Compiled by Dave Hurley and edited by Roger George, a central San Joaquin Valley native and local fishing expert.
Delta bass and striper bites cranking up, Randy Pringle said. Eastman bass hitting, US Army Corp reported. San Luis stripers on a hot pace, Mickey Clements reported. Pine Flat King salmon and trout active, Patrick Movey said. Success and Kaweah bass action good, Calvin Foster reported. Huntington trout limits possible, Merritt Gilbert said.
I think that almost every angler I know has had a "special fishing moment" that has stuck with him for years and may still be a defining event in what drives him as a fisherman. These rare occurences are usually the kind of life events that encompass all that we as anglers feel deep inside each time we hit the water, even though we may not consciously think about it. Here's one treasured recollection from long ago that popped up for me.
I was around 15 years old and my Grandpa, Louie, called me and asked if I wanted to bass fish Don Pedro with him that spring weekend. Excited, I hoped the bite would be good, and besides my Grandpa was a very good angler, fishing places like Mexico and Alaska, as well as all the local lakes.
Camping overnite at the lake in his camper, I somehow survived my Grandpa's notorious snoring, waking early in the morning to an extraordinarily beautiful shirt sleeve, mirror still water calm dawn. It was going to be a great day for sure!
We headed for a nice isolated cove that had all kinds of structure in my Grandpas 16 foot boat, powered by his 40 HP Merc in my mind – the perfect high powered bass boat!
Quietly moving into the still shady cove, he used the paddle to gently move us from place to place-making sure he didn't disturb the perfectly calm water that lay undisturbed before us to fish. I remember the magical wisps of early morning surface fog that rose from the surface as we threw our topwater lures up against the shore. Working the brush in the back of the cove for a few bass to 2 pounds, I knew that there had to be something really big lurking-it was just too perfect!
Pulling up near the point of the cove, there was a singular tree in the water just a couple yards off the bank- one that had a couple branches sticking up just a few feet out of the water. Perfect ambush spot! Looking carefully I noticed that there was a great big spider web – the kind the big garden variety spiders make – spanning the distance from one branch sticking out of the water, over to one of the other branches about 3 feet away. Somehow I made a perfect cast right into the middle of the branches, but I had also thrown the lure over the web causing the line to get caught up in the powerful web that was now holding my line up two feet off the surface. Thats when Grandpa came to life!
"Hey Rog, don't pull the lure out of the web! Just let it sit a moment, then just carefully pull the plug up – just out of the water because the web will hold! Be ready – because a big old bass is going to whip you if you don't watch out!"
To this point the lure is just sitting there in the middle of the branches, and I decide – ok – I'll try this weird technique my Grandpa thought would work. Yo-yoing the lure up and down, the wake from the lure got out to about two feet as I sat mesmerized by the ripples, when suddenly the whole surface water inside the tree branches exploded as a huge mouth leaped up and engulfed the lure hanging a few inches above the water! Ill prepared for the vicious and overwhelming attack I tried to set the hook but all I felt was a freight train of a fish running down into the tree. Using the standard of the day, 8 pound test line, on a 7 foot glass rod and a Mitchell 300 reel – the beasteasily broke the line – leaving me broken hearted at what we estimated as a good 6 pounder and a new personal record. Laughing, my Grandpa told me maybe next time I would get him!
To this day I will cast over a branch or spider web and let it hang down, trying to relive that instant when all heck broke loose and my imagination went wild as a big fish filleted me.
Each time I do it I hear my Grandpas words – "Rog, you better watch out or you're going to get whipped!"
On further thought, "getting whipped" by a big fish is a privilege I think we all cherish – it's the thing that keeps us dreaming of the "one that got away". My Grandpa knew it was a special lesson I would never forget!
Roger George can be reached at email@example.com
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* Try dynamite
** Have to work hard
*** Limits possible
**** Fish jumpin' in boat
New Melones Reservoir
Bass ** Crappie ** Catfish ** Trout *** Kokanee *
Melanie Lewis of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp reported a continued slowdown in the trout bite since the apex of hot action a few weeks ago. There have been far fewer limits, but the best action for trollers remains in the main river channel in the main lake and at the mouths of major creek arms. With the shad stating at the mouths of creek channels, the trout are chasing bait in these areas. As fall progresses, the shad will move into the backs of the coves, and the fish will follow. Shad-patterned lures such as ExCels, Apex, Shasta Tackle Humdingers, and Countdown Rapalas are most effective, and Lewis recommends placing scent on the lures such as Pro Cure in threadfin shad. The fish are currently suspended at depths from 15 to 45 feet. Gary Burns of Take It To The Limit Guide Service has been consistently catching limits while trolling Shasta Tackle Humdingers in silver/black or silver/blue near the dam. Lewis expected the bank bite to turn on soon, but the occasional fish is taken on Kastmasters from the shores. Bass fishing is starting to improve with the fish also feeding heavily on the shad schools. John Chiarpotti of Bassin' A-I Guide Service has been using his California Reservoir jigs for fat, football-shaped spotted bass. The bass are moving into deeper waters and pulling off shore due to falling water levels, and shad-imitation lures are a good bet. Trout trollers are catching nice bass offshore on shad patterned trolling spoons. Catfish are in coves and in shallower water with some large whiskerfish being landed on sliding sinker rigs with a ball of nightcrawlers, anchovies, or frozen shad. Lewis advised moving the bait often, even dragging it along the bottom, rather than letting it sit still. Floyd Crow of Tuolumne landed a 11-pound, 2-ounce lunker he caught on mackerel while fishing the shoreline on the north side of the lake. The crappie and bluegill bite has slowed down with the cooling water temperatures. The best action is under lights with red worms or small minnows. The lake dropped 1 foot to 1052.26 feet in elevation and 83% of capacity.
Call: (209) 736-4333, Monte Smith (209) 581-4734, Danny Layne -Fishn' Dan (209) 586 2383, Sierra Sport Fishing (209) 599-2023.
Lake Isabella/Bakersfield area
Bass ** Trout *** Crappie * Catfish *** Bluegill **
Catfish in the 1.5 to 3-pound range are the best thing taking place with clams or frozen shad being the top baits. An occasional whiskerfish to 7-pounds is landed, as the best action takes place in the deeper water in the coves. Bass fishing remains slow. The blue gill bite is improving with live crickets, wax worms, or meal worms in deep water near rocky areas. Power Bait, salmon eggs, or night crawlers are picking up a few trout in the river inlets, the Auxiliary Dam, the Wilford Heights Cemetery and the Marina. Crappie are located around the marina docks or holding on structure in the deeper water, but the overall bite is slow. The lake dropped 2 feet to 2562.33 in elevation and 32% as the seasonal water releases continue. The upper Kern River is still kicking out rainbows to 4-pounds on live crickets, salmon eggs, or night crawlers from the access areas near the Johnsondale Bridge. Fly fishermen are getting in on the act with the weekly plants in the upper river. In the lower river, the occasional bass or trout can be taken around Rich Bar or Hobo Flats. Buena Vista Lake is scheduled for trout plants prior to the November 12 Taft Chamber of Commerce Trout Derby. Catfishing is currently the best thing taking place at Buena Vista with all other species on the slow side. The trout plants are scheduled to begin this week if the water temperatures are cool enough in the small impoundments of Truxton, Woollomes, Ming, Hart Park, and the Park at River Walk. In the meantime, blue gill are the top species at the small lakes.
Call: Bob's Bait (661) 833-8657, North Fork Marina (760) 376-1812
San Luis Reservoir and O'Neill Forebay
Stripers *** Catfish ** Bass ** Crappie *
Mickey Clements of Coyote Bait in San Jose said, "San Luis is on fire with heavy fishing pressure in the past week," adding, "We sold 75 dozen minnows over the weekend and have ordered 100 more dozen for this week." The larger fish are taken on the jumbo minnows on the mooch at the Trash Racks or Portuguese Cove, and there have been up to 40 boats in front of the Trash Racks over the weekend. Quick limits are possible with most stripers ranging from 18 to 26-inches. Some anglers are throwing smaller fish back that are floating-rather than taking them-after they come up from depth and their bladder is extended. Bank anglers are throwing lures off of Dinosaur Point and other locations with lipless crankbaits such as the Lucky Craft LV 500 or the Spro Aruka Shad in ghost minnow or American shad being popular, in addition to white ice Magnum Flukes or 4-inch Storm rainbow trout swimbaits. The majority of fishermen are working the main lake to take advantage of the hot bite, and fewer fishermen are targeting the Forebay. The main lake is still receiving water from the Delta , and it rose to 82% of capacity. Important Note: EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 1, 2011, VESSEL INSPECTIONS FOR QUAGGA AND ZEBRA MUSSELS TO BEGIN AT SAN LUIS RESERVOIR SRA. All boats, personal watercraft, kayaks, canoes, sailboards, inflatables, and float tubes must undergo a mandatory inspection. This inspection is to prevent the spread of Quagga and Zebra Mussels. This invasive species threatens recreational opportunities, the water delivery infrastructure of California, and the aquatic habitat of San Luis Reservoir SRA. Failure to allow inspection of any watercraft will result in the refusal to launch.
Call: Ly's Fishing Goods (408) 629-9644; Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711.
Bass ** Trout * Bluegill ** Catfish ** Crappie **
The US Army Corp of Engineers Ranger Station reported bass action has improved at a variety of depths from 5 to 35 feet with Martin DeHaven of Fresno landed a four fish limit of 11.77-pounds to take Saturday's Sierra Bass Club tournament. Gary Johnson had the big fish of the derby at 5.21-pounds taken in 8 feet of water. Park rangers report large crappie can be found inside the 5 MPH Buoy Line. Merritt Gilbert said, "Eastman is our best local bass option at the present time, and anglers have responded with 35 to 40 boats on the lake this past Saturday." Patrick Movey touted shad patterned plastics such as Pro Worms Pro Gold red flake and creatures baits such as Brush Hogs in watermelon/red worked above structure. Mark Inman reported that vertical jigging is also effective now. Trout plants are expected to begin within the next few weeks, and water releases will resume on October 28th. An 18-pound catfish was landed from the shoreline on anchovies this week. The area of the lake extending upstream along the Chowchilla River is still closed beyond the Buoy Line. The lake held at 567.37 feet in elevation and 78% of capacity.
Bass ** Trout * Catfish ** Crappie **
The US Army Corp of Engineers reported a slow bass bite with the water holding stable, but the bite will improve significantly once the lake levels drop and the fish move towards the surface. The majority of bass fishermen are heading to nearby Eastman. A huge catfish at 30-pounds was taken at the launch ramp on the Hidden View side on chicken livers worked at a depth from 27 to 35 feet. Trout plants are expected by mid-November. The lake dropped 1.5 feet to 489.42 vertical feet and 31% of capacity.
Call: 225-1838, 292-3474, 673-5151
Diana Mello of A-I Bait in Snelling reported the best trout action occurring from the banks with garlic Power Bait. The heavy trout plants prior to the Merced Irrigation District Trout Derbies the past two weekends are paying dividends. The best areas have been the Brush Pile or around the Marina. Trolling has been a bit slower with anglers catching up to 3/5th limits with the best action in the normal trolling pattern down the center of the lake with blue/chrome Kastmasters, blade/crawler combinations, or Wedding Rings tipped with a piece of crawler behind a flasher.
Call: (209) 378-2534
Delta Mendota Canal and Sloughs
Stripers ** Catfish **
There continues to be minimal interest in the local canals with area anglers driving up to San Luis Reservoir to get in on the great striper action. A few catfish can be taken in the canals with frozen anchovies, chicken livers, or mackerel. In the south Aqueduct near Taft, the water has cleared without moss or debris. The best action is during the periods of water movement with sardines, anchovies, or mackerel for catfish and stripers to barely legal size. There is some top water action with River2Sea BubbleWalkers and similar lures.
Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River
Bass ** Stripers * Shad * Trout ***
Merritt Gilbert said, "The bass bite should turn on, but currently things are still tough with small fish being the rule. With the water dropping, the bass remain suspended, and the most consistent action is on the bottom with jigs, drop shotting, or dragging lizards. In the early mornings, there is a brief window for top water lures. During the recent 43boat Clovis Police Department tournament, there were only 10 limits weighed in with a winning weight of 9.40-pounds. Striper reports are minimal. The lake dropped ten feet to 525.48 feet in elevation and 57% of capacity. In lower San Joaquin River. Patrick Movey of the Fishermen's Warehouse said brooder trout to 10-pounds have been landed in the Lost Lake area with Panther Martin spinners or Diawa Doctor Minnows.
Call: 225-1838, 292-3474
Pine Flat Reservoir/Kings River
Bass ** Trout ** King salmon *** Catfish **
King salmon continue to be a top draw for trollers, and there have been fish to nearly 5-pounds landed in the past week. However, the overall bite for the larger fish continues to be slower with the best action near the Power Lines at depths from 70 to 90 feet with rolled anchovies or blue/silver spoons. Smaller salmon are found higher in the water column, and these fish are willing biters. Releasing the smaller fish has been problematic with a high mortality rate. Patrick Movey said, "There have been some quality rainbows mixed in with the smaller kings." Apex lures, ExCels, Needlefish, Thomas Buoyants, Shasta Tackle's Humdingers, and blade/crawler combinations are all working for the rainbows. Keeper sized bass continue to be a rarity with small fish being the rule. Finesse fishing with jigs or drop shotting is the best bet at depths to 25 to 30 feet, but there is a small window for top water in the early mornings. The lake dropped 3 feet to 869.32 feet in elevation and 58% of capacity. The lower Kings has slowed down, and trout fishing is fair for planters with salmon eggs, live crickets, Kastmasters, or Roostertails. Trout plants are scheduled for the next two weeks.
Call: 787-2387, 225-1838, 292-3474
Bass *** Crappie *** Trout * Catfish **
Sierra Sport Fishing in Exeter reported continued great bass action with the fish chasing shad throughout the lake. There is a good spoon bite with chrome patterns above structure, and the fish are boiling on the surface in the early mornings or evening for top water action. Shad-patterned plastics on the drop shot, dart head, or split shot are effective. Live crawdads or jumbo minnows are the top baits, and numbers of bass are hitting the live bait. Crappie are biting small and medium minnows in the deeper water near the Houseboats. Trout plants are scheduled to begin next month. The lake rose 3 feet to 601.72 feet in elevation and 11 % of capacity.
Bass *** Trout * Catfish **
Calvin Foster of the US Army Corp of Engineers Ranger Station reported a quality bass bite with jigs worked off of ledges at depths from 12 to 18 feet. He landed over 40 fish a few weeks back using these techniques, but the overall numbers have diminished in the past week. The quality of bass remains very good with fat, healthy fish to 4.25-pounds. There were larger bass of 10 and 6-pounds caught and released on Saturday. He expected the bass bite to pick up again once the water releases end within a week. The shad schools remain thick throughout the lake. The Tule Point and Rocky Hill launch ramps are still open, but the best access is at Rocky Hill. The lake dropped three feet to 590.56 feet in elevation and 10% of capacity.
Bass ** Trout *** King salmon *** Kokanee * Crappie ** Catfish **
Trout and king salmon fishing is clearly on the upswing with limits reported at depths in the 40 foot range near the Dam and in Cottonwood Creek with shad-patterned Needlefish or Shasta Tackle Cripplures, particularly in the mornings. Once the sun hits the water, Cripplures in fire tiger are a good option. Large crappie to 16-inches in length have been taken on medium minnows in the submerged brush in the Horseshoe near Maxwell Creek. Manny Basi of the Bait Barn in Waterford touted live minnows for bass, but shad patterned worms and brown jigs with a Reaction Innovation's Kinky Beaver trailer in California 420 is a good option. There is a small window for top water lures, but the best action has been with finesse techniques on the bottom. Live crawdads are still productive for bass, and a few fishermen are using the crawdad tails only for trout. Catfishing has slowed down in the past week with the cooling water temperatures. The lake dropped three feet to 816.43 feet in elevation and 69% of capacity.
Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505, Bub Tosh (209) 404-0053.
Lake Don Pedro
Bass *** Trout ** Kokanee * King salmon ** Catfish **
Manny Basi reported the best bass action has been on live minnows at depths from 30 to 40 feet, but shad colored plastics such as Reaction Innovations Bad Shad Green or Pro Worms Pro Gold are also effective. Brown jigs with a Kinky Beaver trailer in California 420 at similar depths are another good option. For rainbow trout, Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing recommended seeking signs such as birds working the surface to locate the schools of fish, as the trout are scattered throughout a wide area of the lake in a variety of locations. The Woods Creek Arm, the areas around the Flume, off of Hatch Creek, and in Fleming Bay are good areas to start your search, working depths from 25 to 40 feet with shad-patterned lures. Catfishing has slowed down with the cooling water temperatures.
Call: Monte Smith (209) 581-4734, Danny Layne -Fishn' Dan (209) 586-2383, Bait Barn (209) 874-301.
Bass ** Trout ** Kokanee *
The lake is dropping quickly to a current level of 50% of capacity making launching a large boat impossible. The courtesy dock is out of the water, and a few boaters are dragging their aluminums down to the water's edge for a launch to try vertically drop shotting through the weeds at depths to 20 feet for spots in the 1.5 to 2-pound range. Trout fishing will improve once the plants start within the next month. The quarry blasting will take place on Tuesday and Thursday at 12:15 p.m. of the current week. - Todd Wittwer 288-8100; Mike Beighey 642-3748.
Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake
Kokanee * Trout *** Smallmouth bass *
Huntington is a good option for trollers and bank fishermen alike with planted fish taken on Wedding Rings tipped with a night crawler behind a dodger, blade/crawler combinations, or Apex lures. Merritt Gilbert reported bank anglers are picking up limits of planters with chartreuse or orange Power Bait, and there have been some larger brood fish in the mix. Huntington continues to drop at 95% of capacity. At Shaver Lake, the lake has dropped to 3% of capacity with the lake dormant through the winter when the trophy trout will be introduced in April of 2012.
Call: Dick's Fishing Charters 841-2740, Dinkey Creek Inn 841-3435, Rancheria Marina 893-3234, Young's Sporting Goods 841-8271, 841-2522, 841-2740.
Merritt Gilbert reported a good trout bite at both lakes, and blade/crawler combinations are working best at depths from 2 to 4 colors. Speedy Shiners, Thomas Buoyants, and Needlefish are also working. At Wishon, bank fishing is good at the upper end of the lake near the headwaters with a variety of heavy spoons, inflated crawlers, and Power Bait. The courtesy dock is out of the water at Courtright. Shore anglers have been scoring with Thomas Buoyants, Kastmasters, Power Bait or inflated night crawlers are also working in the Dam area. The creeks are very low, and fishing basically over for the season until the spring.
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Brown Trout ** Trout **
Few fishermen are heading over Kaiser Pass at this time of year; however, deer hunters are bringing some rods along with their guns for decent action from the banks with Power Bait or night crawlers. All of the lakes remain high for this time of year with Edison at 88%, Florence at 81%, Mammoth Pool at 62%, and Redinger at 50%.
San Francisco Bay
Halibut ** Stripers *** Rockfish **** Leopard shark *** Salmon **
Salmon fishing and fishing interest has waned with the end of the season on the horizon this coming Sunday. The Captain Hook out of Emeryville brought in a solitary 19-pound salmon to 7 anglers on Sunday after no Emeryville boat chased salmon on Saturday. The Hog Heaven out of Sausalito also found very slow fishing with 1 salmon to 16-pounds for 16 anglers on Saturday. Rockfish action remains great, and the best score of the weekend took place on the New Rayanne on Saturday at the Farallons with a charter boating full limits of rockfish and ling cod to 20-pounds. The Happy Hooker out of Berkeley had a great weekend of combination fishing both inside and outside the Golden Gate with Captain Jim Smith putting in 16 limits of rockfish south of the Gate on Friday before returning to the bay for 7 stripers and a halibut. The New Salmon Queen and New Huck Finn out of Emeryville put in 29 limits and near limits of ling cod to a whopping 25-pounds on Sunday at the Islands. On Saturday, the New Seeker, New Huck Finn, New Salmon Queen, and Captain Hook went to the Farallons while the Wet Spot stayed along the Marin coast. The boats combined for 95 limits of rockfish and 25 lings to 12-pounds. The striper bite in San Pablo Bay has been outstanding for the past several days, and Jim Smith (who is always around the bass) put in 20 limits of linesides to 10-pounds along the Pinole shoreline and a pair of halibut to 6-pounds at the Richmond/San Rafael Bridge before hitting the reefs at Angel Island for 130 rockfish. With Captain Chris Smith at the wheel, as Mike Celenney of Castro Valley boated a 55-pound white sea bass off of Angel Island while they were in the process of putting in 85 rockfish after padding the fish boxes with 12 limits of striped bass on the Pinole shoreline. Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle in San Rafael was gushing about the weather and the bass bite in San Pablo Bay saying, "Sunday's weather was gorgeous, and there are lots of bass out here." He added that the bass are moving quickly, and 'they aren't in the same place for two days in a row." Stripers to 10-pounds have been taking a variety of baits, plugs, or trolled lures, but the largest fish are found on shiners, specifically shiners or bullheads. Shoreline striper fishing remains great with the same 20 regulars coming in for 3 to 6 bullheads daily for linesides to 32-inches from the Costco near the Marin Rod and Gun Club, McNear's Pier or China Camp. Fraser reported halibut to 8-pounds have been taken from one of three locations: Red Rock, Southhampton Shoals, or Paradise. He said, "The tides are getting good for sturgeon starting Wednesday, and we will have ghost shrimp in the shop with the possibility of live mud shrimp." Joel Sinkay at Leonard's Bait in Port Sonoma reported a wide open striper bite at Port Sonoma and Sonoma Creek with bullheads being the number one bait. Anchovies and grass shrimp are a good backup, and they had to restock their baits supply on Sunday due to heavy interest over the weekend. Dungeness crab season opens on November 5th, and The Happy Hooker and California Dawn out of Berkeley and several boats out of Emeryville Sport Fishing will be running the popular crab/rockfish combinations. trips
Half Moon Bay
Rockfish *** Stripers ** Albacore **
Rockfishing is the thing with Captain Tom Mattusch on the Huli Cat putting in 6 limits and 4 lings in fantastic weather conditions on Saturday fishing below the Ritz down to Martin's Beach. Mattusch is ready for the Dungeness crab opener with the boat plugged on opening weekend, but there is plenty of room after the opener. Albacore showed up at the Pioneer Seamount earlier in the week, but the weather conditions offshore limited the brief window for the large tuna up to 40-pounds. Up the coast, Sheryl Jimno of the Rusty Hook in Pacific said, "There are still guys out there on the pier and the beaches for stripers and perch because we are still selling lots of blood or pile worms." Dungeness crab season is only a couple of weeks out, and local anglers are preparing their snatchers and crab nets.
Call: Happy Hooker (510) 223-5388; Huck Finn Sport Fishing Center (650) 726-7133, Emeryville Sport Fishing (510) 654-6040, Don Franklin, Soleman (510) 703-4148.
Rockfish **** Albacore **
Sonny Arcoleo of Chris's Landing in Monterey reported both the Star of Monterey and the Checkmate came back with excellent limits of rockfish and a few ling cod at Point Sur on Sunday in great weather conditions. The boats stayed local on Saturday for limits of rockfish on the Caroline and the Star. Chris' is running rockfish trips all week long with trips to Point Sur, weather and interest permitting. They have plenty of room for the opening weekend of Dungeness crab season. Bayside Marine in Santa Cruz reported big tuna were the rule, but the overall bite was scratchy with skiffs averaging from 3 to 6 longfins apiece. The best action came between 36'35/122'35 and 36'16/122'27. Sea Bass fishing is remain 'hit or miss', but there have been some good scores up the coast near Davenport. Rockfish and ling cod action remains great up the coast with some quality halibut taken near Natural Bridges.
Call: Chris' Landing (831) 375-5951, Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173, usafishing.com.
San Luis Obispo
Rock Cod **** Albacore **
Virg's Landing in Morro Bay reported 228 passengers landed 39 ling cod to 11-pounds, 897 vermilions, 1269 assorted rockfish, 52 coppers, 20 bocaccio, and 8 cabezon on their bottom fishing trips this week. Top local rockfish anglers were Greg Leach of Visalia and Fernando Melchor of Sanger with lingcod of 8 and 6-pounds, respectively. They are 'hopeful' for the reemergence of albacore in the offshore waters. Virg's is running a fall special beginning Wednesday, November 2nd for shallow water rockfish with jigs only for $89.00. Their next two-day trip to Cape San Martin and Lopez Point is November 5/6th for $205.00/angler. Rockfishing at Port San Luis is also the story with the Patriot taking 15 limits of rockfish and 19 lings to 15-pounds at Purisima on Monday. The Pacific Horizon boating 43 limits and 72 ling cod to 13-pounds on Sunday, and both boats combined for 35 limits and 34 lings on Saturday. The Pacific Queen took out 11 anglers on Sunday for 11 albacore. Top local anglers were Kevin Uraine of Taft, Nate Frowsing of Fresno, and Mike Lester of Bakersfield with ling cod of 13.25, 13, and 8-pounds respectively. They have landed a running total of 2261 ling cod since the May 1st opener. The 7th Annual Ling Cod contest will run until December 31st, and the current leaders are 1st - Guy Leo-26-pounds/4-ounces; 2nd - William Chong - 19-pounds; 3rd - Brad Hudson - 18-pounds/12-ounces.
Call: Virg's Landing, (805) 772-1 222, (800) 762-5263; Patriot Sports Fishing (805) 595-4100; Port Side Marine Sports Launch (805) 595-7214
Lake Nacimiento/San Antonio/Santa Margarita/Lopez
Bass ** White bass ** Stripers ** Catfish ** Crappie **
At Nacimiento, a small window for top water lures exists in the early mornings or late afternoons, but the best fishing remains on the bottom with small plastics. White bass are scarce, but there are a few surface boils. Naci should be crowded on the weekend of November 5/6th with both the Western Outdoor News Tournament of Champions and a Bass N' Tubes tournament scheduled on the same dates. In San Antonio, a few boils are taking place in the mornings, and small top water lures such as PopR's, Ricos, or Zara Spooks are picking up a few fish. Striper action remains fair with the best action on large shad-patterned spoons with top water baits such as Zara Spooks or Pencil Poppers working early or late. Drop shotting plastics or jigs on structure are the top techniques for smallmouth bass, but when the fish are chasing bait. Quagga mussel inspections are now required before boat launching is allowed. Randy Pringle is starting a new bass circuit known as Best Bass Tournaments in the central coast lakes. Information is at bestbasstournaments.com. Their first tournament is December 10th at Lopez. Nacimiento has dropped to 69%. San Antonio is holding at 72%. Santa Margarita and Lopez are at 82.6 and 89.6% respectively.
Call: (805) 238-1056 ext. 3, (805) 472-2818; Central Coast Bass Fishing.com (805) 466-6557.
Bass *** Salmon ** Stripers *** Sturgeon ** Catfish ***
Salmon fishing in the Benicia area picked up a bit on Sunday off of 1st Street with 12 fish landed, but the State Park has been much slower. Striper fishing with live bullheads is the best thing going with Benicia Bait selling over 350 of the baits on Saturday alone. The tiny bait-stealing Dungeness crabs are back in the area. Few fishermen are targeting sturgeon with the great striper bite, but the diehards are working in the deeper water near the Mothball Fleet with eel. Big stripers have been a theme in this Pittsburg section of the Delta with James Nguyen at Benicia Bait hooking a huge striper at 38-pounds/47-inches on a live bullhead in the deep water. They tried for 1/2 hour to release the fish but the fish didn't make it. James said, "I missed a couple of good runs before I reset my Limrick hook with a toothpick to keep the hooks out when the big fish hit," adding, "This was the largest striper that I have caught, and it bit very, very light." He added that sturgeon fishing is picking up near Chain Island and PGE. Mike Pipkins of Gotcha Bait in Antioch said, "There are lots of stripers in the 4 to 6-pound range biting mudsuckers or frozen shad." The action is best in the shallow waters from 12 to 15 feet in depth. There aren't many sturgeon fishermen, but the best action has been around Chain Island. He thought the shad should be large enough by next weekend for shadders to pick up quality bait in the Stockton Turning Basin.Allison Shawnego of Hap's Bait in Rio Vista said, "We had a very busy weekend going through 25 dozen mudsuckers, 8 boxes of pile worms, and 3 boxes of blood worms." A pair of sturgeon at 47 and 53-inches were landed by Chad and Luis Mondo on eel at Light 13 and under the Sherman Island Power Lines on Saturday.. Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, has been searching for striped bass in the San Joaquin River system downstream to Sherman Lake with Berkley Hollowbelly swim baits, and he has been finding sporadic action for fish to 7-pounds working the current running over the various shoals. Pringle said, "I think we are on the verge of a great bite, but the water temperature needs to drop a few more degrees." He said, "The key is using shad-patterned hard baits or plastics as the fish are really focusing upon this food source." For largemouth bass, Pringle has been finding great action for fish to 3-pounds with stick baits such as the ima Flit in Olive Herring on calm days and crank baits on the windier days. He has been using top water lures in the mornings before the sun rises and switching to the Berkley Chigger Craw or Hand Poured plastics on a Zappu head by mid-day. In all cases, Pringle has been targeting eddies with running current. Salmon fishing in the Old Sacramento River near Isleton has been 'hit or miss' with some good days followed by a slowdown.
Call: Randy Pringle (209) 543-6260; Stan Koenigsberger/Quetzal Adventures - (925)570-530, Mark Wilson Sport Fishing (916) 682-1630, Intimidator Sport Fishing (916) 806-3030, Jolly Jay's Guide Service (209) 478-6645, Gary Vella (209) 652-7550,.
Kaweah New J Bass Club October 22nd: 1st -Michael and Anthony Her- 13.54-pounds; 2nd -Johnny and Chris Vang- 9.93; 3rd -Tommy and Kirk Yang- 8.87. Big fish - Yeng Her - 3.54-pounds.
October 27th: Edd Allen on Lake Trolling with Lowrance Electronics– 6:15 p.m. –Fresno Fishermen's Warehouse
October 27: Barry Canevero of Fish Hookers Sport Fishing - Striper Techniques– 6:00 p.m. –Manteca Fishermen's Warehouse
November 1: Kokanee Power Meeting at the Old Spaghetti Factory on Shaw Ave.- No Host dinner from 5 to 7:00 p.m.; Round table discussion how club can help out at Pine Flat at 7:00 p.m. –Fresno Fishermen's Warehouse
November 3: John Albidrez on Bass Fishing– 6:15 p.m. –Fresno Fishermen's Warehouse