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 firstname.lastname@example.org with “fish photo” in the subject line.
Delta sturgeon and striper bites good, Andy Doudna said. Don Pedro and McClure bass hitting, Mike Gomez reported. Kaweah bass active, Sierra Sporting Goods said. Millerton and Pine Flat bass bites good, Merritt Gilbert said.
2-Have to work hard
4-Fish jumpin’ in boat
Delta Mendota Canal and Sloughs
Stripers 2; Catfish 3
The California Aqueduct has become a popular destination for Central Valley striped bass fishermen. There is potential for good fishing at the aqueduct, but there are problems of poaching, excessive litter, and automobile break-ins along the stretch of aqueduct. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun said, “The aqueduct has appeared to slow down this week based on the reports we are receiving from our regular striper fishermen. Most of our anglers have been heading to either the forebay or the main lake.” In the south aqueduct near Bakersfield, Jacob Rutledge of Bob’s Bait Bucket reported striped bass action has been consistent with blood worms, sardines, Lucky Craft Pointers, small swimbaits and umbrella rigs. Despite the colder water, catfishing continues to be good with Sonny’s Stink Bait, anchovies, or frozen clams. During cold weather, extreme caution should be observed by those fishing along the concrete since the sloped aqueduct walls become very slippery and hazardous when frozen in the early mornings. Anglers also are encouraged to keep areas clean of trash and other debris to avoid future closures.
Bass 2; Trout 1; Bluegill 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
The bass bite remains slow as water temperatures drop. The colder temperatures affect the largemouth bass. The lake held at 8 percent and 468.91 feet in elevation. Eastman is California’s first Trophy Bass Fishery as designated by the California Department of Fish and Game; anglers may keep only one bass with a minimum length of 22 inches.
Call: Six Star Tackle Box 673-5688; Eastman Lake 689-3255
Bass 2; Trout 1; Catfish 2; Bluegill 2; Crappie 1
Hensley remains very slow for catfish and bass as the water temperature continues to drop. There has been minimal fishing interest, particularly with the improved bite at Pine Flat and Millerton. The lake rose slightly to 475.67 feet in elevation and 20 percent.
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 3; Kokanee 1; King salmon 1; Crappie 2
Don Pedro on the Tuolumne watershed is sporting a good bass bite, but Mike Gomez of the Bait Barn in Waterford said, “The fish aren’t as aggressive as at McClure, but similar techniques will work for the bass. There is no reaction bite other than the deep-diving crankbaits, and topwater lures aren’t working.” Trout action at Pedro is finally looking up, and limits of rainbows have been taken on Speedy Shiners on planer boards or hoochies behind a Sling Blade at 30 feet on the downrigger. Don Pedro rose a foot to 770.38 in elevation and 67 percent.
Call: Monte Smith (209) 581-4734; Danny Layne-Fish’n Dan (209) 586-2383; Gary Vella (209) 652-7550; Bait Barn (209) 874-3011
Lake Isabella/Bakersfield area
Bass 2; Trout 2; Crappie 2; Catfish 3; Bluegill 2
Catfish remain the top species at the lake with Sonny’s Stink Bait, the new Terminator Catfish Bait, frozen shad, anchovies or nightcrawlers. The deepest water in the lake is near the dam, and this is where the best catfishing remains. Bass fishing has slowed, and the crappie bite is limited to those with access to the docks in the marinas.. The lake held at 2,543.67 feet in elevation and 16 percent capacity. The River Walk is scheduled for a trout plant next week while Lake Ming is set for one the week of Dec. 18. Brite Valley in the Tehachapi Mountains will receive a plant this week. Buena Vista is also receiving private trout plants on a regular basis. Kern River Section 4 near Kernville is scheduled to be planted during the week of Dec.18, and there has been interest with salmon eggs, nightcrawlers or Roostertails. In the lower river, bass fishing remains best with small swimbaits or plastics on the drop-shot.
Call: Bob’s Bait (661) 833-8657; North Fork Marina (760) 376-1812
Bass 3; Crappie 2; Trout 2; Catfish 2
Sierra Sporting Goods in Exeter reported solid bass fishing in deep water to 40 feet with plastics on the drop-shot or spoons. Shad-patterns are working best as the bass are oriented to the schooling baitfish. Live crawdads are producing quality largemouth bass to more than 9 pounds, and fishermen have been releasing these large fish. Live minnows are also also are effective. No trout plants are scheduled. Catfishing is best in deep water to 40 feet in the middle of the lake with chicken livers or anchovies. The lake continues to rise quickly.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212
Bass 2; Trout 1; Catfish 2; Crappie 1
The lake level is very low, and it dropped another foot this week to 582.25 in elevation and 6 percent capacity. Bass fishing has been slow with less interest given the low water level. A few fish are taken on deep-diving crankbaits, jigs or plastics on the drop-shot.
Call: Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626, sequoiafishingcompany.com
Bass 3; Trout 2; King salmon 1; Kokanee 1; Crappie 2; Catfish 2
Lake McClure has rebounded within the past few months from low water levels to regain its spot as a top bass fishery. After close to two years of low-water conditions affecting the ability to launch a boat, the ramps at Barrett’s Cove and McClure Point are open. With the ramps open and the lake holding at 38 percent, bass fishing has taken off. Mike Gomez of the Bait Barn in Waterford said, “There have been a ton of fish coming out of McClure at depths from 25-50 feet, and all of the fish are spitting up shad. Drop-shotting with shad-patterned plastics such as 4-inch Pro Worm’s 124p or 300, Robo Worm’s Hologram Shad, or Yamamoto plastics are all working as everything has been on the bottom. The water is relatively clear with around 2 feet in visibility despite the recent inflow. The launch ramps are in good shape, and the bite will only get better with the upcoming rain.” Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “We have had several anglers from the Fresno area heading north to McClure since there has been a good bass bite for quality keepers.” The lake held at 38 percent capacity and 741.73 feet in elevation.
Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505
Not much change at McSwain with no plants from the Department of Fish and Wildlife scheduled in the coming weeks. The best action from shore is in the early mornings or late afternoons along the normal locations of the brush pile, handicapped docks and the marina with various colors of Power Bait along with inflated nightcrawlers or silver/blue Kastmasters.
Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River
Bass 3; Striped Bass 1; Shad 1; Bluegill 1; Trout 1
Millerton is producing numbers of spotted bass, but the grade is smaller THAN normal. Merritt Gilbert said, “The same techniques as at Pine Flat are working at Millerton, but the fish are shallower. There haven’t been any additional striped bass reported out of Millerton this week. ” Millerton rose nearly 7 feet to 59 percent of capacity and 528.22 in elevation with inflow from the high country. In the San Joaquin River, a few anglers are targeting striped bass in the lower river with small swimbaits at night. A trout plant is scheduled at Woodward Park next week. 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. Hatchery fish have a healed adipose fin clip.
Call: Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474
New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch
Bass 2; Crappie 2; Catfish 2; Trout 2; Kokanee 1
The monthlong Glory Hole Sports Fall Catfish Derby came to an end Nov. 30, with entries. In addition to the end of the derby, the rainbow trout are transitioning from deep water into the shallows and there have been a number of bass fishermen trying for that one big largemouth using swimbaits. John Liechty of Glory Hole Sports said, “The catfish did not cooperate this time around, and most anglers found it difficult to catch them. However, a few anglers hooked into some hefty catfish. The participants were able to weigh in a total of two catfish, and the top spot was taken by Matt Meeks with a two-fish weight of 16.86 pounds for $210. He was followed in second by Jim (aka “Stinky Fingers”) Mellinger at 15.39 pounds and Ted Campbell with a single fish at 11.46 pounds. Keith Rosa was first out of the money at 10.32 pounds. A total of $420 andplus $300 in raffle prizes was distributed. Rainbow trout are making their move from deep water to shallower water, but the best trolling action remains in deep water with shad-patterned spoons or Rapalas. Bank fishing should improve with garlic-scented trout dough bait tipped with a piece of nightcrawler as the surface temperature continues to cool. For bass, Liechty said, “The bass are in a fall-like pattern and seem to be feeding heavily and bulking up for the winter months to come. The bass are holding around the shad schools, and the best way to find fish to use a presentation that will actively cover water such as a ripbait, crankbaits, or small swimbait. Once you find a productive area, working a spoon or drop-shot rig off of the boat will work, and a football-head jig is a go-to lure selection during colder months.” Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “Several of our Valley bass fishermen have been heading to Melones to throw big swimbaits for the chance at a trophy bass.” Although the action during the catfish derby was slow overall, the whiskerfish are moving into the shallows and feeding heavily in preparation for the coming winter months. Very few fishermen are targeting crappie at the present time. The Glory Hole launch ramp is on the dirt until the lake rises during the winter months. A courtesy dock is available. Recent rains brought the lake up 3.5 feet to 864.61 in elevation and 22 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 3; Trout 2; King salmon 1; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
Pine Flat is picking up for spotted bass with limits in the 8- to 10.5-pound average possible with everything taken on the bottom. Pine Flat had slowed down, but the bite rebounded this week despite rising water at both reservoirs. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “The Kerman Bass Club was on Pine Flat on Saturday, and anglers pre-fishing for the derby reported scores of 15-18 bass with a few spots in the 2.75- to 3-pound range. The action is all on the bottom at depths from 40-60 feet with plastics on the drop-shot or spoons. You can use jigs as well, but you have to have patience to work jigs. The fish are all holding around submerged trees, and anglers are holding their boats stationary over the trees instead of drifting through them.” Walt Lee of the Kerman Bass Club reported 20 participants weighed in six limits during Sunday’s club tournament, led by Mitch Melikian’s top weight of 10.58 pounds. The lake rose 3 feet to 764.24 in elevation and 21 percent capacity. Trout plants in the lower Kings River below the dam have spurred interest, and fishermen have come back to the banks to toss out various colors of Power Bait, nightcrawlers, Roostertails or Panther Martins for the planters. Plants on the lower Kings continue for the next three weeks and also are scheduled at Avocado Lake this week and on the week of Dec. 18. 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 2; Catfish 2; Bass 1; Crappie 1
The water level continues to rise at the main San Luis Reservoir from 190,000 acre-feet at the end of August to more than 934,640 acre-feet and 46 percent capacity. Striper action remains best in O’Neill Forebay for numbers, but the better grade of linesides continue to come from the main lake. Roger George of Roger’s Guide Service in Fresno said, “I’m excited they are filling the lake up quickly, which will give us some new areas to fish we haven’t touched in a couple years. The rising water has created some tough bites as the fish reposition themselves over the new structure, but I think it will be an increasingly better bite as the water cools and the fish get comfortable. The big fish should also get back into the mix shortly . My trip out last week found us looking for the fish in the rising water. It turned out that the fish were suspending very deep with the weather changes and rising water , but we managed to scratch out a few fish to 25 inches . The water temps are reaching 57-58 degrees and the fish are pretty scattered and not easy to find. The higher water conditions that we could only hope for a few months ago, are actually beginning to develop right now.” Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill reported boaters are drifting jumbo minnows or anchovies in the deep water along with jigging spoons from 1.75 to 2 ounces. The fish have been holding deep in the main lake. Coyote Bait also reported stripers are found in the forebay around Check 12 on anchovies and jumbo minnows or with Alabama-rigs.
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: 1 (800) 805-4805.
Bass 2; Trout 2; Kokanee 1
Fishing interest remains slow, but a few bass fishermen have been working the colder water with plastics on the drop-shot on a slow presentation. There are few reports of trout. The lake fell to 58 percent capacity, and water releases are expected to drop the lake to 50 percent in the coming months.
Call: Mike Beighey 642-3748; Bass Lake Watersports 642-3200
The final section of Kaiser Pass Road at Eastwood closed Dec. 1. Edison is at 43 percent capacity and Florence at 18 percent. Mammoth Pool dropped to 26 percent.
Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000
Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake
Kokanee 1; Trout 2
Twelve inches of snow fell in the area during the last storm, and fishing action has been slow in the cold temperatures. However, the Department of Fish and Wildlife will release a trout plant into the lake this week. The Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project has been working behind the scenes in preparation for their 2017 schedule of events. Trophy trout plants are expected to begin in April, and the cost of the rainbows is in the $7 per pound range from the possible hatchery sources in Oregon or Nebraska. Shaver is releasing water, and it is currently at 77 percent with Huntington holding at 31 percent. The project’s annual dinner is the second Saturday of August at the Shaver Lake Community Center, and the organization welcomes tax-deductible donations or unwanted water craft that can be sold to help fund all the variious programs. Donations can be made through SLTTP at P.O. Box 908, Shaver Lake 9366. Visit www.shaverlaketrophytrout.com for more information.
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
McKinley Grove Road closed Dec. 1 and access to Courtright and Wishon is over for the season.
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
Rockfish 3; Striper 2; Crabs 3
Out of Pacifica, Rob Chaney of the Rusty Hook reported the swell is still up, but the crab fishermen continue to line the pier. He said, “Snares are working best as it is hard to keep the crab pots on the bottom. Our custom snares are 3 ounces, and sometimes it is necessary to put in a few more weights. A few perch are taken at the edge of the pier where the waves are breaking when the tide is right.”
Call: Happy Hooker (510) 223-5388; Captain Roger Thomas, Salty Lady (415) 760-9362; Emeryville Sport Fishing (510) 654-6040
Rockfish 2; Striper 2; Crab 2
Chris Arcoleo of Chris’ Landing in Monterey said, “We are going to start targeting ling cod with live sand dabs since the rockfishing has been very slow on the local reefs. The Star of Monterey went south to Point Sur on Saturday for limits of quality rockfish and 27 ling cod for 20 anglers, but on the local reefs on the same day, the Check Mate came up with half limits of rockfish, four lings and less than a crab per person on Saturday with the Caroline finding similar action with a half crab per angler along with quarter limits of rockfish. Sunday was better with half limits of rockfish, five lings and 22 crab for 20 anglers with the Caroline posting three-quarterslimits of rockfish, four ling, and 28 crab for 16 anglers. Crabbing has been really slow, and the commercial crab boats are also struggling. There are plenty of sardines and anchovies along the coast, and the humpback whales are sticking around. We are seeing the humpbacks every day, and the gray whales should be coming down the coast soon.” They have plenty of room on the combination trips this week. Allen Bushnell of Santa Cruz Kayak Fishing and Surfcasting Guide Service reported, “Large ocean groundswells as well as the typical winter slowdown have continued to make inshore fishing a bit tough. Still, there are fish to be caught if you know where to go and pick the right day. Captain Jim Rubin aboard Go Fish Santa Cruz Charter’s Miss Beth skippered a couple crab combo trips last week out of Santa Cruz. The trips averaged around four Dungeness crab per angler, plus rockfish and lingcod caught near Wilder’s Ranch and Natural Bridges. South Rock reef also continues to produce mixed bags of rockfish for the sport boats working that area using shrimp fly jigs, swimbaits or jigging irons near the bottom. Lingcod will move into to shallower water in winter, for spawning purposes. Anglers fishing the 50-70 foot depths might do well using bigger bait. Large swimbaits, big irons, and whole herring or squid fished near the rocky bottom can result in a big ling on the line. Winter surfcasting looks most promising. The early season succession of big-wave events has had the effect of restructuring beaches on the north side of Monterey Bay. We are seeing good holes and rips developing on these broad sweeping bands of sand. That will provide feeding grounds for perch and ideally, striped bass over the next few months. Striped bass are still around, with hookups reported even from beaches between Capitola and Santa Cruz since last weekend.” According to Captain Jimmy Rubin “it doesn’t get any better than this.” Wednesday’s trip aboard the beautiful Miss Beth also netted near-limits of Dungeness crab, but only half-limits of rockfish. Skipper Jim Rubin did report seeing a good number of bluefin tuna in the area, which might bode well for tuna fishing in the near future. As Thomas reports, “The bluefin tuna were running but that is exactly what they were doing – running. They are not biting.” Good news on the surfcasting front. Beaches south of Seacliff are starting to get in shape due to the heavy wave action of the past few weeks. We are starting to see holes and rip currents emerge as sand is scoured from the flat summer beaches. This is very promising for perch fishing as well as hunting for the elusive Monterey Bay striped bass.
Call: Chris’ Landing (831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173
San Francisco Bay
Halibut 2; Striper 3; Rockfish 3; Leopard shark 2; Sturgeon 1; Crab 3
Rough weather was the story of the weekend, and Captain Jim Smith of the Happy Hooker went out to the islands Saturday with a load of 34 anglers. They were treated to 34 limits of quality Dungeness crab, but the rough weather made for a difficult day for rockfishing. The pots need a good three-day soak to load up, but they will be ready for the upcoming weekend trips. Out of Emeryville, the Sea Wolf and New Huck Finn returned with limits of rockfish and crab Sunday. Inside the bay, the first good report out of the south in months comes from the shoreline along Redwood City with a group of dedicated anglers from the “How To Fish” internet group casting River2Sea 168 S-Waver in bone or pearl colors or the Savage Gear 168 rainbow trout. Jesus Reyes Silva said, “The best action appears to be on the outgoing tide, but the bite has been hot or cold with not much in between. The fish have been averaging from 8-15 pounds. Don’t forget to change out the factory hooks since we’ve lost a couple of big fish because of that already.” In addition to the good report from the south bay, Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle in San Rafael reported that Captain Don Franklin on the Soleman was drifting live Loch Lomond mudsuckers in 40 feet of water between buoys 7 and 9 for four limits of stripers ranging from 15-22 pounds.. This weekend’s tides are fair at best, but there are monster minus tides starting next weekend.” Loch Lomond has plenty of ghost shrimp, live mudsuckers, and pile worms for the weekend. There must also be something going on in the south bay as they sent 40 dozen live mudsuckers to Phu Quy Bait in Oakland. Bay Tackle in El Cerrito reported overall low interest in fishing the bay, describing the action as, “Slower than molasses, and I think molasses would move faster.” Most of their interest is for rockfish and Dungeness crab, and they sold out most of their sport crab pots with the exception of a half-dozen commercial grade pots left in the shop.
San Luis Obispo
The rockfish season ends Dec. 31, but both San Luis Obispo County ports will be running trips throughout the remainder of the season. Out of Port San Luis, the Patriot found spectacular ling cod action on Sunday for 44 ling cod to 10 pounds along with 187 assorted rockfish, five vermilion rockfish and two cabezon for 34 fishermen on a half-day trip. From Virg’s Landing in Morro Bay, the Fiesta was out Monday with 12 anglers for limits of rockfish composed of 60 vermilions, 20 coppers and 40 assorted rockfish to go with 20 ling cod to 12 pounds. Virg’s third annual Biggest, Baddest Ling Cod Contest is Dec. 10, but this trip has been sold out for months. Virg’s has a number of different types of trips during the final six weeks of the season including Ladies Day, Senior Days and First Responders Trips. Their two-day trip Dec. 30-31 still has openings.
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 2; Striper 3; Sturgeon 3; Catfish 2; Bluegill 3; Salmon 2
Smaller tides had an effect on sturgeon fishing in the Sacramento River, but the upcoming series of larger tides, combined with the outstanding sturgeon action so far this season, are reasons for optimism. Salmon are all but done with the muddy water, and striper fishing has been best by drifting live bait or on the anchor with sardines or shad. Steve Talmadge of Flash Fishing out of Martinez Marina responded to the slower tides during the daytime by taking a night trip Sunday evening to find more water movement. He said, “We will fish until midnight to take advantage of the entire outgoing tide. On my last custom trip, we fished from 2:30 to almost 7 p.m., and we had quite a few bites. I think a lot of them were small bass bites ,but there were some good sturgeon bites. We lost a good sturgeon and put in a keeper.” Johnny Tran of New Romeo’s Bait in Freeport said, “The muddy water coming out of the upper Sacramento River has slowed the salmon bite, but sturgeon fishing has been excellent with a number of oversized fish released on eel/nightcrawler or eel/pile worm combinations soaked in Sturgeon Frenzy. The best areas have been around Hood, Clarksburg, and Merritt’s Landing.” Andy Doudna, organizer of the Addathon Sturgeon Derby, was fishing with Meng Xyong about a mile upstream from Mitchell, and Xyong, who had never landed a sturgeon prior to Sunday, caught and released seven sturgeon. Captain John Badger of Barbarian Sport Fishing out of Martinez continues to put legal sturgeon in the boat with Richard Niechniedowicz picking up a 44-incher in 70 feet of water on the last of the outgoing tide. For striped bass, a gusty north wind plagued the Sacramento River-Delta at the end of the week, and the waters of the north Delta became muddy. Alan Fong of the Fisherman’s Warehouse in Sacramento said, “Liberty Island and Prospect Slough has been muddy, and striper fishing has been slow, but sturgeon action has improved with lamprey eel in the north Delta.” Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, launched out of Rio Vista on during the week and traveled up to the Liberty Island/Shag Slough area for an overall tough bite although his client did land an 18-pound lineside. He said, “It was very difficult, and we had to work hard for the fish we found. Typically at this time of year, we find big schools of 2- to 6-pound stripers in the north Delta, but they aren’t there right now.” J.D. Richey of Richey’s Sport Fishing has also been working the San Joaquin and the north Delta on the Sacramento side both throwing swimbaits and topwater lures as well as spooning, and he reported a larger grade of bass has entered the system. Steffan Masters of Lost Anchor Bait and Tackle in Antioch and also at McAvoy’s Boat Harbor in Bay Point said, “The striper bite has been solid in our area for bait fishermen, and there has been the occasional sturgeon brought in. We will be sending out our shrimp boat this week once again to see if we can add grass shrimp to our supply of ghost shrimp.” Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor went to the San Joaquin after finding tough action on the Sacramento side the prior day, and he said, “We went into the San Joaquin near Prisoner’s Point on Thursday, and it was a tough bite with 3-foot rollers along the San Andreas Shoal near the mouth of the Mokelumne. There are sea lions lined up along the docks from the Stockton Golf and Country Club to the Turning Basin, and the birds were thick in the Turning Basin with the sea lions working over fish. I have never seen so many sea lions in the river.” Pringle has been using a technique that he learned on a recent trip to Louisiana for redfish for stripers – a sliding popper on the main line that bumps up against the jig head, attracting the fish. Dan Mathisen of Dan’s Delta Outdoors was on the San Joaquin River near Eddo’s during a period without wind at midweek, and fishing for 1.5 hours, he caught and released eight stripers over 25 inches as well as a half-dozen in the 18- to 20-inch range using an Alabama rig. He said, “I have been staying on main river points with areas in the current where the grass is thinnest. You have to fish in the same direction as the current as the grass lays down, and the bass are sitting there waiting for bait . Black bass fishing has been best with ripbaits, jigs, or plastics in shad-patterns on the drop-shot.” Water on the main San Joaquin has dropped to a perfect 55 degrees, and there is a glide bait bite for stripers in Sherman Lake. Neil Simpson of Lodi went into the San Joaquin system on Saturday, and he reported super slow action for stripers with the water temperature dropping into the high 40’s. He said, “There were a lot of boats on the anchor outside of Eddo’s or drifting on the shoal.” Steve Santucci of Steve Santucci’s Fly Fishing Guide Service reported, “Delta fishing is heating up as we approach winter, and the water temps have dropped into the mid-50s to 60 degrees depending on time of day. The stripers are very aggressive and taking larger flies, and the bigger stripers are starting to show.”
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 Nacimiento, the most consistent action remains on the bottom with Brush Hogs, jigs or plastics on the drop-shot while there is a small window early and late for topwater lures. The lake has dropped to 23 percent capacity and 728.20 feet in elevation, receding more than a foot within the past week. Nacimiento will be hosting a number of tournaments within the coming months. At Lopez, the lake remains very low at 20 percent capacity, and the launch ramp remains out of the water. Deep-diving crankbaits and jigs are producing the best action, and catfishing is best with cut baits. With the inability to launch private boats, bass fishing is limited to rental boats or working the shore. At Santa Margarita, the lake is at slightly more than 9 percent capacity; the ramp remains out of the water, leaving rental boats at the marina the only power option. Fishing pressure remains minimal, but there is a decent bass bite with spinnerbaits or chatterbaits as well as plastics on the bottom. Catfishing has slowed to a crawl. San Antonio Reservoir is closed indefinitely with the lake at 6 percent.
Call: Lake Nacimiento (805) 238-1056, ext. 3; Lake San Antonio Marina (805) 472-2818; CentralCoastBassFishing.com (805) 466-6557
- Kerman Bass Club on Dec. 3 at Pine Flat: 1, Mitch Melikian 10.58 pounds; 2, Vince Garcia 9.54 (big fish 2.51); 3, John Albidrez 7.9
- Dec. 10: Tracy Bass Club at Delta/Tracy Oasis; Sonora Bass Anglers at New Melones
- Dec. 10-11: Sierra Bass Club at Pine Flat
- Dec. 11: Hook, Line, and Sinker at Delta/Russo’s Marina; Fresno Bass Club/Modesto Ambassadors at McClure; Kings VIII Bass Club at Pine Flat
- Jan. 1: RiverRat Bass Club at Eastman; Bakersfield Bass Club at Nacimiento
- Fresno County: Avocado Lake; Kings River, below Pine Flat Dam; Shaver Lake
f = full moon > = peak activity