Hunting Fishing

Fishing report for week of Nov. 7-13 | Fall feast for bass at Eastman, Pine Flat

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Did you know if you're 16-20 years old in California you're now required to pass a boater safety education course and carry a boater safety card when driving a boat or a personal watercraft? The Tulare County Sheriff's office explains.

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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Best bets

Delta stripers hitting, Randy Pringle said. Courtright trout providing limits, Dave Hurley reported. California Aqueduct stripers active, Pete Cormier said. Eastman and Pine Flat bass continue fall feast, Steve Newman reported. Success bass fishing solid, Chuck Stokke said. Monterey crabbing off to a good start, Chris Arcolleo reported.


1-Try dynamite

2-Have to work hard

3-Limits possible

4-Fish jumpin’ in boat


Delta Mendota Canal

and Sloughs

Striper 3 Catfish 2

The California Aqueduct has slowed a bit for striped bass, but Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “We have been selling a number of Magnum Flukes, and fishermen are ripping the flukes in the sloughs around Firebaugh and Kerman. The Storm Wild Eye swimbaits are also working.” In the southern portion of the aqueduct in Kern County, Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield said, “The striped bass action is good with white tube baits for linesides from 21 to 31 inches.” Catfishing is best with Triple S Blood Formula bait along with frozen shad or cut baits.

Call: Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis 292-3474; Bob’s Bait Bucket 661-833-8657

Eastman Lake

Bass 3 Trout 2 Bluegill 2 Catfish 2 Crappie 2

Eastman has been the top location for quality largemouth bass in the Central Valley, and the combination of month after month of good action along with heavy fishing pressure appear to be taking a toll on the larger fish. Eastman will be hosting a tournament each of the next two Saturdays with the River Rat Open on Nov. 10 and the Sierra Bass Club event on Nov. 17.

Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “We fished the lake this week in preparation for this coming Saturday’s River Rat event, and we did well with numerous 2.5- to 3-pound fish eager to eat if you get the lure in their face. The bass can be found in rocky areas from 20 feet to the bank, and Senkos, Creature Baits, or jigs with a big trailer are working near the rocks or the saddles between the island with rocky structure. The fish coming out of the deeper water are very skinny, and we landed one that had the length for 4.5 pounds, but it only weighed 2.5 pounds. The bass we caught along the banks were all healthy in the 2-pound range and under, but the deeper fish were skinny even though they appear to be feeding on crawdads. I have heard this from other fishermen as well regarding the skinny fish. There appears to be enough feed in the lake, but there has been heavy fishing pressure over the last several months. Anywhere from 6 to 10 boats are on the lake on weekdays, and the weekends are crowded with both kayakers and power boats targeting the largemouth bass. We did try along the flooded brushy areas that looked very good, but the combination of chatterbaits, ripbaits, and spinnerbaits only produced an occasional bass.”

The River Rat Angler Appreciation Open Tournament will be limited to 50 boats with an $80 entry fee with options available, and it includes a BBQ lunch for all tourney anglers. If an entry is paid at Valley Rod and Gun, a raffle will be held for the opportunity for two $25 in gift cards.

Call: Six Star Tackle Box 673-5688; Eastman Lake 689-3255

Hensley Lake

Bass 2 Trout 2 Catfish 2 Bluegill 2 Crappie 2

Hensley remains quiet with the best action remaining on the bottom with Senkos on a Neko-rig or jigs at depths from 15 to 30 feet. Fishing closer to the banks remains slow for bass.

The lake held at 14 percent.

Call: Valley Rod Gun, Clovis 292-3474; Six Star Tackle Box 673-5688; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Hensley Lake Hidden Dam 673-5151

Lake Don Pedro

Bass 3 Trout 2 Kokanee 2 King salmon 1 Crappie 2

The topwater bite continues to be slow, and the best action remains on the bottom from 30 to 50 feet with plastics on the drop-shot or jigs. Jeff Huth assisted during Sunday’s Gold Country Junior Bass Tournament, and he said, “Most of the children in the event weighed in from three to five keepers with the winning weight over 12 pounds. Everything came on the bottom at depths from 30 to 50 feet, but there was a lot of bait up higher in the water column.” The trout action is starting to pick up as the rainbows are oriented to the massive shad schools in the lake. The lake dropped slightly to 69 percent.

Call: Monte Smith 209-581-4734; Gary Vella 209-652-7550

Lake Isabella/

Bakersfield area

Bass 2 Trout3 Crappie 3 Catfish 3 Bluegill 2

Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield said, “Lake Isabella remains good for catfish with chicken livers, minnows, Triple S dip bait in Blood Formula, or nightcrawlers, and there are still crappie coming from around French Gulch Marina or in the rockpiles in French Gulch with live minnows or minijigs. No reports on bass.” The lake held at 12 percent. In the upper Kern River, the sections of the Kern 4 through 6 continue to be planted regular basis, and Cormier reported improved action for the planters with salmon eggs, Roostertails, live crickets, or nightcrawlers. He added, “Many of our local residents are waiting for the trout plants at the small lake of the RiverWalk, Hart Park, Ming, Truxton, and Woollomes, and Buena Vista will be planted by the concessionaires on November 17th.” Currently, the local lakes are limited to bluegill, catfish, and the occasional largemouth bass.

Call: Bob’s Bait Bucket 661-833-8657; North Fork Marina 760-376-1812

Lake Kaweah

Bass 2 Crappie 2 Trout 2 Catfish 2

The lake remains very low at only 6 percent, and the bite has been fair at best with plastics or jigs off of the few submerged rockpiles remaining in the lake.

Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212

Lake Success

Bass 3 Trout 2 Catfish 3 Crappie 2 Bluegill 3

Chuck Stokke of the Sequoia Fishing Company in Springville said, “Bass fishing has remained solid with Senkos on a wacky-rig, jigs, or plastic worms, and fly fishing for bass is decent with Woolly Buggers and for bluegill with nymphs. The lake level is low at 8 percent. Catfishing is also good with cut baits.“ In the Tule River, Stokke said, “The river is fishing fair for native trout with mainly nymphs as the low water conditions have created difficult conditions with the trout easily spooked. Spin casting with nightcrawlers is fair, but fishermen have to sneak up on the river as the fish are easily spooked.” 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.

Call: Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626,

McClure Reservoir

Bass 3 Trout 2 King salmon 0 Kokanee 0 Crappie 2 Catfish 2

The topwater bite remains absent with the warm water conditions, and everything is on the bottom with umbrella rigs, jigs, or plastics on the drop-shot. Mike Gomez of the Bait Barn touted Berserk’s Purple Hornet or Sprayed Grass jigs along with Pro Worm’s 124p and 300 at depths from 35 to 45 feet. Catfish action has slowed down with the arrival of fall, but whiskerfish are still a possibility with chicken livers, cut baits, and nightcrawlers along muddy, sloping banks. The lake dropped to 55 percent.

McSwain Reservoir

Trout 2

Steve Marquette of the Lake McClure/Lake McSwain Recreation Company said, “The lake is dropping in elevation due to maintenance work at the dam, but there have been large rainbows to 5 pounds taken in the river arm near Merced Falls on trout dough bait. Trollers are picking up a few rainbows on blue/silver Kastmasters along with Speedy Shiners. Nightcrawlers, green Power Worms, and Roostertails are working for a few rainbows from the shorelines. “

Call: McSwain Marina 209-378-2534

Millerton Lake/

San Joaquin River

Bass 3 Striped bass 1 Shad 1 Bluegill 2 Crappie 2

Steve Newman said, “Numbers of spotted bass are found with topwater lures towards the evening hours with Spooks or similar topwater lures, but the cut of bass is mostly small that are working the boils. The best grade of spotted bass is taken at depths from 20 to 40 feet in the rockpiles as the fish are loading up on crawdads. Deep-diving crankbaits, jigs, or creature baits are all effective. Boils are forming later in the day. The normal plastics of Prism Shad, Pro Gold, Casper, or Margarita Mutilator remain effective.” There have been no striped bass reported, even as incidental catches, for several weeks leading to questions regarding the lake remaining as a viable striped bass fishery. The lake held at 54 percent.

Call: Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474

New Melones


Bass 2 Crappie 2 Catfish 3 Trout 2 Kokanee 2

The bass bite remains in transition at New Melones due to the water temperatures varying from 65 to 71 degrees in different locations throughout the lake. The shad are starting to school in huge groupings, and it is only a matter of time before the bass action breaks out.

John Liechty of Xperience Fishing Guide Service said, “I was on the lake two full days over the weekend, and the bite is not hot by any means. We averaged around 25 spotted or largemouth bass both days, but we had to move around a lot for find the fish. We covered from the river arm to the dam and just kept bouncing around. We threw topwater in the mornings for a total of one fish out of a few blow ups, and most everything was on the bottom anywhere from 5 to 60 feet. You have to keep an open mind now in order to find active fish. Working two days in a row showed me that the fish are moving as we picked up four or five fish off of a single ledge, island top, or wall one day, and they were gone the following day. That’s why we are running and gunning. It is going to get really good soon, and I can’t wait. The fall is one of my most favorite times to fish, and we can expect the bite to bust wide open any day now.”

Mike Gomez of Berserk Baits said, “Melones has been the one Mother Lode lake producing a larger grade of bass, and another possibility at Melones is the opportunity to land a big rainbow trout. I caught a 6.5-pound rainbow on a drop-shot recently, and both the bass and trout are focusing on the huge shad schools. We have seen shad schools taking up the entire screen on our electronics in only 20 feet of water, and at this time of year, I focus primarily on working the bait baits.”

The Glory Hole Sports Annual Catfish Contest ended on October 31, and the top three finishers were Elmo Bauer with a two fish weighing 27.98 pounds with Brandon Smith in second at 24.29 and Mike Noldin in third at 23.34.

For crappie, Gene Hildebrand of Glory Hole Sports in Angels Camp said, “The bite is slow, but it is not at a standstill with fishermen reporting finding the slabs in the marina cove and also trolling in the main lake at 40 feet. During the fall, crappie can be found both shallow or deep depending upon the water temperatures to dictate the most comfortable area to forage for food.”

Trout fishing has been slow overall, but trollers continue to find rainbows to 7 pounds each week, and the rainbows are moving closer to the surface.

New Melones is currently at 1028.85 feet in elevation and 73 percent.

Call: Glory Hole Sports 209-736-4333; Monte Smith 209-581-4734; John Liechty Xperience Fishing Guide Service 209-743-9932

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 in Clovis said, “The spotted bass bite remains consistent in the main lake as the fish are oriented to the large schools of shad. A vertical presentation with a small spoon along plastics on the drop-shot or dart head are working in and among the bait balls. There are stretches of 60 to 100 yards where the shad schools are thick. The river arm near Windy Gap and Billy Creek is showing signs of life with creature baits, jigs, or plastics on a Texas-rig as the fish are loading up on crawdads in the rocks. The crappie continue to hold with the shad schools in deeper water as the structure in the lake is scarce with the low water conditions.” In the lower Kings River, the flows have dropped considerably, and bait fishermen are soaking nightcrawlers, live crickets, nightcrawlers, or salmon eggs in the section Winton Park to the Alta Weir. The lake held at 24 percent.

Pine Flat will host the annual Clovis Police Foundation’s fundraiser tournament on Nov. 18.

Call: Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474; Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626

San Luis Reservoir

and O’Neill Forebay

Striper 2 Catfish 2 Bass 2 Crappie 2

San Luis Reservoir has been the top location for Central Valley and San Jose-area striper fishermen, particularly those fishing from the banks, but it appears that the linesides have moved out into deeper water, giving trollers the upper hand at the present time on a slowed bite . The month of November has traditionally been a good time for big fish, but this year remains unseasonably warm. The bait schools are still boiling in the early mornings some days- before moving out into deeper water later in the day.

Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “The striped bass bite has slowed down a bit as it appears that the fish have moved out. Trollers are scoring at depths from 30 to 60 feet with specially-designed heavy-duty umbrella rigs in various colors.

Roger George of Roger George Guide Service said that the bite has been tough at times during the last week. “I’ve had a lot of guys complaining about how tough its been-compared to a few weeks ago. Overall the bite is a 2-star now. It seems the fish are moving a lot and places like Lone Oak and Bay of Pigs aren’t holding near as many fish as before. I took out three anglers on Sunday and it was tough for us early getting anything. I finally switched to doing a lot of running and gunning and finally found some active fish in 60 to 85 feet of water in the middle of nowhere that were taking silver minnow type lures. We ended up with over 40 fish in the smaller grade, 18- to 22 inch range, but it turned a bad day into a real good one. I was lucky to run into the active schools that were way off the beaten paths. Few anglers were doing very well that I saw that day.”

Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill reported a topwater bite in the early mornings in the boils with poppers or Spook-like lures tossed from boats while Super Flukes are also effective. Some anglers are slow-trolling jumbo minnows for success along with jerkbaits in bone or white patterns. In the O’Neill Forebay, a smaller grade of striped bass is possible with blood worms, shad, or jumbo minnows near the moving water along Check 12.”

The main lake rose to 60 percent with increased pumping out of the south Delta.

Call: Coyote Bait and Tackle 408-463-0711, Roger George of, 905-2954

High Sierra

Bass Lake

Bass 2 Trout 2 Kokanee 0

Few bass fishermen have been heading to the lake which continues to drop to 63 percent. The swimbait bite is expected to take off once the water temperatures drop, but the best action remains in the grassy areas along edges of drop offs with weightless Senkos or jigs. 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.

Call: Todd Wittwer 288-8100; Mike Beighey 642-3748


Mammoth Pool

Brown trout 2 Trout 2

There are still few reports are coming out of the Kaiser Pass area lakes. The lakes are dropping with Edison at 45, Mammoth Pool at 21 percent, and Florence at 2 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 or call 800-427-7623 for road conditions.

Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000

Shaver Lake/

Huntington Lake

Kokanee 2 Trout 2

The weather in the Central Sierras remains outstanding, and Shaver Lake at just over 5,000 feet has been no exception with springlike conditions in the mid-60s and sunshine. Despite the great weather, the Sierra lakes have experienced minimal pressure after a busy summer.

Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters said, “The trout action has slowed some, but a limit or two is possible as the Boy Scout Cove has been the top area for planter-size rainbows along with the occasional trophy trout. There were at least two of the larger trophies landed this week, and Stevenson Bay and Tunnel Creek are the other two hot spots in the lake for rainbows. The best fishing has been from the surface to 20 feet with Trout Busters tipped with a piece of nightcrawler behind a Mountain Flasher. The kokanee bite has decreased to some point, but those targeting the right depths and location along with the correct set ups can pick up two limits. Dale and Kendra Williams of Shaver Lake recently purchased Captain Jack Yandell’s pontoon boat, and they landed limits of kokanee on their inaugural voyage proving that this vessel can still catch fish. They were using Mountain Hoochies tipped with corn behind a Mountain Dodger at 30 feet near the Point. Edison Camp host, Craig Davidson, took out three anglers on Sunday for three limits of kokanee running Trout Busters tipped with corn behind a dodger in front of the Shaver Island towards the island.”

At upstream Huntington, Nichols reported that small planter rainbows along with small kokanee are possible, but Courtright on the Kings River watershed has been the best option for rainbows with easy limits on blade/’crawler combinations, Speedy Shiners, Needlefish, or Thomas Buoyants at depths from the surface to 20 feet.

Even though the winter season is late to appear, boaters can check the accessibility of the Sierra Marina launch ramp at

The lake dropped to 70 percent with Huntington also dropping to 61 percent.

Call: Dick Nichols, Dick’s Fishing Charters 281-6948; Todd Wittwer, 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


Trout 3

The Wishon RV Park and Store closed on October 28, and the dock is currently out of the water. Anglers need to be prepared with supplies on their way to both Wishon and Courtright. Blade/’crawler combinations along the far side of the lake continue to score limits, but bank fishing is slow with the exception of the far side of the lake near the river inlet.

Courtright is the best bet in the High Sierra with the great weather conditions making a trip over 7,000 feet viable. Trollers are scoring limits of planters to 14 inches along the far side of the lake with blade/’crawler combinations, Speedy Shiners, or Needlefish at depths to 20 feet. Shore fishermen is fair with the best action at the upper end of the lake with various colors of trout dough bait.

Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361


Half Moon Bay

Rockfish 3 Striper 2 Crab 2 Surf Perch 2

Rockfishing has been the best thing going out of Half Moon Bay, but Captain Tom Mattusch on the Huli Cat reported 33 limits of Dungeness crab on Sunday along with 18 ling cod and a handful of rockfish in rough weather conditions. He said, “Crabbing ranges from fair to great depending upon where you drop your pots, and our scores ranged from 1 to 33 crab per pots. I reset a good number of pots into deeper water as the deep pots have been producing best. Rockfishing was slow on Sunday due to the wind and swell, but we have been tying into some large ling cod with several in the 13- to 20-pound range.

The Pacifica Pier was packed on both weekend days with the crab opener bringing out the crowds starting at midnight on Saturday morning. The action was less than stellar with only a few keeper landed for the many hours of soaking pots and snares.

Call: Captain Dennis Baxter, New Captain Pete 650-576-3844; Captain Tom Mattusch, Huli Cat 650-619-0459

Monterey/Santa Cruz

Rockfish 3 Striper 2 Crab 3 Surf Perch 2

Chris Arcolleo of Chris’s Fishing Trips in Monterey said, “Crabbing was surprisingly good, and we averaged around 5 crab per angler along with limits of rockfish. If we can keep up this average, this will be excellent as I was pleasantly surprised by the crab counts on our opening trips on Sunday after setting the pots on Saturday afternoon. Limits of rockfish have been the rule along with the occasional ling cod, but the weather has been rough with winds from the northwest keeping us close to the harbor. We are filled thorugh Nov. 14 on the combination trips.”

Allen Bushnell of the Santa Cruz Kayak Fishing and Surfcasting Guide Service said, “Mark your calendars! On Saturday November 10, The Monterey Bay Salmon and Trout Project is having their annual fund-raising Albacore Dinner. MBSTP is a non-profit (501C-3) volunteer organization acting to restore the native salmon and steelhead trout population in our area. Partnering with the Castroville Rotary Club, MBSTP’s 41st Annual dinner includes a silent auction and raffle prizes galore. If you like to fish for salmon, please support the organization that has been diligent in maintaining and enhancing salmon and steelhead populations in our area. The event starts at 6 p.m. at the Castroville Recreation Center and tickets are available at the door.”

Call: Chris’ Landing 831-375-5951; Allen Bushnell, Santa Cruz Kayak and Surf Casting 831-251-9732

San Francisco Bay

Halibut 2 Striper 3 Rockfish3 Leopard shark 3 Sturgeon 2 Crab 3

Mike Aughney of USA said, “Despite short soaks the party boat fleet reported excellent action on the crab opener. Some boats set gear the night before, but many dropped pots before heading to the rockfish grounds and returning to pull them a few hours later. The weather was nice along the Marin coast but breezy offshore and most boats worked the coastal reefs off the Towers and Double Point.”

The Salty Lady took their first crab-only trip on Sunday for 24 limits of Dungeness crab, and he is running out of the Emeryville Marina during the crab season for $100/angler.

Limits of crab and rockfish were the rule along with a handful of ling cod on the California Dawn over the first two days of rockfishing as they stayed up the Marin coastline with the less-than-ideal weather conditions.

The Happy Hooker out of Berkeley had a similar score with 31 limits of Dungeness crab and rockfish along with 4 lings on opening day. The crab are all commercial grade.

Scores were similar out of Emeryville with the Sea Wolf, Pacific Pearl, TigerFish, and New Huck Finn combining for 113 limits of both crab and rockfish with a total of 7 lings along the Marin coast.

Inside the bay, Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle in San Rafael said, “I think halibut are pretty much toast as it has been good until this week, but one was the best score this week. There are lots of striped bass in the bay, and Red Rock, Paradise, and the Pumphouse are the top locations. Tommy Glaser landed six stripers from 4 to 7 pounds this week near the Pumphouse. We are loaded with live bait from grass shrimp to ghost shrimp, mudsuckers, pile worms, bullhead, and all the frozen bait you could think of in the shop.”

Call: Captain Trent Slate, Bite Me Charters 415-307-8582; Happy Hooker 510-223-5388; Captain Jerad Davis, Salty Lady 415-760-9362; Captain Steve Mitchell 707-655-6736

San Luis Obispo

Rockfish 3 Surf perch 2

It was limits on Monday for the boats out of Port San Luis and Morro Bay, and rockfish/ling cod ventures will be on tap until December 31st with the occasional Dungeness and rock crab combination trip available. On Monday, the Endeavor out of Morro Bay Landing returned with 7 limits of rockfish consisting of 20 vermilion, 10 copper, and 40 assorted rockfish. Out of Virg’s Landing in Morro Bay, the Fiesta and Black Pearl took out 43 anglers on Monday for 77 vermilion, 319 assorted rockfish, 16 copper, and 10 canary rockfish for near-limits to go with 5 ling cod to 13 pounds. Cody Scott of Bakersfield took the jackpot ling on the private charter on the Fiesta. Out of Port San Luis, the Patriot took out 10 anglers on Monday for limits of rockfish and 4 lings with 24 vermilion, 6 copper, and 80 assorted rockfish. Heidi Aamstreet of Bakersfield won a jackpot with a 6-pound ling. All landings are running a variety of bottom fishing trips from ½ day to two-day ventures up the coast.

Call: Virg’s Landing 800-762-5263; Patriot Sport Fishing 805-595-4100



Bass 3 Striper 3 Sturgeon 2 Catfish 2 Bluegill 2 Salmon 2

Salmon fishing in the Sacramento-Delta has slowed down considerably over the past week although there are still fish moving through the system into the upper river. Most Delta salmon fishermen continue to work the back sloughs in the Mokelumne River due to the pulse flows out of Lake Camanche attracting the fish along with the two-fish limit on this body of water. Sturgeon are gaining more and more interest in Suisun Bay, and the diamondbacks are starting to migrate into the north Delta.

Johnny Tran of New Romeo’s Bait and Tackle in Freeport said, “Very few anglers are still targeting salmon, but there are still fish to be caught in the 10- to 20-pound range. Some days, guys are leaving with easy one-fish limits while other days are coming up empty. Trolling with Brad’s Cut Plugs behind an 11-inch E-chip dodger with a Good Day release are still the top set up, but Silverton or Slammer Spinners are also working. Striped bass fishing has been wide open with live mudsuckers or jumbo minnows along with fresh shad or sardines coated with garlic spray in Liberty Island, Steamboat Slough, above the Rio Vista Bridge, or on the Mokelumne near B and W Resort. A few sturgeon have been taken in the upper Delta near Courtland with eel/nightcrawler or eel/pile worm combinations, but the majority of sturgeon are found further east off of Decker Island or the Sherman Island Power Lines. Sturgeon have also moved into Cache and Prospect Sloughs.”

Alan Fong, manager of the Fishermen’s Warehouse in Sacramento, found windy conditions during the week at Liberty Island so they found cover in the north Delta and fished for crappie with minijigs tipped with a small worm. He said, “We caught nearly 100 slabs in the ¾- to 1.5-pound range working near structure as we had to get out of the wind. Liberty Island, when it is calm, has been a good area for striped bass with live bait, and Jay Lopes of Right Hook Sport Fishing had five fish on at the same time on Saturday fishing deep water outside of Liberty with live mudsuckers. These were quality stripers ranging from 8 to 15 pounds.”

Sturgeon fishing improved over the weekend after the fish disappeared during mid-week. They had been stacked up from Chain Island to Suisun Bay, and Captain Steve Mitchell of Hook’d Up Sport Fishing was out on Thursday scouting with Captain Shawn Taylor of Sundance Sport Fishing, and they were left scratching their heads after traveling from Chain Island to the Mothball Fleet and into the Big Cut. Mitchell said, “I think the sturgeon may have gone further upriver since the water near the Mothball Fleet and in San Pablo Bay has turned salty with the lake of fresh water flow. They are catching leopard shark at the Mothball Fleet right now. The sturgeon were loaded up from Buoy 31 to Chain Island over the weekend, but the wind blew early in the week, and the fish were scattered the next day.”

Mitchell found them again on Friday with two legal sturgeon in the boat on both Friday and Saturday fishing near the Pumphouse west of the Pittsburg PGE Plant. He said, “Sunday was another story as we worked for one legal sturgeon and a few missed opportunities as they didn’t bite as good as the previous two days. The interesting thing is that they bit on eel on Sunday while on Friday and Saturday, everything was on salmon roe. The sturgeon seemed to spread out on Sunday, and I left the spot that we had been catching fish as the tide was changing. Within an hour, Shawn Taylor of Sundance Sport Fishing put his clients onto four sturgeon in the spot that we just left. He stayed a bit longer, and he was rewarded. Jay Lopes of Right Hook Sport Fishing had been striper fishing earlier in the week, but he also put in a pair of legal sturgeon on Sunday in the same area.”

Off of the Benicia shorelines, Tony Lopez of Benicia Bait reported bait-stealing Dungeness crab have moved in, and anglers are going through live bullheads in a hurry. He said, “The demand for live bullheads has been intense, and the crab are bringing up the bait bill for sure. Sturgeon fishing has been really good up near Pittsburg and Chain Island, and we have been sending our customers up to this part of the river for the diamondbacks.”

Salmon fishing has slowed down along the Benicia shorelines. Big striped bass continue to be taken on live splittail near the Firing Line and Garnet Point, and it is only legal to have two splittail in possession. It appears that some boats have more than the legal number of splittail in possession while using the live bait for striped bass.

Johnny Tran reported outstanding action for red ear perch with jumbo red worms or wax worms on a drop-shot rig off of Highway 12 and the Delta Loop.

The Rio Vista Bridge will be closed from 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. on November 8th through10th for repairs.

Striped bass action continues to improve in the San Joaquin-Delta, and the linesides will migrate further upriver towards and past Stockton once the water temperatures cool.

Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, launched out of B and W Resort on Thursday in search of striped bass, and they found them on the western edge of the San Joaquin River system. He said, “We had three blow ups on the ima Little Stick in the saltwater Sardine pattern, and one of the blow ups took place right near the boat so these fish want to eat. The stripers were up to 12 pounds, and we also released a 12 pounder on a Bad Bubba Shad swimbait. The water in the Delta is extremely clear, and the flat calm and clear conditions make for a challenge. We want the water to be slightly off-color for both striped bass and largemouth bass, and we put in two dozen stripers to 12 pounds on the swimbait. The key is to pause the lure, either by twisting your wrist or by making it jump with the reel handle. If there is a follower, the movement of the bait will generate a strike. My clients had far more success with the 4-inch Bubba Shad on a ½-ounce head since it allowed the bait to work much slower. We also found a huge school with the P-Line Laser Minnow spoons, but these were all in the 6- to 12-inch category. For largemouth bass, you have to work water with cover due to the clear conditions as the fish need the perception of protection under the cover right now.”

Dan Mathisen of Dan’s Delta Outdoors in Oakley said, “I was out on Saturday and caught and released 22 keepers to 21 inches using Optimum’s Bad Bubba Shad or topwater Zara Spooks. The stripers are scattered out, and I only was able to pick up a few in the same area. For largemouth bass, most fishermen aren’t talking too much right now, but there are bass taken by punching the weeds or with plastics on the drop-shot, including some in the 5- to 7-pound range.”

H and R Bait in Stockton reported Whiskey Slough has been the top local area for bluegill, catfish, and striped bass, and they received a report of a 46-inch striper off of the Antioch Fishing Pier and a 41 incher taken in the Old River. They are receiving fresh shad most days and throughout the weekends as the bait is in the medium to large grade.

Johnny Tran reported good red ear action off of Eight Mile Road east of Stockton with wax worms or jumbo red worms on a drop-shot rig.

Call: Randy Pringle 209-543-6260; Captain Mike Gravert, Intimidator Sport Fishing 916-806-3030; Vince Borges, Vince Borges Outdoors 209-918-0828; J.D. Richey, Richey’s Sport Fishing 916-952-1554

Lake Nacimiento/

San Antonio/

Santa Margarita/Lopez

Bass 3 White bass 3 Striper 2 Catfish 2 Crappie 3

At Nacimiento, crappie to 1.5 pounds are taken on minijigs or tubes around rocky structure, but there is a health warning for eating fish from Nacimiento due to excessive levels of mercury. Surface boils of both white and spotted bass are occurring on occasion, and small topwater lures are working when the fish are boiling. When they are under the surface, crankbaits, jerkbaits, or swimbaits on an underspin head are working along with plastics on a drop-shot or shakey head. Launching a boat remains viable, but there are a number of hazards just under the surface, requiring boaters to use extreme caution after launching. The lake held at 12 percent. The marina remains open for all services with the exception of gasoline. A webcam of the lake is available at

At San Antonio, catfishing remains the best bet with cut baits, Triple S Blood Formula dip bait, or chicken livers. Bass fishing remains slow, but the bait fish schools are thick throughout the lowered pool of water at 13 percent. Launching at the Harris Ramp is still a possibility, but the Lynch Ramp remains closed.

At Lopez, bass fishing is best with finesse techniques of plastics on the drop-shot or Texas-rig along with jigs, but the larger grade of largemouth are found on reaction baits of chatterbaits, crankbaits, and spinnerbaits. Bluegill and red ear perch have dropped in the water column, and meal worms, waxworms, or red worms are working on a drop-shot rig to 25 feet. A webcam of the lake is available at

At Santa Margarita, bass action is good with reaction baits of crankbaits and spinnerbaits while working the bottom with plastics on the drop-shot or jigs are producing a smaller grade of largemouth. Catfishing is good with anchovies, sardines, or mackerel while the crappie bite has slowed. Bluegill and red ear perch are found on jumbo red worms or meal worms in deep water. A webcam of the lake is available at

Call: Lake Nacimiento 805-238-1056, ext. 3; Lake San Antonio Marina 805-472-2818; Central Coast Bass 805-466-6557


Nov. 10-11: New Melones – California Bass Federation, Pine Flat – Bakersfield Bass Club

Nov. 10: Delta/Tracy Oasis – Tracy Oasis Marina, New Hogan – Sonora Bass Club, Camanche – Yak-A-Bass, Don Pedro – Kerman Bass Club/Christian Bass League, Eastman – RiverRat Bass Club, Bass Lake – Central Valley Kayak Fishing, Nacimiento – Golden Empire Bass Club

Nov. 11: Kaweah – Kings VIII Bass Club

Nov. 17: Don Pedro – Merced Bass Club/American Bass Association, McClure – 17-90 Bass Club, Eastman – Sierra Bass Club, Pine Flat – Bass 101

Nov. 18: Delta/Russo’s Marina – Hook, Line, and Sinker, Delta/Contra Costa County – Tri Valley Bass Masters, McClure – Riverbank Bass Anglers

Dec. 1: Delta/Russo’s Marina – American Bass Association, Pine Flat – Kerman Bass Club, Nacimiento – American Bass Association

Dec. 2: New Melones – Roosevelt High School Bass Fishing Club, Millerton – American Bass Association

Solunar table








































n = new moon > = peak activity