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 bite explodes, Randy Pringle said. Courtright trout kicking out limits, Chuck Crane reported. Pismo surf perch still hitting, Pete Cormier said. New Melones producing huge kokanee and catfish biting, John Liechty reported. Kaweah Lake bass bite on fire, Sierra Sporting Goods said. San Francisco salmon bite rebounds, The Captain Hook reported.
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, “Fast water flow continues to make fishing tougher for some anglers. Most fishermen are targeting checkgates in the swift current. If the fish aren’t biting at the headgates, move downstream and try a different location. Sometimes you’ll find more active fish where the flow isn’t as turbulent. Anglers continue to catch stripers on jerkbaits such as SpeedLures, Duo Realis and Luckycraft Pointers. They are covering alot of ground before hooking into them. Catfish are entertaining fishermen soaking anchovies, liver or stink baits.” In the south aqueduct in Kern County, Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait said, “Catfish are the top species with stink baits, live minnows, or chicken livers; and small stripers are still active with topwater lures, blood worms and live minnows.”
Bass 2; Trout 1; Bluegill 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
Steve Burrows of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “The lake is turning green from an algae bloom, and the green slime sticks to fishing line and loads up on a reel. A night tournament over the weekend produced slow action during the full moon with smoky air conditions. Dark colors of crankbaits or large creature baits on a Texas-rig are working for the occasional bass. Vibration in addition to dark colors is the key in the stained water. The fish are holding along the edges of the weed lines.” Catfishing is best with mackerel, chicken livers or sardines at night. The lake dropped 9 feet to 8 percent capacity and 469.48 feet in elevation.
Call: Six Star Tackle Box 673-5688; Eastman Lake 689-3255
Bass 2; Trout 1; Catfish 3; Bluegill 2; Crappie 2
Steve Burrows of Valley Rod and Gun said, “Bass action remains extremely slow with few fishermen attempting the lake at the present time. The lake is also starting to experience an algae bloom.” The best fishing is for catfish with chicken livers, mackerel or sardines. The lake is expected to drop precipitously in the coming weeks to less than 10 percent capacity; it currently is at 24 percent, dropping 2 feet to 480.92 in elevation.
Call: Fresno Fisherman’s Warehouse 225-1838; Valley Rod & Gun, Clovis 292-3474; Six Star Tackle Box 673-5688; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Hensley Lake Hidden Dam 673-5151
Lake Don Pedro
Bass 2; Trout 2; Kokanee 1; King salmon 2; Crappie 2
Bass fishing is best with finesse techniques on the bottom with jigs or plastics on the drop-shot picking up a few smallmouth or largemouth bass. The reaction bite is slow, but numbers of fishermen will head to the lake this weekend for the Future Pro Tour event. King salmon and rainbow trout should make up the bulk of the action for trollers with the non-existent kokanee bite, and the best action should be taking place up the river arm near the cold water break. All three launch ramps are open with the lake dropping 2.5 feet to 773.17 in elevation and 68 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
Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield said, “A few largemouth bass have been taken on topwater lures around trees and bushes in the early mornings, but the overall bass bite has suffered greatly as the lake has been one of the top trophy lakes in the state. A 7-pound limit was the winning weight at a recent bass tournament, and this is unheard of for Isabella.” Catfish are found on Sonny’s Dip Bait, mackerel and frozen clams, but the crappie bite remains slow. The lake dropped 1.5 feet to 2,549.43 in elevation and 20 percent capacity. The Cedar Fire to the north of Kernville has not affected access to the upper river in the area, and trout fishing remains good with salmon eggs, live crickets, Roostertails, Kastmasters or nightcrawlers in the deep pools. In the lower Kern River below the dam, Cormier touted a good bite for smallmouth and largemouth bass with plastics worms and catfish with nightcrawlers or crickets. Lake Buena Vista is getting murky, but a few catfish and crappie continue to come out of the shallow reservoir. Bob’s annual Carp Derby is this month.
Call: Bob’s Bait (661) 833-8657; North Fork Marina (760) 376-1812
Bass 4; Crappie 3; Trout 1; Catfish 3
Sierra Sporting Goods in Exeter reported an outstanding bass bite with several different techniques including topwater lures in the mornings and evenings and finesse techniques of plastics on the drop-shot, dart head or Texas-rig during the day. The low lake levels have concentrated the bass into smaller areas. Anglers have been catching and releasing up to 50 fish during a single trip. Live crawdads and minnows are effective for those shoreline anglers keeping the bass. Largemouth bass at 9 and 8- pounds were part of the winning limit during Saturday’s Visalia Bass Club tournament. Bluegill, catfish and bass have been the top species, but they are selling plenty of minnows for crappie. The lake receded 4 feet to 589.43 in elevation and 8 percent capacity.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212
Bass 3; Trout 1; Catfish 2; Crappie 1
Triple-digit temperatures have kept most fishermen off the lake, but there is an improving bass bite with Senkos, lizards, Brush Hogs or topwater lures in the early morning or late afternoons. The lowered pool of water is concentrating the fish into a smaller area. The Success Bass Club went to Lake Kaweah for Sunday’s tournament, but they will be back on the lake for a two-day tournament in September. The lake dropped 1.5 feet to 593.20 in elevation and 11 percent capacity.
Call: Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626, sequoiafishingcompany.com
Bass 3; Trout 1; King salmon 1; Kokanee 1; Crappie 2; Catfish 2
Minimal change, with water releases lowering the lake 4.5 feet to 762.19 in elevation and 45 percent capacity. The topwater bite has slowed, and the best action is on the bottom at depths below 45 feet with plastics such as Pro Worm’s 124 on the drop-shot or Berserk’s Purple Hornet jigs. Catfishing is decent along muddy, sloping banks with anchovies, sardines or mackerel. Trout, kokanee and king salmon have been non-existent throughout the summer. 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
Triple-digit temperatures have kept the optimum time to a short window in the early mornings or late afternoons. The bite has slowed, since the recently planted catchable rainbows are scattered into the main lake. Kastmasters in gold or chrome are still working best near the marina, brush pile and handicapped docks.
Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River
Bass 3; Striped bass 1; Shad 1; Bluegill 2
Steve Burrows of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “Spotted bass remain numerous, and there is a crankbait and ripbait bite up the river arm in the early mornings and late evenings. After the sun comes up, the best action is with finesse techniques such as plastics on the drop-shot for spots in the 11- to 12-inch range. Along the Madera side from the launch ramp to the dam, bass are holding on the points of the coves, and Senkos or plastics on the drop-shot or dart head are best. The striped bass action is slow, but the linesides should be transitioning from feeding on the American shad to working the rocky areas for crawdads. This occurs generally from early September to November.” The low-emission motor ban is expected to be enforced in the coming months. The lake dropped 4 feet to 519.93 in elevation and 54 percent capacity. In the San Joaquin River, not much change with minimal fishing interest throughout the lower river. 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 2; Catfish 3; Trout 2; Kokanee 3
The kokanee bite is slowing at New Melones, but the few fish being landed are huge – pushing 20 inches in length. John Liechty of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp said, “The fish are holding in deep water from 80-100 feet, and the largest fish so far this year came in at 2.4 pounds, close to the lake record of 2.8 pounds landed by Ray Koch of Escalon in 2007. With the hot water temperatures, both the kokanee and rainbow trout have dropped to the 100-foot range with the best action in the main lake and up toward the Highway 49 Bridge. The main river channel holds the deepest water, and large blade and lures are working best since vibration is necessary at this time of year as the fish are getting ready to attempt to spawn.” The trout bite has been fair overall, but the quality has been outstanding with a number of rainbows over 3 pounds as the fish are loading up on shad. Shad-patterned spoons such as Speedy Shiners or Needlefish in gold or copper behind a large Sling Blade have been producing. Night fishing for rainbows under lights is another good method, and live or artificial minnows are working under the lights. Bank fishermen are advised to head up the hill to the high country lakes of Spicer or Amador. Bass fishing is best during low light conditions in the early mornings, late evenings or during the night with small shad-patterned plastics on the drop-shot. Liechty said, “The shad that the bass are feeding on are extremely small, and small baits are necessary as the bass are holding next to the shad schools. The topwater bite is slow, but there remains the possibility of a few blow-ups on the surface.” Catfish action remains very solid with whiskerfish in the 4- to 10-pound range landed regularly, with the best action in the mornings, evenings or during the night as the fish move into the shallows. Frozen shad, anchovies, mackerel or sardines are all working for the catfish. Crappie are biting small minijigs, spinners or live minnows under a slip-float bobber near standing timber in the shallows while the slabs are also found at night under submersible nights.
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
Said Steve Burrows of Valley Rod and Gun: “The trout bite is nothing special with a few rainbows found up the decreasing river arm with shad-patterned spoons at depths from 20-30 feet.” There is a small window for reaction baits in the early mornings with ripbaits or crankbaits, but plastics on the drop-shot, Texas-rig or dart head are working for numbers of small fish over flats with deep-water access.” The lake dropped 11.5 feet to 767.25 in elevation and 22 percent capacity. The rapidly dropping water levels have the fish suspended and unstable. The water releases from the dam are keeping the flows high in the lower Kings River, and trout fishing has been difficult in the high 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 2; Catfish 2; Bass 2; Crappie 2
San Luis Reservoir continues to be the location for big striped bass, but only the most experienced fishermen are getting in on the action. Roger George of Roger’s Guide Service out of Fresno is one of the only guides working the lake, and he put Andy Bedell of Monterey onto a 39-inch, 24-pound striped bass on a shad-patterned plug that was subsequently released via the Seaqualizer Release Device. George said, “We have had to cover a lot of area to find the moving schools, and the key seems to be putting the lure in front of active fish. The best action has been in the flats , and although we landed three quality fish last week, including Meng Xyong’s 16- and 27-pound fish, the bite is slowing. Thankfully the water has come up from a low of 195,000 acre-feet on July 31 to 256,000 acre feet on Aug. 22. ” Mickey Clements of Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill confirmed the good action for the occasional large fish in the main lake. He said, “Anglers have been trolling along the shoreline with shad-patterned plugs, and bait fishermen are using pile worms or blood worms. We are selling out of worms early in the weekend due to the high demand. A 4-by-4 vehicle is advised to drive down to the shoreline as several vehicles have been stuck lately. The Dinosaur Point launch ramp is still open, but it is on the third ramp. We have extra-large minnows in the shop again, but the minnow bite has been slow.” A few fishermen continue to use live grass shrimp, and the best location for catching shrimp is in the O’Neill Forebay. The live bait cannot be transported to the main lake, but fishermen continue to ignore this regulation. The forebay continues to produce multiple smaller stripers with topwater lures or swimbaits as the linesides are boiling on the surface in the early mornings and late evenings. Steve Burrows of Valley Rod and Gun touted 5-inch paddletailed swimbaits such as Storm or River2Sea Rig Walkers worked over and along the weedlines as a productive technique. Xyong, of the Fishaholics, reported, “Fishermen have been running into boils consistently while fishing the lake. Throw your favorite top water lure and it'll get hammered. Most fish caught are undersized but action has been consistent throughout the day. A boat is a must in order to reach and chase the boils.”
Call: Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711, Roger George of rogergeorgeguideservice.com (559) 905-2954
Bass 2; Trout 2; Kokanee 1
Not much change at the lake with recreational boating still taking over the lake, especially on the weekends. The occasional holdover trout is taken on blade/’crawler combinations, but few fishermen are out on the lake. Kokanee are basically non-existent, and this condition has occurred since the dam reconstruction of a few years back. Bass fishermen will be returning to the lake once the Sheriff’s Motor Fee is lifted after the Labor Day Weekend, but a few are walking the banks in the evenings, tossing plastics on the split-shot, drop-shot or dart head. The lake is starting to release water at 93% percent.
Call: Todd Wittwer 288-8100; Mike Beighey 642-3748; Bass Lake Watersports 642-3200
Brown trout 2; Trout 2
Few reports from the Kaiser Pass Lakes, but Edison dropped slightly to 58 percent capacity while Florence also dropped slightly to 34 percent. Mammoth Pool rose slightly to 54 percent.
Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000
Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake
Kokanee 2; Trout 2
It continues to be a struggle for Shaver Lake kokanee, but perhaps the lockjaw that has plagued the lake for several weeks broke Sunday with Steve Santoro of Fish Box Charters reporting two limits of kokanee taken by his clients Mike Bowles, son Justin, and grandson Jace Huckaby, all of Madera. Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters said, “A few crack-of-dawn kokanee can be had, but that is about it. The best fishing continues to be near the Sierra Marina at 43 feet at dawn. I have been holding off on my guide trips until further notice until the action improves for clients.” Todd Wittwer of Kokanee.net Guide Service also has been reluctant to take out clients, but he did say, “Rick Hathaway found a limit of kokanee hugging the bottom at 73 feet in 76 feet of water along the buoy line by the Sierra Marina at night, and he is using scented corn on a weight for these fish. Doug Philpott landed two and lost one in a couple of hours of fishing, and I will be out to see if the action has improved.” Santoro found mainly maturing 2-year-olds early Sunday running orange Apex lures tipped with corn on the downrigger at 35-40 feet or white hoochies at six colors of leadcore behind gold Captain Jack’s dodgers. At Huntington, Steve Burrows of Valley Rod and Gun said, “The kokanee bite is better than the trout bite, and small kokanee are found at 4-6 colors of leadcore with more of the fall spectrum colors of purples, greens and pinks.” Shaver dropped to 87 percent capacity while Huntington remains nearly filled at 97 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
Trout action at Courtright has steadily improved over the past few weeks, and limits of primarily rainbow trout are possible for trollers working the far side of the lake. Wishon is another story, where only a few trollers and bank fishermen are able to score limits. Chuck Crane of the Wishon Village RV Park and Store said, “The trout bite at Courtright is still pretty decent with limits taken in a few hours for trollers pulling blade/’crawler combinations at 3-4 colors of leadcore line. The fish are mostly rainbows, but there is the occasional brown trout in the mix. Bank fishing has just been fair with the best action around the dam, the day-use area, and along the launch ramp with rainbow trout dough bait or inflated night crawlers. The lake was very popular over the weekend with lots of people up here.” At Wishon, Crane said, “The bite is hit/miss with some finding limits while others are struggling for a single bite. The best fishing has been taking place at the upper end of the lake with the fish holding in deep water. You have to troll really, really slow and also deep with blade/’crawler combinations working best. Shore fishermen have been struggling near the launch area, and a few fish are still taken at the mouth of Short Hair Creek. The best location for bank fishing is on the far side of the lake for those boating over there and throwing out inflated nightcrawlers or Roostertails. A few nice stringers have been brought in from the upper lake.” Both lakes are used to generate electrical power for Southern California Edison, and water levels fluctuate depending on power demand. The overall effect is both lakes are dropping steadily.
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
Salmon 2; Rockfish 3; Striper 2; Halibut 2; White seabass 2
Captain Dennis Baxter of the New Captain Pete went south to a honey hole north of Ano Nuevo, and they limited out with big rockfish including some large vermilion rockfish along with huge ling cod at 27 and 32 pounds. He said, “The water temperatures have warmed up a bit, and the school fish are finally biting. Locally, salmon have been very slow, both inside the harbor and in the bay. The net pen fish have yet to arrive in the harbor in numbers, although a few salmon have been spotted inside of the marina. Halibut are starting to show up along the coast near the end of Kelly Avenue and the Half Moon Bay State Park with fresh dead squid on a live bait rig, and commercial fishermen have landed as many as nine fish in a day. The bite isn’t red hot, but it is worth the time to make a few drifts after loading up on rockfish and lings. My next open salmon trip is Sept. 4 as I will be focusing upon rockfish in the coming weeks along with bird and whale watching trips.” The commercial squid boats are still hanging around the stretch of Martin’s Beach to San Gregorio, and there is a steady trickle of huge white sea bass in the 40- to 60-pound range taken by anglers who are trying to keep the bite to themselves.
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 seabass 2; Halibut 2
Chris Arcoleo at Chris’s Sport Fishing in Monterey reported a great rockfish bite with 23 limits along with 35 lings on the Caroline with the Star of Monterey returning with three-quarter limits of rockfish along with 30 lings for 19 anglers. Saturday brought out an impressive score on the Star of Monterey with 52 ling cod and three-quarter limits of rockfish for 29 anglers. Fresh squid remains the trick for the lings on a live bait rig. They have room throughout the week on their rockfish/ling cod trips. Allen Bushnell of Santa Cruz Kayak Fishing reported, “White sea bass and halibut are definite possibilities lately. Using fresh squid works wonders, and jigging up live squid is even better. These prestige fish are still mostly in deeper water, from 60-90 feet.” In Santa Cruz, the SC3 Buoy, Mile Buoy, and Lighthouse Point have seen good catches of halibut and white sea bass. This week, Todd Fraser from Bayside Marine reported, “There have been a few halibut caught up the coast near Davenport. Some nice halibut and sea bass (were) caught on squid near Capitola and Rio del Mar.” Go Fish Santa Cruz Charters is finding non-stop action on nearby reefs off West Cliff and near Wilder’s Ranch. Miss Beth Skipper Jim Rubin says, “The bite remains hot. We caught three nice lingcod and have to report we lost five at the boat. There were limits of quality rock cod consisting of yellows, blues, blacks and vermilion. There were whale sightings all morning, which means there a lot of bait in the bay.”
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; Crab 3; Salmon 3
Captain Bob Wright of the Happy Hooker said, “It was flat calm outside of the Gate and we took advantage by making the trip north to Point Reyes, ending up with 18 lings along with 25 limits of rockfish, and there were at least four vermilions in the 5- to 6-pound range.” The Sea Wolf, Tiger Fish, and C Gull II out of Emeryville Sport Fishing also found limits Saturday for 66 anglers along with 86 ling cod to 17 pounds. Monday’s scores were more of the same with a combined 24 limits of rockfish and 39 ling cod to 16 pounds for two Emeryville boats. For salmon, the bite broke out on Monday with the six-pack, the Captain Hook, out of Berkeley Marina posting five limits of big fish. The two Sausalito boats were up in Drake’s Bay for 36 salmon for 36 salmon to 26 pounds for 29 anglers with most of the salmon in the 15- to 26-pound range. The scores had been far less than a fish per rod over the weekend prior to Monday, and this follows the same pattern of the summer. A few slow days followed by a day or two of terrific action as it is a matter of timing when the schools are moving through. The salmon are moving quickly towards the Golden Gate, and they have moved into the shallows to feed on anchovies. The Sundance out of Emeryville put in nine of these salmon for sixfishermen. Inside the bay, the big tides over the past week were a limiting factor for both striped bass and halibut, and most party boats have been heading outside the Gate. The California Dawn finished up Shark Week with limits of 7-gill sharks, releasing another eight of which four were more than 100 pounds along with three leopards and four soupfin. Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle in San Rafael touted the shark bite in the south bay, and he has been selling plenty of midshipmen for the leopards since this bait is a guarantee for the larger grade of sharks.
San Luis Obispo
Rockfish 3; Surf perch 3
Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield reported hoards of Central Valley fishermen are heading to the coastline to take advantage of the great surf perch bite at Pismo Beach and Oceano. Lug worms, pile worms, blood worms and artificial such as Lucky Craft Pointers Berkley Camo or Sand Worms are all working for the numerous quality species of perch. Rockfishing remains solid with the lings starting to move into the coastal reefs, and the Avenger out of Patriot Sport Fishing at Port San Luis went on a half-day trip with 18 anglers on Monday for limits of rockfish including 14 coppers and 36 vermilion rockfish along with seven lings to 9 pounds. Out of Virg’s Landing in Morro Bay, the Fiesta and Rita G went out Sunday with 65 fishermen for a total of 37 ling cod, 104 vermilion rockfish and 464 assorted rockfish on their half-day and three-quarter-day trips. Virg’s next open two-day trip is Nov. 18-20, and these trips have been selling out quickly. The trips leave Friday night and return Sunday evening at $295 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.
Call: Virg’s Landing, (805) 772-1222; (800) 762-5263; Patriot Sports Fishing (805) 595-4100; Port Side Marine Sports Launch (805) 595-7214
Bass 3; Striper 3; Sturgeon 2; Catfish 3; Bluegill 3; Salmon 2
A few salmon per day are being caught off the Benicia shore at Dillon Point State Park with Vee-Zee spinners and also upriver below the Freeport Bridge by jigging P-Line Laser Minnows or Slammer Minnows. Action will only improve in the coming weeks and months. Striped bass are moving into the Sacramento-Delta early this year, but the majority are on the small side. The winds have limited sturgeon fishermen in Suisun Bay. Johnny Tran of New Romeo’s Bait in Freeport said, “A few salmon are coming into the shop on a daily basis by those jigging spoons below the Freeport Bridge, and the occasional salmon is landed from the shoreline on a Flying C spinner.” Striped bass are moving in, and they have arrived in the Liberty Island area. Most of the bass are small, but a 40-incher was taken on a River2Sea S Waver. Striped bass are moving in, but the quality of bass is also lacking. Mark Wilson, striper trolling expert, has been working the section of the river from Clyde Shoals above the Rio Vista Bridge to the Decker Island area with deep-diving Yozuri Crystal Minnows or P-Line Predators. He said, “ We must have caught and released between 40 and 50 stripers to 6 pounds with 16 of the fish being of legal size. Greens continue to be the top lure colors, but I did land a few fish on a red head/white lure. We have been focusing around Decker Island, the West Bank, and in Horseshoe Bend, but I may move further west towards Sherman Island and Broad Slough this week.” Clyde Wands, shallow trolling expert, came over to the Sacramento River and he said, “We couldn’t go 20 feet without getting a hit. Everything was on the deep lures, and once again, most of the fish were less than 22 inches.” Curtis Hayes of Benicia Bait and Tackle reported a few salmon are landed daily off Dillon Point State Park, but First Street has yet to produce with the big tides and the steady winds. Sturgeon fishing is on hold with few boaters willing to head out in Suisun Bay with the high winds. Dan Mathisen of Dan’s Delta Outdoors in Oakley said, “Bass fishing has been tougher with winning weights in the 20-plus-pound range during the last few tournaments with the fish transitioning to the changing conditions.” Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, reported outstanding largemouth action with the reappearance of the triple-digit temperatures. There is a topwater bite in the morning with the ima Little Stickt along with the ima Squarebill crankbait along the shoreline. He said, “This is a good time to learn or try a new technique since everything is working. If you want to catch and release 100 bass ranging from 3 inches to 5 pounds, you can throw a Berkely Havoc Flat Dog on a Zappu head on light line such as 8-pound test Trilene. Since we are fishing around rocks, weeds, and tules, the stouter fluorocarbon line works best, and as it is heavy, it stays down where the fish are holding. The bass are clearly oriented towards current, and the current provides cooler water, oxygen, and attracts baitfish, so were the water is moving close to structure, the bass will be there. There is a spinnerbait bite in the early mornings in low light conditions, and shad patterns such as chartreuse/white, silver/silver, or silver/white are best as there are tons of shad in the system. I prefer the half-ounce Persuader spinnerbait with an imaged blade.” Mathisen touted anything in red for the largemouth bass as the fish are chasing crawdads in the shallows. Mathisen reported a good striped bass bite with frozen shad for bait fishermen along with the 5-inch Optima Bubba Shad or his custom-made Chartreuse Shad Spook for stripers. Steffan Masters of Lost Anchor Bait and Tackle in Antioch and also at McAvoy’s Boat Harbor in Bay Point said, “The first salmon have shown up near the Humphrey’s Pier by the old Humphrey’s restaurant, and along with this, some keeper sturgeon are being landed out in front of the River View Pier. Striper fishing remains slow, but we have a supply of live grass shrimp for the first time in months.”
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; Striper 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
The Chimney Fire raged on for a 10th day at Nacimiento, having burned more than 33,000 acres and destroyed 36 homes and 16 outbuildings as of Monday night. Evacuation orders were still in place for several housing developments around the lake with additional road closures. As a result of the fire, the night tournament hosted by Jim’s Pro Bass Tackle last Friday was canceled. Their next Nacimiento night tournament is Sept. 16. At Santa Margarita, there are tournaments scheduled for September, but a close watch is necessary to see if the events will be held given the low lake levels. 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. After a closure for over a year, San Antonio Reservoir is open on a limited basis through Sept. 11 – noon to 8 p.m. Fridays; 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays; and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays with all boat launching at the Harris Creek ramp and quagga mussel inspections required. Interested anglers need to be cognizant of the possibility of road closures to San Antonio because of the fire.
Call: Lake Nacimiento (805) 238-1056, ext. 3; Lake San Antonio Marina (805) 472-2818; CentralCoastBassFishing.com (805) 466-6557
- Kokanee Power Team Tournament on Aug. 20 at Lake Pardee: 1, Steve and Danny Quintal 57.50 ounces; 2, Mark Damron/Brett Balla 55.50; 3, Nathan and Cynthia Lenard 55.40 ounces
- Best Bass Tournaments on Aug. 20 Delta/Russo’s Marina: 1, Jason Jones/Jared Biddle 22.14 pounds; 2, Martino Adra/Scott Bern 20.84; 3, Salvador Flores Jr. and Salvador Flores Jr. 19.93 (big fish 8.25).
- Bass 101 Open Night Tournament on Aug. 20-21 at Millerton: 1, Ralph Encizo/Mike Alvarez 18.26 pounds (big fish 3.46); 2, Mark Corrente/John Albidrez 16.54; 3, Tom Loya/Kevin Burge 15.43
- Saturday: Dan’s Delta Outdoors at Delta/Big Break Marina; Tri-Valley Bass Club at Nacimiento
- Sept. 3: Delta Bass Club at Delta/Russo’s Marina
- Sept. 10: American Bass Association at Delta/B and W Resort; Visalia Bass Club at Pine Flat; Lake Isabella Bass Club at Isabella; Golden Empire Bass Club at Nacimiento; Kokanee Power Shaver Lake Team Derby at Shaver Lake, kokaneepower.org
- Sept. 10-11: Best Bass Tournaments at Delta/Russo’s Marina; Success Bass Club at Success; Bass Ackwards Bass Club at Santa Margarita
- Sept. 16: Jim’s Pro Bass Tackle at Nacimiento
- Sept. 17: Forrest L. Wood, LLC at Delta/Russo’s Marina; Tracy Bass Club at Delta/Tracy Oasis; American Bass Association at Isabella
- Sept. 18: Fresno Bass Club at Delta/B and W Resort; Delta Bass Club at Delta/Russo’s Marina; Riverbank Bass Club at Delta Ladd’s Marina; Kings River Bass Club at Pine Flat
- Sept. 24: Sierra Bass Club at Delta; Future Pro Tour at Delta/Ladd’s Marina; Hook, Line and Sinker at Delta/Russo’s Marina; Dan’s Delta Outdoors at Delta/Big Break Marina;Christian Bass League at Tulloch; Bakersfield Bass Club at Lopez; Tri-Valley Bass Club at Santa Margarita
- September 24-25: California Delta Team Trail at Delta/B and W Resort
- Sept. 25: Hook, Line and Sinker at Delta/Russo’s Marina; Tracy Bass Club at Delta/Tracy Oasis
- Fresno County: Kings River, Below Pine Flat Dam
- Tuolumne County: Lyons Canal (Columbia Ditch); Moccasin Creek; Pinecrest Lake; Powerhouse Stream; Stanislaus River Clarks Fork, Middle Fork, South Fork
q = quarter moon > = peak activity