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.
Forebay stripers on top, Meng Xyong said. San Francisco salmon kick it up a notch, Bob Wright reported. Kaweah catfish and bass bite good, Merritt Gilbert said. Pismo surf perch on a tear, Jacob Rutledge 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, “More anglers are targeting catfish at the California Aqueduct. Henry Nguyen has been targeting them with stinkbaits for catfish up to 8 pounds in the north ’ducts. Soaking bait remains the top technique for many anglers fishing for stripers. You can clearly see which part of the aqueduct some stripers are caught just by looking at their physical state. Most north ’duct fish are skinnier than their southern counterparts. Fishermen should use caution when fishing at the ’ducts. The walls are steep and slippery. If one should fall in, swim with the current to the nearest ladder located every 1,000 feet.” In the south aqueduct in Kern County, Jacob Rutledge of Bob’s Bait said, “The aqueduct has been mossy, but fishermen are still catching both catfish or striped bass with sardines, anchovies or blood worms working for the linesides while Sonny’s Dip Bait, Katnip Beef Bait, or garlic shrimp is best for the whiskerfish.”
Bass 2; Trout 1; Bluegill 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “The night bass bite is so-so with a few fish taken on Senkos or jigs in shallow water. During last weekend’s night tournament, there was a small window for action, but the majority of the evening was slow.” An algae bloom has erupted on the lake, turning the water green and loading up on line. Vibration in addition to dark colors is the key in the stained water. Catfish are a possibility with cut baits from the banks at night. The lake held at 469.38 feet in elevation and 22 percent capacity.
Call: Six Star Tackle Box 673-5688; Eastman Lake 689-3255
Bass 2; Trout 1; Catfish 2; Bluegill 2; Crappie 1
Few bass fishermen are heading to the lake with the slow action continuing over the entire summer. Catfish to 4 pounds are the best bet with cut baits or chicken livers from the banks. An algae bloom is developing on the lake’s surface. The lake, expected to drop precipitously in the coming weeks to less than 10 percent capacity, is currently at 22 percent after falling 2 feet to 478.83 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 1
Few kokanee fishermen are targeting the lake, but a few quality kokanee have been taken at depths below 100 feet with standard kokanee gear. 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. Bass fishing has slowed with a minimal reaction bite. Limited numbers are taken on plastics on the drop-shot. All three launch ramps are open with the lake dropping 1.5 feet to 771.46 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
Lake Isabella and parts of the Kern River have been plagued with an algae bloom, and health officials have issued a warning for Kissack Cove in the lake because of the presence of toxins. In the Kern River, the Keyesville Recreation and the Calloway Weir Area also have an algae bloom, but no known toxins are present. Paradise Cove in the lake is also loaded with algae. As a result, few fishermen are heading up to the lake between the Cedar Fire and the algae. The lake dropped 1 foot to 2,548.36 in elevation and 19 percent capacity. The Cedar Fire, to the north of Kernville, has not affected access to the upper river in the area, but it had burned more than 29,000 acres with 60 percent containment as of midday Tuesday. Chuck Stokke of Sequoia Fishing Co. in Springville just returned from the Golden Trout Pack Station from Kern Flat, and he said, “The action for Kern River rainbows was excellent with good numbers up to over 20 inches using dry flies, nymphs, or Woolley Buggers.” Salmon eggs, live crickets, Roostertails, Kastmasters or nightcrawlers are working in the deep pools near Kernville for the few fishermen heading past the lake. In the lower Kern River below the dam, Rutledge reported continued good fishing for smallmouth and largemouth bass with plastics worms. Lake Buena Vista has been best for catfish with Sonny’s Dip Bait, garlic shrimp or Katnip Beef Bait. The lake is getting murky. Bob’s annual Carp Derby is ongoing this month; Gerald Cochrane of Bakersfield is the leader with an 11.14-pound buglemouth.
Call: Bob’s Bait (661) 833-8657; North Fork Marina (760) 376-1812
Bass 3; Crappie 2; Trout 1; Catfish 3
Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis reported Fresno-area fishermen have been heading south to Kaweah for catfish and largemouth bass with live crawdads or minnows. Bass in the 1.5- to 1.75-pound range are numerous while the best action for whiskerfish is in the early mornings, late afternoons and throughout the evening. The lake has stabilized after several weeks of water releases, and the fish are biting in response. Finesse techniques of plastics on the drop-shot, dart head or Texas-rig are working for tournament anglers along with an early-morning topwater bite. Bluegill, catfish and bass have been the top species, but they are selling plenty of minnows for crappie. The lake receded 1.5 feet this past week to 588.05 in elevation and 7 percent capacity.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212
Bass 2; Trout 1; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
Bass fishing is still only fair with the lake dropping again this week. The fish are suspending with the receding waters. The best action is found on the bottom with Senkos, lizards and Brush Hogs while there is a small window for topwater lures in the early mornings and late afternoons. The lake dropped 3 feet to 590.71 in elevation and 10 percent capacity.
Call: Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626, sequoiafishingcompany.com
Bass 3; Trout 2; King salmon 1; Kokanee 1; Crappie 2; Catfish 2
Terry Mello at A-I Bait in Snelling said, “The crappie bite is picking up at night under lights near the houseboats with live medium minnows. Catfish, crappie, bass and rainbow trout have all been caught under lights.” The bass bite is best with minnows or crawdads, but there is a small window for topwater lures in the early mornings. Catfishing is good with frozen shad, sardines or anchovies from the shorelines with muddy, sloping banks. The lake has dropped to 44 percent capacity with water releases lowering the lake more than 4 feet to 758.06 in elevation. The McClure Point and Barrett Cove South launch ramps are open with Barrett Cove North under construction.
Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505; Bub Tosh (209) 404-0053
The McSwain Marina reported the remnants of the 7,500-pound plant of a few weeks back have moved into deeper water, and trollers are scoring with blade/crawler combinations or chrome/blue Kastmasters near the upper dam in the colder parts of the lake. Bank fishing is best in the early, early morning before sunrise with garlic trout dough bait, salmon eggs or Kastmasters from the peninsula near the Marina, the handicapped docks or the brush pile.
Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River
Bass 2; Striped bass 1; Shad 1; Bluegill 2
Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “Small limits have been the rule at both reservoirs, and I fished last weekend’s Bass 101 night tournament at Millerton. Most everything was on the bottom with plastics, and most boats went up the river arm during the first four hours of the tournament before coming back to the main lake after midnight. I landed one bass up shallow on a spinnerbait, and there were other fish taken on spinnerbaits, small swimbaits, or crankbaits, but everything else for us came on the bottom with plastics at depths to 20 feet. Half of the boats weighed in small limits from 7-9 pounds for up to 10 fish, and the winning weight was over 19 pounds. The bite wasn’t red hot by any means, and the lake must have dropped 7-8 inches during the night.” Striper action remains very slow with no reports of the linesides. Millerton dropped 4.5 feet to 515.54 in elevation and 51 percent capacity. In the San Joaquin River, there is 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.
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 2
With the lake dropping consistently, the Glory Hole launch ramp at New Melones should be off the two-lane concrete within the week, but the courtesy dock will remain even though launching will be only available on the dirt ramp. The kokanee season is coming to a rapid close at New Melones with only a few fishermen targeting the lake; those targeting kokanee are only picking up a few fish at best. The kokanee are holding in the deepest part of the lake, and they will be heading up the river arm within the next few weeks. John Liechty of Glory Hole Sports in Angels Camp said, “At this time of year, swing and vibration are the keys to getting bit, and large profile lures such as Apex/hoochie combinations are best behind a large dodger. Some fishermen add more beads, a larger blade, or a wiggle disc in order to increase the lure’s action.” Few trollers are targeting trout, and most are only picking up one or two at best. The rainbows are holding in the deepest portions of the lake, seeking cooler water at depths from 70-100 feet. Once again, large-profile lures are the key to getting bit along with a faster trolling speed up to 3 mph. Night fishermen are finding decent action under lights with trout dough bait, nightcrawlers or live minnows near the dam/spillway areas. The bass have pulled off the shoreline and are holding in deeper and cooler water in order to feed on the abundant shad schools. Liechty said, “The key is to find them when they are in a feeding mode, and the best times are in the early mornings and late afternoons with topwater lures, shad-patterned swimbaits, or plastics on the drop-shot.” Catfish are the top species at the lake with frozen shad, anchovies, mackerel, or sardines in the shallows with the best action in the early mornings and evenings. The crappie bite has slowed, but a few slabs can be found near structure with small minijigs, spinners, or live minnows under a slip-float bobber near standing timber in the shallows. The best crappie fishing is at night under lights. The lake dropped a foot to 867.29 in elevation and 23 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/Kings River
Bass 2; Trout 2; King salmon 1; Catfish 2; Crappie 1
Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “Pine Flat is more of the same with continued slow action for bass with the rapidly dropping water. Plastics on the bottom remain the top technique at depths to 60 feet, and Gilbert added, “The fish are starting to cruise around in wolf packs, and if you hit the right spot, you might catch seven or eight fish within a short period of time.” The best bet at Pine Flat has been for catfish with anchovies or chicken livers at night in the 1- to 1.5-pound range near Deer Creek or Pine Flat Lake Resort. Trout trollers have to work all day for the possibility of a limit at depths from 50-60 feet in the main lake with the fish moving towards the dam. Finding the shad schools is the key to locating the rainbows. The reservoirs are anticipated to continue to release water for the coming month. At Pine Flat, the Deer Creek Marina will be the only launch ramp open in the coming weeks as the lake continues to drop. Pine Flat has receded 8 feet to 759.81 in elevation and 20 percent capacity. 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 3; Catfish 2; Bass 1; Crappie 1
O’Neill Forebay has been the location for striper fishermen from the Central Valley and south bay areas, and linesides to 10 pounds have been landed out of the small impoundment. The wind has been the limiting factor, and there have been times when the caution lights have been on, keeping boats off the water because of high winds. Tossing jerkbaits or topwater lures are the top technique, and many boaters are becoming proficient on working the surface. Meng Xyong of the Fishaholics reported, “Fishermen continue to capitalize on the boils in the middle of the lake. Many are throwing SpeedLures, 110MD jerkbaits and topwater lures into the feeding frenzy. Catching 20-plus fish in one outing seems to be the norm for many anglers. Smaller water craft, tubers and kayakers should use caution when venturing too far from shore. The wind and waves are unpredictable and can easily overpower or capsize your vessel.” Xyong’s brother, Nick Xjool of Fresno, creator of SpeedLures, put the first double-digit striper at 10.5 pounds in the box unday using a Purple Urkle SpeedLure. Andrew Yeh of Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill said, “There is still a lot of grass along the banks in the Forebay, but boaters are able to avoid the grass and work along the edges of the weeds. Topwater lures along with swimbaits are working for stripers to 5 pounds.” Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis added, “The Forebay is where most fishermen are heading, and the bridge has been the best location. Our sales of Lucky Craft Pointers and Duo Realis jerkbaits are starting to increase.” In the main lake, increased pumping from the Delta has raised the reservoir from a low of 10 percent to the current 14 percent, but a 4-by-4 vehicle is advised to drive to the shore. Roger George of Roger George Guide Service said that the wind has been a real problem in the big lake.”We finally got out on Saturday for a couple hours for a few fish before they closed the lake. The cooling temps and heavy winds put the fish off, with many suspended and inactive. Rising water also threw the fish off, but we’re very happy they are putting in water again. The bite should explode soon,” George said. Anglers continue to find quality striped bass on live grass shrimp transported to the big lake from the forebay. Extra-large and jumbo minnows are back in area bait shops, and the minnow drifters should be back on the lake as the water rises and cools.
Call: Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711, Roger George of rogergeorgeguideservice.com (559) 905-2954
Bass 2; Trout 2; Kokanee 1
A few fishermen are walking the banks for spotted bass from 1.25-1.5 pounds, but the boat traffic remains high. At least 40 recreational boaters take over the lake after 9 a.m., and the traffic should remain high until after Labor Day. 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. The lake held 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 there was a fatal boating accident at Lake Edison over the weekend. It is extremely important to wear a life jacket in all lakes, particularly cold water lakes, Edison dropped slightly to 56 percent capacity while Florence held at 34 percent and Mammoth Pool fell to 50 percent.
Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000
Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake
Kokanee 2; Trout 2
Kokanee action at Shaver Lake continues to be a challenge, but there is some reason for optimism prior to the Sept. 10 Kokanee Power Team Derby. The previous month has witnessed some of the worst kokanee fishing in recent history at Shaver, but scores are beginning to improve with large profile lures. For more information regarding the Shaver Lake Derby contact Jim Travis at 240-6659 or Frank Benard at 871-3270. Todd Wittwer of Kokanee.net Guide Service reported, “I only fished the lake on Friday, and we ended up with seven kokanee with our best action on blue Father Murphy’s Apex-type lures with either Pro-Cure’s Carp Spit or Herring, but the Carp Spit was the better choice. The action has been near the Sierra Marina at depths from 38-42 feet, and Doug Philpott landed a dozen kokanee on Sunday using a Kevorkian Apex. The secret has been to troll the Apex lure slower than normal, and the larger profile lure is working much better than spinners or small spoons.” Steve Santoro of Fish Box Charters added, “Some folks are catching limits to near-limits while others are struggling. The key is to be on the water early and work the schools from the middle of the lake between the point and the island to the Sierra Marina along with the locations around Road 1, Road 2 and the dam. Another key is to be persistent and keep working the schools while changing presentations and depths. A slow troll has been the most effective, and my best lure this past week has been the white/pink Captain Jack’s bug tipped with scented corn behind a C.J. Dodger at 40-45 feet.” Shaver dropped to 83 percent capacity with the first significant water releases in the past several months. At Huntington, the lake remains high at 96 percent capacity, and small kokanee are found in the upper end of the lake. The fish have been dropping, and up to six colors of leadcore are necessary to reach the small fish. Purple and green spoons or spinners are a good option behind a small dodger. Bank fishing is best for rainbows with trout dough bait or inflated nightcrawlers near the Auxiliary Dam or the mouth of Rancheria Creek.
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
Chuck Crane of the Wishon Village RV Park and Store said, “At Wishon, the lake is dropping steadily, and the trout bite has slowed considerably. A slow troll in deep water using leadcore at 3 to 6 colors with blade/’crawler combinations are producing a few rainbows, but it has been a struggle. Lures have not proven effective. Shore fishing is best in the upper end of the lake with inflated nightcrawlers or trout dough bait in pink or orange. The launch ramp may be off of the concrete within the next few weeks, if not sooner. Crane added, “Courtright is dropping, and although limits are possible, regulars are struggling for a few fish per rod. Blade/’crawler combinations at 3-6 colors of leadcore on a slow troll in deep water provide the best opportunity, and the bite improves when the wind puts a slight chop on the water.” Shore fishing is also slow with a few fish coming from the day-use area as well as the far side of the dam with rainbow Power Bait.
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
Salmon 2; Rockfish 3; Striper2
Captain Dennis Baxter of the New Captain Pete found some salmon in front of the harbor on Saturday’s open load, and the action proved good for these fishermen. The salmon are fat and healthy and loaded with anchovies. Commercial salmon fishermen have been working the depths in 240 feet of water near the Deep Reef, but these fish are difficult for the private boater to reach. Ling cod fishing has been heating up near Pescadero, and some large lings are biting in addition to limits of school rockfish.
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
Chris Arcoleo of Chris’s Sport Fishing in Monterey reported continued outstanding rockfish and ling cod action close to the harbor with the Check Mate scoring limits of lings along with three-quarter limits of rockfish for a small charter of eight Sunday. The Caroline posted three-quarter limits of rockfish and 15 lings for limits of ling cod for 29 anglers. They continue to jig up fresh squid in the morning, and Arcoleo said, “The squid is really big and fat, so they must have stayed offshore during the El Niño current as they have come in with great size.” They are sold out next weekend during the holiday, but there is plenty of room throughout the coming week for rockfish/ling cod trips. On the Santa Cruz side, white sea bass have been taken on occasion near Capitola, and there have been flurries of bonito to 12 pounds between Aptos and Moss Landing.
Call: Chris’ Landing (831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173; usafishing.com
San Francisco Bay
Halibut 3; Striper 2; Rockfish 3; Leopard shark 3; Sturgeon 1; Salmon 3
The weather was flat calm outside the Gate on Sunday, and Captain Bob Wright of the Happy Hooker went north to Point Reyes for 21 limits of rockfish along with 41 ling cod. They hit a small pinnacle in 60 feet of water at the end of the day for the jackpot ling on the last drift. This rock produced a 32-pound ling on Friday’s trip. Salmon fishing remains pretty good with three Sausalito boats returning with just under a fish per rod on Sunday, bringing home 50 salmon to 26 pounds for 61 anglers while three boats out of Emeryville scored 37 salmon to 22 pounds for 30 anglers. The boats have been working from south of the main shipping channel to Double Point in the flat, calm conditions. The salmon are big and fighting hard, and Captain Trent Slate went commercial fishing on Friday for 100 pounds of salmon condensed into five fish. Private boats are finding limits of a quality grade from 12-20 pounds at depths of 45 feet with green Rotary Salmon Killers and anchovies. There are tons of anchovies along the coastline right now, and the salmon are loading up for their final move home. Rockfishing remains outstanding with a combined 85 limits and 132 lings to 17 pounds for the Sea Wolf, New Salmon Queen, and New Huck Finn out of Emeryville Sport Fishing. Inside the bay, few party boats are working the bay, but Captain Tom Zizzo of the Wild Wave out of San Francisco found great action for halibut in the central bay Saturday with a dozen of the flat fish. Live anchovies did the trick.
San Luis Obispo
Rockfish 3; Surf perch 3
Jacob Rutledge of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield reported continued good surf perch action off of the beaches in Santa Barbara and Pismo Beach with blood worms or artificial such as Lucky Craft Pointers or Berkley Camo Worms. Rockfishing remains solid with the Fiesta and Rita G out of Virg’s Landing in Morro Bay returning with nine ling cod to 10.4 pounds, 45 vermilion rockfish, 272 assorted rockfish, and 18 coppers for a combined 51 anglers Sunday on half- and three-quarer-day trips. Ricky Rutledge of Tulare took the jackpot on the Fiesta with a 9-pound ling. Out of Patriot Sport Fishing at Port San Luis, the Avenger went on a three-quarter day trip Monday with 13 anglers for limits of rockfish including 26 coppers, 20 vermilion rockfish, 78 assorted rockfish and six Boccaccio along with 13 ling cod. Bob’s Bait is hosting a trip on the Endeavor out of Morro Bay on Oct. 8 with plenty of room at present.
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 2; Striper 2; Sturgeon 2; Catfish 3; Bluegill 3; Salmon 2
The winds have been blowing consistently in the Sacramento River-Delta, and as a result, the water has muddied up in both the northern and western portions of the river. In Suisun Bay, Tony Lopez of Benicia Bait reported salmon are starting to come off Dillon Point State Park with an average of 5-6 fish per day out of the 100 anglers tossing Vee-Zee or Flying C spinners from the shore. He said, “The salmon that are caught are good quality, ranging from 15-20 pounds, but there are not too many of them for the number of fishermen out there.” For striped bass, Liberty Island has been the top area in the north Delta, but the wind has churned up the shallow water, limiting the swimbait bite. Alan Fong of the Fisherman’s Warehouse in Sacramento said, “It had been good out there with swimbaits and glidebaits, but the muddy water has slowed the reaction bite to a crawl.” In the Rio Vista area, Mark Wilson, striper trolling expert, reported high winds made for challenging trolling conditions on the main Sacramento during the week, but they were able to put in two limits to 4 pounds, releasing five shakers using both deep and shallow lures near Decker Island. He said, “It was pretty slow for us, and the combination of wind and grass in the water made for tough conditions. Our best action came outside of Decker Island at the bottom of the tide with Yozuri Crystal Minnows or P-Line Predator Minnows in green or red head/white. I ran up to Miner Slough in search of fish, but we had our best action from the Old Dairy to Decker Island.” The winds also have affected sturgeon fishing, and Lopez at Benicia Bait said, “There hasn’t been anyone going out in Suisun Bay with these winds.” Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, said, “The winds have been treacherous in the west Delta, and the spinnerbait bite has been good with the ½ ounce Persuader 4-bladed spinnerbait that looks like a school of fish. As the weather stabilizes, the bite will get back together as it was very tough during last Saturday’s Best Bass Tournament where at least one-third of the field blanked with the full moon and the weather change. The Persuader buzzbait in black has been effective in the morning, and I am switching to shad-patterned buzzbaits in the afternoons. There are tons of 1.5- to 2-inch shad in the San Joaquin River along with scores of small striped bass with more keepers around Prisoner’s Point. Fishing near current continues to be a key.” Dan Mathisen of Dan’s Delta Outdoors added, “During our tournament out of Big Break Marina on Saturday, Todd Fedderson landed the big fish at 9.68 pounds on a swimbait, but most of the action came by punching the weeds with creature baits. There hasn’t been a consistent pattern yet, but most tournament fishermen are switching from crawdad to shad patterns as the fall is starting to arrive.” In Discovery Bay, Mathisen said, “The cooler evenings have the bite changing, and the main river channel is producing with crankbaits such as the Strike King XD 6 or 2.5 Squarebills while punching is working along the main river points. Current is the key to getting bit, and the striped bass are also holding around current with the Optima Bad Bubba Shad swimbait the best option.” Gotcha Bait in Antioch reported a few stripers continue to come from the Antioch Fishing Pier with live mudsuckers producing the larger linesides.
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
At Lopez, the lake level has dropped below the launch ramp, and only rental boats are available. There is a window for topwater lures in the early mornings and evenings along with spinnerbaits and creature baits. Cut baits are working for catfish. At Nacimiento, the Chimney Fire was 52 percent contained, but had burned more than 42,000 acres, destroying 49 homes and 21 outbuildings as of Monday night. With the fire in the area, there has been light fishing and boating pressure on the lake. Spotted bass are there for the taking with jigs or plastic worms while white Kastmasters or Roostertails are working for the white bass on the surface. At Santa Margarita, there are tournaments scheduled for September, but a close watch is necessary to see of the tournaments will be held with the low lake levels. The topwater bite is good in the mornings and evenings, but numbers are best on plastics or creature baits on the bottom. Red ear perch and bluegill are holding in the shallows off of main lake points with red worms. After a closure for over a year, San Antonio Reservoir will be open on a limited basis through Sept. 11, with the gate open noon to 8 p.m. Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, with all boats launching at the Harris Creek ramp and quagga mussel inspections are required. There is a striper bite for linesides to double-digits with cut baits or swimbaits. The striped bass have been able to survive the lake’s low water levels for the past several years.
Call: Lake Nacimiento (805) 238-1056, ext. 3; Lake San Antonio Marina (805) 472-2818; CentralCoastBassFishing.com (805) 466-6557
- Sierra Bass Club Team Tournament on Aug. 20 at Eastman: 1, Chris Flammang/Kou Lao 10.85 pounds; 2, Craig Gong/Mitch Mitcheltree 8.77; 3, Michael Murphy/Jeremy Nagy 8.03; big fish, Craig Gong 3.88
- Dan’s Delta Outdoors on Aug. 27 at the Delta: 1, Mark Mello /Todd Fedderson 22.88 (big fish 9.68); 2, Jim Wilson/Norman Crittle 15.42; 3, Tim Venkus/Nate Haley 14.06 pounds
- Saturday: 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
- Tuolumne County: Lyons Canal (Columbia Ditch); Moccasin Creek; Pinecrest Lake; Powerhouse Stream; Stanislaus River Clarks Fork, Middle Fork, North Fork, South Fork
f = full moon > = peak activity