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 fishing good, Alan Fong said. San Francisco salmon bite rebounds, Chris Smith reported. Pine Flat still best bet for bass, Merritt Gilbert said. Wishon trout step up this week, Chuck Crane reported. New Melones bass hitting, John Liechty said. Edison kicking out trout, Dave Hurley reported.
2-Have to work hard
4-Fish jumpin’ in boat
Delta Mendota Canal and Sloughs
Striper 2; Catfish 2
A few fishermen are starting to try the northern section of the aqueduct with a variety of ripbaits, but the best striper and catfish action remains in the south aqueduct in Kern and Kings counties. Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield said, “Despite the hot weather, we still have a number of fishermen heading to the aqueduct with sardines, blood worms, lug worms or anchovies. The moss and slime is getting thicker from the hot weather, and it will be this way for the next few months until it cools off. Bait is working much better than lures due to the moss fouling hooks. Italo Acosta was the leader in our July Catfish Derby as of the final day with a whiskerfish at 15.13 pounds.” The August Carp Derby is under way with an entry fee of $1.
Bass 2; Trout 1; Bluegill 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
There is minimal angling interest amid already warm and climbing water temperature. Catfishing is the best bet with chicken livers or stink baits at night. The river arm opened Tuesday. The lake dropped 2 feet to 565.35 in elevation and 76 percent capacity.
Call: Eastman Lake 689-3255
Bass 2; Trout 1; Catfish 2; Bluegill 2; Crappie 2
Bass fishing has been spectacular or slow depending on who you talk with, as an 11-pound largemouth bass was landed early in the week on a Senko. Another limit at 15 pounds was reported, but two anglers struggled for a small bass and a perch after fishing throughout the night Saturday. Catfishing remains an option from shore in the evenings with chicken livers or cut baits. Small crappie are abundant, but are barely palm size. The lake is releasing water, dropping 3 feet to 506.26 in elevation and 50 percent capacity.
Lake Don Pedro
Bass 2; Trout 3; Kokanee 1; King salmon 2; Crappie 2
Recreational boating has clearly taken over the Mother Lode reservoirs, amid summer vacations and the long run of hot weather in the Central Valley, but there are still bass fishermen hitting the lakes early in the mornings or evenings. Mike Gomez of Berserk Baits said, “The fish are there, but you have to figure out the summer pattern to see where they are located. Overall, the action has slowed, but experienced fishermen are figuring out the pattern and putting together decent weights. There is a topwater bite at both lakes with the River2Sea Rover or with wake baits, and after the surface bite dies, you can drop to the bottom with jigs such as the Purple Hornet or brown/purple along with plastics on the drop-shot. The fish can be found as deep as 50 feet by midday. Using light line is the key to getting deep with a light weight on a shakey head or drop-shot.” Recreational boating is heavy after 10 a.m., especially on the weekends at both lakes, and fishermen are getting in early and leaving early or launching in the late afternoon to fish into the evening. The Detwiler Fire off Highway 49 neared 100 percent containment, with smoke dissipated more than a week ago. The trout bite at Don Pedro remains solid with shad-patterned spoons as deep as 60 feet, with the rainbows dropping in the water column with the heat. Fishermen will have to search for the bait to locate rainbows; an occasional king salmon is possible under the bait schools. Kokanee remain absent for the most part. Anglers can learn weather conditions at https://map.bloomsky.com/weather-stations/gqBxp6apnJSmrqen with a live webcam at https://video.nest.com/live/tE7MzhI0BG. The lake dropped a half foot to 98 percent capacity and 826.71 feet in elevation because of controlled water releases down the Tuolumne River.
Lake Isabella/Bakersfield area
Bass 2; Trout 3; Crappie 2; Catfish 3; Bluegill 2
At Isabella, Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield reported good fishing for catfish, trout, and largemouth bass with the whiskerfish found in the South Fork with frozen shad, clams, sardines or prepared stink baits. Trout fishing is still a possibility in the cooler waters of the river arm toward the Auxiliary Dam with Mice Tails, Power Bait or nightcrawlers. Bass fishing is starting to show signs of life, and the Lake Isabella Bass Club is holding a derby on Aug. 12. The lake dropped 2 feet to 2,576.83 in elevation and 50 percent capacity with heavy water releases. The upper Kern River has been heavily planted with catchable rainbows trout, and the flows have dropped to 1,700 cfs. Cormier reported good action with live crickets, salmon eggs, nightcrawlers or spinners, and several anglers are working the upper river. The lower river is still running in excess of 2,000 cfs, and fishing is limited to the few areas with slower water. Crappie action at Buena Vista is fair at best. Local lakes are limited mostly to bluegill, catfish and bass, though carp fishing is heating up with dough baits in preparation for Bob’s Bait August Carp Derby.
Bass 3; Crappie 2; Trout 1; Catfish 2
The lake dropped 12 feet within the past week, with fish moving deeper during daylight hours. Rockpiles remain the best location for bass as they are holding on the abundant bait in the lake. The bass bite is the best of the three major reservoirs in the area and will be even better when the water is stable. Crappie are still available for those soaking small minnows or minijigs at night under lights. The lake is experiencing heavy water releases, falling to 673.42 feet in elevation and 57 percent capacity. Recreational boating is heavy on the weekends and after 10 a.m. on weekdays.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212
Bass 2; Trout 3; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
Chuck Stokke of the Sequoia Fishing Co. reported bass fishing remains tough with the dropping water and triple-digit temperatures. All sections of the Tule that were closed are now open, and the campgrounds and Balch Park have been stocked with rainbows – some in the 16- to 18-inch range. The native trout are very aggressive with dry flies, nymphs, and Woolley Buggers. The Kern River is just starting to become fishable for Kern ’bows. Golden Trout Wilderness Pack Trains are reporting golden and brook trout are plentiful in the tributaries of the GTW. The phone number for guided trips is 542-2816. Success has dropped less than a foot to 93 percent capacity and 650.25 feet in elevation.
Bass 3; Trout 2; King salmon 1; Kokanee 1; Crappie 2; Catfish 2
Bass fishing is similar to Don Pedro with a good topwater bite in the morning with Rovers before working the bottom with jigs or plastics on the drop-shot. The Pro Worm 124 p or 300 are top options for those working the bottom. The lake has dropped 2 feet to 94 percent capacity and 858.36 in elevation. There were no reports for trout, kokanee or salmon. Launch ramps at Barrett Cove and McClure Point are open.
There still have been no trout plants since April. With the hot weather, fishing is limited to early-morning or late-evening hours at the normal locations of the brush pile, handicapped docks and the peninsula near the marina. Trollers are working the deepest part of the lake up the river arm, but the action is slow.
Call: McSwain Marina 209-378-2534
Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River
Bass 2; Striped bass 1; Shad 1; Bluegill 2
At Millerton, said Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis, “The numbers aren’t like they were a few weeks ago, and the topwater bite has slowed down, and it is not like it was. The cut of fish is smaller than at Pine Flat, but Bass 101 is holding one of the rare tournaments on the lake this weekend.” Roger George of Roger George Guide Service said that the river logjam is still about 60 yards across and pretty heavy. “Water temps in the main lake are around 82 plus degrees on the surface, and the river is about 64 degrees right now,” George said. “There hasn’t been too much coming from the river so far this year and now the water is dropping which usually slows things down.” Millerton dropped 3 feet to 99 percent capacity and 574.42 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. Hatchery fish have a healed adipose fin clip.
Call: Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474
New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch
Bass 3; Crappie 2; Catfish 3; Trout 3; Kokanee 2
Water temperatures continue to warm up at New Melones and all of the Mother Lode reservoirs amid the extended period of triple-digit weather. Surface temperatures have been ranging from 79-84 degrees. John Liechty of Xperience Bass Fishing Guide Service said, “These are not considered to be great conditions to target bass; however, the bite has been picking up. We have been on the water several times per week, and even when the bite is slow, we are picking up some quality fish on each trip. The topwater bite has been slowly tapering off, but it is one of the best techniques to pick up trophy bass during the summer months. River2Sea’s Whopper Ploppers or walk-the-dog style baits are coaxing bass to the surface, and Mitchell Robbins landed a 7.9-pound largemouth that crushed a Whopper Plopper first thing in the morning this week. If the surface bite is slow, switch over to small swimbaits, spinnerbaits, ripbaits, or crankbaits as the reaction baits are working with the abundance of bait in the lake. There are small bass, sunfish, and shad in big numbers, and it is important to use lures similar to the bait fish. Some would say, this is not a good time of year to fish, but for the dog days of the summer, we are having a blast catching bass.” Bottom-bouncing baits are difficult to use at the present time since the flooded grass is still thick, although it is breaking down. Texas-rigged or drop-shot plastics on a long leader are one way to avoid getting held up in the vegetation. For rainbow trout, there are still quality fish to be located at depths to 70 feet in the main lake over the river channel as the rainbows have dropped to the deeper portions. Fewer trollers are working the lake given the heat. Kokanee remain scarce, though the very occasional large ones are taken on various types of kokanee gear in the southern part of the lake as the few fish are moving toward the river arm. Catfishing is solid with the hot weather, and live minnows, cut baits or a ball of nightcrawlers soaked in garlic scent are effective. The lake has dropped to 1,065.03 feet in elevation and 89 percent capacity.
Pine Flat Reservoir/Kings River
Bass 3; Trout 2; King salmon 1; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
Pine Flat Reservoir remains, despite limited parking from the high water level, the top draw for Fresno-area bass fishermen. Millerton is kicking out numbers of spotted bass, but the overall bite has slowed within the past few weeks. With upcoming tournaments at Pine Flat, most area bass fishermen are targeting the lake. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “There is a good topwater bite early or late before fishermen are dropping to the bottom once the sun hits the water with jigs, underspins or plastics on the drop-shot. The fish are not too deep as many fishermen are only fishing in 20 feet of water, but the best cut of fish appears to be at 30 feet. The wood in the river arm is settling on the banks, and the Trimmer launch ramp is accessible with far less debris in the lake. There is a ripbait and crankbait bite after the topwater bite dies, but you have to find the fish in order to be successful.” The trout bite at Pine Flat is fair at best with most trout trollers heading up the hill to the High Sierra lakes. Needlefish on the downrigger at depths between 30 and 40 feet are working for rainbows to 15 inches, and the key once again is locating the shad schools. The lake has dropped 8 feet to 934.61 in elevation and 90 percent capacity. There are some locations on the lower Kings that are accessible for fishing, but caution is necessary given the high water flows. 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.
San Luis Reservoir and O’Neill Forebay
Striper 2; Catfish 2; Bass 1; Crappie 1
In the main lake, the algae bloom has scared the meat hunters away, but those catching and releasing striped bass are finding good action with topwater lures at first light at Dinosaur Point. Once the gates open, fishermen are finding linesides to 24 inches. Trolling has slowed with fewer fishermen targeting the lake, and the lack of jumbo minnows is also a factor in less interest in boating for stripers. A few experienced trollers are scoring schoolies using JKings Lures or similar ripbaits. The Department of Water Resources health advisory not to have contact with the lake’s water or consume fish from the reservoir given the presence of toxic blue-green algae remains in place. Roger George of Roger George Guide Service said that the trolling bite has been sporadic. “I took out Marty Oller of Fresno and his son Ben, 15, Saturday morning and we picked up five nice fish right off the bat trolling minnow lures at 50-70 feet. We only fished to noon, when the red light came on – but we still landed-released eight fish to 23.5 inches – a new PB for Ben. Arriving early, we found an estimated 16 foot boat that was sunk right by the Basalt ramp! Looks like it went down at the dock the night before. I heard the guys came back after we left and tried to salvage it. Sure makes you pay attention to the wind when you see that!” George said. Steve Santucci of Steve Santucci’s Fly Fishing Guide Service reported, “There is a good striped bite for fly anglers tossing 4-inch Clousers.” In the O’Neill Forebay, Mickey Clements of Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill said, “Check 12 remains the best location for small striped bass ranging from undersized to barely-keeper size with pile worms, blood worms, or anchovies. A few anglers are tossing Duo Realis jerkbaits, River2Sea Rovers, or ripbaits for the schoolies. The best fishing occurs when the water is moving.” The lake has dropped to 94 percent capacity.
Bass 2; Trout 2; Kokanee 1
There is minimal interest in fishing at the lake with the high number of recreational boaters taking over the water. A few bass fishermen are walking the banks in the evenings to throw plastic worms, but they are few and far between. The Sheriff’s Motor Fee is a deterrent to launching a bass boat, but the fee is not enforced after the Labor Day holiday. Trout fishing is very slow with an occasional rainbow landed by a troller near the dam behind the 5-mph zone. Webcams are available at http://basslakeca.com/. The lake remains at 101 percent capacity.
Brown trout 2; Trout 3
Edison remains the best trout lake in the Kaiser Pass area with Power Bait or inflated nightcrawlers from the banks. Vermilion Valley Resort is back in operation, but plenty of snow remains at the highest elevations. The lakes are starting to recede, with Edison at 89 percent capacity, Florence at 67 percent and Mammoth Pool at 99 percent..
Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000
Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake
Kokanee 2; Trout 2
Shaver continues to be a challenge, with guides struggling for slightly more than a limit of kokanee and rainbow trout per day. A trout plant from the Department of Fish and Wildlife this week should help, but with the lake level higher than normal, the rainbows are loading up on insects washed down from the inlets. Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters said, “It’s about the same every day with the kokanee biting before the sun rises before the bite slows to a fish here and there. We are averaging around a limit plus per day with a few yearling trout in the mix. The fish are still deep from 27-42 feet in the same locations around the point, the Sierra Marina and Road 2 point with Dick’s Koke Busters or orange Apex lures behind a CJ Dodger on the downrigger. We really need this plant as the water level has increased, and there is an abundance of insects for the season trout. There have been reports of trophy trout up the river arm near Tunnel Creek.” Steve Santoro of Fish Box Charters confirmed the challenging action, stating, “We did manage 11 kokanee for John Finley Sr. and Jr. along with Todd Cogdill of Madera, but the soft-mouthed kokanee had a different game plan for limits as several fish came off at the boat. It was tough fishing the following day with Julio Garcia, Tabita Aramubula, and Kevin Arias of Firebaugh managing to boat three kokanee including two large fish at 1.74 and 1.63 pounds along with three rainbow trout using either an orange Apex or white hoochies at 35 feet. Tabita landed the big fish.” Kokanee Power will be holding its final derby of the season at Shaver Lake on Sept. 9 with a three-fish weigh-in for teams and one fish for juniors. Registration is $45 for members and $55 for non-members. Information and registration is available through Frank Bernard 871-3270. Shaver has risen once again to 90 percent. At Huntington, Trolling is improving for rainbow trout with blade/’crawler combinations or Wedding Rings tipped with a nightcrawler behind a dodger at depths from 4-6 colors of leadcore. Bank anglers continue to catch rainbows near the inlets trout dough bait or inflated nightcrawlers. Huntington is at 98 percent capacity
After a slow week, Wishon Reservoir turned back on for trollers while higher elevation Courtright Reservoir has slowed to a crawl – essentially changing places from the previous week. Both lakes remain full, but water releases are starting. Chuck Crane of Wishon Village RV Park and Store said, “Wishon has improved for trollers running 3-5 colors of leadcore in the upper end of the lake. Tom and George Sheets were pulling blade/’crawler combinations, and they put in limits of rainbows including five tagged fish from the recent Kiwanis Special Olympics Trout Derby, releasing several additional brown trout. They were in the upper end of the lake at 3-5 colors. Ed and Jeannie Tarolani scored nine rainbow trout, releasing a brown using Tasmanian Devil spoons in the upper end of the lake. They were getting hits all day long. Some trollers are struggling at Wishon, but those who are in the know are doing much better. Shore fishing continues to be slow, and the lake is starting to trickle down with water releases to generate power.” Tagged fish No. 1006 remains in Wishon, and this fish is worth $1,000 if landed by a derby participant by the end of August. At Courtright, Crane reported trollers are working all day long without even a hit, saying, “They are trolling at all different depths and locations within the lake, but there have only been a few fish caught. Shore fishermen are heading to the upper end of the lake where the creek inlets are, and they are anchoring on or just off of the shore with trout dough bait or inflated nightcrawlers, and they are doing well for up to limits. The best fishing is where there is moving water at the inlets.” The upper Kings is fishable after months of high water, and fly fishermen are catching and releasing native rainbows and browns with mosquito or ant patterns.
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
Salmon 2; Rockfish 3; Striper 3
Captain Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat went rockfishing Saturday with a crew of hearing impaired and deaf clients, and the crew caught onto the technique quickly for quality ling cod and rockfish. The salmon bite dried up at the Deep Reef southwest of Half Moon Bay after two solid weeks of limit action. The fish moved north to the area around the W Buoy on Sunday after the Half Moon Bay boats found limits at the Deep Reef on Saturday. Captain Dennis Baxter of the New Captain Pete made a late run up north to W Buoy on Sunday for 17 salmon for his clients, and they came in with over a fish per rod on Monday with 21 salmon for 20 passengers. Both the New Captain Pete and Huli Cat will be running salmon trips with open loads throughout the week. Striped bass action along the coast from Thornton Beach south to Half Moon Bay has been outstanding in the evenings with Diawa’s SP Minnows, Deadly Dick’s Lures, Kastmasters or Krocodiles up to 3 ounces. Dedicated fishermen are willing to walk several miles for the opportunity at a trophy striped bass.
Call: Happy Hooker (510) 223-5388; Captain Roger Thomas, Salty Lady (415) 760-9362; Emeryville Sport Fishing (510) 654-6040
Rockfish 3; Striper 2
Chris Arcoleo of Chris’ Fishing Trips said, ”Captain Tinker on the Check Mate went south past Twin Rocks on Sunday, and they loaded up their sacks with big vermilions and limits of lings. The sacks were so full, they couldn’t even fit a limit into the bags. They ended up with three-quarter limits of rockfish and full limits of lings for 23 anglers, and there were lings to over 20 pounds. The Caroline stayed local for three-quarter limits of a smaller grade of rockfish along with 12 lings for 15 anglers. Whale watching has been fantastic, and we are running two boats on many days due to demand. The humpbacks are lunge feeding along with ocean sunfish and Dall’s porpoises.”
San Francisco Bay
Halibut 2; Striper 2; Rockfish 3; Leopard shark 3; Sturgeon 2; Salmon 3
After a drop in scores to plus or minus a fish per rod Saturday, the salmon were back on the munch Sunday near W Buoy. Emeryville Sport Fishing had five boats out after salmon with the C Gull II, Dragon, New Salmon Queen, Sundance and Tigerfish returning with a combined 64 limits, and the fish are a mixed grade with a number of 6- to 12-pound 2-year-olds with about one-third of fish running from 12- to 20-plus pounds. The Sea Wolf ran to the Islands for 31 limits of rockfish adding 36 lings. The weather was dead flat with less than five knots of wind over a 3-foot swell. Captain Chris Smith of the Happy Hooker put in limits of 25 limits of rockfish and ling cod to 16 pounds at the Farallons on Sunday. He took out his six-pack, the Defiant, on Saturday for six limits of salmon. They have open loads on Tuesday through Thursday with a salmon trip on Friday and an open load again on Sunday. Smith said, “The salmon boats were all around the Light Ship when I was coming in this afternoon.” Captain James Smith of the California Dawn took out a charter from Phenix Rods and the Outdoor Sportsman in Stockton to the Farallon Islands on Monday for 31 limits of rockfish along with 31 limits of quality ling cod in flat calm conditions. Inside the bay, Captain Trent Slate of Bite Me Charters out of Loch Lomond went shark fishing in the bay over the weekend, and the action for leopard and seven-gill sharks has been outstanding with midshipmen. Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle in San Rafael reported halibut fishing is good, but you have to go through 10 halibut to find a pair of keepers. He said, “There is no magic spot out there as they are all over the place. The good news is a couple of salmon at 14 and 17 pounds were landed at California City on separate boats this week. We are having a tough time on shiners, but we have live anchovies in the shop in addition to mudsuckers, grass shrimp, and pile worms along with midshipmen for sharks.” Halibut fishing in the south bay has been slow, but there are a few keepers to be had among the many shakers off Oyster Point.
San Luis Obispo
Rockfishing is the only show in town until the anticipated arrival of albacore offshore at some time in the future. Out of Virg’s Landing in Morro Bay, the Fiesta went out with 29 anglers Monday for limits of rockfish and four ling cod with the jackpot taken by Ryan O’Byrne of Tehachapi with an 8-pound Boccaccio. The majority of rockfish were assorted along with 20 vermilion. The Endeavor and Avenger out of Morro Bay Landing went out on Monday on half and three-quarter day trips with 39 anglers for 170 vermilion, 20 Boccaccio, 120 copper, 80 assorted rockfish and a solitary ling cod. Out of Patriot Sport Fishing at Port San Luis, the Phenix took went on a half-day morning trip with the Patriot on a three-quarter-day trip, both on Monday, for a total of 105 vermilion, 50 copper, 60 assorted, 15 Boccacio and nine ling cod to 10 pounds for 27 anglers with the jackpot landed by Robert Bullock of Visalia. Both harbors have a variety of trips running from hal-day through two-day trips in the upcoming weeks. Surf perch fishing is decent along the beaches with blood worms or lug worms.
Bass 3; Striper 2; Sturgeon 2; Catfish 2; Bluegill 3; Salmon 2
River salmon remains slow in the upper Delta with the warm water conditions pushing the salmon up river in a hurry. There was action in Suisun Bay over the past weekend with a 10-pound salmon taken off First Street and an 18-pounder off Dillon Point State Park on Sunday. Striped bass remain elusive, but big fish should be moving into the central Delta during August. Tony Lopez of Benicia Bait reported a total of five salmon to 19 pounds have been landed off First Street since the opener, saying, “The water was really clear on Sunday after being dirty throughout the week due to the large tides. These fish have to come through here sooner or later. Shoreline fishermen continue to catch striped bass on pile worms, blood worms, or anchovies along with grass shrimp from the Benicia/Martinez Bridge to the State Park.” Steve Santucci of Steve Santucci’s Fly Fishing Guide Service said, “Delta largemouth bass and smallmouth bass fishing is good. For largemouths, it’s best to fish the early morning or late afternoon periods. We were using deer hair and foam poppers and getting some great blowups. Smallmouth fishing is good all day long. They seem to love the bright sunlight. Stripers will be starting up soon and it’s a good idea to target them in the West Delta.” Dan Mathisen of Dan’s Delta Outdoors in Oakley reported a few striped bass are taken by trollers working from Walnut Grove to Courtlan with deep-diving lures. Bank fishermen are using pile worms or cut baits. In Broad Slough to Honker Bay, small keeper stripers are possible for both boaters and bank fishermen while the occasional sturgeon is found in Broad Slough, the Pittsburg PGE Plant, or Buoy 1 with eel, salmon roe, or grass shrimp.” Steffan Masters of Lost Anchor Bait and Tackle at McAvoy’s Boat Harbor reported a number of fishermen have been out trying for striped bass, and Broad Slough has been the top location with grass shrimp or live mudsuckers. He said, “The grass shrimp is quality, and we have plenty of it for the first time in many months.” Jeff Huth, emcee for the UFC, said, “For the third year in a row, the River2Sea frogs took top honors in the event, and there was a tie for the top fish at 9.08 pounds by the teams of Harvey Pulliam and Jamond Andrews and King/Elliott.” The team of Plaza and Rossetti took first place in the pro division with at two-day total of 28.23 pounds while the amateur division was topped by the team of Cervelli and Spence with 20.26 pounds. It was a tale of two different days with the Plaza/Rossetti team only weighing in 9.27 pounds Saturday while Cervelli/Spencer posted the biggest weight on day one at 17.04 pounds. Field reporter Neil Simpson of Lodi fished with Jason Pitchford, and he said, “It was a tough bite for us as well as we couldn’t get the big fish to commit to the frog. We had 5.73 pounds on the first day and maybe 7.5 pounds on Sunday. The fish missed the frog more than they ate it, and there is not much vegetation due to the heavy spraying in the Delta.” Alan Fong of the Fisherman’s Warehouse in Sacramento was on the east Delta earlier in the week, and he reported a solid bass bite for largemouth bass to 7 pounds. He said, “I caught and released the big fish on a Senko, but there were a number of quality fish. The frog bite was tough since the hook up ratio was limited. You can’t keep them off of the frog some days, and on other days, they just miss it. The water is in good shape, and we also punched with Missle’s D Bombs in the mats. The mats are much thicker on low tide, but they are thin on the high tide. I carry three different weights while punching – three-quarter, 1.5, and 2 ounces.” Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, is the tournament director for the upcoming Snag Proof Open, and he said, “We will have an amateur and pro division with separate money and trophies in each division. The big fish will win a specialty trophy from Florida, and only frogs out of the package can be used. Anglers can only modify their frogs by changing factory skirts or by marking the lure with a Sharpie. This way, everyone is on a level playing field. We will also be using an Aqua Stick camera on selected boats to verify accuracy in participants using the correct equipment. With the weather expected to be over 100 degrees throughout the week, the frog bite should be ‘off the hook.’ A small change in temperature can really affect the bite, and a cold front moving in last year had a major affect on the overall weights as the bass are more sluggish with the change in weather.” Mathisen added, “In Discovery Bay, a few anglers are still scoring schoolie sized stripers in the Indian Creek side with crankbaits along the main runway rockwalls for largemouth in the 4- to 6-pound range. The Vicious Frogs and R2Sea BullyWa II have been the top frogs, and while I was preparing for the Ultimate Frog Challenge in the area, I was fishing sparse tules on the down current side of a point of the outgoing tide when a 9.5-pound bass smacked a white Savage Gear 3D Hollow Belly Frog. When the wind is blowing, spinnerbaits and buzzbaits getting are effective while Megastrike buzzbaits are also getting a lot of attention.” In the south Delta, H and R Bait in Stockton reported largemouth bass fishing is good off Bacon Island Road while catfish are found in Whiskey Slough and on the San Joaquin River near Windmill Cove with fresh shad, anchovies, pile worms, or blood worms. Highway 12 in both directions will be closed for 55 hours between State Route 160 and Interstate 5 for construction work beginning at 10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 4, through 5 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 7. Scheduled work performed during this closure will consist of paving and grading to construct a temporary transition from the old alignment to the new alignment of State Route 12. The detour is from Highway 160 to Walnut Grove Road on Interstate 5. This coming weekend, the 16th annual Snag Proof Open will take place of Russo’s Marina, and the conditions are ideal for a solid bite.
Lake Nacimiento/San Antonio/Santa Margarita/Lopez
Bass 3; White bass 2; Striper 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 1
The hot weather in the inland Valleys of the San Luis Obispo County coast has limited the number of fishermen trying, but Lopez is the best option for all species with good action for bluegill and perch with worms, crappie with jigs, and bass with topwater lures in early or late before switching to reaction baits such as jerkbaits or crankbaits. Lopez Lake Marina is open during summer hours to 9 p.m. A webcam of the lake is available at http://805webcams.com/lopez-lake-webcam/. At Nacimiento, there is a small window for topwater lures in the early mornings, but the spotted bass will drop quickly in the water column as soon as the sun hits the water. Reaction baits such as crankbaits, ripbaits or swimbaits on an underspin are good options. White bass can be found throughout the lake, but the fish are moving into various locations. Dip Creek and Las Tablas, along with the Narrows are good places to start to search for the whites. A webcam is available at http://www.lakenacimientolive.com/ At San Antonio, catfishing is best with sardines, anchovies, or mackerel from the banks. The fish are moving into the shallows with the warming water temperatures. The water releases have increased, limiting the blue-green algae to a few isolated areas in the lake. Bass fishing is far with topwater in the early mornings before working the bottom with plastics. Striped bass fishing has been slow with the hot weather. Santa Margarita is kicking out catfish on cut baits along with fair bass action overall. Similar to the other coastal lakes, there is a topwater window in the early mornings before working the bottom with plastics on the drop-shot, jigs, Brush Hogs or lizards.
- California Delta Team Tournament Trail on July 29 at Delta/B and W Resort: 1, Hung and Eva Ho 12.93 pounds (big fish 3.61); 2, Larry Vignolo/Ron Berg 12.91; 3, Bill Spence Jr./Craig Carabello 11.51
- Ultimate Frog Challenge Professional Division on July 29-30 at Delta/Russo’s Marina: 1, Plaza/Rosetti 28.23 pounds; 2, Schandler/Bernal 25.67; 3, Salvucchi/Burns– 22.32
- Ultimate Frog Challenge Amateur Division on July 29-30 at Delta/Russo’s Marina: 1, Cervelli/Spencer 20.26 pounds; 2, Alario/Wilson 19.66; 3, Mendes/Valenzuela 19.19
- Aug. 3: Delta/Tracy Oasis, Tracy Bass Club
- Aug. 4: Kaweah, Visalia Bass Club
- Aug. 5: Delta/B and W Resort, California Delta Team Trail; Delta/Tracy Oasis, Tracy Bass Club; Amador, Oro Madre Bass Club; Tulloch, Valley Hawg Hunters/Riverbank Bass Anglers; Hensley, Sierra Bass Club; Nacimiento, San Luis Obispo County Bass Ambushers
- Aug. 5-6: Delta/Russo’s Marina, Snag Proof Frog Open; Amador, Lake Amador Moonlighter Night Tournament; Don Pedro, Modesto Ambassadors; Millerton, Bass 101 Open Night tournament, 284-2768
- Aug. 6: Kaweah, Success Bass Club
- Aug. 10: Delta/Tracy Oasis, Tracy Bass Club
- Aug. 11: Lopez, 101 Bass
- Aug. 12: Delta/B and W Resort, California Delta Team Trail; Delta/Ladd’s Marina, Tri Valley Bassmasters/Bass Anglers of Northern California; Amador,Manteca Bassin’ Buddies; McClure/Barrett’s Cove, RiverRat Bass Tournaments Open; Eastman, New Jen Bass Tournaments; Success, Porterville Bass Club; Isabella, Lake Isabella Bass Club
- Aug. 12-13: Delta/Russo’s Marina, Hook, Line, and Sinker
- Aug. 13: Pine Flat, Fresno Bass Club; Santa Margarita,Good Old Boys
- Aug. 16: Delta/Ladd’s Marina, Good Old Boys
- Aug. 17: Delta/Tracy Oasis, Tracy Bass Club
- Aug. 19: Delta/Big Break Marina, Dan’s Delta Outdoors; Delta/B and W Resort, American Bass Association/Mid Valley Bass Club;
- Camanche, Outlaw Bass Club; Nacimiento,Taft Bass Club; San Antonio, Kayak Bass Club
- Aug. 20: Delta/Ladd’s Marina, Bass N’ Tubes
- Aug. 26: Delta/Russo’s Marina, Best Bass Tournaments; Delta/Ladd’s Marina, Oro Madre Bass Club;
- Sept. 2: Delta/Tracy Oasis, Tracy Bass Club
- Sept. 3: Delta/B and W Resort, Valley Hawg Hunters; Nacimiento, Good Old Boys
- Fresno County: Dinkey Creek; Huntington Lake; Kings River, Below Pine Flat Dam; Mono Creek; Portal Forebay; Shaver Lake;
- Madera County: Sotcher Lake
- Tulare County: Balch Park Lake Lower and Upper; Bone Creek; Dry Meadow Creek; Freeman Creek; Hedrick Pond (Redwood Lake); Nobe Young Creek; Peppermint Creek, Lower
- Tuolumne County: Herring Creek; Lyons Canal (Columbia Ditch); Moccasin Creek; Powerhouse Stream; Stanislaus River Middle,North and South forks; Tuolumne River North Fork
f = full moon > = peak activity