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.
Delta striper, bass and salmon action improved, Silvia Viera said. Kaweah bass on solid bite, Dave Hurley reported. San Luis stripers active and Millerton spotted bass hitting, Steve Newman said. New Melones kicking out big trout, Gary Burns reported. Courtright rainbows continue munching ways, Chuck Crane said.
2-Have to work hard
4-Fish jumpin’ in boat
Delta Mendota Canal
Stripers 2; Catfish 2
The northern section of the California Aqueduct continues to garner minimal interest, but there are a few fishermen working the mats in the Delta/Mendota Slough for largemouth bass by punching the mats or tossing frogs. There continues to be vandalism against and theft from vehicles parked for a long period of time, and anglers are advised not to leave items within sight inside their cars. In the south aqueduct in Kern and Kings counties, catfishing is still decent with sardines, pile worms, mackerel and stink baits. The moss is still hanging around, and it will take an extended cold snap to break down the weeds.
Bass 2; Trout 1; Bluegill 2; Catfish 3; Crappie 2
Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “Jigs or Senkos in natural colors such browns or green with a black or red flake are working above submerged brush piles or rock piles as the bass bite has picked up considerably. The action is occurring at depths from 15-30 feet. There is a window for topwater lures with walking baits such as small Spooks or Poppers with decent action with chartreuse spinnerbaits.” There is a catfish bite from dusk to dark and also midnight to 4 a.m. with chicken livers or anchovies. The river arm is now open. The lake held at 69 percent capacity this week.
Call: Eastman Lake 689-3255
Bass 2; Trout 1; Catfish 2; Bluegill 3; Crappie 2
“Between Eastman and Hensley,” said Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis, “there is a better grade of bass taken at Hensley with plastics on the drop-shot at depths from 15-25 feet above submerged humps or rock piles.” Catfishing is productive with chicken livers or anchovies in the evening hours through early morning. The lake continues to release water, dropping to 25 percent capacity.
Lake Don Pedro
Bass 2; Trout 2; Kokanee 1; King salmon 1; Crappie 2
Bass fishing has slowed in the warmer water, but the arrival of cooler nights should improve action. There is a small window for topwater lures before working the bottom at depths to 30 feet with Berserk’s Purple Hornet jigs or the Pro Worm Pro Gold 300 on a shakey head. The fish are holding on the bottom. Finding bait is the key. For trout, few fishermen are targeting the lake with the good reports coming out of New Melones, but once the shad schools stabilize as the water cools, the holdover rainbows will be holding tight to the shad balls. Don Pedro is at 83 percent capacity.
Lake Isabella/Bakersfield area
Bass 2; Trout 3; Crappie 2; Catfish 3; Bluegill 3
The best action in the region remains in the upper Kern River with planted trout willing to bite Power Bait, nightcrawlers, live crickets or salmon eggs in deeper pools. The river is still flowing well. Lake Isabella will host a few bass tournaments in October, but there still are few reports of largemouth action. The bite should improve as the water cools and the shad schools start balling up. Catfishing is best in the South Fork near Red’s Marina with clams, mackerel or sardines. Sonny’s Stink Bait is still in high demand. A few crappie are taken off the shorelines in the South Fork with minijigs. A few trout, catfish and smallmouth bass are coming out of the lower river from locations with slower water such as Democrat Beach. The lake dropped to 38 percent capacity and 2,567.90 feet in elevation with steady water releases. The Taft Chamber of Commerce Trout Derby is coming to Lake Buena Vista on Nov. 18. Buena Vista is still kicking out a few catfish and crappie for those trying.
Bass 3; Crappie 2; Trout 1; Catfish 2
Bass fishing continues to be solid with the lowered pool of water and the abundant shad schools. There is a topwater bite in the morning before working substructure over rockpiles with deep-diving crankbaits. There is a finesse bite with plastics on the drop-shot, Senkos or jigs when the fish are hugging the bottom. The stable water levels have brought about the good action, just in time for October tournaments. The lake rose nearly a foot to 9 percent capacity and 593.33 feet in elevation.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212
Bass 2; Trout 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
The lake has been dropping rapidly within the past few weeks after topping 100 percent capacity earlier in the year. It has receded to 18 percent and 602.51 feet in elevation, down 7 feet in the past week. The bass bite has been slow with the fish suspending, but once the water level stabilizes, action should heat up in the lowered pool. Red worms, wax worms, meal worms and crickets are working for the bluegill; minijigs and small minnows are working along with crickets for the slabs. Campgrounds in the Tule River have been stocked with planted rainbows; in the upper tributaries, native rainbows and browns can be found on dry flies.
Bass 2; Trout 2; King salmon 1; Kokanee 1; Crappie 2; Catfish 3
At Lake McClure, the story is similar to that of Don Pedro with a tough overall bass bite though a small window for topwater lures before working the bottom at depths to 30 feet with Purple Hornet jigs or the Pro Worm’s Pro Gold 300 on a shakey head. The bass are holding at depths from 17-30 feet around the shad schools. The bass bite should improve with the arrival of cooler water temperatures. Catfishing is good along muddy, sloping banks with anchovies, nightcrawlers, mackerel, or jumbo minnows. There were no reports of trout, kokanee or salmon. Launch ramps at Barrett Cove, McClure Point, Bagby and Horseshoe Bend are open. The lake dropped to 77 percent capacity.
Trout fishing was slow because of the annual remote plane event at the lake. The trout bite had improved with the total plant of 3,000 ahead of the annual Lake McSwain trout derby hosted Oct. 7-8 by the Merced Irrigation Co. Registration closes Oct. 5, or earlier if 200 boats or 500 participants are registered before that date. The entry fee is $15 per individual and $35 for a family of two adults and three children. Registration is available at www.lakemcclure.org.
Call: McSwain Marina 209-378-2534
Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River
Bass 3; Striped bass 1; Shad 2; Bluegill 2
Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “The numbers are there as the water is dropping much slower than at Pine Flat. The bass can be found from the banks to 20 feet with jigs or with plastics on the shakey head or drop-shot with the better fish up the river arm near current. You have to really put the bait into their face to get bit. The American shad run is over in the river, and the log jam has been broken apart as the contractors are pulling out the bigger logs and grinding them up. With the removal of the log jam, there are big logs sneaking through into the upper part of the lake, and boaters need to be cautious as there are still some big deadheads just under the surface.” Millerton has dropped to 70 percent capacity. 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 3; Trout 3; Kokanee 1
Quality rainbow trout are still hanging around in the depths at New Melones with the water cooling from this recent weather change. Bass, catfish and bluegill are all cooling off, but once the lake stabilizes in terms of water level and temperature, the bass bite should improve as there is loads of bait in the lake. Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing took his last trip of the season Thursday and despite a late start, his clients landed seven quality rainbows running his heavy custom spoons at depths from 48-60 feet. He said, “I prefer to fish at these depths since you can actually locate the fish on the meter as opposed to when they will come up within 10 feet of the surface as we can’t see them on the meter. There is ton of shad in the lake, and there are still quality rainbows to be had.” Gary Burns of Take It To the Limit Guide Service said, “The bite is still on for big ’bows, and I am really surprised that there aren’t more boats on the water as the lake has really produced some nice rainbow trout. You have to put your time on the water, and the bite seems to be different every day as it is in the morning on some days and other days it is who knows when. There is not one top lure with Speedy Shiners, Needlefish and Excel lures in trout color patterns or blues at depths from 40-60 feet at a trolling speed of 1.8 mph.” Gene Hildebrand of Glory Hole Sports in Angels Camp said, “Because of the cooler weather, we are noticing the trout are being caught higher up in the water column. Reports are the ’bows are being caught around 20 feet in the marina area and from and from 40-70 feet up river with limits. Jed Bender Jr of Angels Camp went out with guide Gary Burns and he landed a 4-pound, 7-once rainbow trout near Coyote Creek with a Needlefish at 70 feet.” For bass, Hildebrand reported a tough bass bite, but anglers should be prepared with different presentation since fall can be a good time to use a jig when the bass are feeding on small baitfish and shad. Catfish to 18 pounds have been brought into the shop with the majority in the 5- to 8-pound range. Glory Hole is holding its annual Catfish Derby from Nov. 1-30, limited to 50 entrants with sign-ups beginning Oct. 1. The lake is at 84 percent capacity.
Pine Flat Reservoir/Kings River
Kokanee 1; Bass 2; Trout 2; King salmon 1; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
Dropping water has contributed to a slower bass bite as the fish have scattered into suspended positions along ledges and main lake points. The numbers continue to be best at Millerton, but the best quality is at Pine Flat even with the water dropping more rapidly. Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “It took 12 pounds to win the River Rat tournament, and this is a solid weight for this lake. The fish are out of sorts, and it has been a jig bite or with plastics on the drop-shot or shakey head as the fish are scattered and suspending at depths from 15-25 feet.” Fish are reacting to colder water, and the bait is balling up and moving deep with the best action from near the dam to Windy Gap. The lake has dropped to 62 percent capacity. Trout fishing at Pine Flat has slowed to crawl with few boats trying for the planted rainbows. Trout plants continue on the lower Kings River below Pine Flat dam, and trout fishing is decent with spinners, nightcrawlers or Power Bait in the slower water. Regulations in the Kings River above and below Pine Flat Dam set the season as running from the last Saturday in April to Nov. 15 from Pine Flat Dam downstream to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Bridge on Pine Flat Road with a five-fish limit. The bridge is the first one west of the dam. The area from Cobbles (Alta) Weir downstream to the Highway 180 crossing is open all year with only artificial lures with barbless hooks with a zero limit. The Thorburn Spawning Channel, the 2,200-foot long channel 5 miles downstream from Pine Flat, and the reach of river within a 200-foot radius of the channel exit is closed to all fishing all year.
San Luis Reservoir and O’Neill Forebay
Striper 3; Catfish 2; Bass 2; Crappie 2
Striped bass action at the big lake is heating up with a variety of techniques, and the arrival of jumbo minnows in area shops has increased the odds for bait drifters. Paul Jolley of Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill said, “We have been getting a handful of decent reports from the big lake within the past few weeks, and the fact that jumbo minnows are back in the shop has been a boon for those drifting live bait. Fishermen are picking up limits on a regular basis by trolling, drifting or casting. The rockwall, inside Portuguese Cove, or in front of the trash racks above the submerged humps have been the best locations, and the fish are relatively high in the water column from 40-60 feet. Trollers are using Lucky Craft Pointers or similar lures, and umbrella rigs with shad-patterned swimbaits are also effective.” Roger George of Roger George Guide Service said, “The bite this week was sporadic at times with the fish resetting and suspending at some deeper depths to 60 feet in the cooling water running from 65-70 degrees during the day. The stripers seem to be holding a little deeper at 50 feet plus at times, then they will come in shallower later in the day. I scouted on Sunday and the bite was tougher than usual in a unusual SE wind. I got 15 fish to 22 inches trolling and on reaction baits, but overall the bite had slowed down a lot. Everyone is getting 5-10 of the smaller stripers for every regular 20-24 inch schoolie they land. Portuguese Cove is holding a lot of fish.” Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “Trolling has been decent with a few stripers in the 8- to 15-pound range with umbrella rigs or swimbaits over island tops and along the edges. It is not a deep bite with the fish holding around 40 feet, and Ryan Bailey continues to find good action on regular trips. The fish are boiling on the surface in the backs of bays in the early mornings or at dusk.” In the Forebay, Paul Jolley of Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill said, “The largemouth bass bite is improving with topwater lures in the early mornings, but small striped bass remain the rule with topwater lures or flukes in the early mornings.” Bait fishing with anchovies, grass shrimp, pile worms, or chicken livers are working for small stripers but landing a limit of legal fish is a challenge. San Luis has dropped to 86 percent capacity.
Bass 2; Trout 2; Kokanee 1
Bass fishing is best near the docks with deep water access and along ledges with grass with Senkos on a wacky-rig, Eco-rig, or Texas-rig along with jigs at depths to 20 feet. The Sheriff’s Motor Fee will remain in effect throughout the year, payable at the Sheriff’s Tower prior to launching. Trout fishing remains very slow, but the bite should improve as the water cools. Webcams are available at basslakeca.com/. The lake is releasing water, dropping from 97 percent capacity to 88 percent this week alone.
Brown trout 2; Trout 2
There have been few reports from the high country, but Edison remains at 77 percent capacity and is the best bet for trout in the Kaiser Pass area for bank fishermen and trollers. Florence Lake has dropped rapidly to 2 percent capacity because of dam maintenance. Mammoth Pool is releasing water, dropping to 57 percent capacity.
Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000
Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake
Kokanee 2; Trout 2; Smallmouth bass 2
Kokanee action has slowed considerably within the past two weeks, with the big fish hugging the bottom and completely turned into the red spawning pattern. Second-year kokanee to 13 inches are landed on occasion, and these fish are still in good shape although they have lost their scales. Trolling at depths to 40 feet with orange hoochies behind Dick’s Ball Trolls are working best, and there are few bank anglers trying with the slow bite and cold air temperatures. The ospreys have left the area for the time being, and this is a sign of the slower action. The lake is dropping about 1.5 feet per day, and it receded to 85 percent capacity this week. At Huntington Reservoir, Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun said, “The kokanee are turning towards the spawn and heading up the Rancheria Creek arm and other inlets, and trolling has slowed down considerably.” Huntington rose slightly to 98 percent capacity.
Wishon trout 2; Courtright trout 3
Courtright Reservoir remains the top location in the central Sierra for trout, with trollers and bank fishermen routinely returning with limits. The trout bite at Wishon has been good for a few trollers, but bank action is all but non-existent. Chuck Crane of Wishon Village RV Park and Store said, “Courtright is good for shore fishermen working below the Trapper Springs Campground in the cove with trout dough bait in red or pink while trollers are scoring limits of quality rainbows or browns at depths from 40-50 feet on the downrigger with Rapalas or blade/’crawler combinations. You have to bring warm clothes for this high-elevation lake as it has been freezing in the mornings and cold throughout the day. Rain and even a dusting of snow have been the story this week.” Wishon has slowed considerably since solid action a few weeks back, but Allen Brumit and his partner put in two limits of rainbows in the 12- to 15-inch range pulling Wedding Rings at 10 and 25 feet on the downrigger 30 feet off the face of the dam. Crane said, “The bite has been really slow for trollers with the best action in front of the launch ramp or along the far side of the lake with blade/’crawler combinations at 4-5 colors of leadcore. Shore fishing has been all but non-existent. While Brumit put in his limits on Sunday, other fishermen in the same area were struggling.”
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
Salmon 2; Albacore 1; Rockfish 3; Striper 2
Captain Dennis Baxter of the New Captain Pete said, “It has been really slow out this week as we are waiting for another school to come in. There have been commercial boats doing well at Pedro Point and also in between the buoys, but it has slowed down to a crawl at the end of the week. There are two local boats in the harbor that are selling whole albacore that just came down from Fort Bragg. There have been a few bonita caught by those either rockfishing or trolling for salmon, but those trying for them have been unsuccessful. I have a salmon charter on Saturday with an open load rockfish trip on Sunday.” There is a distinct possibility that the Deep Reef will be off limits for rockfishing next season because of the excessive number of goldeneye rockfish that have been found by Department of Fish and Wildlife checkers at the launch ramp. There are fishermen who are exceeding the 240-foot depth restriction and leaving floating rockfish all over the surface in addition to bringing the restricted goldeneye rockfish in as part of their limit. It only takes the actions of a few to make everyone else pay the price. Captain Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat reported the following, “Worried about the possible depth revision due to yelloweye, the Huli Cat ran down to the Deep spot off Pigeon Point to put anglers on a few more tremendous yellowtail, olive, coppers and others, in case the depth change happens. The Huli Cat will spend a week in Bodega continuing (California Collaborative Fisheries Research Program) work. The program is expanding California statewide. A 30-pound. salmon was recently caught in Pillar Point Harbor in the area behind the rest rooms and fish cleaning station at the base of the pier.” Dungeness crab season is only a few weeks off, with a Nov. 4 opening date, and party boats are gearing up for crab/rockfish combination or crab-only trips. The crab opener at Half Moon Bay is one of the signature events of the season with campgrounds and launch ramps filled for the weekend.
Rockfish 3; Striper 2; Halibut 2
Keith Semler of Chris’ Fishing Trips in Monterey reported great action for ling cod Sunday with the Check Mate returning with 20 limits of ling cod and quarter limits of rockfish using live squid. He said, “The lings were so aggressive, we couldn’t keep the lings off of the live bait in order to pick up the rockfish. There are loads of anchovies in the bay, and the mackerel are chasing anchovies. Anglers are catching anchovies off of the pier with Sabiki rigs.” Chris’ has room for rockfish/ling cod trips throughout the week, but the next weekend is sold out. In Santa Cruz, Allen Bushnell of Santa Cruz Kayak Fishing said, “Bayside Marine’s Todd Fraser shared information from private boaters going up the coast for big fish. Fraser reported, “Halibut are still being caught near Davenport.” Kelp edges from Natural Bridges on up to Davenport are prime territory this time of year for the bigger halibut. Fraser also tipped us off to a good bite from the Santa Cruz Wharf, citing legal halibut and stripers caught there. Capitola Wharf saw legal flatties and stripers as well this week. Best strategy for striped bass is to fish live bait through sunset from the piers. The Santa Cruz Small Craft harbor announced dredging operations will resume soon. Port Director Marian Olin shared this important information, “Entrance dredging is anticipated to start in early November 2017 and continue through April 2018. The typical dredge schedule is Mondays-Thursdays, with maintenance being performed on Fridays. Entrance soundings will be updated frequently and posted on the harbor's website. Any questions about dredging operations can be addressed by phone at 831-475-6161.”
San Francisco Bay
Halibut 2; Striper 3; Rockfish 4; Leopard shark 3; Sturgeon 2; Salmon 2
Mike Aughney of USAFishing.com said, “The salmon bite has turned slow the past few days. There was a hot bite south of Bodega Bay on Friday, and those fish should be around the corner and hugging the Marin coast this week. On Sunday, Fish Emeryville reported excellent rockfish and ling action and up to a salmon per rod. The Tigerfish had 38 limits of rockfish adding 43 lings to 17 pounds. The Huck Finn reported limits of both lings to 20 pounds and rockfish for 20 anglers. The Sundance had a half salmon or three for six anglers to 13 pounds adding one ling. Both the Wet Spot and C Gull fished the bay for limits of stripers and plus a few bonus halibut and one salmon. The salmon season is not over, this is just a lull between schools moving down from the north and those smaller fish that have been holding on the South Side. The sport Dungeness crab season opens Nov. 4. Fish Emeryville is now taking reservations for this very popular fishery. They will be running crab and rockfish combos on at least three boats. These trips, especially those on weekends and holiday periods, book out well in advance. Captain Steve Mitchell of Hook’d Up Sport Fishing out of Berkeley will be moving into the Delta for sturgeon this coming weekend, but he took a trip out to the Farallons on Saturday for limits of ling cod to 25 pounds. He said, “We stopped short and loaded up with live sand dabs, and we focused on lings exclusively between the North and Main Islands at depths from 195-210 feet. The live sand dabs were the trick.” Captain Chris Smith of the Happy Hooker is drumming up interest in next Friday’s fifth annual Ego Trip, and he was fishing while son Jonathan ran the boat to the Farallons on Sunday for ling cod over 20 pounds and rockfish limits. Captain James Smith of the California Dawn was also out at the islands Sunday and he said, “The rockfish bite was slow in the morning, but they ended up on a wide-open bite, and the lings were solid with over a ling per rod with some jumbos in the mix.” They posted 29 limits of rockfish and 40 lings. Inside San Francisco Bay, Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle in San Rafael said, “It was an absolutely beautiful day on the bay on Sunday, and there have been several party boats working California City instead of out in the ocean. One party boat picked up four salmon there this week. The striped bass are everywhere, and the best grade is found by drifting live anchovies, mudsuckers or shiners. A few stripers are reported at Alcatraz Island, and this is normally not a good spot in September. The Brothers is best for drifting while Red Rock is good for both drifting or trolling. The troll bite is producing small fish and catching and releasing 30-40 stripers is the norm. We will have live ghost shrimp in the shop this week along with live pile worms, anchovies, pile worms, and grass shrimp with a limited supply of shiners.” Captain Trent Slate of Bite Me Charters went commercial halibut trolling Saturday for four legal flatties in the 22- to 24-inch range. He said, “Apparently, the halibut bite the day before was good, but I was only able to find the small fish.” Slate has pulled out his crab gear in preparation for the Dungeness opener. He will be running combination trips for $225 per angler.
San Luis Obispo
Rockfishing is the story with the albacore found either in Southern California or north off Fort Bragg/Eureka when weather conditions cooperate. Out of Morro Bay Landing, the Endeavor and Avenger had spectacular trips Sunday with 52 limits of rockfish including 430 vermilion, 50 Boccaccio and 40 assorted rockfish to go with 61 ling cod to 20 pounds. Port San Luis and Morro Bay landings have a variety of trips running from a half-day through two days in the coming weeks.
Bass 3; Striper 3; Sturgeon 2; Catfish 3; Bluegill 3; Salmon 3
Salmon action improved considerably as the water temperature has dropped in response to heavy flows from the upper rivers system along with colder nights. Sylvia Viera of Viera’s Riverside Resort near Isleton said, “We are really busy out here on Sunday morning as the bite is picking up with most boats picking up at least one fish. The action was good on Friday and Saturday with spinners on blue or chartreuse, and I also think that reds should also work. Things are really picking up here as the river is in great shape. The next two months should be outstanding.” Robbie Dunham, the Koke Machine, is transitioning from his regular haunts at Lake Camanche and Lake Pardee for the river, and he and his wife, Kim, put in two limits of salmon from 6-18 pounds running spinners out of Clarksburg on Friday. The Bureau of Reclamation has begun weekday closures at its Delta Cross Channel gates. Expected to last at least into mid-October, they are intended to help reduce fall-run Chinook salmon straying from the Sacramento River. The gates will close Mondays about 10 a.m. and reopen Fridays about 10 a.m.; the opening and closing process takes about one hour. Out of Freeport, Johnny Tran of New Romeo’s Bait and Tackle said, “Salmon fishing is starting to pick up depending on who you are talking to, and there are fish coming in daily from 4-30 pounds for those jigging P-Line Laser Minnows, trolling with Brad’s Cut Plugs behind a big 11-inch Pro Troll flasher, or tossing Flying C spinners off of the shoreline below the Freeport Bridge. The water has cooled, and we expect the action to only get better and better. Striped bass fishing is best in the Sacramento Deep Water Channel or in Liberty Island with live mudsuckers or jumbo minnows along with sardines or frozen shad coated with garlic spray. A few sturgeon are showing up in Cache Slough, but smallmouth bass action has slowed with the colder weather, The bass are still in the same areas around the rocky banks in Steamboat Slough or the Old Sacramento River, and large minnows or Robo Worms on a drop-shot rig are working best. Alan Fong of the Fisherman’s Warehouse in Sacramento went up to Liberty Island earlier in the week only to find 30 mph winds limiting his ability to toss big glidebaits. He said, “The big stripers are there, and when you get into them, it is great, but you have to have patience as it is very slow fishing with lots of casts for a few opportunities.” Kenji Nakagawa of Lodi continues to catch and release big striped bass in the north Delta, and he said, “We got into a new spot of fish on Tuesday morning, and I don't think they were fall run fish, more likely residential fish. We started fishing in the dark in 3 feet of water in a giant bay by casting big 10-inch glide baits and magnum top water plugs. The big one took a Deps SS 250 glide bait. We didn't weigh her, just took photos and got her back in the water for the release. I estimate the weight around 23 pounds. My friend Daniel Armstrong of Sacramento got another nice one, around 12 pounds on the big B52 DWB plug. Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, “For the largemouth bass, we were ripping crankbaits through the weeds in both shad and crawdad patterns, and both the ima Pinjack and Squarebill were working.” In Suisun Bay, Tony Lopez of Benicia Bait, said, “The salmon bite has been slow, but there were five salmon caught on Sunday morning off First Street with three others lost along with another three landed in the afternoon with two lost. Vee-Zee spinners have been doing the trick, but the fish seem to be pushing through as the action in Antioch has really heated up. Striped bass continue to be taken along the shorelines with pile worms, grass shrimp, or bullheads. Sturgeon fishing has been slow with high winds affecting the ability to sit on the anchor throughout the week.” The launch ramps at Brannan Island State Park remain open, but the restroom and parking lot area is under construction and that may continue through November. The temporary fence around the parking lots makes it more difficult but still possible to transport a large boat around the fence. In the San Joaquin River-Delta, largemouth bass remain the top species, but salmon fishing from the Antioch shoreline has been nothing short of amazing for the past few days off Humphrey’s Pier. Dan Mathisen of Dan’s Delta Outdoors in Oakley said, “A combined 45-pound limit took the two-day California Delta Team Tournament Trail event out of Russo’s Marina this past weekend with the team of Bobby Barrack and Don Fonte taking first place with a 26-pound limit on Sunday with fish from 4.78-7 pounds. Everyone is using vibrating baits with Rat-L-Traps and Eco-rigs along with punching the weeds and jigs. There are a lot of striped bass in Frank’s Tract with a couple of packs of good fish hanging around.” Steve Santucci of Steve Santucci’s Fly Fishing Guide Service said, “Delta fishing is improving, and the water temperatures should be dropping with the shorter days and cooler nights. Last week the catching was up and down with the changing weather conditions, which included some rain and low pressure. You can expect to catch some nice fish in the 3- to 5-pound range.”
Lake Nacimiento/San Antonio/Santa Margarita/Lopez
Bass 3; White bass 2; Striper 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
Lopez is still the top coastal lake for quality largemouth bass with a window for topwater lures in the early mornings before working the bottom with creature baits or large plastic worms on the drop-shot. Panfishing remains good with crappie hitting minijigs or small plastics and bluegill and red ear perch on red worms, meal worms or wax worms close to structure. Catfishing is fair with cut baits or nightcrawlers. A webcam is available at 805webcams.com/lopez-lake-webcam/. At Nacimiento, white bass continue to be elusive with few sightings in the normal haunts of Las Tablas or the Narrows. Spotted bass remain on the small side, but topwater lures and small reaction baits are finding the larger fish to nearly 2 pounds. The most consistent bite remains with plastics on the drop-shot or dart heat. The lake continues to release water slowly. A webcam of the lake is available at www.lakenacimientolive.com/. 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 required before launching a boat.
- Christian Bass League on Sept. 23 at Lake Tulloch (44 anglers, 22 boats, 97 fish, total weight 181.08): 1, Kirk Sakamoto and Keith Friesen 15.26 pounds; 2, David Permenter and Jaime Caratachera 12.44; 3, Dave Meeks and Bruce Fetzer 12.04; big fish, Simon Garcia and Nick McMillan 4.80
- California Delta Team Trail Tournament of Champions on Sept. 23-24 at Delta/Russo’s Marina: 1, Bobby Barrack/Dan Fonte 46.20 (big fish 7.82); 2, Dan Daniel/Dee Thomas 34.16; 3, Harvey Pulliam/Jamond Andrews 33.51
- Sierra Bass Club on Sept 23-24 at Delta: 1, Gary Johnson/ Jamal Lane 24.01; 2, Ryan Reynolds/ Ronnie Rustigan 23.66; 3, Michael Murphy/Don Hodges 20.41; big fish, Ronnie Rustigan 7.78, Craig Gong 7.48
- Sept. 30: Delta/Big Break Marina, Dan’s Delta Outdoors; Delta/Tracy Oasis, Tracy Bass Club
- Oct. 1: Delta/Wimpy’s Marina, Central Valley Anglers Salmon Derby; Kaweah, Success Bass Club Fishing for a Cause, 50/50 benefiting Valley Children’s Hospital, $140, David Coy 280-8884
- Oct. 7: Delta/Ladd’s Marina, Sonora Bass Club; McSwain, Merced Irrigation District Trout Derby; Pine Flat, Kern County Bassmasters; Bass Lake, Kerman Bass Club; Kaweah, Golden Empire Bass Club; Success, Visalia Bass Club; Isabella, Lake Isabella Bass Club
- Oct. 7-8: Delta/Russo’s Marina, Angler’s Press
- Oct. 8: Delta/Ladd’s Marina, Modesto Ambassadors; Eastman, Kings VIII Bass Club; Nacimiento, Good Old Boys
- Oct. 11: Delta/Ladd’s Marina, Bass Pro Shops
- Oct. 13-14: New Melones, California Bass Federation
- Oct. 13-15: Rio Vista Bass Festival and Derby at Delta/Rio Vista, www.bassfestival.com
- Oct. 14: Delta/Russo’s Marina, Bass Anglers of Northern California; Camanche, Riverbank Bass Anglers; New Hogan Manteca Bassin’ Buddies; McClure, Angler’s Press; Nacimiento, San Luis Obispo County Bass Ambushers; Santa Margarita, Bakersfield Bass Club
- Oct. 15: Delta/Russo’s Marina, Hook, Line, and Sinker; McClure, Valley Hawg Hunters; Pine Flat, Central Valley Kayak Fishermen
- Fresno County: Kings River, below Pine Flat Dam
- Kern County: Kern River, sections 4-5
- Tulare County: Kern River, sections 5-6
- Tuolumne County: Moccasin Creek; Stanislaus River Clarks Fork
q = quarter moon