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.
Early Shaver Kokanee showing up, Dick Nichols reported. Delta bass and stripers hitting, Alan Fong said. Kaweah crappie bite explodes, Sierra Sporting Goods reports. Millerton bass on good bite, Merritt Gilbert said. New Melones producing great bass action, John Liechty reported. McClure bass on solid bite, Mike Gomez said. Coastal crabbing epic, Tom Mattusch reported.
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2-Have to work hard
4-Fish jumpin’ in boat
Delta Mendota Canal
Water releases remained steady, particularly with the small section near the Buena Vista Golf Course now repaired. Meng Xyong, of the Fishaholics out of Fresno, reported, “Anglers are braving the rain as the wet weather system moves in. North ’duct anglers are beginning to experience more striper activity. They are having success in the rain as well, with some anglers landing their limit of striped bass. Anglers have to cull through the smaller fish before landing a keeper sized striper. The evening bite has improved with fishermen catching stripers on jerkbaits such as Speed Lures and Duo Realis 120’s. Many south ’duct anglers are catching quality catfish using cut baits. Crappie also have been landed while targeting striped bass. Water continues to flow in the California Aqueduct. With the recent rain, water clarity may become stained in certain areas.” In Kern County, water is flowing through the previously closed section near the Buena Vista Golf Course, but the access is limited. Striper and catfish are being taken in the moving water. The recent popularity of the California Aqueduct has led to increased numbers of anglers. In order to maintain the right to continue to fish along these public areas, fishermen are encouraged to take out all trash and debris when departing.
Bass 2; Trout 2; Bluegill 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
Patrick Movey of the Fisherman’s Warehouse said, “Prior to this past weekend’s rainfall, bass fishing is decent for fish to 4 pounds with small swimbaits such as K-Tech’s, Senkos, jigs, or spinnerbaits.” Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun added, “Crappie fishermen have abandoned the lake in favor of Lake Kaweah, and we have been selling crappie gear like crazy over the past week.” Catfish action has remained slow. The northeastern portion of the lake behind the buoy line is closed to all water recreation to protect bald eagles nesting there for the winter. It will reopen Aug. 1. The lake rose 5 feet to 496.06 in elevation and 20 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 is up to 29 percent capacity, and the Buckeye and Hidden View launch ramps are open. Bass fishing remains fair, with most anglers heading to nearby Eastman. Small swimbaits such as K-Techs or plastics on the drop-shot or Texas rig are working for small fish at depths to 30 feet. The lake came up 6 feet to 487.05 in elevation with the recent inflow, but the water is stained from the rapid rise.
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
Mike Gomez of the Bait Barn in Waterford said, “Bass fishing continues be very tough with the best action on shad patterned plastics on the drop-shot or shakey head. A dead-stick presentation is essential in order to entice strikes. Before the recent storms, male bass were cruising the shoreline, but they will back off with the colder and muddier conditions.” A few fish have been taken on swimbaits, but these are the exception. Trout trolling remains very slow with few anglers trying. Bank fishermen are scoring planted rainbows with various colors of trout dough bait, mice tails or nightcrawlers. With the lake surpassing 725 feet in elevation, the Moccasin ramp is open and on the concrete, providing an alternate to the Fleming Meadow launch. The lake rose nearly 8 feet to 727.49 and 49 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
Bass 2; Trout 2; Crappie 2; Catfish 3; Bluegill 2
At Lake Isabella, catfish remain the top species, and Jacob Rutledge of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield reported one angler landed a whopping 50-pounder along with 30-35 additional whiskerfish in the 2- to 10-pound range using store-purchased Atlantic salmon. Bass fishermen are still reluctant to splash their vessels, although the lake has risen almost 2 feet. Rutledge said, “Interest in the 27th annual Kern River Valley Chamber of Commerce Lake Isabella Trout Derby is starting to build, and the organizers are guaranteeing $15,500 in prize money.” The derby will take place March 19-21, and during the week of the tournament, the lake will be planted with 9,000 pounds of rainbows along with another 5,000 pounds purchased from the Chaulk Mound Trout Ranch. Online registration is available at kernrivervalley.com. The launch ramp is on the dirt, and a four-wheel-drive vehicle is necessary to put a boat into the lake. The lake rose 1.25 feet to 2,530.05 in elevation and 8 percent capacity. Trout action in the upper river remained slow despite recent trout plants. In the lower Kern River, the level is rising, but there have been few reports of largemouth or smallmouth during the past week. Rutledge added, “Hart Park and Ming have picked up for largemouth bass while the main River Walk was planted with 2,000 pounds of trout prior to last Saturday’s Bakersfield Fire Fighters Trout Derby. Buena Vista is still solid for catfish, and the crappie bite is picking up.” In the upper Kern River, Chuck Stokke of Sequoia Fish Co. in Springville is featured in the March/April issue of Southwest Fly Fishing magazine with an article on the Big Kern River, and he touts fly fishing on the Big Kern via horseback as an excellent adventure.
Call: Bob’s Bait (661) 833-8657; North Fork Marina (760) 376-1812
Bass 3; Crappie 4; Trout 1; Catfish 2
The crappie bite has been red hot, and Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “We have been selling Strike King, Yamamoto, and Crappie Magnum Series from Leyland’s Lures in big numbers for local fishermen heading south to Kaweah for quality crappie.” Sierra Sporting Goods in Exeter confirmed the hot bite, stating, “We had a number of customers in the shop that are not regulars, and we went through 1,000 minnows over the weekend.” Bass are moving into the shallows, and live bait such as minnows, crawdads, and nightcrawlers are working for both catfish and bass. Drop-shotting at depths of about 10 feet are producing numbers. With the warm lake surface temperature, the bass should be moving in for the spawn within the next full moon. The lake level is back on the rise, coming up 8.5 feet to 627.84 in elevation and 23 percent capacity.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212
Bass 2; Trout 2; Catfish 2; Crappie
Chuck Stokke of Sequoia Fishing Co. in Springville said, “There is still not much interest at the lake with the lack of trout plants, but some larger bass have been taken on big swimbaits while quality fish are found on jigs or plastics on the drop-shot. The carp are still in schools, and they are cruising the surface.” The lake rose 3 feet to 613.45 in elevation and 28 percent capacity. Prior to the stormy weather, the Tule River was kicking out brown trout with Panther Martin spinners while fly fishermen are nymphing or throwing Woolley Buggers. The river will be planted at all of the campgrounds later this spring, and there should be plenty of planted trout in the river in addition to the native browns and rainbows.
Call: Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626, sequoiafishingcompany.com
Bass 3; Trout 2; King salmon 1; Kokanee 1; Crappie 2; Catfish 2
Mike Gomez at the Bait Barn in Waterford said, “The bass bite is solid with spinnerbaits, crank baits and jigs are all working, but the water is stained and about 51 degrees with the Barrett Cove South Ramp open. Anglers are picking up planted rainbows from the banks with Power Bait, Power Eggs, or nightcrawlers.” There are houseboats in several locations on the lake with the marinas moving the boats into deeper water, and no-wake zones throughout the lake. Maintenance work is being completed on one of the gates at the dam. The lake has risen an amazing 17 feet to 681.14 in elevation and 21 percent capacity.
Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505; Bub Tosh (209) 404-0053
High winds arrived over the weekend, but this didn’t stop the shore fishermen from appearing during the windows in the storms. The normal fare of blue/chrome Kastmasters, garlic rainbow trout dough bait, or power eggs are working, and nightcrawlers also are an option. The lake has risen to the normal water level, but maintenance on the Exchequer Dam at Lake McClure continues. Water clarity is limited because of the inflow from McClure, and bass have entered the lake through the water releases and warmer overall temperatures.
Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
San Joaquin River
Bass 3; Striper 1; Shad 1; Bluegill 2; Trout 2
Millerton Reservoir has come on as the best opportunity for Fresno-area bass fishermen within the past few weeks despite no tournaments scheduled there in the near future. The bass have risen into the shallows, and largemouth bass to 6 pounds and spotted bass in excess of 4 pounds have been landed within the past week. Patrick Movey of the Fisherman’s Warehouse in Sacramento touted the action, stating, “The bite is very good with Clarence Brown of Fresno picking up largemouth bass at 6.24 and 4.47 pounds along with a 2.4-pound spotted bass on a recent trip. The best action has been on the bottom with plastics such as Pro Worm’s Pro Gold or Robo Worm’s Hologram Shad on a shakey head, drop-shot, or dart head, but there are also fish moving into the shallows and hitting on spinnerbaits.” Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Clovis confirmed the good action with male bass cruising the shoreline, but he added, “The recent rainy weather may bring about a change with the fish moving out into deeper water. The best fishing remains on the bottom with shad-patterned plastics with a purple line are working as well as twin-tailed grubs in green pumpkin or watermelon on a one-eighth- or one-quarter-ounce jig or darter head.” There were no striped bass reports. The lake has come up to 56 percent capacity, rising 9 feet to 523.42 in elevation. In the San Joaquin River, anglers are trying for bass near Sycamore Island, but fishermen without a 2016 fishing license have been cited recently. 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.
Call: Fresno Fisherman’s Warehouse 225-1838; Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474
Bass 3; Crappie 3; Catfish 3; Trout 2; Kokanee 1
At New Melones, bass fishing remains excellent as the fish have moved into the shallows in a spring time pre-spawn mode, but the recent storms should move the fish back into deeper water. John Liechty of Xperience Fishing Guide Service said, “The bass were up in the shallows when the temperatures were in the mid-70s, and we were finding them flipping Senkos along with jerkbaits, glidebaits, and swimbaits in a normal springtime pattern. This week’s heavy rains will muddy up the lake, but you will still be able to catch them in the off-color water, you just have to adjust your technique. Anything with vibration will work including vibrating lures such as swimbaits with a boot tail, chatterbaits, or vibrating jigs.” Nate Monroe caught and released a very nice limit of bass on jigs at depths from 25-35 feet. Trout fishing remains slow. The recent rains will create flow in the inlets, ,attracting the rainbows to the creek inlets. Bank fishing is still best near the Highway 49 Bridge with trout dough bait, power eggs or nightcrawler/marshmallow combinations off of the bottom. Local fisherman Bob Byrd was able to land a handful of nice trout while trolling near the dam area with shad patterned and rainbow patterned spoons at depths from 10-15 feet. Kokanee have yet to show up, but should sometime in April. With the warm weather, catfish have started moving into shallow water, but they should be backing off within the week. Liechty said, “Look for areas that have plenty of sun light throughout the day. Also, the rocks will warm and attract shad and large catfish. Some of the largest catfish ever caught out of New Melones have been caught during heavy rainfall. The catfish will move to areas with running water.” Crappie fishing is good near wood near brush in coves and pockets off the main lake with live minnows under a slip-float or crappie jigs. The launch ramp at Glory Hole Point is expected to be on the concrete by midweek. The lake is steadily rising, coming up 8 feet to 855.69 in elevation and 20 percent capacity.
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/
Bass 2; Trout 2; King salmon 1; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
Patrick Movey and Merritt Gilbert reported a tough bass bite with the fish not following a pattern at present. Gilbert said, “There were male bass cruising the shallows before the latest series of storms, but the fish should back off into deeper water.” Movey added, “A dead-stick presentation with jigs or plastics on the drop-shot or dart head are picking up a few small bass at depths from 15-20 feet.” The lake has been receiving heavy fishing pressure amid a number of local tournaments. The only trout reported have been landed by bass fishermen targeting spotted bass with plastics. The lake continues to rise, coming up over a foot per day with an increase of 10 vertical feet this week to 793.53 in elevation and 30 percent capacity. There have been few reports from the lower Kings River from trout fishermen. 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
The main San Luis Reservoir with moderate pumping out of the south Delta is at 45 percent capacity. Paul Jolley of Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill said, “Drifting jumbo or super jumbo minnows is the top technique over deep water points.” The schools are becoming larger with more quality fish in the mix, and fishermen are also starting to jig with 1.25- to 1.5-ounce Strike King, Duh!, or Mag Spoons over the schools. Trolling continues to be hit or miss. Roger George of Roger George Guide Service said that the bite slowed in the badly stained and rising water right before this week’s storm hit. “I fished with John Turner, CEO of Turner Security of Fresno, right before the storm hit and we caught/released a few fish to 22 plus inches in a tough bite. The fish were suspended and turned off for trollers and minnow fishermen alike. The rain came in much earlier than they predicted and we got caught in the unexpected low pressure prefrontal conditions – a chance you take fishing storms. I expect it to rebound quickly, but finding active fish and the window of time when they will bite is the key in the low visibility water,” George said. Bank anglers continue to work around the Romero Visitor Center with pile worms, blood worms, or jumbo minnows. In O’Neill Forebay, Jolley reported jumbo and super jumbo minnows are producing striped bass throughout the lake as fishermen are searching for the schools of fish. Blood worms, pile worms, anchovies or jumbo minnows are effective near Check 12.
Call: Coyote Bait andTackle (408) 463-0711, Roger George of rogergeorgeguideservice.com (559) 905-2954
Bass 2; Trout 2; Kokanee 1
The lake has jumped to 74 percent capacity, and Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun said, “Bass fishing remains the best bet at the lake, but the bite is not red hot by any means. Drop-shot plastics in shad-patterns remain the top set up with the possibility of spotted bass to 2.5 pounds.” The launch ramp is open, but the courtesy dock is not available, making for a difficult situation for those launching solid. Trout fishing remains very slow with the lack of planted fish. The lake level should be held down by power generation and/or spilling over the boards for the remainder of March. The boards will be installed on April 1, and the lake will continue to rise once again. Power generation will be on hold after this date until the last week in August, losing about 2 feet of water during the summer.
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 snowmobile. The lakes are still very low with Edison at 6 percent and Florence at 17 percent. Lower-elevation Mammoth Pool rose to 33 percent. Merritt Gilbert said, “Before the storm, a few anglers made it over the pass and found decent action for rainbow trout.”
Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000
Kokanee 2; Trout 3
The weather was the limiting factor over the past weekend, and inclement weather is anticipated throughout the week. But for the first time this year, kokanee have arrived for trollers. Shaver is the first body of water in the state at which kokanee have been caught in 2016. Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters reported a pair of fishermen worked the lake twice within the past week, landing limits of kokanee to 13 inches in the Black Rock area. He said, “They were trolling over a rocky drop off south from the crack in the Black Rock toward the Boy Scout Cove with orange Apex lures with glitter and corn behind a dodger on one of the down riggers and a Captain Jack's orange Super Hoochie with corn behind a dodger on the second down rigger at depths of 20 feet. They were using similar setups on their side poles at four colors of lead core. The fish were taken in the midmorning, and they fished only three hours on each trip. In addition to the kokanee, they also hooked up between 6-8 rainbow trout per outing.” Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis confirmed the appearance of the kokanee, stating, “One group picked up 19 kokanee with 4 hours trolling Apex lures at four colors, and the fish ranged between 12-13.5 inches.” Trolling for rainbow trout remains excellent, but bank fishermen are struggling for a few fish per rod. Trollers are scoring with blade/crawler combinations at depths from the surface to 15 feet throughout the lake. Fish and Wildlife planted about 150,00 rainbows last year in response to low-water conditions at the San Joaquin Hatchery, and there are plenty of holdover rainbows in the lake. The agency’s 2016 allotment will be less than during a normal year, but the Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project will be making two plants of trophy-sized fish within the next few months. Nichols will be starting his season of charters in April. Shaver rose to 58 percent capacity. At Huntington, the lake rose to 45 percent, but several feet of snow blanketed the region over the weekend.
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. Chuck Crane of the Wishon Village RV Park and Store called to report that both lakes are filling up nicely. The rainbows will be holding over until the road reopens in the spring.
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
The only factor slowing down the outstanding crab action is the weather, as high winds and swell stopped boats from heading out over the past weekend, but 10-crab limits have been the rule on all trips. Rockfish season opens below Pigeon Point on April 1 and above Pigeon Point to Point Arena on April 15. Captain Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat out of Pillar Point Harbor said, “Crabbing is just spectacular, and without the commercial pressure, the pots are coming up full and our customers are leaving the boat happy with big crab that are full of meat.” Second captain Michael Cabanas of the Huli Cat has been running the boat south to the pots off Martin’s Beach, and they pulled three pots for seven limits and four pots for 12 limits on recent trips with as many as 35 legal crab in one pot. TCalifornia Kayak and Canoe Co. will be offering kayak fishing safety and rescue class on April 23 at Pillar Point Harbor, and these are essential skills for anyone fishing in the ocean. Registration is available at fareharbor.com/calkayak/items/14239/. Farther north in Pacifica, Rob Chaney of the Rusty Hook reported solid crabbing when the Pacifica Pier is open. It has been closed intermittently during periods of peak tide and swell.
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
Todd Arcoleo of Chris’ Fishing Trips in Monterey reported the Check Mate returned with 17 limits of Dungeness crab and plenty of sand dabs on Sunday’s trip. Out of Santa Cruz, the big fishing event of the spring is on the horizon – the 12th annual Sand Crab Classic Surf Perch Derby on Saturday out of Santa Cruz. The annual event is a fundraiser for the Monterey Bay Salmon and Trout Project. Weigh-in will be at 1 p.m. at the Portuguese Hall in Santa Cruz on 216 Evergreen St. The event is sold out, but meal-only tickets will be available at the door for $10.
Call: Chris’ Landing(831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173; usafishing.com
San Francisco Bay
Halibut 2; Striper 2; Sturgeon 2; Crabs 3
Heading outside the Golden Gate was not an option over the weekend, but Captain Chris Smith of the Captain Hook went out before the storm Friday for limits of crab, a pair of halibut, and a couple of bass. He is running combination trips for $175 per customer, with room this weekend. Captain Jim Smith of the Happy Hooker said, “Fishermen have been scoring stripers to 24 inches in front of the Richmond Rod and Gun Club as well as on the Berkeley Flats, but I won’t start drifting until the conditions are right.” Craig Hanson of Argo Sport Fishing put in a great trip last week with limits of striped bass in San Pablo Bay before making a few drifts in the central bay resulting in a 30-pound halibut landed by Aurelia Isidoro on her very first West Coast fishing trip. He said, “There are currently halibut stretched from the San Francisco Airport to San Pablo Bay.”
San Luis Obispo
Surf perch 3
Virg’s Landing in Morro Bay is taking reservations for this year’s two-day trips aboard the Princess along the Big Sur coast. The trips leave Friday night and return Sunday night and are $295 per angler for the boat, bait and bunk on limited loads of 24 fishermen. Two limits are possible and generally the rule on these trips. The trip dates are available at virgslanding.com. Out of Patriot Sport Fishing in Port San Luis, nature cruises will be running on the weekends, but groups of 10 or more can be scheduled during the week. Virg’s will be running whale watching and nature excursions through March. They have two-for-one on rockfish trips in April. Bob’s Bait Bucket in Bakersfield has scheduled their first of a series of rockfishing charters on the Endeavor out of Morro Bay Landing on April 10. Pismo Beach continues to be the top location for surf perch anglers, with the fish biting Berkley Camo or Sand Worms along with sand crabs, pile worms or blood worms
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
Striped bass have made a big push into the Sacramento River, and quality linesides have been caught and released in a variety of locations with the best action in the north Delta. Liberty Island has been producing quality stripers, and Don Paganelli of Paganelli’s Bass Fishing Experience said, “The fish are there, and they are ready to spawn with males milting all around.” Alan Fong of the Fisherman’s Warehouse in Sacramento has also been working the shallows in Liberty Island, and he added, “It was really good before the rains, and I think it will still be good for another three to four days before the mud moves in. It was crazy in there with stripers on glidebaits and largemouth bass on Senkos or chatterbaits.” J.D. Richey of Richey’s Sport Fishing went into the North Delta before the storms arrived, and he found the linesides stacked up. Richey said, “With the overcast conditions, I expected to find some topwater action, but the fish knew that something big was coming. The fish were holding deep, and we found great action for a smaller grade of stripers on spoons at depths to 25 feet.” Do Doung at Dockside Bait in Pittsburg reported sturgeon are being caught at Buoys 2 and 3 along with 33 and 34. One boat picked up a legal sturgeon and released a shaker at Buoy 33. Striper fishing has been up and down with mostly schoolies within the past week. Steve Mitchell of Hook’d Up Sport Fishing out of Pittsburg said, “We were blown out for the weekend, but sturgeon fishing is not what it should be as we have landed just over 50 fish this year compared to a normal year of over 100 fish by this time. The coming storm and good series of tides next week should bring out some action.” Jim Pickens of the Fishermen’s Friend in Lodi said, “Striper fishing has taken a front seat to sturgeon fishing. The Sacramento and San Joaquin are full of fresh striped bass coming up from the bay. Trolling both deep or shallow with P-Line Predator Minnows or Angry Eyes, Yozuri Crystal Minnows, or Rat-L-Traps have outproduced bait fishing since last week, but drifting live minnows and blue gill is a close second.” There are two sturgeon derbies in the Delta the weekend of March 18th with the Addathon Iron Man Derby out of Pittsburg and the New Romeo’s Sturgeon Derby out of Freeport. The Central Valley Anglers Spring Striper Derby will be held on March 20th out of Sandy Beach. Information at centralvalleyanglers.org. Fong also has been on the San Joaquin, stating, “The water temperature is 61 degrees, and the fish are up tight on the banks. We have been scoring with Senkos or chatterbaits next to the banks, but the sea lions are thick in the river, even pulling the bass out of the tules inside of Frank’s Tract.” Also for largemouth bass, Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, reported finding very clear water in some areas and dirty water in others. He said, “We did better in the dingy water at 5 feet in depth as we had to change techniques and go light in the clear water. Half-ounce Persuader jigs in black/blue, the Flat Dog on a Zappu head, the Persuader chartreuse/white spinner bait or the ima Squarebill crankbait were all working in certain areas. The bass were plentiful, and there were a number of good fish to 4 pounds.” Jim Pickens of the Fisherman’s Friend in Lodi added, “The bass bite on the San Joaquin continues to be solid on the San Joaquin side.” Fourteen Mile, King’s Island, White Slough, Mildred Island and Franks Tract are still producing bass to 9 pounds. Chatterbaits and flipping dark colored jigs are working. In cleaner water, squarebill crankbaits or drop-shotting plastics worms are working best. Some anglers are picking up stripers on the shoals from Eddo’s to Potato Slough trolling P-Line’s Angry Eye Minnows, Yo-zuris, or Rebels.
Call: Randy Pringle (209) 543-6260; Captain Stan Koenigsberger – Quetzal Adventures (925) 570-5303; Intimidator Sport Fishing (916) 806-3030
Bass 2; White bass 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
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 in March. There are no large tournaments scheduled at Lopez. At Naci, drop-shot plastics or jigs on a slow presentation are working best along areas with deep-water access such as ledge or drop-offs. Small fish are the rule. Crappie are showing up around structure with live bait. Nacimiento rose a few feet and from 23 percent to 27 percent capacity over the weekend. San Antonio remains closed indefinitely as a result of extremely low water conditions – at 4 percent capacity – and high operating expenses. The launch ramp at Lopez is anticipated to remain open for the remainder of the season, but there is no report for the lake. Santa Margarita remained at less than 15 percent capacity. The marina store is open for supplies and rental vessels.
Call: Lake Nacimiento (805) 238-1056, ext. 3; Lake San Antonio Marina (805) 472-2818; Central Coast Bass Fishing.com (805) 466-6557
- Sonora Bass Club on March 5 at Delta/Ladd’s Marina: 1, Justin and Carol Rose 24.80 pounds; 2, John Liechty/Dan Perkins Jr. 23.15 (big fish 9.78); 3, Josh Parris/Jeremiah Payne 21.90
- Saturday: Christian Bass League at Delta/Ladd’s Marina; California Delta Team Trail at Delta/B and W Resort; Best Bass Tournaments at Don Pedro; Kerman Bass Club at McClure; Visalia Bass Club at Kaweah; Best Bass Tournaments at Nacimiento
- Saturday-Sunday: Hook, Line, and Sinker at Delta/Russo’s Marina
- Sunday: Kings VIII Bass Club at Tulloch; California Bass Federation at Don Pedro
- March 18-20: New Romeo’s Bait and Tackle Sturgeon Derby at Delta/Freeport
- March 19: Best Bass Tournaments at New Melones; Kern County Bassmasters at Kaweah
- March 19-20: Addathon Iron Man Sturgeon Derby at Delta/Pittsburg Marina
- March 20: Tracy Bass Club at Delta/Tracy Oasis;California Delta Team Trail at Delta/Russo’s Marina; Riverbank Bass Anglers at Don Pedro; Roosevelt High Bass Fisher’s Striped Bass Derby at San Luis; Kings River Bass Club at Eastman
- March 23: Riverbank Bass Anglers at Don Pedro
- March 25: E and J Gallo at Don Pedro
- March 26: Dan’s Delta Outdoors at Delta/Big Break Marina; American Bass Association at Don Pedro; Success Bass Club at Success; Lake Isabella Bass Club at Isabella; San Luis Obispo Bass Anglers at Nacimiento
- March 27: Central Valley Anglers Striped Bass Derby at Delta/Sandy Beach
- Fresno County: Pine Flat Reservoir
- Kern County: Cat Fish Lake
- Madera County: Bass Lake; Corrine Lake; Eastman Lake; Hensley Lake; Manzanita Lake
- Mariposa County: Eastman Lake; McSwain Reservoir
- Stanislaus County: Modesto Reservoir; Woodward Reservoir
- Tuolumne County: Don Pedro Reservoir; New Melones Reservoir
> = peak activity