This 13-pound bass was caught and released on Eastman Lake
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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San Francisco salmon and sharks active, Mike Aughney said. Wishon trout hitting, Chuck Crane reported. Shaver Lake kokanee bite rebounds, Dick Nichols said. Eastman and Pine Flat lead local bass action, Steve Newman reported. New Melones kokanee and bass on the prowl, John Liechty said. Don Pedro kokanee bite steady, Monte Smith reported.
2-Have to work hard
4-Fish jumpin’ in boat
Delta Mendota Canal
Striper 2 Catfish 2
The northern section of the California Aqueduct remains slow with most fishermen driving right on by on their way north to San Luis Reservoir. The water remains off color, and the striped bass fishing has been slow with the daytime heat keeping the few anglers to the early morning or late evening hours. In the southern portion of the aqueduct in Kern County, mossy conditions continue to make for challenging conditions, but bait fishermen are picking up legal striped bass from 18 to 24 inches with anchovies, sardines, or jumbo minnows. The moss requires fishermen to clean their lines on a regular basis.
Bass 3 Trout 2 Bluegill 2 Catfish 2 Crappie 2
The algae bloom at Eastman Reservoir continues to dissipate, and even during the high point of the algae bloom, bass fishing remained excellent. Pine Flat is the other option for consistent bass fishing in the Central Valley, and the algae bloom there is also dissipating.
Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “Eastman continues to fish good with 3- and 4-pound largemouth bass possible. Most fishermen were in shock after last Saturday’s River Rats night tournament with limits half the size of previous night tournaments, but the action has rebounded. You have to run and gun right now as the fish are not piled up, and you have to find the fish. 8-inch plastic worms, big Senkos on a wacky-rig or Neko Rig, 4-inch swimbaits such as KeiTechs working along the bottom on a slow roll, or crankbaits running from 10 to 15 feet near the day are working best. The fish are loading up on bluegill, and although the lake does not have threadfin shad, the natural shad pattern is also working.”
The River Rats Bass Club will hold their final ‘Saturday Night Shootout’ of the summer at Eastman on Aug. 25.
Eastman dropped from 49 to 44 percent.
Bass 2 Trout 1 Catfish 2 Bluegill 2 Crappie 3
The Sierra Bass Club held a tournament on the lake on Saturday, and the winning five-fish limit came in at 13.27 pounds with a big fish at 3.73 pounds by the father/son team of Carlos Contreras Sr. and Jr. There is some crappie action with light 2-pound test and minijigs in 1/16- to 1/32nd-ounce for small slabs near structure. Catfish are still a possibility with stinkbaits, cut baits, or chicken livers. The lake dropped from 22 to 20 percent.
Lake Don Pedro
Bass 3 Trout 2 Kokanee 3 King salmon 2 Crappie 2
Don Pedro kokanee action continues despite the end of the summer months, and although the fish are dropping in the water column, limits are still the rule for experienced trollers. The kokanee should be on their way to their spawn mode by this time of the year, but surprisingly, they are still available and in relatively good shape.
Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing was on the lake three times this week, and he said, “We had to work harder on one day, but we ended up finding them. The kokanee are dropping down in the water column, and as the water releases have slowed down, the colder water has also formed deeper. We are catching kokanee from 50 to 70 feet, and there are some fishermen working as deep as 80 to 90 feet. I have chased them down there, but it has been more difficult to get them to go in the deeper water column. The interesting thing is that the kokanee have never been around in this kind of shape this late in the year. Normally, the fish will be gone by mid-July, and this is why I am encouraging anglers to get out now since they should be around for a few more weeks. The males are starting to turn, but the fish are still in good shape. We have been running small hoochies in pink or UV along with UV Apex lures behind a Sling Blade. The fish have been more aggressively hitting the lures over the past week.”
There have been unconfirmed reports of king salmon to 7 pounds, and the kings should be showing up in more numbers as the fall months arrive.
The heavy smoke from the fires has limited bass fishermen from hitting the lake in numbers, and the best action remains on the bottom with plastics on the drop-shot or jigs such as Berserk’s Purple Hornet as deep as 45 feet. The topwater bite has been absent.
The Marine Reconnaissance Foundation is holding a tournament on August 25th to raise fund for scholarships for the children and spouses of fallen warriors.
The lake dropped slightly to 82 percent.
Bass 2 Trout 2 Crappie 3 Catfish 3 Bluegill 2
Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait and Tackle in Bakersfield reported good crappie fishing from the shorelines in shallow water with either minijigs or live minnows. The crappie are holding in water as shallow as 7 feet near structure despite the lake levels continuing to drop. Normally, fish species will move out into deeper water when the water releases occur. Catfish are the other solid species at the lake with chicken livers, nightcrawlers, or stinkbaits. Bass fishing has been limited as the fish have moved into deeper water. The lake has dropped to 23 percent with water releases down the Kern River. The Kern River above the dam has slowed down for holdover rainbow trout within the past week. The fish are in the deeper pools as the flows have dropped. Nightcrawlers, salmon eggs, live crickets, or Panther Martins are working for the occasional rainbow. The lower river is fishable, and catfish and smallmouth bass are the top species. The local lakes including Buena Vista are best for catfish, bass, or bluegill. In the high country of the upper Kern, Chuck Stokke of the Sequoia Fishing Company in Springville said, “The upper Kern River remains the same as it is still fishing excellent on dry fly patterns or nymphs. The Golden Trout Pack Station still has some slots available for pack trips in August. Information 559-542-2816.”
Bass 2 Crappie 2 Trout1 Catfish 2
Kaweah continues to drop water on a weekly basis on its annual water releases, and there is no reservoir in the state that rises and recedes like Kaweah. It is currently at 10 percent. The Cen Cal Elite Bass Club is holding a night tournament on Aug. 24-25 with registrations and signup starting at 5:30 p.m. at the 2nd boat ramp. Information: David Coy 559-280-8884 or John 909-263-7185. With the hot weather, the action is limited to the early mornings, late afternoons, or during the night with a variety of offerings including topwater, small swimbaits, or plastics on the Texas or Carolina-rig. Catfish have been taken at night on cut baits or prepared dip baits.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212
Bass 2 Trout 3 Catfish 2 Crappie 2 Bluegill 2
The extended period of heat has limited bass fishermen to the early mornings, late evenings and into the night with plastics on the drop-shot, Senkos, or noisy reaction baits. The lake continues to drop, and it is currently at 15 percent.” In the Tule River, Chuck Stokke of the Sequoia Fishing Company in Springville said, “The Tule is still fishing good to excellent with flies such as caddis and stimulators. It’s kicking out some very nice rainbows and browns.” Stokke is 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
The lake is dropping slowly, and recreational boating remains high, but it should slow down with the opening of local schools and the end of the traditional summer season. Bass fishing is solid with plastics on the drop-shot at 45 feet, but the numbers normally experienced have been absent. Mike Gomez of the Bait Barn in Waterford reported quality spotted bass to 4 pounds are available, but the 50/60 fish days are not happening. Berserk’s Purple Hornet jigs has been the top bait as the topwater bite has been slow. The poor air quality from the fires has limited the number of bass anglers. Catfishing continues to be excellent with cut baits from the shorelines in the evenings. The lake dropped from 75 to 73 percent.
Steve Marquette of the Lake McClure-Lake McSwain Recreation Company said, “A trout plant occurred on August 10th, and the bank action lit up over the weekend. Nightcrawlers, trout dough bait, silver/blue Kastmasters, live minnows, or Roostertails are all working as the shore fishermen lined up along the Brush Pile, Handicapped Docks, or the campgrounds.”
Call: McSwain Marina 209-378-2534
San Joaquin River
Bass 2 Striped bass 1 Shad 1 Bluegill 2 Crappie 2
Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “Heavy boat traffic due to the excessive heat along with toxic algae blooms at nearby reservoirs has taken over the lake, including the river arm. With the intense boat traffic along with dropping water levels, the spotted bass bite has slowed considerably with only a few fish per rod despite several hours of searching. The fish are marked in schools at 25 to 35 feet, but they have been difficult to get to go. With the dropping water levels, the bass have moved out onto main lake points or submerged island tops.” Striped bass fishing is null and void although there are American shad in the river arm. The lake dropped from 64 to 61 percent.
Call: Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474
Bass 3 Crappie 3 Catfish 3 Trout 3 Kokanee 3
Kokanee continue to make a late summer showing at New Melones while the bass action is just starting to take off in force. Catfish are active, and there are still quality rainbow trout to be had for patient and persistence anglers.
Gary Burns of ‘Take It To the Limit’ Guide Service said, “We have landed quite a few nice, fat kokanee within the past two weeks, and although it has been quite smoky from the fires, once you find the kokanee, they have been on a good bite. We have been fishing structure, and if you find an island top in 100 feet of water, this is where the kokanee are hanging out. We have been putting in our time on the main lake at depths from 76 to 92 feet with hoochies in pink and purple with a small gold spinner blade matched up with a gold dodger. It’s not a fast bite so don’t give up and stay on it.”
Gene Hildebrand of Glory Hole Sports in Angels Camp reported the rainbow trout are holding deeper in the water column from 58 to 85 feet, and rainbows to 6.25 pounds have been taken on a hoochie scented with garlic corn behind a chrome Sling Blade. Saul San Filipo of San Carlos was trolling blade/’crawler combinations at 75 feet near the Highway 49 Bridge, and he landed two rainbow trout at 3.6 and 2.5 pounds. Chuck Newcomb landed a combined five fish limit of two rainbows and three kokanee between the spillway and the dam with a green Uncle Larry’s spinner behind a rainbow flasher with the trout at 30 feet and the kokanee from 80 to 90 feet.
John Liechty of Xperience Bass Fishing Guide Service said, “The dog days of summer are here, but they should be called the hog days of summer as we are catching some big ol' bass. The fish are cooperating and the bite continues to be really good. I have been guiding morning trips, evening trips and even all-nighter's. Each morning we have been starting with topwater lures and swimbaits, and after the sun comes up, we will switch to reaction baits and finesse presentations. In the evening, we will we reverse this order. The nighttime bite can be exceptional and is a great way to avoid the summer heat. Lures and presentations that displace water and create sound and vibration will work best. The lake is extremely healthy and the water is dropping slowly in comparison to years past.”
Glory Hole Sports Annual Catfish Contest is on the horizon during the month of October which is the best catfish month on the lake. Signups will begin in September. The catfish are coming out at night near the Tuttletown Cove and also near the dam with cut baits. The crappie are holding near shaded coves, structure, and submerged trees, and fishing at night under a glow light is the top technique.
The lake has dropped to 77 percent.
Pine Flat Reservoir/
Bass 3 Trout 2 Kokanee 0 King salmon 0 Catfish 2 Crappie 2
Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “Pine Flat is the other good option with the best action in the early mornings or late afternoons. The topwater bite is hit or miss, but there is action with small 3.5- to 4-inch swimbaits on a 3/8- to 1/4-swimbait head. Bumping the swimbaits off of the rocks is the best technique as the bass are feeding on crawdads. The jig bite is also good, and the numbers of spotted bass is decent with the fish in the 1.75- to 2-pound range. There is an occasional larger fish to 4 pounds taken. The lake continues to drop, and the crappie have moved out to suspend in deeper water.”
The lake dropped from 41 to 38 percent this week.
San Luis Reservoir
and O’Neill Forebay
Striper 2 Catfish 2 Bass 2 Crappie 2
The striped bass action at San Luis Reservoir is showing signs of life at times. Even though the weather has been extremely hot within the past week - experienced trollers are starting to pick up more school-sized linesides.
The Department of Water Resources elevated the warning level for blue-green algae on Friday, and anglers are advised to avoid eating fish from the lake. The previous warning had been in effective since July 19. Boating is allowed at the reservoir, but swimming and other activities with water contact are not considered safe. People are urged to avoid physical contact with the water until further notice.
Travis Porter and K.C. Wilson of Hollister found good action trolling at depths from 30 to 50 feet with P-Line Predator Minnows and Storm swimbaits in 80 to 120 feet of water. He said, “The fish were scattered, but they were active in the morning. The action slowed down after 10:30 a.m., and we caught and released over 15 fish to 24.5 inches. Most of the fish were on the small side, and it seems like the fishing is picking up, but the pattern changes on a daily basis.”
Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “Trolling is the best thing going. The shore anglers are soaking bait as we are selling few of the larger flukes and the topwater bite has been slow. There haven’t been any real giants reported recently as the majority of fish are small.”
Roger George of Roger’s Guide Service has been scouting the lake over the past few weeks, and he said, “I have been doing a lot of looking , fishing part of the time. I found a good pattern the other day using minnow type lures like the Lucky Craft Ghost minnow at 45 to 75 feet-releasing over 25 fish to 25 inches working coves-but there was a class of smaller fish in the mix too . The bite is changing by the day now -and the fish are settling into new areas . I start each day by looking over the whole lake and whats happening to the fish that day. You can waste a lot of time fishing what worked yesterday. I hope that we have more anglers willing to carefully and properly release deep caught stripers this season . I’m using the Bend Menders air bladder release hollow needle to keep released bloated fish from floating and dying -by depressurizing them . Everyone needs to have one to put back their released fish-why kill anymore than you need too? ”George said. George will be doing the StriperFest Oct 20th at Sportsmans Warehouse in Fresno along with sonar guru Edd Allen . Pre-registration for the limited seating event -info coming -visit Sportsmans Warehouse website or store.
Greg Padilla of Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill said, “The bite will open up once the water temperature drops into the 60’s. Jumbo minnows are still scarce, but we should get some in the shop by the end of the week.”
Bass 2 Trout 2 Kokanee 0
The recreational boat traffic will remain high for the next few weeks before the final blow out of the season over the Labor Day Weekend. Trout trollers are working hard in the early morning for rainbows to 17 inches with blade/’crawler combinations before the flotilla arrives around 9:30 a.m. There are still tagged trout from May’s derby in the lake. Bass anglers working around the front end of far-reaching docks with plastics on the drop-shot or jerkbaits in less-impacted areas of the lake in the early mornings or late afternoons when the boat traffic has ceased. The lake held at 100 percent.
Brown trout 2 Trout 2
Deer hunters are starting to scout the mountains around the Kaiser Pass area, and normally the hunters will also bring their rods for some fishing at one of the lakes. Despite this occurring, there have been few reports from Edison, Florence, or Mammoth Pool. All the high country reservoirs are holding with Edison at 89, Mammoth Pool at 98 percent, and Florence at 40 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. Pickup is on the Mono Pass side of the lake at 9:45 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. Check the Caltrans website at www.dot.ca.gov/cgi-bin/roads.cgi or call 800-427-7623 for road conditions.
Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000
Kokanee 3 Trout 2 Smallmouth 3
Kokanee action continues to be solid at Shaver Lake, and the fish are beginning to school up in anticipation of the attempt to spawn near the Sierra Marina. Smallmouth bass are an excellent option for children with the bass holding near rocky structure, and trout are another good possibility. The annual Sportsmen’s Dinner hosted by the Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project was another big success on August 11th, and the proceeds from the event continue to fund the efforts of the project including planting trophy trout to 12 pounds during the spring months.
Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters and the SLTPP said, " The always sold out event brought great revenue for the project which plants trophy sized rainbows and has developed an in-depth youth education program in fishing. Captain Jack Yandell was on hand to present the, "Captain Jack's Awards", to Rockn' Jk Farms, Bob and Linda Berry, and Sheri and Paul Evert for all their contributions for the projects program’s. I was able to present the President Awards to founding directors Bob Bernier and David Dungy for all of their work on projects for the past 13 years.”
Nichols said, “Kokanee fishing really picked up this week after following a slow down last week of kokanee, the bite has returned and we experienced multiple limits all week. The kokanee have dropped deep, and they can be found holding 20 feet from the bottom from the point to the dam with Mountain Hoochies in champagne pink, white, or pink along with Koke Buster spinners in orange. The bite is solid in the early morning from 5:15 to 6:45 a.m., and then it tapers off to one here and there. Mike and Heather Manley of Kingsburg took their children, Landon and Amelia, out for a trip this week and bagged limits of aggressive kokanee for the kids. The best action for trout has been in Stevenson Bay at depths from 20 to 27 feet with Trout Busters tipped with nightcrawler and corn behind a weighted Mountain Flasher.”
Todd Wittwer of Kokanee.net Guide Service confirmed the solid bite, saying, “The orange double-glow hoochie behind an orange Moonshine Dodger has been outstanding with the kokanee schooling up in the main channel off of the point towards the Sierra Marina. We hit a quad at the end of the day on Sunday, and we landed three of the fish while the osprey flew off with the final one. My wife and I put in limits within 2 hours on Sunday morning and three more limits within two hours on Monday morning.”
The final Kokanee Power Derby of the season will be held at Shaver on Sept. 8.
Smallmouth bass action is excellent with Yamamoto twin tail grubs in green pumpkin or watermelon/black flake around the rockpiles. The smallies are a great species to target for children with non-stop action possible.
The lake held at 94 percent.
At Huntington, the bank bite for planted rainbow trout slowed down this week, but the best fishing continues to occur near the mouth of Rancheria Creek or the Auxiliary Dam with trout dough bait or nightcrawlers. Trolling is fair for small kokanee or rainbow trout with blade/’crawler combinations or hoochies in orange or pink from the surface to 30 feet. The lake held 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
At Wishon, Chuck Crane of the Wishon Village RV Park and Store said, “A heavy trout plant occurred within the past week, and shore fishing has been outstanding around the boat launch and Short Hair Creek with Thomas Buoyants, trout dough bait, or inflated nightcrawlers. Trollers are pulling out limits of rainbows running blade/crawler combinations at depths from 10 to 20 feet up and down the rockwall in front of Woodchuck Creek and from the dam to Woodchuck Creek. Fly fishing in the river arm is non-existent as the river levels have dropped.” The lake remains high at only 30 feet from capacity, coming up 30 feet within the past week due to releases from high elevation Courtright. At Courtright, Crane said, “Shoreline trout fishing has been very slow with the occasional rainbow taken near the boat launch or the campgrounds with trout dough bait or inflated nightcrawlers in either the early mornings or evenings. The boat dock remains damaged, and it will be out of the water until the lake drops to the bottom of the ramp. It is not anticipated to be repaired for several weeks. Trollers are running blade/’crawler combinations on downriggers at depths from 40 to 50 feet for trout, but you have to get deep for a change at success.”
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
Salmon 3 Rockfish 3
Captain Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat went straight out of the harbor between 5 and 6 miles on Saturday for 9 limits of salmon to 23 pounds. He was bird watching on Sunday in limited visibility, but he was able to get close enough to Egg Rock to observe the male gannet that has been stationed along the San Mateo coastline for the past five years in search of a mate. This bird has some resilience as gannets are an East Coast species and extremely rare on the West Coast. Mattusch is running research trip from Tuesday through Wednesday with a Farallon Islands rockfish trip on Friday.
There have been a few private boats working around Egg Rock for 2 to 5 salmon per boat, and the salmon bite has picked up considerably within the past week.
Rockfish 3 Striper 2 White sea bass 2 Surf perch 3
The ling cod counts dropped down over the weekend after the Check Mate posted 23 limits of lings on Thursday. This may be to the clientele, the weather, or the lack of live bait. In any case, the Check Mate and Caroline posted a combined 32 limits of rockfish and 5 ling cod on Sunday.
San Francisco Bay
Salmon 3 Halibut 2 Striper 2 Rockfish 3 Leopard shark 3 Sturgeon 2
Mike Aughney of USA Fishing.com said, “Salmon counts were all over the board on Sunday as some boats did great with near-limits while others were unable to dial in. The fleet has been working a wide area of the lower Marin coast over the past few weeks with most trolling from the Channel Buoys to the Middle Grounds and up to Duxbury. Out of Emeryville, the C Gull was the highliner with 22 salmon to 20 pounds for 13 anglers. The MoMo had 3 salmon for 4 anglers while the Sundance had a fish per rod for their group of 6 anglers to 24 pounds, and Pacific Pearl did well with 21 salmon for 15 anglers to 15 pounds.
The rockfish bite has been solid at the Islands and the Marin Coast. The Sea Wolf had 23 limits of lings and 173 rockfish while the Tigerfish had 37 limits of rockfish and 20 lings to 15 pounds.”
The salmon bit much better on Monday with the New El Dorado and New Easy Rider out of Berkeley Charter Boats returning with a combined 52 salmon to 18 pounds for 32 anglers.
Captain Steve Mitchell of Hook’d Up Sport Fishing found the Mother Lode late in the day on Sunday with limits of salmon to 16 pounds. He said, “We went up to Duxbury at the start of the day, but after landing one fish and losing a big hog, the action slowed to nothing for the next several hours. We made a move outside of the North Bar, and it was on with quick limits..” Mitchell has room this Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday for salmon.
The California Dawn out of Berkeley went to the Farallons on Sunday for 31 limits of rockfish and 36 ling cod.
The big minus tides drove the party boats out of the bay into the Marin coastline or the Farallon Islands, but the deepwater shark fishing remains a pretty intense fishery.
It was blood on the decks again with the seven-gill sharks getting the short end of things as Captain Joey Gamez took out a group of anglers for lights-out shark action near Yellow Bluff.
What a difference a few weeks can make as salmon limits were the rule two weeks ago only to slow to the occasional fish in local waters during the first week of August. With the arrival of big salmon showing up on rockfish trips in the Monterey area, there is optimism for the next wave of salmon moving through the San Mateo coast on their way to the Golden Gate.
San Luis Obispo
Rockfish 3 Surf perch 3
The Black Pearl out of Virg’s Landing in Morro Bay took a two-day trip over the weekend with 22 fishermen, and they returned with 53 ling cod to 23.5 pounds, 390 vermilion, 18 copper, 32 canary, and 50 assorted rockfish for two-day limits. The Rita G and Fiesta were out with a combined 50 fishermen on Sunday for limits of rockfish including 227 vermilion. Out of Morro Bay Landing, the Endeavor was out on a ½-day trip on Monday with 18 passengers for limits of rockfish with 60 vermilion, 100 assorted, 10 copper, and 10 Boccaccio. Out of Patriot Sport Fishing in Port San Luis, the Patriot was on a ¾-day trip on Monday with both the Flying Fish and Phenix on ½-day morning trips for a combined 43 limits of rockfish consisting of 96 vermilion, 274 assorted rockfish, 39 copper, 10 Boccaccio, 11 canary and four ling cod. Gerardo Martinez of Clovis took the jackpot on the Flying Fish with a 5-pound vermilion. All landings are running a variety of bottom fishing trips from ½ day to two-day ventures up the coast. Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield reported continued excellent action from the shorelines for surf perch at San Simeon and Pismo Beach with blood worms or lug worms.
Bass 3 Striper 3 Sturgeon 2 Catfish 2 Bluegill 2 Salmon 2
Salmon fishing remains slow overall throughout the Delta with the combination of hot water and big tides making for less than ideal conditions. The salmon are moving through the system, but they aren’t sticking around. Striped bass are showing up a bit more, but the bulk of the fall run is yet to arrive. The combination of hot weather in the northern portion of the Delta along with high winds on the main Sacramento River has made for anchoring on a boat uncomfortable.
In the Old Sacramento River, Sylvia Vieira of Vieira’s Riverside Bait near Isleton said, “The water temperature remains at 74 degrees, and the salmon aren’t holding in our area. There was a 24 pounder landed last week along with another salon, but these fish are coming out of deep water near the Dutra dredge in the main river above the Rio Vista Bridge. The SKS spinner in red/silver took out of the fish. You have to use at least 4 ounces of lead to stay down in the deep water. It’s been all jet skiers and water skiers in our section of the river.”
Alan Fong, manager of the Fishermen’s Warehouse in Sacramento, reported striped bass are found near Freeport for those jigging up 4-inch live shad with Sabiki rigs and placing the shad on the line for immediate striper action. Salmon fishing remains slow out of Freeport with the occasional fish taken by jigging with heavy spoons. Fong said, “I was bass fishing in Liberty Island this week, and the water is very clear. We ended up finding good action for largemouth and striped bass with buzzbaits, chatterbaits, and topwater lures before switching over to Senkos.”
Tony Lopez of Benicia Bait said, “The big tides have muddied up the water in Suisun Bay, and there hasn’t been a salmon landed from the shoreline since Tuesday. The salmon bite is dead with the dirty water. Small legal striped bass from the shoreline have been the top story, and we are starting to get some small bullheads in the shop in addition to a steady supply of grass shrimp.”
The stripers have moved into the San Joaquin River in numbers, and trolling action is heating up along with more and more trollers dusting off their gear.
Clyde Wands, shallow trolling expert, was out on early this week trolling on the San Joaquin River between Eddo’s Marina and the Antioch Bridge, and he said, “If you wanted action, today was the day since we released close to 20 keepers with the largest fish in the 5- to 6-pound range. We didn’t find any big fish, but I do know of two larger linesides at 15 and 17 pounds released on Monday.”
Captain Joey Gamez of Golden State Sport Fishing has been alternating between salmon fishing in the ocean and trolling for stripers on the San Joaquin. He took out a family of four children on Monday to troll Yozuri Crystal Minnows or P-Line Predators for stripers, and the children were treated to landed 41 keepers with the largest grade from 5 to 9 pounds. He said, “The biggest fish came on the shallow troll, but we found the best bite on the deep troll.”
The second of the specialty frog tournaments was held out of Russo’s Marina this past weekend, and the combination of hot temperatures coupled with high winds on Sunday made for a tough frog bite. 206 boats participated in the original frog tournament, the Snag Proof Open with a payout of $24,200.00 with extra payouts at $8,800 for the 121 boats on the pro side along with a total of $8500 with extra payouts at $5520 for the 82 boats in the amateur division. The pro team of Matt Larson and Scot Holzchuh took first with a six-fish limit of 23.94 pounds while the amateur team of Bill and Clif Wentworth won with the exact same weight of 23.94 pounds. Tournament director, Randy Pringle, said, “These were the lightest weights ever as several factors contributed to this, including the amount of grass that has been killed in the Delta, the weather changing from hot to windy and cold on day two, and the fact that a similar tournament was held the week before. There were several participants who stated that the weeds were gone in their normal spots for frogs.” Pringle was going out to chase striped bass on the San Joaquin on Thursday with his signature ima Big Stick.
Mike Pipkins of Gotcha Bait in Antioch said, “We weighed in a 30-pound striped bass on Sunday from a group that also brought in four other stripers from 24 to 26 inches on sardines in Broad Slough. The big hens are arriving in the river, and this always happens in August. The females are loading up and feeding while waiting for the arrival of the smaller males..”
Dan Mathisen of Dan’s Delta Outdoors in Oakley held his final team tournament of the year out of Russo’s Marina on Saturday with 26 pounds, and he said, “The weights were down with all of the boat pressure over the past two weeks from the two large frog tournaments. The top three teams came in with 19-, 15-, and 14-pound limits. The stripers are showing up in the western part of the Delta, and a patch of cooler weather will allow the bait to ball up.”
Alan Fong of the Fishermen’s Warehouse in Sacramento reported 50 to 60 fish days for stripers to 10 pounds running 2-ounce Blade Runner spoons in the San Joaquin River.
Neil Simpson of Lodi fished with Jason Pitchford during the two-day Bass Lunkers tournament out of Ladd’ Marina in Stockton, and he said, “It was tough both days, and we couldn’t get them to eat frogs along with not capitalizing on some of our better bites we experienced. We ended up with over 25 pounds for two days including 2nd Big fish at 6 pounds.”
Bass 3 White bass 3 Striper 2 Catfish 2 Crappie 3
Lopez continues to be the top largemouth bass lake on the coast with a good topwater bite in the mornings with small poppers, Spooks, or buzzbaits before working subsurface reaction baits by mid-morning followed by hitting the bottom with plastics on the drop-shot or Texas-rig. The crappie bite has been solid with minijigs in various colors while bluegill and red ear perch are inhaling red worms or wax worms near structure. A webcam of the lake is available at http://805webcams.com/lopez-lake-webcam/. You have to get on the lake early at Nacimiento as the spotted and white bass bite is good before the sun comes up and the recreational boaters come out. White Roostertails or Kastmasters are working amongst the schools of white bass while the spots are hitting a variety of reaction baits including crankbaits or small ripbaits. The lake continues to release water, and it has dropped to 23 percent. A webcam of the lake is available at http://www.lakenacimientolive.com/.
No report from Santa Margarita, but a webcam of the lake is available at http://805webcams.com/santa-margarita-lake-webcam-california/. At San Antonio, the lake has dropped to 18 percent, and whiskerfish are still the number one option with cut baits or stinkbaits. Bass action remains slow in the warm water. Both launch ramps are still in operation despite the low water levels.
Dan’s Delta Outdoors Team: Aug. 11 at Delta/Russo’s Marina – 1, Mike Andrews/Phil Dutra, 19.59 pounds (Big Fish 6.15); 2, Harvey Pulliam/Jamond Andrews, 15.65; 3, Chris Ball/Jason Cornell, 14.32.
Sierra Bass Club: Aug. 11 at Hensley (5-fish limits) – 1, Carlos Contras Sr. and Jr., 13.27 (Big Fish 3.70); 2, Ed and Ray Armbrister, 11.46; 3, Mitch Mitcheltree/April Mauk, 9.78.
Aug. 18: Lake Camanche – Outlaw Bass Club, Kaweah – Golden Empire Bass Club, Lopez – 101 Bass
Aug. 18-19: Delta/Russo’s Marina – Hook, Line, and Sinker, Amador – Riverbank Bass Anglers
Aug. 19: Success – Central Valley Kayak Fishing, Don Pedro – Modesto Ambassadors
Aug. 24: Lopez – 101 Bass Night
Aug. 24-25: Pine Flat – Bass 101
Aug. 25: Delta/Russo’s Marina – Best Bass Tournaments, Eastman – Gilroy Bass Anglers, Pine Flat – Fresno Bass Club, Success – Porterville Bass Club, Nacimiento – San Luis Obispo Bass Ambushers
Aug. 25-26: Kaweah – Cen Cal Elite Tournament of Champions
Sept. 1: Delta/Russo’s Marina – American Bass Association
Sept. 8-9: Delta/Russo’s Marina – Bass Fest
Week of Aug. 19 by California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Fresno County: Huntington Lake, Kings River below Pine Flat Dam
q = quarter moon