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.
Show off your success! Share your fish photos and videos with Bee readers. Please share only jpeg images and Mp4 video files. Include “Fishing Report” in the subject line and email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
San Francisco salmon bite producing “hawgs,” Trent Slate said. Eastman and Hensley bass action solid, Steve Newman reported. Shaver mixed limits keeping anglers happy, Dick Nichols said. Pine Flat and Millerton bass hitting, Dave Hurley reported. Don Pedro trout fishing solid, Monte Smith said. Wishon plant spurs trout bite, Chuck Crane said. Delta bass action improving, salmon opener creating excitement, Randy Pringle reported.
2-Have to work hard
4-Fish jumpin’ in boat
Delta Mendota Canal and Sloughs
Striper 2 Catfish 2
With the triple-digit head, most aqueduct fishermen are only arriving in the early mornings or in the late afternoons into the evenings. With the heavy water diversions, the flows in the California Aqueduct are dirty, making bait the best option for either striped bass or catfish. In the south aqueduct in Kern County, Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield said, “There really is nowhere to hide from the sun at the aqueduct so fishermen are either going in the early morning until 10 a.m. or arriving at 6 p.m. to when they get tired. Catfishing is best with stinkbaits, sardines, or anchovies.” Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield started their July Catfish Derby with a 100 percent payback and a $1 entry fee.
Bass 3 Trout 2 Bluegill 2 Catfish 2 Crappie 2
The algae bloom at Eastman and Hensley Reservoirs is starting to lighten up from the green color to more of a brown hue, and the water visibility at Eastman is now 4 to 6 feet as opposed to 4 to 6 inches a few weeks ago.
The bass don’t seem to mind, and the action for big fish remains at Eastman. Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “Eastman is maintaining, and there are double-digit largemouths landed at least once per week. The best action has been on the bottom with jigs on a 3/8- or 1/2-ounce jig head with natural browns or green pumpkin working best. It is a matter of putting it in their face around rocks or ledges as the largemouth bass are transitioning around the ledges. There is a crankbait bite around the dam, and the KVD 6XD is working best at depths from 12 to 15 feet around rip rap or rock. Dragging plastics in a variety of colors on a Carolina rig is also effective, but you have to let them eat it. The fish are grouped up, and in the early mornings and evenings, you can find groups of largemouth bass in the 4- to 8-pound range. The water level is still holding up as the drawdown has not started in earnest, and the water color has changed to a brownish tinge.”
The Central Valley Kayak Anglers held an event with 32 kayaks on Sunday, and there is another version of the ‘Saturday Night Shootout’ this coming Saturday from 6 p.m. to midnight at the Cordiniz Launch Ramp with a $100 entry fee and 80 percent payback.
The lake is releasing water, and it dropped to 59 percent.
Bass 3 Trout 1 Catfish 2 Bluegill 2 Crappie 2
At Hensley, Newman said, “It is the step-sister to Eastman, but there is good bass action with Senkos around the ledges, rockpiles, or shorelines along with a good early morning topwater bite with Horny Toads or Whopper Ploppers. Chatterbaits or spinnerbaits are working around the edges while dragging a worm is also effective. The crappie bite is only so-so with the arrival of the hot weather.”
Hensley dropped from 32 to 30 percent.
Lake Don Pedro
Bass 3 Trout 3 Kokanee 2 King salmon 1 Crappie 2
Trout fishing is taking center stage at Don Pedro with easy limits for experienced trollers, but there are more and more kokanee showing up in the mix, especially since few anglers are targeting the landlocked salmon.
Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing said, “I was on the lake twice this week, and the bite has been good at depths from 30 to 50 feet for rainbow trout using small spoons such as ExCels or Needlefish. We also landed a kokanee on trout gear at 48 feet, and there are fish holding between 45 and 50 feet, and I think these are kokanee, but they haven’t been biting. The larger rainbows continue to be higher in the water column, and the water temperature continues to rise into the high 70’s. The boat traffic was outrageous on Friday, and there were boats blowing through the 5 MPH Zone at 30 MPH and also running all out between us and the bank while we were trolling close to the shoreline. I will be on the lake three times in the coming week, and I expect more of the same from the trout action.”
Travis Porter of Hollister confirmed the excellent action, stating, “The trout fishing remains good despite the water temperatures reaching from 83 to 84 degrees. Fishing with K.C. Wilson over the weekend, we landed over 30 trout running purple Apex lures or hoochies behind Sling Blades at depths from 36 to 50 feet. Most of our fish were landed around Jenkins Hill with a few more from the dam area. We also landed a few up the river above Moccasin. The bass bite as also good.”
Don Pedro is at 88 percent.
Lake Isabella/Bakersfield area
Bass 3 Trout 3 Crappie 2 Catfish 2 Bluegill 2
The bass bite is improving at Lake Isabella, and the Lake Isabella Bass Club held an event on Saturday with 9 teams and a winning limit of 14.58 pounds with a big fish of 4 pounds. Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield said, “There is good bass action with heavy 3/4th ounce jigs with a Yamamoto twin-tail trailer near the Flume in 10 to 15 feet of water.” Catfish and crappie remain decent with the crappie in submerged trees and the catfish are taken on stink baits, cut baits, or live minnows. The upper Kern River has risen, perhaps due to a thunderstorm, and the action for holdover rainbows remains solid with salmon eggs, nightcrawlers, crickets, or Roostertails. The lower Kern River is flowing high at 1500 cfs, but it is fishable for smallmouth bass, catfish, or trout. The huge catfish at 41 pounds taken by Jeff Pritchett on frozen shad at Buena Vista hasn’t dampened enthusiasm for the July Catfish Derby as several additional fishermen have signed up with their $1.00 entry fee. There isn’t much change at the local impoundments with carp, bluegill, and catfish being the top species. In the high Sierra watershed of the upper Kern, Chuck Stokke of the Sequoia Fishing Company in Springville said, “The upper Kern River is still fishing excellent with dry flies and steamers. The Golden Trout Wilderness Pack Station is still booking trips into to upper Kern. Information – 559-542-2816.”
Bass 2 Crappie 3 Trout 1 Catfish 2
Kaweah is rapidly releasing water, and it dropped from 38 to 28 percent this week. Crappie fishing has improved with the slabs confined to a smaller body of water, and local anglers are purchasing small minnows for the run to Kaweah for a larger grade of crappie. Catfishing is best at night with chicken livers, frozen shad, or stinkbaits while bass are holding in deeper water after moving close to the shorelines in the mornings. Recreational boating is high on the weekends.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212
Bass 2 Trout 3 Catfish 2 Crappie 2 Bluegill 2
Chuck Stokke of the Sequoia Fishing Company in Springville said, “The lake is dropping, and the bass are moving daily due to the receding water levels. They are suspending throughout the lake, and deep-diving crankbaits or topwater lures are working earlier in the morning and late evenings.” The lake is currently at 36 percent. In the Tule River, Stokke said, The Tule is still fishing good to excellent on dry flies and dry dopper patterns, and last week’s heavy thunderstorm rain made the river muddy and stained which brought fishing to a halt. The water is clear again, and fishing is back to productive with 25 fish days the norm. I will be giving fly casting lessons at the Pierpoint Café the second Sunday of the month at 10 a.m. The lessons are free and all equipment is provided.”
Bass 3 Trout 2 King salmon 1 Kokanee 1 Crappie 2 Catfish 3
Bass fishing is best with Zoom Trick Worms in watermelon/red along with jerkbaits in shad patterns or Senkos. There is a jig bite in the evenings along with some topwater action with small plugs. Morgan Swisher of the Fresno Bass Club reported 26 limits were weighed in out of a possible 40 limits as the individuals were able to weigh in two limits with their night tournament over two days on Saturday and Sunday. There was no moon to enlighten the action, but Dan Marshall won the tournament with 23.20 pounds for 10 fish including a big fish at 7.32 pounds. Catfishing is improving with the warmer water conditions while crappie action has slowed. The lake dropped slightly from 85 to 83 percent.
Steve Marquette of the Lake McClure-Lake McSwain Recreation Company reported trout fishing is fair with bank fishermen scoring in the early mornings with various colors of trout dough bait with garlic while trollers are pulling Roostertails in yellow/black or Speedy Shiners up the river arm above the Fence Line. The Brush Pile, the Handicapped Docks, or the peninsula near the marina remain the top shore locations.
The new water feature has brought a different crowd to this lake traditionally focused on trout fishermen, but there still are planted rainbows in the lake.
Call: McSwain Marina 209-378-2534
Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River
Bass 3 Striped bass 1 Shad 1 Bluegill 2 Crappie 2
Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “Good numbers of spotted bass are available with ripbaits, jigs, or plastics on the drop-shot. The bass are feeding heavily on both shad and crawdads, and you can land two fish off of one point with a very different food source in their stomach. There is so much feed in the lake, that you have let the bait sit without shaking it too heavily. There is also a jerkbait bite up the river arm with deep crankbaits or Alabama rigs also working.” Catfishing is picking up for whiskerfish to 2.5 pounds near Finegold. The lake dropped from 81 to 76 percent.
Call: Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474
New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch
Bass 3 Crappie 2 Catfish 2 Trout 2 Kokanee 2
The kokanee bite that was emerging went belly-up this past week with guides reporting slow or no action near the dam where the fish had been congregating. There appear to be kokanee on the meter as deep as 120 feet, but these fish aren’t biting. It is possible that the kokanee dropped as much as 30 feet in the past week. Trout fishing is also limited, but the chance at a trophy rainbow exists for trollers pulling shad patterned spoons or rolling shad from 40 to 60 feet. Bass fishing remains solid with reaction baits in the early mornings or evenings. The lake held at 79 percent.
Pine Flat Reservoir/Kings River
Bass 3 Trout 2 Kokanee 0 King salmon 0 Catfish 2 Crappie 2
Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun said, “Bass action is best in the mornings and evenings with jigs, Neko-rigs, Senkos, or plastics on the drop-shot at depths to 30 feet Browns and green pumpkins are the top colors, and Alabama rigs are working when the bass are chasing shad in the early mornings. The algae bloom remains, and the lack of recreational boaters due to the algae bloom has allowed access for bass fishermen for the majority of the lake. The trout bite for trollers is ‘hit or miss’ with Needlefish or Wedding Rings tipped with a nightcrawlers at depths from 30 to 40 feet in the main lake. Crappie have become silent, and they are suspending with the moving and dropping water levels.” The lake dropped from 63 to 57 percent this week.
San Luis Reservoir and O’Neill Forebay
Striper 2 Catfish 2 Bass 2 Crappie 2
With the lake dropping on a regular basis, bank fishermen are having to walk a distance to the water’s edge. In the early mornings or late evenings, topwater lures are working for quality striped bass, but don’t expect to land many fish.
Roger George of Roger George Guide Service said that he took out David and Thelma Drinnon of Fresno out Saturday on a slow tough bite. “I think that we had a frontal system go through because the fish were pretty suspended and we didn’t see one fish caught by another boat all day-trolling or using minnows. We fished hard and we ended up releasing 8 nice stripers -with 5 of them in the 23-24 inch range . I used every trick I know- as well as covering a lot of area to find any biters, even though we were going through fish. The fish we got were from 50 to 70 feet -but it was a classic shutdown bite in the heat and wind. “ George said. He also recommends taking the drive to Dinosaur to launch now-especially if there is a forecast for wind .
Dinosaur Point remains the top area for bank fishermen as the access to deep water from the shoreline is much better. Big lures such as Evergreen 150’s or Lunker Punkers are working for the occasional quality lineside. Trollers are struggling for a few stripers working deep structure, and drifting jumbo minnows is producing a few fish. The best launch ramp is Dinosaur Point with the lower water levels and muddy ramps at Basalt and Romero. The lake dropped from 55 to 52 percent. In the forebay, bait fishing with anchovies is working best near the moving water at Check 12. The moving water is colder than in the main lake, and the stripers have been more active. Most of the linesides are undersized. There is a reaction bite with spinnerbaits or jerkbaits for largemouth bass along rocky structure near the Twin Islands. Check 12 and the Highway 152 Bridge remain the two top locations for bank fishermen.
Bass 2 Trout 2 Kokanee 1
Recreational boating has taken over the lake, and fishing is limited to the early morning hours before the flotilla makes their move. A few anglers are tossing plastics in the deep water along the docks in the early mornings or evenings. The lake remains as 100 percent.
Brown trout 2 Trout 2
The reservoirs held with Edison at 89, Mammoth Pool at 98 percent, and Florence at 40 percent. A few anglers are heading into the high country to avoid the heat, and Lake Edison is producing a few rainbows or browns from the banks with Kastmasters, Roostertails, Power Bait, or nightcrawlers. 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 VVR at 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. 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 2
Shaver Lake continues to be the top destination for kokanee in the Central Sierra, and there are now four guides working the lake with two of these on a part-time basis.
Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters said, “The kokanee bite has decreased a tad, but couple it with a good trout bite, and my clients have all caught from 2 to 5 limits on every trip this week. We are experiencing a very good, but very early, kokanee bite, and when the sun hits the water, the bite shuts off. After this, it is one here and one there until about 9:30 a.m. when a combination of kokanee and trout return for a mid-morning bite. We are catching around 50/50 on kokanee and trout most days, but the end of the week it was more like 9 kokes and 6 trout. Throw in an occasional trophy trout, and the fishing is simply a great combo occasion. I am working the triangle between the Shaver Marina, island and the Point from shortly after 5:15 a.m. until about 9 a.m. and then moves out to the island and Black rock areas for a good mid-morning kokanee and trout bite. The trout have been high quality with most yearlings or longer holdovers to 17 inches. The kokanee have grown an inch or two over the past month, and we are finding most of the kokanee at 33 to 45 feet with the trout at 20 to 30 feet deep. Mountain Hoochies in champagne pink, orange, or white tipped with scented corn behind a Mountain Dodger have worked very well for us several weeks. The trout have gone after Dick’s Trout Busters in green and orange or orange and chartreuse tipped with a piece of crawler and corn behind a weighted Mountain Flasher. Bank fishermen in the Shaver Marina area have been observed catching some from shore with trout dough bait or crawlers. The small mouth bass bite has heated up with the weather near all rocks. Spinners or crickets are the best for smallies”
Steve Santoro of Fish Box Charters took out Tim Chase, daughter Brianna, and grandson Levi from Madera Ranchos for a ‘nice batch of fish’ consisting of rainbows and kokanee taken on hoochies tipped with corn behind a Sling Blade at 20 to 25 feet near the island. He said, “The bite has slowed a little, but limits are still possible.”
Nichols added, “Huntington does not receive the fishing activity that Shaver receives, but it is kicking out good numbers of kokanee and trout at about 20 to 30 feet with various trolling spinners tipped with corn or crawler. The kokanee are smaller than at Shaver, and the trout are recent plants.” Paul Kaplakoff of Central Sierra Anglers reported good action for both trout and kokanee with his PPK Tomahawk spinners.
Shaver held at 94 percent with Huntington at 99 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
The annual Kiwanis Special Olympics Trout Derby took place at Wishon Reservoir on July 14 and 523 participants descended upon the lake to take part in the derby.
Chuck Crane of the Wishon Village RV Park and Store said, “The lake was planted prior to the derby, and there have been lots of limits since the recent plant. The winning limit in the derby in the adult division was 68 inches for five fish while the children’s division was taken with a 65.5-inch limit. The big news was tagged fish #1948 worth $10,000 was landed, and a total of 50 tagged fish were turned in for a combined $2,025, not counting the $10,000 trout which was a separate payout. Next year’s derby is scheduled for July 13, 2019.”
Trollers at Wishon are scoring with blade/’crawler combinations at depths from 10 to 40 feet, and Crane said, “They are bringing in limits ‘left and right.’” There have been some huge brown trout to 9 pounds landed within the past week by trollers while bank fishing is best at the mouth of Woodchuck Creek or along both sides of the dam.
At higher elevation Courtright Reservoir, Crane said, “The best action is for trollers working from 10 to 30 feet with blade/’crawler combinations while bank fishing continues to be slow with only a few fish per rod landed on trout dough bait in pink or orange along with nightcrawlers along both sides of the dam or the launch ramp.”
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
Salmon 3 Rockfish 3 Striper 2
The salmon bite remains solid out of Half Moon Bay with Captain Tom Mattusch heading to the Deep Reef for quality salmon and he said, “There are quality fish down there as well as fish right outside of the buoys at Pillar Point Harbor, fish at Pedro Point, and fish below Buoy 1 South. There are a number of jack mackerel also at the Deep Reef and below the Ritz Carleton in 130 feet of water.”
Rockfish 3 Striper 2
Keith Semler of Chris’s Fishing Trips in Monterey said, “Rockfishing remains solid with the Check Mate returning with 27 limits of rockfish and half-limits of rockfish on Sunday with the Caroline also scoring 23 limits and half-limits of rockfish. They are using live squid for the lings, and it appears that most anglers are targeting ling cod instead of focusing upon rockfish.” They have some room for rockfish trips during the week, but the weekends are generally filled at least a week prior.
San Francisco Bay
Salmon 3 Halibut 2 Striper 3 Rockfish 3 Leopard shark 3 Sturgeon 2
Salmon fishing has been tremendous for trollers while mooching has been fantastic one day before finding slower action the following day. Captain Steve Mitchell of Hook’d Up Sport Fishing out of Berkeley put in limits on his six-pack on Sunday, and he has room on the 19, and 20th for salmon fishing.
Captain Trent Slate put in limits of big hawgs off of Double Point on Saturday as the bigger fish made a push north. He said, “They weren’t there on Sunday, and we struggled for a fish and a half per rod for our six anglers with 9 salmon to 20 pounds.” Monday was a different story with early limits of big fish along the Marin coastline. The party boats were all on the fish whether they were trolling or mooching, and early limits were the rule on Monday. Slate has a few spots for this coming Thursday and Friday.
The Sea Wolf out of Emeryville continues to target rockfish, and they put in 29 limits of both rockfish and ling cod to 15 pounds on Saturday while the New Huck Finn scored 23 limits of rockfish and 16 lings to 18 pounds.
Every other boat is targeting salmon. Easy limits were found once again on Monday morning as the fish are back on the bite.
Inside the bay, the big tides slowed down the halibut fishing over the weekend, but many of the six-packs decided to put the hurt on sharks while the tides were huge. Limits of striped bass are pretty much a given, and the halibut scores will rise this week as the tides back off. There are still loads of halibut in the bay, and they should start heading outside of the Gate for the beaches and the North Bar soon. This coming week of July 23rd has excellent tides for halibut fishing in the bay.
A number of six-packs and party boats are targeting seven-gill, six-gill, and cow sharks in the deep waters of the central bay when the tides have been huge.
San Luis Obispo
Rockfish 3 Surf perch 3
Limits were once again the story out of both San Luis Obispo County ports, but the lings remain hard to find with only a few lings on each trip. Out of Morro Bay Landing, the Endeavor posted 37 limits of rockfish on Monday’s half-day trip composed of 20 vermilion, 20 coppers, 20 Bolina, and 310 assorted rockfish to go with 2lings to 12 pounds. Ryan Grey of Visalia landed the jackpot ling. Also out of Morro Bay, the Fiesta, Rita G and Black Pearl took out 58 anglers on Sunday for 300 vermilion, 26 copper, 8 Boccaccio, and 246 assorted to go with three small, legal ling cod. Out of Port San Luis, the Flying Fish was on a half-day trip on Monday with 24 anglers for limits composed of 20 vermilion, 46 copper, and 174 assorted rockfish to go with 5 lings to 9 pounds. Joel Soto of Bakersfield landed the jackpot ling cod. All landings are running a variety of bottom fishing trips from half-day to two-day ventures up the coast. Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield reported outstanding surf perch fishing with blood worms, and there are white sea bass moving up the coast into the Avila area.
Bass 3 Striper 2 Sturgeon 2 Catfish 2 Bluegill 2
The river salmon season opens in the Sacramento-Delta on Monday, July 16, and there is tremendous optimism due to the incredible action outside of the Golden Gate and throughout the California coastline. The Sacramento-Delta is open for river salmon from July 16 through December 16 from the Highway 113 Bridge near Knight’s Landing above the Delta to the Carquinez Bridge including Suisun Bay, Grizzly Bay, and all tributary sloughs west of Highway 160.
New regulations include a one Chinook salmon daily bag limit with 2 Chinook salmon in possession. New Section 2.05 restricts leader length to 6 feet, stating, “It shall be unlawful to use any configuration of fishing tackle in anadromous waters unless the distance between the terminal hook or terminal lure and any weight attached to the line or leader, whether fixed or sliding, is less than six feet. For purposes of this section, “weight” includes any product used to submerge the line or leader, including non-buoyant artificial flies or artificial lures, but does not include integrated or sinking fly fishing lines, lead core lines used while trolling from a boat, dropper weights used while trolling from a boat, or clipped weights used with downrigger systems.”
The two most popular areas for river salmon are the north Delta off of the Freeport shorelines or in the Benicia area in Suisun Bay at the Dillon Point State Park or off of 1st Street. The tides are less than optimal for the opener off of Benicia with an 0.8-foot minus tide, forcing salmon to move out into deeper water away from the shoreline along with muddying up the water. The shorelines should be packed for the opening day at all of the spots, and if a few fish are landed, they will remain packed. However, since most fishermen are in a ‘wait and see mode,’ if salmon fishing is slow, the shorelines will be clear until the bulk of the salmon arrive. There have been reports of salmon being landed in Raccoon Straits and California City by halibut fishermen on live bait, and this bodes well for the push of salmon up the river.
Off of the Benicia shorelines, small stripers are the rule, and there also have been a few halibut pushing the 22-inch limit making their way into the Delta above the Carquinez Bridge. Benicia Bait is loaded up with Vee-Zee or Flying C spinners, and the heavy spinners are the lures of choice for bank fishermen targeting salmon.
Smallmouth bass are getting active in the north Delta sloughs, and Bryce Tedford continues to run largemouth/smallmouth fly fishing outings with topwater flies in the upper sloughs.
Striped bass action is best with bait, and fresh shad is starting to show up in Stockton-area shops. Sardines coated with garlic spray or pile worms are top baits along with drifting live jumbo minnows around Liberty Island. Catfishing is best in the main river or in Lisbon Slough with chicken livers or nightcrawlers. The Delta Loop continues to kick out bluegill and red ear perch on jumbo minnows.
The San Joaquin-Delta is solid for largemouth bass, but a change in tactics is necessary with the fish moving out into deeper water. The frog bite is picking up for those able to locate weeds and mats, but the weed eradication program conducted by the Department of Boating and Waterways is effectively removing many of the holding locations for largemouth bass in the east Delta. Big striped bass continue to be landed, and there is optimism of an early run of big linesides coming out of the bay/ocean into the Delta. Sturgeon remain a story near Antioch with ghost shrimp or grass shrimp while bluegill are thick throughout the south Delta.
For largemouth bass, the frog bite is turning on just in time for the two big frog tournaments in the upcoming weeks. The team of Kris Huff and Kenji Nakagawa took 2nd place on Wednesday during the elite Wednesday Night Turkey Shoot in the south Delta. Nakagawa said, “We found a good frog bite in the heat along with Senkos and Poppers.”
Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor and director of the upcoming 17th Annual Snag Proof Frog Tournament out of Russo’s Marina on Bethel Island on August 4/5, said, “Everyone is complaining about small fish right now, but the bass are acclimating from their spawn, not eating, and guarding fry, and they are moving out into deep water. This has required a change in tactics, and we are scoring with the ima Flit ripbait as well as heavy plastics such as the General with Max Scent on a Zappu Head outside of the weed lines. With the Snag Proof Open arriving soon, the three-fish limit opens up the tournament. It is difficult to land five fish on a frog, but with three fish, you can work a few spots for success. We expect to have over 200 participants based upon last year, and it is a very family-oriented event where participants are happy to reacquaint themselves with each other.”
Alan Fong, manager of the Fishermen’s Warehouse in Sacramento, has been working the north Delta sloughs in order to locate weeds that have not been removed. He said, “The lack of weeds will intensify the few remaining areas for the frog tournaments, and you will have to know where to go as it will be tough without weeds. I put together a 19-pound limit using the Booyah frog with a kicker tail, and this tail allows the frog to act like a buzzbait.”
There are still striped bass in the Delta, and Clyde Wands, shallow trolling expert, found great action running shallow Yozuris or Angry Eye Predator Minnows with Dave Houston of Livermore outside of Eddo’s Marina with stripers at 29 and 18 pounds released along with several other stripers. Wands said, “People don’t believe that the stripers are here, but you have to look around for them. The big one was a great fighter and it took me across the river.”
Mike Pipkins of Gotcha Bait in Antioch said, “You wait for another week and a half, and I predict that big stripers will be coming out of the bay and ocean in an early fall run. Every August, there are huge fish making their move through the Delta, and Bob Bass landed two stripers this week on mudsuckers or frozen shad at 36 and 38 inches. I think the stripers will be here a month early, and this has the potential to be the best salmon season in years. The Antioch Piers are one area where salmon can legally be landed as the San Joaquin River is off-limits to river salmon. There are still sturgeon being caught off of Compy’s Pier in Antioch as well as in Broad Slough, New York Slough, and around Collinsville with grass shrimp or ghost shrimp.
Lake Nacimiento/San Antonio/Santa Margarita/Lopez
Bass 3 White bass 3 Striper 2 Catfish 2 Crappie 3
The coastal lakes are fishing very well with the hot weather, and Lopez has been good for both bass and panfish. Topwater lures such as poppers or buzzbaits are working in the mornings or evenings with other reaction baits such as spinnerbaits, ripbaits, chatterbaits, and underspins starting to heat up. During the daytime, working the bottom with plastics or jigs are working best for limited action. Bluegill and red ear perch are biting mealworms, redworms, or mini crawlers around structure. A webcam of the lake is available at 805webcams.com/lopez-lake-webcam.
At Nacimiento, both spotted and white bass are solid, and the whites are moving frequently chasing shad in the early mornings and evenings and migrating due to the heavy daytime boat traffic. The normal offerings of white Roostertails, Kastmasters, or similar small shad-patterned lures are working for the whites while spotted bass are taken on early morning topwater action before dropping to the bottom with plastics or jigs at depths to 30 feet at the mouths of coves. Recreational boat traffic is high on the weekdays and particularly high on the weekends. The water levels are dropping, and the fish are on the move as the lake has dropped to 30 percent.
At San Antonio, the lake dropped to 25 percent, and bass fishing has slowed with the warm water temperatures. Catfish remain the top draw with stinkbaits while bluegill are thick around structure with the normal worm baits.
At Santa Margarita, bass and crappie are showing up with both species keying on the shad schools. There is an early morning or evening topwater bite for the largemouth bass while other reaction baits are starting to get more play. Crappie are found near structure with white minijigs or small, shad-patterned swimbaits. Catfishing is best at night with a variety of offerings. A webcam of the lake is available at 805webcams.com/santa-margarita-lake-webcam-california.
Sierra Bass Club: July 14 at Pine Flat –1, Jamal Lane – 14.97 pounds (Big Fish 5.58); 2, Jimmy Smith, 12.82; 3, Ed Armbrister, 11.36.
American Bass: July 14 at Delta/Russo’s Marina – 1, Tom Kendall/Don Draskovich, 15.57; 2, Wayne Breazeale/Gary Barrett, 15.20 (Big Fish 5.47); 3, Jason Cordiale/Beau Jourdrey, 13.55.
Fresno Bass Club (10-fish totals): July 14-15 at McClure – 1, Dan Marshall 23.30 (Big Fish 7.32); 2, Jeremy Pitts, 18.71; 3, Jesse Perez, 17.93.
Kokanee Power Team Tournament: July 14 at Pardee, Adult Division (3-fish limit) – 1, Ken McDonald/Ken MacDonald, 40.90 inches; 2, Kevin and Rachel Smith, 40.65; 3, Fred and Leslie McAlister, 37.85. Youth Division (1 fish) 1, Dante Segarini, 12.70; 2, Gino Sanchez, 11.95; 3, Hunter Woodring, 10.65.
Central Valley Kayak Fishing: July 15 at Eastman (4-fish limit) – 1, Freddie Mercado, 78 inches (Big Fish 20.75); 2, Kong Yang, 73.5; 3, Chris Rowe, 73.25.
July 20: Don Pedro – Poe Man’s
July 21: Delta/Russo’s Marina – Dan’s Delta Outdoors Pro/Am, Pine Flat – Kern County Bass Masters, Santa Margarita – 101 Bass
July 21-22: Success – Golden Empire Bass Club
July 27: Santa Margarita – 101 Bass Night
July 28: San Antonio – San Luis Obispo Bass Ambushers, Isabella – American Bass Association
July 28-29: Delta/Russo’s Marina – Ultimate Frog Challenge, Kaweah – Cen Cal Elite
Aug. 3: Don Pedro – Poe Man’s
Aug. 4-5: Delta/Russo’s Marina – Snag Proof Open
Aug. 19: Success – Central Valley Kayak Fishing
q = quarter moon