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.
California Aqueduct stripers hitting, Meng Xyong said. New Melones bass bite on, John Lietchy reported. Delta stripers still active, Randy Pringle said. Shaver trout providing limits, Merritt Gilbert reported..
2-Have to work hard
4-Fish jumpin’ in boat
Delta Mendota Canal and Sloughs
The California Aqueduct remained one of the highlights for central California fishermen, and interest for first-time anglers continues to grow. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “The aqueduct is still kicking out fish, and fishermen are heading out there and picking up quick limits of 20-inch stripers. Most of our striper fishermen are heading to the aqueduct instead of the O’Neill Forebay or the main lake, and the FishAholics group has definitely increased interest in this fishery.” Meng Xyong of Fresno, organizer of the FishAholics group said, “Fishing at the California Aqueduct continues to be productive. Here’s what we’ve seen anglers have been reporting along with some of my personal trips – Stripers continue to gorge on the baitballs in the aqueduct system. Sporadic boils have become common place through entire stretches of the this waterway. Anglers have been scoring limits of stripers using SpeedLures, Duo Realis jerkbaits, Lucky Craft Pointers, Rattle Traps or Zoom Flukes. The key has been to target them early in the morning when stripers are actively feeding on the surface. Many stripers caught have undergone a transformation as they have fleshed out significantly from the abundant bait fish throughout the water system. On a recent trip, I was able to hook into schoolie stripers trolling from shore with a custom Umbrella Rig paired with Storm swimbaits. They’re chasing the decoys and hammering the Storm swimbaits. Casting Alabama Rigs into the boils have proven effective as well as anglers are catching their limits of striped bass.” Water clarity in the northern aqueduct system continues to be clear while most of the water downstream of Oniel Forebay continues to be murky. In the south aqueduct in Kern County, Jacob Rutledge of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield reported good striper fishing, with one fishermen bringing in a limit at 12 and 15 pounds. Blood worms, River2Sea Rovers and 5-inch Whopper Ploppers have been the top attractions. There have been few reports of catfish this week.
Bass 2; Trout 1; Bluegill 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 1
The bass numbers are down, but Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “An occasional quality fish can be taken on jigs or Brush Hogs over submerged structure.” Catfishing is best at night with chicken livers, sardines, or anchovies from the banks. Overall, fishing interest is slow with the low water conditions. Those that are launching are choosing to run a trolling motor in the lowered water pool full of unmarked hazards. The area above the buoy line is open, but there is little water to venture far. Submerged hazards beyond the buoy line are not marked, and the area is a no-wake zone. The lake dropped slightly to 466.62 feet in elevation and 7 percent capacity.
Call: Six Star Tackle Box 673-5688; Eastman Lake 689-3255
Bass 2; Trout 1; Catfish 2; Bluegill 2; Crappie 2
A few fishermen are walking the banks for bass in the 2- to 2.25-pound range on ripbaits or crankbaits. Kayakers are finding quality bass with drop-shot plastics or Senkos, but the launch ramp is closed with the lake at 5 percent. Catfishing is best at night with chicken livers, nightcrawlers or prepared dough baits. The lake held at 446.99 feet in elevation.
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
Manny Basi of the Bait Barn in Waterford said, “Bass fishing is best with shad-patterned 4.5-inch plastics on the drop-shot at depths from 25-30 feet. Most of the action is off of the banks, and they are tossing the plastic worms into deep water and working the lure slowly back to the shoreline.” The shad are starting to school up, and the bass are suspending on the shad schools. Trout and king salmon action for trollers will not improve until the water cools, but this should happen within the next few weeks. He added that trout fishermen are also starting to congregate on the shorelines with Power Bait or nightcrawlers. The lake rose nearly a foot to 673.69 in elevation and 32 percent 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
At Lake Isabella, the low water conditions continue to discourage bass fishermen from launching their expensive vessels into the shallow lake. Launching requires a four-wheel-drive tow vehicle, and there are no marinas open or courtesy docks in the lake. Catfishing with super meal worms, mackerel, Katnip Beef Bait, Secret 7 Catfish Bait or Sonny’s Dip Bait is the best thing going, but there haven’t been too many fishermen interested either. A few crappie are starting to show near the marinas or close to the abundant submerged structure throughout the lake. The lake dropped slightly to 2522.42 feet in elevation and 5 percent capacity. Jacob Rutledge of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield said, “The lower Kern River continues to be a highlight in the area for both largemouth and smallmouth bass from the mouth of the canyon west into the city limits. A variety of plastic worms in crawdad patterns are working on a Carolina or Texas-rig.” Trout plants should start in short order in the upper river and in the local lakes, but the plants will be half of previous year’s totals given the effects of the extended drought on the hatcheries. Buena Vista is kicking out a few catfish and crappie while Brite Lake in the Tehachapi Mountains is also a good location for crappie. The Taft Chamber of Commerce Trout Derby at Buena Vista is scheduled for Nov. 21.
Call: Bob’s Bait (661) 833-8657; North Fork Marina (760) 376-1812
Bass 3; Crappie 2; Trout 1; Catfish 2
The cooling water has the threadfin shad starting to ball up, and the bass are chasing shad in the early mornings and late evenings before following the shad balls into the depths from 10-30 feet, with the larger fish holding in deeper water. Drop-shot plastics, deep-diving crankbaits or shad-patterned swimbaits are all working. Bluegill and crappie are coming off small to medium minnows or live crickets, while catfishing remains best at night with chicken livers or anchovies. The lake rose a half foot to 592.98 in elevation and 9 percent capacity.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212
Bass 3; Trout 1; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
Bass fishing has improved despite the low water levels at the lake. The recent inclement weather has improved the bite as the fish are chasing bait along the shore. Slow-rolling spinnerbaits or lipless crankbaits or deep-diving cranks at depths from 15-20 feet remain the top techniques. The lake is very low at 574.67 feet in elevation and 4 percent capacity.
Call: Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626, sequoiafishingcompany.com
Bass 3; Trout 2; King salmon 1; Kokanee 1; Crappie 2; Catfish 3
Bass fishing from the banks remains very good, but few are willing to make the long trek to the shore with the lake level at 7 percent capacity after dropping another 4.5 feet to 590.44 in elevation in the past week. The best action has been with shad-patterned plastics such as Robo Worm’s Hologram Shad. Because of the severe drought conditions, recreational opportunities are extremely limited on Lake McClure. The north ramp at Barrett Cove may be used at boater’s risks by hand-launched craft, such as kayaks and canoes. The south ramp, as well as those at Bagby, Horseshoe Bend, and McClure Point, remain closed until further notice.
Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505; Bub Tosh (209) 404-0053
Lake McSwain Marina and launch ramp remain open, but the store is closed Monday through Wednesday. Campfires are again allowed at McSwain’s campgrounds. The annual Merced Irrigation Derby Fall Trout Derby has been postponed until April 9-10 because of warm water conditions at the lake. Few fishermen have been heading to the lake with the lack of trout plants since April. The Merced River is closed to fishing until Jan. 1 from the Crocker-Huffman Bridge to G Street in Snelling because of the warm water.
Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River
Bass 2; Striper 1; Shad 1; Bluegill 2; Trout 2
The Roosevelt High School Bass Club continues to receive tremendous community support, with Moe Bagunu, Aaron Cervelli, Ron Armstrong and Larry Hodge saving the day on a recent trip where the club’s sponsor had his van stolen a day prior to their scheduled fishing trip. Mike Spenser said, “I only had to make four phone calls on Friday, and seven young anglers were in boats fishing Saturday. The RHS BFC is so very, very lucky to be surrounded and supported by so many good people who always say yes first – in truth I probably could have had a dozen boats in a moment's notice if the kids needed them. To Ron, Moe, Larry, Aaron and all the wonderful people who volunteer their time to help us, thank you. They can steal our van, but they can never stop us from fishing!!!” Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “Bass limits in the 6.5- to 7-pound range are possible, but overall, interest in fishing has slowed.” The majority of action is on the bottom with drop-shot plastics, jigs, or Senkos at depths from the banks to 30 feet. The two-day Bass 101 Open Tournament concludes Nov. 15 at Millerton, following the first day at Pine Flat. All vessels must possess a low-emission motor. The lake is again releasing water and dropped more than 2 feet to 484.54 in elevation and 33 percent capacity. There are only a few anglers working the lower San Joaquin, and Sycamore Island appears to be the top location for bass fishermen. 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 4; Crappie 2; Catfish 2; Trout 2; Kokanee 1
New Melones bass fishing continues to improve as numbers of fat, healthy spotted bass in the 1- to 3-pound range are available for anglers. John Liechty of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp said, “The bass bite is phenomenal, and although there are not a lot of big fish, the numbers of healthy bass is impressive.” He has been scoring with plastics on the drop-shot, vertical jigging with spoons, or tossing rip baits, but he said, “The bass are hugging the bottom more than a month ago, and we have been trying for larger fish on the bottom at depths from 25-50 feet with jigs on the shaky head or Texas-rig. The lake is releasing water slowly, and although it is not an exaggerated fall, it may affect the bass bite since they get comfortable when the water is stable.” There are more and more fishermen using the gravel launch ramp than in the past month, particularly as the number of recreational boaters has dropped. There are also some larger bass taken with Big Dan Routh and Ryan Norris finding great action while releasing 50 bass to 9.1 pounds using a six-blade spinner bait or a white Bill Dance Crank Bait. Kevin Dye of Arnold released a 5-pound spotted bass on a wacky-rigged Senko. Liechty added: “Take photos and carefully release the fish back into to the lake to maintain a healthy fish population for generations to come.” Trout fishing continues to be slow, but the upcoming storms will bring the rainbows closer to the surface. The rainbows are working with the bass within the shad schools. Catfish are still available from the banks, and frozen shad, sardines, anchovies, or mackerel are the top baits with the whiskerfish found in the flats with deep water access. Crappie fishing is fair, but a few fishermen are finding quality slabsides under lights at night with live minnows. The lake dropped 2.5 feet to 799.13 in elevation and 11 percent capacity. Tulloch dropped three-quarters of a foot to 498.59 in elevation and 80 percent 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/Kings River
Bass 2; Trout 2; King salmon 1; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “There is minimal fishing pressure on the lake with most bass fishermen heading to various other area lakes.” Duck hunting in the trees in the upper end of the lake has brought out most boaters. There is a topwater bite for the first half hour in the mornings before heading to the bottom with plastics at depths from 10-25 feet. The two-day Bass 101 Open Tournament will start at Pine Flat on Nov. 14, followed by the second day at Millerton. There were no trout reports, with trollers heading up to Shaver Lake. The lake rose three-quarters of a foot to 723.11 in elevation and 12 percent capacity. In the lower Kings River, interest for planted trout continues to be very slow with few fishermen out with the low flows. Power Bait has been the top option. Regulations in the Kings River above and below Pine Flat Dam set the season as running 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 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 2; Crappie 1
Alex Tran at Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill said, “Striper fishing has picked up in the past week with jumbo minnows over structure or trolling large plugs through the schools of linesides. Ripbaits, flukes on a Scrounger head, or topwater lures are working from the shorelines as the fish are chasing bait on the surface in the early mornings and evenings. The linesides are moving closer to the surface in the early mornings before dropping down during the daytime from 40-60 feet in depth.” The fish are scattered, and electronics are essential to locate the schools. Roger George of Roger George Guide Service said that the bite seems to be turning on and off at times, but in his past two scouting trips he caught/released up to 15 fish in the 21- to 26-inch range each day. “I have had to work hard to get the fish trolling at anywhere from 30-70 feet, the patterns seem to be pretty specific. Many guys weren’t doing too well on the moderate bite during either trip-especially when things suddenly turned off later in the day, and minnows weren’t much better, according to the guys I talked to. Both ramps may be tough now after the rain due to mud,” George said. Lake levels are low at 17 percent capacity, making for difficult conditions at the launch ramps. A four-wheel-drive tow vehicle is advised at both ramps. In the O’Neill Forebay, Tran said, “Small stripers are the rule, but limits can be taken of legal fish on topwater lures in the early mornings before switching to flukes on a half to three-eighths-ounce Scrounger head or shaky head. The bass are busting on the surface during the mornings and evenings. The weed growth is still present, but recent spraying has made some difference.” The main lake capacity held, but pumping from the Delta and outflows into the California Aqueduct continue to occur to keep the lake steady.
Call: Coyote Bait andTackle (408) 463-0711, Roger George of rogergeorgeguideservice.com (559) 905-2954
Bass 2; Trout 2; Kokanee 1
The launch ramp is a concern as bass fishermen had a difficult time putting their vessels into the lake during a recent tournament. The lake held at 47 percent capacity, and the large hole on one side of the public ramp is also a concern. Interest in bass fishing has been slow, and it will remain so until the water rises and cools at the reservoir. The Sheriff’s Motor Fee is no longer in effect.
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 percent and Florence at 23 percent capacity. Mammoth Pool has changed from more than 80 percent to the current 13 percent within the past two months, and boats are having a very difficult time launching and pulling out of the lake. Trout fishing is very slow with only a couple of fish reported from the banks. The few trollers are working throughout the day for a single trout.
Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000
Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake
Kokanee 1; Trout 3
Shaver continues to be the highlight in the central Sierra as Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis stated, “90 percent of our boat traffic up the hill is heading to Shaver Lake, and it is getting quite a bit of play.” Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters confirmed the number of fishermen on the lake despite the arrival of inclement weather, and he said, “Monday’s storm could change things a lot, as the fish are already coming up in the water column.”They managed to put in limits Friday, but the action was slower than earlier in the week when limits were fulfilled by 8:10 a.m. The trout are found from 5-29 feet in depth from the Island to the Point to Black Rock on Dick’s Trout Busters tipped with a nightcrawler behind a weighted Mountain Flasher. Nichols added, “The word of Shaver’s success has spread, and I met John Rodriques of Turlock and his brother Randy of Chowchilla on the lake, and they were first-time fishermen to the lake. However, they put in limits within three hours on blade/crawler combinations at 15 feet in depth. Seeing our larger quality of rainbows, they went to Shaver Lake Sports for Trout Busters and Mountain Flashers since the smaller rainbows are closer to the surface. They limited once again the following day.” Nichols took out Joe Sigarroa of Clovis, his mother Margaret Sigarroa of Merced, and Chris Benner of Modesto for limits within 1 hour, 10 minutes from leaving the dock. Steve Santoro of Fish Box Charters confirmed the solid bite with blade/crawler combinations or Needlefish in a frog pattern on straight mono 75 feet behind the boat as the rainbows are busting the surface and loaded with insects. Smallmouth bass are still holding on the rocky points, and they are hitting jigs or small spinners. The launch ramp at Sierra Marina remains open. Bank fishing has been hit or miss with nightcrawlers or trout dough bait from Roads 1 and 2 or along the Sierra Marina shore. The heavy plants because of the evacuation of rainbow trout from the Friant Hatchery have contributed to the excellent action late into the fall. The marinas have closed for the season, but there are outlets for tackle and bait in Shaver Lake. At Huntington, the coming storm may bring out the secretive society of brown trout fishermen, as weather is needed to turn on this selective bite. Launching a boat from the ramp is not possible, but hand-carried boats can be brought to the shore. Kokanee to 14 inches have been taken near the boat launch as the fish are pushing up Rancheria Creek in an attempt to spawn. Shaver held at 56 percent capacity, with Huntington dropping slightly to 29 percent.
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, the Wishon Store and RV Park has closed for the season. Fishing has slowed for trollers and bank fishermen after a long, productive season. The best bank action is at the headwaters with various colors of trout dough bait or inflated nightcrawlers. The launch ramp is still on the concrete. There are still plenty of fish in the lake after heavy plants following the evacuation of the Friant Hatchery. Snow is expected during the week, and the road may be closed is short order. Updates are available at 297-0706. Deer season closed Sunday, but Chuck Crane of Wishon Village reported at that a 4-x-4 buck came in on Saturday from Patterson Mountain along with three fork 3’s. There have been 20 deer brought to the store for pictures since the season opener. At Courtright, cold and windy weather has limited the number of fishermen heading up to the lake.
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
Bonito 3; Rockfish 3; Striper 2
Dungeness crab season is anticipated to open Saturday, but may be postponed by the Department of Public Health pending a warning for people not to consume Dungeness because of the presence of high concentrations of domoic acid in crab waters. Get updates at the CDPH’s 24-hour Shellfish Hotline (800) 553-4133. Mary Patyten with the Marine Region Outreach and Communication division of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said, “Dungeness crab bag limits and size limits will become standardized in all segments of the fishery, including on party boats, as soon as the regulations make it through legal review and go on the books. CDFW also anticipates sending out a press release with all the latest information once everything has been settled.” Captain Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat will be the only large party boat operating crab/rockfish combination trips out of Pillar Point, and he is filled for the anticipated opening weekend of the season. Second Captain Michael Cabanas has been running the boat south of the harbor for limits of rockfish off of the Ritz Carleton Hotel with deckhand Donovan Ash scoring a limit of lings to 18 pounds on live mackerel. Cabanas said, “The lings were on the bite, but the rockfish took some time to put together limits.” Out of Half Moon Bay Sport Fishing, Sherry Ingles reported the Queen of Hearts and Riptide combined for 34 limits of rockfish including a cabezon and eight lings on Halloween Day. She said, “The ling count is up and down depending on the day, but we are carving out limits of rockfish every trip.” Salmon season closed Oct. 31. Mackerel are thick up and down the coast, and there are private boaters getting in on the bonito action from a few miles offshore to the Deep Reef.” The Half Moon Bay boats will be rockfish-only trips until the season closure on Dec. 31. Mattusch went out searching for bonito on Sunday and quit after putting 10 in the box trolling deep-diving Yozuri Crystal Minnows or tuna clones with a pair of bonito landed on the meat lines. He said, “These fish are only 4-6 miles offshore, and since Donovan Ash and Michael Cabanas had never landed a bonito, we thought we would have a fun crew trip.” Farther north in Pacifica, if the Dungeness crab season opens as expected, the Pacifica Pier and local beaches will be crowded with crab anglers tossing crab nets or snares. Pacifica is one of the top locations for crab fishermen from the shore.
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
Keith Stemler of Chris’s Landing in Monterey reported three-quarters limits of rockfish and 20 lings for 20 anglers on the Caroline, while the Star of Monterey put in 39 ling cod and 87 rockfish for 29 anglers. They have stayed local the past two days because of the weather. Saturday’s scores were similar with 39 lings for 28 anglers and 84 rockfish on the Check Mate with half limits of rockfish and 24 lings for 12 fishermen on the Caroline. Their first weekend availability for crab combination trips is Dec. 6, with Nov. 19 the first weekday.
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 2
Ocean salmon season ended Saturday at sunset, and the Lovely Martha out of San Francisco was one of the only party boats that went out for the finale. They ended up with six salmon to 18 pounds out of 15 hook-ups. Rockfishing remains solid with the Sea Wolf, New Huck Finn, and New Salmon Queen out of Emeryville Sport Fishing combining for 67 limits of rockfish and 26 lings to 13 pounds. The California Dawn out of Berkeley went to the Farallons for 18 limits of both rockfish and ling cod with the fish chewing on bars, live mackerel and plastics. Captain Jim Smith of the Happy Hooker gave his scoops of mackerel to his sons on the California Dawn as he stayed in the bay Saturday. Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle reported the majority of action in San Pablo Bay has been around Red Rock for anglers drifting or trolling on the high tide. Fly fishermen also are scoring linesides to 6 pounds tossing Clouser Minnows. The Marin Island have been slower at the top of the tide with all techniques. There are keeper stripers in the south bay, and 22 keepers were landed off Coyote Point on Sunday. Pier E3 on the old eastern span of the Bay Bridge will be demolished Saturday morning, and traffic on the new span will be closed in both directions for about 15 minutes. The concrete debris will fall into a cavity of a 268-foot structure buried deep into the bay’s soft mud. There will still be 21 smaller piers remaining in the bay, and they may be detonated at a future date.
San Luis Obispo
Rock cod 3
Ports here also are awaiting word on whether the Dungeness crab season will open Saturday or be postponed. Rockfishing continues to be excellent, with Virg’s Landing out of Morro Bay returned with 65 ling cod to 15.4 pounds, 196 vermilion rockfish, 312 assorted rockfish, 11 cabezon, a sheephead, and four bonita for 52 combined fishermen on the Rita G and the Fiesta on Halloween Day. Rob Hatch of Fresno took the jackpot with the big ling on the Fiesta. The Patriot out of Patriot Sport Fishing out of Port San Luis returned with seven vermilion, 72 assorted, two bonito, and two lings to 8 pounds for 13 anglers on Monday’s half-day trip. The ling cod are getting larger as they move toward the coast in order to spawn, as an 18.4-pound ling was taken on the Patriot on Sunday. At Virg’s, due to demand, there will be one or two additional two-day trips added during December. 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 3; Striper 3; Sturgeon 2; Catfish 3; Bluegill 3; Salmon 2
Salmon are still trickling through the Delta, but the season is clearing winding down. Johnny Tran of New Romeo’s Bait and Tackle in Freeport said, “There are still a number of salmon in the 10- to 20-pound range taken on spinners or Kwikfish by trollers while those dropping jigs are using the Ultimate Slammer Minnow or P-Line Laser Minnow below the Freeport Bridge.” Alan Fong of the Fisherman’s Warehouse in Sacramento added, “Bank fishermen are doing better than those in boats, and anglers working Flying C’s near Hood are picking up a few fish.” In lower Suisun Bait, Tony Lopez of Benicia Bait reported a few salmon are still landed from the State Park or First Street. The sea lions are still out there along the state park, so there still must be fish coming through. For striped bass, Liberty Island has been productive for some. Don Paganelli of Paganelli’s Bass Fishing Experience found solid action for linesides to 10 pounds Saturday throwing chartreuse Fish Traps on a half-ounce jig head or topwater lures. Jim Pickens of the Fishermen’s Friend in Lodi said, “Striped Bass continue to move into the lower Delta. It’s about even between bait angler and trolling angler with who is coming up with the keepers. Sturgeon have been making a great showing from Benicia up to Montezuma, and you have most of the holes to yourself with everyone else chasing salmon and striped bass with eel, ghost shrimp, or pile worms.” In Cache and Prospect Sloughs, Johnny Tran reported an occasional sturgeon has been taken on lamprey eel/pile worm combinations, eel/nightcrawlers or straight pile worms. Sturgeon fishing has been best in the Pittsburg area, and Tony Lopez of Benicia Bait went out with Ron Reisinger of Chico for three sturgeon released at 63, 53, and 51 inches on straight lamprey eel. The weekend closure on Highway 12 from 10 p.m. Fridays until 5 a.m. Mondays, because of work on the Mokelumne River Bridge, will continue for the next two weekends. During that time, the highway is closed to all but local traffic from Interstate 5 on the east to Highway 160 on the west. Motorists are being advised to use I-5, I-80 and Highway 4 as alternate routes. Traffic north on 160 from Highway 12 to Walnut Grove has been very heavy. Maintenance at the Three Mile Slough Bridge on Highway 160 has the bridge down to one lane until July, and there are traffic backups of up to five miles to the base of the Antioch Bridge. The construction is going on 24 hours per day, so visitors to the Delta need to plan for extra time for the delay. In the San Joaquin River, the floating green menace continues to plague area boaters, and the vast mats of hyacinth have forced the closure of the city of Stockton’s launch ramps at Buckley Cove and Louis Park, leaving Morelli Park as the only viable launch in the area. Alex Breitler of the Stockton Record said, “The alien weed stretches from bank-to-bank across Buckley Cove near the west end of March Lane, and has engulfed all of the docks there. Two neighboring marinas are socked in as well.” Farther west, Captain Mike Gravert of Intimidator Sport Fishing said, “Striper fishing is really good with limits the rule, even in difficult conditions as the summer will just not go away.” He has been working P-Line Laser Minnows or Blade Runner spoons in 1.75-ounce coated with Pro-Cure Threadfin Shad gel as well as drifting live mudsuckers on ultra-light tackle. Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, has been working side-by-side with Captain Mike Gravert on the San Joaquin River, and he said, “We have been catching and releasing up to 70 stripers throwing the ima Big Stick or Little Stick for topwater while working below the surface with the Optima Double AA Bubba Shad or 2-ounce P-Line Laser Minnows in chartreuse/silver or blue silver.” Their larger fish have come in the shallows with swimbaits, but the schools are thick in the San Joaquin, and the key is finding the birds working the surface. There are schools composed of linesides in the 6- to 15-inch range and also in the 3- to 4-pound range. He launched out of B and W Resort due to the heavy hyacinth growth at Ladd’s Marina in Stockton. Steve Santucci of Steve Santucci’s Fly Fishing Guide Service said, “Fishing has been very good with the lower water temperatures and the reduced winds. There are good numbers of schoolies with a few larger fish mixed in seems to be the norm, and a little rain should improve the already great fishing.” Fong confirmed the improved striper fishing in the Frank’s Tract area with larger fish found in the northern end of the submerged island near the outlets. Pickens reported good striper action on the San Joaquin from Eddo’s Boat Harbor to the Stockton Turning Basin, but the water hyacinth is a big problem. He added, The largemouth bass bite is still solid, and there is and there is some indications the bass are starting to move, with a 10.7 pound largemouth caught on the main channel of the San Joaquin while punching a mat. For salmon, the Mokelumne busted wide open this week with most anglers catching a salmon. The Delta Cross Channel Gates were closed Oct. 27-30. They may be closed up to 45 days in all through Jan. 31, potentially on short notice for fishery protection. Information on the current status of the gates is available at the Army Corps of Engineers Central Valley Operations office at (916) 979-2194 or (916) 979-2683.
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 3; White bass 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
At Nacimiento, spotted bass are active in the mornings and evenings chasing bait on the surface. Topwater lures are best in the early mornings before working plastics on the bottom on a Texas-rig or drop-shot. The white bass action remained slow. 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 percent capacity. Lopez is kicking out bluegill and perch with red worms around the F Dock and along submerged structure throughout the lake. Bass fishing continued to be slow. Santa Margarita is at less than 15 percent capacity, but the marina store is open for supplies and rental vessels. Only a few fishermen are hitting the lake, and the bass bite is up and down with some decent action on crankbaits, Rat-L-Traps or plastics on the drop-shot. The crappie bite is also up and down with the best action near structure with minijigs tipped with a Berkley Crappie Nipple. The river arm has dropped to the point where the old road is now exposed for the first time in years. San Antonio remains closed. Reminder that consuming white bass, black bass, crappie, catfish or carp is subject to safe eating guidelines because of the risk of excessive mercury. Quagga mussel inspections are required before boat 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
- Sierra Bass Club on Oct. 24 at Pine Flat: 1, Ryan Reynolds 7.54 pounds (big fish 3.17); 2, Kou Lao 7.07; 3, Bob Hamasaki 6.86
- Nov. 6-8: Virgil’s Striped Bass Derby at Delta/Suisun City; Addathon Iron Man Sturgeon Derby at Delta/Pittsburg
- Nov. 7: Tracy Bass Club at Delta/Tracy Oasis; Dan’s Delta Outdoors Catch, Photo, and Release Striper Derby at Delta/Big Break; Bass Anglers of Northern California at Delta/Russo’s; Sonora Bass Club at Don Pedro; Visalia Bass Club at Kaweah
- Nov. 7-8: Bakersfield Bass Club at Nacimiento
- Nov. 8: Manteca Bassin’ Buddies at Delta/Ladd’s Marina; Bass 101 Team Open at Pine Flat, Mark Corrente 284-2768; Kings VIII Bass Club at Kaweah
- Nov. 14: Kerman Bass Club at Delta/Ladd’s Marina; California Hmong Bass Tournament at Delta/Ladd’s Marina; Contra Costa Bass Club at New Melones; Visalia Bass Club at Kaweah; Taft Bass Club/Golden Empire Bass Club at Nacimiento
- Nov. 14-15: Tri-Valley Bassmasters at Delta/Russo’s Marina; California Bass Nation/Delta Bass Masters at Delta/Russo’s Marina; Delta Bass Busters at Delta/Ladd’s Marina; Bass N’ Tubes at New Melones; Bass 101 at Pine Flat/Millerton, two-day team open, $160, winner take all, Mark Corrente 284-2768; Taft Bass Club at Nacimiento
- Nov. 15: Tracy Bass Club at Delta/Tracy Oasis; Hook, Line, and Sinker at Delta/Russo’s; Modesto Ambassadors at Don Pedro; Kings River Bass Club at Pine Flat
- Nov. 21: Sierra Bass Club at Eastman
- Nov. 22: Stockton Bass at Delta/Ladd’s Marina
q = quarter moon > = peak activity