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 firstname.lastname@example.org with “fish photo” in the subject line.
California Aqueduct stripers still hitting, Merritt Gilbert reported. Delta striper and bass bites steady, Alan Fong reported. San Francisco rockfishing putting out good numbers, Captain Jim Smith said.
Never miss a local story.
2-Have to work hard
4-Fish jumpin’ in boat
Delta Mendota Canal and Sloughs
Stripers 3; Catfish 3
The California Aqueduct remains the highlight of the Central Valley, with numbers of fishermen heading to the water-conveyance systems in response to low water conditions at every Fresno-area reservoir. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “99% of our guys are heading to the California Aqueduct as everything else in the area is slowing down.” Patrick Movey of the Fisherman’s Warehouse in Fresno confirmed the interest, stating, “The boils have slowed down, but if you put in your time, you can come home with limits in the 20-inch range using Lucky Craft Pointer 100’s in ghost minnow or Duo Realis jerkbaits. There is a brief window for topwater, but most fishermen are working under the surface, and we are selling far more lures than bait.” Paul Jolley of Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill said, “There certainly has been more interest in the canals over the past few months, and more fishermen are heading there instead of their normal locations in the O’Neill Forebay or San Luis Reservoir.” The action in the aqueduct ranges from the Tracy area in the north all the way into Kern County. The establishment of the FishAholics group out of Fresno has been a boon for aqueduct fishing, and many anglers are using social media to promote the fishery. Meng Xiong of the FishAholics reported,”This time of year the fish are gorging on the abundant bait fish in the water system. Some anglers are catching stripers and catfish full of eggs and bait fish. Your best bet is fishing the north aqueduct system with SpeedLures, Duo Realis or LuckyCraft Jerkbaits in the morning or evening. Since most fish are chasing smaller fish, a smaller profile lure would entice more fish to bite. Fly fishermen are catching stripers using custom tied flies with success. The checkgates continue to be a popular fishing destination with anglers catching numerous shakers and some keepers using liver and anchovies. I met an angler trying the aqueduct for the first time and he said it’s pretty easy fishing here. Just throw out the planar board with your lure attached and walk along the canal. He was catching largemouth bass and stripers from 10-20 feet out from the water’s edge.” Water is flowing at full bore in the north ducts as the state continues to fill up San Luis Reservoir. Water clarity in the north aqueduct system continues to be clear before turning green and murky after flowing out of ONeill Forebay. In the south aqueduct in Kern County, Jacob Rutledge of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield reported striper action remains solid with 5-inch Whopper Ploppers near Tupman, and they sold 33 of 36 of the lures within five days of arrival. Catfish to 10.3 pounds have been taken out of the aqueduct with nightcrawlers.
Bass 2; Trout 1; Bluegill 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
The lake remains slow at 7 percent capacity, but boats are able to be launched with some effort. Most boaters are moving slowly on the lake in order to avoid the unmarked hazards in the low water conditions. Patrick Movey of the Fisherman’s Warehouse in Fresno said, “A few quality largemouth bass are found near the dam with deep-diving crankbaits or in the deepest portions of the lake with Senkos or jigs.” Catfishing is slowing down with the colder temperatures, but the best action remains at night with chicken livers, sardines, or anchovies. The lake rose slightly to 466.73 feet in elevation.
Call: Six Star Tackle Box 673-5688; Eastman Lake 689-3255
Bass 3; Trout 1; Catfish 2; Bluegill 2; Crappie 2
Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun said, “The lake has possibly the best bass action in the region, but fishermen are limited to kayaks, canoes, float tubes or walking the banks.” Senkos or drop-shot plastics are the top options. The lake is very low at 5 percent capacity, and the launch ramp is closed. Catfishing is slowing amid colder temperatures, with the best fishing at night with chicken livers, nightcrawlers or prepared dough baits.
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 bass bite remains tough, with Walt Lee of the Kerman Bass Club reporting slow fishing for limits to 10-plus pounds for their 12 participants. Eleven of the 12 boats were able to weigh in limits, and the best action is with drop-shot plastics in deep water as the fish are oriented to the shad schools. The shad are balling up as the water continues to school. The lake should turn over within a few weeks depending upon the arrival of cold storms, and the rainbows and kings will migrate toward the surface. A grant for the improvement of the Fleming Meadows Launch Ramp has been approved, with construction to create a two-lane ramp likely to start soon. The lake held at 673.86 feet 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 2; Bluegill 2
At Lake Isabella, conditions remain much the same with few bass fishermen launching their boats into the lake amid low water conditions. The launch ramp is on the dirt, and a four-wheel-drive vehicle is necessary to put a boat into the lake. A few catfish continue to be taken from the banks near Red’s Marina with super meal worms, mackerel or Katnip Beef Bait. The recent inclement weather has also been a deterrent to fishermen. A few crappie are found inside the marinas, but access is limited. The shad are balling up in response to the cooler water. The lake held at 2,522.43 feet in elevation and 5 percent capacity. Jacob Rutledge of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield said, “I went out to the lower Kern River this week, and we didn’t get a bite for bass working from the mouth of the canyon. The river levels are higher than expected, and there are pools of at least 10-12 feet in depth. The water is very clear, and you can see at least 4 feet into the water.” The big news is Saturday’s Taft Chamber of Commerce Trout Derby at Buena Vista Lake, and local fishing interest in the event has been high. Another 1,000 pounds will be planted within days after the derby.
Call: Bob’s Bait (661) 833-8657; North Fork Marina (760) 376-1812
Bass 2; Crappie 2; Trout 1; Catfish 2
The Visalia Bass Club held their Top 10 Fish Off on Saturday, and the best action has been for suspended fish with plastics on the drop-shot or deep-diving crankbaits. Although there were no double-digit bass landed during tournaments over the past two weekends, there have been two huge largemouth bass reported at 14 pounds on a jig and an 11-pounder on a trolled crankbait. Larry Kerns of the Visalia Bass Club was out on a recent fun trip with his daughter, and they caught and released 20 bass, with four in excess of 15 inches, drop-shotting. The fish are suspended with the rising water levels. With the cooler temperatures, catfishing is slowing. The best opportunities are at night with chicken livers or anchovies. The lake rose over 2 feet to 596.12 in elevation and 10 percent capacity.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212
Bass 2; Trout 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
Chuck Stokke of Sequoia Fishing Co. in Springville said, “Bass fishing is fair with the fish chasing bait on the surface in the early morning and late afternoons. Topwater plugs are effective, and the fish are also taking deep-diving crankbaits or plastic worms on the drop-shot.” The lake rose over a foot to 576.43 in elevation and 4 percent capacity. The Tule River is fishing fair, with the best action on bead head nymphs and Woolley Buggers bead head 14. He said, “The river has a good flow due to the recent rains.”
Call: Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626, sequoiafishingcompany.com
Bass 2; Trout 2; King salmon 1; Kokanee 1; Crappie 2; Catfish 2
Little change at this reservoir with few fishermen willing to make the long trek down to the shore with the lake level at 7 percent capacity, although it only dropped slightly to 589.70 feet in elevation within the past week. Catfish are taken on frozen shad, anchovies or mackerel in the lowered pool while bass are susceptible to shad-patterned plastics such as Robo Worm’s Hologram Shad. Given severe drought conditions, lake recreation is extremely limited at Lake McClure. The North Ramp at Barrett Cove may be used at boater’s risks by hand-launched craft, such as kayaks and canoes. Boaters using the ramp do so at their own risk. The Barrett Cove South Ramp, as well as Lake McClure ramps at Bagby, Horseshoe Bend and McClure Point, remain closed.
Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505; Bub Tosh (209) 404-0053
There is also little change at this afterbay of Lake McClure, with the Lake McSwain Marina and launch ramp remaining open but the store 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.
Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River
Bass 2; Striper 1; Shad 1; Bluegill 1; Trout 2
The bass have gone deep, and drop-shot plastics in shad patterns, spoons or jigs as deep as 70 feet are producing spotted bass. The shad are schooling up and heading into deep water, and the bass are following the shad. The key is to progressively work deeper until you locate the fish. Limits in the 9- to 10-pound range are possible, but only eight boats participated in the two-day Bass 101 Open Tournament on Sunday, following the first day at Pine Flat. All vessels must possess a low-emission motor. The lake is again releasing water, dropping 1 foot to 482.68 in elevation and 32 percent capacity. There are only a few anglers working the lower San Joaquin, and Sycamore Island has closed for the winter until Feb. 1. 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 2; Catfish 2; Trout 2; Kokanee 1
New Melones bass fishing slowed a bit as the water temperatures grew colder and the fish scattered, but John Liechty of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp said, “The fresh rain will help the bite.” He added, “The bass bite has been ridiculous over the past few weeks, but it dropped off a bit this week for most people. The fish are still suspended at depths from 30-60 feet, and we have been scoring with plastics on the drop-shot, which are a ‘must-have’ bait in the fall months. You must find the bass with your electronics, and in addition to drop-shotting, vertically jigging with spoons is another productive options. A slow presentation with jigs or plastics on the shakey head are solid wintertime techniques as well.” Trout fishing remained slow, and fishermen are anxiously awaiting improvement. Liechty said, “The recent rain will help bring some fish to shallow water, making them easier to locate and catch. Some of the small drainages and creeks that lead into the lake will have an increase in flow, which will attract the smaller fish. The larger fish will soon follow.” The kokanee are moving into the river arm and dying after their attempt to spawn, and bald eagles are feeding on the carrion at the mouth of the river. Catfish are still available, but the action is starting to slow down with the largest whiskerfish weighing only 4 pounds, 1 ounce this week after several months of double-digit fish brought to the shop. With the inlets starting to bring fresh water into the lake, nightcrawlers are a good choice to fish near drainage ditches and fresh moving water. Liechty added, “These areas will naturally wash nightcrawlers into the lake and once the fish realize this, they will wait nearby for their next easy meal.” Crappie fishing remained slow with only a few slabsides reported. The only functioning launch ramp is at Glory Hole on the gravel, and a four-wheel-drive vehicle is necessary. The lake rose rose slightly to 797.83 feet in elevation and 11 percent of capacity. Tulloch held at 499.51 feet in elevation and 82 percent. November is typically the top month for trout action at Tulloch.
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, “Bass fishing remains very tough, with the best action on shad patterned crankbaits or plastics on the drop-shot. A 12-plus pound limit was the leader after the first day of the Bass 101 Derby on Saturday, but most of the limits from the other seven participants were in the 6-pound range. The fish are migrating into winter mode and dropping in the water column.” Trout fishing remains very slow. The lake rose 1.5 feet to 726.37 in elevation and 13 percent capacity. In the lower Kings River, interest for planted trout continues to be slow, but anglers are picking up a few planters on spinners, nightcrawlers or Power Bait. 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 1; Crappie 1
Paul Jolley at Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill said, “The winds and stormy weather have kept most boats off of the lake at the end of the week, but on calmer days, anglers are drifting jumbo minnows on 10-pound test using split-shot to get down in the water column.” The fish are starting to rise towards the surface as the water cools. Trolling P-Line Predators or Yozuri Crystal Minnows at depths to 50 feet is a solid option as well as spooning over the bait balls with 1.75-oz. P-Line Laser Minnows or similar spoons. The key is using your electronics to locate the bait balls. Roger George of Roger George Guide Service took Louis Furtado of Kerman plus Gwen Robinson and Art Garcia out for 16 released stripers to 23 inches on trolled plugs at 40-75 feet. “Water temps were 60-62 degrees and falling, but we had a decent early bite that picked back up after noon. It’s not easy fishing by any measure, but the last four trips we’ve landed/released 76 fish from 18-26 inches,” George said. A few fishermen continue to work the banks with blood worms or pile worms. The lake’s level is low, but it rose slightly to 19 percent capacity this week with imports from the Delta including 5,711 acre-feet Monday. With the low water levels, a four-wheel-drive tow vehicle is advised at both launch ramps. In the O’Neill Forebay, limits of small legal stripers are possible for those trolling P-Line Predator Minnows or tossing jerkbaits, swimbaits or topwater lures. The best action has been below the surface instead of topwater lures. Stripers continue to be the rule for shore fishermen tossing topwater lures as the boils are slowing given the cold spell.
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 basically inaccessible, and the rental boats were removed from Miller’s Landing, requiring the operators to get wet in the process. Bass fishing is limited to a few anglers using shad-patterned plastics on the drop-shot or Texas-rig. The lake held at 47 percent, but locals state is as “low as it gets.”
Call: Todd Wittwer 288-8100; Mike Beighey 642-3748
Brown trout 2; Trout 2
The high country along Kaiser Pass received more snow over the weekend, and access to the region is limited. Check ahead on road conditions. The lakes are still very low with Edison at 4 percent and Florence dropping to 6 percent. The lower elevation Mammoth Pool has risen slightly to 18 percent.
Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000
Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake
Kokanee 1; Trout 2
Three straight weekends of snow in the high country was capped off Sunday, with more snow arriving at 7,000 feet in elevation. Shaver Lake remained the top draw in the Fresno area for trout fishermen, but the recent cold weather has kept most boaters off the lake. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “Shaver remains our most popular lake, but one customer fished for 5 hours from the bank for only a pair of rainbows.” The launch ramp at the Sierra Marina should stay open for the winter. Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters has closed up shop for the season with the arrival of the cold weather, but he advised trolling blade/crawler combinations, orange Apex lures, orange Needlefish or Trout Buster’s tipped with a night crawler at depths from the surface to 25 feet near the island, Black Rock, Eagle Point and Stevenson Bay. He said, “These traditionally are my best fall locations and have remained constant this year.. For you who are still willing to try fishing the lake, I would recommend that you go online and view the web cam at sierramarina.com for up to the hour photos of the lake and ramp. That, along with a good weather report, should help in your decision to fish the lake that day.” The Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project is scheduling two plants in 2016 instead of the normal one in the winter, and project plant chairman Bob Bernier is working with a hatchery in eastern Oregon, as most of those in California have been affected by drought conditions and unusually warm water. The Herb Bauer’s Sporting Goods/Shaver Lake Derby ends Dec. 31. The 2015 winner will be awarded a $200 Herb Bauer gift certificate. At Huntington, Merritt Gilbert said, “A few kayakers have been out trolling Rapalas in search of brown trout, but their best catch was a 16-inch rainbow.” The launch ramp remains out of the water, but hand-carried boats can be placed into the lake. Shaver is at 56 percent capacity and Huntington has risen to 43 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
The Wishon Store and RV Park has closed for the season. Snow fell again Sunday, and the launch ramp is covered with 8 inches on top of 2 inches of ice. Launching a boat is not advised. The road was open as of press time, but anglers are advised to contact Sierra National Forest headquarters for current conditions at 297-0706. At Courtright, snow continues to fall in the region, and the road to the reservoir should be closed in short order.
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
Rockfish 3; Striper 2; Bonito 3
With the temporary closure of the Dungeness crab season, rockfish and ling cod are filling the bill. A big swell and heavy winds over the weekend put the ling cod off the bite, but rockfish counts remained solid for party and private boats. When the seas were calm earlier in the week, bonito were abundant for trollers working offshore. Captain Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat took out a Becoming an Outdoor Woman charter on Saturday and they were treated to limits of rockfish off Martin’s Beach and Tunitas Creek with a number of school fish in the mix. Out of Half Moon Bay Sport Fishing, the Queen of Hearts scored 30 limits of rockfish in the big sea on Saturday with the Riptide returning with 12 limits and a ling cod. The ling counts were limited by the 9- to 12-foot swell, which results in the groundfish hunkering down to the reefs.
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
Chris Arcoleo of Chris’s Landing said, “We went out on Sunday, but the wind cranked up by midmorning, driving us back to the harbor. The group really wanted to go, so we stayed in the bay for 30 rockfish and 12 lings for 19 anglers on the Caroline. We canceled our whale watching, and we are also canceling on Monday as it is supposed to blow again. The wind forced us to put the boats inside of the marina, and we rarely do this.” Saturday’s trip on the Check Mate produced 47 ling cod, 140 rockfish, and a pair of bonito for 19 anglers while the Caroline returned with three-quarter limits of rockfish and near limits of ling cod at 58 for 21 anglers. They are filling up on the weekends, but there is plenty of room during the week.
Call: Chris’ Landing(831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173; usafishing.com
San Francisco Bay
Halibut 2; Striper 3; Rockfish 3; Leopard shark 3; Sturgeon 2
Captain Jim Smith of the Happy Hooker went to the Farallons on Saturday for 30 limits of rockfish and 40 plus ling cod despite the big swell. He is scheduled with 27 anglers for Monday, but the conditions look like a cancellation is in order. They canceled Sunday due to the wind. He is running open load rockfish trips or potluck trips inside the bay until the Dungeness crab opener. Bolats out of Emeryville Sport Fishing also went to the Farallons on Sunday with the New Huck Finn, New Seeker, New Salmon Queen, Sea Wolf and TigerFish returning with 113 limits of rockfish, 23 ling cod to 10 pounds, and two bonito to 7 pounds. The California Dawn went to the Farallons on Saturday for 23 limits of ling cod and rockfish. They have been limiting out on both species for the past several trips. Inside the bay, Captain Trent Slate of Shelter Cove Sport Fishing went out with a few scoops of the remaining live anchovies on Friday, and they drifted for halibut on the incoming tide for not even a king fish or shark. Once the tide turned to the incoming tide, they put in six quick limits of striped bass to 8 pounds with the live bait working the San Pablo Bay rockpiles. The Final, Final, Final Loch Lomond Sturgeon Seminar is at 7:15 p.m. Jan. 13 at the Marin Rod and Gun Club. The popular event is back by special demand, and host Keith Fraser swears that this will be the final chapter in this long-standing ode to the sturgeon. Tickets are already available for the event, and advance sales are expected to be brisk. Fraser said, “The gusts were up to 40 mph this morning on the dock, but bass fishing remains outstanding when the weather is acceptable. One fly fisherman was out at the Marin Island, San Quentin, and Red Rock on Saturday, and he caught and released a number of stripers including every cast at San Quentin for shakers in the 14- to 16-inch range.” Halibut fishing has been slower, but a few fish are taken. The Loch Lomond shiner supply is critical, but live mudsuckers have been popular for bass and the occasional halibut.
San Luis Obispo
Rock cod 3
Rockfishing remains outstanding out of both San Luis Obispo County ports. The Princess out of Virg’s Landing returned with 76 ling cod to 14.5 pounds, 116 vermilion rockfish, 174 assorted rockfish, a whitefish, and a rock sole for 29 anglers. Kris McKinney of Bakersfield took the jackpot on Saturday’s private charter. Their season ling cod count has climbed to 7,075. Out of Port San Luis, the Avenger out of Patriot Sport Fishing took out 43 fishermen Saturday for limits of rockfish including 43 vermilion, a cabezon, and 12 ling cod to 19.2 pounds with the jackpot fish landed by Aiden Lomelli of Bakersfield. The Patriot was on a half-day trip with 27 anglers for near limits of rockfish including nine lings to 11 pounds. The jackpot was taken by Mia Salas of Clovis. The John Rowley Ling Cod Tournament ia Dec.12, with the largest ling cod of the week qualifying for tournament. There will be two additional two-day trips out of Virg’s Landing in December.
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 2; Bluegill 3; Salmon 2
Fog arrived with a vengeance over the weekend, and the morning hours made for cautious boating until it cleared. King salmon are still moving through the Delta, and a few of the anadromous species are still found below the Freeport Bridge or along the Benicia shorel. Striper fishing remains very good in the upper Delta and near Collinsville while the recent rains should help the start to the sturgeon season. Johnny Tran of New Romeo’s Bait in Freeport said, “Salmon are still happening, and the fish are averaging from 10-15 pounds with some chrome while most are dark. The best action has been from the shoreline with Flying C spinners. The Mokelumne River has really been heating up with boats trolling with Silvertron spinners and also jigging with spoons near the Grain Silos.” In the Benicia area, Benicia Bait reported chrome bright salmon are still coming off First Street with Flying C or Vee-Zee spinners, and this area has been far more productive than the Dillon Point State Park at present. Sturgeon fishing is clearly on the upswing, with several keepers showing up from above Pittsburg west to the mothball fleet during the middle of the week. Captain Jason Russey of Longfin Sport Fishing said, “It is officially sturgeon season, and our boat is back in the Delta at Martinez.” He caught and released an oversized at 67 inches along with five shakers to go with a legal sturgeon at 57 inches fishing above Pittsburg. However, sturgeon fishing had slowed upon the arrival of the weekend storm. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has completed its annual sturgeon tagging program, catching and releasing nearly 400 in Bay Area waters. Many of the tags are eligible for a reward if returned to the agency by anglers. The tagging operation is used to help manage California’s green and white sturgeon populations. The tags are smaller than a dime and located behind the rear dorsal fin. Anglers who return a tag also receive a certificate of appreciation from agency. Additional information and the form for returning tags can be found on the agency website. For striped bass, Alan Fong of the Fisherman’s Warehouse in Sacramento reported very good action during the middle of the week in the north Delta near Liberty Island with 7-inch Kincannon Glide Baits in the clear water. He said, “You have to find them, and the water is very clear, so wind or overcast conditions make for the best period of time for stripers.” They have been catching and releasing stripers to 15 pounds, but the action slowed down Friday for the larger fish. The major portion of maintenance on Highway 12 at the Mokelumne River Bridge has been completed, though delays will persist on the weekends at this section. Maintenance at the Three Mile Slough Bridge on Highway 160 has the bridge down to one-lane until July, with significant delays to the base of the Antioch Bridge. Water hyacinth has clogged the boat ramps in the Stockton area. The section from the Interstate 5 Bridge to Weber Point in Stockton is choked with hyacinth, and freezing temperatures are necessary to cause the weeds to die off and sink. As a result, east Delta boaters are heading farther west to launch, and the Lazy M Marina and River’s End have become more popular. Chris Lauritzen of Lauritzen’s Yacht Harbor in Oakley said, “Even with the cooler water temperature the rivers are still very fishable for the coming weeks until we get a storm that will muddy the rivers. It was reported to me this week that all of the sheet piling at the rock dam in False River is now out. As of this past Tuesday there was still one crane barge in False River at the dam site. As far as I am concerned, False River is open to all boat traffic. Currently the Dredge No. 8 is on the San Joaquin River between markers 21 and 23 at Jersey Island. The discharge line travels north from the dredge to Sherman Island. There are plenty of floating markers to show you what direction the discharge pipe line is traveling. The lever man on the dredge tries to keep the discharge pipe on the river bottom. If the discharge pipe floats that is not a good thing. The dredge can be contacted on VHF radio channel 79a for passing instruction if you are unsure what to do. The fog comes in by 7 a.m. and gone by 8:30-9 a.m. If you did not know about the dredge and the discharge pipeline you might be surprised in the fog.” For largemouth bass, Fong reported the best bass action on Missle’s D-Bombs or Senkos in green pumpkin in the moving water among the floating mats of vegetation. The Delta Cross Channel Gates were reopened at 9 a.m. Friday after a 24-hour closure. They may be closed 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 chasing shad in the mornings and evenings, and they are susceptible to topwater baits in the low-light periods before switching to the bottom with plastics on the Texas-rig or drop-shot . White bass continue to be less active. 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 peercent capacity. At Lopez, plastics on the drop-shot or Senkos fished weightless are picking up a few bass, but the bite is sporadic. Bluegill and perch provide the best action with red worms. Santa Margarita is less than 15 percent, but the marina store is open for supplies and rental vessels. The bass are heading to deeper water in response to colder lake temperatures, and the action has slowed down to a winter time finesse bite. The crappie and bluegill have also slowed their metabolism with the colder water temperatures. The river arm has dropped to the point where the old road is exposed for the first time in years. San Antonio remains closed.
Call: Lake Nacimiento (805) 238-1056, ext. 3; Lake San Antonio Marina (805) 472-2818; Central Coast Bass Fishing.com (805) 466-6557
- California Hmong Bass Tournament on Nov. 14 at Delta/Paradise Point Marina: 1, Michael and Anthony Her 14.67 pounds (big fish 8.65); 2, Zeng and Tou Yang 14.31; 3, Steve and Choo Yang 11.25
- Kerman Bass Club on Nov. 14 at Don Pedro: 1, Rusty and Flip Baron 10.61 pounds; 2, Ed and Cory Kerber 8.54; 3, George Espino/Ken Eddy 8.02. Big fish – James and Bob Horton 2.84
- Bass 101 Open on Nov. 14-15 at Pine Flate/Millerton (two-limit totals): 1, Corey Squires/Ed Treadway 20.26 pounds; 2, Cliff and Danny Woods 18.40 (big fish 4.65 at Pine Flat); 3, Mark Corrente/John Albidrez – 17.39
- Visalia Bass Club on Nov. 7 at Kaweah: 1, Gary Wasson/Chris Gosselaar 14.81 pounds; 2, Kyle Manes/Bobby Blaswich 11.66 (big fish 5.57); 3, Josh Housey/Jr. DeMacabalin 9.92
- Visalia Bass Club Top 10 Fish Off on Nov. 14 at Kaweah: 1, Josh Housey/Jr. DeMacabalin 13.11 pounds (big fish 3.18); 2, Darl Head/George Rosales 9.34; 3, Brandon Turner/Seth McLain 8.98
- Nov. 21: Sierra Bass Club at Eastman
- Nov. 22: Stockton Bass at Delta/Ladd’s Marina
- Dec. 5: Manteca Bassin’ Buddies at Delta/B and W Resort; American Bass Association Delta/Russo’s Marina; Sonora Bass Club at New Melones; Kerman Bass Club at Millerton; American Bass Association at Nacimiento
- Dec. 6: Stockton Bass at Delta/Ladd’s Marina; Fresno Bass Club/Riverbank Bass Anglers at Don Pedro
q = quarter moon > = peak activity