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.
2-Have to work hard
4-Fish jumpin’ in boat
Delta Mendota Canal and Sloughs
Stripers 2; Catfish 2
The California Aqueduct remains very slow for striped bass with cold water flowing down the concrete river. Fishermen continue to flock to the aqueduct, given its easy access and free parking, but action has been extremely slow during the coldest time of the year. As a testament to the slow action, fishermen have been tossing lures throughout the day without catching a single fish. The few stripers taken are generally undersized. In addition to cold water, freezing temperatures make for dangerous, icy conditions on the concrete walls. Vehicles also have been stuck in the mud after heavy rains. Fishermen are advised to be prepared with life jackets and a throwing device. There are safety ladders every 1,000 feet along the walls in the unfortunate event of a person falling into the water. In the south aqueduct near Bakersfield, Jacob Rutledge of Bob’s Bait Bucket said, “The striped bass bite has been good for linesides to 19 inches with Lucky Craft 128’s in shad patterns, blood worms, or jumbo minnows. The action will only get better and better with lures as the water continues to cool down. Catfishing remains good with Sonny’s Blood Formula Stink Bait, Katnip Beef Bait, anchovies, or frozen clams.” Anglers are encouraged to pack out all trash and other debris to avoid limits on access.
Bass 1; Trout 1; Bluegill 1; Catfish 2; Crappie 1
There is minimal fishing interest at the lake with the Florida-strain largemouth bass affected by the cold water inflow from the Chowchilla River. Few fishermen are heading to the lake with the slow action. Eastman is a dedicated trophy bass lake with a one fish limit over 22 inches. The lake rose a foot to 476.87 feet in elevation and 11 percent.
Call: Six Star Tackle Box 673-5688; Eastman Lake 689-3255
Bass 1; Trout 1; Catfish 1; Bluegill 1; Crappie 1
There is minimal change with very few fishermen targeting the lake for bass or catfish. The lake rose a foot to 481.60 in elevation and 24 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 2; King salmon 1; Crappie 1
Don Pedro is waking up after months of slow activity, leading Mike Gomez of the Bait Barn in Waterford to say, “The same baits are working at Don Pedro as at McClure, but Don Pedro is producing a larger grade of bass with a couple of 8-pounders taken on swimbaits during the week. Our biggest sales at the Bait Barn have been Pro Worm 300, Berserk jigs, Berserk shakey-head plastics, or the Yamamoto twin tail Hula Grub in patterns 297 or 300.” With several tournaments at Don Pedro and McClure during January, both lakes are hosting more fishermen. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “The Fresno Bass Club has a tournament at McClure, and we have fishermen from our area heading up north to both Pedro and McClure. There have been a couple of big largemouth bass in the 8-pound range taken on swimbaits at Pedro during the week, but limits in the 10- to 11-pound range are more the norm.” Don Pedro rose 3 feet to 784.25 in elevation and 74 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
Roger’s Remarks to return: Look for Roger’s George’s weekly fishing column to return following a break for the holidays and arrival of the new year.
Lake Isabella/Bakersfield area
Bass 1; Trout 1; Crappie 1; Catfish 2; Bluegill 1
At Lake Isabella, cold weather has contributed to few reports. Catfish remain the top species with Sonny’s Blood Formula Stink Bait, frozen shad, anchovies or nightcrawlers in the deepest water near the dam. Bass and crappie fishing remains very slow in the cold water. The lake has risen to 2,545.13 feet in elevation and 17 percent capacity. For planted trout, the River Walk and Ming are kicking out a few rainbows; the next plant at River Walk will be in the second week of January. Buena Vista is receiving private trout plants on a regular basis, but the action has been hit or miss depending upon with whom you talk. Kern River section 4 near Kernville was planted this week; fishermen have been heading to the area, but reports have been scarce.
Call: Bob’s Bait (661) 833-8657; North Fork Marina (760) 376-1812
Bass 2; Crappie 2; Trout 1; Catfish 2
The lake is rising again, climbing 6 feet to 610.32 in elevation and 15 percent capacity. Muddy and cold water from the quick increase has pulled debris off the banks, and the bass are holding off the bottom. The best action can still be found on the bottom with shad-patterned plastics on the drop-shot or spoons on a slow presentation. Live minnows or crawdads are also producing. No trout plants are scheduled.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212
Bass 1; Trout 1; Catfish 2; Crappie 1
Similar to nearby Kaweah, muddy water and debris has entered the lake with the recent rains. The Tule River is also high because of the storms, but it is starting to stabilize with the past few days of clear weather. The lake came up 3.5 feet to 596.68 in elevation and 13 percent capacity.
Call: Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626, sequoiafishingcompany.com
Bass 3; Trout 1; King salmon 1; Kokanee 1; Crappie 1; Catfish 2
Lake McClure continues to rise, coming up to 758.30 feet in elevation and 44 percent capacity. Spotted bass fishing remains excellent, and the lake is getting quite a bit more play since it has an adequate supply of water for the first time in several years. Mike Gomez of the Bait Barn in Waterford reported a “wide-open” spotted bass bite with Robo Worms in 124p or 300 in either Leech or 4 inches at depths from 25-40 feet. Jigs such as the Berserk Purple Hornet or Brown Craw are effective, but the reaction bite is very slow. The spotted bass are loading up on shad, which are oriented to the bottom with the colder water temperatures. He said, “The lake is coming up, and although it has a slight stain to it, it is nothing to affect fishing.” Launch ramps at McClure Point and Barrett Cove South are open, but others at Horseshoe Bend and Barrett Cove North remain closed.
Call: Bait Barn (209) 874-3011
The marina is installing bait tanks in order to sell live minnows and crawdads in the near future. The last trout plant was Oct. 14, and fishing is limited to a few planters taken from the peninsula near the Marina, the handicapped docks or the brush pile with garlic trout dough bait, Power Eggs or nightcrawlers.
Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River
Bass 3; Striped bass 1; Shad 1; Bluegill 1
There are few tournaments scheduled at Millerton, but Bass 101 is holding an open event on New Year’s Day. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “Millerton remains the best option for numbers, and limits in the 7.5- to 8-pound are the norm with plastics on the drop-shot or spoons at depths to 70 feet. A slow presentation is absolutely necessary.” The lake has risen 8.5 feet to 540.71 in elevation and 68 percent capacity with inflow from the high country. In the San Joaquin River, there have been few reports, but local anglers are taking their children to fish Woodward Park which was planted with rainbow trout this 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. All wild steelhead or trout with an adipose fin present must be released immediately. The San Joaquin River is closed to the take of salmon; they may not be targeted by fishermen and must be released immediately if caught.
Call: Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474
New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch
Bass 3; Crappie 2; Catfish 2; Trout 3
The water temperature at New Melones continues to cool, ranging between 52 and 55 degrees and bringing more rainbow trout toward the surface. Water clarity is good throughout most of the lake, with some slightly stained areas along with some floating debris. John Liechty of Glory Hole Sports in Angels Camp said, “The lake has finally turned over, and the surface temperature is cold enough for the rainbows to be holding on top. In many areas of the lake, you can find planted and holdover trout cruising and feeding on the surface, especially in the protected pockets and creek channels. Trollers are finding success by either top-lining or using leadcore and letting out at least 150-200 feet of line is essential. Kastmasters, Little Cleo’s, Krocodiles, Hot Ticket Spoons, or floating Rapalas are all working. Bank fishermen are starting to pick up a few limits with trout dough bait, marshmallows, or nightcrawlers on light hooks with light line near Glory Hole Point or the Highway 49 Bridge.” Bass are in a wintertime mode, but there are plenty of 2- to 4-pound spotted bass for the taking as they have been gorging themselves for months. Liechty said, “Most of the bass are holding out in deeper water from 35-55 feet, and bottom bouncing baits such as plastics on the shakey head, dart head, or jigs from one-half to three-quarters of an ounce are great choices. Vertically spooning is another option, and the spoon bite has been good throughout the fall months, and it will get better as the water continues to cool.” Glory Hole Sports is holding their Big Bass Bass on January 28 with 100 percent payback with a two fish limit of one spotted bass and one largemouth bass. Team fee is $165. Catfishing has slowed in the colder water, but the occasional large whiskerfish is taken at this time of year with nightcrawlers or trout dough bait intended for rainbow trout. Crappie fishing also is slow. Recent rains have brought the lake up 4.5 feet to 880.89 in elevation and 26 percent capacity.
Call: Glory Hole Sports (209) 736-4333; Monte Smith (209) 581-4734; Danny Layne-Fish’n Dan (209) 586-2383
Pine Flat Reservoir/Kings River
Bass 2; Trout 1; King salmon 1; Catfish 1; Crappie 1
Recent cold fronts had slowed the bass bite at Millerton and Pine Flat, but the action has resumed as water levels rise. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “Everything died off last week at Pine Flat, but there are signs of life over the past week with every third angler reporting good action while the others are finding much slower fishing. The fish are scattered anywhere from the banks to 70 feet in depth, and everything is on the bottom with plastics on the drop-shot or small spoons on a dead-stick presentation. The bass are holding near the shad schools at both lakes and finding the shad is the key to locating the bass.” Rainbow trout fishing at Pine Flat remains very slow, and there is the debris barrier in the upper part of the lake, limiting access to the main lake from the Trimmer Marina. The California Bass Federation is holding a tournament at Pine Flat on Jan. 8. In the lower Kings below Pine Flat Dam, there have been some decent rainbows to 18 inches landed on a variety of baits or lures including Power Bait, Mepp’s spinners, or Roostertails. No trout plants are scheduled this week. Regulations in the Kings River above and below Pine Flat Dam set the season as running from the last Saturday in April to Nov. 15 from Pine Flat Dam downstream to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Bridge on Pine Flat Road with a five-fish limit. The bridge is the first one west of the dam. The area from Cobbles (Alta) Weir downstream to the Highway 180 crossing is open all year, with only artificial lures with barbless hooks with a zero limit. The Thorburn Spawning Channel, the 2,200-foot long channel located 5 miles downstream from Pine Flat Dam, and the reach of river within a 200-foot radius of the channel exit, are closed to all fishing all year.
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 high flows in the Sacramento River are leading to increased pumping into San Luis Reservoir, and the main lake has risen to 59 percent. Fishing pressure has slowed with the holiday season, rainstorms and freezing temperatures, but striped bass are there for the taking. Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill reported the best action was occurring in Portuguese Cove or near the buoys along the trash racks by drifting jumbo minnows or vertically jigging spoons such as Duh! Spoons in 1.75 ounces or Rapala Ice Jigs. The best bite is during the morning hours. Trolling Alabama-style rigs with small shad-patterned swimbaits at depths to 100 feet along the deep flats is another productive technique along with swimbaits or jerkbaits such as Lucky Craft Pointer 128’s. Roger George of Roger’s Guide Service trolled minnow plugs at depths from 50-80 feet during the week for 14 striped bass to 10 pounds caught and released. He said, “It was a tough bite with most fishermen only finding one or two striped bass, and the minnow bite was slow.” Bait fishermen are soaking frozen shad, anchovies, or chicken livers as the water levels have risen to the point that a long walk to the shoreline is unnecessary. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis reported most local fishermen are targeting the O’Neill Forebay with drifting minnows or spoons. Coyote Bait reported an early-morning bite with Zara Spooks, jerkbaits, or live jumbo minnows, but the bite dies into the afternoon hours. Bank fishermen are scoring with jumbo minnows, pile worms, or blood worms at Check 12, particularly when the water is being pumped into the reservoir.
Call: Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711; Roger George rogergeorgeguideservice.com, (559) 905-2954; San Luis Reservoir and O’Neill Forebay Wind Conditions (800) 805-4805.
Bass 1; Trout 1; Kokanee 1
There are few reports coming out of Bass Lake, although it has risen to 63 percent, allowing for launching at the public ramp. Water releases are expected to drop the lake back 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, with access to Edison and Florence Lakes limited to those on snowmobiles,
Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000
Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake
Snow from 6-8 inches fell at Shaver Lake’s edge over the weekend, with more than 18 inches at higher-elevation Huntington Reservoir. Fishing has been very slow for planted trout. Shaver is at 73 percent with Huntington rising to 48 percent. The Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Program welcomes tax-deductible donations or unwanted water craft that can be sold to help fund project programs. Donations can be mailed to SLTTP, P.O. Box 908, Shaver Lake 9366. Visit 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
The gates on McKinley Grove Road are closed. There is no vehicle access to Wishon or Courtright until the gates reopen in the spring.
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
Rockfish 3; Striper 1; Crabs 2
Captain Michael Cabanas of the Huli Cat went on a cod/crab combination trip out of the harbor prior to Friday’s bad weather day and put in some quality copper and other hard heads along with crab. The Huli Cat is running combination trips through Saturday. On the party boat front, the Huli Cat is the only large boat running crab/rockfish combinations, and he has found decent action for Dungeness off Montara at depths to 180 feet. Captain Tom Mattusch will continue to run the combination trips until the rockfish closure on Dec. 31, when they will switch to sand dab/crab, crab-only, whale-watching and bird-watching trips until the ocean salmon season begins in the spring.
Call: Happy Hooker (510) 223-5388; Captain Roger Thomas, Salty Lady (415) 760-9362; Emeryville Sport Fishing (510) 654-6040
Rockfish 3; Striper 1; White sea bass 1; Crab 2
Chris Arcoleo of Chris’ Fishing Trips in Monterey reported outstanding ling cod counts with live sand dabs on board during the last weeks of the rockfish season. Crab counts remain in the 3-5 range, with 10-crab limits elusive throughout the season. The Check Mate returned with limits of ling cod on a recent trip. Allen Bushnell of Santa Cruz Kayak Fishing and Surfcasting Guide Service reported, “On the Santa Cruz side of the bay reports were much the same.” Todd Fraser at Bayside Marine reported, “Rock fishing was great today up near Franklin Point and Ano Nuevo. Anglers caught limits of quality rockfish and lingcod. The wind stayed down all day on the local waters and there was only a small chop at Franklin Point.” Only a few boats are launching from the Capitola Wharf. Ed Burrell from Capitola Boat and Bait did record good catches for wharf regular Glen Larson. Using swimbaits, Larson caught his limit of lingcod and retained about a half-limit of larger bolina rockfish.
Call: Chris’ Landing (831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173; usafishing.com
San Francisco Bay
Striper 2; Rockfish 3; Leopard shark 3; Sturgeon 3; Crab 3
Not much happening over the weekend with the holiday and rough ocean conditions. The party boats should be back out this week, although crab counts have dropped off dramatically. The rockfish season ends Dec. 31, and most party boats will take the occasional trip for sturgeon and striped bass within San Pablo or the south bay. Inside the bay, Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle reported a few party boats out of the harbor found bass and sturgeon in the bay. It was “pretty good with the slow tides, but I expect it to get really good after Christmas,” Fraser said. “Crab sales have been through the roof, and with the water muddy in San Pablo Bay and the better tides, it should be great this week for sturgeon.”
San Luis Obispo
December 31 marks the last day for rockfishing this season, before action reopens April 1. Near limits are still the rule with the Patriot and Rita G taking out a combined 77 anglers Monday for 78 ling cod to 16 pounds, 98 vermilion rockfish, 68 copper rockfish and 336 assorted rockfish. Nathan Del Rio of Bakersfield scored the jackpot on the Rita G with an 8-pound ling. Out of Port San Luis, the Patriot took out 17 anglers Monday for four lings to 12 pounds, 22 copper rockfish, 12 vermilion rockfish and 96 assorted rockfish with Andrew Rhoades of Tulare taking the jackpot. After the rockfish closure, the boats will focus on nature and whale-watching trips until the 2017 season opener.
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 2; Sturgeon 3; Catfish 2; Bluegill 3
Another day of heavy rain hit the Delta region just before Christmas weekend, followed by two days of weather in the low 30s. creating difficult conditions for anglers in the Sacramento-Delta. The water in the north Delta is muddy, and it is cold throughout the entire river system. Amid the rapid change, sturgeon are acclimating to the plummeting water temperatures, but diamondbacks remain the top species in the Sacramento-Delta. The next series of tides looks promising, and Captain John Badger of Barbarian Sport Fishing out of Martinez Marina said, “Next week looks pretty good tide wise with a big morning incoming tide following by a large afternoon outgoing tide, and the only limiting factors are possibly the wind and cold water. I plan on staying up river, but San Pablo Bay is also an option. This is really the most difficult time of the year to catch a sturgeon, and it is because of our efforts that we have been putting fish on the deck because we look around and fish hard. Imagine 100-200 casts per outing on nine rods, going and going through 7 pounds of salmon roe and two lamprey eel depending upon how much time we have spent looking around. Run and gun is our new technique as the key is covering ground and finding feeders.” Badger put Tim Pruitt of Suisun City, Grover Crump of Stockton and Al Baker onto keeper sturgeon to 49 inches on a pre-Christmas trip in upper Suisun Bay near the Horseshoe. Cold water has been the limiting factor, and Captain Steve Mitchell of Hook’d Up Sport Fishing out of Pittsburg was out looking for feeding fish Saturday. He said, “The weather is great today after Thursday’s heavy rainstorm, and we have been sitting on fish all day long. We started in the Big Cut with tons of fish on the meter, but they just wouldn’t go so we came back to the Horseshoe above the Mothball Fleet to fish the shallow water. There are several sturgeon in the Horseshoe as well, and they should be acclimated to the cold water by now, but they just don’t want to bite. The temperature dropped so fast to less than 50 degrees, and it was 49 degrees in the morning before warming up slightly to 50 degrees by midday. The sturgeon are here, it is just a matter of finding fish willing to feed.” Captain Jay Lopes of Right Hook Sport Fishing out of Martinez has been finding some success working the same areas above the Mothball Fleet, but he said, “Overall, the action has slowed due to the big influx of fresh water and the 48- to 49-degree water temperatures. We were able to put in a total of fish legal sturgeon over three trips with several shakers, and with all of this rain, sturgeon fishing should be great after the first of the year.” Pam Hayes of Benicia Bait and Tackle said, “There have been several bank fishermen picking up just legal striped bass from the Benicia shorelines, and there have even been some flounder landed. For sturgeon, the best areas have been from the Horseshoe into the Fleet and also in the Big Cut. The best location on the small tides has been deep water in the Big Cut while on the smaller tides, the shallow water in the 10-foot range at the Horseshoe has been the most productive location. Our shrimp boat, the Hailey Haze, should be ready to get back to work in a few weeks, and we hope to have a steady supply of live grass shrimp after the first of the year.” Dan Mathisen of Dan’s Delta Outdoors in Oakley said, “They are catching sturgeon in the Sacramento River from the Red Barn down to Collinville, and with the major push of hyacinth out of the upper river, boaters have been going into the sloughs or cuts such as Winter Cut and getting off of the main river. Bloody Eel or Pickled Eel with nightcrawlers are working best for the diamondbacks.” In the upper river, striped bass fishing is limited to live bait such as mudsuckers or golden shiners or frozen bait loaded with scent as the river is high and muddy. It is clearly a wintertime striped bass bite, and the linesides will only pull down the bait and hold it without running as their metabolism has slowed considerably. The Sacramento Deep Water Channel as well as the main river near the Sherman Island Power Lines in deep water to 34 feet are good locations for linesides on the anchor. There are still reports of individuals illegally transporting kingfish or jack smelt from San Francisco Bay into the Delta in search of huge striped bass in the Sacramento River. At this time of year with heavy flows on the river bringing down trees and stumps, boaters need to be particularly cautious while anchoring at night. Having a knife available to cut the anchor line is essential as a big log can cause a boat to capsize within minutes. It is possible to find clear water in the San Joaquin-Delta. But in order to catch striped bass or largemouth bass, you have to adjust your presentation to match the conditions. The water temperatures have dropped considerably, and the Florida-strain largemouth bass in the Delta do not prefer the cold. Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, said, “The largemouth bass are not jumping in the boat with the cold water temperatures, and it is important to slow down and adjust your techniques. The major thoroughfares on the San Joaquin are muddy, and the cleanest water is found in the sloughs. Neither the striped bass nor largemouth bass like muddy water, and you have to slow things down to a crawl as well as loading up your lures with scent. Downsizing your lines to 8- to 10-pound test is essential, and the lighter line allows for using lighter weights on the finesse presentations. At this time of year, I also prefer using a spinning rod since it is easier to slow down the presentation on spinning rod as compared to a baitcaster. Brush Hog or Havoc Flat Dogs on a Texas-rig is a good option, and I dab some Pro-Cure in either Anise or Crayfish on the lure every three or four casts in the cold water. Some people prefer shad scent, and it is best to use whatever scent you believe in. There is also a good ripbait bite with the ima Flit 120 in either Olive Herring or American Shad using 12-pound Trilene 100% fluorocarbon line as the heavier line stays longer in the water column. Making multiple casts to the same area is important as the fish may not want to strike the first few times the lure is presented. It is important to stay between 3-8 feet in depth as well as not to get too upset if you don’t get bit at first. The water temperature changes from the morning to the afternoon hours, and the same areas that weren’t producing in the morning may become productive once the water warms up. It is also a good time to look for baitfish, and some key signs are watching for working birds or surface movement. There were loads of birds working in the Stockton Turning Basin, but most of the striped bass in the Port of Stockton have been undersized.” Mathisen said, “The largemouth bass bite is tough, and the fish are scattered from deep water to the shallows. Slowly dragging jigs is the best option, and a few fish are taken on Alabama-rigs; however, the bite is slow with Poppa D only landing three largemouth bass despite going out three times this week. The water temperature has warmed up slightly to the low 50s, and there are some stripers in the Discovery Bay to Tracy part of the Delta.” Alan Fong, manager of the Fisherman’s Warehouse in Sacramento, said, “I found clear water in Mildred Island and southwest of this area, but the 47-degree water slowed down the largemouth bass bite. I only landed four small bass using Alabama rigs. The water in the main San Joaquin from the mouth of the Mokelumne towards Antioch is dirty with stained water coming out of the Consumnes and Mokelumne Rivers. The stripers have disappeared, but they should find the clear water in the south Delta soon.” The cold water has slowed down the bluegill and red ear perch bite off Whiskey Slough, Bacon Island Road, Eight Mile Road and Discovery Bay, but a few panfish still can be taken with jumbo red worms on the drop-shot.
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 1; Catfish 2; Crappie 1
At Nacimiento, the bottom is still the best location with creature baits on a Carolina-rig or jigs as well as plastics on the drop-shot. There are some spotted bass taken on spinnerbaits or spoons on a slow presentation in deep water. White bass are absent given the colder water. The lake has come up 2 feet to 730.30 in elevation and 25 percent capacity. Nacimiento will be hosting a number of tournaments in the coming months. At Lopez, there is a reaction bite with crankbaits, spinnerbaits or underspins during periods of wind while the best action remains on the bottom with plastics on the drop-shot or jigs on finesse presentation. There is the occasional whiskerfish taken on cut baits or nightcrawlers. The launch ramp at Lopez remains out of the water. At Santa Margarita, the lake is slightly in excess of 9 percent capacity; the launch ramp remains out of the water, leaving rental boats at the marina the only power option. Few fishermen are targeting the lake with the low water conditions limited to self-launched boats or rental boats from the marina. San Antonio Reservoir is closed indefinitely with the lake at 6 percent. Reminder that consuming white bass, black bass, crappie, catfish or carp is subject to safe eating guidelines because of the risk of excessive mercury. Quagga mussel inspections are required before launching a boat.
Call: Lake Nacimiento (805) 238-1056, ext. 3; Lake San Antonio Marina (805) 472-2818; CentralCoastBassFishing.com (805) 466-6557
Go to fresnobee.com/fishing for reports on Half Moon Bay, Monterey/Santa Cruz, San Francisco Bay and San Luis Obispo
- Fresno Bass Club on Dec. 11 at McClure: 1, Harold Hass 13.02 pounds (big fish 4.00); 2, Mark Corrente 12.88; 3, Jose Guzman 12.46
- Sunday: RiverRat Bass Club at Eastman; Bass 101 Open at Millerton , 284-2768; Bakersfield Bass Club at Nacimiento; Visalia Bass Club at Kaweah
- Jan. 7: Tracy Bass Club at Delta/Tracy Oasis; Sonora Bass Club at New Melones; Kerman Bass Club at McClure; American Bass Association at Nacimiento
- Jan. 8: Kings VIII Bass Club/California Bass Federation at Pine Flat
- Jan. 14: Best Bass Tournaments/Manteca Bassin’ Buddies at Don Pedro; Christian Bass League at McClure; California Tournament Trail at Pine Flat; Bakersfield Bass Club at Nacimiento
- Jan. 15: Hook and Line West Magazine at Delta/Russo’s Marina; Riverbank Bass Anglers at McClure
- Jan. 21: Best Bass Tournaments at Don Pedro; Kern County Bassmasters/Golden Empire Bass Club at Pine Flat; New Jen at Kaweah; Best Bass Tournaments/Taft Bass Club at Nacimiento
- Jan. 22: Tracy Bass Club at Delta/Tracy Oasis; Fresno Bass Club/Kings River Bass Club at Pine Flat
- Jan. 28: American Bass Association at Delta/Russo’s Marina; Glory Hole Sports Bass Tournament at New Melones; Best Bass Tournaments at Don Pedro; American Bass Association at Pine Flat
- Jan. 29: Success Bass Club at Pine Flat February 4th/5th –
- Feb. 4-5: Foundation Sportsmen’s Club Original, aka “Super Bowl”Sturgeon Derby, at Delta/McAvoy’s Boat Harbor, originalsturgeonderby.com
- Jan. 19-22: International Sportsmen’s Exposition at Cal Expo in Sacramento, www.sportsexpos.com.
- Fresno County: Fresno City Woodward Park Lake; Kings River, Below Pine Flat Dam
n = new moon > = peak activity