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 email@example.com with “fish photo” in the subject line.
Delta Mendota Canal and Sloughs
The striped bass bite remained good in the California Aqueduct, with Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis stating, “The Duo Realis jerkbaits are flying off of the shelves, and we are down from 21 colors to 6 colors after a rush over the weekend. The Midnight Black is a particulary hot pattern.” Lucky Craft 128’s in ghost minnow are another option as Fresno-area fishermen are congregating around Manning Avenue. In the south aqueduct in Kern County, stripers are starting to show up once again after a period of off and on action. Blood worms and RatLTraps have been tops for stripers. Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait Bucket in Bakersfield reported excellent catfishing with Sonny’s Dip Bait, Kat Nip Beef Bait, super meal worms or frozen shad. The July Catfish Derby ended with Michael Prickett taking top prize with a 15-pounder; the August Carp Derby has started with an entry fee of $1.
The closed area up the river arm opened Aug. 1, but the area only extends about 100 yards past the buoy line amid shallow conditions. The bass action remained the best option in the Fresno-area with Carolina-rigged lizards, spinnerbaits or plastics on the drop-shot. The best action is at night. Catfish are abundant at night with frozen sardines or anchovies. Bluegill are actively biting wax worms or jumbo red worms. Low water levels contribute to boating hazards of unmarked rockpiles; most are running their trolling motors or idling slowly when in transit. The area extending upstream from the buoy line near the Cordoniz Launch Ramp remains closed to accommodate nesting bald eagles. The lake dropped to 7% capacity and 468.16 feet in elevation.
Call: Six Star Tackle Box 673-5688; Eastman Lake 689-3255
Boats can still be launched, but anglers have to be prepared to get wet. Kayakers are finding good action for bass to 4.5 pounds with crankbaits or plastics on the drop-shot. There is a brief window for topwater lures in low light. Catfishing continued to be the top draw with sardines or anchovies at night. Anglers are advised to call the ranger station at the Corps of Engineers office for updated conditions. The lake dropped to 448.49 feet in elevation and 6% capacity.
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
Danny Layne of Fish’n Dan’s Guide Service said, “Think deep at Don Pedro with the surface temperature in the river channel at 83 degrees and 59.7 degrees at 100 feet in depth.” They landed five king salmon and a rainbow trout on a recent trip with nearly all taken at depths greater than 100 feet with Sockeye Slammers, ExCel spoons or Needlefish. Bass fishing is best with medium, large or extra-large minnows from the shore. The ramp is crowded on the weekends, and conditions appear to discourage area fishermen. The ramp at Fleming Meadows is the only launch on the lake, and it requires a skillful backup job. The lake dropped more than 2 feet to 681.60 in elevation and 34% 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
Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait Bucket in Bakersfield reported an excellent catfish bite in the South Fork with 3-inch super meal worms, frozen clams, Katnip Beef Bait, mackerel or frozen shad. Fishermen have been catching 10-30 catfish per evening working the long flat near Red’s Marina. The bass bite has improved, with largemouths to 10 pounds landed in the past week; fishermen are picking up 8-9 per trip working the submerged trees in the middle of the lake with Senkos or spinnerbaits. With the low lake levels, it is necessary to use a four-wheel-drive vehicle to launch your vessel from the dirt ramp near Red’s. There are no marinas or courtesy docks in the lake. The lake dropped slightly to 2523.81 feet in elevation and 6% capacity. In the upper Kern River, recent trout plants have brought out the bite near the Johnsondale Bridge. Also in the upper Kern River, Chuck Stokke of Sequoia Fishing Co. in Springville reported, “The trout action on the fly is excellent if you can handle the smoke from the Cabin Fire.” In the lower river, catfish are biting nightcrawlers or live crickets while largemouth and smallmouth bass are hitting Deadly Duo plastics on the drop-shot. Recreational boaters are taking over Buena Vista during the day, but the occasional catfish and bluegill are taken at night.
Call: Bob’s Bait (661) 833-8657; North Fork Marina (760) 376-1812
Larry Kerns of the Visalia Bass Club said, “If you find the fish, the bite is good for numbers of bass to 4 pounds with a good number of 2- to 3-pounders, but the key is finding the right spot.” Plastics on the shaky-head or drop-shot are the top techniques. The lake receded 1 foot this week to 613.13 in elevation and 16% capacity, but most fish remain suspended. Catfish are biting chicken livers, nightcrawlers or sardines with the best action at night.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212
Chuck Stokke of Sequoia Fishing Co. in Springville reported, “Bass fishing has picked up within the past week in 12 feet of water with crankbaits, Brush Hogs in watermelon, or Zoom lizards.” There is a topwater bite in the mornings and evenings. Carp fishing from the banks is picking up steam with Wheaties mashed up and mixed with strawberry soda. The lake dropped a half foot to 585.89 in elevation and 7% capacity. In the Tule River, Stokke reported, “The flow is decent in the North Fork of the Middle Fork, and Beau Littleton and I caught and released over 30 native browns and rainbow trout to 14 inches.”
Call: Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626, sequoiafishingcompany.com
The North Barrett Cove ramp is the only launch operational as the South Barrett Cove launch is closed with the water level dropping 2 feet in elevation to 621.16 and 11% capacity. The North Barrett ramp requires a long walk back to the parking lot unless you arrive early. Catfish and bass can be found near the dam in the deepest water in the lake with medium to large minnows. Information on the launch ramp is available at (855) 222-5253..
Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505; Bub Tosh (209) 404-0053
McSwain Marina is closed Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. There will be no additional summer trout plants, with a decision on future plants will pending review based on water temperatures. Trout fishing is slow with the warm water, and many trollers are hooking spotted bass that have cascaded down from McClure.
Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River
Few fishermen are heading to the lake given the combination of recreational boat traffic, fluctuating water levels and triple-digit temperatures. Keeper-sized bass are hard to come by, and drop-shot plastics, jigs or plastics on brass and glass at depths to 35 feet are the top techniques for 11- to 12-inch fish. Catfish to 3 pounds can be found at night with anchovies or sardines near the Madera Launch Ramp. There were no striper reports. All vessels must possess a low-emission motor. Millerton rose slightly, because of upstream releases, to 486.71 feet in elevation and 34% capacity. Regulations on the lower San Joaquin, and from Friant Dam down to the Highway 140 Bridge, allow only hatchery trout or hatchery steelhead with a total of four in possession. The hatchery fish have a healed adipose fin clip. All wild steelhead or trout with an adipose fin present must be released immediately. The San Joaquin River is closed to the take of salmon; they may not be targeted and must be released immediately if inadvertently caught.
Call: Fresno Fisherman’s Warehouse 225-1838; Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474
New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch
The lake levels continue to drop at New Melones and clarity is stained in many areas as a result of several weeks of rapid recession. The stained water has contributed to water temperatures in the 76- to 81-degree range. John Liechty of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp and Xperience Bass Guide Service reported a changing bite, stating, “With dropping water levels, the lake is changing constantly as the fish are constantly on the move, here today and gone the next. The best area has been from the Parrott’s Ferry Bridge down to the dam with topwater lure sin the early mornings before the sun rises before switching to soft plastics worked on the bottom.” Trout and kokanee fishing remained fair at best, with few fishermen targeting these species. The trout are down in deep water near the old lake and the existing river channel at depths from 50-70 feet with rattling or wobbling lures coated with scent. Night fishing under submersible lights has been effective for trout, catfish, crappie or spotted bass with nightcrawlers, small minnows or minijigs. Kokanee fishermen are few and far between, but those trying are still catching fish at depths from 45-65 feet in the main lake with dark color patterned lures scented with Pro Cure’s garlic, anise, Bloody Tuna or Carp Spit. The fish are oriented to structure along the submerged island tops. Catfish are the top species in the lake, and several whiskerfish in excess of 10 pounds are brought to Glory Hole Sporting Goods for pictures on a weekly basis. Frozen shad, anchovies, sardines, mackerel or nightcrawlers on a weightless presentation along muddy, sloping banks is the best technique, especially at night. Crappie fishing is fair with the best action at night under submerged lights. A four-wheel-drive vehicle is essential to place a boat into the lake; there is no courtesy dock. The lake has dropped to 14%capacity and 819.33 feet in elevation, receding 3 feet this week. Tulloch dropped close to a foot to 507.96 and 96%.
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
The lake continues to recede 15-16 inches per day, and few fishermen are heading to the lake. High temperatures in excess of 100 degrees are another deterrent to fishing. The bass bite is very tough, and even night fishing has been relatively slow. Plastics on the drop-shot, dart head, Texas-rig or brass and glass are the top techniques for a few fish per rod at best. Trout trolling remained very slow. Catfish in the 2- to 4-pound range are found from houseboats at night with anchovies near the power lines or around Zebe Creek. The lake dropped 6.5 feet in the past week to 739.57 in elevation and 15% capacity. In the lower Kings River, trout fishermen are working the banks below the dam for planters with Kastmasters, spinners or Power Bait. The spinners are working best in the fast water as bait has a tendency to get hung on the bottom. Special 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. The area from Cobbles (Alta) Weir downstream to the Highway 180 crossing is open all year with only artificial lures with barbless hooks with a zero limit. The Thorburn Spawning Channel, the 2,200-foot long channel 5 miles downstream from Pine Flat Dam 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
In the main lake, the return of extra-large minnows in local tackle shops has brought out more boaters to drift the live bait near the trash racks or the entrance to Portuguese Cove. The key is to locate the schools on electronics before dropping down with a minnow on a split-shot rig. The lake is dropping significantly each week. Bank fishermen are targeting Dinosaur Point or Basalt Recreation Areas in order to avoid the long walk at Romero Visitor Center because of low water levels. Blood worms and pile worms are the top baits while a few fishermen are tossing out medium minnows. Trollers are finding fair action with large plugs on the downrigger in and around the entrance of Portuguese Cove. In the O’Neill Forebay, blood worms, pile worms, and flukes on a three-sixteenths-ounce Scrounger head are working for striped bass. Fishermen are taking long walks to various locations in early-morning or late-afternoon periods in order to toss reaction baits such as flukes in baby blue or white, jerkbaits or Zara Spooks. Catfish are taken with chicken livers or big pieces of mackerel near Check 12. The main lake continues to release water at a rapid clip for agricultural and domestic uses. It dropped 2% this week to 25% capacity with a release of 8,039 acre-feet Monday.
Call: Coyote Bait andTackle (408) 463-0711, Roger George of rogergeorgeguideservice.com (559) 905-2954
The fire in the area is being contained after a week of helicopters loading water from the dam area after 8 a.m. Trollers are able to run between Miller’s Landing and the dam in the early morning before being contained to the dam area behind the 5 mph buoys by midmorning due to heavy recreational boat traffic. Rainbow trout to 19 inches have been taken on Father Murphy’s Super Minibugs in pink or Radical Glow Tubes tipped with a nightcrawler and shoepeg corn behind a Rocky Mountain Tackle Hyperplaid or Pink Ice dodger at 30-35 feet in depth. Submerged trees at 18 feet below the surface are also a limiting factor for trollers throughout the lake. The Sheriff’s Motor Fee is in effect, and few bass fishermen are launching boats.
Call: Todd Wittwer 288-8100; Mike Beighey 642-3748
At Mammoth Pool, the trout bite remains very slow after a great start six weeks ago. The lake held at 77% capacity, and the launch ramp is open. Over Kaiser Pass, Lake Edison has risen to 18% after being below 10% for most of the year, and anglers walking the banks are picking up rainbows and browns casting small Kastmasters, Roostertails or trout dough bait from the shore in the shallow reservoir in the deeper parts of the lake. Florence held at 33%.
Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000
Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake
After several weeks of slow action, the bite is back on at Shaver Lake for trout and kokanee. Recent plants from the San Joaquin Hatchery of catchable and trophy-sized rainbow have brought back smiles to bank fishermen and boaters alike. Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters said, “Thanks to DF&W planting some very nice rainbows to over 4 pounds, Shaver Lake fishermen were hauling in limits midweek through the weekend, and we limited out all week with rainbows to 4 pounds. We have been running Koke Busters tipped with a piece of nightcrawler behind a Captain Jack’s C.J. Dodger around either the Sierra Marina or between Roads 1 and 2 at depths to 55 feet. The recently-planted rainbows are traveling, and they have to be relocated each day.” Nichols put in four limits of rainbows within 2.5 hours Sunday, and he will be fishing with Jim White, cross country coach at McFarland High, and the subject of the recent movie “McFarland” starring Kevin Costner as White. Steve Santoro of Fish Box Charters out of Madera also has been scoring limits of rainbows from the Sierra Marina to the dam and over to the Point with Apex lures, Shasta Tackle’s Scorpion spinners or Wedding Rings — all in orange at depths from 40-60 feet. Santoro has also been catching and releasing smallmouth bass to 1.5 pounds after his trips with small jigs around rocky structure. Bank fishermen are started scoring immediately after the plant with trout dough bait or nightcrawlers near Roads 1 and 2. The fifth annual Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Sportsmen’s fundraising dinner is Saturday at the Shaver Lake Community Center in Shaver Lake Village. Contact Bob Bernier, ticket chairman, at 360-7185 for ticket availability. All proceeds go to the 2016 trophy trout plant that looks to be great. At Huntington, the lake is releasing water, and launching a vessel from the ramp is a major challenge because of sand and mud on the ramp. Bank fishermen are scoring with trout dough bait near Dam 2 or the mouth of Rancheria Creek. Shaver Lake held at 64% and Huntington is at 56%.
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
With the hot water temperatures at the San Joaquin River Hatchery at Friant, heavy plants of rainbow trout to brooder size have been dumped into the high country lakes of Wishon and Courtright. Chuck Crane at Wishon Village RV Park and Store said, “The lake is low at Wishon, but boaters are still able to launch easily from the dirt road. The trout plants have turned on the bank action, and several quality limits have been taken from the shoreline. Norm Shanshoian of Clovis scored a limit between 16 and 18 inches tossing a Thomas Buoyant in copper with a red head from the banks. Trollers are using Speedy Shiners or Needlefish in several different colors at 2-4 colors. There have also been several quality brown trout to 18 inches taken near the headwaters of the lake with trout dough bait or inflated night crawlers. The river is just trickling in, but the browns have been in the area of the cooler water.” At Courtright, the launch ramp is still on the concrete, and trollers are finding the best action with broken-backed Rebels in rainbow trout or Speedy Shiners in copper/red near the dam at 3 to 5 colors of lead core. Bank fishermen are focusing around the dam with trout dough bait in orange or pine for quality rainbows. Crane added, “There are lots of people up here during the week and on the weekends, and thunderstorms are a common occurrence.”
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
Captain Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat reported good action for rockfish and ling cod from Tunitas Creek south to San Gregorio on Sunday with outstanding ocean conditions. They ended up with 16 lings along with limits of rockfish and a 50-pound Giant Pacific Octopus. They have been catching and releasing a few salmon on recent trips because of barbed hooks, and he said, “A private boat picked up four limits of salmon in the 22- to 24-inch range near Martin’s Beach.” The fish are hugging the bottom, and boats are dragging their downrigger weights close to the sandy structure. He is heading out on a research rockfish trip on Monday and Tuesday before taking an open load on Wednesday with charters on Friday and Saturday.
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
Todd Arcoleo of Chris’ Fishing Trips in Monterey reported continued outstanding rockfish action with the Caroline scoring 25 limits of rockfish and a dozen ling cod while the Star of Monterey posted 35 limits and 20 ling cod while working the local reefs. It was pretty much the same Saturday with three boats posting a combined 95 limits of rockfish and 51 ling cod. They have room throughout the week for rockfish/ling cod.
Call: Chris’ Landing (831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173; usafishing.com
San Francisco Bay
The salmon bite has been extremely solid for six-packs and party boats with small loads over the weekend. Captain Jerad Davis of the Salty Lady out of Sausalito put in six limits of salmon to 14 pounds trolling only Muir Beach on Monday. Captain Jay Lopes of Right Hook Sport Fishing posted limits for five clients while the Sundance, captained by R.J. Waldon and deckhand Jim “Bait Guy” Holloway, put their six clients onto near limits with 11 salmon to 30 pounds. The C Gull II out of Emeryville also had a stellar day trolling for salmon on Sunday with 15 salmon for eight anglers for near limits. Three Sausalito boats found 41 salmon to 28 pounds on Sunday for 55 anglers fishing southwest of the Golden Gate on Sunday after posting over a fish per rod Saturday at 58 salmon to 23 pounds for 55 anglers on Saturday along the Marin coast They also added a total of six striped bass to 14 pounds. Pro Troll’s E-Chip Roto-Killers behind an 8-inch chartreuse flasher were the key to success for a private boat with two limits off the North Bar over the weekend. Captain Bob Wright of the Happy Hooker took out hefty loads Saturday and Sunday for rockfish outside of the Gate before heading in to catch the afternoon striper bite. They posted limits of rockfish both days with 38 limits Saturday and another 31 on Sunday. Wright said, “We took advantage of the beautiful ocean conditions to work some small rocks in the shallows south of the Golden Gate.” Ron Zolezzi of Menlo Park came up just shy of the jackpot Sunday after posting a limit of ling cod with 6-year-old Mark Gano, eldest son of J.P. Gano, winning his first jackpot at 16 pounds. They ended up with 21 ling cod to 16 pounds Sunday before heading back inside the bay for a dozen striped bass. Wright added, “We just couldn’t keep the fish on the hook as we had five on during the first day, landing one, and another three on during the second drift, landing one more before the snags started getting to our crew.” They also searched the shore down by Pacifica for striped bass, but the bait was on the outside and not stacked near the beach. The rockfish bite was also on at the Farallon Islands with the New Huck Finn, Tigerfish, and Sea Wolf out of Emeryville Sport Fishing combining for 85 limits of rockfish, 112 ling cod to 22 pounds, 1,000 sand dabs, 20 rock sole, and 25 lemon sole on Sunday. The sand dabs must be accounting for all of the lings. Inside San Francisco Bay, Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle reported good action for striped bass in San Pablo Bay with skiffs finding limits, but the big news is the 36-pound salmon landed at California City by Rich Hettrich of Novato at high water on a trolled anchovy Saturday. Fraser said, “Stop the presses, the first salmon in the bay has been reported.” He has an excellent supply of live Loch Lomond shiners, and he is also stocked up with frozen midshipmen for shark hunters. The striped bass appear to be moving off the central bay rockpiles at the start of their migration into the Delta.
San Luis Obispo
Rockfishing is the story along the San Luis Obispo coast, and exotic species are on their way up the coast with the continued arrival of unusually hot water. Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait reported white sea bass have been landed near Avila Beach and a marlin outside Morro Bay. Dorado have been taken as far north as Goleta. Despite the exotics, the traditional fare of rockfish are the staple with the Endeavor out of Morro Bay Landing putting in 15 limits of rockfish and seven ling cod to 12 pounds Monday. Out of Port San Luis, the Patriot returned with 28 limits of mostly assorted rockfish along with seven lings to 14 pounds. Patriot’s boats have scored 2,234 ling cod since the April 1 opener. At Port San Luis, downtown Avila Beach Pier is closed, but the Harford Pier at Port San Luis remains open. Live bait is still available at Morro Bay Landing and also in Port San Luis at Patriot Sport Fishing. Surf perch fishing remained outstanding along the coastal beaches with blood worms. Bob’s Bait Bucket in Bakersfield is setting up a charter on the Island Spirit out of Ventura on Aug. 26.
Call: Virg’s Landing, (805) 772-1222; (800) 762-5263; Patriot Sports Fishing (805) 595-4100; Port Side Marine Sports Launch (805) 595-7214
Salmon fishing continued to be extremely slow at both ends of the Delta with the fish rushing quickly through the system in search of cooler water above Red Bluff on the Sacramento River or near the Outlet on the Feather River. Striped bass are starting to make their move into the Delta, leading Clyde Wands, shallow trolling expert, to state, “There are striped bass in the Delta, and I will be out trolling for them next week.” Big Al Ezell of Big’s Al’s Guide Service last week was pleasantly surprised with his five limits of striped bass trolling shallow running plugs near the Old Dairy on the Sacramento River on a recent trip. He said, “We found a number of shakers and only two legal stripers on our previous trip, but there was a good school holding in the shallows on the following day, and they wanted to bite as we had doubles and triples during our brief venture.” Steve Santucci of Steve Santucci’s Guide Service said, “We hit a fresh run of stripers in the west Delta this past week, and fishing was as good as I have experienced in the last couple of years in any month, not to mention July. The fish are just coming in from the bay, and they are bright and loaded with sea lice. Although we did not get any giants the fish were mostly in the 4- to 7-pound range. Many of the fish were so hot, that they would immediately get you on the reel. Just great fun! Smallmouth and Largemouth fishing still remains in the very good range.” Do Doung at Dockside Bait in Pittsburg reported the combination of triple-digit weather and wind have made for difficult conditions in the West Delta. Small stripers are being taken on live mudsuckers, frozen shad, or extra-large minnows. They have all of these baits in the shop. Tony Lopez of Benicia Bait reported only a dozen or so salmon have been landed from the shore since the opener, but this past week featured minus tides in the early morning, contributing to muddy conditions along 1st Street. Striped bass to 28 inches have been taken at the Dillon Point State Park on Vee-Zee or Flying C spinners. The minus tides will end this week, and there are no severe minuses within the next two months. Chris Lauritzen of Lauritzen’s Yacht Harbor in Oakley is concerned about the amount of water hyacinth in the Sacramento River system this early in the season, stating, “When the salmon do start to run on the Sacramento River near Isleton, guys will have clumps of water hyacinths as large as your boat to greet them. As I was driving up the river road heading towards Isleton on a recent trip, I was amazed by all of the water hyacinths already drifting on the Sacramento River. Just wait until the first really big winter rain/wind storm when the south east wind blows all of the water hyacinths out into the main channel, we will be dodging clumps as big as railroad cars.” Catfish are still found in Lisbon Slough and the Deep Water Channel with chicken livers or nightcrawlers. Smallmouth bass are in still in the upper Delta waterways of Steamboat and Miner Sloughs along with the Old Sacramento River. Live crawdads or wacky-rigged Senkos are working for the smallies at depths to 15 feet. Bluegill and huge red-ear perch are thick along the Delta Loop with wax worms or jumbo red worms. Largemouth bass action remains terrific, but there are more and more quality stripers moving into the Delta in advance of the fall run. Despite the triple-digit temperatures and unseasonably warm water temperatures approaching 80 degrees in the marinas, stripers appear to be on their way. Fresh shad has returned to local bait shops, and the return of shad is also a contributing factor to the improved striped bass bite. Striped bass are showing up, and Brandon Gallegos of H and R Bait in Stockton reported good action in Empire Cut near Whiskey Slough with linesides to 14 pounds brought to the shop within the week. Live bluegill are producing the largest fish, but fresh shad is a solid option. H and R is receiving several pounds of shad on a daily basis, and the quality is getting progressively better and better. Bluegill are abundant throughout the south Delta with wax worms or jumbo red worms working in a variety of locations including Bacon Island Road, Whiskey Slough, Eight Mile Road, Big Break, and along Inland Drive. Doug Chapman of Gotcha Bait in Antioch reported striped bass are creating a bit of a stir with keepers over 18 inches taken on a regular basis from the Antioch Fishing Pier on shad, frozen sardines or live mudsuckers. There have been stripers in the high 20-inch range up to more than 30 inches from the pier. He confirmed the excellent bluegill bite with Big Break being a particularly hot spot for both bluegill and red eared perch with wax or red worms. The lack of medium minnows has limited crappie fishermen, but there are anglers starting to take notice in the slabsides. Chris Lauritzen of Lauritzen’s Yacht Harbor in Oakey said, “It’s beginning to look and feel like Indian Summer here in the west Delta. That sure was the case on Tuesday when it reached 104 degrees here at the harbor. Most of Tuesday the San Joaquin River was mirror glass as if you could almost skate on the water. There was barely a breeze most of the day and the air was dry. This week’s heat wave, absent wind in the west Delta, caused the San Joaquin River surface temperature to go up several degrees. At the old Antioch Boat Ramp the range was 73-75 degrees. Above the removable rock barrier in False River that temperature range is 75 -78 degrees, almost bath tub water. If you are boating around Discovery Bay or the Stockton Deep Water Channel Basin the water temperature was in the 80-degree mark.” Kenji Nagakawa of Lodi, pro-staffer for Delta Wood Bombers, found good action for schoolie stripers during a 20-minute window for topwater action near Antioch using the custom hand-painted lures. They released stripers to 15 pounds. Catfishing is best in the Old River or back sloughs in the south San Joaquin River with frozen clams or chicken livers.
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
Recreational boating continues to be the top draw at Nacimiento, but spotted bass can be taken in the less-trafficked morning and evening hours with drop-shot plastics, crankbaits or spinnerbaits. With the recreational boating taking over the lake, it is important to get on the lake in the early mornings or evenings. Santa Margarita is at less than 15% capacity, but the marina store is open for supplies and rental vessels. San Antonio is closed because of low water levels. Lopez is the main location for upcoming coastal bass tournaments within the month. Reminder: Consuming white bass, black bass, crappie, catfish, or carp are subject to safe eating guidelines due to excessive mercury. Quagga mussel inspections are required before boat launching is allowed.
Call: Lake Nacimiento (805) 238-1056, ext. 3; Lake San Antonio Marina (805) 472-2818; Central Coast Bass Fishing.com (805) 466-6557
- Snag Proof California Delta Open on Aug. 1-2 at Delta/Russo’s Marina: 1, Chris Raza/Paul Polkemus 25.1 pounds; 2, Jason Borofka/Tom Nieto 24.39; 3, Ken Phillips/Jason Cordiale 23.9
- Friday-Saturday: Visalia Bass Club at Kaweah
- Saturday: Angler’s Choice at Delta/Ladd’s Marina; Tri Valley Bass Masters at Delta/Russo’s Marina; Modesto Ambassadors at Delta/Ladd’s Marina
- Aug. 15: Best Bass Tournaments at Delta/Russo’s Marina; Angler’s Choice at Delta/Ladd’s Marina; American Bass Association at Isabella; Tri Valley Bass Club Inc. at Lopez
- Aug. 16: Stockton Bass Club at Delta/Ladd’s Marina
- Aug. 22-23: Best Bass Tournaments at Delta/Russo’s Marina; Manteca Bassin’ Buddies at Delta/B and W Resort; Riverbank Bass Anglers at New Melones; 101 Bass at Kaweah
- Aug. 23-24: Fresno Bass Club at Pine Flat
- Aug. 28: Jim’s Pro Bass Tackle at Lopez
- Aug. 28-29: 101 Bass at Millerton
- Aug. 29: Angler’s Choice at Delta/B and W Resort; Glory Hole Sporting Goods at New Melones; Sierra Bass Club at Eastman
q = quarter moon> = peak activity