and second stages between 10 p.m. Friday and 5 a.m. Monday. Cold and muddy water remained the story in the San Joaquin River, and fishermen from Stockton west to Antioch are feeling the effects of these conditions in the river. H and R Bait in Stockton reported very slow action in the area with only a few anglers targeting bluegill in the deep water with wax worms or jumbo red worms. In the Middle and Old Rivers, striper fishing has been extremely slow with live mudsuckers or frozen shad, and anglers fishing the area on a regular basis are reporting only a few bites. Captain Stan Koenigsberger of Quetzal Adventures reported tough fishing on the San Joaquin River. Near Antioch, Jacob Dubin of Gotcha Bait in Antioch said, “Things are pretty slow with the water cold and muddy, and the fish are very lethargic. Most stripers are taken on smelly baits such as anchovies, sardines, or shad.” Interest in panfishing has been slow with few targeting bluegill or crappie. Catfish have also been scarce to non-existent in the cold water. Steve Santucci of Steve Santucci’s Fly Fishing Guide Service said, “Fishing has been very good in the Delta for both stripers or largemouth bass, and we have been able to find clear water and active fish in the south Delta. Catching has been good for numbers, and we have been able to find some size. We are catching most of the fish on fast sinking lines and intermediate type three in the 43 to 46 degree water temperatures.”
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 Nacimiento, the first tournament of the year was on New Year’s Day, and three teams ended up with identical limits of 8 pounds., 4 ounces, with spotted bass to 2 pounds, 8 ounces. Drop-shot plastics or Senkos in the shallows continue to be the top techniques. At Santa Margarita, the marina is closed. Rocky Mountain Recreation Co., the new concessionaire, and anticipates opening operations by mid-January. They have purchased two pontoon boats and six aluminum boats to their rental fleet. At present, only kayaks, canoes, or float tubes are able to access the lake with the continued closure of the launch ramp. Reminder that consuming white bass, black bass, crappie, catfish, or carp are subject to safe eating guidelines because of the potential for excessive mercury. Quagga mussel inspections are required.
Call: Lake Nacimiento (805) 238-1056, ext. 3; Lake San Antonio Marina (805) 472-2818; Central Coast Bass Fishing.com (805) 466-6557
American Bass Association on Jan. 10 at Don Pedro: 1, Randy/Glenn Pierson 20.38 pounds; 2, Mike Goncalves/Brandon Silvey 19.63; 3, Keith Rakoncza/Kyle Rasmussen 18.71
Bass 101 on Jan. 10 at Millerton: 1, Tom Loya 8.83 pounds (big fish 2.43); 2, Jeff DeAlasandro 7.92; 3, Mark Corrente 7.21
Kerman Bass Club on Jan. 10 at Pine Flat: 1, George Espino 9 pounds (big fish 3.43); 2, John Albidrez 8.34; 3, Dave Coson 8.30
Bass 100 Plus on Jan. 11 at Millerton: 1, Rod Burns/Denny Bowling 10.97 pounds; 2, Tim Turner/John Galardo 10.84; 3, Cliff Woods/Tim Torres 10.81
Saturday: Angler’s Choice at Delta/Russo’s Marina; Tri Valley Bass Club at Tulloch; Best Bass Tournaments/Manteca Bassin’ Buddies at Don Pedro; Kern County Bassmasters at Pine Flat; Best Bass Tournaments at Nacimiento
Sunday: Tracy Bass Club at Delta/Tracy Oasis; Kings River Bass Club at Pine Flat; Success Bass Club at Kaweah
Jan. 24: Ninth annual Diamond Classic Catch and Release Sturgeon Derby at Delta/Martinez Marina, www.diamondclassic.org; American Bass Association at Delta/Russo’s Marina; Best Bass Tournaments at Don Pedro; Sierra Bass Club at McSwain; Bakersfield Bass Club/San Luis Obispo Bass Ambushers at Nacimiento; Tri Valley Bass Club at Lopez
Jan. 25: Stockton Bass Club at Delta/Ladd’s Marina; Fresno Bass Club at Pine Flat
Jan. 31: Tracy Bass Club at Delta/Tracy Oasis; Poe Man’s at Don Pedro; 101 Bass at Nacimiento
Jan. 31-Feb. 2: Foundation Sportsmen’s Club Original “aka Super Bowl” Sturgeon Derby at Delta/McAvoy’s Boat Harbor in Bay Point
Feb. 7-8: Bass 100 Plus Two-Day Event at New Melones
Fresno: Kings River, below Pine Flat Dam; Avocado Lake
Kern County: Lake Isabella; Cat Fish Lake; Brite Valley Reservoir; Hart Park Lake; Ming Lake; Truxtun Lake; River Walk Lake
Madera: Hensley Lake; Eastman Lake; Bass Lake
Mariposa: Eastman Lake
Tuolumne: Tulloch Lake