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.
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Delta sturgeon and bass bites good, Alan Fong said. McClure bass on a tear, Mike Gomez reported. Don Pedro trout hitting, Monte Smith said. Wishon trout active, Chuck Crane reported. Shaver Lake producing mixed bags, Dick Nichols said. San Francisco striper and halibut action good, Mike Aughney reported.
2-Have to work hard
4-Fish jumpin’ in boat
Delta Mendota Canal and Sloughs
Striper 2 Catfish 2
Few anglers are even bothering with the northern section of the California Aqueduct, but there is the occasional catfish seeker soaking sardines, anchovies, or stink baits around Whites Bridge on Fresno Slough. In the south aqueduct in Kern County, Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield said, “We have a new leader in our June Striper Derby with a 7.1-pound lineside taken out of the aqueduct by Michael Valdez on a Big Hammer Swimbait. They put in a pair of limits out there on the swimbaits, also tossing back legal fish. Most of our fishermen are avoiding the aqueduct due to the moss. We have 27 fishermen registered in our derby, and we normally have over 100. There is only a $1 entry fee, and all of the money goes to the winner plus a contribution from our shop.” Catfish can still be found on cut baits or stink baits.
Bass 3 Trout 2 Bluegill 2 Catfish 2 Crappie 2
Eastman remains the best bet for quality largemouth in the Central Valley, but it is feeling the pressure of heavy fishing over the past few months. There are only a few small club tournaments remaining in the coming months. There are bass in the 1.5- to 2-pound range with Senkos, lizards on a Carolina-rig, or jigs over island tops in deep water with a larger grade of fish to 3 pounds taken on topwater lures in the early mornings. The banks are still loaded with small bass in the 11- to 13-inch range, but you have to move deeper to find quality bass.
Eastman dropped from 74 to 72 percent.
Bass 2 Trout 2 Catfish 2 Bluegill 3 Crappie 3
The RiverRats Bass Club held a tournament last Saturday, but the wind made for difficult conditions on this lake as there is minimal protection from the wind. There are small bass to be had with the possibility of a double-digit largemouth on plastics on the drop-shot, Neko Rig, or Ned Rig are all working along with spinnerbaits, jigs, or Rat-L-Traps. Small crappie in the hand-sized range are abundant, and anglers are soaking minnows or minijigs for limits of the small slabs. Catfish to 4 pounds are taken on nightcrawlers, chicken livers, or stinkbaits from the shoreline. The lake is releasing water, and it dropped from 45 to 42 percent.
Lake Don Pedro
Bass 2 Trout 3 Kokanee 2 King salmon 2 Crappie 2
The high numbers of trout from the washout of the Moccasin Hatchery a few months ago continues to pay dividends for trollers with excellent action while bass fishing remains decent with a trophy fish a clear possibility.
Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing was on the lake twice this week, and he said, “We landed a mixed bag of rainbow trout, brook trout, and even kokanee running small hoochies, wiggle hoochies, or Apex lures at depths from 35 to 70 feet. We even hooked a kokanee on a rolled shad at 60 feet. On Saturday, the wind was a factor in the morning, but it lay down for a few hours in mid-morning before coming back up again. There have been king salmon at 4 and 5 pounds reported this week so there are still kings in the lake.”
Beau Courtroul of Lake Camanche Village reported a tough night bite during a recent all-night venture at the lake, and he said, “I threw topwater lures throughout the night looking for a big fish, but the bass have moved since my recent success with the River2Sea Swaver. I couldn’t find a quality fish.”
The Poe Man’s held a small event on Friday night from 6:00 p.m. to midnight, and a first-place limit at 20.95 pound with a big fish at 6.75 pounds led the event.
The Blue Oaks launch ramp remains closed as the water remains between the middle and high ramps. Moccasin and Fleming Meadows remain open. The lake held at 94 percent, and recreational boating takes over after 10 a.m. on weekends.
Lake Isabella/Bakersfield area
Bass 2 Trout 2 Crappie 2 Catfish 2 Bluegill 2
The wind has been a limiting factor at Lake Isabella, and the Lake Isabella Bass Club postponed Saturday’s Tournament of Champions until July 14th due to the high winds. The crappie bite has slowed down as the slabs are making a move out into open water to chase the schools of shad. Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield said, “Bass and catfish are the top species right now, and the trout bite that had been decent, is now ‘iffy.’ Catfish are biting stink baits, cut baits, or live minnows. The lake dropped from 45 to 43 percent this week. The local lakes are producing bluegill, crappie, and bass, and there has been a run on the popular Wussy Bait for carp. The flows in the upper Kern River have been perfect for trout fishing at around 800 cfs, and fishing has been solid with salmon eggs, Roostertails, live crickets, or nightcrawlers. The flows in the lower river below the dam are up with the water releases, and fishing has slowed down with the high water. Buena Vista is kicking out a few catfish or crappie, particularly at night.
Bass 2 Crappie 2 Trout 2 Catfish 2
Kaweah is releasing water, and it dropped from 93 to 87 percent this week. With the dropping water, the bass are suspending in open water. The Cen Cal Elite Youth held their Tournament of Champions on Sunday with 8 youth anglers. Ian Van Vliet took first place with 5.92 pounds. The big fish of the tournament was 2.40 pounds. Gage Coy took the Youth Angler of the Year with Ethan Coffman in second place for Angler of the Year. A few dedicated anglers are soaking live minnows or minijigs in submerged brush around Horse Creek for crappie. Bluegill are holding near structure in the shallows.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212
Bass 2 Trout 3 Catfish 2 Crappie 2 Bluegill 2
Chuck Stokke of Sequoia Fishing Company in Springville said, “Bass fishing has slowed during the day due to warmer temperatures, but there is an early morning or evening bite with crankbaits, topwater lures, wacky-rigged Senkos, or plastics on the drop-shot. The lake held at 67 percent. In the Tule River, Stokke said, “There haven’t been any trout plants yet, but Balch Park and Hendrick’s Pond are still being stocked. The Tule has been outstanding for native rainbows and browns using dry flies, especially stimulators, caddis, or ant patterns. The larger natives have been taken on Woolley Buggers. I am giving fly casting lessons at the Pierpoint Café on the second Sunday of every month at 10 a.m. The lessons are free and all equipment is provided.”
Bass 3 Trout 2 King salmon 1 Kokanee 1 Crappie 2 Catfish 2
Mike Gomez of the Bait Barn in Waterford reported a ‘wide open’ spotted bass bite with topwater lures such as Zara Spooks or River2Sea Rovers in the mornings before dropping to the bottom with plastics on the drop-shot or jigs by mid-morning. The topwater bite dies by 9:00 a.m. The crappie bite has slowed as the slabs have scattered out into open water, but there are still crappie holding on selected structure. Catfishing is best on muddy, sloping banks with anchovies, sardines, or stinkbaits. The lake dropped to 91 percent.
The lake is planted on a biweekly basis, and shore anglers are scoring with Power Bait or nightcrawlers from the normal locations of the Handicapped Docks, Brush Pile, or peninsula near the marina. Kastmasters in silver or gold are also working from the shore. Trollers are pulling Wedding Rings tipped with a piece of nightcrawler behind a dodger. Live minnows are also working, but the action is best within a few days of the plants.
Call: McSwain Marina 209-378-2534
Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River
Bass 2 Striped bass 1 Shad 1 Bluegill 2 Crappie 2
Millerton Reservoir is known for its prolific population of small spotted bass, but the action has slowed down within the past few weeks. Nearby Pine Flat has also gone soft during the daytime while the night bite remains decent, leaving Eastman Reservoir as still the top lake for Central Valley bass fishermen.
Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “I went out for a few hours this past week to prefish for the upcoming Bass 101 Father’s Day Open, and I fished from 6:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. for a total of a dozen bass with only four keepers. The bite was best in the morning, but after 10:30 a.m., I only caught and released two dinks. There was no reaction bite although I threw ripbaits for a while without results. All of my fish came on the bottom with plastics on a 1/8- or 1/16-ounce drop-shot weight or Neko rig. I went up the river arm from Finegold up since that is where the best reports have been coming from. The lake looks good, and there are small bluegill on every willow in the shallows. One angler did find a decent limit up the river arm with reaction baits early before dropping down to the bottom. “ There are few reports of stripers, but many concerned anglers are suggesting releasing the now rare fish if caught. Millerton rose from 90 to 91 percent.
Call: Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474
New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch
Bass 2 Crappie 2 Catfish 2 Trout 2 Kokanee 2
Many anglers continue to work the lake for the chance at a trophy rainbow or brown trout, but hard work and patience is necessary as a trip can range from hero to zero.
Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing was on the lake twice this past week, and the action was mixed on both trips. He said, “We picked up a few nice rainbows early in the week, and we even landed one small 12-inch trout which is noteworthy since there have been only a few of the smaller trout. On our next trip, we lost a few rainbows, but we did hook some huge crappie on Apex lures as the slabs are out in open water chasing shad on the surface. Normally, you will find crappie around structure, but these fish are way off of the shorelines. There has been tremendous boat pressure in the past month or so, and this has had an effect on the action.”
Gene Hildebrand of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp reported the best trout action in the main lake from the dam to the Highway 49 Bridge with hoochies in different colors behind a dodger or flasher, rolled shad behind a dodger, or watermelon Apex. Three anglers from Woodbridge put in rainbows from 4.75 to 5.5 pounds rolling shad or a watermelon Apex at 35 feet. There are kokanee in the 12- to 13-inch range showing up in small numbers with hoochies behind a dodger or flasher, and the new Paulina Peak tackle has been a solid producer.
Gary Burns of ‘Take It To the Limit’ Guide Service said, “We are seeing more kokanee this year than last with the biggest going 13 inches, and both the kokanee and rainbows can be found from 37 to 55 feet with 42 feet being the best from the Highway 49 Bridge to the dam, but you have to put in hours on the water to put fish in the boat as the bite is different every day.”
For bass, Hildebrand reported the fish are on the move with the fluctuating water levels, but there is a topwater bite with the River2Sea Whopper Plopper or Lucky Craft Gunfish in the mornings before working tube baits or Creature baits on the bottom by mid-morning.
Yak-A-Bass Nor Cal held the largest kayak tournament of the season with 100 boats descending upon New Melones on Saturday. Damian Thao of Fresno placed fourth, and he said, “It was a tough day on the water with tons of 12- to 15-inch fish, but I finally caught my kicker fish 10 minutes before loading up.”
Catfish and crappie action is heating up as the surface temperature rises. The lake is at 81 percent.
Pine Flat Reservoir/Kings River
Bass 2 Trout 2 Kokanee 1 King salmon 1 Catfish 2 Crappie 2
Merritt Gilbert said, “The night bass bite remains the best option for bass anglers with crankbaits, spinnerbaits, or jigs, but the day bite is slow for the same reaction baits. Pine Flat has been better than nearby Millerton, but it is tough overall. Trout to 17 inches can be found in the main lake near the shad schools as deep as 80 feet on the downrigger. Needlefish in bikini or Cop Car along with Apex lures in silver/blue or Kevorkian are scoring the rainbows in deep water as the surface temperature ranges from 74 to 79 degrees. Most anglers are working higher between 20 and 35 feet, but the bait is as deep as 80 feet. The crappie have scattered, and the bite has slowed to a few slabs at best.”
San Luis Reservoir and O’Neill Forebay
Striper 2 Catfish 2 Bass 2 Crappie 2
The wind and the Basalt boat ramp have been the limiting factor for boaters. The Basalt ramp has been closed for several days then open and then closed due to the rapid falling water and the mud that’s been pile up from heavy northerly winds . Dinosaur Pont ramp has been open and doesn’t have the mud problem. The sole skiploader used to clear the Basalt ramp is shared with Millerton and other projects , so having access to it has been a problem. The best bet is to call the Basalt checkin Kiosk at (209) 827-6846 for the current status of the dock as the lake falls a foot a day .
On calm days, a few boats continue to troll broken-backed lures or drift jumbo minnows near the Trash Racks or at the mouth of Portuguese Cove. Shore fishermen are finding some life as stripers in the 20- to 24-inch range are actively chasing small shad in the shallows. Small topwater lures, swimbaits, ripbaits, or jerkbaits matching the 1- to 1.5- inch shad are working. Bank anglers near Romero Visitor Center are finding linesides with anchovies after sunset. Boaters should contact the park for launch ramp conditions as the Basalt Recreational Area ramp was closed over the weekend due to muddy conditions. Dinosaur Point remained open. The lake dropped from 74 to 71 percent with increased water releases.
Bass 2 Trout 2 Kokanee 1
Bass fishermen are generally avoiding the lake with the heavy recreational boat traffic now that school is out, but there are bass holding on the docks by mid-morning after starting along natural flats with rock. Once the sun comes up, the few bass fishermen are heading to the docks for the occasional spot or largemouth to 3 pounds. Trout fishing should improve within the next few weeks due to the number of trout released into the lake early in the season. Mike Beighey of Kokanee.net Guide Service put his clients onto 8 rainbows, losing three near the Sheriff’s Tower running various lures at 3 to 4 colors of leadcore. The lake held at 97 percent this week.
Brown trout 2 Trout 2
Kaiser Pass is open, and access to Florence and Edison is now available. The reservoirs are rising with Edison at 68, Florence at 99, and Mammoth Pool at 99 percent. The Vermilion Valley Resort at Lake Edison is open and fully operational for hikers, and the ferry is operating across Edison Lake twice daily, leaving the VVR at 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Pickup is on the Mono Pass side of the lake at 9:45 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. A few trout to 18 inches have been landed from the banks at Edison on Power Bait.
Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000
Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake
Kokanee 3 Trout 2
Shaver Lake is the location for trophy rainbow trout in the Central Sierras, and Bob Bernier, planting chairman of the privately-funded Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project, has announced the second of two plants to be released into the lake this week with around 1000 trophy-sized rainbows. The Shaver Lake community benefits from one of the reservoirs with a privately-funded planting system in which anglers do not have to pay an additional fishing fee
Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters has been on the lake five of the past seven days, and he said, “I found the kokanee bite a tad slower, but it is still productive. With the exception of one day with eight fish, our charters have produced 2 to 3 limits over the past week. It’s a very early bite, and we have been on the lake at 5:00 a.m. the past two days as when the sun pops up, the bite slows to one here and one there. Multiple limits are the norm for most of our regular kokanee fishermen. With the water cresting at 90 percent and then dropping, the trout bite has improved, and we landed three rainbows to 17 inches on Sunday using Dick’s Trout Busters tipped with a piece of nightcrawler for Steve and Scott Jenanyan of Fresno as part of mixed limits including a trophy rainbow. Steve Sharma of Clovis and Christian Scott of Monterey posted limits on Saturday, and most of our fish have been found near the Point, Black Rock, or Eagle Point at 28 to 43 feet with champagne pink Mountain hoochies tipped with scented corn.”
Todd Wittwer of Kokanee.net Guide Service has been routinely scoring limits of kokanee along with a few trophy trout running Rocky Mountain Tackle’s orange Double-Glow hoochie behind a Sunburst Dodger or a pink glitter hoochie behind a Sunburst or pink Moonshine dodger. He said, “The bite has been good, particularly when the wind is blowing, and the action has been mostly around Camp Edison, the Boy Scout Cove, and the Point at depths from 28 to 36 feet and as shallow as 22 feet when the wind is blowing.”
Steve Santoro Fish Box Charters took out Angela and Ed Ochoa with daughter Erin and father Michael Murphy for 8 kokanee and three rainbows using white hoochies behind a Shasta Sling Blade at 25 to 35 feet. He said, “We lost quite a few at the boat, and these were the high bidders during the Sportsman’s Warehouse Ladies Night.”
Shaver is currently at 84 percent.
At Huntington, Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun reported shore anglers are picking up planted rainbows at Dam 2 or the mouth of Rancheria Creek with trout dough bait or inflated nightcrawlers. Limits are possible, particularly with a trout plant scheduled for this week.
Huntington is at 98 percent.
Call: Dick Nichols, Dick’s Fishing Charters 281-6948; Todd Wittwer, Kokanee.net Guide Service 288-8100; Dinkey Creek Inn 841-3435; Rancheria Marina 893-3234; Shaver Lake Sports Inc. 841-2740; Tom Oliveira Fishing 802-8072; Steve Santoro Fish Box Charters 871-3937
After a fairly slow week, Wishon Reservoir perked up for trout fishermen this past week while Courtright remains in the doldrums, but a trout plant scheduled for this week should improve conditions. Both lakes are high within 4 feet of capacity.
At Wishon, Chuck Crane of the Wishon Village RV Park and Store said, “We have had lots of limits this week, and trollers are pulling blade/’crawler combinations at depths from 40 to 50 feet or running Speedy Shiners or similar spoons near the surface with the best action along the far side of the lake from Woodchuck Creek to the Dam and into the Narrows. A few anglers are heading up the Kings River arm with their boats and fly fishing after pulling up their boat on the shoreline. There is plenty of water, and boaters can head up the river quite a distance.”
At Courtright, Crane reported very slow action with anglers working hard for a fish or two off of the shoreline with pink or orange trout dough bait along with inflated nightcrawlers. Trollers are also picking up a few fish per rod, and they are running blade/’crawler combinations at 2 to 4 colors of leadcore. Courtright was planted during the week of May 20 with the second plant of the summer this week.
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
Rockfish 3 Striper 2 Surf perch 2
There is optimism for the salmon opener this coming Sunday, Father’s Day, and the bulk of the action is anticipated south of the harbor just above Pigeon Point.
Sherry Ingles of Half Moon Bay Sport Fishing said, “The wind has been the story here, but we were able to make it out Saturday for ¾ limits for 16 anglers with plenty of quality bottom fish. It has been windy throughout the week, but the wind will help us out for salmon with the upwelling. There is quite a bit of krill out there, and the rockfish at the Deep Reef are spitting up krill. There are good conditions with brown water, particularly two miles above Pigeon Point, and we have optimism for the salmon opener.”
Captain Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat said, “As far as salmon is concerned, there are areas where the water is brown and filled with anchovies and krill, and we are already filled for the June 17th opener with plenty of room for salmon after this date. One consequence of the late season opener has been the detrimental effect on local tackle suppliers with one commercial supplier with sales down 30% so far this year.”
The Huli Cat was able to make it out on Saturday, and second captain Michael Cabanas ran the boat south to Martin’s Beach in breezy conditions for rockfish on shrimp flies with Jay Kuhre of San Mateo posting a 20-pound ling on a sardine on a live bait rig.
Red tail surf perch are coming off of the beaches along with an occasional striped bass, and live sand crabs or Lucky Craft or Yozuri stick baits have been the best offerings.
Rockfish 3 Striper 2 Surf perch 3 Salmon 2
Chris Arcoleo at Chris’s Fishing Trips in Monterey said, “The conditions were very rough on Sunday, and it was tough fishing with only 30 rockfish and a ling cod for 13 anglers on the Check Mate and half-limits of rockfish for 18 on the Caroline. The day before in better weather conditions we put in limits of rockfish consisting of big yellows, blues, and even coppers without any problem. There are rumors of a few salmon coming off of Mulligan’s Hill, but I can’t confirm these rumors. There is dirty water out there with plenty of hard bait.” Chris’s has room for rockfishing throughout the week, but they are filled for the upcoming weekend.
San Francisco Bay
Halibut 3 Striper 3 Rockfish 3 Leopard shark 2 Sturgeon 2
Most party boats continue to work the bay due to the great halibut and striped bass action, but a few boats are braving the conditions for rockfish outside of the Gate. The Sea Wolf went out on Wednesday for near limits of rockfish with 216 rockies for 25 anglers along with 23 lings to 10 pounds. It will be very rough outside of the Gate this weekend, and it appears that most boats will staying inside the bay.
Few boats are outside of the Gate working the reefs for rockfish with the hot striped bass bite in the bay, but the Sea Wolf out of Fish Emeryville was out on Sunday for 25 limits of rockfish and 36 lings to 12 pounds.
Mike Aughney of USA Fishing.com said, “The action inside San Francisco Bay remains great. Party boats have been posting solid scores this past week of 2 fish a stick a mix of halibut and striped bass. Boat to boat some are doing better depending on what they are targeting and what their group that day prefers. In a nutshell the bass are holding on the rockpiles and the halibut are on the flats. On Sunday, Emeryville Sport Fishing had five boats out with the Sea Wolf posting 20 stripers adding 14 halibut for their group of 15 anglers. The Tigerfish had 8 halibut for 11 anglers on top of limits of striped bass while the four-pack WetSpot put 4 clients into 4 halibut and 5 stripers while the C Gull had 41 stripers for 22 anglers and 11 halibut. Overall great fishing considering the weekend pressure of literally 100s of private boats out fishing the bays today. Emeryville has room daily this week for Bay potluck trips.
The halibut action was hot on Saturday with a number of party boats pounding the Alcatraz area for some huge flatfish. Captain Steve Mitchell of Hook’d Up Sport Fishing was one of the boats finding success for big fish with one halibut over 30 pounds, and there were several fish in this range landed on Saturday. Due to heavy pressure for three consecutive days, the bite slowed up considerably on Sunday in the same area. Mitchell had a few no-shows on Sunday, but he managed to put the two anglers who did show up onto limits of halibut, three striped bass, and an ling cod.
Captain Trent Slate of Bite Me Charters out of Loch Lomond was out on Saturday, and he put his clients onto 4 halibut at Alcatraz with all fish pushing 20 pounds before the tide died so he went to Paradise for 4 more halibut in the 8-pound range along with a striped bass. He said, “We specifically targeted halibut, and there were so many big fish taken off of Alcatraz on Saturday due to the number of lines in the water. With the numbers of huge fish so far this year, I expect the action on the bars outside of the Gate to go off within the coming weeks as we get closer to July.”
Captain Jerad Davis of the Salty Lady was also out on Sunday, and he said, “We had to work hard for every fish to day, but we ended up with 17 stripers, twenty rockfish, and a halibut for 10 passengers so everyone went home happy with fish.”
San Luis Obispo
Rockfish 4 Surf perch 3
Rockfishing remains outstanding out of both San Luis Obispo County ports with the Endeavor out of Morro Bay Landing posting 28 limits of rockfish on Monday’s trip consisting of 240 vermilions, 30 assorted rockfish, and 10 Boccaccio. Tim Weaver of Shafter took the jackpot with a 10-pound Boccaccio. Out of Port San Luis, Patriot Sport Fishing sent out the Patriot and Flying Fish on Sunday with 20 fishermen for limits of rockfish composed of 46 vermillion, 77 copper, 6 Boccaccio, and 71 assorted rockfish along with 12 lings to 10 pounds. Kori Costello of Bakersfield took one jackpot with a 10-pound ling while Andrew Donn of Wasco won the other jackpot with an 8-pound Boccaccio. Out of Virg’s Landing in Morro Bay, the Black Pearl was out on Monday with 42 anglers for 135 vermilion and 245 assorted rockfish for near-limits. All landings are running a variety of bottom fishing trips from half-day to two-day ventures up the coast. The next open two-day trip out of Virg’s with room is July 27-29.
Bass 3 Striper 2 Sturgeon 3 Catfish 2 Bluegill 2 Shad 2
The summer pattern has arrived in the Sacramento-Delta, but sturgeon fishing remains outstanding for the few anglers still trying. Shad fishing has slowed down in the north Delta, but there are still shad running in the American and Sacramento Rivers. Striped bass continue to move quickly from the upper Sacramento River and tributaries towards the cool waters of San Francisco Bay.
Johnny Tran of New Romeo’s Bait in Freeport said, “Shad fishing has slowed down in our area, but there are still shad to be found at the mouth of the American at Discovery Park with 1-inch curly-tailed grubs on a drop-shot rig. A few stripers are taken on pile worms, blood worms, or sardines coated in garlic spray, but they are mostly small fish. Smallmouth bass can be found along the rocky structure in the slows, but you have to go deep with deep-diving crankbaits or plastics on the drop-shot. Catfishing is best in Lisbon Slough with chicken livers or nightcrawlers.”
Tony Lopez of Benicia Bait and Tackle reported the winds have definitely diminished fishing interest as they still have plenty of grass shrimp in the shop. The grass shrimp normally sells out within the weekend. Small striped bass in the 18- to 20-inch range have been the rule, but there was a 34-inch lineside landed at 1st Street this week on grass shrimp.
Captain Zach Medinas of Gatecrasher Fishing Adventures wrapped up his sturgeon season with a great trip on Sunday with 15 total sturgeon composed of 2 oversized, 10 slot-limit fish, and 2 shakers in Suisun Bay on cured salmon roe. He said, “It has been windy out here, and Sunday was the same story with the wind, but since the tide was incoming for most of the day, the main river was fishable. We found a pod of fish in deep water at 48 fee, and although it started out slow, we left them chomping at 3:00 p.m. I had been working very hard for 4 to 6 sturgeon per trip as it is not easy right now. I will be hauling out this week and relocating in Richmond for the remainder of the summer for halibut and striped bass.”
After starting off with triple-digit temperatures at the start of the week, the winds came back with a vengeance to the San Joaquin-Delta. This week is anticipated to heat up once again, and the topwater bass bite should follow suit. There are still striped bass around in the system, primarily from Sherman Island to the Antioch Bridge. Bluegill remain thick in the shallows in the south Delta.
Striped bass have been a bit scarce in both the Sacramento and San Joaquin Delta, but Dave Houston landed two stripers at 20 and 6 pounds running Yozuri Crystal Minnows on the San Joaquin.
Dan Mathisen of Dan’s Delta Outdoors in Oakley confirmed the striped bass around, saying, “There have been a number of small boats drifting bluegill, and we are selling a lot of red worms for bluegill which are then used as bait. Stripers in the 25/26-inch range have been common, and every once in a while, someone will land a big fish on Bad Bubba Shad swimbaits on the flats from the Antioch Bridge east to Eddo’s Marina.”
For largemouth bass, Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, said, “Where you find one, you will find multiple fish, but we are working a lot harder than expected. When there isn’t any wind, the topwater bite has been excellent with the Little Stick in Toucan or Heli P prop bait in bluegill as the bass are feeding on bluegill. When the wind is blowing, I am finding success with the ima Rock N’Vibe Suspend or the Squarebill crankbait in either red craw or bluegill. When the wind is blowing, the water turns extra-dinghy, and the key is to stay close to current. The fish are holding near rocks and weeds right now, but you have to keep the bait in the strike zone with pauses and stops. You can also catch them on plastic worms, but most clients want the reaction baits. The wind has been difficult to deal with as it stirs up the water. We are also seen loads of small striped bass, but there are few keepers in the mix.”
Vince Borges of Vince Borges Outdoors and Phenix Rods has been heading out to throw topwater lures in the afternoons, and he is also finding good action for quality largemouth bass.
Mathisen added, “With the hot weather coming, the topwater bite with buzzbaits, frogs, and walking baits should take off, particularly for buzzbaits with the wind.”
The Wild West Bass Trails launched 146 boats out of Big Break Marina on Saturday with the team of Gregory and Carter Troughton posting a 7-fish limit at 38.68 pound with a big fish at 8.97. Overall, a 3-pound average was enough to cash a check during this event.
Alan Fong, manager of the Fishermen’s Warehouse in Sacramento, put together a 20-pound limit in the north Delta on the Mokelumne River this week casting squarebill crankbaits and working them slow in the grass. He also looked forward to the topwater bite improving with this week’s hot weather.
Mike Pipkins of Gotcha Bait in Antioch said, “Most of our local anglers are either heading to the bay for halibut or to the coast at Pacifica to cast for striped bass, but there are still stripers in the San Joaquin for bait fishermen. Crappie and bluegill are coming out of Holland Tract, Orwood Marina, and off of Eight Mile Road with live minnows, wax worms, or meal worms.”
Lake Nacimiento/San Antonio/Santa Margarita/Lopez
Bass 3 White bass 2 Striper 2 Catfish 2 Crappie 2
At Nacimiento, the Best Bass Tournaments held at event on Saturday, and the father/son team of Tim and TJ Sharpe came in with a very respectable Naci limit at 14.21 pounds. TJ Sharpe threw topwater lures and buzzbaits throughout the day while father Tim started with Trick Worms and ended with large jigs along with some buzzbait action. They ended up with 20 to 25 spotted bass to put together the winning limit. Crappie fishing is decent with live minnows, and although eating the slabs from Nacimiento is not advised due to a high level of mercury, many anglers continue to consume the panfish. The coming hot temperatures will get the white bass boiling on the surface, chasing the tiny shad, in the mornings and evenings. White Kastmasters or Roostertails work for the white bass. The water levels are dropping, and the fish are on the move as the lake has dropped from 39 to 37 percent. Recreational boating is heavy after 10 a.m. A webcam of the lake is available at www.lakenacimientolive.com.
At San Antonio, the lake dropped to 30 percent, and it is now open 7 days per week.
Wild West Bass Trails (7-fish weigh-in): June 9 at Delta/Big Break Marina – 1, Gregory and Carter Troughton, 38.68 pounds (Big Fish 8.97); 2, Hunter Schandler/Vince Bernal, 30.48; 3, Wayne Breazeale/Mike Menne, 29.10.
Future Pro Tour (10-fish weigh-in): June 9-10 at Delta/Ladd’s Marina – 1, Cooper/Cooper, 35.77 (Big Fish 9.09); 2, Ingram/Gaither, 31.06; 3, Johns/Rice, 30.91.
Cen Cal Elite Bass Youth Tournament: June 9 at Kaweah – 1, Ian Van Vliet, 5.92; 2, Gage Coy, 5.52; 3, Ethan Coffman, 4.66.
Best Bass Tournaments: June 9 at Nacimiento – 1, Tim and TJ Sharpe, 14.21 (Big Fish 3.35); 2, Charlie Barrios/Justin Goodman, 13.87; 3, Kenneth Cleveland/Clayton Rogerson, 13.72.
June 15: Don Pedro – Poe Man’s
June 16: Delta/Russo’s Marina – Best Bass Tournaments, Hensley – Central Valley Kayak Fishing, Pine Flat – Cen Cal Elite Bass Tournaments, Isabella – American Bass Association, Lopez – Kern County Bass Masters, Santa Margarita – San Luis Obispo Bass Ambushers
June 17: Millerton – Bass 101, Success – Porterville Bass Club
June 22: Don Pedro – Poe Man’s
June 23-24: Delta/Ladd’s Marina – Best Bass Tournaments
June 23: Delta/Russo’s Marina – California Tournament Trail, Delta/Ladd’s Marina – Bass N’ Tubes, Pardee – 17-90 Bass Club, Eastman – Sierra Bass Club, Isabella – Kern River Valley Elks Lodge Trout Derby
June 24: Pardee – Riverbank Bass Anglers
June 26-27: Delta/Russo’s Marina – California Firefighter Olympics
June 29: Don Pedro – Poe Man’s, Nacimiento – 101 Bass Night
June 30: Delta/Big Break Marina – Dan’s Delta Outdoors, Delta/Ladd’s Marina – Stanislaus County Employees
By California Department of Fish and Wildlife for week of June 17
Fresno County: Shaver Lake, Kings River below Pine Flat Dam, Dinkey Creek
Inyo County: Baker Creek, Big Pine Creek, Bishop Creek (Intake II and middle and south forks), Lake Sabrina, North Lake, Owens River (below Tinnemaha and Section), Pleasant Valley Reservoir, Rock Creek Lake, South Lake
Kern County: Lake Isabella
Mono County: Convict Creek, Deadman Creek, George Lake, Glass Creek, Grant Lake, Gull Lake, June Lake, Lee Vining Creek, Lundy Lake, Mamie Lake, Mammoth Creek, Mary Lake, McGee Creek, Mill Creek, Owens River (Section 3), Rock Creek (Sections 1 and 2), Rush Creek, Sherwin Creek, Silver Lake, Twin Lakes
Monterey County: Upper Nacimiento River
n = new moon> = peak activity