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.
Delta bass hitting, Randy Pringle said. New Melones kicking out big kokanee and catfish, John Liechty reported. San Luis Reservoir and Forebay producing linesides, Meng Xyong reported. Courtright fishing picks up, Chuck Crane said. San Francisco salmon bite rebounds, Jerad Davis reported.
Never miss a local story.
2-Have to work hard
4-Fish jumpin’ in boat
Delta Mendota Canal and Sloughs
Stripers 2; Catfish 3
In the California Aqueduct, Meng Xyong of the Fishaholics reported, “Catfish are the top catch for many anglers soaking bait.The bigger cut of catfish has slowed but some quality fish are still being caught. Jake Rath out of Bakersfield and Henry Nguyen of Stockton fished the south ’duct for a nice stringer of catfish to 30 inches. Fishermen are having success throwing lures such as SpeedLures, Duo Realis or Lucky Craft jerkbaits in the morning hours. Anglers have to go through several shakers before landing a fish over the size limit. Water continues to be released into the aqueduct.” In the south aqueduct in Kern County, Jacob Rutledge of Bob’s Bait reported the moss continues to be a problem, and small striped bass along with some large catfish are coming on blood worms, pile worms, sardines or anchovies.
Bass 2; Trout 1; Bluegill 2; Catfish 3; Crappie 2
Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “The lake continues to drop, but a bass limit in the 12- to 13-pound range is possible with reaction baits in the afternoon until 9 p.m. The daytime bite is very slow.” Catfishing is best with mackerel, chicken livers or sardines at night. Bluegill and crappie are slow. The river arm opened for boat traffic Monday. The lake dropped nearly 6 feet to 16 percent capacity and 487.86 in elevation.
Call: Six Star Tackle Box 673-5688; Eastman Lake 689-3255
Bass 2 Trout 1 Catfish 2 Bluegill 2 Crappie 2
Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “Catfish to 4 pounds are possible at night with chicken livers or nightcrawlers, but the bass bite remains extremely slow.” The lake is expected to drop precipitously in the coming weeks to less than 10 percent capacity. It is currently at 29 percent, falling nearly 3 feet to 486.90 in elevation.
Call: Fresno Fisherman’s Warehouse 225-1838; Valley Rod & Gun, Clovis 292-3474; Six Star Tackle Box 673-5688; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Hensley Lake Hidden Dam 673-5151
Lake Don Pedro
Bass 2; Trout 2; Kokanee 2; King salmon 2; Crappie 2
King salmon and holdover rainbows are the top species with the kokanee action slowing down. The salmon can be found at depths below 100 feet in the deeper parts of the lake with rolled anchovies or shad on a harness along with Uncle Larry’s spinners. The bass bite has slowed in the hot weather, and the best action has been in deeper water to 40 feet with plastics on the drop-shot. Robo Worm’s Aaron’s Magic or Pro Worms Purple Death 124p are good options. All three launch ramps are open with the lake dropping 3 feet to 779.93 in elevation and 72 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 3; Crappie 2; Catfish 3; Bluegill 2
Jacob Rutledge of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield said, “Local fishing has been very slow due to the heat, and the bass and bluegill bite at Isabella has been very slow. Catfish remain the top species with Sonny’s Dip Bait, mackerel, and frozen clams.” Crappie action is fair at best. The lake dropped 3 feet to 2,553.74 in elevation and 23 percent capacity. Trout fishing in the upper river has been good due to heavy plants, and the final plant occurred over the past weekend. Salmon eggs, live crickets, Roostertails, Kastmasters or nightcrawlers are all working in the deeper pools. In the lower Kern River below the dam, smallmouth and largemouth bass are biting plastic worms. Buena Vista was the location for the winner of the Bob’s Bait’s July Catfish Derby, with Joe Cropton of Bakersfield bringing in a 30-pound whiskerfish during the final week. He caught the beast on a live shad. August’s arrival brings Bob’s annual Carp Derby.
Call: Bob’s Bait (661) 833-8657; North Fork Marina (760) 376-1812
Bass 2; Crappie 2; Trout 1; Catfish 2
Larry Kerns of the Success Bass Club said, “The lake is dropping so fast that the bass are clearly off of the bite. The fish scatter and hold deep when the water is going out so fast. Fishing has been slow, with a few fish taken on plastics on the drop-shot at depths to 35 feet.” The lake receded 18 feet to 602.43 in elevation and 20 percent capacity. Bluegill and crappie can be taken, but hot temperatures have limited the numbers of anglers.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212
Bass 2; Trout 3; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
Chuck Stokke of the Sequoia Fishing Co. in Springville said, “The lake is dropping fast, and there is no water under the bridge. Bass fishing is extremely slow, and the heat and dropping water haven’t helped the situation. The bass are holding in deep water below 20 feet, and the best option is working the bottom with finesse techniques.” The lake dropped 14 feet to 605.67 in elevation and 20 percent capacity. In the Tule River, Stokke added, “The river is fishing excellent with nymphs, dry flies and Woolley Buggers, and I caught and released two 18-inch rainbows and one 20-inch on the Middle Fork.”
Call: Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626, sequoiafishingcompany.com
Bass 3; Trout 2; King salmon 1; Kokanee 1; Crappie 1; Catfish 3
The lake keeps on releasing water, and it has dropped 6 feet to 775.15 in elevation and 50 percent capacity. Heavy recreational boating traffic during the day along with hot, hot, hot temperatures have limited the number of anglers. There is a topwater bite in the early mornings before dropping to the bottom with Berserk Baits Purple Hornet or Sprayed Grass jigs by 9 a.m. Catfishing is best along muddy, sloping banks with anchovies, sardines or mackerel. The McClure Point and Barrett Cove South launch ramps are open with the Barrett Cove North ramp under construction.
Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505; Bub Tosh (209) 404-0053
The campgrounds are full, but fishing remains very slow with the hot weather and no trout plants since May.
Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River
Bass 2; Striper 1; Shad 2; Bluegill 2
Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “American shad are found near the logjam in the river arm with white crappie jigs, Kastmasters, or Roostertails.” There is a topwater bite for spotted bass to 1.75 pounds until the sun rises, but the bite dies when the sun arrives over the mountains. After this window is over, numbers of small bass are taken on finesse presentations on the bottom. There were no striped bass reports. The low-emission motor ban is expected to be enforced in the coming months. The lake dropped 10 feet to 538.61 in elevation to 67 percent capacity. In the San Joaquin River, not much change with minimal fishing interest with the exception of a few bass fishermen downstream of Sycamore Island. 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; they may not be targeted by fishermen and must be released immediately if inadvertently caught.
Call: Fresno Fisherman’s Warehouse 225-1838; Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474
New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch
Bass 2; Crappie 3; Catfish 3; Trout 2; Kokanee 3
Bass fishing has been fair overall with the dropping water, but there are still some huge largemouths to be had with Josh Parris of San Andreas catching and releasing a 13.01-pounder on a crankbait. John Liechty of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp said, “The bass bite is fair at best with most of the fish pulling off of the shoreline and holding on deepwater structure. The topwater bite is slow, but if the fish are not feeding aggressively on the surface, working the bottom with a Texas or Carolina rig with a crawdad-patterned soft plastics is the best technique for working through the brush and rock. The fish are also targeting shad, and a shad-patterned plastic worm on the drop-shot will produce numbers of bass.” Glory Hole continues to advise catch and release of the largemouth and larger spotted bass to keep the lake’s population healthy. Kokanee fishing remains good with some of the largest in the state coming over the rails – an average of more than 16 inches and up to 18 inches and in excess of 2 pounds. The current lake record is 2.8 pounds landed by Ray Koch of Escalon in 2007. Liechty said, “This record is in danger of being broken this year as the fish continue to grow. The schools are forming in 65-85 feet of water near the dam, spillway, and near Rose Island; and when the fish are in deep water, it is best to use a larger dodger on a short leader with full-size bladed hoochies, wiggle hoochies, or Apex lures in pinks, blue, or purple.” Gary Burns of Take It To the Limit Guide Service added, “The kokanee fishing slowed just a bit this week with the full moon, but we still managed to put fat kokes in the boat. With the warmer weather, we have been slow-trolling at 1.5 mph at depths from 84-92 feet. The kokes are getting bigger and we are starting to see some nice hooked jaws and loss of scales.” Trout fishing is fair at best, and the bite has been slow during the heat of the day before becoming much better in the cooler temperatures of the evenings. The shad schools are found in the deepest portions of the lake in the main river channel at depths from 60-80 feet, and trollers are working shad-patterned lipless crankbaits or spoons. Night fishing under lights with live minnows, trout dough bait, or nightcrawlers has been the top technique for rainbows with the triple-digit daytime temperatures. Judy Rodgers and Sherry Zacharia were trolling in the main lake with Apex lures for rainbow trout to 3 pounds, 11 ounces. The catfish bite remains excellent with frozen shad, anchovies, or mackerel from the shore with several whiskerfish landed in the 6- to 10-pound range. The best action has been occurring in the early mornings, evenings and throughout the night. Crappie action has also improved with live minnows under a slip-float, particularly at night. The lake is releasing water on a daily basis, dropping 2 feet to 874.16 in elevation and 24 percent capacity. Glory Hole remains the only launch available on the lake with two lanes and a courtesy dock.
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 1
Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “The lake continues to drop rapidly, and the bass are in total shock. A 5-pound limit took first place in a recent night tournament with a big fish just under 2 pounds. The fish may be holding as deep as 60 feet, but few fishermen are working these depths. Trout trolling has been the top option with anglers scoring the occasional limit to 16 inches pulling shad-patterned lures such as Rainbow Runners, Apex lures, or Needlefish at depths from 7-8 colors of leadcore or 35 to 50 feet on the downrigger. A few rainbows are taken from the docks at Deer Creek on trout dough bait.” The lake dropped 21 feet to 801.41 in elevation and 32 percent capacity. There remains minimal change in the lower Kings with high water from the releases and few trout fishermen are targeting rainbows in the swift water. 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 3; Catfish 2; Bass 2; Crappie 2
Numbers of striped bass continue to come out of O’Neill Forebay, but shore fishermen in the know are scoring huge striped bass in excess of 20 pounds using freshwater grass shrimp off Dinosaur Point. The main San Luis Reservoir has already dropped to 10 percent capacity, and a long walk or drive is necessary to reach the shore. With the lake receding every week, those driving to the shore have to be careful to keep from getting stuck in the mud. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun added, “I have seen photos of 40-inch striped bass taken in the big lake on Storm swimbaits.” Andrew Yeh of Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill confirmed the great action with the freshwater shrimp. Since the bait shops are struggling for supplies of pile and blood worms because of a heat wave on the East Coast, and also given the shortage of live extra-large or jumbo minnows, anglers have been limited to frozen anchovies or sardines. The noncompliant two-stroke engine ban is being enforced, so having an Energy Star sticker is needed to launch. Roger George of Roger George Guide Service said that “Launching off Basalt is OK but you have to be careful in a northwest wind because it can put waves over the back of your boat at the dock. I scouted the big lake and got/released four fish to 23 inches before the wind came up closing the lake.” In the O’Neill Forebay, numbers of striped bass up to 24 inches can be taken with Speedlures, Duo Realis jerkbaits or Lucky Craft Pointers, but a number of the linesides are undersized. Yeh added, “Some fishermen are dragging bucktails, and most are downsizing their ripbaits and swimbaits with the best action from a boat since the lake’s edge is starting to load up with moss.” Meng Xyong of the Fishaholics reported, “I launched an hour after the ramp opened and was surprised by a massive boil 100 yards from the ramp. My son and I landed fish after fish for half an hour. We began trolling the deep water flats and water channels later. The brighter colored lures were key. We trolled SpeedLures and MC swimbaits for several shakers. You have to comb through a lot of dinks before catching a fish over 18 inches.”
Call: Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711, Roger George of rogergeorgeguideservice.com (559) 905-2954
Bass 2; Trout 2; Kokanee 1
Heavy recreational boat traffic along with the Sheriff’s Motor Fee have limited the number of bass fishermen launching at the lake. A few walk the banks in the late afternoons for spotted bass in the 2.25- to 2.5-pound range using plastics on the drop-shot, split-shot or dart head. Trout fishing remains unproductive. Most bass fishermen will wait until after the Labor Day Holiday and the end of the motor fee. Campground reservations have been canceled in certain locations because of the removal of trees damaged by bark beetles. The lake is still high at 95 percent.
Call: Todd Wittwer 288-8100; Mike Beighey 642-3748; Bass Lake Watersports 642-3200
Brown trout 2; Trout 2
Lake Edison on the San Joaquin watershed has been a good option for fishermen willing to drive over the narrow Kaiser Pass Road, but Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun said, “One of our customers rented a boat over the weekend, and they only picked up a pair of brown trout, but they stated that the lake is loaded with small 4-inch trout.” Since Lake Edison does not receive trout plants, these fish are the product of a natural spawn. Edison dropped slightly to 66 percent capacity, Florence fell to 33 percent and Mammoth Pool to 70 percent.
Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000
Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake
Kokanee 2; Trout 2
The Shaver Lake kokanee bite continues to be a mystery, but there has been some action. The overall bite remains extremely slow; guides experienced with the lake are struggling to pick up from 1-5 kokanee per trip. Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters said, “The kokanee have been elusive most of the time, and they are moving every day with the most consistent locations being the Sierra Marina, the Point and the island at depths from 23-50 feet with pink Apex lures or Koke Busters tipped with corn. The fact is 2-5 kokanee is an average day with the distinct possibility of less. Another possibility is to jig for kokanee, and Captain Jack Yandell, local tackle manufacturer, picked up a limit recently while jigging.” One of the better days in recent weeks was enjoyed by Jim Travis of Affordable Tackle while fishing with Terry Brown and Steve Peckham. They scored a total of nine kokanee working at depths from 30-50 feet with Affordable Tackle’s pink and purple mini tubes along with white or pink mini hoochies tipped with shopeg corn of various scents behind a silver Raven dodger, the 5.5-inch Holographic Sling Blade, or a brass dodger with the best action in front of the Sierra Marina or Road 2. Travis said, “The fish were fat and healthy with no signs of changing color.” Steve Santoro of Fish Box Charters said, “Our trip on Friday showed a bit more sign of life with a total of six kokanee in the 13- to 15-inch range along with a 16-inch German brown trolling Apex lures or pink hoochies behind a C.J. gold dodger at depths from 30-40 feet near the dam and Road 1.” The recreational boaters take over the lake by 10 a.m., so it is best to get on the lake early. The trout are starting to bust the surface, eating insects, so perhaps the trout bite will start up again. Shaver has risen once again to 94 percent capacity. At Huntington, small kokanee to 11 inches are taken on small spoons or spinners near the surface while bank anglers are picking up planted rainbows near the Auxiliary Dam with trout dough bait or inflated nightcrawlers. The lake remains high at 98 percent capacity.
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 high country lakes of Wishon and Courtright are showing some signs of life after a long dry spell. Courtright is fishing much better than Wishon at the present time, and experience seems to be the key to scoring a limit at either lake. Chuck Crane of the Wishon Village RV Park and Store reported, “There have been some quality German brown trout and rainbows taken at Wishon, but the action on a whole remains slow. You have to work hard for limits, but our trollers with experience at the lake are picking up limits of rainbow and brown trout with blade/’crawler combinations. We have a number of regulars trolling deeper and slower at the far side of the lake, and they have been rewarded with limits of quality trout while many others are struggling.” Bank fishing at Wishon is limited to a fish or two with the best fishing at the far side of the dam or at the mouth of Short Hair Creek with inflated nightcrawlers or rainbow trout dough bait. Courtright is producing greater numbers than Wishon, but experience is still an advantage to trolling at the lake. Crane added, “The best scores have been coming from our regulars working deep at 2-5 colors of leadcore at the upper end of the lake. There have been a number of limits brought in, and the quality has been good.” Shore fishing is best along the far side of the dam with Crane advising, “Walk up over the hill to the far side of the dam, and some fishermen have been catching and releasing up to 20 trout using trout dough bait in rainbow. This is a good spot to go try.”
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
Rockfish 3; Striper 3
Rockfishing is the name of the game out of Pillar Point, with limitsb along with a few ling cod being the normal expectation. The Huli Cat is being repowered, and it will be back in service by mid-August. In the meantime, the New Captain Pete is the top option for rockfish trips. Striped bass are still a solid option along the beaches from Ocean Beach to Linda Mar in Pacifica, and SP Minnows have been the top lure in a variety of color patterns.
Call: Happy Hooker (510) 223-5388; Roger Thomas, Salty Lady (415) 760-9362; Bait and Switch Sport Fishing Center (650) 726-7133; Emeryville Sport Fishing (510) 654-6040; Don Franklin, Soleman (510) 703-4148
Rockfish 3; Striper 2; White sea bass 2; Halibut 3
Chris Arcoleo at Chris’ Sport Fishing in Monterey reported the Check Mate went south to Point Sur with fresh squid, and they loaded up with limits of big quality rockfish including several vermilions and coppers. The lings were a bit shy, and they ended up with 25 for 23 anglers. The Check Mate stayed local with 18 anglers for 32 ling cod and three-quarter limits of rockfish. They have an open load this Thursday. Allen Bushnell of Santa Cruz Kayak Fishing said, “Capitola has been churning out halibut all week. The best approach seems to be jigging up live mackerel or jack smelt for bait. Both are working right now for big halibut. Using live squid works even better if you can find them.. Santa Cruz Harbor resident George Isometsa fishes from his Zodiac skiff and did a long drift Monday from the Mile Buoy towards Steamer Lane. He was in 90 feet of water when his squid was snarfed by a big white sea bass. Isometsa estimates the weight at ‘around 30 pounds.’ ” Todd Fraser at Bayside Marine reported a good number of halibut caught in 60-80 feet of water in Capitola, by the mile buoy and near Natural Bridges. Fraser reports the beaches from New Brighton to Pajaro continue to provide good striper action for the surfcasters.
Call: Chris’ Landing (831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173; usafishing.com
San Francisco Bay
Halibut 2; Striper 2; Rockfish 3; Leopard shark 3; Sturgeon 1; Salmon 3
The salmon bite was back Monday after a few days of slower action. The school has moved south, and Captain Jerad Davis on the Salty Lady out of Sausalito went off of Pacifica on Monday for 10 limits ranging from 12-25 pounds. These are a different school than the grade to 12 pounds that have been holding around the main shipping channels. The salmon schools that have emerged off of Bodega Bay will be sliding down the coast and staging off the Golden Gate in the days and weeks ahead. There have been some huge ling cod landed recently, and Captain Bob Wright of the Happy Hooker went to the Farallon Islands on Sunday with 29 anglers for limits of quality school fish including some big olives along with 19 lings to 27 pounds. Captain Trent Slate of Shelter Cove Sport Fishing out of Loch Lomond Marina went outside the Gate for halibut on Friday and Saturday, finding tough action the first day off Seal Rocks with only a few small legal halibut. He said, “There was enough there to keep us interested, but we went up the coast on Saturday for six big halibut ranging from 12-18 pounds working the small coves. We also landed a bonus 20-pound salmon at the end of the day.” Inside the bay, small striped bass remain the rule, and most party boats headed outside the Gate for rockfish over the weekend because of the minus tides in the bay. The tides appear to be much more favorable by the end of the week for halibut and striped bass.
San Luis Obispo
Rockfish 3; Surf perch 4
Jacob Rutledge of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield said, “The beaches have been the top location for our local anglers due to an excellent perch bite along with the triple-digit temperatures inland. Pismo Beach is the top location, and huge surf perch are taken on the Lucky Craft Pointers designed for saltwater.” Lug worms, blood worms, Berkley Camo or Sand Worms, or sand crabs are other options. For rockfishing, the Patriot, Avenger, and Flying Fish out of Patriot Sport Fishing at Port San Luis went on Sunday with a combined 91 anglers for 181 vermilion rockfish, 15 coppers, 10 Boccaccio, 202 bolina, 496 assorted rockfish, five cabezon and 27 ling cod to 10 pounds. Frank Maloria of Madera took the jackpot on the Flying Fish with a 10-pound ling. Out of Virg’s Landing in Morro Bay, two boats went out Monday for a total of 226 fish including a ling cod at 15.5 pounds landed by Charles Springfield of Fresno. Virg’s next open two-day trip is Nov. 18-20, and these have been selling out quickly. The trips leave Friday night and return Sunday night at $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. Dates are available at virgslanding.com.
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 2; Sturgeon 2; Catfish 2; Bluegill 3; Salmon 2
The first salmon of the year have been landed off Dillon Point State Park with Pam Hayes of Benicia Bait reporting a 16-pounder was taken on a blue Flying C along with another fish that was not brought into the shop. She said, “There are some sturgeon reports starting to come in, and stripers are also picking up, but most linesides are undersized.” Bait is a concern given high heat on the East Coast as pile worms and blood worm shipments have been limited. The count rose to six salmon by the weekend, and Tony Lopez of Benicia Bait added, “There have been some quality stripers landed on salmon gear from at both 1st Street and the State Park. The big news is that we finally have grass shrimp in the shop.” Sturgeon fishing has been decent off Crockett shoreline at the Eckley Pier with salmon roe or lamprey eel. In the upper Delta in Freeport, Uncle Larry Barnes of Sacramento Pro Tackle said, “There have been some salmon taken at the Minnow Hole along with jigs south of Freeport.” The bank access in Clarksburg appears to have been closed because of excessive trash left on the shores by fishermen. Johnny Tran of New Romeo’s Bait in Freeport reported a few salmon continue to be taken on a daily basis from the shore with Flying C’s or jigging with P-Line Laser Minnows, or trolling with Silvertron spinners. Mark Wilson, striper trolling expert, has been alternating between smallmouth trips in the upper Delta and striper fishing around Decker Island, and he reported high numbers of smallmouth along the rocks in Steamboat, Miner and Sutter Sloughs along with the Old Sacramento River with Robo Worms on the drop-shot. He said, “We have been catching and releasing between 80 and 100 smallmouth and going through the worms in short order. Most of the fish are undersized, but we have been close to limits from 12 to a whopping 18 inches on all trips.” Steve Santucci of Steve Santucci’s Fly Fishing Guide Service reported, “Smallmouth and largemouth bass are great targets for Delta fishing. Reports of some big stripers in the high teens and low 20-pound range have been taken in the West Delta.” Stripers are trickling into the Delta, and Clyde Wands, shallow trolling expert, braved the heat Wednesday for five stripers to 5 pounds with three in the 20-inch range taken on the West Bank with shallow-trolling Rat-L-Traps in silver/blue. Mark Wilson was also trolling on the same day along the West Bank and the Old Dairy, and he said, “The stripers are starting to show with a fish here and there, and we ended up with nine keepers with two at 7 pounds. The stripers appear to be on the move.” Tran also touted the striper action with the cooler water in the Sacramento River, stating, “The stripers appear to be sticking around the area now, and fishermen are scoring with live mudsuckers or frozen sardines coated with scent. There are lots of shakers around, but legal limits are possible.” He added that catfish can be taken on the Sacramento Deep Water Channel, the Port of Sacramento, or in Lisbon Slough with chicken livers or nightcrawlers. The wind played havoc on the frog bite during the Ultimate Frog Challenge out of Russo’s Marina, the first of two big tournaments featuring topwater frogs for huge largemouth bass. 162 teams participated in both the pro and amateur divisions, and although there were some quality largemouths taken, the overall bite was slow with the winds cooling down the recently hot temperatures. The team of Harvey Pulliam and Jamond Andrews won the event after posting a 19.35-pound limit including Andrew’s 11.03 kicker on Day 1 which carried them over to victory on the second day. However, 51 boats did not weigh in a fish on the first day because of the more challenging conditions. Prior to the cooldown over the weekend, Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, said, “With this heat, the bass are jumping in the boat looking for ice to cool down. The bite is phenomenal, and if you throw it, they will eat it. I am working on two particular baits right now that were featured at the recent ICAST show – a new ima Popper and a suspending Rattlin’ Bait. Both baits will be lights out for the Delta, and I am experimenting on the optimum line, rod, and reel for these baits right now. The Snag Proof Open is just over a week away at Russo’s Marina, and it looks to be a good event. The BassFest is coming in September, also at Russo’s.” Alan Fong of the Fisherman’s Warehouse in Sacramento found solid action for largemouth in excess of 9 pounds this week on the San Joaquin-Delta tossing the Pop-A- Dor topwater bait along with buzzbaits and other topwater lures. Sturgeon are also starting to make their move with more than one diamondback taken off of the Riverview Pier in Antioch with lamprey eel. Tom Sanders of Brentwood landed a 48-inch sturgeon on Saturday night. Brandon Gallegos of H and R Bait in Stockton reported shaker stripers are the rule in the Stockton area, but a few larger bass in the 4- to 7-pound range have been taken on anchovies or fresh/frozen shad from the Antioch Fishing Pier.
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
At Nacimiento, the best action occurs in the early morning for small spotted bass with small-profile topwater lures, swimbaits, or reaction baits. The top technique for numbers remains working the bottom from 10-15 feet with plastics on the drop-shot, dart head, or shakey-head. White bass are schooling around Las Tables, Dip Creek, and Snake Creek with white Roostertails or Kastmasters. At Lopez, there is a reaction bite in the early mornings or late afternoons with topwater lures or reaction baits, but the best technique is working the bottom with plastics on the drop-shot, Senkos, or Brush Hogs. At Santa Margarita, there is a topwater bite early and late, but working the bottom with plastics on the drop-shot, Senkos, or deep-diving crankbaits are producing the best numbers. Largemouth bass in the 3- to 5- pound range are possible. Crappie are showing up around structure with minijigs while catfishing is good with prepared stink baits. tLaunching a boat is not an option, but the marina has rentals available. San Antonio remains closed indefinitely as a result of extremely low water conditions (4 percent capacity) and high operating expenses.
Call: Lake Nacimiento (805) 238-1056, ext. 3; Lake San Antonio Marina (805) 472-2818; CentralCoastBassFishing.com (805) 466-6557
- Sierra Bass Club on July 23 at Pine Flat: 1, Tony Gonzalez/Bruce Milan 4.55; 2, Craig Gong/Andrew Bradshaw 4.46; 3, Dan Ripportella/Randall Smith 3.96; big bish, Ryan Reynolds 1.65
- Saturday: Golden Empire Bass Club at Nacimiento
- Saturday-Sunday: Snag Proof Open at Delta/Russo’s Marina
- Aug. 13: Riverbank Bass Anglers at Amador; Delta Bass Club/Tri Valley Bass Club at Delta/Russo’s Marina; Modesto Ambassadors at Delta/Ladd’s Marina; American Bass Association at Isabella
- Aug. 14: California Delta Team Trail at Delta/B and W Resort; Fresno Bass Club at Pine Flat
- Aug. 19: Jim’s Pro Bass Tackle at Nacimiento
- Aug. 19-20: Visalia Bass Club at Kaweah
- Aug. 20: Best Bass Tournaments at Delta/Russo’s Marina; Bass Anglers of Northern California/Manteca Bassin’ Buddies at Delta/Ladd’s Marina;Taft Bass Club at Isabella
- Aug. 20-21: Kokanee Power Team Tournament at Pardee; Sierra Bass Club at Eastman; Success Bass Club at Success
- Sept. 10: Kokanee Power Shaver Lake Team Derby at Shaver, kokaneepower.org.
- Fresno County: Kings River, below Pine Flat Dam; San Joaquin River, South Fork; Ward Lake
- Kern County: Kern River, sections 4-5
- Madera County: San Joaquin River, Middle Fork; Starkweather Lake
- Mariposa County: McSwain Reservoir
- Tulare County: Kern River, sections 5-6
- Tuolumne County: Lyons Canal (Columbia Ditch); Moccasin Creek; Powerhouse Stream; Stanislaus River Clarks Fork, Middle Fork, North Fork, South Fork
f = full moon > = peak activity