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.
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Delta bass and shad action good, Alan Fong said. Don Pedro producing trout, Monte Smith reported. McClure spotted bass still active, Dave Hurley said. Wishon trout hitting, Chuck Crane reported. Shaver kicking out mixed limits, Dick Nichols said. Millerton spotted bass and crappie bites going, and Pine Flat bass biting, Steve Newman reported. New Melones bass continue munching, John Liechty said.
2-Have to work hard
4-Fish jumpin’ in boat
Delta Mendota Canal and Sloughs
Striper 2 Catfish 2
Few anglers are heading to the California Aqueduct, and with the slowdown at San Luis Reservoir, striper anglers are heading to new locations such as the Delta or Hogan Lake in Calaveras County. In the south aqueduct in Kern County, Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield reported fair action for striped bass at best, but the moss is starting to make for rough conditions for soaking bait or throwing lures. Sardines, blood worms, and lug worms are working for stripers while catfish are found on cut baits or stink baits.
Bass 3 Trout 2 Bluegill 2 Catfish 2 Crappie 2
Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “Heavy boat pressure has been the story at Eastman, but there are still big fish to be found on plastics on the drop-shot, jigs, Carolina-rig or Neko Rig at 20 to 40 feet for the best cut of fish. The reaction bite is slow during the day, but Rat-L-Traps have been working at night. The banks are loaded with small bass cruising the shorelines. The water remains stained, and releases have started. Crappie are found in the flooded willows with Gulp! Alive minnows, but the trout bite near the tube by the dam has slowed. The lake is releasing water, and it dropped from 78 to 76 percent.
Bass 3 Trout 2 Catfish 2 Bluegill 3 Crappie 2
Newman said, “Bass fishing is on the upswing with a number of anglers pre-fishing for the upcoming RiverRats Bass Club tournament on June 9. 20-pound limits have been possible, and the pressure is much less than at nearby Eastman. Plastics on the drop-shot, Neko Rig, or Ned Rig are all working along with spinnerbaits, jigs, or Rat-L-Traps. The bass are in post-spawn mode and aggressive. Bluegill are biting red worms, and small crappie are also holding in the flooded trees.” Catfish to 4 pounds can be taken on cutbaits or stinkbaits. The lake is releasing water, and it dropped from 48 to 46 percent.
Lake Don Pedro
Bass 2 Trout 3 Kokanee 2 King salmon 1 Crappie 2
Bass action has been affected by the dropping water levels while trout trolling for small planters remains a good option.
Beau Courtroul of the Lake Camanche Recreation Company has been pre-fishing for the upcoming Modesto Ambassadors night tournament this Saturday evening, and he said, “I found a good bite with the big KeiTech swimbaits at 15 to 20 feet for the post-spawn bass, but once the lake dropped two feet, the swimbait bite died, I also have been on a good River2Sea SWaver bite, but this has also has dried up with the dropping water. My game plan for this Saturday night through Sunday is to try for a big fish on the swimbaits before working the bottom with 10-inch worms to cap off our limit.”
Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing said, “I would expect the trout action to continue to be good, and there are a few more kokanee showing up.” Trollers have been scoring with shad-patterned spoons at depths from 30 to 50 feet near Jenkins Hill or the dam area.
The Blue Oaks launch ramp is currently closed due to the fluctuating lake levels, but the Moccasin Point and Fleming Meadows launch ramps are both open for vessel launching. Boaters are cautioned to watch for unmarked hazards and floating debris. The lake is at 94 percent.
Lake Isabella/Bakersfield area
Bass 2 Trout 2 Crappie 3 Catfish 3 Bluegill 2
Crappie and catfish are the top draws at Lake Isabella, but there are a few bass hitting reaction baits in the mornings along with plastics later in the day. The best location for crappie remains the cages in the South Fork, but finding the right tree holding the slabs is the key. Live minnows or minijigs are working best. There are still a few holdover rainbow trout found at Isabella, mostly in the colder waters of the North Fork upriver. The lake held at 46 percent this week. The local lakes are producing bluegill, crappie, and bass, and there has been a run on the popular Wussy Bait for carp.
Bass 3 Crappie 2 Trout 2 Catfish 2
Kaweah remains high at 95 percent, and small bass have been the rule with reaction baits in the mornings and evenings before working the bottom with plastics or jigs. The bass are spread out all over with the high water conditions, and as the fish are in post-spawn mode, they are feeding aggressively. A few dedicated anglers are soaking live minnows or minijigs in submerged brush around Horse Creek for crappie. Bluegill are holding near structure in the shallows.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212
Bass 3 Trout 2 Catfish 2 Crappie 2 Bluegill 2
Success continues to rise slowly, and it is currently at 67 percent. Bass fishing remains solid with spinnerbaits, crankbaits, swimbaits, and topwater lures. The bass are in post-spawn mode, and they are biting aggressively. By mid-morning, dragging the bottom with lizards, Brush Hogs, or Senkos are working. Crappie fishing is decent with minijigs or live minnows.
Bass 3 Trout 2 King salmon 1 Kokanee 0 Crappie 2 Catfish 2
In the nearly filled lake, recreational boating was heavy over the Memorial Day weekend, limiting bass fishermen to a small window in the mornings with plastics on the drop-shot or shakey head such as the Pro Worm 266s at depths to 40 feet. The topwater bite dies quickly in the early morning. Steve Marquette of the Lake McClure/McSwain Recreation Company said, “Bass fishing has been excellent with plastics, particularly the Zoom Watermelon as our cook has been going out and catching between 20 and 25 bass. The crappie bite has slowed down, but a few slabs are still holding in the flooded timber with live minnows or minijigs. The lake rose held at 92 percent.
Steve Marquette of the Lake McClure/Lake McSwain Recreation Company said, “There was a plant prior to the holiday weekend on Friday, and shore anglers are scoring with Power Bait or nightcrawlers from the normal locations of the Handicapped Docks, Brush Pile, or peninsula near the marina. Kastmasters in silver or gold are also working from the shore. Trollers are pulling Wedding Rings tipped with a piece of nightcrawler behind a dodger. Live minnows are also working.”
Call: McSwain Marina 209-378-2534
Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River
Bass 3 Striped bass 1 Shad 1 Bluegill 2 Crappie 3
Millerton Lake continues to be the top spot for numbers of spotted bass in the Central Valley, but it is also becoming the best location for crappie. Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “The bite is reliable with the better cut of fish up the river arm. The bass in the river are acting like they are still in pre-spawn mode with red tails like they have been digging. These bass are defensive, and they are chasing jerkbaits. 4- to 5-inch profile jerkbaits in Ghost Minnow, albino white, or Sexy Shad are all working for limits in the 12- to 15-pound range. The bass were targeting only a few colors, but the albino has been working now as well as chartreuse/white or ones with a chartreuse line with dots. The key is to rip the bait and then pause it at depths from 6 to 8 feet as the spots are keying on the bluegill. I landed a 12-inch crappie on a ripbait, and crappie fishing has been excellent in the flooded willows with 1/16-ounce minijigs under a slip bobber. The slabs are in the flooded trees, and the water clarity is from 10 to 15 feet.”
Millerton rose from 87 to 88 percent.
Call: Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474
New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch
Bass 3 Crappie 2 Catfish 2 Trout 2 Kokanee 2
The opportunity for a trophy rainbow or brown trout exists at New Melones, and although the numbers are down overall, the few trout landed have been huge. Rolling shad as deep as 60 feet has been the top set up, but various lures are working. An occasional kokanee is also showing up for those targeting the landlocked salmon.
Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing took out Butch Betshart of Milton out during the week, and they started off near the main lake before the wind drove them south of the Highway 49 Bridge. He said, “We had a few hits on my custom spoons, and at 11:00 a.m., I set up all four rods with rolled shad, and when I was setting down a rod, I saw a few taps on the back rod. I pulled the rod off of the release and handed it to my client, saying, ‘This feels like a nice fish.’ He thought he was snagged, but it was burning line off of the reel straight down under the boat. After a period of time, we got the fish to the boat, and it was a 9-pound, 10-ounce brown trout that we tried for 45 minutes to release. It swam off for a short distance, but it didn’t make it. We had a couple of other big fish on that we saw within 30 feet of the boat, but they became unbuttoned. After the big fish succumbed, Betshart committed to having his trophy mounted.”
Gary Burns of ‘Take It To the Limit’ Guide Service has been focusing around the main lake and the Highway 49 Bridge for rainbows and browns to 6 pounds rolling shad from 45 to 60 feet, and he also picked up a 13-inch kokanee on Paulina Peak’s Wickiup spinner hoochie. He said, “This is the first week that the water temperature has hit 70 degrees, and the shad are starting to hit the surface in the open water.”
John Liechty of Xperience Bass Fishing Guide Service said, “The bass bite continues to be good on New Melones. The lake level is starting to drop and the fish are repositioning themselves daily. Each morning we have been starting with topwater poppers and prop baits and then switching to subsurface reaction baits as the sun comes up. The fish are keying on shad, baby bass and small sunfish making these lure color selections most productive. When the bite does seem to become a bit slow we will use finesse techniques to coax a few more bites. We have been seeing a lot of healthy bass and the future of the lake looks bright.”
Crappie continue to be landed with medium minnows or minijigs in the submerged brush, and bluegill are also a possibility.
The lake dropped from 83 to 82 percent.
Pine Flat Reservoir/Kings River
Bass 3 Trout 2 Kokanee 1 King salmon 1 Catfish 2 Crappie 2
At Pine Flat, fewer fishermen are heading to the lake with the limited parking after 10:00 a.m., but Lombado’s or Lakeview have more parking available than Deer Creek. The spotted bass action is heating up, and Newman reported solid action with plastics on the drop-shot, Neko Rig, or Ned Rig aling with jigs or spinnerbaits. He said, “The bass are keying on either shad or bluegill, and there are crawdads everywhere, The food is abundant, and the fish don’t have to chase. You really have to put it in their face to get bit, and the key is to work ambush points such as large boulders or main lake points.”
Crappie action at Pine Flat has slowed, but there are a few slabs upriver from Trimmer. Trout fishing is best at depths from 20 to 30 feet from Deer Creek to the Power Lines to the dam with Needlefish, Wedding Rings tipped with a nightcrawler, or Speedy Shiners. The trout are still high in the water column without a sustained period of hot weather.
Pine Flat dropped from 89 to 88 percent.
San Luis Reservoir and O’Neill Forebay
Striper 2 Catfish 2 Bass 2 Crappie 2
Trolling and drifting live jumbo minnows have taken a back seat to bank fishing from Dinosaur Point, Romero Visitor Center, or Basalt Recreation Area with flukes or paddle-tail swimbaits in the mornings. Some anglers are looking for boils, but they have been absent. Bait fishermen are working pile worms, blood worms, or sardines for a few fish, The lake dropped from 79 to 77 percent with increased water releases. In the forebay, Paul Love of Coyote Bait and Tackle said, “Largemouth bass are the best thing going with squarebill crankbaits or dragging curly-tailed worms in the grass as the fish are in post-spawn mode and feeding aggressively. Small striped bass are found around Check 12 with blood worms, pile worms, or anchovies, but the majority of stripers are undersized.”
Roger George of Roger George Guide Service said that he will be waiting till around August to resume his “Downrigging 101 for Stripers” on- the -water class due to the heavy winds at San Luis.
Bass 3 Trout 2 Kokanee 1
Memorial Day weekend is a good time to wait on fishing as the recreational boaters take over the lake, and the lake will not clear from all of the boating activity until the end of the week. Bass fishing before the holiday is improving with 30 fish days possible as the fish are oriented to the docks with the lake nearly filled. Plastics on the drop-shot, wacky-rigged Senkos, or topwater Whopper Ploppers are all working near the docks. The bass are post-spawn and aggressive with jerkbaits working when the water warms after 10 a.m. Trout fishing is fair for trollers, but it should improve as the weather warms as there are plenty of fish from the early season plants. Mike Beighey of Kokanee.net Guide Service trolled RMT Signature Squids and orange Apex lures tipped with Berkley Maggots this week for 6 rainbow trout, losing another two. The lake rose slightly to 98 percent this week.
Brown trout 2 Trout 2
The reservoirs are rising with Edison at 57, Florence at 98, and Mammoth Pool at 100 percent. The Vermilion Valley Resort at Lake Edison is open and fully operational for hikers, and the ferry is operating across Edison Lake twice a day, leaving the VVR at 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily. Pickup is on the Mono Pass side of the lake at 9:45 a.m and 4:45 p.m.
Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000
Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake
Kokanee 3 Trout 3
Shaver Lake water level has come up exponentially within the past week after the lake was lowered to film the 2019 version of the Avenger movie franchise. The gates were opened up from Huntington into Shaver, bringing the lake up to 65 percent by Memorial Day Weekend. However, the weather over the holiday weekend was cold, windy and wet with far fewer boats on the water.
Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters said, “The fishing had changed its pattern, but it was solid through the holiday weekend. We were out on our normal three days of Thursday, Friday and Saturday, boating 34 fish for limits for the three days. Because of the extreme cold, wet conditions and choppy water, we basically stayed close to the island and Black Rock. It was one here and one there most of the three days. The depth did change a bit as we had been fishing at 28 feet deep. This past weekend we fished at 28 to 43 feet deep for best results. On Thursday, 96-year old Bob Clark, of Clovis fished his annual birthday trip with his son, Bobby Clark, and they bagged their limits of mostly kokanee with the younger Clark also picking up a trophy rainbow. On Saturday local doctors Steve and Susan Yeagle of Fresno fished a mid-morning trip and collected a couple limits of mixed fish. The two-year old kokanee have been very aggressive, and it is best to carefully return these fish to the water as the no kokanee fingerlings have been planted for the past three years. Pink Mountain Hoochies tipped with scented corn behind a Mountain Blade has been our best down rigger choice. Orange and green Trout Busters behind Mountain Flashers on the side poles has produced several trout and some kokanee. Overall, fishing is slower than the past two months but I think most trollers are collecting limits of fish, just not as fast. The trout are loaded with insects from the rapid increase in water. I am not certain why they would bite.”
Todd Wittwer of Kokanee.net Guide Service put in two limits by 10:00 a.m. on Memorial Day, and he said, “It was a bit slower but still good. The best set ups with the Rocky Mountain Tackle 5.5-inch watermelon dodger in front of a Father Murphy’s orange bug, the RMT Purple Moonshine dodger with the purple Cotton Candy Squid, and RMT Moonshine Sunburst with pink glitter for the kokanee at depths from 24 to 32 feet with rainbows found at 3 colors of leadcore with the Billfish green TigerPrawn tipped with Berkley Gulp! Maggots behind a Mountain Dodger. A brown hit the purple set up.”
Steve Santoro of Fish Box Charters had a similar report with the wet weather limiting boat traffic, and he confirmed the slower kokanee bite with his best action on white hoochies at 30 feet in depth. Rainbows were the top draw on Sunday’s morning trip in far improved weather.
Tom Oliveira of Tom Oliveira Fishing used Paulina Peak Tackle for mixed limits for several clients this week also.
At Huntington Reservoir, Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis reported decent trout fishing with dough bait from the shorelines near Rancheria Creek and Dam 2 as well as trollers picking rainbows on various spinners or spoons. The lake rose to 98 percent.
Call: Dick Nichols, Dick’s Fishing Charters 281-6948; Todd Wittwer, Kokanee.net Guide Service 288-8100; Dinkey Creek Inn 841-3435; Rancheria Marina 893-3234; Shaver Lake Sports Inc. 841-2740; Tom Oliveira Fishing 802-8072; Steve Santoro Fish Box Charters 871-3937
Wishon Reservoir trout action remains hot for both bank and boat anglers, and while the road to higher elevation Courtright opened prior to the Memorial Day Weekend, fishing was slow with few anglers due to inclement weather.
Chuck Crane of the Wishon Village RV Park and Store said, “Wishon is pretty full right now, and it continues to fish well. Trollers are running blade/’crawler combinations at 20 to 30 feet in front of Woodchuck Creek and also along the dam. A few fishermen are heading up the river arm for decent action. Bank fishermen are scoring at the mouth of Short Hair Creek with trout dough bait in pink or chartreuse, and limits have been the norm. Boats are also slow-drifting trout dough bait or nightcrawlers in front of Woodchuck Creek as well as along both sides of the dam. Needlefish and Speedy Shiners are also working at depths from 15 to 20 feet on a faster troll. The weather was rainy, cold, and foggy on Friday and Saturday, but the sun came out on Sunday, bringing out far more people.”
At Courtright, Crane said, “The road opened on Thursday night, but it was such nasty weather up here that few anglers came up. Trollers that did try Courtright ended up with only a fish or two per rod while bank fishing was similar with a trout ‘here and there’ on trout dough bait. The lake is plumb full, and I expect the action to be better as the weather improves.”
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
Rockfish 3 Striper 2 Crab 2 Surf perch 3 Salmon 2
There has been some great fishing out of Half Moon Bay when the weather is cooperative with striped bass along the beaches, rockfish either north or south, or the possibility for a salmon below Pigeon Point. The trips south of Pigeon have been feast or famine, and there is optimism for the June 17 opener in local waters.
Captain Dennis Baxter of the New Captain Pete said, “ We had a great trip last week with 11 salmon to 22 pounds for 13 fishermen, but we made it down south on Sunday, but the fish were absent. The good news is that the fish that have been caught are big, and they are hugging the bottom. All of the conditions are there with whales, brown water, and krill. We will be fishing salmon full-time starting Monday, June 18.”
Sherry Ingles of Half Moon Bay Sport Fishing said, “We got blown off of the water on Saturday, and after only landing three rockfish, we pulled the plug and gave everyone a rain check. Rockfishing has been no problem for anglers who are knowledgeable and using shrimp flies or Super Flies tipped with squid on a heavy 1-lb. weight. We have been finding some quality bottom fish with coppers to 4 pounds along with Bolinas, vermilions, and canaries, Ling cod have been up and down. The conditions for salmon have been outstanding one mile above the closed zone at Pigeon Point with krill and whales , and the rockfish are also loaded with krill. Striped bass action from the beaches has been solid with Optimum’s Double AA or Big Hammer swimbaits along with hairraisers. A 30-inch ling cod was landed off of the jetty, and rock crabbing has been solid along with the occasional Dungeness from the rockwall.”
Second captain Michael Cabanas of Huli Cat went rockfishing off of San Gregorio with lings to 5 pounds along with coppers to 3 pounds landed on shrimp flies. On Monday, he went back down to San Gregorio for vermilions to 5 pounds along with a 19 pound ling cod landed by Kam Yick of San Francisco on a swimbait along with a 6-pound vermilion. He said, “The schoolies are getting active.”
Rockfish 3 Striper 2 Surf perch 2
Chris Arcoleo of Chris’s Fishing Trips in Monterey reported terrific ling cod action with the Check Mate scoring 24 limits of ling cod and 3/4th limits of rockfish while the Caroline returned with 22 lings and full limits of rockfish for 18 anglers. They have been staying along the local reefs south of the harbor at Carmel Bay and Cypress Point, and big lings and rockfish such as vermilions found their way into the box. Live fresh squid is still happening, and the lings and big rockfish are eating them up.
San Francisco Bay
Halibut 3 Striper 3 Rockfish 3 Leopard shark 2 Sturgeon 2
Captain Jerad Davis of the Salty Lady out of Sausalito had a great trip on Memorial Day with 12 limits of stripers and 4 halibut before working the rocks for 50 rockfish, a ling, and a cabezon. That’s a potluck trip. On Friday, Davis went to the Farallons for 22 limits of rockfish.
Most of the party boats are staying inside the bay with the numbers of striped bass growing every day, but the New Huck Finn out of Fish Emeryville returned with 25 limits of rockfish and lings over the weekend.
Inside the bay, the striped bass have been the story, but there were some huge halibut at 36 and 43 pounds landed over the weekend. Captain Jay Lopes of Right Hook Sport Fishing put Reba McCranie onto a 43 pounder on Memorial Day. Captain Craig Hanson of Argo Sport Fishing out of San Francisco also put an angler onto a huge halibut at 36 pounds over the weekend.
Captain Trent Slate of Bite Me Charter out of Loch Lomond Marina when commercial halibut fishing this week, and he said, “The bait is stacking up along the San Francisco shoreline, and I expect it to go off soon. Most of the party boats are working the deep drift off of Angel Island, and this area is getting beaten up. Those boats that are staying with this drift have been able to come up with a few big fish. Slate is ready to go for halibut, stripers, rockfish, or lings in the coming weeks.
Bill Clapp of Bill’s Sport Fishing put this crew onto good action in the bay on Sunday with halibut to 16 pounds.
Captain Chris Smith of the Defiant went out on Memorial Day with 5 anglers for 7 halibut and 8 striped bass. His son, Jonathan Smith on the Happy Hooker, put 23 anglers onto over a fish per rod with 17 halibut and 14 stripers in the central bay.
San Luis Obispo
Rockfishing remains solid out of both San Luis Obispo County ports with the Endeavor and Avenger out of Morro Bay Landing posting a combined 40 limits of rockfish consisting of 230 vermilion, 30 copper, 130 assorted rockfish, and 10 Boccaccio to go with 29 ling cod to 13 pounds on Memorial Day. Out of Port San Luis, Patriot Sport Fishing sent out the Patriot, Flying Fish, and Phenix on Memorial Day with 102 fishermen for 138 vermillion, 41 copper, 3 Boccaccio, 589 assorted rockfish, 12 Bolina, 2 cabezon, and 9 lings to 9 pounds. Out of Virg’s Landing in Morro Bay, the Fiesta and Black Pearl returned with limits on Monday for 59 anglers consisting of 284 vermilion, 75 coppers, 15 canary, 204 assorted, and 12 Boccaccio to go with 11 lings to 9 pounds. All landings are running a variety of bottom fishing trips from ½ day to two-day ventures up the coast. The next open two-day trip out of Virg’s with room is July 27-29.
Bass 3 Striper 2 Sturgeon 2 Catfish 2 Bluegill 2 Shad 3
The Sacramento-Delta is quickly transitioning into a summertime pattern with the Sacramento River slowing down for all species, leaving the San Joaquin-Delta to be the top location for Delta anglers. The American shad run continues through the Sacramento River at Freeport as the shad are moving into the American River. Drop-shotting with curly-tailed grubs in chartreuse, pink, or champagne along with tossing 1-ounce shad darts in red, white, and blue from the banks. The best shad fishing remains upriver in the tributaries of the Feather, Yuba, and American Rivers.
Striped bass action has slowed down as the linesides are moving rapidly back to the cooler waters of San Francisco Bay. In addition, the wind has limited striper trollers from working the desired areas from Rio Vista to Collinsville.
Captain Zach Medinas of Gatecrasher Fishing Adventures continues to brave the winds for his clients, and they worked hard for an oversized, three slot-limit, and a shaker on Thursday in Suisun Bay with cured salmon roe and 9 more sturgeon on Friday with 7 oversized or slot-limit fish with two shakers.
The east Delta striped bass bite is on the wane as the linesides are moving quickly back to the cooler environment in San Francisco Bay and the ocean. The bite was outstanding two weeks ago, but the stripers are clearly on the move. There are still some large fish in the system as evidenced by the bank action off of Windmill Cove on the main San Joaquin River.
Clyde Wands, shallow trolling expert, trolled the San Joaquin twice during the past week, and he said, “It has really slowed down as we ended up with only 4 keepers to 6 pounds, and the wind didn’t help very much.” Their trip on the following day with three lines in the water ended up with even slower action with only a few keepers in the 18- to 20-inch range.
For largemouth bass, Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, said, “There are fry balls with baby bass, and the small fish are attacking the fry. The males are guarding the fry, and they will only move off of the beds so far before swimming back to defend another attack from a small fish. The key is to keep the lure in the strike zone longer as the males are escorting the lures out of the zone. The females have moved off of the beds, and they are transitioning into the summer pattern of holding around current. The wind has muddied up the water, and I have been using the ima Little Stick in chartreuse/blue or the new Toucan. The Rock N’ Vibe Suspend is another lure that stays in the strike zone, and the key is to sit it, pause, and retrieve. The Chigger Craw in black/blue or black/red is also working. Everyone wants to throw the topwater lures and the frogs, but it is very possible that this day is gone as the weed growth is being eliminated in the Delta. Without weeds, the little fish don’t have places to hide, and the larger bass don’t have enough oxygen. There also hasn’t been enough current to push out the silt, and it is starting to build up in many areas. Without weeds, the volume of water in the Delta rises, and this may be the ultimate goal of the 8 boats spraying and tossing pellets throughout the south Delta.”
Alan Fong, manager of the Fishermen’s Warehouse in Sacramento, found excellent action for largemouth bass with spinnerbaits early in the week, putting Warren Trumbly of San Jose onto a 27-pound limit including bass at 9, 8, 6, and 4 pounds. He said, “Warren was tossing in tighter to the banks with the spinnerbaits, and the day before I put in a 22-pound limit. The water is getting muddier due to the lack of weeds, and they are dumping the time-release pellets throughout the river. The weeds are a filter, and without the weeds, the water can be pumped far faster through the pumps in the South Delta. The lack of weeds limits the hiding places for bait fish as well as limiting the oxygen in the water.”
Bryce Tedford of Bryce Tedford’s Fly Fishing Guide Service said, “Spring striper fishing is winding down, but we’re still catching between 10 and 15 stripers per day with a few quality linesides mixed in. Some bays have just been tough. As the water temperatures approach 70 degrees, the largemouth bass are getting aggressive, and of fish. Generally we are catching 10-15 Stripers a day with a few quality fish mixed in but some days have been tough. As water temperatures approach 70 degrees the Largemouth are getting aggressive and are a good alternative to striper fishing, I will be running topwater trips for smallmouth and largemouth bass from June through September.”
Luther Thompson of H and R Bait in Stockton landed a 39-inch striped bass from the shoreline at Windmill Cove on fresh shad, and his son had an even larger striper break off 65-pound braid after seeing the fish surface off of the shoreline. Thompson said, “I soaked the shad in chicken liver juice, and the big striper pounded it. My son’s fish was the third case of someone getting broken off on a big fish from Windmill Cove.”
Lake Nacimiento/San Antonio/Santa Margarita/Lopez
Bass 2 White bass 2 Striper 2 Catfish 2 Crappie 3
At Nacimiento, the water temperature keeps cranking up, and it is currently in the mid-70s. The recreational boating has limited fishing opportunities on the weekends as the water is dirty after the boats and jet skis stir up the lake’s edge. Spotted bass to 3 pounds are hitting a variety of reaction baits such as underspins, flukes on a scrounger head, swimbaits, or spinnerbaits. The drop-shot bite is solid for smaller fish. White bass have yet to boil consistently, but the coming hot weather should keep the bass chasing the bait on the surface for longer period of time. Crappie can be found near structure with minijigs. Brush piles are holding the majority of the slabs. The water levels are dropping, and the fish are on the move as the lake has dropped to 42 percent. A webcam of the lake is available at www.lakenacimientolive.com.
At San Antonio, striper boils are starting to show up in the coves in the mornings, and this is the first verifiable striper activity in some time. Catfishing is the best thing going with cut baits or stinkbaits. The lake held at 32 percent. The lake is now open 7 days per week.
At Lopez, bluegill and red ear perch are taking center stage as the crappie bite has slowed. Red worms or meal worms are accounting for 25-fish limits of the panfish. Bass are starting to get on a good reaction bite with crankbaits, lipless crankbaits, chatterbaits, underspins, or spinnerbaits while plastics, Brush Hogs, and lizards are also picking up a few largemouth bass in deep water. A webcam of the lake is available at 805webcams.com/lopez-lake-webcam.
Santa Margarita is also kicking out panfish with bluegill and red ear perch biting red worms or meal worms. The crappie bite has been fair at best, but the bass bite is starting to show signs of life with reaction baits including spinnerbaits, ripbaits, swimbaits, and crankbaits along with plastics on the dart-head or split-shot. The shad schools are starting to move around. A webcam of the lake is available at 805webcams.com/santa-margarita-lake-webcam-california.
June 1: Don Pedro – Poe Man’s
June 2: Delta/Ladd’s Marina – Kerman Bass Club, Delta/Big Break Marina – Dan’s Delta Outdoors, Delta/Ladd’s Marina – California Hmong Bass Tournaments, Don Pedro –Modesto Ambassadors, Eastman – Cen Cal Elite Bass Tournaments, Pine Flat – American Bass Association, Lopez – 101 Bass
June 3: Delta/B and W Resort – Fresno Bass Club, Delta/Russo’s – NewJen Bass Tournaments
June 8: Don Pedro – Poe Man’s
June 9-10: Delta/Ladd’s Marina – Angler’s Press
June 9: Delta/B and W Resort – Manteca Bassin’ Buddies, Delta/Russo’s Marina – Wild West Bass Trails, Delta/Ladd’s Marina – Merced Bass Club/Gold Country Junior Bass Club, Pardee – Central Valley Anglers Kokanee Team Tournament, New Melones – Yak-A-Bass, Don Pedro – Sonora Bass Anglers/Mid Valley Bass Club, Kaweah – Kings River Bass Club, Shaver Lake – USFS -EEUC Employees, Isabella – Lake Isabella Bass Club, Nacimiento – Best Bass Tournaments, Lopez – Bakersfield Bass Club
June 10: Don Pedro – Modesto Ambassadors, Eastman – Kings VIII Bass Club, Kaweah – Cen Cal Bass Youth
June 15: Don Pedro – Poe Man’s
June 16: Delta/Russo’s Marina – Best Bass Tournaments, Hensley – Central Valley Kayak Fishing, Pine Flat – Cen Cal Elite Bass Tournaments, Isabella – American Bass Association, Lopez – Kern County Bass Masters, Santa Margarita – San Luis Obispo Bass Ambushers
June 17: Millerton – Bass 101, Success – Porterville Bass Club
June 22: Don Pedro – Poe Man’s
June 23-24: Delta/Ladd’s Marina – Best Bass Tournaments
June 23: Delta/Russo’s Marina – California Tournament Trail, Delta/Ladd’s Marina – Bass N’ Tubes, Pardee – 17-90 Bass Club, Eastman – Sierra Bass Club, Isabella – Kern River Valley Elks Lodge Trout Derby
June 24: Pardee – Riverbank Bass Anglers
June 26-27: Delta/Russo’s Marina – California Firefighter Olympics
June 29: Don Pedro – Poe Man’s, Nacimiento – 101 Bass Night
June 30: Delta/Big Break Marina – Dan’s Delta Outdoors, Delta/Ladd’s Marina – Stanislaus County Employees
None planned in region by California Department of Fish and Wildlife for week of June 3
f = full moon > = peak activity