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.
Delta bass, striper and salmon bites are so good “they should be outlawed,” Randy Pringle said. Shaver trout keep on hitting, Dick Nichols said. Monterey anglers are giddy over bluefin and yellowfin tuna action, Chris Arcoleo reported. Eastman bass bite is still the best in Valley, Dave Hurley said. New Melones bass are on a tear, John Lietchy reported. Wishon and Courtright trout bites are solid, Chuck Crane said. California Aqueduct stripers boiling, Meng Xyong reported
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2-Have to work hard
4-Fish jumpin’ in boat
Delta Mendota Canal
The California Aqueduct has been attracting interest as a location for striped bass, and the upcoming FishAholics.com Striped Bass Derby on Oct. 24 has contributed heavily to the increased interest. “We are able to come up with rods from 13 of our suppliers as well as a number of Duo Realis jerkbaits along with other prizes for the derby as there have been several fishermen coming to the shop to sign,” said Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis. “A 16-pounder was landed Saturday near Firebaugh, and most of our striper fishermen have been heading to the aqueduct with Duo Realis or Lucky Craft Pointer 110’s or 120’s.” Meng Xyong of Fresno, organizer of the inaugural striped bass derby added: “Here’s what working this past week from duct anglers and from my own outings there. The California Aqueduct water temperature continues to stay in the 70-degrees rang, rising to about 72 in the afternoon. Anglers are reporting scattered boils of striped bass and largemouth bass throughout the aqueduct system. Most stripers have been caught on SpeedLures or Duo Realis jerkbaits. Some anglers are having success with deeper-diving lures such as Rat-L Traps or flukes paired with a half-ounce jig head. The north aqueduct system is consistently producing stripers, but anglers have to go through a number of undersized fish before finding a keeper. The water condition in the central aqueduct system hasn't changed much, as it is still green and murky with little to no flow. Your best bet is in early morning hours. There’s a window when entire stretches of the aqueduct will light up with boil activity. I’ve found most of the activity closer to the water’s edge to be largemouth bass and boils closer to the deeper channel to be striped bass. You’ll see baitfish jumping out of the water followed by a slurry of waves chasing them. Almost instantly, a striper or two would breech into the air in the middle of it all. It’s a sight to excite any angler.” The derby runs from midnight to noon. Information at www:TheFishAholics.com. In the south aqueduct in Kern County, Jacob Rutledge of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield reported continued solid striper action with 5-inch Whopper Ploppers, but the recent closure of the truck routes from Los Angeles have limited the supply of this bait. Yum tube baits have also produced quality stripers with largemouth bass limits taken on white flukes. Catfishing in the aqueduct is fair, but most whiskerfish anglers are heading to Lake Isabella.
Bass 2 Trout 1 Bluegill 2 Catfish 2 Crappie 2
The lake is very low, but the quality of bass is the best in the Fresno area. The action has been up and down, but anglers have the possibility of picking up a quality bass on a top-water lure in the morning before switching over to the bottom with drop-shot plastics or jigs by mid-morning. With the low lake levels, most boaters are running a trolling motor in the lowered water pool full of unmarked hazards. Bank fishermen are finding action for catfish with chicken livers, sardines, or anchovies in the evenings. The area above the Buoy Line is open, but there is little water to venture past the buoys. The lake dropped to 466.78 feet in elevation and 7% capacity.
Call: Six Star Tackle Box 673-5688; Eastman Lake 689-3255
Bass 3 Trout 1 Catfish 3 Bluegill 2 Crappie 2
Boats on a trailer are unable to launch with the lake level at 5%. Kayakers continue to find solid bass action with plastics on a drop-shot presentation or with Senkos. Catfishing is solid with nightcrawlers, prepared dough baits, or chicken livers. The lake dropped slightly to 447.08 feet in elevation and 5% of 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 1 King salmon 2 Crappie 2
The lake remains in the doldrums, and the trout and king salmon action will not improve until the water cools. As a result, there are few trout anglers heading to the lake. Bass fishing is fair at best with live minnows or shad-patterned plastics on the drop-shot. The boat launch has a slight curve, but once you get around the curve, launching two boats at the same time is possible. A grant for the improvement of the Fleming Meadows Launch Ramp has been approved, and construction to create a two-lane ramp should start shortly. The lake rose one foot to 672.21 feet in elevation and 31% 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
Bass 2 Trout 1 Crappie 2 Catfish 3 Bluegill 2
Jacob Rutledge of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield said there hasn’t been much change in the area with most locals heading to the California Aqueduct for striped bass. Catfishing remains the top draw, and anglers continue to pick up the whiskerfish with meal worms, mackerel, Katnip Beef Bait, Secret 7 Catfish Bait, or Sonny’s Dip Bait in the South Fork along the long flat by Red’s Marina. The lake’s low water level is discouraging fishermen from launching into the lake and a four-wheel vehicle is needed from the dirt ramp. There is a bass bite with crankbaits in the early morning from the shoreline. There are no marinas or courtesy docks in the lake, which held at 2,522.49 feet in elevation and 5% capacity. The lower Kern River remained solid for largemouth bass with plastics on a Texas-rig or Carolina-rig from the mouth of the canyon down to Democrat Beach. Zoom Trick Worms or Deadly Duo custom-poured plastics in green pumpkin or watermelon colors are the top baits. There are still few reports from the upper river. Buena Vista has been best for catfish with cut baits. The local lakes have been slow for bass or bluegill.
Call: Bob’s Bait (661) 833-8657; North Fork Marina (760) 376-1812
Bass 3 Crappie 2 Trout 1 Catfish 2 Bluegill 3
Not much change at Kaweah with solid bass fishing with live minnows or crawdads. There is a top-water bite in the early mornings before dropping to the bottom with plastics on the drop-shot by mid-morning. The bass are chasing bait in the early mornings into the coves. Crappie are starting to get active around submerged rocks or brush with small minnows or minijigs. Bluegill are abundant, and fishermen are scoring plenty of the panfish with wax worms. Catfishing is best at night with chicken livers, frozen shad, or stink baits. The lake receded 1.5 feet to 591.55 feet in elevation and 8% capacity.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212
Bass 2 Trout 1 Catfish 2 Crappie 2
At Success, interest in bass fishing has been minimal due to the low water conditions at 575.06 feet in elevation and 4% capacity. In the Tule River, Chuck Stokke of Sequoia Fishing Company in Springville said that due to recent thunderstorms, fishing should pick up this week as the river has come up, and there is some inflow into the lake.
Call: Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626, sequoiafishingcompany.com
Bass 3 Trout 2 King salmon 1 Kokanee 1 Crappie 2 Catfish 3
McClure continues to be a solid option for Mother Lode bass anglers, but they will have to be willing to walk a long ways to the lake in order to cast a lure. The lake continues to release water, and it has dropped 2.5 feet to 8% capacity. The concentrated low water pool combined with minimal angling pressure over the past few years has led to an excellent bass bite from the shoreline. Kayakers are launching from the shoreline, and they are also getting in on the action with drop-shot plastics or by vertically jigging small spoons. Manny Basi of the Bait Barn in Waterford said McClure has been solid for bass with shad-patterned plastics on the drop-shot such as Robo Worm’s Hologram Shad, Reaction Innovation’ Bad Shad Green, or Pro Worm’s Pro Gold over the suspended fish. The bass are oriented towards the schools of baitfish, which are starting to ball up. Small boats can be launched from the Barrett Cove North Ramp, but there is limited parking near the end of the ramp. Few boats are launching, but kayaks, float tubes, or canoes can be launched by hand. The low water in the Merced River has led to the emergency closure of the section from the Crocker-Huffman Bridge to G Street in Snelling until Jan. 1.
Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505; Bub Tosh (209) 404-0053
The annual Merced Irrigation Derby Fall Trout Derby has been postponed until April 9-10 due to warm water conditions at the lake. McSwain Marina is now closed on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Few anglers have been heading to the lake with the lack of trout plants since April.
Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
San Joaquin River
Bass 2 Striper 2 Shad 1 Bluegill 2 Trout 2 Catfish 2
Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said “numbers are the name of the game here.” There’s an abundant population of spotted bass but finding any fish of size remains a challenge. The bass are suspending at depths from 5 to 30 feet with a reaction bite in the early mornings or evenings with ripbaits, small swimbaits or spinnerbaits, but most action is on the bottom with plastics on the drop-shot or Senkos. Patrick Movey of Fishermen’s Warehouse in Fresno said there are reports of trollers starting to pick up a few striped bass with broken-backed plugs. Catfishing has been best up the river arm with chicken livers or sardines. All vessels must possess a low emission motor. The lake is once again releasing water and dropped nearly 2 feet to 488.05 feet in elevation and 35% capacity. There are only a few anglers working the lower San Joaquin, and most interest is in the slack water zone in the main river on the west side of Highway 99. There are new regulations on the lower San Joaquin and from Friant Dam downstream to the Highway 140 Bridge only two hatchery trout or hatchery steelhead are allowed with a total of 4 hatchery trout or hatchery steelhead 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
Bass 3 Crappie 2 Catfish 3 Trout 2 Kokanee 1
At New Melones, the light switch turned on with the recent cool weather, leading John Lietchy of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp to say “everything is living up to our expectations.” The bait fish are moving closer to the surface and balling up every day, which is the typical fall pattern. Trout trolling is taking off of the first time in several months, and bass are there for the taking with a variety of methods. The catfish bite remains solid, and crappie are also emerging from a slumber. For bass, Lietchy found great action with over 100 bass caught and released on Friday’ trip with the majority taken drop-shotting plastics for the suspended fish. “It’s crazy good,” he said. “Once you find the fish, it was outstanding with 20 fish caught on 20 casts.” There is a good spoon bite with half- to three-fourth-ounce P-Line Laser Minnows in black shad or blue shad over the bait bails. Jigs and plastics on the shaky head are also productive techniques and using electronics is essential to locating the bait as the fish are found at different depths. Catfish to 17.5 pounds were landed last week, and with the cooler weather they are staying active during the daylight hours. Frozen shad, sardines, anchovies, or nightcrawlers are all productive baits, but the big fish of the week was landed on a live crawdad. Trout fishing has improved with the few trollers out on the lake returning with limits running heavy spoons amidst the schools of bait. The rainbows are moving closer to the surface in response to cooling water temperatures. Crappie are even becoming more active, and live minnows or minijigs near submerged structure are working for the slabsides. There is submerged timber throughout the shoreline with the low water levels. The lake rose nearly 2 feet to 12% capacity and 801.20 feet in elevation. Tulloch rose a half-foot to 500.94 feet in elevation and 84% capacity with more water releases anticipated.
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/
Kokanee 0 Bass 2 Trout 2 King salmon 1 Catfish 2 Crappie 2
Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said sSmall fish are the rule, and few bass fishermen are targeting the lake. There is a top-water bite in the mornings with small lures, but the best fishing remains on the bottom at depths from 10 to 25 feet with plastics on the Carolina or Texas rig. The bite continues to be inconsistent with decent fishing one day, followed by slower action. Catfishing is fair with anchovies or sardines near Deer Creek Marina. No trout reports with trollers heading into the high country. The lake held at 721.83 feet in elevation and 12% capacity. In the lower Kings River, interest for planted trout continues to be very low. Power Bait has been the top option. There are special regulations in both 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 Engineer’s Bridge is the first bridge to the west of the 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 2 Catfish 2 Bass 1 Crappie 1
In the main San Luis Reservoir, Mickey Clements of Coyote Bait in Morgan Hill said the best action has been with jumbo minnows for limits of striped bass ranging from 24 to 28 inches. The key is using electronics to locate the bait fish, and the stripers will be in the area feeding on the shad. Trollers are having to cover lots of water in order to find the schools, and the best action continues to be around the Trash Racks or the mouth of Portuguese Cove. There have been some huge stripers landed from the shoreline on reaction baits or live jumbo minnows. Roger George of Roger George Guide Service said that the bite has been sporadic-with very wind or dead calm conditions at times. “I pre-fished the afternoon last Friday and the heat and calm made for tough fishing for everyone. I only landed and released six fish in the 21- to 23-inch range. Water temps are 73-74 on top. We got blown off Saturday. Mike Esposito from the Bay Area got a huge 40 pounder on a bass setup casting the shoreline last Wednesday that took an hour to land and then release with a Seaqualizer. The really good striper guys are using the tool more and more to carefully put the big ones back. The launch ramp at Dinosaur Point is on the third ramp now, which is located out on the far east point of the now exposed isthmus – and is the best choice now – especially if a northern wind comes up,” George said. A four-wheel drive two vehicle is advised. The lake has dropped to 17% capacity. In the O’Neill Forebay, shore anglers are able to find more access with fewer weeds in the lake after weeks of spraying, but the dying vegetation is still a concern. There is a ripbait bite from the shoreline as well as with smaller swimbaits in the 4- to 5-inch range. Live minnows and blood worms are also producing a generally smaller grade of striped bass.
Call: Coyote Bait andTackle (408) 463-0711, Roger George of rogergeorgeguideservice.com (559) 905-2954
Bass 2 Trout 2 Kokanee 1
Putting a boat in the lake is a challenge with the lake at 47% capacity, and many bass fishermen are avoiding the lake for this reason. The Kerman Bass Club held a tournament last weekend, and launching was a concern. Small spotted bass in the 1.25- to 1.75-pound range can be landed on top-water lures in the early mornings before switching to the bottom with drop-shot plastics my mid-morning. The Sheriff’s Motor Fee is no longer in effect. There is a large hole on one side of the public launch ramp.
Call: Todd Wittwer 288-8100; Mike Beighey 642-3748
Brown trout 2 Trout 2
The high country along Kaiser Pass has been limited to only a few fishermen, with Edison dropping to 4% and Florence at 22% capacity. Mammoth Pool has changed from over 80% to the current 9% capacity within the past two months.
Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000
Kokanee 1 Trout 4
Snow made an appearance at Shaver Lake, but the hot trout action hasn’t cooled. Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters reported the rainbows keep on coming and “we are returning with multiple limits on a daily basis.” The best trolling has been taking place near the Island, Black Rock, and Eagle Point at depths from 20 to 31 feet, he said. There are only a few boats on the lake during the week, and a few more show up on the weekends. The key has been the depth and location, with an early start another boost for success. Steven Beals and his daughters Lily and Brooke from Carmel scored three limits in quick order with Nichols on Sunday afternoon. Nichols continues to score with Dick’s Trout Busters tipped with a nightcrawler behind a weighted Mountain Flasher on his side poles while using either orange Apex lures or Koke Buster’s tipped with a crawler behind a C.J. Dodger on the downriggers. The fish are moving up in the water column with the water temperature dropping to 63 degrees, and the side poles have been more effective than the downriggers. Steve Santoro of Fish Box Charters echoed Nichols reports with his groups landing limits at various depths trolling from the center of the lake towards the rear of the lake with blade/crawler combinations. Recent thunderstorms have brought the lake level up, and the boat launch at the Sierra Marina is in great shape The trout are loading up with insects and other aquatic foods washing down from the shorelines, Nichols added. With the rainbows moving closer to the surface and shoreline, bank fishermen are finding limited success with Nichols touting Roads 1 and 2 or the Sierra Marina as the top bank locations. Smallmouth bass are still abundant near the rocks, and Bob Bernier of Fresno continues to catch and release numbers of small ones near the Boy Scout Island around the rocks with Panther Martin spinners or live crickets. At Huntington, the recent storms will encourage the brown trout fishermen to start dragging their aluminum boats to the lake’s edge in order to troll along the shallows for a chance at a trophy. The launch ramp is inaccessible for trailered boats. Bank fishermen continue to find quality rainbows with various colors of trout dough bait or inflated nightcrawlers, and a few fishermen are heading to the shoreline near Dam 1 or 2. Shaver rose slightly to 56% capacity with Huntington holding at 30%.
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
At Wishon, snow fell Sunday, so anglers need to check road conditions prior to making the drive. Trollers continue to find solid action with blade/crawler combinations at depths from three to four colors of lead core on the far side of the lake. Bank fishing is producing limits with various colors of trout dough bait near the mouth of Short Hair Creek or the headwaters of the lake. The launch ramp is still on the concrete. At Courtright, the launch ramp is out of the water, and the lake will remain at minimal pool throughout the winter for repairs on the dam. Shore fishermen continue to find action near the near the Day Use Area with trout dough bait, inflated nightcrawlers or casting lures such as Thomas Buoyants or Kastmasters in copper/brass.
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
Salmon 2 Bonito 3 Rockfish 3 Striper 2 Bluefin tuna 2
Bluefin tuna have the local skiffs out in force, and several boats have been out searching for the rare opportunity to hook a bluefin off of the central California coast. The best tuna action appears to be north or south of the Pillar Point Harbor near Bodega Bay or south out of Monterey with most local boats returning after a pleasurable boat ride. Bonito have been a more common occurrence for skiffs targeting bluefin and live mackerel have been the trick for the abundant tuna species. Mackerel are thick out of Pillar Point and there has been a huge concentration of schools of mackerel off of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. Rockfish is the most consistent species available, and the Queen of Hearts out of Half Moon Bay Sport Fishing returned with 35 limits of rockfish and a few ling cod on Oct. 18 after fishing south of the harbor. Second Captain Michael Cabanas of the Huli Cat has also found limits for rockfish off of San Gregorio or Martin’s Beach on all recent trips. Mackerel have been the bait of choice for the largest fish, and Ernie Burgess of Sutter Creek scored a 10-pound ling cod on a mackerel off of Martin’s Beach while Kelly Forde of San Francisco caught an exotic tree rockfish off of San Gregorio on a shrimp fly. The Dungeness crab season opens Nov. 7 and the Huli Cat will be the only large party boat running crab/rockfish combination trips out of Pillar Point Harbor. Further north in Pacifica, the start of the Dungeness crab season will bring out droves of anglers from the pier in search of crab with snares or crab nets.
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 Bonito 3 Yellowfin tuna 2 Bluefin tuna 3
Chris Arcoleo of Chris’s Landing in Monterey reported little change on the rockfish front with 33 limits of rockfish and 35 ling cod on the Star of Monterey on Sunday with the Caroline returning with 21 limits and 25 lings. “Live mackerel are still plentiful, and there are bonito everywhere,” he said. There are yellowfin tuna off of the coast, and the skiffs are starting to find them amongst the schools of dolphins. Experienced fishermen are also posting some great scores on bluefin tuna by dropping down a live mackerel on a heavy weight to 200 feet in depth and trolling at a fast salmon troll. Those unable to hook tuna are finding solid action for bonito with up to 20 fish within an hour with quads and triples. Commercial fishermen are also cashing in on the bonito inside of the bay. They have room throughout the week, and there is still room for the opening weekdays of Dungeness crab season following the opening Nov. 7.
Call: Chris’ Landing (831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173; usafishing.com
San Francisco Bay
Halibut 3 Striper 3 Rockfish 3 Leopard shark 2 Sturgeon 2 Salmon 3
Just when you think it is over, the ocean salmon give us another tease with solid scores over the weekend. The Sundance out of Emeryville Sport Fishing returned with five limits to 20 pounds on Sunday while the Sausalito boats combined for 35 salmon for 45 anglers on Saturday. The action was a bit slower for the one Sausalito boat trolling southwest of Muir Beach on Sunday with 12 salmon to 23 pounds for 20 anglers, but overall the action is much better than experienced at the start of the week. The Sundance went rockfishing on Saturday for six limits and seven lings to 12 pounds, but the lure of salmon must have been great on Sunday. Rockfishing remains outstanding, and the California Dawn out of Berkeley loaded up with 30 limits, 61 lings, and a bonito on Saturday while the New Huck Finn out of Emeryville returned with 24 limits of rockfish, two lings to 10 pounds, and three halibut to 6 pounds on Saturday. The New Huck Finn and Tigerfish out of Emeryville also returned with 45 limits of rockfish and 41 lings to 17 pounds on Sunday.Dungeness crab season opens Nov. 7, and the party boats are loading up for the opener. Inside the bay, Captain Trent Slate of Shelter Cove Sport Fishing is based out of Loch Lomond Marina for the winter, and he will be running crab/rockfish combination trips after Nov. 7. Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle was gushing about the halibut action so late in the season: “Not many people are targeting halibut, but the action is better right now than any time this year.” He added that striped bass were abundant at Red Rock on Sunday, especially with Loch Lomond shiners as there were linesides to 30 inches landed. Trolling is producing unlimited numbers of small bass while the larger fish are taken by drifting live bait. They have an ‘adequate’ supply of Loch Lomond shiners, and there are also Loch Lomond midshipmen at the shop.
San Luis Obispo
Rock cod 4
The Princess out of Virg’s Landing in Morro Bay held at epic rockfishing trip to Cape San Martin with 18 anglers picking up 128 lings to 25.5 pounds along with five others over 20 pounds, 30 bonito, two skipjack, 280 vermilion rockfish, 80 assorted rockfish, and two sheephead to 16.5 pounds on this past weekend’s two-day trip. Due to demand, there will be one or two additional two-day trips in December. Lisa Than of Los Angeles landed both the jackpot ling cod and the largest sheephead. Out of Port San Luis, the Avenger out of Patriot Sport Fishing returned with 240 rockfish and three ling cod to 9 pounds on Monday’s half-day trip. Sunday’s trip on the Patriot returned with 35 limits of rockfish and six lings to 16 pounds with the jackpot fish landed by Michael Palomo of Delano. There is live bait at Port San Luis and also at Morro Bay Landing. The John Rowley Ling Cod Tournament is Dec. 12, and the largest ling cod of the week qualifies for tournament.
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 4 Striper 4 Sturgeon 2 Catfish 3 Bluegill 3 Salmon 3
Salmon fishing from the banks has been the highlight of the Delta with anglers from the Dillon Point State Park, 1st Street in Benicia, the Pittsburg shoreline, near the old Humphrey’s restaurant in Antioch and below the Freeport Bridge at the upper end of the Delta all producing chrome fish.Alan Fong of the Fishermen’s Warehouse in Sacramento said shore fishermen are finding the best action for salmon as the jig bite has been slower, but anglers are tossing Flying C’s in bright colors for decent numbers below the Freeport Bridge. Rio Vista Bait reported improved salmon fishing in the OldSacramento River from Viera’s Resort to Walnut Grove. Over the weekend, a number of salmon were landed on the east side of themain Sacramento River above the Rio Vista Bridge. Liberty Island and Lindsay Slough have also been productive locations for salmon. Sylvia Viera of Viera’s Riverside Bait near Isleton said there are fish landed every day with anywhere from 3 to 15 salmon brought to the scales, but the action isn’t spectacular. The water temperature is dropping at 70.2 degrees. Jim Pickens of the Fishermen’s Friend in Lodi reported the salmon bite continues on the Sacramento from Vieira’s up the Old Sac to Sacramento. Some of the more popular locations along the way are: Vieira’s, Ko-Kets, Walnut Grove, Clarksburg, Freeport and Garcia Bend. Most anglers are trolling Silvertrons, Kwikfish and Blue Foxes. Jigging for Salmon becomes more popular the farther up the river you fish. Shore anglers continue to have success with Flying C’s and Blue Foxes in the Walnut Grove area. Near Pittsburg, Do Doung of Dockside Bait reported good action for salmon near the Pittsburg PG&E plant with Flying C spinners with at least 10 salmon landed off of the rocks on Thursday morning. For striped bass near Rio Vista, Mark Fehrenbach of Mark’s Sport Fishing reported changing action on a daily basis, and he has been primarily trolling within the past week. Scotty Marran of Yuba City has been drifting live mudsuckers near Liberty Island for multiple limits of schoolie stripers, and he reported clear water conditions without grass or flotsam on either tide during the weekend. For sturgeon, Jay Lopes of Right Hook Sport Fishing currently out of Pittsburg Marina reported great action one day with three keepers and another legal sturgeon lost on Friday followed by 11 shakers on Saturday and a keeper and a handful of shakers on Sunday. A section of Highway 12 between Rio Vista and Interstate 5 will be closed for four consecutive weekends as work continues on the Mokelumne River Bridge Rehabilitation Project. The weekend closures will be from 10 p.m. Fridays through 5 a.m. Mondays, according to the California Department of Transportation. The closures will take place Oct. 23-26, Oct. 30 through Nov. 2, Nov. 6-9 and Nov. 13-16, Caltrans said. Motorists are being advised to use I-5, Interstate 80 and Highway 4 as alternate routes. Farther west of Stockton, the conditions are much improved. Captain Mike Gravert of Intimidator Sport Fishing is housed in his winter home at Korth’s Pirate’s Lair, and said fishing has ranged from good to great just outside the harbor at Korth’s Pirates’ out on the San Joaquin drifting live mudsuckers on ultralight tackle. Alan Fong of the Fishermen’s Warehouse in Sacramento reported plenty of striped bass in the San Joaquin, but most of the fish are undersized with a ratio of 50 shakers to one keeper. He has been finding great action for numbers of small largemouth bass with small 5-inch Whopper Ploppers on the surface, Senkos in open water, and Missle’s D-Bombs on a 1.5-ounce tungsten weight under the hyacinth mats. Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, said, “The largemouth and striped bass bite on the Delta is so good right now, it should be outlawed.” There are lots of schools on the San Joaquin River, and although most of the fish are small, there are keepers in the 2- to 5-pound range in the mix. It is nothing to catch and released 30 to 45 stripers per day. The best technique is slow rolling along the bottom with the Optima Double AA Bubba Shad as the water is still warm. There is a top-water, spoon, and swimbait bite, and the morning bite for numbers is great on the San Joaquin, but it gets tough by mid-morning. The shad are pushing into the shallows, and Pringle has also been scoring largemouth bass with the half-ounce white or white/chartreuse Persuader spinnerbait with double Willow blades or the Imaged Blade shad as well as the Timber Tiger crankbait in shad patterns. The ima Flit ripbait is also effective, but Pringle advise setting your drag correctly since there is an increased chance of getting hit by a 10 to 20-pound striped bass on this lure. The big news of the week has been the pulse flows on the lower Mokelumne, and the flows reached 480 CFS by this past Friday. The flows are designed to attract salmon up the Mokelumne, and there are three more pulse flows to be announced within the coming weeks.
Call: Randy Pringle (209) 543-6260; Captain Stan Koenigsberger – Quetzal Adventures (925) 570-5303; Intimidator Sport Fishing (916) 806-3030
Bass 3 White bass 2 Striper 0 Catfish 2 Crappie 2
At Nacimiento, boat traffic has ceased with the end of the recreational boating season. Spotted bass to 2.75 pounds have been taken on top water early in the morning before working the bottom with drop-shot plastics. The best action is in the early morning from first light to 10 a.m. The spotted bass have been boiling on the surface in the early mornings. White bass are scarce. Nacimiento and Lopez remain the only coastal lakes where boats can be launched from a ramp. The launch ramp at Lopez is anticipated to remain open for the remainder of the season as the lake is holding at 34% capacity. At Santa Margarita, the bass bite has improved with frogs, spinnerbaits, or drop-shotting all producing around White Oak, Mackey Point, and the marina. Crappie action has been slow, but catfish are biting cut baits in the White Oak area. Santa Margarita is less than 15% capacity, but the marina store is open. San Antonio remains closed. Quagga mussel inspections are required before launching is allowed.
Call: Lake Nacimiento (805) 238-1056, ext. 3; Lake San Antonio Marina (805) 472-2818; Central Coast Bass Fishing.com (805) 466-6557
- Hook, Line, and Sinker at Delta/Russo’s Marina on Oct. 18: First, Clint Groenewald/Obedie Williams, 19.04 pounds (Big Fish, 8.06); Second, Scott Adkins/Brett Schopd, 18.83; Third, Ed Ortman/Ronny Van Airesdale, 16.91.
- Oct. 24: Fishaholics Striper Derby at California Aqueduct-Kettleman City Fishing Access, thefishaholics.com, midnight to noon; Sierra Bass Club at McClure
- Oct. 25: Stockton Bass Club at Delta/Ladd’s Marina; Success Bass Club at Kaweah
- Oct. 30-31: California Bass Federation at New Melones
- Tuolumne County: Lyons Canal (Columbia Ditch); Moccasin Creek; Powerhouse Stream
> = peak activity