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.
San Francisco sturgeon bite is best in years, Jim Smith said. New Melones bass and trout bites good, John Liechty reported. Don Pedro , big bass hitting, Kevin Cheek said. Pine Flat cranking out biggest bass limits in years, Bill Cook reported.
2-Have to work hard
4-Fish jumpin’ in boat
Delta Mendota Canal and Sloughs
Stripers 2; Catfish 2
Few striper fishermen were out during the past week because of the cold and wet weather, but Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “Most of our striper fishermen have been heading to the aqueduct with Duo Realis jerkbaits for linesides ranging from undersized around 15 inches to keepers at 20 inches.” In the south aqueduct near Bakersfield, Jacob Rutledge of Bob’s Bait Bucket reported most fishing interest in the area has been taking place at the aqueduct with Lucky Craft Pointer 128’s, Gitzits or flukes along with the standard blood worms and sardines. Vehicle break-ins continue to occur, and it is easy to become stuck in the mud after periods of heavy rain. There also are safety ladders located every 1,000 feet along the concrete walls of the aqueducts in the unfortunate event of a person falling into the water. Fishermen are advised to be prepared with life jackets and a throwing device while targeting striped bass in the aqueduct. Anglers should keep their area clean to avoid future closures.
Bass 2; Trout 1; Bluegill 1; Catfish 2; Crappie 1
The lake jumped up an amazing 40 feet within the past week to 534.94 in elevation and from 21 percent to 48 percent capacity. The lake has not been this full for several years, and the high water should pay dividends in coming months. Bass fishing has been slow in the cold and muddy water, with few anglers heading to the reservoir. Eastman is a dedicated trophy bass lake with a one-fish limit in execss of 22 inches. A trout plant is scheduled this week on the Madera and Mariposa County sides of the lake.
Call: Six Star Tackle Box 673-5688; Eastman Lake 689-3255
Bass 2; Trout 2; Catfish 1; Bluegill 1; Crappie 1
Water releases have begun as the lake rose 17 feet in the past week to 500.75 in elevation and 43 percent capacity. Few fishermen are heading there amid the off-color water conditions. A trout plant is scheduled this week.
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 2
Don Pedro has risen rapidly to 90 percent capacity, coming up 17 feet within the past week. The rising water didn’t slow the bass bite as a huge limit at 24.18 pounds followed by one of 21.07 pounds were the top two weights during Saturday’s Best Bass Tournament event. Kevin Cheek, tournament director for Best Bass, said, “We had 63 boats participating, and everyone weighed in fish with the exception of one boat. There was a huge number of quality smallmouth bass in the limits in addition to spotted and largemouth bass. Most fishermen were working Ned rigs, jigs, or plastics on the drop-shot at depths from 10-60 feet. The lake is clear from the launch ramp to Middle Bay, but once you hit Middle Bay, the water becomes murky. There is a lot of floating wood in the main lake, and despite three booms in the upper section of the lake, a lot of debris has made it into the main lake.” Best Bass Tournaments is hosting another event this weekend at the lake. Mike Gomez of the Bait Barn in Waterford confirmed the jigs and plastics bite, stating, “The action is still on the bottom with Berserk jigs in Purple Hornet, Brown/Purple, or Brown Craw while Pro Worms in 124p or 300 on a shakey head are also working, The launch ramp at Fleming Meadows is only a few truck lengths from the top of the ramp, and the lake is only 17 feet from being full to capacity.”
Call: Monte Smith (209) 581-4734; Danny Layne-Fish’n Dan (209) 586-2383; Gary Vella (209) 652-7550
Lake Isabella/Bakersfield area
Bass 2; Trout 2; Crappie 1; Catfish 2; Bluegill 1
Lake Isabella remains very slow given the cold weather, with few fishermen heading out of the Valley to the higher-elevation lake. The lake came up 8 feet within the week to 2,561.70 in elevation and 31 percent capacity. The River Walk has been planted and both it and Ming are scheduled for a plant next week. Jacob Rutledge of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield said, “Buena Vista was planted last week, but there haven’t been many reports this week.” The Kern River is running very high, and the lower river is muddy.
Call: Bob’s Bait (661) 833-8657; North Fork Marina (760) 376-1812
Bass 2; Crappie 2; Trout 2; Catfish 2
A trout plant occurred last week, and bank anglers are starting to pick up the planted rainbows with Power Bait or nightcrawlers from the launch ramp area. Scent is important with the stained water from all of the inflow. With the rapid rise of the reservoir, bass fishing is best in deep water near walls with plastics on the drop-shot, spoons, or jigs on a slow presentation. The lake rose 25 feet to 646.27 in elevation and 35 percent capacity. Water releases have begun.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212
Bass 2; Trout 1; Catfish 2; Crappie 1
Because of the quick rise in the lake’s level, the water remains stained and full of debris coming from both the shore and the Tule River. More rain is on the way, and the Tule continues to flow high. The lake came up another 14 feet to 632.42 in elevation and 54 percent capacity; water releases have begun.
Call: Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626, sequoiafishingcompany.com
Bass 3 Trout 2 King salmon 1 Kokanee 1 Crappie 2 Catfish 2
Mike Gomez of the Bait Barn in Waterford said, “Bass fishing remains solid with Berserk Jigs in Brown/Purple, Brown Craw, or Purple Hornet along with Pro Worms in 124p or 300 at depths to 50 feet. A 16-pound limit took first place during a tournament on Saturday, and there were 20 other boats with limits in the 12-pound range.” The lake rose 30 feet in elevation during the past week to 67 percent. Floating wood and other debris pose hazards for boaters. Launch ramps at McClure Point and Barrett Cove South are open, but the Horseshoe Bend and Barrett Cove North ramps remain closed.
Call: Bait Barn (209) 874-3011
Not much change with trout plants still a possibility. The last one was Oct. 14, and fishing remains limited to a few planters with garlic trout dough bait, Power Eggs or nightcrawlers. The marina will not be installing bait tanks for live minnows, but live crawdads are possible in the future. Calaveras Trout Farm is back in operation, and there is hope for biweekly plants at the lake in the coming months.
Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River
Bass 2; Striped bass 1; Shad 1; Bluegill 2; Trout 2
Millerton Reservoir continues to rise by leaps and bounds, but water releases of 3000 cfs more than inflows are under way. Heavy inflow from the upper San Joaquin River brought the reservoir up 9 feet this week to 557.19 feet in elevation and 81 percent capacity. With another round of storms predicted this week, the lake should continue to rise despite the heavy releases into the lower river. The best action for bass remained on the bottom with plastics on the drop-shot or split-shot as well as jigs at depths to 50 feet in the main lake. Vertical jigging with shad-patterned spoons is another productive option as the spotted bass are holding adjacent to the shad schools. Finding bait on the meter is a key in the main lake as the upper river is far more stained. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “There is five more inches of rain expected this week, and the water releases have been ramped up in anticipation of more inflow.” With the stained water in the river arm, there have been no striped bass reports. Vessels with nonconformant two-stroke engines may not access the lake. 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 trout last week and will again the week of Jan. 22. 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 3; Crappie 2; Catfish 2; Trout 3
New Melones continues to rise and California’s third largest reservoir has risen to 36 percent, coming up 25 feet in elevation in the past week. After reservoir levels hovered around 20 percent for most of the past several years, the increased water levels will pay dividends. The boat ramp at Glory Hole Point has four lanes available for the first time in memory. John Liechty of Glory Hole Sports in Angels Camp said, “Trout fishing has been really good as the lake has turned over. Most anglers are catching limits consisting of planted and holdover trout, and the fresh water inflow into all of the lake’s major tributaries have spread the rainbows into different parts of the lake. Trollers have been top-lining on a set-back of 200 feet to clear the boat wake, and floating Rapalas or Shad Raps have been an effective lure in addition to spoons tipped with a piece of nightcrawler. Bank anglers are picking up quality rainbows from the shoreline with garlic trout dough bait combined with a nightcrawler. The trout are swimming near the shorelines, and they are close to the surface so a long cast is unnecessary.” The bass bite remains good with the rising water levels, leading Liechty to say, “The lake is coming up extremely fast and changing daily, and some fish will hold deep and wait for conditions to stabilize while others will move up immediately to investigate submerged structure. Fish that are holding on steep banks are less likely to be affected by the rising water, and plastic worms on a dart-head are a good technique along rocky bluffs and steep dirt banks. Finding the shad balls is important if you are fishing a spoon, and a gold spoon is a good choice in the stained water.” The occasional larger spotted or largemouth bass are being caught on reaction baits, and the best time for big bass is within the coming months. Glory Hole Sports is holding its Big Bass Bash on Jan. 28 with a 100 percent payback on a two-fish limit of one spotted and one largemouth bass. Team fee is $165. Catfish and crappie action remains slow in the cold and stained water.
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 3; Trout 2; King salmon 1; Catfish 1; Crappie 1
After weeks of producing limits in the 8- to 12-pound range, a huge five-fish limit at 20.74 pounds took first place at the weekend California Tournament Trail event. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun said, “I expected 12 pounds to be the winning weight, but I was really surprised by the huge weight.” Bill Cook, tournament director for California Tournament Trail said, “These were the biggest winning weights in the past 15 years at Pine Flat. Most fishermen were working the bottom with plastic worms, but a few anglers may have been throwing swimbaits.” Gary Wasson and Daniel Moreno were first with the 20.74-pound limit, including a spotted bass at 6.80 pounds. Tim Wells and Jeff D’Alessandro were at 18.72 pounds, including D’Alessandro’s big spotted bass of the tournament at 7.11 pounds. Although these anglers did not release information on their successful techniques, Wells and D’Alessandro won a tournament at Millerton the previous week by working Alabama rigs in the running water at the back ends of the creeks. The plant of 10,000 trout at Cove Island last week may have contributed to the huge limits, with the bass focusing on the small rainbow trout and being susceptible to trout-patterned swimbaits. Cook said, “The lake has risen to the point where the parking area at the Deer Creek Marina is under water, and the water was very high on the launch ramp.” Gilbert said, “A few rainbow trout have been taken at Pine Flat, but there is a lot of floating wood in the upper lake out of Trimmer Marina. One fisherman was targeting bass out of Trimmer, and although he caught fish, the creek arms of Big Creek and Sycamore Creek were loaded with debris and floating timber.” Ken Collins was long-lining firetiger spoons, and although he reported slow action, they landed quality rainbows at 17.5, 15.25, and 14.5 inches. In the lower Kings below Pine Flat Dam, trout fishermen continue to land planted rainbows with Power Bait, nightcrawlers or spinners such as Roostertails or Panther Martins. Trout plants are scheduled for the next two weeks as well as at Avocado Lake 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 and a zero limit. The Thorburn Spawning Channel, the 2,200-foot long channel located 5 miles downstream from Pine Flat Dam, along with the reach of the river within a 200-foot radius of the channel exit is 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 2l Bass 2l Crappie 1
The main San Luis Reservoir is still bulking up with the lake coming up to 70 percent within the week. With the increased exports out of the south Delta because of a recent federal decision, the lake will continue to rise toward full capacity within the coming month. Mickey Clements of Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill said, “The troll bite has been unusually slow this year, and it has never really taken off. Jumbo minnows or jumbo blood worms remain the top baits, and boaters are working the minnows on a live-bait rig at depths from 40-80 feet. Some stripers can be found deeper than 80 feet, and the fish are moving into areas that haven’t been flooded for some time. The increased water level has brought the lake into Portuguese Cove, and most fishermen are camping out at the mouth of Portuguese Cove where the stripers are schooling up to ambush the bait fish. The traditional area in front of the trash racks also has been productive due to the amount of water flowing into the main lake.” Roger George of Roger George Guide Service said that the trolling bite has been tough.” The fish are holding in the 60 to 90 foot range but don’t seem to be very active. A couple of good anglers told me that they got from 1-7 fish to 25 inches working shad-colored minnow lures like Lucky Crafts and Predators in the bays. It looks like it’s taking covering a lot of ground to find the biting fish. The minnow and bait guys weren’t doing much better either. The rising water, weather fronts and lots of new areas seem to be causing the fish to be on a slow bite for now-but that could change very quickly once we get some stability.” In the O’Neill Forebay, Clements reported the small lake is producing the more consistent bite for catfish and striped bass. Cut baits such as anchovies, mackerel, or chicken livers are working best near the moving water. Clements said, “I drove by the forebay on Saturday, and even after all of the rain, it was still relatively clear.” Few fishermen are tossing ripbaits amid the colder water temperatures.
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
The lake was spilling last week, but water releases have dropped the reservoir to 76 percent capacity. Few fishermen have been heading to the lake, but there are spotted bass to be found in deep water with jigs or plastic worms. A trout plant is scheduled for this week. Webcams of the lake are available at basslakeca.com/.
Call: Mike Beighey 642-3748; Bass Lake Watersports 642-3200
Kaiser Pass Road closed Dec. 1, limiting access to Edison and Florence Lakes to those on snowmobiles. Edison has risen to 36 percent and Florence is at 17 percent. Mammoth Pool is at 99 percent.
Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000
Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake
Trout plants took place at Shaver and Huntington last week. Shaver is in good shape at 72 percent capacity with Huntington at 59 percent. A webcam of the launch ramp and parking lot is available at sierramarina.com/camera.html. Trophy trout plants from the Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project will occur within the coming months. The project welcomes tax-deductible donations or unwanted water craft that can be sold to help fund its programs. Donations can be sent to SLTTP, P.O. Box 908, Shaver Lake, 9366. More information is available at shaverlaketrophytrout.com.
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
Gates on McKinley Grove Road are closed, barring vehicle access to Wishon or Courtright until the spring.
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
Captain Michael Cabanas of the Huli Cat said, “We went on a crab only trip on Sunday off of Half Moon Bay. The ocean conditions were flat with a slight breeze.” Weather was slightly breezy with some small swell. The party boats will be limited to sand dab/crab or whale and bird watching trips for the next few months. The Huli Cat will continue to run sand dab/crab, crab-only and whale-watching trips until the anticipated salmon opener in April. Captain Roger Thomas of the Salty Lady has brought his vessel to Pillar Point for the winter and will be running three-hour whale-watching trips until the ocean salmon opener.
Call: Happy Hooker (510) 223-5388; Captain Roger Thomas, Salty Lady (415) 760-9362; Emeryville Sport Fishing (510) 654-6040
Chris’s Landing in Monterey is running sand dab/crab trips, whale watching, and nature trips through the winter months until the anticipated salmon opener in April. They have been posting better crab counts than during the rockfish season with five crab per angler and 50 sand dabs apiece for 10 anglers Monday on the Check Mate, which had a similar score for 18 anglers Sunday. Allen Bushnell of Santa Cruz Kayak Fishing and Surfcasting Guide Service reported, “ After 10 months, the Sand Crab Classic Perch Tournament is open again for entries. Derby day this year is March 11. The Perch Derby is a brainchild of Captain Mike Baxter to provide a family-friendly fishing activity for our often wet and stormy offseason, as well as to provide a yearly infusion of financial support for the Monterey Bay Salmon and Trout Project. Started in 2004, this will be the 13th annual Sand Crab Classic. The derby has grown to include over 300 anglers. It is the biggest surfcasting event on the West Coast, and for the smallest gamefish.” Entrants receive an artwork T-shirt by famed naturalist/artist Amadeo Bachar, and a four-star tri-tip taco BBQ. The awards ceremony will be at Santa Cruz Portuguese Hall (C.P.D.E.S. Hall), 216 Evergreen St. To enter, visit sandcrabclassic.com. Entries can be submitted online or via mail by downloading the form and sending it along with a personal check.. Entries are limited to the first 300, so move quickly. Recent years have proven the roster will fill up. Final deadline is Feb. 12.
Call: Chris’ Landing (831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173; usafishing.com
San Francisco Bay
Striper 2; Leopard shark 2; Sturgeon 4; Crab 2
Captain Jim Smith of the Happy Hooker out of Berkeley had two tremendous sturgeon fishing days in San Pablo Bay on Friday and Saturday. Smith was gushing about the sturgeon action in San Pablo Bay, and he said, “Everybody I know of was catching sturgeon, and I expect the fish to move below the San Rafael Bridge in the next couple of days. There must have been 20 oversized that I was aware of from all of the boats around us, and Danny Higginbotham released a sturgeon estimated at over 200 pounds and 84 inches. Larry’s oversized was 75 inches, and Eric Chui released a 68-incher. Dave Marquardt, aka ‘Pale Ale,’ came through with a big keeper at 59 inches, and Ron Zolezzi scored at 52 inches. My grandson. Joey. landed his first keeper at 43 inches. It is like it used to be when we would start off at the Mare Island Rockwall before moving to the Pumphouse, then China Camp, and finally below the bridge. All of the current pushes the sturgeon down farther into the bay, and the tides don’t matter right now. Originally I had scheduled only to fish on the good outgoing tides, but every day from now on for the next few weeks will be a good day. The entire bay is filled with debris, and there have been some huge logs outside of the Berkeley Marina so it is important not to leave in the morning until it is safe light. I will be running every day that there are customers, and I think this bite will last for the next few weeks.” Mike Andrews of Predator Sport Fishing said, “The 2017 Sturgeon season started out almost like we left the 2016 season – an angler’s dream of a battle with a giant fish. Indeed, our last fish of ’16 was a 71.5-inch oversized brute, the first bite, first hook set. First battle was yet another fish way too big to keep. Longtime angler Rich Martinez was the lucky angler. And the 66-inch sturgeon was also a lucky fish – gently unhooked, photographs taken and then revived and released to swim away. As a salute to the lucky fisherman, four other anglers chose to release their catch. Each had fish that were within the size limit. They just wanted to stretch out a nice long sturgeon season ( in California, a fisherman is only allowed to keep three fish for the whole year). Our season had started out great during the fall. We plan on fishing for Sturgeon all the way till April.” Captain Jay Lopes of Right Hook Sport Fishing also had epic days in the flats of San Pablo Bay with five legal sturgeon on Saturday, followed by another three Sunday. Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle in San Rafael said, “It is good right now, but it going to be unbelievable once we get over the herring spawns down bay. Three to five sturgeon days are good, but I expect much better in the coming weeks. There was a big herring spawn this week in Richmond, and there have been spawns as far south as Oyster Point. Once the spawns are over and the current slows down, the sturgeon will be back in our ballpark in even greater numbers. The good news is there are only striped bass and sturgeon in San Pablo Bay as there isn’t a crab to be found.” Reminder that sturgeon may not be taken in the following described area between Jan. 1 and March 15: That portion of San Francisco Bay included within the following boundaries – A direct line between Point Chauncy (National Marine Fisheries Laboratory) and Point Richmond, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and a direct line between Point Lobos and Point Bonita.
San Luis Obispo
Rockfishing is done until April 1. The boats will focus on nature and whale-watching trips until then. Jacob Rutledge of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield reported surf perch to 3 pounds along with corbina have been landed from the rocky point at Jalama Beach.
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 2; Catfish 2; Bluegill 2
High water from heavy inflow from the Sacramento River and its tributaries along with king tides during the past week have resulted in levee breaks in the upper Delta including Snodgrass and Lost Sloughs. Earlier in the week, an evacuation area from Lambert Road to the north, Franklin Boulevard to the east, Lost Slough to the south, and Snodgrass Slough to the west was established due to the levee breaks. This week’s storms may continue to increase the danger of levee breaks, but smaller tides will alleviate the flood hazard to some degree. Alan Fong of the Fisherman’s Warehouse in Sacramento said, “It is muddy everywhere in the Delta, and few fishermen have even been out on the banks.” There is a tremendous amount of debris in the Sacramento-Delta; with the heavy inflow, the incoming tide is basically at a standstill. Sturgeon fishing should be terrific in the coming months with the flushing of the Delta as it has been several years since the river system has been cleaned out from accumulated weeds, grass, and debris. The Yolo Bypass was opened this past week for the first time in years to alleviate the strain on the levees in the Sacramento metropolitan area. Most sturgeon fishermen are heading beyond the Carquinez Bridge into the flats of San Pablo Bay for action that has not been experienced for years as the sturgeon have followed the overwhelming current farther and farther downriver. Andy Doudna, organizer of the coming Addathon Ironman Sturgeon Derby coming in March, said, “There have been sturgeon caught from the Mothball Fleet to Rio Vista with eel, salmon roe, or ghost shrimp, but I have heard the surface is still a challenge with all of the debris coming downstream. The bottom of the river has been dirty on and off depending upon the tides.” 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. Huge logs capable of sinking a large vessel have been seen as far west as central San Francisco Bay. The long-term benefit from these heavy flows will be an improved sturgeon bite in advance of the two large sturgeon tournaments arriving at the end of the month. Captain Steve Talmadge of Flash Sport Fishing is the organizer of the 11th annual Diamond Classic Catch and Release Sturgeon Derby out of Martinez Marina, and he said, “The Diamond Classic Catch and Release Sturgeon Derby is coming on Jan. 28, and sign-up sheets are available at the Martinez Bait Shop. The free kids program keeps on growing! Kids can fish from a boat or the Martinez pier, and I have a crew on the pier with everything a kid will need to fish. The crew will outfit and teach any kid to fish. We also have a lot of prizes for the kids. Awards and prizes will be awarded at the end of the derby. This is all free for kids, so there’s no excuse for not getting them out for a fun day. It is time to plan on taking a kid or kids fishing. Information is available at (510) 851-2500 or diamondclassic.org.” Talmadge is planning for 150 children participants and working with sponsors to provide a prize for every child registered including rod/reel combinations from Shakespeare. There is a pre-derby seminar at La Tapatia Restaurant on Main Street in Martinez from 6-9 Jan. 27. Registration for adults is $25, with 100 percent payback in cash prizes from first through seventh place. In addition to Talmadge, six-pack captains participating in the seminar are Jay Lopes of Right Hook Sport Fishing, Don Franklin of Soleman Sport Fishing, Mike Andrews of Predator Sport Fishing, Frank Miller of Fury Sport Fishing, Paul Velez of Boss Hogg Sport Fishing and Bob Monckton of Reel-lentless Sport Fishing. The following weekend is the 33rd Original “aka Super Bowl” Sturgeon Derby at the Foundation Sportsman’s Club at McAvoy’s Boat Harbor in Bay Point. Information is available at originalsturgeonderby.com. All participants must sign up at McAvoy’s Boat Harbor, and the entire boat crew must be entered on one entry form at the same time. January is also the month when the Sturgeon Report Cards are due to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, with a deadline of Jan. 31st. Online reporting can be accessed at wildlife.ca.gov/Licensing/Fishing. Clear water is not a possibility at the present time on the San Joaquin-Delta, but a few striped bass and sturgeon are being caught.
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 2
At Nacimiento, the reservoir came up rapidly because of this week’s rain in the coastal mountains, and it rose 35 feet to 766 feet in elevation and 56 percent capacity. The rapid rise has slowed spotted bass action, with the best fishing along steep walls in deep water. These fish are less affected by the lake’s rise. The lake is stained with floating debris. As the lake clears, along with tournament dates, there will be much more interest in bass fishing. Nacimiento will be hosting a number of tourneys in the coming months. At Lopez, the lake is also rising, coming up 8.5 feet this month. The bottom of the launch ramp is no longer dry, and hand launchable boats are being put in at the lake. This week’s series of storms may bring the lake up enough for larger boats to launch. At Santa Margarita, the launch ramp remains out of the water, but the lake is rising. Rental boats at the marina are the only power option. Vehicle entry at Santa Margarita and Lopez is reduced to $5 Tuesdays. San Antonio Reservoir is closed indefinitely, but the lake has risen to 14 percent.
Call: Lake Nacimiento (805) 238-1056, ext. 3; Lake San Antonio Marina (805) 472-2818; CentralCoastBassFishing.com (805) 466-6557
- Best Bass Tournaments on Jan. 14 at Don Pedro: 1, Bryan Cox/Kevin Davidson 21.18 (big fish 7.86): 2, Tyler and Jeff Frey 21.07; 3, Troy Fleming/Kasey Rhyme 16.23
- California Tournament Trail on Jan. 14 at Pine Flat: 1, Gary Wasson/Daniel Moreno 20.74; 2, Tim Wells/Jeff D’Alessandro 18.72 (big fish 7.11); 3, Ryan Reynolds/Craig Gong 12.83
- Christian Bass League on Jan. 14 at Lake McClure: 1, AJ Moitoso and Jake Branan 16.58; 2, Bob Ballantyne and Richard Nyquist 16.14; 3, Mike Jackson and Cody Jackson 14.84; big fish, Joe O’Brien and Bryan Martins 4.48
- Saturday: 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
- Sunday: 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
- March 11: 13th annual Sand Crab Classic Perch Derby at Santa Cruz/Monterey County, sandcrabclassic.com. Final deadline is Feb. 12
- Thursday-Sunday: International Sportsmen’s Exposition at Cal Expo in Sacramento, sportsexpos.com
- Fresno County: Avocado Lake; Kings River, below Pine Flat Dam; Pine Flat Reservoir
- Madera County: Bass Lake; Eastman Lake; Hensley Lake; Sycamore Island Pond
- Mariposa County: Eastman Lake
- Tulare County: Del Lago Park Lake
q = quarter moon