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 sturgeon on a tear, Andy Doudna said. San Luis Forebay and big lake producing stripers, Mickey Clements reported. Millerton spotted bass hungry, Merritt Gilbert said. New Melones kicking out big trout, John Liechty reported.
2-Have to work hard
4-Fish jumpin’ in boat
Delta Mendota Canal and Sloughs
Stripers 3; Catfish 3
The California Aqueduct is starting to show signs of life after a few months of stagnation because of high water, leading Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis to state, “The sales of Lucky Craft Pointers and Duo Realis jerkbaits have increased in the past few weeks.” Meng Xyong of the Fishaholics reported, “Anglers are landing multiple shakers for an occasional keeper in the mix. The bigger cut of fish are being caught in the south ’ducts by fishing checkgates. The evening bite is also picking up with the colder nights. Jake Rath of Bakersfield has been hammering the catfish in the south ducts using stinkbaits catching 16 fish to 4 pounds on a recent trip. Water continues to flow in the water system with improving water visibility.” In the south aqueduct in Kern County, Jacob Rutledge of Bob’s Bait and Tackle in Bakersfield said, “The aqueduct is the best thing going in our area, and most of our local fishermen are heading to the California Aqueduct for catfish with the occasional striped bass.” The Sonny’s ‘Super Stinky’ Channel Cat Bait or the Terminator Catfish Bait are the top choices for the whiskerfish. Soaking the bait around current is the most productive method. Fishermen are requested to leave the shoreline areas in the water impoundment areas free of trash and debris after fishing.
Bass 2; Trout 1; Bluegill 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis reported that Eastman had been the top lake in the area for quality bass, but the numbers are down within the past few weeks. The larger fish are found with swimbaits such as Huddlestons or K-Techs along with lipless or squarebill crankbaits. The algae bloom that had plagued the lake is beginning to dissipate, and clearer water is available. Eastman Lake has been designated as Californi’'s first Trophy Bass Fishery by the California Department of Fish and Game. Anglers may keep only one bass with a minimum length of 22 inches. The lake remains at 8 percent and 468.61 feet in elevation.
Call: Six Star Tackle Box 673-5688; Eastman Lake 689-3255
Bass 2; Trout 1; Catfish 2; Bluegill 2; Crappie 2
Hensley remains the slowest of the area’s lakes despite the biggest largemouth in the region at 9.16 pounds a few weeks back. A few bass are found in the 13- to 14-inch range, but most fishermen are struggling. Plastics in a craw pattern with a big craw trailer on a Texas-rig remain the top rig close to the weed line. The lake held at 19 percent and 475.19 feet in elevation.
Call: 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 3; Trout 2; Kokanee 1; King salmon 2; Crappie 2
Don Pedro continues to be the top bass lake in the Mother Lode with relatively high water conditions in comparison to New Melones and Lake McClure. The launch ramps remain open, and local tournaments are focusing upon the lake. The Kerman Bass Club made the trip north to Don Pedro on Saturday, and their 21 participants weighed in 11 limits and a total of 89 fish weighing a combined 159.34 pounds. Walt Lee of the Kerman Bass Club said, “Mitch Melikian took the top prize with 15.24 pounds including a kicker at 7.26 pounds with John Horton close behind in 2nd place at 14.65 pounds.” With the water temperatures cooling slightly and the edges of the lake becoming stained, there is an early morning topwater bite, but the most consistent action is with dark color patterns of plastics on a three-sixteenths- to quarter-ounce drop-shot weight to work depths from 25-50 feet. Don Pedro is hosting the most bass tournaments in the Mother Lode during November with Christian Bass League on Saturday, and the Modesto Ambassadors on Sunday. With the low water conditions at New Melones resulting in trollers losing gear on the submerged structure in the deepest portions of the lake, anglers are beginning to consider switching to Don Pedro in search of rainbow trout and king salmon. Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing said, “It should be time as the lake is stuffed with shad and the water temperature is dropping.” The lake rose over 2 feet to 66 percent capacity and 767.31 feet in elevation.
Call: Monte Smith (209) 581-4734; Danny Layne-Fish’n Dan (209) 586-2383; Gary Vella (209) 652-7550; Bait Barn (209) 874-3011
Roger George’s fishing column will return next week.
Lake Isabella/Bakersfield area
Bass 2; Trout 2; Crappie 2; Catfish 3; Bluegill 2
Jacob Rutledge of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield most local fishermen are heading to the California Aqueduct, but there is still a decent catfish bite at Lake Isabella in the deeper water near the dam. The bass and crappie action remains slow. Sonny’s Stinky Bait, Katnip Beef Bait or Terminator Catfish Bait are the top sellers from their shop. The lake dropped slightly to 2,544.06 feet in elevation and 16 percent capacity. In the lower Kern River below the dam, smallmouth and largemouth bass are still available with small swimbaits or plastics on the drop-shot. There have been few reports from the upper Kern River above Lake Isabella. The local lakes remain quiet, but trout plants are anticipated this week at Lake Ming and Truxton. Huge rainbow trout in the 2-pound range have been planted into Pyramid Lake on the Grapevine, and striped bass fishermen should be targeting the linesides with large rainbow-trout patterned swimbaits.
Call: Bob’s Bait (661) 833-8657; North Fork Marina (760) 376-1812
Bass 3; Crappie 2; Trout 1; Catfish 2
The lake has risen to 584.32 feet in elevation and 6 percent capacity. Bass fishing remains solid with deep-diving crankbaits, plastics on the drop-shot, of jigs. The bass are loading up on the plentiful shad schools in the low water conditions. Fishing around isolated rockpiles or submerged islands are a solid option. With the low lake levels, the bass are concentrated and chasing the abundant shad schools.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212
Bass 2; Trout 1; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
Bass fishing has been fair with jigs with a trailer, crankbaits or spinnerbaits. Catfish remain an option with stink baits. The lake rose three-quarters of a foot to 582.19 in elevation and 6 percent capacity. In the Tule River, anglers are picking up a few native trout on nymphs.
Call: Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626, sequoiafishingcompany.com
Bass 3; Trout 2; King salmon 1; Kokanee 1; Crappie 2; Catfish 3
The launch ramp conditions at Barrett Cove South along with muddy water along the shorelines from the recent inflow have limited the number of fishermen heading to the lake. The launch ramp is muddy with a steep grade. The only issue to taking the abundant spotted and largemouth bass is access. The lake rose to 38 percent capacity with the lake coming up 8 feet within the past two weeks to 742.02 in elevation.
Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505
Not much change at McSwain with holdover rainbows still in the lake from the late September plant. Garlic Power Bait, salmon eggs or nightcrawlers are working for the occasional planter. There have been no additional trout plants since prior to the Merced Irrigation Fall Trout Derby during the first weekend of October.
Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River
Bass 3; Striped bass 1; Shad 1; Bluegill 2
Millerton is the lake of choice this week although few bass tournaments are scheduled at this body of water. Millerton is hosting a rare tournament on Nov. 19 with the California Tournament Trail. The Clovis Police Department Mounted Police fundraising tournament traditionally held at Millerton has moved to Pine Flat this year. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis reported, “There is a good bite for spots in the 1.5- to 2.25-pound range with spinnerbaits in the early morning. There have been boils on the main lake, and if you find the right boil, the larger fish will be there. The key is to move off of the boil is they are 8- to 10-inch fish since the schools are clearly of different grades. Anglers have been prepared mostly with ripbaits when the fish are on the surface, but Rat-L-Traps and topwater lures are also working.” Millerton has risen to 42 percent of capacity and 501.31 feet in elevation within the past week from inflow from the high country. In the San Joaquin River, a few bass fishermen are trying from the banks around Sycamore Island while jet boats are launching and running up the lower river west of Highway 99. 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. 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, and they may not be targeted by fishermen and must be released immediately if inadvertently caught.
Call: Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474
New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch
Bass 2; Crappie 2; Catfish 2; Trout 3; Kokanee 2
Trout fishing continues to be the top story at New Melones with the opportunity for a large rainbow in the 3- to 5-pound range. There are signs that the deep trolling action is starting to slow down, and the bait and rainbows appear to be moving higher in the water column after the past two weekends of rain and runoff. The cold 55-degree water remains at 100 feet in depth, but trollers have to be very cautious when working in deep water in the main river channel upriver from the Glory Hole Marina and the Highway 49 Bridge due to submerged trees grabbing gear. John Liechty of Glory Hole Sports in Angels Camp said, “The recent rainfall, shorter days, and cooler weather have brought the lake temperature down to the low 60s, and generally the lake will start to turnover once the surface temperature reaches 56 degrees. We expect this to happen during the middle of November depending on weather conditions. Trolling anglers have been catching some large 3- to 5-pound rainbow trout while trolling over deep water, and as the surface temperature cools, these fish will move up in the water column.” Michael Nelson and Rod Smith caught a very hefty five fish limit. Their largest weighed 3 pounds, 6 ounces and all five fish combined weight exceeded 15 pounds. Mario Lopez landed a 4-pound, 5-ounce rainbow trout while trolling a shad patterned Apex in 105 feet of water. Gary Burns of Take It to The Limit Guide Service said, “The rainbows are still deep from 98-110 feet, but very soon they should start working their way up to the surface as the weather cools. Our best action has been in the main lake from the dam to the spillway at 2.4 mph with Cop-Car spoons, but you need to try different lures with different colors. If you hook into one of these big ’bows, don’t be in a hurry to get them to the boat, wear them out, and they might not go crazy at the boat, making for an easier net job.” Liechty added, “The bass bite is slowly improving and anglers are catching a few more fish on each outing. With the recent rainfall and dropping water temperatures, the lake is full of shad and most of the spotted bass are schooled up and hunting them in wolf packs. The shad have been holding in deep water and will start to move shallow, the bass will follow.” The Glory Hole Sports Catfish Derby started Nov. 1 and there are a few more openings in the tournament that lasts all month long but is limited to 50 anglers. Glory Hole is giving away a $25 gas card for the first catfish over 8 pounds. Lietchy reported, “This is a great time to target the largest catfish in the lake as they will be feeding heavily in the inlets with running water. Mackerel, anchovies and frozen shad are best on a weight-less approach while chicken livers and nightcrawlers are also effective, soaking the bait in Pro-Cure, Mike’s Lunker Lotion, or Catfish Attractant is advised.” Crappie fishing has slowed, but there are slabs holding around standing timber with deep water access, waiting to ambush shad. The Glory Hole launch ramp is on the dirt, and it will remain so until the lake rises during the winter months. A courtesy dock is available, and it will be available throughout the coming months. The lake’s drawdown continues, and it receded slightly to 859.68 feet in elevation and 21 percent.
Call: Glory Hole Sports (209) 736-4333; Monte Smith (209) 581-4734; Danny Layne-Fish’n Dan (209) 586-2383; Sierra Sport Fishing (209) 599-2023
Pine Flat Reservoir/Kings River
Bass 2; Trout 2; King salmon 1; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
Merritt Gilbert said, “The norm for bass is limits in the 7.5- to 8-pound range, and the best action is on the bottom with plastics on the drop-shot or jigs at depths from 30-60 feet as there isn’t much of a reaction bite.” Small crappie are also found from the houseboats in Deer Creek and upriver with minijigs. Pine Flat has the lion’s share of upcoming tournaments with the Clovis Police Foundation on Saturday and the Kings River Bass Club on Sunday. The lake has risen to 756.30 feet in elevation and 19 percent capacity. Regulations in the Kings River above and below Pine Flat Dam set the season as running from the last Saturday in April to Nov. 15 from Pine Flat Dam downstream to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Bridge on Pine Flat Road with a five-fish limit. The bridge is the first one west of the dam.
Call: Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474; Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626
San Luis Reservoir and O’Neill Forebay
Striper 3; Catfish 2; Bass 2; Crappie 2
San Luis Reservoir continues to rise rapidly, and it has come up to 32 percent with continued pumping out of the south Delta. Striped bass action in the main lake and O’Neill Forebay remains solid, and anglers from the south bay along with those in the central Valley are heading to both lakes in search of keeper linesides. The forebay remains the best location for numbers of striped bass, and Meng Xyong of the Fishaholics said, “Anglers have to comb through several smaller fish before landing a keeper sized fish. Fishermen fishing in the evening from shore are consistently landing bigger fish using topwater lures or swimbaits as the fish come into the shallows to feed. Most of the vegetation is disappearing with the colder weather. The best bite has been in the morning targeting the shallows before moving deeper in the water column during noon hours. Throwing Speedlures and Duo Realis 120 jerkbaits has been the best bet in the early mornings. Trolling in the deeper water flats has been effective later.” The striper activity picked up around noon with isolated schools in the deep flats. They are beginning to school up in the channels and drop offs, and trolling through the schools with umbrella rigs is the best bet. There are signs of boils around mid-day, but they die off as soon as they show. Blind casting will get the active one to bite in the shallows. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis added, “Fishermen are picking up from 30 to 40 stripers per trip to 25 inches at the forebay, but most of the fish are in the 16- to 19-inch range.” Mickey Clements of Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill said, “There is a topwater bite early and late with Whopper Ploppers as well as the new Grass Burner by Evolution Baits which is a big topwater prop bait. The River2Sea SWaver 168 in bone or chartreuse shad is also working for the numerous stripers.” In the main lake, Clements reported, “The jumbo minnow bite is picking up at the Trash Racks, and although there have only been a few large fish, anglers are using light tackle such as kokanee rods with a light weight and a #1 mosquito hook on the minnows for enjoyment on the striped bass. Trolling is starting to improve with P-Line Predator Minnows, broken back Rebels, or Lucky Craft Pointer 128’s.” Gilbert added that a few stripers in excess of 20 pounds have been landed in the past few weeks in the main lake, but these have been the exception. The long period of low water in July and August may have contributed to the toxic algae bloom in the main lake, and the California Department of Water Resources has issued a warning to observe the Voluntary Statewide Guidance for Blue-Green Algae Blooms, which recommends no swimming and for catching fish in the reservoir to throw away guts and clean fillets with tap water or bottled water before cooking.
Call: Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711, Roger George of rogergeorgeguideservice.com (559) 905-2954; San Luis Reservoir and O’Neill Forebay Wind Conditions (800) 805-4805.
Bass 2; Trout 2; Kokanee 1
There is limited bass action for small limits to just over 7 pounds with finesse techniques of plastics on the drop-shot or dart head at depths from 30-40 feet. A 2.29-pound rainbow trout was landed during Saturday’s Sierra Bass Club tournament. The lake has dropped to 70 percent.
Call: Mike Beighey 642-3748; Bass Lake Watersports 642-3200
Brown trout 2; Trout 2
There has been minimal interest in the Kaiser Pass lakes, but Edison is producing a few rainbow or brown trout as the lake remains relatively high at 52 percent capacity. Mammoth Pool has risen significantly to 64 percent, but trout fishing is limited to a few small rainbows from the shorelines. Florence also rose to 14 percent.
Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000
Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake
Kokanee 1; Trout 2
There is little interest in fishing at Shaver or Huntington Lakes after several months of minimal action at Shaver with limited access issues because of dropping water at Huntington. The Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project will be planting their big fish in Shaver Lake during the spring and action should rebound within days of the plants. Shaver remains high at 89 percent, and Huntington continues to drop at 31 percent.
Call: Dick’s Fishing Charters 841-2740; Dinkey Creek Inn 841-3435; Rancheria Marina 893-3234; Shaver Lake Sports Inc. 841-2740; Todd Wittwer 288-8100
The Wishon Village RV Park and Store closed for the season Oct. 30, and the campgrounds also will be closed. Very few fishermen are heading to the lake. It is getting cold at Courtright, leading to even less interest in fishing.
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
Rockfish 3; Striper 2; Crabs 2
Captain Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat sent in the following report on the crab situation out of Half Moon Bay over the weekend, stating, “There were a lot of empty pots out of Half Moon Bay. Some people thought the traditional areas that held crab did not have Dungeness due to the large swell that was running. The area out by the Separation Zone seemed to be one of the more productive areas. Some of the traditional good crabbing spots off Martin’s Beach held nothing but rock crab. If rock crab was open above Pigeon Point, lots would have become dinner.” Second Captain Michael Cabanas of the Huli Cat went out on a rockfish/crab combo Saturday, and he said, “It was a very long day with little sleep for the crew after a midnight pot drop. The crab opener was not as not as great as we expected, but we had a lot of happy customers who loved being out on the water. Ocean conditions consisted of a big 15 second interval swell and some breeze throughout the day. Shrimp flies were the ticket for the rockfish.”
Call: Happy Hooker (510) 223-5388; Captain Roger Thomas, Salty Lady (415) 760-9362; Emeryville Sport Fishing (510) 654-6040
Rockfish 3; Striper 2; White sea bass 1; Crab 2
Chris Arcoleo of Chris’ Landing in Monterey also reported slow action over the opening weekend of crab season with the Check Mate and Caroline combining for a total of 102 crab for 42 anglers Sunday after combining for 73 crab on Saturday. He said, “The swell is as big as I have ever seen it at the pier over the weekend with boats banging up against the pier in the 18-foot swell. There is a red tide that has moved in, and it is more of a brown/red color. The crabbing was excellent further north off of Moss Landing with the swell being much smaller in the area. The rockfish were biting, but ling cod action was much slower in the big swell with half limits of rockfish and five lings for 22 anglers on the Caroline and 24 limits of rockfish and eight lings on the Check Mate on Sunday.” They are filled through the coming weekend on the combination trips, and the crab action should improve once the swell backs off. The next open trips are Tuesday through Thursday, Nov. 15-17. Allen Bushnell of Santa Cruz Kayak Fishing and Surfcasting Guide Service reported, “Every fishing season is different, but 2016 has been a little more different than most. A common remark this year has been, ‘everything’s late this year.’ The water stayed cool, rockfish and especially halibut made their springtime move to shallow water a month or even two months past the ‘normal’ calendar of events. Now, it looks like nature has flipped the coin and winter is arriving early.” We have been blessed with a series of much-needed rainstorms in the month of October, including two storm fronts that moved in a classic wintertime manner from the northwest, bringing moisture, wind and big swells. The coming weekend has swell forecasts as big as 10-14 feet continuing through next Tuesday. This adds an additional challenge to sport crabbers taking advantage of the 2016 Dungeness crab opener on Nov. 5. Fishing this week stayed steady for rockfish and lings at the usual spots. Todd Fraser alerted us Thursday that our hopes for bluefin tuna this year might not be in vain. Fraser reported, “My friend is flying his plane as I write this near Davenport. He has spotted two big schools of what look like bluefin. There are a few boats going out to check the area. The pictures he sent look like some good-sized fish boiling.”
Call: Chris’ Landing (831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173
San Francisco Bay
Halibut 2; Striper 2; Rockfish 3; Leopard shark 3; Sturgeon 1; Crab 3
The longer soak Sunday was productive for the party boats with the Happy Hooker out of Berkeley posting 41 limits of Dungeness crab, three-quarter limits of rockfish, and five lings to 10 pounds at the Farallon Islands. The story was more of the same out of Emeryville on the opener with the Sea Wolf and New Huck Finn combining for 58 limits of rockfish at the Islands along with limits of Dungeness crab. The Tiger Fish posted 24 limits of rockfish and seven ling cod. The big swell accounted for a limited number of lings as predicted.
San Luis Obispo
It’s still all about rockfishing out of the San Luis Obispo County ports as the albacore have not made a showing for the past several years. Out of Port San Luis, the Avenger, Flying Fish and Patriot went out with a combined 79 anglers on Saturday for nine ling cod to 10 pounds, 469 assorted rockfish, 20 vermilion and 21 copper rockfish for half limits. The big swell over the weekend is a reason for the diminished ling cod count. Out of Virg’s Landing in Morro Bay, the Fiesta, Rita G and Princess took out a combined 52 fishermen for three-fifths limits of rockfish composed of 86 vermilion, nine copper rockfish, 237 assorted rockfish and two cabezon along with 26 ling cod. John Cunningham of Bakersfield took the jackpot with a 13-pound Boccaccio. Rockfish season ends Dec. 31.
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 3; Striper 3; Sturgeon 3; Catfish 3; Bluegill 3; Salmon 2
Sturgeon fishing has been the rage during the past weekend of sturgeon derbies on the Sacramento-Delta, and previously unheard of numbers of sturgeon are showing up from Martinez upriver into Cache Slough, and the fish are hungry and aggressive. An incredible number of sturgeon were caught and released by 21 teams during the two-day Addathon Derby out of Antioch over the past weekend. Tournament organizer Andy Doudna of Oakley said, “The 2016 Fall Addathon Sturgeon Derby was a showstopper this year as the 21 teams gave it their all in pursuit of the top three spots. We experienced a record catch number this year with a total of 210 sturgeon caught and released starting at 6 a.m. on Saturday and ending at 1 p.m. on Sunday. This is a catch-and-release derby where two person teams per boat combine points from their catch size as each category of sturgeon has a point value. Team Dream Crusher composed of Zach Medinas and Michael Hale caught and released an amazing 52 sturgeon for a total of 304 points. The majority of fish were taken from McAvoy’s Boat Harbor to Chain Island, and the Big Cut provided an excellent bite as well. Pickled eel, lamprey eel, and salmon roe were the top baits at depths from 40-60 feet in the area around Pittsburg, Chain Island, Buoys 31 and 34, and in front of the Pittsburg PGE Plant.” Jay Lopes of Right Hook Sport Fishing has returned to the Delta, and he reported an outstanding sturgeon bite upriver from Pittsburg to the Sherman Island Power Lines with either salmon roe or eel. He said, “We have landed a total of 26 sturgeon within 8 to 9 hours of actual fishing time since we started last Saturday. There are a lot of shakers, but we have managed up to 4 keepers and an oversized on a single trip. These are the best conditions I have seen in several years, and the sturgeon are really aggressive right now especially on the outgoing tide. The key is to locate fish and drop down on them since they are biting.” Steve Johnson of H and R Bait in Stockton was off Sherman Island this week, soaking eel/nightcrawler combinations for a total of five sturgeon to 46 inches with all but one of the diamondbacks in the slot limit. The salmon bite in the Sacramento-Delta is beginning to wind down, but there are some bright fish still moving through the river. Out of Benicia, a small school came through First Street over the weekend, and a total of 14 salmon were landed with Vee-Zee or Mepp’s Flying C spinners at this location. The Dillon Point State Park has been much slower than First Street. Sturgeon action is also heating up in the area at the Mothball Fleet or the mouth of Montezuma Slough with lamprey eel or salmon roe. In the north Delta, Tran added, “There are still a few chrome salmon on the 10- to 20-pound range coming through, and striped bass has also picked up in Miner, Steamboat, and Cache Sloughs along with the Sacramento Deep Water Channel and in Liberty Island with frozen shad, sardines, or live mudsuckers.” Neil Simpson of Lodi caught and released his personal-best striped bass at 23 pounds on Saturday inside Liberty Island on a hair raiser. He said, “There were a lot of boats around Liberty, but not too many fishermen in Cache Slough. We landed four stripers between 8 and 12 pounds along with a number of fish in the 16- to 22-inch range.” Small striped bass continue to flood into the San Joaquin-Delta, and the section of river from Eddo’s Boat Harbor upriver to Prisoner’s Point has been loaded with schools of small fish. Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, has been finding tons of small stripers with the larger fish in the 5- to 7-pound range found on the flats in the early morning with the topwater ima Big Stick or Little Stick in bone, sardine, or shad-patterns. Largemouth bass is also solid with ripbaits in shad patterns such as the ima Flit as there is an abundance of shad in the river. Pringle added, “The key is to work the outside weeds on the low tide as the fish are holding around the weeds. Once the tide comes in, we are switching to the ima Squarebill in shad patterns, and it is important to tick the weeds or the rocks on a slow retrieve, keeping the lure in the strike zone longer. The largemouth bass are ambushing bait in the flats, and anything in shad-patterns particularly with a chartreuse line is working. The water temperature is still in the 64 to 65 degree range, and we need colder weather to bring down the water temperature.” Steve Santucci of Steve Santucci’s Fly Fishing Guide Service said, “Good numbers of stripers have entered the system with even more to come. The fish are liking large 4- to 5-inch Clouser Minnows in Discovery Bay, Franks Tract and the main stem of the San Joaquin.”
Call: Randy Pringle (209) 543-6260; Intimidator Sport Fishing (916) 806-3030; Captain Steve Mitchell – Hook’d Up Sport Fishing (707) 655-6736
Lake Nacimiento/San Antonio/Santa Margarita/Lopez
Bass 2; White bass 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
At Lopez, there is a reaction bite for largemouth bass with spinnerbaits or crankbaits off of main lake points. The topwater bite has slowed, and the most consistent technique for numbers is working the bottom with plastics on the drop-shot or jigs. Bluegill are found on red worms along the shorelines. The launch ramp is out of the water. At Nacimiento, there is a topwater bite in the morning and evenings with small Popper-style lures along with subsurface crankbaits or jerkbaits when the fish are actively feeding. Working the bottom with white flukes, plastics or jigs is producing numbers of smaller spotted bass. The white bass bite has slowed with the cooling water temperatures, but the occasional white is taken on a Kastmaster or Roostertail. At Santa Margarita, fishing pressure remains light, but some large catfish are taken with nightcrawlers or cut baits. The bass fishing is slow overall, but there have been some huge largemouths taken on spinnerbaits, crankbaits, or plastics. Minijigs are working for crappie along submerged structure. Santa Margarita’s launch ramp remains out of the water, but the marina has rental boats. San Antonio Reservoir is closed indefinitely.
Call: Lake Nacimiento (805) 238-1056, ext. 3; Lake San Antonio Marina (805) 472-2818; CentralCoastBassFishing.com (805) 466-6557
- Kerman Bass Club on Nov. 5 at Don Pedro: 1, Mitch Melikian 15.42 pounds (big fish 7.26); 2, John Horton 14.65; 3, Darren Graef 11.35
- Sierra Bass Club on Nov. 5 at Bass Lake: 1, Gary Johnson 7.65 pounds; 2, Chris Flamming 7.39; 3, Don Hodges 7.18
- Saturday: Mid Valley Bass Club at Delta/B and W Resort; Christian Bass League at Don Pedro; Clovis Police Foundation at Pine Flat; Visalia Bass Club/River Rat at Kaweah; Point Seekers Bass Club at Nacimiento
- Saturday-Sunday: Taft Bass Club/Bass N’ Tubes at Nacimiento
- Sunday: Hook, Line, and Sinker at Delta/Russo’s Marina; Tracy Bass Club at Delta/Tracy Oasis; Riverbank Bass Anglers at New Hogan; Modesto Ambassadors at Don Pedro; Kings River Bass Club at Pine Flat; Kings VIII Bass Club at Kaweah
- Nov. 18-20: Best Bass Tournaments Striped Bass Tournament at Delta/Russo’s Marina
- Nov. 19: Tracy Oasis Marina at Delta/Tracy Oasis; California Tournament Trail at Millerton
- Nov. 19-20: California Hmong Bass Tournament at Lake Berryessa –
- Nov. 20: Fresno Bass Club at McClure
- Fresno County: Kings River, below Pine Flat Dam
- Kern County: Ming Lake; River Walk Lake
f = full moon > = peak activity