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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Wishon and Courtright trout bite holds the line, Chuck Crane said. Shaver trout step up pace, Dick Nichols reported. Eastman and Pine Flat bass bites good, Steve Newman reported. San Luis stripers gaining steam, Greg Padilla said. Delta salmon, stripers and bass hitting, Randy Pringle said. Isabella crappie on a tear, Pete Cormier reported. San Francisco salmon bite rebounds, Mike Aughney said. New Melones trout and bass feeding, John Liechty reported.
2-Have to work hard
4-Fish jumpin’ in boat
Delta Mendota Canal
Striper 3 Catfish 2
The northern section of the California Aqueduct continues to improve with Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis saying, “The water is clearing up, and ripbaits, anchovies, or sardines are all working as there are more bait fish accumulated in the aqueduct. There is the occasional boil, but not enough surface activity to get fishermen to chase the boils. Damian Thao landed a limit of quality stripers soaking chicken livers.” In the southern portion of the aqueduct in Kern County, Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield said, “Catfish are coming on Triple S dip bait in Blood Formula, and the striped bass bite has been decent with blood worms, anchovies, or sardines. The moss is starting to dissipate.”
Bass 3 Trout 2 Bluegill 2 Catfish 2 Crappie 2
Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “Largemouth bass action is best with finesse techniques utilizing a slow fall with weightless Senkos or plastics on a Ned-rig. Largemouths in the 3- to 4-pound range are possible, and the larger fish are moving into the buck brush in the shallows. The best action occurs after 10:30 a.m. when the water warms up slightly, and each pile of brush or trees are holding a few bass. Using a weightless Senko or Texas-rig weedless along the front edges of the brushpiles are working best. A few lone bass are taken off of the banks with spinnerbaits, but the quality fish are found on the brushpiles. Catfishing remains slow.” The lake held at 41 percent as water releases have slowed down.
Bass 2 Trout 2 Catfish 2 Bluegill 2 Crappie 2
Newman said, “Bass fishing is slow, but fish in the 1.5- to 2-pound range are possible with Senkos, plastics on the drop-shot, or jigs. The key is finding the fish and staying on top of them. The catfish bite continues to be slow with few whiskerfish reported.” The lake held at 13 percent.
Lake Don Pedro
Bass 2 Trout 3 Kokanee 2 King salmon 1 Crappie 2
Don Pedro was more than decent for kokanee this season with a late rush starting in mid-June and lasting into early September. The kokanee are on their way out in their attempt to spawn, and rainbow trout have become the top species on the lake. Bass fishing remains difficult with few reports as New Melones is the top Mother Lode bass lake right now, but several tournaments are on the schedule for the fall months.
Andre Fontenot of San Bruno, said, “Don Pedro has become my favorite kokanee lake and for good reason with seven limits out of seven trips this year. My last trip was this past week, and it was no different than the previous six trips with a limit taken using homemade J-Pex lures or a Smile Blade hoochie behind a homemade dodger at the Graveyard from 60 to 85 feet running at 1.2 mph.”
Steve Marquette of the Lake McClure-McSwain Recreation Company made the venture over to the Tuoloumne River watershed from the Merced River watershed, and he scored a 22-inch rainbow trout at 50 feet trolling a silver/blue Kastmaster. Marquette said, “I also caught and released several bass at this depth on the Kastmaster.”
Limits of rainbow trout have also been reported at 45 feet on Shasta Tackle’s Cripplure.
Bass fishing remains slow with the best action on finesse techniques at depths to 50 feet, but the action will improve as the water cools and the bass are oriented to the shad schools.
The lake dropped slightly to 76 percent.
Bass 3 Trout 2 Crappie 3 Catfish 3 Bluegill 2
Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait and Tackle in Bakersfield reported an outstanding crappie bite with minijigs, small Kastmasters, or minijigs, and he said, “The slabs are getting bigger. Catfishing is also good with chicken livers, minnows, Triple S dip bait in Blood Formula, or nightcrawlers. Bass fishing is picking up, and a winning limit over 20 pounds took Saturday’s American Bass Association event.” The Lake Isabella Bass Club is holding a team crappie tournament Saturday, Sept. 22 with an entry fee of $55 for a two-angler team. 10-fish limits will be weighed in with a 6-inch minimum, and artificial lures only are allowed during the 6-hour tournament. Information – www.lakeisabellabassclub.com or by contacting tournament director Matt Smith at 760-223-3898. The lake has dropped from 15 to 14 percent with water releases down the Kern River. The flows in the Kern River have slowed, but there are still holdover rainbow trout in the deep pools with salmon eggs, nightcrawlers, live crickets, or lures such as Kastmasters or Panther Martins. For fly fishermen, nymphing with Pheasant Tail Flashbacks or Copper John patterns with an indicator are effective. Largemouth and smallmouth bass, catfish, and the occasional holdover rainbow trout are taken from the shorelines from the dam into the city limits in the lower Kern River. Buena Vista is also kicking out small, but numerous, catfish on the Triple S dip bait.
Bass 2 Crappie 2 Trout 2 Catfish 2
The Central Valley Kayak Fishing held a fundraiser in memorial of one of their members on Sunday, and the club was able to raise over $1000.00 for the surviving family. A number of local businesses donated to the success of the event including Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis, Headwaters Kayak in Lodi, Kelsey Bass Ranch, Central Coast Kayak, Mother Lode Kayak, and Strike King. The bite was reported to be tough, but there were a few fishermen that were able to get onto the fish with plastics on the drop-shot or jigs. The bass have concentrated on submerged islands or rockpiles. The occasional huge largemouth over 10 pounds has been caught and released in the limited pool of water. The water releases have slowed, and the lake held at 7 percent. Catfish have been taken at night on cut baits or prepared dip baits.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212
Bass 3 Trout 2 Catfish 2 Crappie 2 Bluegill 2
The largemouth bass bite remains outstanding with jigs, Senkos, and lizards. Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield reported an excellent night bite with plastics on the drop-shot. The lake held at 9 percent. In the Tule River, Chuck Stokke of the Sequoia Fishing Company in Springville is giving fly casting lessons at the Pierpoint Café the second Sunday of the month at 10:00 a.m. The lessons are free and all equipment is provided.
Bass 3 Trout 2 King salmon 0 Kokanee 0 Crappie 2 Catfish 3
Steve Marquette of the Lake McClure-McSwain Recreation Company said, “Catfishing has been as good or better than I can remember, and the whiskerfish are coming on a variety of baits including cut baits, dip baits, nightcrawlers, minnows, or chicken livers from the banks with moderate slopes. Mike Gomez of the Bait Barn in Waterford pre-fished the lake on both Saturday and Sunday, and he said, “We found a solid topwater bite with River2Sea Swavers on Saturday morning, and we followed up with ripbaits before working the bottom with Berserk’s jigs on a 3/8th or 1/4th oz. jig head. The Berserk Purple Hornet or brown/purple are both working, and there are some areas where the bass want a fast fall and others when they just want it shaking on the bottom. I chose the size of the weight depending on what the bass show us they want. Sunday was completely different as the reaction bite was dead with the cold morning, and we had to go to the bottom right away at depths from 10 to 30 feet so the bass are moving up. They were on the banks in 3 to 6 feet of water on Saturday morning. There is shad all over the lake, and the bass move out into open water with the water dropping and the shad moving out. The surface temperature is still in the 74 to 76-degree range. The lake dropped to 64 percent.
Steve Marquette of the Lake McClure-McSwain Recreation Company said, “A trout plant occurred again this week with approximately 1,500 pounds of Calaveras Trout Farm rainbows released. Shore fishing perked up in response at the Brush Pile, Marina, and Handicapped Docks with live minnows, trout dough bait, Power Eggs, or nightcrawlers. Trollers up the river arm are scoring limits with Rainbow Runners or Speedy Shiners, and some are also drifting live minnows. The water feature has been removed for the year, and the annual model airplane regatta is this Friday and Saturday which will occupy one-half of the lake. The annual Merced Irrigation District’s Fall Trout Derby is scheduled for Oct. 7, and there will be trout plants prior to the derby.”
Call: McSwain Marina 209-378-2534
San Joaquin River
Bass 3 Striped bass 1 Shad 1 Bluegill 2 Crappie 2
Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “Numbers of small spotted bass are the story at Millerton, and they can be found with a variety of techniques. There is a reaction bite up the river arm along the boulders on the Madera side of the lake at Squaw with similar conditions near boulders at Winchell Cove. Weightless Senkos or plastics on the drop-shot or Ned rig are working best, but you have to hunt around for the bass. The cooler nights have contributed to an improved bite once the sun hits the water in the shallows from 10 feet to the banks. Striped bass fishing remains very slow with regulars sitting on the banks near the dam with live crawdads for no action at all.” The lake held at 53 percent.
Call: Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474
Bass 3 Crappie 2 Catfish 2 Trout 3 Kokanee 2
New Melones is transitioning into a fall pattern as the water continues to cool down, and although there aren’t many rainbow trout being landed, the few than are showing up are trophies. Bass fishing remains best with finesse techniques, but the shad are starting to ball up into tight schools with unlimited action in the bait balls with small swimbaits or plastics on the drop-shot.
Gene Hildebrand of Glory Hole Sports in Angels Camp said, “The large Melones trout that we have been seeing for the last 18 months are beginning to appear after a couple month lull. The action is not off the charts but when you can land rainbows over 7 pounds like Ron Chaney and Marvin Wells of Sonora did on recent trips, Chaney landed a 7-lb.,5-ounce rainbow running deep at 100 feet with a Glow Eye lure in the middle of the lake while Wells picked up a 7-lb., 14-oz. rainbow with a firetiger Needlefish up the river arm at 42 feet. Kokanee are few and far between, and the landlocked salmon are in full spawning mode with hooked jaws along with the absence of scales.”
For bass, John Liechty of Xperience Fishing Guide Service said, “Some days are better than others, but the overall bite is pretty good. The topwater bite has basically been dead, but I still start out every trip with topwater lures searching for the big bite. The bass are transitioning from a summer to fall pattern, and we are working off of main lake points for resident fish. The bite will improve with the temperatures dropping, and there are tight balls of bait. You can catch one after another by drop-shotting in the bait, and small swimbaits are also effective along with crankbaits or jigs.”
The signs ups have begun for Glory Hole Sports Catfish Contest beginning October 1st and lasting throughout the month, and there are only 30 more spots remaining. They have added a ‘Big Cat Pot,’ and the first 12-pound catfish to the shop wins the pot. Crappie can still be found around the marina cove with live minnows or small minijigs around structure.
The lake dropped slightly to 75 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, “Spotted bass action is solid, although the bite is not as hot as it was a few weeks ago. There is a jig bite around main lake points along with other finesse techniques of drop-shotting or Neko rigs. Mid-range crankbaits in the 10- to 15-foot depth are working near the dam with both shad or crawdad patterned lures working. The reaction bite is best up the river arm with swimbaits, ripbaits, or jerkbaits. The night bite has slowed with the current moon phase.” Larry Kerns of the Cen Cal Bass Club reported a slow bite for his team during Saturday’s tournament, but he said, “There were some huge bags brought in with the winning weight over 20 pounds and two fish over 7 pounds. My spots were out of the water as the lake has dropped from the last time we were fishing here.” Trout fishing remains very slow with one boat trolling in the main lake for six hours without a strike. The lake dropped to 24 percent this week. Bass fishermen continue to focus on Pine Flat in preparation for upcoming tournaments with both lipless and squarebill crankbaits in Chili Craw or shad patterns. Most anglers are focusing up the river arm from Windy Gap to Trimmer with crankbaits while the main lake features a solid finesse bite along main lake points. There is spinnerbait action at night with shad patterns of white with a bluish streak as the bait starts moving. There is also a window for topwater lures in the evenings along with ripbaits. The algae bloom has mostly cleared. No trout reports with the hot weather and excellent action in the high country.” The lake has dropped to 26 percent. In the lower Kings River, trout action continues to be very strong with the better fish taken by drifting salmon eggs from the fast water into the slow, moving water in the eddies. Kastmasters and the heavier Roostertails are also working in the fast water, and Power Bait is another alternative for the planted rainbows.
San Luis Reservoir
and O’Neill Forebay
Striper 3 Catfish 2 Bass 2 Crappie 1
Striped bass are taking center stage at the main San Luis Reservoir, and with recent landings of big fish, more and more boat and bank fishermen are heading over to the lake.
Roger George of Roger’s Guide Service said that he took the week off but he has been getting reports that some anglers are leaving trails of floating stripers that haven’t been “fizzed” to release the pressure buildup after coming up from depth. “ I’ve had some angry phone calls from anglers who have observed other fishermen discarding floating fish and intentionally leaving the area. This can happen to anyone -when a fish pops back up a minute later-but anglers need to be prepared by having a hollow needle release tool. The “Bender Mender” is a good one some stores carry . By puncturing the fish in the correct area , this can safely release the air pressure-and the fish can go back down. The Seaqualizer tool is another option, that you can buy online. This is a wanton waste issue when guys deliberately leave a bunch of floaters to die-and with more small fish that are shakers in the mix- it’s happening more . Some guys tell me they’ve even gone behind these unconcerned anglers and done pressure releases on the floaters to try to save them! The Wardens have been working the lake a lot more too. “ George will be conducting seminars on downrigging, sonar, lures and tips on Oct. 20 at the Striperfest at Sportsman’s Warehouse in Fresno. Local guru Edd Allen will also be doing a seminar on using and setting up your sonar. Pre-registration at the store is encouraged for limited seating. Giveaways
Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “There are plenty of bank fishermen soaking anchovies, but the trollers are starting to get into the fish with urigs along with 4- to 6-inch swimbaits in shad patterns.”
Greg Padilla of Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill reported the stripers are schooling up in the main lake at depths from 80 to 100 feet, and P-Line Predator Minnows or urigs have been most effective. Anglers are tossing Super Flukes from the shorelines, and with the re-arrival of jumbo minnows in local bait shops, boaters are drifting the big minnows near the bottom with most stripers in the 18- to 20-inch range. There have been some huge striped bass taken out of the Forebay with an estimated 30-pound lineside caught and kept at Check 12 by Choua Her.
The main lake rose from 50 to 52 percent with increased pumping out of the south Delta.
Bass 3 Trout 2 Kokanee 0
Steve Newman at Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “The bass bite continues to improve as the recreational boating traffic has slowed down considerably. Drop-shotting in bluegill patterns with blue/gold are working best at depths from 20 to 30 feet. A better cut of bass is taken on weightless Senkos, but you have to let it sink. There is a reaction bite in the afternoons in shallow water with crankbaits or ripbaits. A combination of spotted bass and largemouth bass are taking the finesse or reaction lures.” The Sheriff’s boat is still making regular patrols, and with the Sheriff’s Tower out of commission, boaters have to purchase their Motor Fee at Miller’s, Ducey’s, or the Forks. Fewer rainbow trout have been landed by bass fishermen drop-shotting, but the trout bite will improve as the water cools. The lake continues to release water, and it dropped from 93 to 89 percent.
Brown trout 2 Trout 2
Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “A few fishermen are also heading over to Lake Edison on Kaiser Pass and picking up a few rainbows and browns. A limit is possible between Edison and Portal Forebay on the way to the lake, but you will have to work hard and be patient.”The upcoming rifle deer season will bring more outdoorsmen into the Kaiser Pass region. The lakes are dropping with Edison at 52, Mammoth Pool at 28 percent, and Florence at 22 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 2 Trout 3
The Kokanee Power Team Derby appears to be the final hurrah of the kokanee season out of Shaver Lake, but the 90 participants enjoyed good action during the final Kokanee Power event of the year.
Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters said, “After a great year of kokanee fishing, the landlocked sockeye action has slowed down this week. We have found fewer kokanee this week and have had to rely on a very good trout bite. All our trips have produced three or more limits of mixed fish this week, but the last day was 18 trout along with none of the 3rd year kokanee. I don’t know where they are as we are marking very few in the familiar waters that we had been fishing. So we just went to the next best thing, and have found a very solid bite near the dam and in back at Stevenson Bay. The trout are found from near the surface to 26 feet down with Dick’s Trout Busters tipped with a piece of nightcrawler behind Mountain Flashers, and on the down riggers, I have been using Koke Busters tipped with crawler and corn behind Mountain Blades at 23 to 26 feet. At one point all of the poles were out of the water while we removed the fish. It’s a typical September trout bite and I think it will last for a while. I finish my 12th season at the end of September.”
The lake dropped to 86 percent.
Huntington is also dropping, and the trout action remains fair at best from the shorelines at the Auxiliary Dam or the mouth of Rancheria Creek.
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
Courtright and Wishon on holding up for rainbow trout, particularly for trollers, as the weather in the high country is cooling down rapidly. The lake levels remain reasonably high and launching a boat is not a problem.
Chuck Crane of the Wishon Village RV Park and Store said, “The trout bite at Courtright is holding up for trollers with the lake around mid-level, and boaters are running blade/’crawler combination or spoons such Thomas Buoyants, Needlefish, Kastmasters, or Speedy Shiners on a 2- to 3- foot leader at four to five colors of leadcore. The trout remain deep in the water column, but they will be coming up soon as the water cools off with the colder night temperatures. Limits have been the rule for trollers while shore fishing is a bit slow.
At Wishon, bank fishermen are picking up some limits at the upper end of the lake where the creek comes in with trout dough bait in pink, red, or green, but overall, shore fishing has been slow in the main lake. I walked up the river arm and tossed small spinners like Roostertails in the deep holes for a number of rainbows caught and released. Trollers are running blade/’crawler combinations or similar lures to Courtright at 2 to 5 colors for regular limits.”
Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “Wishon has been the better bet than Courtright now, but one of our regulars has been picking up limits trolling at both lakes.” A few fishermen are also heading over to Lake Edison on Kaiser Pass and picking up a few rainbows and browns. A limit is possible between Edison and Portal Forebay on the way to the lake, but you will have to work hard and be patient.”
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
Salmon 2 Rockfish 3 Striper 2 Surf perch 3
Captain Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat said, “One boat picked up a couple of salmon outside of the harbor this week, but we took a bird watching trip for pelagic birds offshore on Thursday. There have been some unusual happenings recently including the sighting of two Humboldt squid on the surface 30 miles offshore in 1500 feet of water. We saw a Laysan albatross with a red tag from Guadalupe Island along with other species including Rhinceros auklets. There were birds all over the squid on the surface. We drug some tuna feathers while out there, but there was nothing going on. The water temperature is 58 degrees outside of the harbor as there is a big blob of warm water out there.”
Mattusch also reported the first salmon of any consequence inside of the harbor with an 18 pounder taken near the kayak rental shop from the shoreline.
Sherry Ingles of Half Moon Bay Sport Fishing said, “Rockfish are the main game, but there are still salmon hanging around. Limits of rockfish have been the rule along with a few lings every trip, and this pattern should remain until the winter storms arrive. The anchovies arrived ‘en masse’ both inside and outside of the harbor this week, and the pelicans have been diving in force south of the harbor. There have been salmon taken by trollers between the entrance buoys to Buoy 1 South along with at least 5 salmon landed inside of the harbor between the restrooms and the boathouse. Surf perch fishing is also strong from the beaches, and shore fishermen are still picking up rock crab from the jetty.”
Halibut 3 Rockfish 3 Striper 2 White seabass 2 Surf perch 3
Chris Arcoleo of Chris’s Sport Fishing in Monterey reported excellent rockfishing for blues and yellows on the local reefs with easy limits of rockfish. He said, “The water is clear and warm with no plankton, krill, or jellies, and the rockfish are basically attacking the boat. Tinker put in 20 limits of rockfish and 6 lings on Thursday after scoring 20 lings and 17 limits on Wednesday. We couldn’t find the squid on Thursday, but there has been enough squid generally for us. The commercial squid boats are pulling out though. There are a ton of anchovies around still, and the skiffs have been working the beaches for halibut recently. The past few days has been slow, but the skiffs were picking up 10 to 15 halibut per day with a number of undersized halibut around. The striped bass fishing has been slow from Moss Landing to Monterey, but we are hearing good reports from the Santa Cruz side of the bay. There have also been some white sea bass observed by drones on the Santa Cruz side who are monitoring Great White and hammerhead sharks. The white seabass are really hard to catch unless there are masses of squid which have been absent.”
On Sunday, Arcoleo reported, ”The Star of Monterey went south to Twin Rocks for 30 limits of rockfish and 10 ling cod on Sunday. The squid have vacated the area, but rockfish limits have been the rule.”
Allen Bushnell of Santa Cruz Kayak and Surf Casting said, “Halibut fishing also remains strong, on flat sandy areas ringing the bay. It is unusual for this late in the season, but quite a few undersize halibut are still gulping bait or biting lures from some of the small protected beaches near Capitola. Seeing this many short flattties this late in the summer bodes well for halibut fishing in the years to come.
Short halibut were not on the menu for Royal Oaks fisherman Dan Wood last week. Wood pulled in his biggest California halibut to date. The fish measured 46 inches and weighed in at a staggering 42 pounds! Wood enthusiastically reported, “I was struggling to get him up and not break him off my 20-pound line. Had no idea he was that big until I saw her below the boat. Probably fought for 15 minutes. I was shaking for 5 minutes after I gaffed it.”
The Golden Gate Salmon Association is holding a fundraising dinner this Friday evening at the Santa Cruz Elks Lodge on September 21st to help support the organization’s work to rebuild the salmon runs. GGSA is actively working on all fronts to protect, recover and rebuild the salmon populations of the Central Valley and the tens of thousands of jobs the industry supports and the $1.4 billion of economic benefits it produces for California. Tickets are all-inclusive and only $85 per person or $700 for a table of 8 with $120 in raffle tickets.
Information on the dinner is available at www.eventbrite.com/e/ggsa-santa-cruz-for-salmon-tickets-46955741888.
San Francisco Bay
Salmon 3 Halibut 3 Striper 2 Rockfish 3 Leopard shark 3 Sturgeon 2
Mike Aughney of USA Fishing.com said, “The salmon bite remains great considering the time of year. Likely 65% or better of the 2018 run has already moved into the Central Valley, and boats are still seeing solid counts. With lots of feed in the local waters I only expect more solid (not lights out) action to come. On Sunday, the party boats fleet was spread from just outside the Golden Gate to Muir beach and the Middle Grounds. While a few struggled most saw fish to just over a fish per rod scores of quality fish. Out of Emeryville Sportfishing the C Gull reported 15 for their group of 15 anglers to 17 pounds. The Sundance also had a fish per rod for 6 anglers with fish to 28 pounds. The Pacific Pearl was paying their dues and ended up with 5 for 14 anglers. The Tigerfish reported 21 limits of of rockfish to go with 25 lings to 18 pounds while the Sea Wolf had 32 limits of rockfish and 16 lings to 16 pounds. Emeryville has space available and is now booking crab combos.
The Salty Lady was whale watching this weekend but has room all this week for salmon. They are also booking crab only trips over the first two weeks of the season with charters for crab rockfish combos available. The crab only trips will be only $100. to 110. dollars with multiple trips available on most days weather permitting.”
Captain Trent Slate of Bite Me Charters out of Loch Lomond Marina mooched on Friday for 8 big salmon for 6 fishermen with another three hookups lost within site of the net. He said, “It was game on, and we could have had limits. Sunday was a much different story as I had a group that want to learn to troll for salmon on a half-day trip. We started outside of the North Bay at the top of the tide, and since there were a few fish reported outside of Seal Rocks, we ran down south to find a fleet of 25 boats working the area with only a few nets flying on occasion. When the tide switched to the outgo, we hit a double of small salmon at 5 and 10 pounds, but that was it for the day. We went to the Mile Light, Bonita Cove, and inside the bay at California City for nothing more. If this weather ever flattens out enough for a tuna run, it is going to be ‘Game On!’”
Overall, the salmon bite was slow on Sunday, and the Outer Limits was the high boat with 14 salmon for 22 anglers while the Lovely Martha worked hard for 8 salmon for 24 fishermen.
For rockfish and ling cod, the Farallon Islands have been on fire with the California Dawn loading up with a combined 83 limits of lings to 25 pounds along with rockfish limits on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday’s trips.
Shark fishing remains outstanding in the bay, and Captain Steve Mitchell of Hook’d Up Sport Fishing out of Berkeley found great action on both Saturday and Sunday. Their two-person charter put in limits of leopard sharks, and Mitchell said, “We had nothing but solid action from the time we soaked our first bait. This trip was nothing short of being an epic adventure.”
San Luis Obispo
Rockfish 3 Surf perch 3
Rockfishing is outstanding as the fall months arrive, and limits were the norm out of both San Luis Obispo County landings. Out of Port San Luis, the Phenix out of Patriot Sport Fishing scored limits for 16 anglers on Monday with 12 lings to 11 pounds, 20 vermilion, 40 copper, 60 Bolina, 20 gopher, and 20 assorted rockfish. Josh Howser of Visalia took the jackpot ling. Out of Morro Bay Landing, the Avenger and Endeavor put a combined 30 anglers onto limits of rockfish and 7 lings to 12 pounds consisting of 120 vermilion, 120 assorted rockfish, 50 copper, and 10 Boccaccio on Monday. Out of Virg’s Landing in Morro Bay, the Fiesta went on a long range trip on Sunday for 26 ling cod to 21.5 pounds along with limits of quality rockfish while the Rita G and Black Pearl took half- and three-quarter-day ventures. In all, the three boats loaded up with 34 ling cod, 204 vermilion, 30 copper, 355 assorted rockfish, and one cabezon for combined limits. All landings are running a variety of bottom fishing trips from half-day to two-day ventures up the coast. Out of Virg’s, the Black Pearl has overnight trips this weekend, Oct. 5-6, Oct. 19-20 and Nov. 16-17 and an open two-day trip Dec. 28-30.
Bass 3 Striper 3 Sturgeon 2 Catfish 2 Bluegill 2 Salmon 3
The salmon bite came back on with a vengeance in the north Delta at the end of the week after experiencing a slowdown the previous week. Salmon are on the move out of the ocean, and they are slowing down on their way through the Delta as the water continues to cool down. Striped bass are moving into the Delta as well, and 71st Annual Rio Vista Bass Derby is less than a month away. It will take place during the weekend of October 12 – 14th with target-length categories for striped bass and sturgeon along with the category for the largest salmon.
Sylvia Vieira of Vieira’s Riverside Bait near Isleton said, “The salmon are here, and the past three days have been outstanding with boats coming back with two or three one-fish limits. The action has been in the Old Sacramento River from the mouth towards Walnut Grove, and spinners such as Silvertrons in green or blue have been best. The fish are bright, averaging from 12 to 16 pounds, and there have been salmon as large as 27 pounds taken within the past week. It has been very busy on the weekends as our parking lot is filling up quickly.”
Johnny Tran of New Romeo’s Bait and Tackle in Freeport had a similar reported with a wide-open salmon bite from the shorelines with jigging with Slammer Minnows or P-Line Laser Minnows working best while trollers with Slammer spinners or Silvertrons are also effective. Shore fishermen are throwing Mepp’s Flying C spinners with some success. He said, “Striped bass are found near Liberty Island, the Sacramento Deep Water Channel or in Prospect or Steamboat Sloughs with live mudsuckers along with sardines coated with garlic spray. Catfishing is best in the Deep Water Channel with live crawdads as the crawdads are being washed down from the upper river. Smallmouth bass are found around rocky structure in Miner Slough, Steamboat Slough, or around Walnut Grove with deep-diving crankbaits or plastics on the drop-shot.”
Alan Fong, manager of the Fishermen’s Warehouse in Sacramento, was up at Liberty Island, and he said, “We tossed big wakebaits and glidebaits for striped bass without finding any action, but it was windy, and the big fish do not go into the shallows when the wind is blowing. We switched over to flipping plastics for largemouth bass to 4 pounds. The bite will get better as the water cools, and the herbicide spraying has not affected the Liberty area yet, but Snodgrass Slough has been sprayed heavily.”
Neil Simpson of Lodi went north to Liberty in search of striped bass with River2 Sea Swavers, and he found an overall slow bite. However, they did land two quality linesides at 10 pounds.
The salmon are also slowing down on their way to the north Delta with Tony Lopez of Benicia Bait reporting a dozen salmon landed on both Saturday and Sunday out of 1st Street. He said, “We haven’t been getting any reports out of the Dillon Point State Park as fishermen don’t return from the park to the shop, but it must be just as good if 1st Street is going off. We are selling loads of the Vee-Zee spinners for the shore fishermen. Striped bass from the shorelines has been fair with grass shrimp, pile worms, or blood worms, but the majority are schoolies. The regulars out of McAvoy’s Boat Harbor at Bay Point continue to score big striped bass on live splittail. Sturgeon fishermen are just now starting to show up, but the wind has been rough the past few days.”
For striped bass, Captain Joey Gamez of Golden State Sport Fishing, started trolling on the Sacramento River side of the Delta on Sunday, and after picked up a few linesides, he moved over to the San Joaquin. He said, “The winds were down, and we were able to troll, but the action was much better on the San Joaquin.”
Striped bass are moving into the San Joaquin Delta, and trollers are finding solid action in the normal locations of False River, the San Andreas Shoals, the Santa Clara Shoals, and from the Antioch Bridge along the Eddo’s Marina shoreline. Largemouth bass fishing remains decent with finesse techniques, and the bite should continue to improve as we move towards fall. A number of large bass tournaments including the FLW Delta event are arriving starting at the end of the month into October.
Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, was the tournament director for last weekend’s Best Bass Tournament, and he said, “There were a lot of fish to be caught, but the size was limited for the 99 boats in the tourney. The winning limit at 15+ pounds for three-fish was good, and there was a reaction bite with the warmer weather. Wake baits, poppers , and frogs accounted for some of the good action, and the ima Finesse Popper 65 working for the second place limit.”
Pringle is starting to target fall-run striped bass in the west Delta, and he brings out an arsenal P-Line Laser Minnows, Optimum’s Bubba Shad, and the ima Big Stick for topwater, subsurface, and deep-water action.
Captain Joey Gamez of Golden State Sport Fishing moved over to his normal locations of the rockpile along Webb Tract and the San Andreas Shoals on Sunday after starting on the Sacramento River. He said, “We put in five limits of striped bass to 9 pounds running deep-diving Yozuri Crystal Minnows in gold or chartreuse. The gold lure was on fire, and as I only had one of these, I will have to pick up some more of this pattern. The shallow bite remains slow, and I don’t know what is going on with this. 9-year old Maddix Leal reeled in his limit including the big fish of the day.”
Clyde Wands, shallow trolling expert, was out this week, and he said, “The wind has been pretty bad, and we stayed inside of False River for 21- to 22-inch stripers, and it seemed to be the way it was going to go throughout the day. The winds got heavier so we ducked into Piper Slough for stripers to 14 pounds released, but it was pretty grassy in there. The combination of big tides and high winds have broken off a lot of grass from the shorelines. I went on the San Joaquin off of Eddo’s, and I lost a nice one in the 15-pound range on a Rat-L-Trap. There was a friend’s boat there as well, and he had similar action with small, legal stripers. If the wind will ever die down, I want to do a mudsucker drift.”
Dan Mathisen of Dan’s Delta Outdoors in Oakley said, “Stripers, stripers, and more stripers are here. They aren’t very large, but there are plenty of them near Brown’s Island, Sherman Island, and Frank’s Tract. The River2Sea Swaver, Optimum’s Bubba Shad swimbait, or glidebaits are all working as the fish are scattered throughout. Largemouth bass fishing has been decent, and the fall bite is coming on. An 18-pound limit is good enough to win most tournaments right now while 14 pounds should be good enough for a check. I expect some solid limits during the FLW Costa Delta event at the end of the month starting on September 27. Salmon fishing from the piers at Antioch is starting to pick up, and there are a few salmon taken one day, followed by a day of slow fishing. It should be more stable now with the cooler water temperatures. ”
Luther Thompson of H and R Bait in Stockton said, “Most area fishermen are starting to head west for sturgeon, but since we sold out of all live bait on Sunday, people are fishing right now. We are getting in at least 35 pounds of quality fresh shad every other day, and it is selling out quickly.”
Bass 3 White bass 2 Striper 2 Catfish 3 Crappie 2
At Nacimiento, 101 Bass held a tournament over the weekend with a very healthy limit over 12.5 pounds taking first place. The launch ramp is operation and the marina remain open for all services with the exception of gasoline. Boaters should exercise caution as there are both marked and unmarked water obstacles and shallow water spots. The cooler morning water temperatures have extended the window for a topwater bite in the morning with small poppers while crankbaits, and spoons are also working by mid-morning. White bass are found on the normal offerings of white Roostertails or Kastmasters when the schools are located. Catfishing is best with dip baits or stinkbaits. A webcam of the lake is available at www.lakenacimientolive.com. The lake has dropped to 14 percent.
At Lopez, the annual Perch Derby was in full swing this past weekend, and the regular offerings of mealworms, waxworms, or red worms are picking up both bluegill and red ear perch at depths to 20 feet. There is a window for topwater lure for bass in the early mornings before dropping to the bottom with jigs, or plastics on the drop-shot, shakey head, or dart head. A webcam of the lake is available at 805webcams.com/lopez-lake-webcam.
At Santa Margarita, numbers are taken on plastics on the drop-shot or Texas-rig while a larger grade of bass are found on topwater lures, crankbaits, or swimbaits. Bluegill and perch are moving into the shallows, and red worms or meal worms are working for the panfish. Catfish are moving into the coves with grassy structure, and dip baits, stink baits, or cut baits are working for whiskerfish. There is a catfish bite in the flats with sardines or mackerel A webcam of the lake is available at 805webcams.com/santa-margarita-lake-webcam-california.
At San Antonio, the lake has dropped to 13 percent, and the Harris Creek Ramp remains open. Boaters are advised to be cautious when launching with the hidden sand bar in front of the ramp. The Lynch Ramp is now closed with the low lake levels. Catfishing is the best bet with dip baits, stink baits, or cut baits. Bass fishing is slow, but a few small fish are taken on plastics on the Texas-rig, drop-shot, or dart head along with small swimbaits.
Cen Cal Elite Bass Tournaments: Sept. 15 at Pine Flat – 1, Craig Gong/Ryan Reynolds, 20.02 pounds (Big Fish 7.62); 2, Wayne Arnold/Fernando Becerra, 14.86 (Big Fish 7.72); 3, Kevin and Jackson Xiong, 13.08.
101 Bass: Sept. 15 at Nacimiento – 1, Bobby Doss/Dustin Barker, 12.54; 2, Kyle Greenlaw/Jacob Cotta, 11.99; 3, Eddy Davidson/Herm Delore, 11.51.
New Jen Bass Tournament of Champions: Sept. 15-16 at Clear Lake (10-fish limits) – 1, Dean Miller/Darrel Masterson, 36.60; 2, Marc Young, 36.07; 3, Danny Krause/Jackson Juarez, 34.49 (Big Fish 8.97).
Hook, Line, and Sinker (Day 1): Sept. 16 at Delta/Russo’s Marina – 1, Michael Romnar/Gilbert Moody, 20.27 (Big Fish 10.36); 2, Neil Sterud/Jon Rodgers, 17.95; 3, Logan and Colby Huntze, 16.71.
Fresno Bass Club: Sept. 16 at Delta/B and W Resort – 1, Roger Lockhart, 12.09 (Big Fish 5.24); 2, Gene Bruns, 10.64; 3, Scott Smith, 10.29.
Central Valley Kayak Fishing: Sept. 16 at Kaweah – 1, Kong Vang, 64.50 inches; 2, Damian Thao, 64.50; 3, Jim Ham, 64.25. Big Fish – Chava Moau, 20.50.
Sept. 21: Nacimiento – 101 Bass Night Tournament
Sept. 21-22: Delta/Ladd’s Marina – Sierra Bass Club, New Melones – Sonora Bass Club, Camanche – Tri Valley Bassmasters, Millerton – Bass 101
Sept. 22: Delta/Ladd’s Marina – Kayak Bass Fishing, Delta/Ladd’s Marina – RiverRat Bass Club, Delta/Tracy Oasis – Tracy Oasis Bass Club, Don Pedro – Christian Bass League, McClure – 17/90 Bass Club, Nacimiento – San Luis Obispo Bass Ambushers, San Antonio – Bakersfield Bass Club
Sept. 23: Delta/Russo’s Marina – Don Lee Memorial Scholarship, New Hogan – Riverbank Bass Anglers, Success – Porterville Bass Club
Sept. 27-29: Delta/Russo’s Marina – Forrest L. Wood Cup
Sept. 29: Pine Flat – Golden Empire Bass Club, Nacimiento – 101 Bass
f = full moon > = peak activity