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 salmon bite wide open, Jared Davis reported. Shaver lake producing mixed limits, Dick Nichols said. New Melones big bass hitting, John Liechty reported. Delta bass chomping, Jeff Huth reported. Pine Flat top Valley bass destination and Edison and Florence kicking out nice browns, Merritt Gilbert said.
2-Have to work hard
4-Fish jumpin’ in boat
Delta Mendota Canal and Sloughs
Stripers 2; Catfish 2
The California Aqueduct hasn’t generated much interest during this period of triple-digit temperatures, and most bank fishermen are still heading up to the main San Luis Reservoir for striped bass. In the south aqueduct in Kern County, the heat also has been a factor, and the moss is starting to accumulate with the warmer water. Bait fishing is best with sardines, blood worms or lug worms in the early-morning or late-afternoon hours. The best locations remain in areas around Buena Vista Golf Course, Highway 166/Old River and Tupman Road. Bob’s Bait Bucket’s June Striper Derby will end Friday.
Bass 3; Trout 2; Bluegill 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 1
The bass bite took off during Saturday’s New Jen Bass Tournament with the team of Dan Moreno and Gary Wasson landing more than 50 fish to put in a second-place limit to nearly 13 pounds with a dead fish knocking down their total. California regulations have changed to allow access to the river arm, as the bald eagle closure is no longer deemed necessary, but reopening won’t happen until at least Aug. 1 while federal regulations are adopted. The lake has dropped 2 feet to 575.37 in elevation and 87 percent capacity.
Call: Eastman Lake 689-3255
Bass 2; Trout 2; Catfish 2; Bluegill 2; Crappie 2
Small bass are the rule, and few fishermen are heading to the lake with the better bite at Pine Flat, Eastman, and Millerton. The lake has dropped 2 feet to 70 percent and 521.07 feet in elevation after languishing around 5 percent for several years.
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 2; Trout 3; Kokanee 2; King salmon 2; Crappie 2
Rainbow trout are abundant at Don Pedro with quality trout to 4 pounds possible but landing a kokanee is a matter of timing and good fortune as the land-locked salmon are scarce. Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing took out Mike Callizo, Robert Cain and Dave Costa on their annual trip to the lake, and he said, “Fishing is really good as we started to catch trout right instantly after putting in the rods. We were running my custom shad-patterned spoons at depths from 21-55 feet, and the best depth was from 26-30 feet as there is a band of cold water at this level. We put in 12 rainbows to 4 pounds by 10:30, finishing off with 14 rainbows and a king salmon by 11 a.m.” Smith will be back out on the lake this week, focusing on rainbows. The Kokanee Power Phil Johnson Memorial Team Tournament was a grind for kokanee fishing with a total of six landed by close to 80 participants broken into 34 boats. The good news was the kokanee were huge, with two in excess of 2 pounds. Gary Coe, Kokanee Power president said, “It has been a long time since I have cleaned a 2-pound kokanee in California, and we had no teams that weighed in more than two fish with the team of Jack Schultz, Carol Voris, and Alan Traynor weighing in two for a total for 53.10 ounces while the next two places weighed in a single kokanee over 2 pounds. With the slow kokanee action, we expanded our trout pools, and there were a number of quality rainbows brought to the weigh-in. We think the kokanee are so scarce since there were no fish planted in 2015 due to the shortage of eggs with the drought, but there have been 10,000 to 20,000 released within the past two years. There is a theory on why the kokanee have become so large as the drought created warmer water conditions in the lowered lakes, creating a mass of plankton allowing the fish to eat longer and grow larger.” Robbie Dunham, the Koke Machine, landed the big fish of the tournament first thing in the morning at 2.7 pounds on a green/silver Apex lure tipped with corn scented with Kokanee Feast at 30 feet. He said, “Monte Smith told me the kokanee were above the rainbows, and I started off high in the water column. The fish hit so hard that I thought I was hung up, but since we were in deep water, I knew it was a big fish. We also weighed in the third-place rainbow at 3 pounds, 14 ounces with another at 3.5 pounds, and the rainbows were scattered at depths from 10-45 feet.” Bonds Flat Road is expected to be open by July 4, and this will avoid the 45-minute ride around the lake from Blue Oaks to Fleming Meadows. The lake has risen to 97 percent capacity and 825.03 feet in elevation. The Blue Oaks launch is at the highest level and patience is necessary with the increased number of recreational boaters.
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 3; Crappie 2; Catfish 2; Bluegill 2
At Isabella, access has been regained with containment of a recent fire. Trout fishing is decent with nightcrawlers, trout dough bait or Mice Tails around the Auxiliary Dam, the main dam and French Gulch Marina in response to recent trout plants. Catfishing is best in the South Fork with frozen shad, Sonny’s Stink Bait or mackerel. Crappie fishing is limited to a few slabs in the cold waters of the South Fork. Bass fishing is slow. The lake rose to 63 percent capacity and 2,585.34 feet in elevation. The Kern River is rushing into the lake at more than 7,000 cfs, and the upper and lower Kern River are running high and dangerous. Both sections of the river are nearly unfishable, but there are sections with slower water in the lower Kern. In the upper Kern, Chuck Stokke of Sequoia Fishing Co. in Springville said, “The guided fishing trips at the Golden Trout Wilderness Pack Station are filling up quickly, and it looks like it is going to be an awesome year on the Kern as soon as the water slows down. The tributaries in the Golden Trout Wilderness areas have been fishing well for fly fishermen. Information on the pack station is available at 542-2816.” The local Bakersfield lakes have been excellent for carp with dough baits.
Call: Bob’s Bait (661) 833-8657; North Fork Marina (760) 376-1812
Bass 3; Crappie 2; Trout 2; Catfish 2
Bass fishing remains solid with live bait such as live minnows or crawdads, but the hot temperatures and high water levels have brought out loads of recreational boaters. The fish are still in the shallows, and they are feeding heavily. Plastic worms, Brush Hogs, and lizards are also good options. Crappie are the other major species, and they are taken around structure with small minnows or minijigs near Horse Creek. Kaweah rose 3 feet to 708.82 in elevation and 93 percent capacity.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212
Bass 2; Trout 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
Chuck Stokke of Sequoia Fishing Co. in Springville said, “The extremely hot temperatures have kept most bass fishermen off of the lake this week with recreational boating taking over. The few brave fishermen who came out were on and off of the lake early or late. A few bass are taken on deep-diving crankbaits, topwater lures, or plastics on the drop-shot.” Success is at 101 percent capacity and 652.99 feet in elevation. Stokke added, “Wishon and Belknap campgrounds are stocked with trout, and the sections of the tule are still closed. The flows have increased due to snowmelt.”
Call: Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626, sequoiafishingcompany.com
Bass 3; Trout 2; King salmon 1; Kokanee 1; Crappie 2; Catfish 2
The Lake McClure Independence Day “Lights on the Lake” fireworks show is Saturday, with designated parking for viewing opening at 5 p.m. The show begins at dusk. Access to the lake will be through the MID Parks kiosk at 9090 Lake McClure Road. Visitors can watch the fireworks from their boats, but nighttime navigation laws will be enforced. Reservations for camping should be made as soon as possible as spaces are limited. The day-use fee is $20 Saturday. Recreational boating has taken over the lake, but there still is a decent bass bite in the early mornings or evenings with Pro Worm’s 300 or Berserk Baits Green Craw jigs at depths from 25-45 feet. Ramps at Barrett Cove and McClure Point are open. The lake rose 6 feet to 97 percent capacity and 863.42 in elevation.
The extreme heat has limited bank action to the early morning or late evening hours at the normal locations of the brush pile, handicapped docks and the peninsula near the marina with trout dough bait, nightcrawlers or Kastmasters. With the warm weather, fish are scattering into deeper locations in the lake up the river arm. Wedding Rings tipped with a piece of nightcrawler behind a dodger or blue/chrome Kastmasters are picking up a few planters above the second fence line. There are a number of the trophy trout remaining in the lake with rainbows to 22 inches landed within the past few weeks..
Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River
Bass 3; Striped bass 1; Shad 1; Bluegill 1
At Millerton, Gilbert reported catching spotted bass isn’t a problem, but locating keepers is a challenge. He said, “You can land from 15-20 bass with three or four keepers. After 10 a.m., the recreational boats take over the lake, and it is difficult to fish the main lake. There is a lot of floating wood in both the main lake and in the river arm, and boaters have to be very cautious. Aaron Peratt of Clovis caught and released a 17-pound striped bass on a dart heat near Finegold. The topwater bite has slowed down with most of our anglers heading to Pine Flat for better topwater action.” The crappie bite has slowed to a crawl. Both reservoirs are high, with Millerton at 91 percent capacity and 568.34 feet in elevation despite heavy releases down the San Joaquin River and Friant/Kern Canal. 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 and must be released immediately if inadvertently caught.
Call: Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474
New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch
Bass 3; Crappie 2; Catfish 2; Trout 2; Kokanee 2
New Melones has been kicking out trophy largemouth bass on topwater lures for experienced anglers, but with the triple-digit temperatures that have gripped the Valley for the past 10 days, the trout and kokanee are dropping deeper and deeper. John Liechty of Xperience Fishing Guide Service said, “The bass had been relatively tough for the past couple weeks, but we caught them this week as we dialed in on where they are holding and what they are feeding on. This year, the fish successfully spawned and the bass fry and small sunfish can be found in many areas of the lake. We have caught fish that spit dozens of smaller fish out as they fight their way to the boat, most of which are small bass, sunfish and shad. Using lures that match the size and color of the forage has helped us catch a good amount of fish and some giants. On Friday, I spent the day on the water fishing and filming with good friend Josh Parris, and it ended up being the most epic day of filming and fishing that we have ever had together! We really wanted to get some topwater footage, but the fish were not responding to it at all. As we worked down the bank, I continued to cast out my River2Sea Whopper Plopper in hopes we would get a good blow-up. I made a cast to a secondary point and let the bait sit for a second. After one twitch, the lure disappeared as an absolute giant crushed it and pulled it under. After a short fight we managed to land a monster 10.08-pound largemouth bass. We continued fishing throughout the morning and caught quite a few nice fish on reaction baits and Senkos. About 12:30 p.m. it was getting hot. Instead of calling it a day, we decided to capture some footage of the River2Sea lures in action. On one of our casts for footage, Josh Parris had a giant smash his lure on the surface a beautiful largemouth that weighed 7.85-pounds. These were two of the biggest fish we have ever caught on New Melones in June.” Gene Hildebrand of Glory Hole Sports in Angels Camp said, “The trout have been going deeper in the water column between 45 and 60 feet between the two bridges with kokanee lures, pink Apex lures, pink glow hoochies topped with garlic corn behind a dodger. Kokanee fishing has been slow, but the fish have been large. Vance Staplin of Vance’s Tackle fished the lake last week using pink/chartreuse hoochies behind a blue dodger for a single kokanee, losing two more at the boat.” Catfishing continues to be best in the evenings with cut baits or balls of nightcrawlers while the occasional crappie can be taken near the timber along the shorelines. Recreational boating is ramping up on the weekends and also during weekdays with the summer closures of local schools, and there is a plenty of floating and submerged timber in the main lake. All launch ramps are open, and the lake rose 3 feet to 91 percent capacity and 1,067.54 feet in elevation.
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 2; Crappie 2
Pine Flat has been the top lake for Fresno-area bass fishermen, but the lake is hampered by heavy recreational boating arriving by midmorning in response to triple-digit temperatures. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “The lake is 99 percent full at Pine Flat, and there is very little parking available. You have to arrive early to find a parking spot for a boat trailer, but the bass bite isn’t bad. There is a good topwater bite with the River2Sea Whopper Plopper as well as Zara Spooks for spots to 3.5 pounds along with small largemouth bass. Anglers are picking up from 18-20 fish per trip, and numbers can be taken on plastics on the drop-shot or Texas-rig. There are few crappie near Trimmer with catfish also found on anchovies or chicken livers. Trout trollers are still picking up a few fish per rod in the 17- to 18-inch range with shad-patterned spoons at 5-6 colors of leadcore line. The trout are dropping, but they still haven’t gone really deep despite the hot temperatures. Trimmer is under water right now, and the bathrooms at Deer Creek are at least partially submerged.” The lake is at at 950.23 feet in elevation, even while releasing water at a fast clip. 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 2; Crappie 2
Despite the lack of jumbo minnows, boaters are scoring schoolie stripers with extra-large minnows near the mouth of Portuguese Cove or the trash racks. Trollers are pulling shad-patterned P-Line Predators along the rockwall on a setback of 120 feet with a trolling speed of 3 mph for schoolies in the 22- to 26-inch range. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “Bank anglers are pounding the shorelines with Magnum Flukes in white ice on a three-quarters or half-ounce lead head or 4-inch Storm swimbaits in bluegill around Dinosaur Point and the Basalt Recreation Area in the evenings.” The lake is at 97 percent capacity. Roger George of Roger George Guide Service said that the wind, heat and lack of pumping slowed the bite over the weekend. “We fished Friday, getting on the lake after 11 a.m. due to wind and got four fish to 24 inches on shad-colored lures at 50 feet by the dam. There were another five fish on that came off-showing they weren’t hitting too hard,” George said. “We had to fish the hot part of the day in 105-degree clear weather –and had to get off at 6 p.m. due to the wind picking up again. The bite has been tough with the pumping slowing or turned off now. There is a blue green algae warning for anglers and visitors to the lake now due to the toxic nature of the algae. Kids and pets are especially at risk.” Mickey Clements of Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill said, “Small striped bass are the rule with chicken livers or anchovies under the Highway 152 Bridge or around Check 12. With the hot temperatures, anglers are only coming out in the early mornings or the evenings.” The water in the main lake has risen again to 97 percent capacity.
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
Recreational boating has taken over the lake with only a few trout trollers willing to brave the early-morning hours before the arrival of the roaring flotilla around 9 a.m. With the enforcement of the Sheriff’s Motor Fee, bass boats are staying off the lake until after Labor Day. A few bass fishermen are walking the banks or working the docks in the evenings. Webcams are available at basslakeca.com/. The lake is at 99 percent capacity.
Call: Mike Beighey 642-3748; Bass Lake Watersports 642-3200
Brown trout 3; Trout 3
Kaiser Pass Road is open, and again a number of fishermen went over the pass to Edison and Florence during the past weekend. Vermilion Valley Resort at Lake Edison reported very good fishing, and this was confirmed by Merritt Gilbert who said, “Bank fishermen have been scoring quality browns and rainbows with inflated nightcrawlers or trout dough bait.” The lakes are high with Edison rising to 97 percent capacity, Florence to 89 percent and Mammoth Pool to 102 percent.
Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000
Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake
Kokanee 3; Trout 2
Shaver Lake has been a consistent location for big kokanee to 17 inches, and this week was no exception with great success on guide trips at the lake. The bite should continue to improve through July as the schools start to accumulate into selected areas and depths within the lake. Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters said, “We have been on the lake for the past two weeks nearly every day, and we have experienced some rollercoaster-type fishing during these weeks, but I think you can say that mixed-limit action is great. We have collected three or more limits a day for the entire week, and most every day at least three large kokanee to 17.75 inches are landed. The Borgatello brothers, David and Mario along with David Shiffen from Santa Barbara fished two days collecting their three limits each day plus tossing at least a dozen small kokanee or trout each day. I think this success is going to last a while. There is a good mixture of large kokanee and nice planter trout with the kokanee at depths from 20-40 feet with Dick’s Trout Busters or Koke Busters tipped with corn. Shaver Lake regulars, Earl Taniguchi and Carl House of Fresno were fishing near me two days this week, and they put in limits of only kokanee this week pulling Terry Walton’s pink spinners behind his blades at depths from 30-40 feet.” Nichols took out Bob Anderson and Steve Rhodes of Sacramento and after putting together mixed limits, they went searching for a trophy trout, landing one near the island on a Trout Buster. Sunday’s action was slower with Nichols reporting six small kokanee along with two larger ones to 16 inches and no rainbow trout. At upstream Huntington, Nichols said, “Ray Golden, camp director at Camp Keola, has been advising me of their young campers limiting out from the banks every day with trout dough bait or inflated nightcrawlers.” Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis confirmed the good bank action near the Auxiliary Dam, saying, “The road in the back of the lake is now open, and much of the lake is accessible.” Shaver is at 83 percent capacity with Huntington at 98 percent.
Call: Dick’s Fishing Charters 841-2740; Dinkey Creek Inn 841-3435; Rancheria Marina 893-3234; Shaver Lake Sports Inc. 841-2740; Todd Wittwer 288-8100; Fish Box Charters 871-3937
Wishon Reservoir has been open for several weeks, and the snow has melted enough for Courtright to open within a few days. Chuck Crane of Wishon Village RV Park and Store said, “Courtright is expected to open this week, but those interested are advised to call the store for the latest road conditions. Trout fishing at Wishon has been improving every day, and the lake is full and spilling over. There is a lot of water coming in, and trollers are scoring with Z-Rays, Needlefish, or Speedy Shiners in copper/red or brass/red at 2-4 colors of leadcore. in front of the dam and from the shoreline to the tunnel opening. Leo and Carol Labbe continue to score daily limits pulling his custom trolling flies along the shorelines at depths from 10-20 feet.” Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters said, “My clients David and Mario Borgatello and David Shiffen of Santa Barbara took a day off from trolling Shaver Lake, and they went up to Wishon for seven trout including a 19-inch brown trout using Dick’s Trout Busters behind a Mountain Flasher.” Bank fishing is fair, but Dylan Crane has been scoring several rainbows in the evenings using a Thomas Buoyant in brass/red on 4-pound test on an ultralight rod while walking the banks near the Helms parking lot.
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
Salmon 3; Rockfish 3; Striper 3; Crabs 2
The arrival of calm weather off the San Mateo coastline has coincided with the emergence of salmon above Half Moon Bay. After a day of running as far north as Duxbury Buoy to seek salmon with the Golden Gate fleet on Friday, Captain Dennis Baxter of the New Captain Pete struck gold in the local waters at Montara and Egg Rock with 16 salmon to 22 pounds for 17 anglers on Saturday. Baxter said, “The conditions were outstanding up at N Buoy, W Buoy, and S Buoy with whales, birds, brown water, and a lot of feed, but the salmon were absent for us. We finally picked a few once we arrived at Duxbury, and I was searching for sign on our way back to the harbor. We started off on Saturday off of Devils Slide as the krill was thick with blue whales and Cassin’s auklets all over the place. The salmon were on the surface from 20-35 feet.” Captain Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat reported outstanding rock cod and ling cod fishing at the Deep Reef and off Pigeon Point, stating, “We found heavy sacks of yellowtails, coppers, and lings off of Pigeon over the weekend.” He will be running rockfish/crab combination trips until the Dungeness crab closure in this section of the coast on June 30. Mattusch was at the Deep Reef on Sunday, and he called in the Coast Guard and the Whale Entanglement Team to release a humpback whale tied up by a crab pot line around the tail in 200 feet of water six miles off the harbor. Out of Half Moon Bay Sport Fishing, Sherri Ingles reported excellent rockfishing when the weather cooperates at the Deep Reef and Pigeon Point. She said, “It has been very windy this spring, but on the days we are able to get out there, the extra 10 fathoms has been producing an excellent quality of rockfish that we haven’t been able to reach for at least 10 years. The Riptide scored 15 limits of both ling cod and rockfish on a recent trip, and experienced fishermen have been routinely bringing home limits. From the beaches, the striper bite has been very good with Diawa’s SP Minnows or Miki’s from Ocean Beach all the way south to Pigeon Point.”
Call: Happy Hooker (510) 223-5388; Captain Roger Thomas, Salty Lady (415) 760-9362; Emeryville Sport Fishing (510) 654-6040
Rockfish 3; Striper 2
The weather has been much improved, and the Check Mate from Chris’ fishing in Monterey put in 44 ling cod and half limits of rockfish Sunday with the Caroline posting 14 lings and half limits of rockfish for 24 anglers. Saturday’s scores were better with three-quarters limits of rockfish and limits of lings for 18 anglers on the Caroline along with three-quarter limits and 26 lings for 19 anglers on the Check Mate. They have some room during the week, but the weekends are getting filled quickly. The recreational ocean salmon season from Pigeon Point south to Point Sur is open until July 15 with the commercial season closing on July 1.
Call: Chris’ Landing (831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173; usafishing.com
San Francisco Bay
Halibut 3; Striper 2; Rockfish 3; Leopard shark 2; Sturgeon 3; Salmon 4
Mike Aughney of USA Fishing.com said, “The weather is flat and the salmon are chomping over a very wide area. On Sunday, we had high fog, calm winds and less than a three foot swell. Captain Jared Davis on the Salty Lady from Sausalito reported that they were trolling from N Buoy and NW along the north bound shipping lane. They ended the day with 32 salmon for 22 anglers with fish to 26 pounds. They lost many other fish along the way with several multiple hookups of 4 or more on at a time. Other boats were fishing up closer to Point Reyes for limits and near limits while some six-pack and private boaters reported fish per rod to limits in as close as outside Duxbury. What is encouraging is that the fish over the weekend were a different grade than boats found last week. While the grade of fish last week was 15 pounds plus, we are seeing more 8- to 12-pound fish in the weekend mix.” Captain Davis did it again on Monday with 17 limits of salmon to 25 pounds in the northern shipping lanes. The salmon bite is wide open along the Marin coast with Captain Trent Slate of Bite Me Charters out of Loch Lomond putting in limits on both Friday and Saturday. He said, “We went right off of the point at Point Reyes on Friday, but the fish were 3 to 4 miles south of there on Saturday. There are tons of whales, birds, and krill around in the flat ocean, and the bite is completely wide open.” Inside the bay, despite huge tides, halibut fishing remains amazing good with the Happy Hooker out of Berkeley putting in 10 halibut and 15 striped bass for 14 anglers – nearly two fish per rod. The California Dawn took out a 12-man charter on Saturday for close to two fish a rod with 17 halibut to 12 pounds and 6 stripers to 9 pounds. Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle reported there are great sturgeon tides this weekend, but few fishermen are heading out with ghost shrimp or grass shrimp for the diamondbacks. An 8-foot sturgeon along with a 45-inch slot limit fish were landed off the McNear’s Pier on Loch Lomond ghost shrimp. Unfortunately, it appears that bat rays are starting to appear in San Pablo Bay. He said, “Halibut fishing has slowed with the big tides, but it is still amazing that there are fish biting in the minus tides. There still are a load of shakers out there, and I think we should protect these fish by using only single hooks and not trebles in order to make a easy release.”
San Luis Obispo
San Luis County ports are kicking out rockfish with the opportunity for a quality ling cod; limits were the rule over the weekend. The Endeavor and Avenger out of Morro Bay Landing went out with a combined 64 anglers on Sunday for limits of rockfish consisting of 568 vermilion rockfish, 20 assorted, 30 coppers, 22 Boccaccio, and 42 ling cod to 19 pounds. Out of Virg’s Landing in Morro Bay, the Fiesta scored limits for 32 anglers on Sunday with 50 vermilion, 32 canary, and 238 assorted rockfish along with 8 ling cod to 7.5 pounds. Out of Patriot Sport Fishing at Port San Luis, the Patriot went on a rock and crab combination with 26 anglers for 69 Dungeness crab, 20 vermilion, 58 Bolina, 182 assorted rockfish, and 5 ling cod to 5 pounds. Ben Islay of Porterville took the jackpot on this trip. The Phenix went on a ½ day trip with 18 anglers for 57 vermilion, 15 copper, 7 Boccaccio, 96 assorted rockfish, and 11 ling cod to 13 pounds with the big fish taken by Tim Dixon of Selma. Both harbors have a variety of trips running from ½ day through 2-day trips in the upcoming weeks.
Call: Virg’s Landing, (805) 772-1222; (800) 762-5263; Patriot Sports Fishing (805) 595-4100; Port Side Marine Sports Launch (805) 595-7214
Bass 3; Striper 2; Sturgeon 2; Catfish 2; Bluegill 3
The water of the Sacramento River has been dropping within the past few weeks, but fishing interest and action has been limited to a few areas within the Sacramento-Delta with the advent of triple-digit temperatures. Lower Suisun Bay has been the top spot for sturgeon and striped bass. Dan Mathisen of Dan’s Delta Outdoors in Oakley reported good smallmouth action in the north Delta with crawdad-patterned plastics or small crankbaits. Catfishing is best with mackerel in the Isleton area while striper trollers are scoring with P-Line Angry Eye Predators or with Savage Prey lures. In the Walnut Grove area, Mathisen said, “Spinnerbaits and swimjigs are working for largemouth and smallmouth bass around Hogback in Steamboat Slough while bank fishermen are tossing anchovies and sardines for catfish.” Anglers in search of stripers are finding the bite to be tough but still those who stick with it are getting small keepers on occasion from both boat and bank. From as far west as Honker Bay to the Broad Slough and Antioch pier persistent bait dunkers with Anchovies and Sardines ae finding fun action. Sturgeon success has come on the outgoing tide with pile worms, eel and roe. Broad Slough, Bouy 1 and Pittsburg PG&E are good bets. Not great by any means but a fun way to spend the hot summer evenings. Steve Santucci of Steve Santucci’s Fly Fishing Guide Service said, “With water temperatures of 70-plus degrees, topwater smallmouth is starting to happen, and I turn my attention to these fish in the summer before returning to stripers in the Fall. Delta Smallmouth Bass fishing is ideal for beginner Fly Fishing or just plain fun for the seasoned veteran! We primarily target smallmouth with 4-5wt Rods & size 6 poppers in various colors. We also use popper droppers, small clousers & crawfish patterns when necessary.” In Suisun Bay, Pam Hayes of Benicia Bait reported striped bass are coming from shore. There are still sturgeon to be had but there are few boats out there trying. A 16-inch halibut and few flounder have been landed from the banks at the Dillon Point State Park. Hayes said, “I didn’t expect any halibut to be coming this far upriver with the fresh water inflow, but it was definitely an undersized halibut.” They have grass shrimp, ghost shrimp, and pile worms in the shop, but jumbo blood worms have been difficult to obtain. Tony Lopez of Benicia Bait reported anglers out of McAvoy’s Boat Harbor are using live splittail for huge striped bass in excess of 25 pounds. He said, “I have been working at McAvoy’s at Lost Anchor Bait and Tackle on occasion, and there are big stripers coming in every day. These fishermen know when and where to go since they are only staying out for a few hours and coming in with big fish. There have also been some oversized sturgeon hooked and released on the live splittail. The best areas for striped bass from our shorelines have been 9th Street and off of the State Park, and there have been some decent stripers from the shorelines on blood worms or anchovies. We have had a discussion on the origin of these big stripers, and I think they are coming in from out of the ocean and not downstreamers since they are beautifully colored fish and very clean.” Grass shrimp are back in area shops, and Curtis Hayes of Benicia Bait has the Hailey Haze back on the water, loading up with grass shrimp from in front of the Napa River. The Martinez shoreline is producing a larger grade of grass shrimp which is remarkable with the big tides. The Yamamoto Big Bass Challenge out of Russo’s Marina took place over the weekend, and there were several huge largemouth bass in excess of 9 pounds landed during the two-day event. Striped bass have been scarce with the exception of a few fish taken on live bluegill around Mildred Island while bluegill are thick along the docks. Jeff Huth, emcee and weighmaster for the event said, “Scott Helleson and Nick Nourot took the grand prize after posting a number of largemouth bass from 7 to nearly 10 pounds using a 5-inch Senko 297. Our overall participant numbers were slightly down this year, but we still had 205 participants during the event. There were at least 4 other tournaments on the Delta this weekend, and some of our anglers only fished one day since there is a $500 prize each hour for the largest fish brought to the scales. The 5 and 7 inch Senkos were effective along with the Zako lure.” Dan Mathisen of Dan’s Delta Outdoors in Oakley said, “The key right now is finding current, current, and current and the two top techniques are punching or chatterbaits. I have been throwing the Pro Z frog for 13 hookups out of 14 blowup on one night with 11 of 12 on the previous evening. The frog bite has been limited to the evenings. My wife, Sandra, has been scoring with the Snag Proof Original frog. Drop-shotting or cranking in current are additional productive techniques. The water temperature has risen to the 78- to 79-degree range as water releases continue to flow from the San Joaquin’s tributaries. The Stanislaus is running at 4600 cfs right now, and it is normally at 750 cfs at this time of year. We haven’t seen many striped bass from the San Joaquin or Sacramento Rivers this week.” The recent triple-digit weather will require the bass to seek cooler water around current and under shade. The Best Bass Tournaments drew more than 100 boats Saturday, and although four-fifths of the participants weighed in fish, 22 boats came up empty, emphasizing the difficulty of finding quality fish on the Delta at the present time. The top three places came in at over 17 pounds with the team of John Garrett and Tony Vaughn taking first place at 17.82 pounds with a big fish at 9 pounds. Randy Pringle, the fishing instructor and tournament director of Best Bass Tournament said, “Catching one big fish was the key to winning the tournament since it has been difficult out there. There was some wind toward the end of the half-day tournament, and crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and buzzbaits started working in the breeze. The water is still dingy, and my game plan would be to work farther toward the northeast Delta where the water should be cleared. Finding current is a key, and I plan on working flats where the green weeds are waving at you. Running and gunning is important as I will be moving around looking for moving water and keeping more rods than normal ready on the deck since topwater lures such as the ima Little Stick, the ima Squarebill crankbait, or the Chigger Craw or Pit Boss should all be effective. Flipping the Chigger Craw into the moving grass is a good techniques since the fish will be seeking cooler water.” Alan Fong of the Fisherman’s Warehouse in Sacramento said, “I was on the Delta this week, and we put in over 20 pounds for five fish using topwater lures, Senkos, and frogs in black. There are a lot of baby blackbirds falling into the water, and the black frogs are an imitation of the baby birds.” In the south Delta around Stockton, Steve Johnson of H and R Bait in Stockton reported a few stripers to 5 pounds are coming from the Mildred Island area on live bluegill. He said, “We are still getting plenty of fresh shad in the shop, and it is of a large grade. There are bluegill all around the docks near Tiki Lagun and Turner Cut Resort.”
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 3; White bass 2; Striper 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
There are a number of tournaments in July at Nacimiento, Lopez, and for the first time in over a year, Santa Margarita. Recreational boating is heavy at Nacimiento by midmorning as the summer season is in full swing. Anglers will need to get on the late early or late for the opportunity for small spotted bass with topwater lures or by working the bottom with lizards, Brush Hogs or plastics. White bass will be getting active with the hot temperatures, and the normal locations of Snake and Dip Creeks along with Las Tablas are the best locations to find the whites. A webcam of the lake is available at www.lakenacimientolive.com/. Nacimiento remains relatively high at 781.5 feet in elevation and 74 percent capacity. At Lopez Lake, panfishing is best for bluegill and crappie with wax worms and red worms for the bluegill and small crankbaits, minijigs, or shad-patterned swimbaits for crappie. Bass fishing is fair with a topwater bite early and late as well as chatterbaits and spinnerbaits. San Antonio is open at both marinas, and water releases continue to eliminate the recent algae bloom. Overall fishing for largemouth and striped bass has been slow, but the fish should start boiling on the surface with the arrival of hot weather. San Antonio has dropped to 52 percent capacity and 743.5 feet in elevation. Lopez Lake Marina is now open for their summer hours to 9 p.m. A webcam of the lake is available at http://805webcams.com/lopez-lake-webcam/. Santa Margarita has been producing some trophy largemouths, including a 10-pounder on a plastic worm. Swimbaits also are working for largemouths with crappie biting minijigs tipped with wax worms. The There are repairs occurring at the marina and White Oaks on the weekdays.
Call: Lake Nacimiento (805) 238-1056, ext. 3; Lake San Antonio Marina (805) 472-2818; CentralCoastBassFishing.com (805) 466-6557
- Phil Johnson Memorial Kokanee Power Tournament on June 24 at Don Pedro: 1, Jack Schultz/Carol Voris/Alan Traynor 53.10 ounces; 2, Robbie and Kim Dunham 37.4 ounces; 3, John Lico/Gary Coe 32.85 ounces
- New Jen Bass Tournament on June 24 at Eastman: 1, Mark Morales/Fernie Macias 15.08 pounds; 2, Dan Moreno/Gary Wasson 12.81; 3, John Albidrez/Mark Corrente 10.17
- Sierra Bass Club Tournament on June 17 at Eastman: 1, Ceasar Gonzalas 11.74; 2, Quincy Mars 9.21; 3, Jimmy Smith 8.24; big fish, Ceasar Gonzalas 3.36
- July 7: Kaweah, Visalia Bass Club; Santa Margarita, 101 Bass Nights
- July 8: Delta/Ladd’s Marina, Best Bass Tournaments; Delta/B and W Resort, American Bass Association; Salt Springs, Manteca Bassin’ Buddies; Amador, Modesto Ambassadors; Don Pedro, Fresno Bass Club/Riverbank Bass Anglers; Eastman, Bakersfield Bass Club; Kaweah, Success Bass Club; Success, Porterville Bass Club; Isabella, American Bass Association; Nacimiento, San Luis Obispo County Bass Ambushers
- July 9: Santa Margarita, Good Old Boys
- July 12: Delta/Ladd’s, Bass Pro Shops
- July 15: Delta/Ladd’s Marina, Bass N’ Tubes; Delta/Big Break Marina, Dan’s Delta Outdoors; Eastman, Kings River Bass Club; Wishon, Kiwani’s Special Olympics Trout Derby; Kaweah, New Jen Bass Tournaments; Lopez, Kern County Bassmasters; Santa Margarita, 101 Bass
- July 16: Delta/Big Break Marina, Yak A’ Bass; Delta/Russo’s Marina, Cooch’s Fishing
- July 21-22: Pine Flat, Sierra Bass Club Night tournament
- July 22: Delta/B and W Resort, Mid Valley Bass Club; Don Pedro, Valley Hawg Hunters; Eastman, Pheng Tommy Vang Bass; Isabella, Lake Isabella Bass Club/Taft Bass Club; Santa Margarita, Best Bass Tournaments
- July 29: Delta/Russo’s Marina, Angler’s Press; Pine Flat, Bass 101 Open Tournament; Isabella, American Bass Association; Lopez, Golden Empire Bass Club
- Fresno County: Courtright Reservoir; Dinkey Creek; Kings River, below Pine Flat Dam
- Kern County: Kern River, sections 1-5
- Madera County: Chiquito Creek West Fork; Chiquito Creek, Lower; Fish Creek; Rock Creek
- Mariposa County: Merced River, Section II
- Tulare County: Balch Park Lake Lower and Upper; Bone Creek; Dry Meadow Creek; Freeman Creek; Hedrick Pond (Redwood Lake); Kern River, sections 5-6; Nobe Young Creek; Peppermint Creek Lower and Upper; Tule River Middle Fork, North Fork Middle Fork No. 1, South Fork Middle forks No. 2-3
- Tuolumne County: Herring Creek; Lyons Canal (Columbia Ditch); Moccasin Creek; Pinecrest Lake; Powerhouse Stream; Stanislaus River Clarks, Middle, North and South forks; Tuolumne River Middle, North and South forks
q = quarter moon