Compiled by Dave Hurley and edited by Roger George, a former Olympic-class decathlete at Fresno State and striper record-holder at Millerton Lake and who now guides in the greater Fresno area. Telephone numbers are in 559 calling area unless noted. Have a photo of a recent catch to share? Email it to email@example.com with “fish photo” in the subject line.
Shaver trout fishing still producing easy limits, Dick Nichols said. Wishon and Courtright rainbows hitting in smoky conditions, Chuck Crane reported. Delta stripers still active, Alan Fong said. Coastal rockfishing stellar, Chris Arcoleo reported. Delta Mendota kicking out bass and catfish, Merritt Gilbert said.
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2-Have to work hard
4-Fish jumpin’ in boat
Delta Mendota Canal and Sloughs
Striper 3; Catfish 3; Bass 3
The Delta Mendota Canal near Firebaugh continues to be a hot spot for both catfish to 10 pounds with sardines or mackerel and for largemouth bass. Anglers have been punching the weeds with creature baits such as Brush Hogs under 1- to 1.5-ounce tungsten weights for quality largemouth bass. Striped bass are still holding in the California Aqueduct near Kettleman City with Duo Realis 120 jerkbaits or Lucky Craft 128’s. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “We are selling three to four Duo’s per day for anglers heading to the Aqueduct in the evenings.” In the south aqueduct in Kern County, Jacob Rutledge of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield largemouth bass are still around with live minnows or plastics on the drop-shot. Catfish are still the top species at the aqueduct with garlic shrimp, Sonny’s Dip Bait, Kat Nip Beef Bait and super meal worms. The August Carp Derby will end in another week, with Samia Sarasone of Bakersfield remaining the leader with a 10.9-pounder taken on Power Bait in the aqueduct.
Bass 2; Trout 1; Bluegill 2; Catfish 3; Crappie 1
Catfishing is the top draw at the lake with whiskerfish taken in the evenings from the shore with chicken livers, sardines or anchovies. Launching a boat isn’t easy, and there are boating hazards of unmarked rockpiles throughout the lake. The area above the buoy line is open, but there is little water in which to venture. Bluegill are another option with red worms or wax worms around submerged structure. Low water levels have contributed to boating hazards of unmarked rockpiles. Most boaters are running their trolling motors or idling slowly when in transit. As anglers enter the reopened area once again, remember that beyond the buoy line, submerged hazards are not marked and the area will remain a no-wake zone. The lake is at 7% capacity, dropping slightly to 467.70 feet in elevation.
Call: Six Star Tackle Box 673-5688; Eastman Lake 689-3255
Bass 2; Trout 1; Catfish 3; Bluegill 2; Crappie 1
The lake has receded to the point of no return for trailered boats, but kayaks, canoes, and float tubes are still a possibility for getting on the lake. A few bass are taken from the small vessels with Senkos, Carolina-rigged lizards or plastics. Catfish are the top species with sardines or anchovies from the banks in the evenings. The lake dropped slightly to 448.06 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 2; Trout 2; Kokanee 2; King salmon 2; Crappie 2
The Mother Lode lakes are in the full summer doldrums. Don Pedro has a single ramp open at Fleming Meadows, requiring an experienced operator to back down the curving ramp. As a result, interest in trolling for rainbow trout or kokanee remained at a serious lull. Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing said, “I have received only a few calls for fishing on the lakes in the past month, and I am reluctant to take out clients until the action improves – until I am confident that we will catch fish.” For spotted and largemouth bass, Manny Basi of the Bait Barn in Waterford reported Don Pedro has been very slow with a few fish taken “here and there.” Baby Brush Hogs on a Carolina-rig off the shore with deep water access has been the top technique as the minnow bite has slowed. Catfish remain a staple from the banks at all Mother Lode lakes. The launch ramp at Fleming Meadows is the only one on the lake, and it requires a skillful backup job in order to launch as it turns to the left. Once a boat is past the curve, the ramp opens up, allowing for two boats to be put in or taken at out a time. The lake dropped 3.5 feet to 676.60 in elevation and 32% 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 2; Trout 2; Crappie 2; Catfish 3; Bluegill 2
Jacob Rutledge of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield says catfish are providing the best action at the lake with garlic shrimp, Sonny’s Dip Bait, Kat Nip Beef Bait or the 3-inch super meal worms. A few bass can be found in the early mornings with crankbaits near submerged timber. For catfish, anglers are lining up along the long flat near Red’s Marina in the early morning or late evenings. Crappie action has been slow with only a few slabsides per angler for several hours of fishing. With the low lake levels, a four-wheel-drive vehicle is needed to launch your vessel from the dirt ramp near Red’s Marina. There are no courtesy docks in the lake. The lake dropped slightly to 2,523.12 feet in elevation and 6% capacity. In the upper Kern River, recent trout plants from the evacuation of the San Joaquin Hatchery have improved conditions, with the rainbows hanging tight to the pools in the warm water. Getting the fish to bite can be challenging. In the lower river, smallmouth bass are abundant, and they are biting Zoom Trick Worms or Deadly Duo custom-poured plastics in green pumpkin or watermelon colors. Buena Vista is fair for catfish at night along with a few bass.
Call: Bob’s Bait (661) 833-8657; North Fork Marina (760) 376-1812
Bass 2; Crappie 2; Trout 1; Catfish 2
Bass action is best with crankbaits or live minnows in medium to large size, and the bite has been best once the sun goes down with drop-shot plastics, jigs or crankbaits. Crappie are found on the far side of the lake near rockpiles with small minnows, while bluegill are biting live crickets or wax worms. The catfish bite remained slow. The lake receded 2 feet this week to 608.10 in elevation and 14% capacity.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212
Bass 2; Trout 1; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
Chuck Stokke of Sequoia Fishing Co. in Springville said, “There has been little change within the past week with triple-digit daytime temperatures limiting the number of fishermen. The top location has been in the deepest section of the shallow lake near the dam, and the best action is on the bottom with lizards in watermelon red on a slow presentation or with deep-diving crankbaits across main lake points.“ Carp are moving into the shallows with dough baits or prepared Powder Bait. The lake dropped a half-foot to 583.77 in elevation and 7% capacity. In the Tule River, the Wishon Fork still has a decent flow, and there is good dry-fly action with hopper or caddis patterns.
Call: Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626, sequoiafishingcompany.com
Bass 3; Trout 2; King salmon 1; Kokanee 1; Crappie 2; Catfish 3
Few fishermen are heading to the lake with the low water conditions, but spotted bass and catfish are abundant for those willing to make the long walk. Live crawdads or plastics worms are working best, and there is a topwater bite in the mornings and evenings. The North Barrett Cove ramp is the only launch operational as the lake has dropped 2 feet this week to 615.13 and 10% capacity. The Merced River is closed to fishing until Jan. 1 between Crocker-Huffman Bridge to G Street in Snelling because of warm water conditions.
Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505; Bub Tosh (209) 404-0053
McSwain Marina remains closed Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Terry Mello of A-1 Bait in Snelling said, “A few limits of holdover rainbows have been reported from the banks in the early morning as cooler evening temperatures are improving conditions.” Spotted bass are as abundant as rainbow trout, with the bass thriving in the warm water after coming over the dam with releases from Lake McClure. There will be no future trout plants for the summer, with a decision for resuming to be based on a review of water temperatures.
Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River
Bass 2; Striper 1; Shad 1; Bluegill 2; Trout 1
Small bass are the rule, and the bite remains very tough. Anglers report a small window for small spotted bass in the morning with Senkos, but the remainder of the day has been non-productive. Bass 101 is holding a night tournament Saturday. Recreational boating remains high, and it will continue to dominate the lake until after Labor Day. A few catfish to 3 pounds can be found at night with anchovies or sardines near the Madera launch. There were no striper reports. All vessels must possess a low-emission motor. Millerton dropped 3.5 feet to 479.45 in elevation and 31% capacity because of releases from upstream reservoirs. On the San Joaquin River, Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod in Clovis reported a few boats have been running down by the golf course for spotted bass to 2 pounds. 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 2; Crappie 3; Catfish 3; Trout 2; Kokanee 1
At New Melones, Catfish continued to be the top species with shore fishing taking center stage given that the launch ramp requires a four-wheel-drive vehicle to splash a boat into the lake. John Lietchy of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp said, “There haven’t been any giant whiskerfish brought in this week, but many fishermen continue to catch quality catfish near the shoreline with frozen shad being the top bait. The shad schools are thick in the lake with balls of the bait fish in the 1- to 2-inch range throughout the lake. Adding scent to the shad, mackerel, anchovies, or sardines is a good method to increase your catch ratio.” The lake is extremely low, and the shore is scattered with submerged trees. Fishermen are seeking crappie with small to medium minnows in the submerged structure before switching over to minijigs in order to save the minnows. The crappie are holding in the timber in order to ambush the abundant shad. Bass fishing is fair with numbers of schooling fish around the shad schools. Lietchy added, “I went out this past week and caught and released between 15 and 20 bass to 14 inches drop-shotting shad-patterned plastics. It is important to downsize your baits with small flukes or minnows working as the shad are small, but growing.” Kokanee fishing is all but dead, and trout fishing also is slow with few fishermen targeting rainbows. The best action remains in the deeper water near the dam and along the river channel with spoons behind a large dodger. Spotted bass are showing up on terminal tackle as often as rainbows as the bass are suspended and following the shad schools. The lake dropped 2.5 feet to 13% capacity and 811.98 in elevation. Tulloch dropped 1.5 feet to 507.40 in elevation and 95% capacity, with water releases expected to begin in earnest within the week.
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 1; Bass 2; Trout 2; King salmon 1; Catfish 3; Crappie 2
Bass fishing remains very tough with a few small spotted bass in the 12- to 13-inch range. The best action has been in the upper end of the lake near the power lines with drop-shot plastics in 25-30 feet of water. There is a small window for topwater lures in the early mornings or late evenings, but the best fishing remains on the bottom. Harold Hass of the Fresno Bass Club reported tough conditions over the weekend during their tournament with heavy smoke from the Rough Fire. He said, “There was a very light bit with a few early topwater fish mixed with small fish on plastics in the 15- to 30-foot depth. Experience paid off for anglers with patience to fish through the shorts in order to find a few keepers.” Trout trolling is nil with nearly all boats heading for the high country. The lake ends just above Edison Point. Bass fishing is extremely slow but Patrick Movey of the Fisherman’s Warehouse in Fresno said, “ A few fish are found on the bottom with purple worms on the drop-shot.” Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis added, “Fishermen have put in up to 5 hours for one or two small bass.” Catfishing at night is the top draw with chicken livers, sardines, or anchovies near the Houseboats. The trout bite is all but dead, and few trollers are focusing on this lake. Recreational boating has basically taken over the lake, and the water level continues to drop steadily on a daily basis. The lake dropped 3 feet in the past week to 727.45 in elevation and 13% capacity. In the lower Kings River, trout fishermen are working the banks below the dam for planters with Kastmasters, spinners, or Power Bait. The spinners are working best in the fast water as bait has a tendency to get hung on the bottom. Regulations in the Kings River above and below Pine Flat Dam set the season as open from the last Saturday in April to Nov. 15 from Pine Flat Dam downstream to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Bridge on Pine Flat Road with a five-fish limit. The bridge is the first one to the west of the dam. The area from Cobbles (Alta) Weir downstream to the Highway 180 crossing is open all year with only artificial lures with barbless hooks and 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 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 2; Catfish 2; Bass 1; Crappie 1
In the main lake, extra-large and even jumbo minnows have arrived in local bait shops, but after several weeks without big minnows, bait drifters have been few with the lack of awareness of the live bait in the shops. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod in Clovis reported a few fishermen are walking the banks at night with Storm 4-inch swimbaits in bluegill or pearl shad for linesides in the 19- to 23-inch range. Andrew Weh of Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill said, “There have been few trollers on the lake, but with the warm and low water conditions, the best action remains near the bottom at depths from 60-80 feet with P-Line’s Predator Minnows, broken-back Rebels, swimbaits on an Umbrella-rig, or Yozuri Crystal Minnows near the mouth of Portuguese Cove or along the trash racks.” Roger George of Roger George Guide Service said he was gone on a trip, but that several good anglers have told him that the bite has improved for schoolie fish on trolled plugs in blue colors. “It seems the fish are showing up in more of the regular patterns of small schools we expect this time of year.” he said. In the O’Neill Forebay, catfish to 20 pounds have been caught near Check 12 and the adjacent entrance into the California Aqueduct with chicken livers, mackerel fillets, anchovies, or nightcrawlers. Blood and pile worms are working for schoolie striped bass along with small white flukes on a three-sixteeenths-ounce Scrounger head. Shore fishermen are choosing to wade into the lake to avoid the heavy weed growth. The main lake continues to release water at a rapid clip for agricultural and domestic uses, and it dropped 2% this week to 20% capacity with an outflow of 3,849 acre-feet Monday.
Call: Coyote Bait andTackle (408) 463-0711, Roger George of rogergeorgeguideservice.com (559) 905-2954
Bass 2; Trout 2; Kokanee 1
The weed growth is heavy, particularly on the north end of the lake, and heavy recreational boating activity continues to dominate the lake, especially on the weekends. The boat traffic should slow after the Labor Day Holiday weekend. Bass fishing has been slow, but there has been spotted and largemouth bass to 4 pounds taken with large swimbaits. The Sheriff’s Motor Fee is in effect, and few bass fishermen are launching boats. The lake has dropped to 49% capacity, close to the no-return line for larger boats.
Call: Todd Wittwer 288-8100; Mike Beighey 642-3748
Brown trout 2; Trout 2
At Mammoth Pool, the trout action remains extremely slow despite high lake levels holding at 77% capacity. Crawdad fishermen are finding good action in their traps, but the trout are a mystery. Over Kaiser Pass, Lake Edison has held at 18% after being below 10% for most of the year, and anglers walking the banks are picking up rainbows and browns casting small Kastmasters, Roostertails or trout dough bait from the shore in the shallow reservoir. Florence held at 33%.
Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000
Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake
Kokanee 2; Trout 4; Smallmouth 4
Heavy smoke from the Rough Fire threatening Kings Canyon and the Hume Lake Christian Camp is the only limiting factor to the hot trout bite at Shaver Lake. Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters returned from his own fishing trip to Sitka, Alaska, and he immediately jumped right back on the horse, putting his clients onto five limits within 2.5 hours on Saturday morning. He said, “This is an example of daily fishing at Shaver as there were nets flying throughout the morning. Matt Matsumura of the California Highway Patrol and his party of four friends put in quick limits using orange or pink Apex lures tipped with a piece of nightcrawler behind a C.J. Dodger at depths from 20-23 feet behind the side poles or as deep as 55 feet on the downrigger near the Point, the Island, or the dam.” It was more of the same for Nichols on Sunday and Monday with a combined 11 limits of rainbows on the two trips. Steve Santoro of Fish Box Charters confirmed the hot rainbow bite because of heavy plants over the past several weeks, and he said, “The kokanee have started to hit, and each day catch totals have included 2-4 kokes per trip.” Lou Desimone and his fishing partners, Scott and Luke Meier from San Diego, scored limits with Santoro including trophy fish at 3, 4, and 4.5 pounds at depths from 50-60 feet with orange Apex lures, fire tiger Needlefish, or Captain Jack’s orange hoochies behind the new Captain Jack Dodger in orange. Terry Walton and Earl Taniguchi found solid kokanee action hugging the bottom lake structure with Apex lures. The boat traffic has been extremely high within the past two weeks due to the heavy plants, and it has been difficult to stay on a trolling line with all of the boat traffic. Bank fishing is solid with trout dough bait or nightcrawlers at Roads 1 and 2 or near the Sierra Marina. Smallmouth bass fishing remains tremendous with Bob Bernier of the Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project releasing 30-40 smallies on live crickets per trip, fishing along the rocky structure near Boy Scout Cove. At Huntington, the ramp is inaccessible for trailered boats, and a few boaters have traveled to the lake, most only to change their mind after viewing launch conditions. The lake received rainbows from the San Joaquin Hatchery, with bank fishermen focusing around the mouth of Rancheria Creek or Dam 2 with inflated nightcrawlers or trout dough bait. Huntington and Shaver are starting to release water, and they have dropped to 43% and 61% capacity, respectively.
Call: Dick’s Fishing Charters 841-2740; Dinkey Creek Inn 841-3435; Rancheria Marina 893-3234; Shaver Lake Sports Inc. 841-2740; Fish Box Charters 871-3937
The heavy smoke from the Rough Fire lingered over Wishon and Courtright, prompting Chuck Crane of the Wishon Village RV Park and Store to state, “The smoke is very bad, and fishermen have to be prepared to deal with the smoky conditions on the lake, but the trout bite remains very good.” Trout plants within the past week have turned on the bank bite at Wishon, and shore fishermen are scoring with trout dough bait or inflated nightcrawlers along the launch ramp and on the dam, while Thomas Bouyants or Kastmasters in copper/red are also effective. The lake is low, but small boats can still be launched from the dirt road. Trollers are scoring an occasional rainbow to 3 pounds pulling Speedy Shiners or Needlefish in various color patterns at 3-4 colors of lead core. Boaters are also drifting nightcrawlers or trout dough bait weighed down with split-shot along the bottom for limits on the far side of the dam. At Courtright, the lake is also low, but boats can be launched off the concrete ramp. Bank anglers are finding success with trout dough bait in pink or orange near the launch ramp as the recent planters are hanging out in the area. Trollers are picking up a few brown trout from 14-18 inches along with their limits of rainbow trout with broken backed Rapalas or Speedy Shiners in several colors at depths from 2-4 colors of lead core.
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
Salmon 2; Rockfish 4; Striper 2
“Rockfish are virtually a guarantee out of Half Moon Bay as we move into the best weather window the season during the next three months,” said Sherry Ingles of Half Moon Bay Sport Fishing. The Queen of Hearts went south for 31 limits of rockfish along with 27 ling cod, while the Riptide returned with 19 limits and eight lings Sunday. She added, “The salmon bite busted open between the red and green buoys, and private boats are finding some limits with straight bait or Apex lures in watermelon, chrome/blue scale, or Cop Car. The trollers had the upper hand earlier in the week, but experienced fishermen were finding better action mooching at the tail end of the week.” The ocean is alive with squid above and below the harbor, anchovies inside, and mackerel massing outside. Captain Dennis Baxter of the New Captain Pete went rockfishing over the weekend after finding slow action for salmon up at Pedro Point. He said, “The eel grass made for a rough troll. We ended up landing one and dropping four before the grass became too frustrating.” He added that Tom Joseph on the Serra Bella landed nine salmon Thursday fishing between the buoys with several fish in the 15- to 16-pound range, and the bite is dependent on the tide.” Captain Tom Mattusch on the Huli Cat also went salmon fishing near Pedro Point on Saturday, August 22nd, and they released a shaker before heading back south. He reported others found fish, but they were not in the action before heading down to Tunitas Creek where a few more salmon had been reported. Earlier in the week, the boat put in limits of rockfish along with several ling cod topped by a 24-pounder taken on a hitchhiker at Tunitas Creek. He was on a bird watching trip Sunday and reported seeing at least 15 young blue sharks 30 miles offshore. He said, “Twenty years ago, you couldn’t go fishing without seeing blue sharks, but they have been absent the past several years, so this is a good sign.” There were no temperature breaks offshore with a steady 63 degrees from the coast to 30 miles out. Farther north near Pacifica, Rob Chaney of the Rusty Hook said the blue whales were out munching on anchovies in front of the Municipal Pier, but striper fishing has started to slow down since the white hot action earlier in the summer. Limits can still be taken, but the best action is at night from Linda Mar and Rockaway Beaches. Chaney was out during the week tossing Rat-L-Traps from the beach, and he released a limit of schoolie stripers.
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 3; Striper 2; White sea bass 2; Salmon 2
Chris Arcoleo of Chris’ Landing in Monterey said, “Rockfishing remains solid with the Check Mate putting in 31 limits of rockfish and 39 ling cod on Sunday while the Caroline returned with 30 limits of rockfish and 22 ling cod working the local reefs.” Striped bass have moved out, but there are reports of halibut along Monterey beaches. Anchovies are massed from Point Sur north to Moss Landing, leading Arcoleo to state, “There is bait anywhere you want to go.” A few salmon are taken near Moss Landing, but these are on the bottom in 300 feet of water on the downrigger. They have room on rockfishing trips throughout the week and this Sunday.
Call: Chris’ Landing(831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173; usafishing.com
San Francisco Bay
Halibut 2; Striper 2; Rockfish 3; Leopard shark 2; Sturgeon 1; Salmon 2
Salmon fishing remains up and down along the Marin coast. Vic Rosasco of Stockton went out Friday with his friends Joe Sacra and Marvin Haley for three limits of salmon including three jacks from 5-8 pounds along with three slugs ranging from 20 to more than 30 pounds. He said, “We fished from Rocky Point to the Channel Buoys and all fish were landed in 60-70 feet of water at 50 feet on the wire. They bit on hoochies on a flasher and on anchovies on a Pro Troll E-Chip harness.” Unfortunately the action was unkind on both Saturday and Sunday with the Sausalito boats returning with 13 salmon to 22 pounds on Sunday for 44 anglers after finding slightly better action on Saturday with 32 salmon to 22 pounds for 54 anglers. The Sundance out of Emeryville Sport Fishing continued to be a highliner with five salmon to 14 pounds for six anglers Sunday with more than a few missed opportunities. The New Super Fish out of Emeryville returned with only four salmon for 19 fishermen Sunday. The bite was a bit better Saturday with 29 salmon to 22 pounds for 50 anglers on the C Gull II, Sundance and New Super Fish. The New Seeker, which had a solid mooching trip earlier in the week, struggled for six salmon to 22 pounds before switching over to rockfishing for 18 limits, eight lings to 20 pounds, and a thresher shark Saturday. Rockfishing remains a solid bet in the flat, calm conditions with the Happy Hooker out of Berkeley returning with three-quarters limits of rockfish and 18 lings to 13 pounds for 28 anglers Sunday after putting in 32 limits of rockfish and 28 lings to 14 pounds Saturday. Once again, catch your rockfish before working over the lings. Captain James Smith on the California Dawn continued his summer long assault on fish species with 58 ling cod along with 233 rockfish for 28 fishermen Sunday. He actually has room Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of the coming week. Getting a spot on the Dawn is a challenge, so this is your opportunity. Out of Emeryville, five Emeryville boats went to the Farallons on Sunday, and the CGull II, Sea Wolf, New Huck Finn, New Salmon Queen and New Seeker combined for 102 limits of rockfish including a cabezon along with 183 ling cod to 18 pounds. The boats are catching sand dabs and mackerel on the way out to bolster the ling cod counts. Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle in San Rafael said, “The tides don’t get much worse than this weekend with only 1.1 feet of movement, but they start getting good on Wednesday and into the weekend with only small minus tides. Striped bass don’t bite much with the smaller tides.” The weather has also been “crummy” over the past few days, with winds from Thursday through Sunday. Captain Gordon Hough of the Morningstar was out over the weekend for limits of rockfish and a healthy ling count, but they only put in three halibut and no striped bass. The Loch Lomond shiner supply is in good hands, and they also have live mudsuckers and frozen midshipmen.
San Luis Obispo
Rock cod 3; White seabass 2
Rockfishing continues to get better and better with limits taken out of Port San Luis and Morro Bay on Monday. The Endeavor out of Morro Bay Landing took out 29 anglers on a charter Monday for 29 limits of rockfish, including 174 vermilion rockfish and 67 ling cod to 16 pounds with the jackpot fish landed by Sylvester Torres of Sanger. Limits also were the story at Port San Luis with the Patriot returning with 39 limits of rockfish and eight lings to 9 pounds on a half-day trip. Their ling cod count was at 2,764 for the season. They have live bait in the harbor, and the bait was the key to the high ling count. White sea bass are continuing to show up for private boaters. The Avila Beach Pier is closed, but the Harford Pier at Port San Luis remains open.
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 3; Striper 3; Sturgeon 1; Catfish 3; Bluegill 3; Salmon 2
Salmon fishing is showing a glimmer of life at both ends of the Delta, with the best action at Dillon Point State Park west of Benicia. A few salmon have been caught near Freeport Bridge on heavy spinners cast from the banks, but overall the action is less than stellar. Tony Lopez of Benicia Bait said, “There were four fish landed at the state park on Sunday with another eight or nine fish coming off the hook along the crowded shoreline. Everyone is going to the state park right now, and the best action is at the bottom of the tide with Vee-Zee or Flying C spinners.” The fish have been bright and in the 12- to 17-pound range. Striped bass continued to show up along the Benicia shore with the linesides hitting spinners intended for salmon, but there is a dedicated group of fishermen working 12th Street with blood worms for solid action. Windy conditions have made it difficult for sturgeon fishermen, but there have been several diamondbacks landed in the Antioch and Pittsburg area over the past week. James Nguyen of Dockside Bait in Pittsburg reported one boat landed four sturgeon using a grass shrimp/eel combination. Stripers in the 3- to 5-pound range are holding in Sherman Lake. Nguyen, in Sherman Lake on Sunday, said, “There was no end to the stripers in the 3- to 5-pound range, and we caught them on swimbaits on a Diawa casting rod along the weedline. Drifting live mudsuckers is also producing no end to the schoolies.” Sherman Lake is very shallow, and you have to have a good sense of where you are going before running full out into the area. Mark Wilson, striped bass trolling expert, has been trolling with Rat-L-Traps on spinning rods in the shallows of Broad Slough, Collinsville, and around Pittsburg, and he said, “I am really enjoying landing these schoolie stripers on the light gear in the shallows, as I am leaving my heavier gear and deep-divers until larger fish start to show up.” He is finding from seven to 10 keepers per trip to 9 pounds with most linesides in the 4- to 5-pound range. The school that has been holding from Decker Island up to Rio Vista has disappeared, so Wilson went farther south toward Collinsville. Wilson added that the water temperatures have cooled to the 70- to 72-degree range, and the water hyacinth is starting to accumulate along every cove and hole along the banks. Farther north near Liberty Island, Alan Fong of the Fisherman’s Warehouse in Sacramento reported a great bite for big stripers last week with 8- to 10-inch Kincannon swimbaits, but the smaller tides this week have slowed down the action on the lures. He said, “You need a moving tide for the larger fish to react.” Striped bass fishing continued to improve in the San Joaquin River with the best action near Antioch. Captain Stan Koenigsberger of Quetzal Adventures out of Bethel Harbor reported “off the hook” striper fishing over the weekend with a total of 72 stripers for a total of three keepers to 22 inches anchored with frozen shad. Brandon Gallegos at H and R Bait in Stockton said, “Clifton Court Forebay has been excellent for striped bass with linesides from 21-32 inches taken on sardines or live bluegill. Brookside Road west of Stockton is another location for small stripers along with bluegill and largemouth bass.” For largemouth bass, Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, reported the recent fluctuating weather conditions have slowed the previously terrific largemouth bass bite. He said, “The action has been fair to good as there has been a lot of pressure from recreational boaters and large tournaments during the past month. The weather is starting to balance out, and it is important to stick with it with a slower presentation, keeping the bait in the strike zone longer. He has been tossing the ima Big Stick in search of larger fish, and he said, “There is a small window for topwater for those larger fish, but the action is limited.”
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 2; White bass 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
Lopez and Nacimiento are the only coastal lakes where boats can be launched due to low water conditions. Small spotted bass are abundant at Nacimiento with the best action in the mornings or evenings with spinnerbaits or crankbaits.. At Lopez, there is a good bass bite with deep-diving crankbaits in the deeper water or fishing shallow with jigs or drop-shot plastics. Santa Margarita is producing quality bass from kayaks and also along the banks with frogs on the surface on weed mats or punching the weed mats with creature baits. , Senkos, jigs, or drop-shot plastics are all working outside of the weed lines. Santa Margarita is very low, and terrestrial wildlife has reclaimed the exposed section of the lake. Santa Margarita is less than 15% of capacity, but the marina store is open for supplies and rental vessels.
Call: Lake Nacimiento (805) 238-1056, ext. 3; Lake San Antonio Marina (805) 472-2818; Central Coast Bass Fishing.com (805) 466-6557
- Fresno Bass Club on Aug. 23-24 at Pine Flat: 1, Roger Lockhart 5.43 pounds; 2, Ron Red Jr. 5.28; 3, Joe Alanis 4.91. Big fish – Roger Cummings 3.04
- Friday: Jim’s Pro Bass Tackle at Lopez
- Saturday: Angler’s Choice at Delta/B and W Resort; Glory Hole Sporting Goods at New Melones; Sierra Bass Club at Eastman
- Saturday-Sunday: 101 Bass at Millerton, 284-2768
- Tuolumne County: Lyons Canal (Columbia Ditch); Moccasin Creek; Pinecrest Lake; Powerhouse Stream; Stanislaus River Clarks Fork; Stanislaus River Middle Fork; Stanislaus River South Fork
f = full moon > = peak activity