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.
San Luis striper bite improved, Merritt Gilbert said. Delta stripers, bass and sturgeon continue hitting, Alan Fong reported. New Melones bass still active, John Liechty said.
Never miss a local story.
2-Have to work hard
4-Fish jumpin’ in boat
Delta Mendota Canal and Sloughs
The California Aqueduct has slowed considerably as the water has become cold and swift amid heavy releases out of San Luis Reservoir, but fishermen continue to head out to the concrete river for a few striped and largemouth bass. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis reported most Fresno-area fishermen are heading south to the Coalinga area for a few school-sized striped bass. Meng Xyong, spokesman for the Fishaholics out of Fresno, reported, “There’s a small window in the early morning and late afternoon to catching these elusive stripers at the California Aqueduct. They seem to be feeding shallow around these time slots. South ’duct anglers are having success with catfish using chicken liver. Anglers there are also catching a fair amount of largemouth bass in this concrete river. The better cut of striped bass is being caught on flies by experienced fly anglers. Jerkbaits such as SpeedLures and Luckycrafts continue to work for anglers. Fishermen are also catching striped bass using Alabama-rigs and flukes. On a recent trip, I trolled about 5-10 feet from the canal wall using a pearl white SpeedLure for schoolie sized stripers. Once you find the school, you can comb through the area for more takers. With the recent rain and heavy pumping, the water clarity has decreased in most areas.” Anglers continue to be encouraged to take out all trash and debris when departing in order to maintain the right to continue to fish along these public areas. In the south aqueduct in Kern County, Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield reported continued good action for striped and largemouth bass with extra-large or jumbo minnows. The area around the Lerdo Highway is a popular spot. The section from Tupman to Twisselman Road remains under control of a private security company.
Bass 2; Trout 2; Bluegill 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
Few fishermen are heading to the lake, but the occasional quality bass is found on jigs in the deeper portions. The northwestern portion of the lake behind the buoy line is closed to all water recreation to protect nesting bald eagles. The area will reopen Aug. 1. The lake rose slightly to 471.40 feet in elevation and 9 percent capacity.
Call: Six Star Tackle Box 673-5688; Eastman Lake 689-3255
Bass 2; Trout 2; Catfish 2; Bluegill 2; Crappie 2
The lake rose less than a foot to 453.89 in elevation and 8 percent capacity, but few fishermen are heading there given the cold temperatures and low water conditions. The ramp remains closed, but hand-carried vessels can be launched.
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 upcoming Best Bass Tournament on Jan. 9 has brought out a number of anglers for pre-fishing, and best action is on the bottom with jigs or plastics on the dart head or drop-shot on a slow presentation. There is an occasional ripbait fish, and the swimbait should be a possibility with the recent trout plant. A number of small rainbows in the 9- to 10-inch range are holding near the Fleming Meadows Launch Ramp. The water temperature is 53.5 degrees in the marina, and it is possible that the lake has yet to turn over. Trout trolling in the main lake is slow with the holdover rainbows still holding deep. The lake held at 35 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 1
At Lake Isabella, Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield reported a continued good catfish bite with chicken livers or clams near Engineer’s Point. Cormier thought the bass should start biting once the weather turns warm. There are no trout reports, but the Kern River Valley Chamber of Commerce has confirmation that during the week of the annual Lake Isabella Trout Derby, the lake will be planted with 9,000 pounds of rainbows along with 5,000 pounds purchased from the Chaulk Mound Trout Ranch. The 27th Derby is March 19-21, with early-bird registration closing at 4 p.m. Feb. 29. Online registration is available kernrivervalley.com. The launch ramp is on the dirt, and a four-wheel-drive vehicle is necessary to put a boat into the lake, which held at 2,524.12 feet in elevation and 6 percent capacity. Very few fishermen are heading to the upper river for holdover rainbows. The lower river has risen, but it is cold and muddy. The local lakes of Ming and River Walk received a small plant of rainbow trout more than a week ago, but they are nearly fished out. Buena Vista has been planted, but the action for rainbow trout has been slow.
Call: Bob’s Bait (661) 833-8657; North Fork Marina (760) 376-1812
Bass 2; Crappie 2; Trout 2; Catfish 2
Scott Thompson of the Visalia Bass Club reported bass fishermen found their best action with plastics on the drop-shot, jigs, spoons or umbrella rigs on a slow presentation during Friday’s New Year’s Day club tournament, won with a limit in excess of 12 pounds. The fish are holding deep, and a slow presentation is necessary to entice a bite. Catfishing has slowed with the colder water. The lake dropped 13 feet to 595.19 in elevation and 10 percent capacity.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212
Bass 2; Trout 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
Chuck Stokke of the Sequoia Fishing Co. in Springville reported minimal action given the cold weather, muddy water and lack of trout plants. The lake rose 1.5 feet to 595.19 in elevation and 12 percent capacity. In the Tule River, Stokke found good action in the snow over the weekend using a slow presentation with nymphs. He said, “I caught and released quite a few rainbows to 14-15 inches with a slow presentation. After this week’s storms, the bite should remain good.”
Call: Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626, sequoiafishingcompany.com
Bass 2; Trout 2; King salmon 1; Kokanee 1; Crappie 2; Catfish 2
The lake rose nearly a foot to 606.44 in elevation and 9 percent capacity. The launch ramp may be opened once the lake hits 615 feet in elevation. A-1 Bait in Snelling is open on the weekends with a full supply of live minnows and crawdads. The North Ramp at Barrett Cove may be used at boaters’ risk by kayaks and canoes and other hand-launched craft. 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 has been minimal change at the afterbay of Lake McClure. Trout plants have yet to arrive, but there is a population of spotted bass, largemouth bass and catfish coming over from the releases from upstream Lake McClure. The Lake McSwain Marina and launch ramp remain open, but the store is closed Monday through Wednesday.
Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River
Bass 3; Striper 1; Shad 1; Bluegill 2; Trout 2
Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “Few bass fishermen are heading to the lake, but the bite is solid on a dead-stick presentation with shad-patterned plastics on a drop-shot or dart head at depths to 50 feet.” The bite is rated better than nearby Pine Flat, but with the lack of upcoming tournaments, most area bass fishermen are focusing upon Pine Flat or Don Pedro. Striper fishing remains slow. There are no bass tournaments scheduled during the month of January at Millerton. The lake rose near 2 feet to 486.73 in elevation and 34 percent capacity. Few anglers are working the lower San Joaquin, and Sycamore Island has closed for the winter before reopening 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. The hatchery fish have a healed adipose fin clip. All wild steelhead or trout with an adipose fin present must be released immediately. The San Joaquin River is closed to the take of salmon.
Call: Fresno Fisherman’s Warehouse 225-1838; Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474
New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch
Bass 3; Crappie 2; Catfish 2; Trout 2; Kokanee 1
At New Melones, trout fishing remains very slow despite the recent plant from the Department of Fish and Wildlife. John Liechty of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp said, “We still haven’t seen many trout being caught yet, and although a few planted fish have been caught, we are waiting for a wave of holdover trout to move into the shallow water and toward the surface.” Bank fishermen should try floating a ball of trout dough bait in rainbow or chartreuse off the bottom, near areas with deep-water access on a standard sliding egg sinker rig with a light wire hook to make sure the bait is floating off of the bottom. Trollers should work near the shore with spoons or minnow plugs near the surface. Bass fishing is in typical wintertime mode, and Liechty added, “Anytime you can land 10 fish in the winter, it is good action as the fish are lethargic. We went out for a few hours within the past week and caught and released between 15 and 20 bass to 3.5 pounds using a variety of finesse techniques. The fish are holding in a few select areas, and you have to use your electronics to locate the schools before using plastics on the drop-shot or shakey head along with jigs. A slow crawling presentation is necessary, and it is important to keep switching techniques and colors as the fish are more oriented to browns and greens instead of shad-patterns right now.” Typically, January and February are big fish months for New Melones, and there are several upcoming tournaments. Catfishing remained slow, and although some huge one are landed during the winter, the cold water is responsible for a few bites. Generally catfish are taken in the winter months by trout anglers soaking trout dough bait or a nightcrawler/marshmallow combination. Crappie fishing is also slow with few fishermen trying for the slabsides. The crappie are usually found holding tight to isolated standing timber. The lake has risen to 812.12 feet in elevation and 13 percent capacity, but the dam area is still buoyed off to keep out boats during periods of water releases. A large pile of gravel was left by the Bureau of Reclamation in the middle of the boat launch, and boaters are advised to launch off the right-hand side looking down the ramp as that side is flat and will be underwater as the lake continues to rise. Boaters are advised to use caution when launching off the middle/left ramp until the water rises. Once the water comes up another foot or two this won’t be a problem and launching will be free and clear of obstacles for the rest of the winter into spring and summer. Downstream Tulloch is a good option for trout fishermen with the lake at 82 percent capacity and 499.94 feet in elevation.
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
The New Year’s Day Bass 101 tournament brought out 24 boats, and nearly all action was on the bottom with plastic worms or jigs at depths from 30-40 feet. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun saw his team finish fifth with a limit above 8 pounds working the bottom with plastics. The top limit was 11.5 pounds, with most below 8. Kevin Burge weighed in the largest bass at 6.80 pounds. The lake has cooled to 52 degrees, and the refuse trap below Trimmer is in the process of being installed. This trap is to capture debris coming out of the upper Kings River from the watershed affected by the Rough Fire. Trout fishing is null and void with no plants on the horizon. The lake rose 1.25 feet to 738.89 in elevation and 15 percent capacity. Downstream Avocado Lake was planted with rainbow trout a few weeks ago. 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 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 2; Crappie 1
Interest in drifting jumbo minnows or trolling large plugs has increased during the holidays in response to a decent striped bass bite. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis reported improved action for trollers pulling Duo Realis jerkbaits or Lucky Craft Pointer 128’s at depths from 60-80 feet. He added, “A 16-pounder was landed on a three-quarters-ounce Rat-L-Trap during the week.” Roger George of Roger’s Guide Service fished two days last week and said that the morning bite was slow but picked up later. “We released 10 nice fish the first day, but most guys were struggling to get a fish or two in the 50- to 51-degree water. The second day things seemed to improve a little with 13 released fish to 24 inches trolling at 50-70 feet with various blue or green lures. I would call the bite decent for knowledgeable guys, but most average anglers – both trollers and minnow guys – were having a hard time finding active fish. The fish are also still acclimatizing to the colder and rising water.” George also confirmed with the rangers that they had just moved the Basalt dock back to the main concrete ramp, and off the lower dirt ramp. “This is great timing since the heavy rain and the epic mud it creates would have made the lower dirt ramp nearly impossible. There shouldn’t be a need for four-wheel drive at Basalt if you stay on the concrete.,” George said. Alex Lopez of Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill said, “Jumbo minnows have been working near Quiensabe Point, from Dinosaur Point to the mouth of Portuguese Cove, and the submerged islands in front of the Trash Racks at depths from 25-60 feet. Trollers also are getting in on the action with P-Line Predator Minnows, Smithwick’s, and broken backed Rebels at similar depths.” Coyote Bait is holding a striper tournament until Feb. 1 and entry only requires making a purchase totaling $20 in the shop. The current leader is Jesus Reyes Silva at 23 pounds. In the O’Neill Forebay, there is a spoon bite in the afternoons along with ripbaits, swimbaits, and flukes. Lopez said, “There is a window for topwater in the mornings.” The water in the lake has risen amid recent pumping. Boaters are running Alabama-rigs or Lucky Craft Pointer 128’s in ghost minnow on the downrigger. San Luis has risen to 22 percent capacity with more than 8,000 acre-feet of water from pumping from the Delta. The launch ramp at Dinosaur Point is on the third level, and boaters are advised to stay to the right. A four-wheel-drive tow vehicle is also advised there.
Call: Coyote Bait andTackle (408) 463-0711, Roger George of rogergeorgeguideservice.com (559) 905-2954
Bass 2; Trout 2; Kokanee 1
There have been few fishermen working the lake during the holidays, and the ice on the launch ramp has been a further disincentive to fishing. A few bass fishermen are walking the banks for the occasional spotted bass in the cold water. The trout action has been extremely slow. The lake held at 52 percent with heavy inflow, creating easier launching conditions at the public ramp. There were no trout reports.
Call: Todd Wittwer 288-8100; Mike Beighey 642-3748
Brown trout 2; Trout 2
The high country along Kaiser Pass continues to receive snow, and access is limited to those on snowmobiles. The lakes are still very low with Edison at 4 percent and Florence at 6 percent. The lower elevation Mammoth Pool rose slightly to 14 percent.
Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000
Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake
Kokanee 1; Trout 2
Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters said, “Few boats have been on the lake during the week of freezing temperatures, but limits of rainbows can be taken by trollers working the back end of the lake near Stevenson Bay.” Matt Berry of Clovis and a buddy went out over the weekend and got five fish in 4 hours of fishing. “We tried everything but they weren’t hitting!” Matt said. The upcoming snow storms will continue to keep fishermen off the lake. Gerard Reinhart of Fresno won the Shaver Lake Herb Bauer’s Trophy Trout with a 10-pound, 13-ounce rainbow taken during March in Tunnel Creek on trout dough bait. Reinhart received a $200 gift certificate from Herb Bauer’s in Fresno and will receive his award at the fundraising dinner of the Shaver Lake Visitor Bureau in March. The launch ramp remains open at the Sierra Marina, and the current status can be checked via webcam at sierramarina.com. Anglers are advised to bring chains for their vehicles as highway conditions can change rapidly. At Huntington, heavy snow is expected this week, and there have been no reports of fishermen braving the cold from the banks. Shaver rose slightly to 58 percent capacity and Huntington dropping to 45 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 road to both lakes has closed for the season at Dinkey Creek. The rainbows will be holding over until the road reopens during the spring.
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
The rockfish season ended with solid action for the Huli Cat out of Pillar Point Harbor during the final three days. Bottom-fishing is closed until a tentative opener on April 15. Captain Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat will be focusing on sand dabs during the interim, and there is the possibility of the recreational Dungeness crab season opening within the next month. Captain Roger Thomas of the Salty Lady has moved his vessel to Half Moon Bay for the winter whale watching season before heading back to their summer home in Sausalito for the ocean salmon season. Surf perch fishing is moving into prime time with the formation of rip currents along area beaches.
Call: Happy Hooker (510) 223-5388; Roger Thomas, Salty Lady (415) 760-9362; Bait and Switch Sport Fishing Center (650) 726-7133726-7133; Emeryville Sport Fishing (510) 654-6040; Don Franklin, Soleman (510) 703-4148
Chris Arcoleo of Chris’ Landing in Monterey reported lights out rockfish and ling cod action on the closing day of the season with the Check Mate and Caroline scoring a combined 43 limits of ling cod and rockfish south at Point Sur. The bottom-fish season will tentatively open April 1 with an anticipated salmon opener during the first weekend of April. In Santa Cruz, surf perch action is heating up, and the 12th annual Sand Crab Classic Perch Tournament is coming up. Entries opened Jan. 1 for the March 12 event. The tournament is limited to the first 300 entries with information at theletsgofishingradioshow.com.
Call: Chris’ Landing(831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173; usafishing.com
San Francisco Bay
Halibut 2; Striper 3; Leopard shark 2; Sturgeon 2
Captain Jim Smith of the Happy Hooker out of Berkeley is putting together a sturgeon/striper trip Jan 16. The Marin Rod and Gun Club is holding the Final, Final, Sturgeon Seminar that day starting at 7:15 p.m. Speaking of seminar presenter Keith Fraser, he said, “It was colder than an attic in an igloo over the weekend, and in addition, most fishermen didn’t find the tides to their liking. The minus tides start on Thursday, and I expect better sturgeon action. There are bass all over the bay, but most fishermen are starting to target sturgeon.” The incoming storms this week are expected to stir up the waters of the bay. Captain Steve Mitchell of Hook’d Up Sport Fishing reported several fishermen have been scoring sturgeon at the upper end of San Pablo with a number of different baits. Some fishermen are pumping their own mud shrimp on minus tides, and the mud shrimp are the number one sturgeon bait in San Pablo. Captain Trent Slate of Shelter Cove Sport Fishing out of Loch Lomond has sturgeon trips planned throughout the week, but the weather may have different ideas.
San Luis Obispo
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has opened the recreational Dungeness crab and rock crab season on the mainland coast south of Piedras Blancas Light Station in San Luis Obispo County. Recent testing has determined that the crab no longer pose a significant human health risk from high levels of domoic acid. Areas open to crab fishing include recreational Dungeness and rock crab fisheries along the mainland coast south of 35° 40′ N Latitude (Piedras Blancas Light Station); and commercial rock crab fishery along the mainland coast south of 35° 40′ N Latitude (Piedras Blancas Light Station). Areas still closed include commercial Dungeness crab fishery statewide; recreational Dungeness crab fishery north of 35° 40′ N Latitude (Piedras Blancas Light Station); commercial and recreational rock crab fisheries North of 35° 40′ N Latitude (Piedras Blancas Light Station); and commercial and recreational rock crab fisheries in state waters around San Miguel, Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz Islands. Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield reported Valley anglers have been taking blood worms to the coast for solid surf perch action. Out of Patriot Sport Fishing in Port San Luis, they will be running some nature cruises on the weekend, but groups of 10 or more are able to be scheduled during the week. Virg’s Landing in Morro Bay will be running whale watching and nature excursions from January through April.
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 3; Catfish 2; Bluegill 2
The waters of the Sacramento River are clearing up after several days without rain, and the upper Sacramento near Liberty Island and Snodgrass Slough has been clear, but cold. Striped bass and sturgeon are still acclimating to the dropping water temperatures, and the action is in full wintertime mode. Alan Fong of the Fisherman’s Warehouse in Sacramento said, “The river has cleared, and we went into the upper Delta for eight stripers to 10 pounds using Alabama rigs in the 43-degree water. The bite happened all within an hour, but during the remaining five hours, we drew a blank. I will be looking for stripers near Liberty Island during the week as the water is also clear in this area.” He also touted sturgeon in the stretch of the river from Clarksburg to Walnut Grove on lamprey eel. Johnny Tran of New Romeo’s Bait and Tackle said, “Sturgeon are scattered in the upper Sacramento River, and a few diamondbacks are taken are pile worms, eel and nightcrawler combinations, and sardines coated with Pro-Cure’s Sturgeon Frenzy or Sturgeon Cocktail.” The 10th annual Diamond Classic Catch and Release Sturgeon Derby is Jan. 30 out of the Martinez Marina with a pre-derby seminar at La Tapatia Restaurant on Main Street in Martinez from 6-9 p.m. on Jan. 29. Registration is free for children and $25 for adults, with 100 percent payback in cash prizes from first through seventh place. More information is available at diamondclassic.org. Official registration locations are Martinez Bait and Tackle and Castro Valley Sportsmen Center. Do Doung at Dockside Bait in Pittsburg reported slow action over the weekend, saying, “The bite is up and down but there have been sturgeon at 53 and 40 inches brought into the shop on Saturday. The water temperature has dropped, and there are a number of small stripers to 5 pounds in the river.” Dan Mathisen of Dan’s Delta Outdoors in Oakley said, “For sturgeon, if you don’t go now, you are missing out,” as he has pictures of sturgeon landed in shallow water of 25 feet or less in Honker Bay, Grizzly Bay, Montezuma Slough near Chain Island, and the mouth of Spoonbill Slough with bloody eel, pickled eel, or just plain eel. He said, “We went through a case of the bloody cured eel in just one day.” Andy Doudna of Antioch, organizer of the Addathon Iron Man Sturgeon Derby, said, “Sturgeon fishing has been slower than normal lately with the water temperatures dropping from 53 degrees to 44-47 degrees. The lower water temps dropping fast are affecting their feeding patterns big time. Good news is with the rain forecasted this week and next, and it should help start a bite as water warms a little along with fresh flows. Some anglers are finding fish in the back sloughs, the Horseshoe, the Big Cut, and in front of the Mothball Fleet. The bite seems to be ‘on and off’ as anglers finding success one day are challenged to repeat those results. The go-to bait seems to be eel and pickled eel and uncured salmon roe on the bigger outgo tides.” In addition to the Diamond Classic, also upcoming is the 32nd Original (aka Super Bowl) Sturgeon Derby from Feb. 5-7 at the Foundation Sportsman’s Club at McAvoy’s Boat Harbor in Bay Point. Information is available at originalsturgeonderby.com. In the San Joaquin River, the cold water temperatures in the main river are pushing the bait south towards Discovery Bay, and the striped bass, crappie, and largemouth bass are not far behind. Action in the main river is limited, but the occasional striped bass is found on frozen shad on the anchor. Dan Mathisen of Dan’s Delta Outdoors in Oakley said, “Striper fishing has been best in Discovery Bay with swimbaits, and the fish have been stacking up heavily in the slightly warmer waters of the south Delta. While swimbaits are working in Discovery, there are also stripers schooling up near Lost Isle on the San Joaquin River with either swimbaits or spoons working best in the deep holes. Largemouth bass are hitting 6-inch ripbaits during small windows in the Middle River and near Victoria Island. There are still schools of crappie in Discovery Bay with small to medium minnows or minijigs.” The week started with survey results indicating the lowest-ever populations for Delta smelt, longfin smelt and American shad, with the second-lowest results for striped bass. Christian Lauritzen of Lauritzen’s Yacht Harbor in Oakley reported, “I will tell you that fishing in the Delta in the future will be more challenging for those who care. There is a big movement to get rid of non-native fish in the delta to include stripers, black bass, catfish and bluegill. Slowly but surely we see some of the fish decline in our Delta system. If the Delta smelt is the canary in the tunnel, then we are really in trouble as it relates to sustainable fishing in the delta.” 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. The Delta Cross Channel Gates have been opening and closing on a regular basis and may be closed again on short notice for fishery protection. Information on the current status 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 2; White bass 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
Flash-flood warnings have been posted for portions of San Luis Obispo County affected by wildfires within the past year amid expected storms to start the week. The majority of heavy rain and the threat of mud and debris flows are expected until late Wednesday, but the flood watch could be extended beyond Wednesday night. Nacimiento and Lopez remain the only coastal lakes, where boats can be launched from a ramp. There are a number of tournaments scheduled at Nacimiento over the next month. Small spotted bass remain the top species at the lake with jigs or plastics on the Texas-rig or drop-shot on a slow presentation. White bass remain inactive. The launch ramp at Lopez is expected to remain open for the remainder of the season, but there are no tournaments scheduled at the lake during January. The bass bite is tough, with the best action on plastics or Senkos on a finesse presentation. Panfish action remains slow in the cold water. Santa Margarita is less than 15 percent capacity, but the marina store is open for supplies and rental vessels. Cold water temperatures have limited action. San Antonio remains closed because of extremely low water levels.
Call: Lake Nacimiento (805) 238-1056, ext. 3; Lake San Antonio Marina (805) 472-2818; Central Coast Bass Fishing.com (805) 466-6557
- 101 Bass New Year’s Day Open on Jan. 1 at Pine Flat: 1, Tom Loya/Kevin Burge 11.44 (big fish 6.80); 2, Tim Well/Jeff Dalessandro 8.16; 3, Joe Alanis/Robert Rodriquez 7.93
- Visalia Bass Club on Jan. 1 at Kaweah: Darl Head/Tony Gonzalez 12.24; 2, Gary and Kodi Wasson 11.35 (big fish 4.64)
- Jan. 16: Final, Final Sturgeon Seminar by Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle, Marin Rod and Gun Club, San Rafael (415) 456-0321.
- Jan. 21-24: International Sportsmen’s Exposition, Cal Expo in Sacramento, www.sportsexpos.com
- Thursday: Modesto Ambassadors at Don Pedro
- Saturday: Best Bass Tournaments/Sonora Bass Club at Don Pedro; Kerman Bass Club at Pine Flat; American Bass Association/Taft Bass Club at Nacimiento
- Sunday: Tracy Bass Club at Delta/Tracy Oasis; California Bass Federation/Kings VIII Bass Club at Pine Flat
- Jan. 16: Christian Bass League/Manteca Bassin’ Buddies at Don Pedro; Best Bass Tournaments at Nacimiento
- Jan. 23: American Bass Association at Delta/Russo’s Marina; Best Bass Tournaments at Don Pedro; Sierra Bass Club at Pine Flat; Kern County Bassmasters at Nacimiento
- Jan. 24: Fresno Bass Club/Kings River Bass Club at Pine Flat; San Luis Obispo County Bass Ambushers at Nacimiento
- Jan. 30: 10th annual Diamond Classic Catch and Release Sturgeon Derby at Delta/Martinez Marina, diamondclassic.org; American Bass Association at Pine Flat; Bakersfield Bass Club/Golden Empire Bass Club at Nacimiento
- Jan. 31: Success Bass Club at Pine Flat
- Feb. 5-7: Foundation Sportsmen’s Club Original Sturgeon Derby at Delta/McAvoy’s Boat Harbor in Bay Point, originalsturgeonderby.com
- Tuolumne County: Don Pedro Reservoir; New Melones Reservoir; Tulloch Lake
n = new moon > = peak activity