Compiled by Dave Hurley and edited by Roger George, a former Olympic-class decathlete at Fresno State and striper record-holder at Millerton Lake and who now guides in the greater Fresno area. Telephone numbers are in 559 calling area unless noted. Have a photo of a recent catch to share? Email it to email@example.com with “fish photo” in the subject line.
Delta bass hitting frogs, Alan Fong reported. Shaver Lake mixed limits common, Dick Nichols said. Don Pedro trout and bass biting, Monte Smith reported. Half Moon Bay salmon on a tear, Dennis Baxter said. Millerton and Pine Flat kicking out bass, Merritt Gilbert reported. Wishon and Courtright on good trout bites, Chuck Crane said.
2-Have to work hard
4-Fish jumpin’ in boat
Delta Mendota Canal and Sloughs
Stripers 2; Catfish 2
The California Aqueduct is starting to show some signs of life in the northern section with Duo Realis jerkbaits and Lucky Craft Pointer 100’s. Most striper fishermen continue to head north to the main San Luis reservoir to work the banks in the evenings. In the south aqueduct in Kern County, small stripers are the rule, and the moss is accumulating because of the hot temperatures. 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 the Buena Vista Golf Course, Highway 166/Old River and Tupman Road.
Bass 2; Trout 2; Bluegill 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
There is some topwater action in the early mornings, but the best fishing has been above submerged islands or rockpiles at depths from 20-25 feet with plastics on a Carolina-rig or jigs. The river arm remains off limits until Aug. 1. The lake is releasing water, dropping to 83 percent capacity and 571.80 feet in elevation.
Call: Eastman Lake 689-3255
Bass 2; Trout 2; Catfish 2; Bluegill 2; Crappie 2
Most Fresno-area crappie fishermen are working minijigs for palm-sized slabs around structure. Bluegill are also active with meal worms, red worms or wax worms. Catfishing hasn’t taken off, but the occasional whiskerfish to 4 pounds is landed on mackerel, sardines or anchovies from the banks. Bass fishing remains slow. The lake is releasing water, dropping to 62 percent capacity and 515.52 feet in elevation.
Call: Valley Rod & Gun, Clovis 292-3474; Six Star Tackle Box 673-5688; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Hensley Lake Hidden Dam 673-5151
Lake Don Pedro
Bass 3; Trout 3; Kokanee 2; King salmon 2; Crappie 1
Rainbow trout are happening for trout trollers along with a solid bass bite, but kokanee remain a mystery at Don Pedro. Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing continues to put his clients onto limits of rainbow trout along with the occasional king salmon. He said, “On my trip this week, I wasn’t able to get the fourth rod down on the downrigger when the second rod went off with a quality rainbow at 5:55 a.m. We were done with a pair of limits by 8:45 a.m., and my clients were happy to call it a day as his two granddaughters had scored their limits including releasing a largemouth bass at 5 pounds. The big bass kept both girls busy as it was pulling line until the grandfather took over to catch and release the fish. I am not even trying for kokanee right now since they are so scarce. We did pick up a king salmon around 2.5 pounds on a recent trip, and I am still running my custom shad-patterned spoons on the downrigger. The fish are dropping a bit deeper right now in the 30- to 35-foot range. Boat traffic after the Fourth of July holiday wasn’t too bad, and we were able to launch and put the boat back on the trailer with minimal delay.” For largemouth bass, Mike Gomez of the Bait Barn in Waterford reported a solid topwater bite in the early morning before switching over to the River2 Sea SWaver by 10 a.m. He said, “The fish are found near the surface in the morning, and there is a good bite with the Berserk brown/purple or Purple Hornet jig along with the Pro Worm 124 p or 300 on the drop-shot at depths to 40 feet.” Bank fishing for trout has slowed with the arrival of triple-digit temperatures. Bonds Flat Road has reopened, eliminating the 45-minute drive around the lake to Fleming Meadows. Current weather conditions are available at https://map.bloomsky.com/weather-stations/gqBxp6apnJSmrqen with a live webcam at https://video.nest.com/live/tE7MzhI0BG. The lake is at 98 percent capacity and 827.45 feet in elevation.
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 2; Catfish 2; Bluegill 2
At Isabella, trout fishing remains fair in the early mornings or late evenings from the areas around the auxiliary dam, the main dam and French Gulch Marina with nightcrawlers, trout dough bait or Mice Tails. Frozen shad, Sonny’s Stink Bait or mackerel are working for a few whiskerfish in the South Fork. Crappie fishing has yet to start in earnest along with bass fishing. The lake is at 2,582.11 feet in elevation and 58 percent capacity amid heavy water releases. Both sections of the Kern River are nearly unfishable, but there are stretches with slower water in the lower portion. In the upper Kern, guided fishing trips at the Golden Trout Wilderness Pack Station are filling up quickly; it looks like it is going to be an awesome year on the river as soon as the water slows. 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 2; Crappie 2; Trout 2; Catfish 2
Success Bass Club held a night tournament on Friday night into Saturday morning, and the team of Gary Wasson and Joe Baeza won with an average in excess of 2 pounds. During the day, recreational boating is heavy on the nearly filled lake. The only time to get out on the water for fishing is very early in the mornings. Live bait such as minnows or crawdads remain productive. The lake is at 86 percent capacity and 652.96 feet in elevation.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212
Bass 2; Trout 3; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
Chuck Stokke of Sequoia Fishing Co. in Springville said, “Success hasn’t been so successful this past week with the recreational boaters taking over the lake in response to the extreme heat. The bass bite is very tough with anglers only finding action in the early mornings or evenings with plastics, topwater lures, and crankbaits.” The upper Tule is fishing excellent with mayfly patterns, and all campgrounds such as Balch Park. Success is at 100 percent capacity and 652.96 feet in elevation.
Call: Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626, sequoiafishingcompany.com
Bass 3; Trout 2; King salmon 1; Kokanee 1; Crappie 2; Catfish 2
Recreational boating has taken over the lake, but Mike Gomez of the Bait Barn in Waterford said, “Bass fishing remains solid with a topwater bite early or late before dropping to the bottom with Berserk’s Purple Hornet jig or Pro Worm’s 124p or 300 worm on the drop-shot.” Numbers of spotted bass are possible. The lake is at 98 percent capacity and 863.73 feet in elevation. The launch ramps at Barrett Cove and McClure Point are open..
Trout plants have not occurred for some time, but there are still big rainbows taken from the banks with garlic trout dough bait, salmon eggs or Power Eggs. The brush pile, handicapped docks or the peninsula around the marina remain the top locations with by far the best action in the early mornings before the sun rises.
Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River
Bass 3; Striped bass 1; Shad 1; Bluegill 2; Crappie 2
At Millerton, numbers of spotted bass of a smaller grade are abundant with plastics on the drop-shot or dart head along with spinnerbaits. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “The size is smaller than Pine Flat, but the numbers are better. Aaron Peratt of Clovis caught and released another 15-pound striped bass on a dart head in the main lake, but this is the only striper than I have heard of this week. A few guys are trolling up above Finegold, but there is still a lot of wood on the surface below Temperance.” Roger George of Roger George Guide Service said that he made a scouting trip and was turned back above Temperance by the huge 80-plus-yard logjam. “I haven’t seen the logjam this thick for years and there are big trees stuck in the middle of it,” George said. “Guys forget that the loose debris can easily clog up your engines water flow, and burn up, or disable, your engine before you know it. There has been very little striper activity so far this year. “ The crappie bite has slowed down at both lakes. Millerton is at 100 percent capacity and 578.15 feet in elevation. Regulations on the lower San Joaquin, and from Friant Dam downstream to the Highway 140 Bridge, allow only two hatchery trout or hatchery steelhead with a total of four in possession. The hatchery fish have a healed adipose fin clip.
Call: Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474
New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch
Bass 2; Crappie 2; Catfish 2; Trout 2; Kokanee 1
New Melones remains a scratch bite overall for all species, but there are quality largemouth bass and rainbow trout to be had for those willing to put in the work. John Liechty of Xperience Fishing Guide Service said, “The bass bite has been tough, but I have been expecting this for some time with the high water levels in the lake. There is the same amount of fish in the lake as in the past, but the high water has scattered the bass into new areas. This combined with the amazing amount of bait in the lake is making for more difficult conditions for those using artificials. There is five times the water than last year, and you have to go through a lot of area in order to locate quality bass. We are finding some huge largemouths, mostly on topwater lures, and my client caught and released an 8-pounder on a topwater lure on Sunday morning. Topwater lures and crankbaits are the best bets for the occasional quality largemouth.” Trout fishing is similar to bass fishing as there are quality rainbows in the 2- to 5-pound range possible, but trollers will have to be patient in order to put together a limit. Lietchy said, “There was a boat with limits on Sunday working the main lake around Rose Island and the dam with Wedding Rings tipped with a nightcrawler behind a dodger. The section of the lake between the two bridges is another good option.” The rainbows are dropping deeper in the water column with the triple-digit temperatures. Kokanee are almost non-existent, and those targeting them are catching rainbows. In addition to New Melones, nearby Don Pedro has also experienced a similar kokanee bite with only an occasional huge fish landed. The lake is steady at 91 percent capacity and 1,068.48 feet in elevation with inflow from the Stanislaus River balanced with water releases. All launch ramps are open.
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 experiencing a decent bite for spotted bass in the 1.5- to 1.75-pound range, but the lack of parking spaces for boat trailers along the inundated shore of the reservoir has been the limiting factor. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “There is limited parking at the lake with perhaps 15-20 spaces throughout the open launch ramps. The Trimmer launch ramp is inundated, and Cove Island might be in the same boat with the high water making the ramps inaccessible. There is a good topwater bite in the morning and evening with better action in the evening while Yamamoto grubs on the dart head or squarebilled crankbaits that run to 4 feet are also working. Trout fishing has been decent with trollers averaging from 3-4 rainbows to 18.5 inches working the main lake in the early mornings. The trout are still shallow despite the heat, and the best action is occurring between 25-30 feet. Leadcore line is still effective with the rainbows high in the column.” The lake is at 99 percent capacity and 949.82 feet in elevation. 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
In the main lake, the heat has limited most anglers to the early mornings and evenings, but there are still large striped bass taken on white flukes, Duo Realis jerkbaits or Lucky Craft Pointers from Dinosaur Point or the Basalt Recreation Area. Trollers are having to work deeper in the lake with the heat, and the lack of jumbo or extra-large minnows have limited drifting live bait. The Department of Water Resources issued a health advisory to avoid contact with the lake’s water or consume fish from the reservoir because of the presence of toxic blue-green algae. The main lake is at 98 percent capacity. Roger George of Roger George Guide Service said that the bite has been slow for trollers and the pumps have been off, then on again in the past week. “The best bite seems to be throwing lures near shoreline right now, but there have been some nice fish coming from trollers – but you have to work for them,” George said. “The night anglers were still getting a few good fish during the full moon phase.” In the forebay, small striped bass are the rule with white flukes or topwater lures in the early morning before the anchovy bite takes over by midmorning. Numbers of small stripers are possible, but keepers are elusive. With the heat, the section of the lake under the Highway 152 Bridge or around Check 12 are the top locations. There is an early or late bite with topwater lures or swimbaits when the stripers are boiling on the surface.
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 occasional rainbow trout to 19 inches is possible for trollers working in the early morning from Indian Cove to the dam, but once the horn sounds at 8 a.m., the recreational boaters take over the lake. Staying behind the keep out buoys at the dam is the only location to troll. Interest in bass fishing has waned with the Sheriff’s Motor Fee, but a few anglers are walking the banks in the evenings. Webcams of the lake are available at http://basslakeca.com/. The lake is at 101 percent capacity.
Call: Mike Beighey 642-3748; Bass Lake Watersports 642-3200
Brown trout 3; Trout 3
All high-elevation lakes are nearing capacity, and Edison is kicking out rainbows and trout for those soaking Power Bait or inflated nightcrawlers. Vermilion Valley Resort is back in operation, but there is still plenty of snow in the highest elevations. Edison is at 98 percent capacity, Florence at 86 percent and Mammoth Pool at 100 percent as a result of snowmelt.
Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000
Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake
Kokanee 3; Trout 3; Smallmouth 2
Shaver Lake continues to kick out some of the largest kokanee in the state along with an improved showing of trophy rainbows from the spring plants by the Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project. Fred Mahoney of Shaver Lake landed a massive kokanee at 18.75 inches on a green PPK Tomahawk spinner, and kokanee at 17-plus inches are possible. Todd Wittwer of Kokanee.net Guide Service has been finding more and more trophy trout with the Tasmanian Devil in Smashing Pumpkin or White at depths from 30-35 feet in the morning. He said, “Orange seems to be the color since the RMT Orange Hornet spinner, orange Z-Ray, or orange Needlefish are also producing while it has been a tossup between Dick’s Trout Busters and the Orange Hornet for kokanee at depths from 30-35 feet in the morning. Power Eggs on the anchor are also working, and my dad and brother landed trophy trout to 4 pounds while on the anchor.” Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters said, “The long holiday weekend brought hundreds of visitors to Shaver Lake, and we continue to average two mixed limits per trip including at least one large kokanee. The trophy trout are starting to bite, and the Watanabe family from Oakhurst had a great day with me, as 8-year old Blaze Watanabe landed a 4-pound rainbow while his uncle, Dr. D.J. Watanabe scored a 17.5-inch kokanee. The kokanee are in great shape and not showing any signs of pre-spawn changes. The kokanee bite is good in the early mornings for a few hours off of the Point, island, Black Rock, and in front of Boy Scout Cove before a slowdown. Then the trout will go on the bite around 9:30 a.m. Koke Busters in pink or ruby red tipped with corn behind a C.J. Dodger at depths to 35 feet have been working best. Pam Norton of Clovis took her father out for a late Father’s Day gift, and she landed four kokanee in the 16- to 17-inch range.” Steve Santoro of Fish Box Charters said, “The kokanee bite is still on fire as the 3-year-old fish are very aggressive and good fighters. Verlin Dill, Allen Miller, and grandson Mitchell Burgess from Madera Ranchos landed near limits at 13 fish with Mitchell landing the one big kokanee and a trophy trout at 3 pounds. Green hoochies and green Wedding Rings behind a C.J. gold dodger are doing the trick for kokanee with the rainbows on blade/’crawler combinations at 6 to 7 colors of leadcore.” The annual Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Sportsmen’s Dinner on Aug. 12 is already sold out, and the proceeds for the event will be used to purchase more trophy rainbows for Shaver Lake for 2018. Huntington Reservoir has also been productive for bank fishermen as Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “There is a good bank bite off both dams and also at the mouths of the feeder creeks with trout dough bait or nightcrawlers for limits to 15 inches. High-elevation Lake Edison on Kaiser Pass is another option for bank fishermen with limits taken with the same offerings.” Shaver is at 82 percent capacity with Huntington at 96 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
Trout 3; Brown trout 3
With the triple-digit temperatures in the Central Valley, the high-elevation lakes have been providing a respite for those seeking cooler temperatures. Chuck Crane of Wishon Village RV Park and Store said, “It has been very warm up here, but nothing like it is in the valley.” Trout fishing has been best for trollers at Wishon while both trollers and bank fishermen are finding good action at Courtright. Both reservoirs are full to capacity. Crane said, “At Wishon, Allen Pond and his grandson Seth from Coalinga have been catching and releasing brown trout in the 16- to 23-inch range running custom flies near the surface up near the headwaters of the lake. Every day they are out there releasing limits, and 90 percent of their fish are browns. Rainbows are found with Rapalas or Speedy Shiners in a variety of colors at 3-6 colors of leadcore while shore fishing has been slow along the banks.” At Courtright, trolling flies also are working near the surface at the upper end of the lake, and Needlefish or Speedy Shiners in numerous color patterns are working at 4-6 colors for both rainbows and brown trout. Bank fishing is best at the mouths of Nelson or Ducey Creeks with trout dough bait or inflated nightcrawlers. The creek inlets have been best for bank anglers with a lot of fish being landed.
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
Salmon 3; Halibut 2; Rockfish 3; Striper 3
Salmon fishing broke out north of the harbor within the past week, and the party boats are finding solid action for salmon and rockfish. Captain Dennis Baxter of the New Captain Pete said, “All you have to do is produce salmon, and people will come out of the woodwork. There are salmon showing up from Pedro Point to Thornton Beach, and also outside of our harbor inside of the green buoys and along both sides of the reefs. Private boaters and even kayaks in Hobie fishing kayaks are finding action outside of the reef since a wall of bait has been showing up. Trolling has been working better than mooching, but there are private boats that are mooching now. The Red Buoy has been the top location for the kayaks. Private boaters have been finding limits in the late afternoons between the buoys – they aren’t quick and easy, but they can be found. We went north above Pedro Point on this week, and there were a number of fish taken right off of the Silver Saddle outside of Thornton Beach. The Golden Gate Fleet was concentrating in this area. There are salmon from the surfline at Surfer’s Beach north to Miramar.” Halibut is another option in the sand outside of the harbor, and Baxter thought this was a good option for private boaters to make a few drifts after putting together rockfish limits. A 30.9- pound halibut was landed by Hadi Tahai of Redwood City outside of the Red Can along with 23 salmon for 14 anglers on the New Captain Pete this week. Captain Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat said, “We put in 10 salmon for seven passengers on Thursday with just as many lost in the process. We went down to Martin’s Beach in 90 feet of water since there were anchovies in the area, and after landing four salmon, releasing a silver, and losing three more, we ran north above Pedro Point for the remainder of our fish. We arrived just a bit too late to get in on the majority of the action. The beaches above Mussel Rock were loaded with 40 to 60 fishermen on the beach targeting striped bass, and there have been linesides to 25 pounds reported from the beach. There has even been a 15-pounder taken as far south as San Gregorio. I am looking forward to heading out for albacore as the first report came from somewhere between Davidson Seamount and the 451 – 44 miles southwest of San Jose.” Out of Half Moon Bay Sport Fishing, the Queen of Hearts and Riptide have been focusing on rockfishing, and the Riptide brought in 17 limits of rockfish and 6 lings on Saturday with the Queen scoring half limits of rockfish and 14 lings to 16 pounds. The top locations for rockfish have been the recently opened waters of the Deep Reef along with Pescadero and Pigeon Point.
Call: Happy Hooker (510) 223-5388; Captain Roger Thomas, Salty Lady (415) 760-9362; Emeryville Sport Fishing (510) 654-6040
Rockfish 2; Salmon 2; Striper 2
Chris Arcoleo of Chris’s Fishing Trips in Monterey reported a slowdown on the ling cod counts as the boats have been limited to the local reefs due to the weather. The Check Mate put in 18 limits of lings and three-quarter limits of rockfish Saturday, but between the Check Mate and Caroline on Sunday, only one ling cod was landed. He said, “We are still using fresh squid, and the rockfish are quality with 26 limits on Sunday on the Check Mate with another 18 limits on the Caroline. The weather has kept us close to the harbor, and I imagine the ling cod counts will rise once we get to run south. Salmon fishing has been strong off Pacific Grove with private skiffs scratching out 2-3 limits per boat. There are also salmon on the Santa Cruz side in the surf, but these are a smaller grade of fish. We have room on our rockfish trips throughout the next week.” The recreational ocean salmon season from Pigeon Point south to Point Sur is open until July 15, with the commercial season currently closed.
Call: Chris’ Landing (831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173
San Francisco Bay
Halibut 2; Striper 3; Rockfish 3; Leopard shark 2; Sturgeon 2; Salmon 2
The salmon action on the South Side has slowed after 10-plus days of hot action. It's very unusual for the south-side bite to stay that hot for that long. Mike Aughney of USAfishing.com said, “The bite on the North Side or Dux should break open in the days ahead as those fish flush up and stage before heading to the Sacramento Valley rivers in August and September.” Captain Jerad Davis on the Salty Lady out of Sausalito scratched out 15 salmon on Monday off of Arch Rock after finding minimal action north at Duxbury earlier in the day. On Tuesday morning, Davis went south to Mussel Rock for two salmon with another four lost in the early morning. On Sunday, the salmon fleet was spread out from the channel buoys to the Middle Grounds and up to Duxbury. Boats found a few biters in the morning and a long slow grind after. Out of Emeryville Sport Fishing, the C Gull had five salmon for 16 anglers. The Sundance broke the fish-per-rod mark with six salmon for five anglers. The Tigerfish reported a very respectable score of eight salmon for 13 anglers while the Dragon had three salmon for six anglers. Captain Steve Mitchell of Hook’d Up Sport Fishing has been finding great action for salmon, but Sunday was another day with only two bites resulting in a 31-pound salmon. Inside the bay, the big tides slowed down the halibut action in the bay, and it appears that party boats are starting to make the transition outside of the Gate for coastal rockfish. The New Huck Finn out of Emeryville Sport Fishing focused on striped bass for 14 limits of bass, eight halibut and 30 rockfish. The California Dawn went outside the Gate for 268 rockfish and 33 lings before returning to the bay for six striped bass and six halibut to 30 pounds. The halibut bite should improve as the tides continue to back off throughout the week.
San Luis Obispo
The San Luis County party boats remain focused on rockfish, and the Endeavor and Avenger out of Morro Bay Landing went out with 49 anglers on Monday for 250 vermilion, 10 Boccaccio, 30 copper, 150 Bolina and 30 ling cod to 17.5 pounds. Out of Virg’s Landing in Morro Bay, the Fiesta and Rita G went out with 45 anglers for 88 vermilion, 10 Boccaccio, 330 assorted rockfish, 24 coppers, eight canaries and three ling cod. Leah Borda of Bakersfield landed a jackpot vermilion at 7 pounds with Steve Pickett of Fresno scoring a jackpot ling at 5.5 pounds. Out of Patriot Sport Fishing at Port San Luis, two boats went on Monday with 25 anglers for 49 vermilion, 98 Bolina, 24 assorted rockfish, 12 Boccaccio, 61 coppers, and 24 ling cod to 12 pounds. Both harbors have a variety of trips running from half day through two-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 3; Sturgeon 2; Catfish 2; Bluegill 3
The north Delta has slowed way down for striped bass, but there are signs of life in the central Delta from lower Suisun Bay toward Antioch with some decent numbers of striped bass emerging. With the exceptional striped bass bite in San Francisco Bay and along the San Mateo coastline, the linesides made a rapid escape from the upper river system through the Delta into the cooler waters of the bay/ocean. It does appear that some fish are making their move back into the Delta. In the north Delta, small striped bass are plentiful, but keepers are limited to a few fish taken from the banks with sardines or pile worms scented with garlic. Smallmouth bass continue to get active along the rocky banks in the sloughs with deep-diving crankbaits, plastics on the drop-shot or crawdads. Dan Mathisen of Dan’s Delta Outdoors in Oakley said, “The summer pattern has taken over, and catfish are showing in better numbers around Isleton with sardines or chicken livers. A few trollers are working the Old Sacramento River with shallow-running P-Line Angry Eye Predator Minnows or Savage Gear Prey lures. Near Rio Vista, shore fishermen are picking up catfish or stripers with frozen shad or sardines around Three-Mile Slough and from the banks along Sherman Island Road. Smallmouth bass are taken with jigs or swimjigs in Steamboat Slough. Bait dunkers are picking up small keeper stripers from both boats and the banks as far west as Honker Bay back upriver to Broad Slough. Sturgeon fishermen are scarce, but there are still diamondbacks to be had in Broad Slough, Buoy 1, and the Pittsburg PGE Plant with sardines, lamprey eel, or salmon roe.” Benicia Bait reported solid striped fishing from the banks from the Benicia/Martinez Bridge to the Dillon Point State Park with blood worms, pile worms, or ghost shrimp. Sturgeon fishing has been slow, and the wind along with the big tides has made for difficult conditions for those anchoring off of McAvoy’s Boat Harbor in search of huge striped bass with live splittail. There have been 4 legal halibut to 27 inches landed from the Benicia shoreline within the past week. Steffan Masters of Lost Anchor Bait and Tackle confirmed the good striped bass action from the shorelines with small mudsuckers, pile worms, or grass shrimp. He said, “The fresh water inflow has helped our fishery a lot, and although there have been very few sturgeon fishermen, there are still undersized sturgeon with the occasional keeper taken out of Pittsburg.” Grass shrimp is back in force in area bait shops. Anticipation for the two upcoming frog tournaments out of Russo’s Marina on Bethel Island is high, and the second surge of triple-digit temperatures is just what has been needed to turn on the frog bite for largemouth bass. The Ultimate Frog Challenge is July 29-30 with the original frog tournament, the Snag Proof Open, holding its 16th annual event Aug. 5-6. Alan Fong, manager of the Fisherman’s Warehouse in Sacramento, said, “There is a good topwater and frog bite right now, and punching the weeds will be just around the corner as there is still plenty of hyacinth in the south and central Delta. The bass will be moving into the cooler waters with moving current or under the mats. I have been finding a better hook up ratio with Boo Yah frogs, but River2Sea also makes a good frog.” Mathisen will be holding a pre-tournament seminar at 6 p.m. July 28 for the UFC, and he reported good action with the Pro-Z frog along with punching the weeds with creature baits or tossing crankbaits in bluegill or crawdad patterns. He said, “We will have a lot of different frogs coming in for the UFC. Stripers are starting to show up off of the piers, including linesides ot 20 inches on sardines or anchovies while casters are throwing Optima’s Bubba Shad, hair raisers, or Savage Glides around Big Break or Sherman Lake. Bluegill are all over the place, and it is all you want panfish right now with red worms or meal worms.” Steffan Masters of Lost Anchor Bait and Tackle in Antioch said, “Bank fishermen are consistently scoring stripers in the 5- to 10-pound range with pile worms, anchovies, or small mudsuckers from the Riverview, Humphrey’s or Antioch Fishing Piers. We have been able to keep mudsuckers in the shop, but they are small since they normally do not get larger until September.” Lost Anchor will be open limited hours during the week with regular hours over the weekends.
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
At Nacimiento, there hasn’t been much change with the extreme heat drawing heavy recreational boating pressure. There is a window for topwater lures in the early mornings and evenings, but the spotted bass remain small. White bass have yet to show up in numbers, but there have been some flurries in the normal locations of Dip Creek and Las Tablas. A webcam of the lake is available at www.lakenacimientolive.com/. Lopez is a top location for panfish with bluegill and crappie landed on worms for the gills and small jigs or swimbaits for the slabs. There is a small window for topwater lures for largemouth bass early or late, but the best bet is working the bottom with finesse techniques after trying reaction lures such as crankbaits or chatterbaits. Lopez Lake Marina is open durinig summer hours to 9 p.m. A webcam of the lake is available at http://805webcams.com/lopez-lake-webcam/. San Antonio has been issued a health warning for toxic blue-green algae, and anglers at present are advised not to eat fish from there. There are mats of algae throughout certain locations in the lake. Striped bass can be taken on swimbaits but catch and release is advised. Santa Margarita is the best coastal lake for quality largemouth bass, and there is a good bite with crankbaits, large plastics to 10 inches, and swimbaits. Panfishing is a good option with red worms while catfish are getting active with anchovies, sardines, or mackerel while bass fishing is only fair at best. There are repairs occurring at both the marina and White Oaks on the weekdays. Reminder that consuming white bass, black bass, crappie, catfish, or carp are subject to safe eating guidelines due to excessive mercury. Quagga mussel inspections are now required before boat launching is allowed.
Call: Lake Nacimiento (805) 238-1056, ext. 3; Lake San Antonio Marina (805) 472-2818; CentralCoastBassFishing.com (805) 466-6557
- Best Bass Tournament on July 9 at Delta/Ladd’s Marina: 1, Charles Jackson Sr./Shylen Narayan 22.60 pounds; 2, Dylan Waldroop/Kevin Mead 21.33; 3, Lenny Espinoza/Eric Habit 19.08
- American Bass Association on July 9 at Delta/B and W Resort: 1, Harvey Pulliam/Jamond Andrews 19.11 pounds (big fish 6.01); 2, Mike Saso/Marc Young 14.85; 3, Mike Goncalves/Brandon Silvey 14.11.
- Fresno Bass Club Night Tournament on July 8-9 at Don Pedro: 1, Dan Marshall 21.15 pounds; 2, Mike Broussard 18.30; 3, Vincent Garcia 17.63; big fish, Gary Jue 5.12 pounds
- Success Bass Club on July 8-9 at Lake Kaweah: 1, Gary Wasson/Joe Baeza 12.45 pounds, $1,280; 2, Kyle Manes/Jess Coulter 12.44, $520; 3, Thomas Kahler/Juan Gallardo 11.88, $265.00
- 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: Big Creek, Huntington; Dinkey Creek; Mono Creek; Portal Forebay. Rancheria Creek; San Joaquin River, South Fork; Tamarack Creek; Ward Lake; Wishon Reservoir
- Madera County: Chiquito Creek West Fork; Chiquito Creek, Lower; Rock Creek
- Merced County: Merced River, Section I
- Tulare County: Balch Park Lake Upper and Lower; Hedrick Pond (Redwood Lake); Kern River, Section 6; Peppermint Creek, Upper; Tule River Middle Fork, North Fork Middle Fork 1, and South Fork Middle forks 2-3
- Tuolumne County: Lyons Canal (Columbia Ditch); Moccasin Creek; Pinecrest Lake; Powerhouse Stream; Stanislaus River Clarks, Middle, North and South forks; Tuolumne River Middle and South forks
q = quarter moon > = peak activity