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 fish photo you’d like to share online? Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Fish photo” in the subject line.
* Try dynamite
** Have to work hard
*** Limits possible
**** Fish jumpin’ in boat
Delta Mendota Canal and Sloughs
Striper *** Catfish **
Fresno-area striper fishermen headed back to the northern section of the California Aqueduct and found action on topwater lures and prop baits during Sunday’s rainstorm. Patrick Movey of the Fisherman’s Warehouse in Fresno reported good action with the surface lures during overcast conditions; umbrella rigs, Duo Realis jerkbaits or Lucky Craft Pointer 128’s also are working as more anglers are coming back to the Firebaugh area. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun reported, “Sales of Duo Realis ripbaits continue to be strong, providing evidence that there is still interest in striper fishing.” In the south aqueduct in Kern County, Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield said, “Largemouth bass are providing the best action as the striper bite has slowed down with the lack of water movement.” Fishermen are trying for stripers, but are catching largemouth bass on minnows, crickets, crankbaits and jerkbaits. Those specifically targeting largemouth are using Senkos or drop-shot plastics. Bluegill and crappie are biting jumbo red worms or small minnows, respectively. Catfishing is decent with minnows, nightcrawlers, chicken livers or mackerel.
Bass *** Trout ** Bluegill ** Catfish ** Crappie *
Bass fishing has improved considerably after a long and slow winter, with fish in the 1.5- to 2-pound range starting to show up with jigs or drop-shot plastics from the bank to 20 feet in depth. The occasional trophy largemouth in the 8- to 10-pound range is caught and released, with local anglers picking up the huge fish with swimbaits at depths from 15-20 feet. Trout fishing remained slow with the occasional planter taken from the shore near the day-use area with trout dough bait or nightcrawlers. The area extending upstream from the buoy line near the Cordoniz Launch Ramp remains closed because of nesting bald eagles. There are unmarked hazards throughout the lake because of low water conditions. The lake is at 469.95 feet in elevation and 8% capacity.
Call: Six Star Tackle Box 673-5688; Eastman Lake 689-3255
Bass ** Trout ** Catfish ** Bluegill ** Crappie **
Bass fishing remained very slow, with few fishermen targeting the lake, especially with the improvement at nearby Eastman. The annual Kids Fishing Derby is April 11, with fishing tutorials and water-safety instruction. The launch ramp is accessible for larger boats. Trout fishing from the shore remained slow. Boaters should contact the Ranger Station at the Corps of Engineers office for current ramp conditions.
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 *** Trout *** Kokanee * King salmon * Crappie **
Trout and bass action have improved considerably, returning a number of boaters and bank anglers to the lake. The lake is rising slowly, but steadily, and the bass are moving closer and closer to the banks. Manny Basi of the Bait Barn in Waterford said, “The bass have come up shallow, and Huddleston swimbaits are flying off of the shelves in response to the great action. We have posted a number of pictures of big fish in the past few weeks, and the sales of swimbaits speak for itself due to the number of big fish caught and released.” The Huddleston ROF 12 in light trout is working best in deeper water while the 68 Special or Huddleston ROF 5 is best in the shallows. A slow presentation on the bottom similar to a jig has been the most effective. Numbers of bass have been best on small 4- to 4.5-inch shad-patterned plastics on the drop-shot with the Pro Worm’s Pro Gold, Robo Worm’s Hologram Shad, or Reaction Innovation’s Bad Shad Green all working. Harold Hass of the Fresno Bass Club said, “Despite the rain on Sunday, fishing was pretty good with every contestant weighing in fish with the majority scoring limits. A surprising number of smallmouth bass were caught, and the spawners should be showing up soon in the 60-degree water in the coves. The males are shallow, and the spawners should be showing up soon. Most bass were landed on either jigs or plastics on a Texas-rig.” Trout trolling continued to pick up, with Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing finding good action on Saturday’s trip with a pair of families from the Bay Area on the boat. Juggling six rods, Smith was able to put his clients onto 12 rainbows running Uncle Larry’s spinner tipped with a nightcrawler, blade/crawler combinations, or dodger/grub combinations on a slow presentation. He said, “We got a late start, and it was nearly 9 a.m. when we reached the Flume Area to start trolling, but in addition to the 12 rainbows landed, we missed a few fish along with a few other hits with no stick.” All of the action took place from the surface to 12 feet in depth. The launch ramp at Fleming Meadows is still limited to one lane with a courtesy dock; a few more inches of inflow are necessary to open the other lanes. The Blue Oaks Launch remained closed. The lake rose to 43% 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 ** Trout ** Crappie ** Catfish *** Bluegill **
Catfishing is the top draw to the lake, but it isn’t enough to bring up more than a handful of fishermen willing to toss garlic shrimp, anchovies, sardines or mackerel from the banks. The deeper water near Engineer’s Point continued to be the top location, with the larger fish taken at night with balls of nightcrawlers or jumbo minnows. Crappie fishing is limited to those in boats or with marina access with small minnows. Few bass fishermen are targeting the lake with the launch requiring a four-wheel-drive tow vehicle and the difficulty in putting a boat in the water. Boats are still able to launch from the dirt near Red’s Marina, but with a four-wheel drive. There are no marinas or courtesy docks currently in the lake. No trout reports despite an earlier plant, but the 26th annual Lake Isabella Fishing Derby is March 28-30 and guarantees a payout of $18,500 for the longest trout from 1st to 10th place. Entry is $30 per individual and $65 per family. Call (760) 379-5236 or email email@example.com. Online registration is available www.kernrivervalley.com. Heavy trout plants will occur prior to the derby. The lake is at 2,530.74 feet in elevation and 8% capacity. In the Kern River, heavy plants were made near Kernville prior to Whiskey Flat Days, but there have been few reports. The best action is in the lower river near the access areas of Hobo Gulch or Sandy Flats for trout, catfish, or bass with crickets, nightcrawlers or sardines. The Sheriff’s Activity League Derby was a big hit with crowds of fishermen at the River Walk, and the next big local derby at the lake is the Bakersfield Firefighters Trout Derby on March 7. The firefighters derby will be limited to 800 anglers, and there will be tagged fish worth up to $1,500. Cormier added, “The entry fee is $20, but all fishermen will have a chance to win a boat, and there is a pancake breakfast.”
Call: Bob’s Bait (661) 833-8657; North Fork Marina (760) 376-1812
Bass ** Crappie ** Trout ** Catfish **
The lake continues to rise, coming up 3 feet this week to 624.16 in elevation and 20% capacity. Two local club tournaments were held over the weekend, and limits in the 3.5-pound average range took the derbies — with the exception of a largemouth over 11 pounds pushing Saturday’s winning limit past 20 pounds. The larger fish are taken on rainbow-trout patterned swimbaits, but numbers are best on drop-shot plastics or deep-diving cranks on a slow presentation. Live minnows, nightcrawlers or crawdads also are effective. The male bass are starting to move into the shallows. Crappie fishing has picked up with small minnows or minijigs in the submerged trees near Horse Creek. The trout bite has been very slow, as the lake has only been planted a single time this season. The warm weather has kept the catfish bite going, and the best action has been with anchovies, sardines or chicken livers. The ramp is open, with “no problem” launching.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212
Bass *** Trout *** Catfish ** Crappie **
Chuck Stokke of Sequoia Fishing Co. in Springville reported good action for bass with umbrella rigs, jigs, Senkos or shaky-head plastics as the fish are moving into prespawn mode. A trout plant is scheduled this week. An early spawn is anticipated. The lake rose over 2 feet to 586.75 in elevation and 8% capacity. In the Tule River, nymphs and dry flies are working for the native trout. Stokke said, “There have been quite a few native trout caught and released, and the rain and snow at elevations above 5,000 feet was a blessing.” The lake rose over 2 feet to 586.75 in elevation and 8% capacity.
Call: Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626, www.sequoiafishingcompany.com
Bass ** Trout ** King salmon * Kokanee * Crappie ** Catfish **
The lake has risen steadily within the past two weeks, but launch ramps remained closed. The only access for boats is by shore for small portable vessels such as kayaks or canoes. Bass tournaments scheduled for McClure are being switched to neighboring reservoirs such as Don Pedro for the spring. Few fishermen are heading to the lake. The lake rose 3.5 feet to 604.48 in elevation and 8% capacity.
Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505; Bub Tosh (209) 404-0053
For the second consecutive week, a 500-pound plant from Calaveras Trout Farm was dumped into the lake. Trout action was excellent during the previous week, but the fog extending up the mountain as high as Mariposa limited fishing interest. The lake is clearing up after heavy water releases. The best fishing is coming from the banks around the handicapped docks, brush pile or the marina with Kastmasters, bright Roostertails, garlic trout dough bait or nightcrawlers. Trolling remained slow.
Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River
Bass *** Striper * Shad * Bluegill ** Trout **
Bass are moving into the shallows after holding from 40-60 feet for six weeks, with the best action from 20-25 feet with brass ’n’ glass, drop-shot plastics, Senkos or jigs. The best action remained on the bottom, but a few fish are hitting ripbaits. Limits in the 7.5- to 8-pound range are possible. A few bass anglers have had large striped bass grab hooked spotted bass on the way to the boat. Millerton is rising slowly and is at 491.81 feet in elevation and 37% capacity with a rise of 1.5 feet this week. In the lower San Joaquin, minimal fishing action is taking place because of the lack of trout plants. Regulations on the lower San Joaquin, and from Friant Dam downstream to the Highway 140 Bridge, allow only two hatchery trout or hatchery steelhead, with a total of four in possession. The hatchery fish have a healed adipose fin clip.
Call: Fresno Fisherman’s Warehouse 225-1838; Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474
New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch
Bass *** Crappie ** Catfish ** Trout *** Kokanee *
The assault on big largemouth bass continued at New Melones, with trophy fish the order of the day during the first Glory Hole Sports Bass Tournament on Saturday. John Lietchy of Glory Hole Sports in Angels Camp said, “The tournament featured 21 teams weighing in their largest spotted and largemouth bass. The top limit was 13.89 pounds by Jace Degough and Eli Frey with a big spot at 6.65 and largemouth at 9.23 pounds and the largest spot of the tournament was 6.65 pounds landed by Jody Menzes. Swimbaits are producing the larger fish, and anglers are willing to toss the big baits all day for the opportunity for a trophy, but numbers are easy with average fishermen able to score with Carolina-rigged plastics, Senkos or shad-patterned plastics on the shakey-head or darthead.” Randy Pringle, the fishing instructor and owner of Best Bass Tournaments, is looking for a world-record largemouth or spotted bass during their next tournament at the lake on March 14, and Lietchy added, “This is entirely possible as we have a few largemouth bass over 16 pounds every year with at least one over 17 pounds.” The lake is starting to clear up after the intense rain of a few weeks ago. Trout fishing has been solid, with trollers scoring with brighter colored plugs such as firetiger jointed Rapalas, but nightcrawlers behind a Ford Fender flasher also are effective. The best trolling continued around the dam or near the Highway 49 Bridge at depths from the surface to 20 feet. Bank fishing has been best near Glory Hole Point or behind the Marina with limits common on nightcrawlers or garlic-scented trout dough bait. The lake is rising steadily with the concrete ramp at Glory Hole Point open with two lanes and a dock, but the Tuttletown Launch Ramp still closed. The lake rose less than a foot to 878.86 in elevation and 25% 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
Kokanee * Bass** Trout ** King salmon * Catfish ** Crappie **
The lake continued to be influenced by heavy tournament pressure on the weekends. The bass are moving up with the rising water and warming conditions. Larger spots and largemouth are taken on ripbaits or swimbaits, but the majority of action occurs from the bank to 20 feet in depth with jigs, worms, or Senkos. A 6-pound bass was reported on a jig. Trout fishing is on the upswing, but most area trout fishermen are heading to Shaver or Bass lakes. Bass tournaments are scheduled nearly every weekend during the spring. The lake rose to 15% capacity. In the lower Kings River, rainbows of catchable size are taken on various colors of Power Bait; nightcrawlers have been effective in the low flows. There are special regulations in the Kings River above and below Pine Flat Dam. The season is open from the last Saturday in April to Nov. 15 from Pine Flat Dam downstream to the Corps of Engineers Bridge on Pine Flat Road with a five-fish limit. The Corps of Engineers Bridge is the first one to the west. The area from Cobbles (Alta) Weir to the Highway 180 crossing is open all year, with only artificial lures with barbless hooks and a zero limit. The Thorburn Spawning Channel, at 2,200 feet and located 5 miles downstream from Pine Flat, and the reach of river within a 200-foot radius of the channel exit is closed to all fishing all year.
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 ** Catfish ** Bass ** Crappie **
San Luis Reservoir continued to rise quickly, and it is over 62% and increasing steadily. Stripers are holding in specific areas in the lake, and good electronics are necessary to locate the schools at 60-80 feet. Patrick Movey of the Fisherman’s Warehouse in Fresno said, “The action has been hit or miss, and some fishermen are doing well, but they are using their electronics to locate the schools.” Roger George of Roger’s Guide Service out of Fresno used electronics to catch and release 25 stripers to 13 pounds trolling large plugs while fun fishing with Jim Bartko, the new athletic director of Fresno State University. Bartko caught/released a fat 31-inch, 13-pound striper, a personal record. The majority of their stripers were in the 19- to 23-inch range with the exception of the one large one. “In most cases you need to be a good technician to find and catch the scattered fish now — especially since many are suspended. It hasn’t been easy; we worked for every fish!” George said. Fly fishing has been solid, with Pete Ottesen, noted outdoor writer out of Stockton, reporting catching and releasing nine stripers at the mouth of Pacheco Creek using Clowser Minnows. He said, “The action slowed down a bit from the past week, as one of my friends caught and released up to 40 fish using the same techniques.” Anthony Lopez of Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill said, “Jumbo minnows are working at depth from 60-80 feet in front of the dam and also at the mouth of Portuguese Cove with a few trolling at the same depths. In the Forebay, the bite has been slower for stripers with the best action around Check 12 and the 152 Bridge with pile worms, blood worms, or anchovies. A few catfish have been showing up around Check 12 with largemouth bass taken from the banks with Senkos, jigs, ripbaits, and crankbaits.” Despite the recent difficulty in obtaining pile worms because of inclement weather on the East Coast, Coyote Bait has been able to fill the bill.
Call: Coyote Bait andTackle (408) 463-0711, Roger George of rogergeorgeguideservice.com (559) 905-2954
Bass ** Trout *** Kokanee *
Trout trolling for rainbows in the 14- to 15.5-inch range remained good with small spoons such as #1 Needlefish, Wedding Rings tipped with a nightcrawler or blade/crawler combinations from the surface to 10 feet in depth on the downrigger or with lead-core line. A few rainbows are starting to come from the banks, lured by trout dough bait around the Sheriff’s Tower or the public launch ramp. The bass bite is limited to drop-shotting or jigs in deeper water as the reaction bite remained slow. The swimbait bite should take off shortly. The lake has risen to the point — 52% capacity — where a larger boat can be launched from the public dock.
Call: Todd Wittwer 288-8100; Mike Beighey 642-3748
Brown trout ** Trout ***
The Kaiser Pass Lakes are done for the winter until the gate is reopened in the spring. At Mammoth Pool, few fishermen are taking the long drive to the lake, but trout fishing continues to be decent from the shore with Power Bait or nightcrawlers. Mammoth Pool was at 26% at last report, with Edison at 4% and Florence at 9%.
Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000
Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake
Kokanee * Trout **
At least 6 inches of snow fell in the area Sunday. With no fishermen on the lake, the trophies have the opportunity to scatter to a variety of locations. The water level at Shaver is expected to bump up from its current 47% capacity to more than 60% by May or June, and it will remain at this level until September and October when it will be drawn down to the mid-30% range. Some larger rainbows are showing up. Kirk Marshall and two friends from Visalia who released six large rainbows to 4 pounds, keeping one per limit while pulling spoons near the dam. The best trolling action remained near the island, Black Rock and Eagle Point with a variety of beaded spinning tackle tipped with a piece of nightcrawler behind a flasher. Bank fishermen have been getting in on the action with trout dough bait or night crawlers near the dam. The Department of Fish and Wildlife planting allocation for Shaver Lake is about one-half of normal with plants of 19,000 pounds, of a smaller grade of rainbow ranging from one-quarter to one-half pound, during the coming months. The intent is to allow the smaller rainbows to grow with the relatively high water levels at Shaver. The annual Big Trout Contest sponsored by the SLTTP since its inception is now under the auspices of the Shaver Lake Visitors Bureau. The official weight stations for the contest are Ken’s Market and Shaver Lake Sporting Goods. More on the upcoming trophy trout plant at Shaver Lake will be discussed by SLTTP planting chairman Bob Bernier at the Herb Bauer Shaver Lake seminar at 6 p.m. Thursday. The slide show seminar features kokanee expert Captain Jack Yandell and veteran Shaver Lake fishing guide Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing charter. Recommendations on how to fish Shaver, the 2015 water level report and what to expect, along with jigging for kokanee will be discussed. Custom pole builder Terry Walton will add some on his kokanee fishing last year. A free raffle will follow. Water and soft drinks will be furnished by Herb Bauer Sporting Goods staff. The largest fundraiser for the Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project is the annual dinner Aug. 8 at the Shaver Lake Community Center. No reports from Huntington with the snow falling over the weekend. Shaver is at 48% capacity and Huntington 33%.
Call: Dick’s Fishing Charters 841-2740; Dinkey Creek Inn 841-3435; Rancheria Marina 893-3234; Shaver Lake Sports Inc. 841-2740
Access to both lakes is over for the winter with the closure of the gate at Dinkey Creek. The trout will now holdover until the road opens once again in the late spring.
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
Weather conditions were outstanding over the past weekend, and Captain Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat out of Pillar Point Harbor reported good action for limits of Dungeness crab and some sand dabs for the B and B Norcal Fishing Club on Saturday. He said, “The trip started off with 25-yard visibility in the fog, but we ran towards the Separation Zone where during the week there were good concentrations of birds and bait during the week.” In addition to the sand dabs, a few sand sole and sand sharks were landed. Sunday, Mattusch pulled six pots for two limits of Dungeness crab, stating, “The crabbing is slow with a number of females in the pots, but I pulled one pot that hadn’t been checked in awhile, and it was loaded with 10 legal crab.” Captain Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat is the only party boat running the combination trips out of Pillar Point Harbor, and he is operating combination trips, crab-only trips, whale watching trips, and rockfish research trips for the next few months prior to the anticipated salmon opener in April. Although it has not been officially confirmed, there is a possibility of the rockfish season opening below Pigeon Point in the Central Management Area on April 1 and above Pigeon Point in the San Francisco Management Area on April 15. The official announcement will be confirmed after the series of meetings of the Pacific Fisheries Marine Council is completed within the month. Three ling cod in excess of 22 inches and 10 rockfish with a limit of five black rockfish will be in effect for the coming season. Further up the coast in Pacifica, Sheryl Jimno of the Rusty Hook reported excellent surf perch fishing with prawns, anchovies or squid as blood and pile worms continued to be next to impossible to obtain. Anglers will be able to venture far up the coast in search of surf perch during the 11th annual Sand Crab Surf Perch Derby, held March 14 out of Santa Cruz. Striper fishing has continued throughout the winter along the beaches from Ocean Beach south to Half Moon Bay with both lures and bait, leading Jimno to state, “The big fish have been coming in on a regular basis.” Crabbing from the pier is providing enough interest to keep fishermen out there, and sales of crab snares continued to keep the local manufacturer busy.
Call: Happy Hooker (510) 223-5388; Roger Thomas, Salty Lady (415) 760-9362; Bait and Switch Sport Fishing Center (650) 726-7133726-7133; Emeryville Sport Fishing (510) 654-6040; Don Franklin, Soleman (510) 703-4148
Chris Arcoleo of Chris’s Landing in Monterey reported continued excellent sand dab and Dungeness action on the Check Mate, with nine anglers returning with all of the sand dabs they wanted in addition to limits of crab for passengers and two crew. The weather was beautiful in Monterey Bay with a light breeze in the afternoon. Northwest winds are expected to arrive on Monday and Tuesday. Chris’ will be running the combination trips Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday of the current week; a Saturday trip is sold out. With the strong possibility of rockfish season opening below Pigeon Point on April 1, Arcoleo is booking rockfish/ling cod trip during April, contingent upon the decision of the Pacific Fisheries Marine Council. Out of Santa Cruz, surf perch action is heating up, just in time for the Sand Crab Perch Derby on March 14. This is an annual fundraiser for the Monterey Bay Salmon and Steelhead Project. Information is available theletsgofishingradioshow.com.
Call: Chris’ Landing(831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173; usafishing.com
San Francisco Bay
Striper *** Leopard shark ** Sturgeon **
Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait in San Rafael reported high winds Sunday kept everyone off of the bay with the exception of Captain Gordie Hough of the Morningstar, who scored better than a bass per rod. Herring spawns in Richardson Bay and Tiburon continued to attract sturgeon into the closed zone, so the sturgeon fishing is less than stellar in the Pumphouse area. However, Fraser said, “Bass fishing is terrific!” He has around two dozen live mud shrimp remaining, but another shipment from the Pacific Northwest is scheduled Monday. Fraser also has the elusive pile worms in addition to grass shrimp and ghost shrimp. Jim Smith of the Happy Hooker was on the bay Saturday, and they put in nine bass on live anchovies in addition to a shaker sturgeon released. He was going to troll for bass Sunday, but the high winds muddied up the bay. He said, “There are lots of bass in San Pablo Bay right now.” Also confirming the number of bass in the bay is Captain Trent Slate of Shelter Cove Sport Fishing, who couldn’t keep the striped bass off of his live mud shrimp on a recent trip while trying for a sturgeon. He reported plug casters are catching and releasing as many as 40 stripers off of the Marin Island and the Brickyard as there are striped bass throughout the bay.
San Luis Obispo
The San Luis Obispo County ports are limited to sand dab/crab, whale watching, or nature cruises until the possible April 1 rockfish opener. The rockfish season is anticipated to open a month earlier this year than normal, pending meetings of the Pacific Fisheries Marine Council. Patriot Sport Fishing out of Port San Luis will be offering sand dab/crab combination trips on Wednesdays and Saturdays for $60 for adults and $50 for children 12 and younger. Saturday’s trip on the Patriot produced limits of Dungeness crab for 10 anglers. They are selling season passes for the 2015 rockfish season for $1,000. Whale watching and nature cruises will be held out of Morro Bay Landing and Virg’s Landing in Morro Bay for the next several months. Virg’sis running whale watching trips Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for $39 for adults and $29 for children. Virg’s also is offering a 10% discount for group charters booking an entire boat for a trip before the season opens. Surf perch fishing has been outstanding from the beaches north of Morro Rock with Berkley Sand Worms in Camo or pumpkin seed or with motor oil grubs.
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 *** Striper *** Sturgeon *** Catfish ** Bluegill ***
The north wind played havoc on the Delta on Sunday. with gusts over 20. The warm water temperature in the 60-degree range has spurred on the sturgeon bite, and nearly even day, party and private boaters are scoring legal fish. Steve Mitchell of Hook’D Up Sport Fishing concluded two days of outstanding action on Sunday with a pair of keepers to 55 inches on salmon roe in the Big Cut. Captain Steve Talmadge of Flash Sport Fishing out of Martinez said, “Sturgeon fishing is still strong with quality fish landed on a daily basis along with striped bass in the 19- to 21-inch range. With the water temperature at 59 degrees, the sturgeon are fighting like ‘mad dogs,’ with short bites and many missed opportunities. My best success has been in Suisun Bay in water deeper than 30 feet with lamprey eel the top bait.” In the north Delta, J.D. Richey of Richey’s Sport Fishing has been working the Rio Vista area, and he took a rare trolling trip over the weekend with solid results in the 60-degree water. He said, “The river is still a bit stained, but with the warm water, the stripers are scrappy and full of fight.” Deep-diving lures in basic shad-patterns such as white/chartreuse stripe or white/green back were working, particularly on the cleaner water on the incoming tide. He added, “With the warm water, the run is going to be very early this year, and if you wait until April to seek stripers, you may be too late.” Scott Feisty of Feisty Fish Guide Service is also trolling in the upper Delta, and combined with deckhand Scotty Marran, they posted consecutive days of limits to 9 pounds in the Sacramento Deep Water Channel with deep-diving P-Line Predator Minnows in rainbow-trout pattern. Largemouth bass have been the top species, and Alan Fong of the Fisherman’s Warehouse in Sacramento confirmed the hot largemouth bite, and he caught and released a 9-pound bass on a 7-inch Senko this week. He said, “I mostly have been punching the dead hyacinth with Brush Hogs or D-Bombs on a lighter three-quarter to 1-ounce weight as the fish are holding on the outside of the dead material, and they are not holding underneath the mats. The visibility in Disappointment Slough has been 6 inches, but it improves to a couple of feet further south around Victoria Island.”
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** White bass *** Striper** Catfish** Crappie**
The white bass bite is showing signs of life at Nacimiento with local anglers stating, “Things are getting exciting around here.” Shap Raps or similar small white lures are working in Snake Creek. Small spotted remain the top target, but there have been some larger fish to 3.5 pounds taken in addition to the big numbers of smaller spots. Split-shotting 4-inch grubs or crawdad-imitation lures are all working for the spots. Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield confirmed the solid bite at Naci, stating,”Drop-shot plastics and small jigs are all producing numbers with anglers catching and releasing between 20 and 30 spots.” At Santa Margarita, jigs, ripbaits, or swimbaits along main lake points with rocks are working best for the bass bite, but the action is spotty. Bluegill and crappie are starting to get active with the warmer temperatures. Santa Margarita is open for rental boats or kayaks, canoes or float tubes as the lake needs to come up to 30% in order for the launch ramp to be fully operable. The marina store is open again seven days per week from 7 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. San Antonio remains very low with only kayaks, canoes, or float tubes able to be released into the lake. A few striped bass, largemouth bass and catfish are available.
Call: Lake Nacimiento (805) 238-1056, ext. 3; Lake San Antonio Marina (805) 472-2818; Central Coast Bass Fishing.com (805) 466-6557
Glory Hole Sports Big Bass Bash at New Melones on Feb. 21: (two-fishing limit — largest spot and largemouth bass) 1, Jace Degough/Eli Frey $1,533, 13.89 pounds (big largemouth 9.23); 2,Alex Niapas/Jerry Harvey $735, 12.34; 3, Aaron Cole/Collin Degough $588, 9.36; Jody Menzes (big spotted bass at 6.65 pounds)
Kerman Bass Club Top 10 Fish-Off at Don Pedro on Feb. 21: 1, Jeff Farmer 11.04 pounds; 2Butch Farmer- 9.36 (big fish 2.97); 3, Ron Orbaker 9.24
Sierra Bass Club at Pine Flat on Feb. 21: 1, Derek Smith 9.54 pounds (big fish 4.33); 2, Bill Rowles Jr. 9.06; 3, Michael Murphy 8.61
Visalia Bass Club at Kaweah on Feb. 21: 1, Roger Peterson/Gustavo Maliel 22.95 pounds (big fish 11.36); 2, Junior DeMacabalin/Josh Housey 14.64; 3, John Beasley 14
Fresno Bass Club at Don Pedro on Feb. 22: 1, Ron Red Sr.-11.28 pounds (big fish 3.22); 2, Vincent Garcia 11.08; 3, Joe Alanis 10.98
Bass 101 Team Open at Pine Flat on Feb. 22: 1, Bowlin/Bowlin 13.89 pounds; 2, Hinojosa/Slavic 11.08; 3, Turner/Gallardo 11.26 (big fish 4.87)
Thursday: Captain Jack Yandell and Dick Nichol’s of Dick’s Fishing Charters on “Shaver Lake Techniques,” 6 p.m. at Herb Bauer’s Sporting Goods in Fresno
Saturday: Christian Bass League at Delta/Ladd’s Marina; Tracy Bass Club at Delta/Tracy Oasis; NorCal Trout Angler’s Challenge at New Melones, www.anglerspress.com; Angler’s Choice at Don Pedro; Bakersfield Bass Club at Pine Flat; American Bass Association at Kaweah; 101 Bass at Lopez
March 7: Bakersfield Fire Fighters Trout Tournament at RiverWalk in Bakersfield
March 1: California Bass Federation at Delta/Ladd’s Marina; California Bass Federation at Don Pedro
March 14: 11th annual Sand Crab Classic Surf Perch Derby, weigh-in at Portuguese Hall in Santa Cruz, www.theletsgofishingradioshow.com
Fresno County: Woodward Park Lake
Kern County: Kern River, sections 1-5; Cuddy Creek Pond
Tulare County: Del Lago Park Lake; Kern River, sections 5-6; Kaweah Reservoir; Success Reservoir