Hunting Fishing

Fishing report for week of Nov. 21-27 | Late-fall bass bite at several Valley lakes

Bill Thrasher of Nipomo, a Fresno native and former Fresno State baseball player (1992-94) shows off a 20.5-pounder ling cod caught on a Virg’s long-range trip Saturday to Big Sur. It was a jackpot winner, Thrasher reports.
Bill Thrasher of Nipomo, a Fresno native and former Fresno State baseball player (1992-94) shows off a 20.5-pounder ling cod caught on a Virg’s long-range trip Saturday to Big Sur. It was a jackpot winner, Thrasher reports. Special to The Bee

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

Big Aqueduct stripers hitting, Pete Cormier said. Delta stripers and sturgeon biting, Alan Fong reported. Don Pedro trout action on the upswing, Monte Smith said. McClure bass hitting, Steve Marquette reported. Pine Flat bass fishing solid, Steve Newman said. Wishon trout bite good, Dave Hurley 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 southern portion of the California Aqueduct has been outstanding for big striped bass with Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield saying, “Stripers are going off as there have been linesides in the 20- to 40-pound range landed within the past two weeks. One angler who landed a 40-pounder wouldn’t reveal his location or technique, but I know that one of the large fish was taken on a Magnum Fluke. We have been selling loads of jumbo minnows in the past few days so I know these are working as well.” In the northern section, the increasing water flows are moving the bait into the headgates, and more anglers are starting to target the aqueduct with ripbaits, jerkbaits, and swimbaits around the moving water. Also in the south aqueduct, crappie and catfish are coming out of the dirt canals near Alpaugh.

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

Eastman Lake

Bass 2 Trout 2 Bluegill 2 Catfish 2 Crappie 2

Eastman is similar to Hensley with the best action with Senkos either weightless or on a Neko-rig near the rocks. The jig bite was much slower last week. Green pumpkin or watermelon are the top colors, and you have to stay slow as the bass really aren’t chasing. Swimbaits also have to be worked very slow, and they are only effective on the bottom as you need to put the bait in their face. They will eat, but they don’t want to chase. Also, it really hasn’t mattered how long the worms are as anything from 4 to 8 inches have been effective.

Both lakes will be experiencing trout plants within the next month, and local fishermen are looking forward to throwing rainbow trout patterned swimbaits for the big bass once the plants start. Bass Lake is another location in which local fishermen can’t wait for the swimbait bite to start.

Both Eastman once again at 40 percent.

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

Hensley Lake

Bass 2 Trout 2 Catfish 2 Bluegill 2 Crappie 2

Eastman Reservoir remains the top location for the larger grade of bass in the Central Valley, but after months of slow action out of nearby Hensley, it seems that this reservoir is showing some signs of life.

Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “Brandon Lum of Clovis gave us the first excellent report out of Hensley this week with 18 pounds for 5 bass working a half-ounce jig in the shallows close to the banks. He went out into deeper water, but the action wasn’t there. He also said he lost another big one in the rocks on 14-lb. fluorocarbon as the line may have been nicked.

Hensley also 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 2 Trout 3 Kokanee 2 King salmon 1 Crappie 2

The best bass action remains on the bottom from 30 to 50 feet with plastics on the drop-shot or jigs as the reaction bite continues to be slower than anticipated. Trout trolling is on the upswing with rainbows in the 14- to 16-inch range with Speedy Shiners or similar shad-patterned spoons at depths to 50 feet. The Graveyard or the dam have been solid areas for trout trollers. Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing made a trip to the lake this week, and he put his clients onto limits of rainbow trout. The parking lot at Blue Oaks is closer to the water than Fleming Meadows, and it is a shorter walk after parking your tow vessel. The lake dropped slightly to 68 percent.

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

Lake Isabella/

Bakersfield area

Bass 2 Trout 2 Crappie 2 Catfish 3 Bluegill 2

Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield said, “Planted trout fever has taken over the area, and the first plants at Buena Vista drew a crowd for the Taft Chamber of Commerce Trout Derby. There were some who were left disappointed in the action or lack of, but the winning weight was 3.8 pounds. At Lake Isabella, catfishing remains the top draw with chicken livers, minnows, Triple S dip bait in Blood Formula, or nightcrawlers, and we haven’t heard much about crappie.” 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 it has been feast or famine with some anglers finding limits of quality rainbows in the deeper pools. The local lakes are limited to panfish, bass or catfish, but there is anticipation for the trout plants at the small lake of the RiverWalk, Hart Park, Ming, Truxton, and Woollomes.

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

Lake Kaweah

Bass 2 Crappie 2 Trout 2 Catfish 2

Not much change here as the lake remains very low at only 6 percent, and there are only a few rockpiles holding fish as the bait is found around the structure in the lowered pool.

Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212

Lake Success

Bass 3 Trout 2 Catfish 2 Crappie 2 Bluegill 2

Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield said, “Crappie and largemouth bass are still coming from the reservoir and bass are hitting on plastics, weightless Senkos on a wacky-rig, or jigs in the lowered pool of water.” The lake held at 8 percent. Chuck Stokke of the Sequoia Fishing Company 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 Crappie2 Catfish 2

Steve Marquette of the Lake McSwain/McClure Recreation Company reported numbers of spotted bass in the 2- to 3-pound range are found on the bottom with plastics or jigs while even Lake McSwain is producing bass with a 5 pounder taken on a grub near the Marina Cove. He said, “There are bass in McSwain along with catfish to 15 pounds, but these species are a well-kept secret.”

Morgan Swisher of the Fresno Bass Club said, “We had our final tournament before our Tournament of Champions on Nov. 9 with 18 boats, and the week prior, 60 to 80 bass being caught was no problem. On Sunday, everyone had limits, but the numbers were way down, and the quality fish located during the previous week were gone, leaving us with plenty of spots in the 1- to 1.5-pound range.”

With the arrival of colder weather, the swimbait and reaction bite should improve, but for the time being, the majority of bait is holding in deeper water and just beginning to school up.

The lake dropped to 55 percent.

McSwain Reservoir

Trout 2

Steve Marquette of the Lake McSwain/McClure Recreation Company said, “Even Lake McSwain is producing bass with a 5-pounder taken on a grub near the Marina Cove. He said, “There are bass in McSwain along with catfish to 15 pounds, but these species are a well-kept secret.” The lake has been fluctuating around 7 or 8 feet for maintenance work at the dam, but it is anticipated that the fluctuations will stop by the end of Thanksgiving week. The trout have dropped to the bottom, and Kastmasters in blue/silver or gold are working for trollers. Bank fishermen are soaking trout dough bait or a piece of nightcrawler combined with a marshmallow from the normal locations of the Brushpile or Handicapped Docks. Trout plants are occurring around twice monthly.

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, “Finesse techniques for number of small spotted bass remain the story here, and plastics on the drop-shot, dart-head, or weightless wacky-style are producing numbers in the main lake. The shad-patterned plastics such as Prism Shad, Pro Gold, or Purple Ghost are most effective. The water is very clear, and the reaction bite remains slow.” Striped bass continue to be nonexistent. The lake held at 54 percent.

Call: Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474

New Melones


Bass 2 Crappie 2 Catfish 2 Trout 2 Kokanee 1

With the lack of inclement weather, the bass action in the Mother Lode lakes remains a puzzle with the majority of fish holding in deeper water. McClure appears to be the best for numbers with either Don Pedro or Melones for size, but the extended fall bite remains around 30 to 50 feet with finesse techniques.

New Melones proved outstanding for the team of Jason Remmers and Alex Niapas on Nov. 17 as their 24.60-pound five-fish limit took first place during the American Bass Association event including big fish at 8.85 and 8.30 pounds. Danny Gillespie and Mike Taylor took second with 15.65 with Brian Bertolotti and Jerrenda Oliver in third at 15.05.

New Melones has produced large spotted and largemouth bass for experienced anglers over the past two weeks, but overall, the reaction bite has been limited with most fish found on the bottom.

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

The Clovis Police Department Foundation’s Annual Derby is a highlight for Central Valley Anglers, and the action was solid at Pine Flat for the 47 participants on Saturday. Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun partnered with Merritt Gilbert, long-time Valley Rod employee who has been recovering from heart surgery. Gilbert showed that he is on his way back as Newman said, “The old man showed me how it is done on Saturday.”

Newman continued, “It was a steady bite with 6-inch plastics in the normal colors of watermelon/red flake or watermelon/black flake on the dart head or wacky-rig around rocky structure at depths from 20 to 30 feet. Anywhere with vertical rocks were holding fish as the dirt and sand areas were much slower. We ended up on 12th place out of 47 boats with a limit at 8.37 pounds, and although the bite wasn’t wide open and crazy, it was steady. Spots that were holding fish would reload later in the day when you came back to fish them again, but it was a lot of run and gun. The jig bite in the shallows up river from the Power Lines to Trimmer produced the biggest fish including two over 7 pounds landed by the team of Gary Wasson and Joe Baeza on jigs. Wasson and Baeza weighed in just before us with a 20-pound plus limit, and he told me that it was just one of those days where everything went right. The river arm was shut down mid-morning by the Sheriff due to work on the power lines, but it was open again three hours later. We stayed outside of the Power Lines and most of our fish were spitting up shad. There were a few bass eating crawdads near the dam, but the shad pushed out into deeper water.”

Newman advised boaters to be particularly careful while running at high speeds near the main lake points or edges as there are unmarked hazards just below the surface. Edison Point is especially potentially dangerous with 6 inches of water over the unmarked hazard. There are a few anglers targeting crappie in the upper part of the lake, but the bite hasn’t started in earnest as of yet. The lake held at 25 percent. In the lower Kings, trout in the 14- to 16- are possible by drifting salmon eggs or trout dough bait as the water flows have stabilized.

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

Trollers have the upper hand in the big lake as the shad schools are dropping in the water column. Bank fishing has slowed for those tossing lures, but bait fishermen able to get out into deeper water are finding success. The striped bass schools are scattered in various locations throughout the lake, and trollers have to search around for actively feeding fish. P-Line Predator Minnows or Lucky Craft Pointer 128’s in shad patterns are working best for trollers at depths from 30 to 70 feet.

Roger George of Roger George Guide Service said that the overall bite has been tough for trollers and minnow anglers. “Finding active groups of fish is not easy and the morning bite has been slow overall. I’ve talked to a lot of decent anglers who are scratching out a few fish using jerkbaits, but they are wondering why things aren’t better. I think the warm fall weather has created some new patterns that aren’t the normal ones we’re used to. I fished with two guests Monday for only 15 fish to 23 inches in 40 to 70 feet of water. This storm should help.” George will be announcing the schedule for his downrigging classes at Sportsmans Warehouse in the coming week.

The lake dropped to 58 percent with increased water releases down the California Aqueduct. In the O’Neill Forebay, numbers of small striped bass are the story here with ripbaits or jerkbaits while pile worms, blood worms, or jumbo minnows are also effective near the moving water around Check 12 or the Highway 152 Bridge. The Forebay has been as popular as the main lake for bank anglers as the opportunity for unlimited smaller fish is possible. A legal limit can be taken, but you will have to cull a number of undersized striped bass.

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

High Sierra

Bass Lake

Bass 2 Trout 2 Kokanee 0

Finesse techniques such as weightless Senkos, plastics on the dart head or jigs continue to work best as the weed growth is starting to dissipate. Anglers are gearing up for the anticipated swimbait bite once the temperature cool and the trout plants continue. 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. The lake continues to drop, and it is currently at 57 percent.

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


Mammoth Pool

Brown trout 2 Trout 2

Few anglers are heading up to Edison, but bank fishing has been decent for those walking the banks and tossing lures. The colder weather is keeping anglers from crossing the pass. Edison at 45, Mammoth Pool at 21 percent, and Florence at 2 percent. 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 will get a shake up this week with rain anticipated during the middle of the week, but prior to this, the good weather is attracting boaters and bank fishermen to Shaver Lake.

Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters said, “The unexpected good weather brought more boat fishermen out this past week, but I think the results have been mixed. Some trollers are connecting with 12- to 14-inch kokanee and some are having problems. I think it has a lot to do with the depth and colors of tackle. The anglers I talked to this week reported good results with a couple limits of kokanee at 30 to 37 feet right in front of either the Sierra and Shaver Marina. Craig Davidson, an Edison Camp host, is still picking up multiple limits of kokanee, and he took 3 friends out recently and picked up 15 nice kokanee using an Apex lure tipped with corn behind flashers at 33 feet deep near the buoys in front of Shaver Marina. Bottom line, it proves that the kokanee are still biting. Bright colors of oranges and greens are working best, and the orange and green Trout Busters have always been a favorite of mine during the fall months. The trout bite is fair at best, and I am somewhat surprised about the overall action as the holdover rainbows are normally biting at this time of year in either Stevenson Bay or the Boy Scout Cove from the surface to 20 feet. The weather is heading for some much-needed precipitation, perhaps some snow at Shaver. With this change of weather, historically the depths change and the colors can change. Perhaps a gold dodger may be a thought in your tackle selection, but dragging a Trout Buster tipped with a crawler behind flashers nearer to the surface may entice the bite some. I would start at either ramp and troll the lake until your find a school of either kokanee or trout. I would look for schools of trout near the Boy Scout Cove or Eagle Point. My prediction for December for Shaver fishing is that the kokanee bite will pick up and last through January and the hot spot will be right in front of Sierra Marina. The trout bite will be sporadic and you will have to find them.”

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 67 percent with Huntington also dropping to 55 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 Oct. 28, and the dock is currently out of the water, but launching a small boat is possible with assistance. The trout bite remains solid for trollers pulling lures in orange or bright colors at 4 to 6 colors of leadcore. Once the sun comes up around 10 a.m., the bite dies, but early limits are possible. Bank fishing is fair at best.

At Courtright, assistance is helpful when launching a small boat, but early limits are possible for those trolling blade/’crawler combinations, Speedy Shiners, or Needlefish at 3 to 4 colors of lead core near the shorelines. 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 3 Surf Perch 2

Captain Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat reported continued limits of Dungeness crab with 24 limits on Sunday after posting 31 limits of crab on Saturday. He said, “There has been very little commercial pressure, but the majority of our crab have been sport-grade. There are a few areas thinning out, and we moved some gear on Sunday. On Saturday, we had a group from the Southside Anglers who wanted ling cod, and we went south to Ano Nuevo for 31 lings in short order working shallow water from 60 to 97 feet. We went back south to Pescadero on Sunday, and the action was a bit slower than anticipated, but we did get in a decent number of lings and rockfish.” Mattusch is running every day this week, but the weather doesn’t look too good starting with Wednesday before clearing up over the coming weekend.

Captain Dennis Baxter of the New Captain Pete will be switching over to commercial crabbing for the season, and he will be selling live crab on the weekends at the docks.

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 Sand Dabs 2 Surf Perch 2

Chris Arcolleo of Chris’s Fishing Trips in Monterey reported crab action has improved in shallower water from 160 to 200 feet, but there are still crab out in deeper water. The Check Mate returned with 97 crab on the 17th, and their last trip to Point Sur produced ling cod to 35 pounds with a number of lings over 20 pounds. They have a trip to Sur scheduled for Wednesday, but the weather doesn’t look cooperative. They are sold out through the weekend.

reported a slow down on the crab on Sunday with 22 limits of rockfish, 5 lings, and 39 crab, but Saturday was more productive for the crustaceans with 78 crab, 24 limits of rockfish, and 5 lings. They are running to Point Sur on a rockfish/ling cod trip only- information (831) 375-5951.

Allen Bushnell of the Santa Cruz Kayak Fishing and Surfcasting Guide Service said, “So far, the season is strong and steady, with most crabbers averaging three to five legal crab per pot. The six-pack charter boat Miss Beth offers “crab combo” trips, pulling pots early then finishing the day pursuing rockfish and lingcod. Owner Beth Norton reports from last Saturday saying, “We pulled six of the 30 pots which yielded 48 crab. One pot had 19 beauties. We were done crabbing by 9 a.m. Captain JT then took the clients to the Davenport area where they caught near limits of a variety of quality rock fish. The afternoon charter found the ling cod landing four nice ones.”

Boats from Monterey and Moss Landing reported limits of rockfish and good numbers of lingcod this week, with combo trips averaging around five Dungeness per angler.

Commercial Dungeness season opened at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday November 15. This year, the entire coast opens at the same time with the exception of the area from Bodega Bay north to the Mendocino County line, due to unacceptable levels of domoic acid from tested crabs in that region.

In some previous years, much of Northern California was closed to crabbing due to the domoic acid problem. Unable to fish close to home, commercial crabbers from as far away as Oregon were dropping pots in Monterey Bay, creating tremendous pressure on the biomass in our area. Thankfully, this year the commercial boats can crab closer to their home ports, leaving a greater number of crab here for the local fleet.

In a bold move, the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations filed suit today in California State Superior Court against 30 fossil fuel companies alleging accountability of that industry for the crab closures of the past four years as well as mitigation efforts for the future. Domoic acid is created by algal blooms fostered by vast areas of warm water sitting offshore. Climate change is the reason for the unnaturally high water temperatures and fossil fuel companies are the culprits, according to the PCFFA.”

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

San Francisco Bay

Striper 3 Rockfish 3 Leopard shark 3 Sturgeon 2 Crab 3

Mike Aughney of said, “This report is starting to follow the lines of the movie Ground Hog Day. It’s a tad different everyday but the overall story remains the same only it's limits of crabs and rockfish all around. The Emeryville Sport Center had 6 boats out each day this weekend and all reported limits. On Sunday, they had a total of 151 limits of Farallon Island rockfish adding 53 bonus lings to 20 pounds. They also took 151 limits of BIG crabs to three plus pounds. The weather was flat calm today and conditions look good through Tuesday. They have some limited room this week with lots of space available next week. We expect limits will remain the rule into December with the high amount of just under commercial grade crabs in the mix.”

Tom and Nick Robinson, owners of National Fire Systems, Inc., took their company, friends and customers out for a day of fishing and crabbing aboard the Happy Hooker out of Berkeley. The group of 27 came back from the Farallon Islands with limits of both rockfish and big crab.

In the bay, the striped bass bite has been solid around the Marin Islands, the Brickyard, Red Rock, and Paradise in San Pablo Bay with swimbaits for casters, sitting on the anchor with shrimpbaits, drifting with live mudsuckers, or trolling with Loch Lomond worm-tailed jigs.

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

The Endeavor out of Morro Bay Landing had a spectacular ling cod count on Sunday with 44 lings to 20 pounds as part of a combined 300 vermilion, 15 coppers, 15 Boccaccio, 5 Bolina, 165 assorted, and 2 more lings on the Avenger on Sunday. On Saturday, the Patriot, Flying Fish, and Phenix out of Patriot Sport Fishing out of Port San Luis scored 44 vermilion, 23 copper, 2 Boccaccio, 469 assorted rockfish, 2 canary, and 11 ling cod to 9 pounds. Daniel Pimentel of Fresno won the jackpot with an 8-pound ling on a private charter on the Flying Fish. Out of Virg’s Landing in Morro Bay, the Fiesta checked in with 31 limits of rockfishs on Monday composed of 10 vermilion, 280 assorted rockfish, 12 copper, and 8 canary rockfish to go with 3 ling cod.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 2 Striper 3 Sturgeon 3 Catfish 2 Bluegill 2 Salmon 2

Salmon are still moving through the Sacramento-Delta, and the north Delta near Freeport is still producing some quality, chrome fish for the few anglers still trying ,while striped bass and sturgeon fishing is taking over. This week’s anticipated rain will only enhance the bite for all species as the water temperatures should be dropping a few more degrees towards the mid-50’s.

Johnny Tran of New Romeo’s Bait and Tackle in Freeport said, “There are still salmon coming through, and they have been big and bright for the few fishermen trying. Brad’s Cut Plugs behind an 11-inch E-chip dodger with a Good Day release remain the top set up, but there are a few anglers anchoring with Kwikfish and picking up fish. Sturgeon are showing up on greater numbers around Hood and also in Cache and Prospect Sloughs with eel/pile worm or eel/nightcrawler combinations along with grass shrimp solo. Striped bass are in the Sacramento Deep Water Channel or around Liberty Island with live mudsuckers or jumbo minnows, but anchovies coated with garlic spray are also working. There are also crappie around Liberty Island, Cache Slough, and Prospect Sloughs with small minnows or minijigs.”

Alan Fong, manager of the Fishermen’s Warehouse in Sacramento, said, “The majority of stripers are holding around Sherman Island and Collinsville on the Sacramento River, and they haven’t come up north in numbers yet. This week’s rain will help move the stripers around.”

For sturgeon, Captain Steve Mitchell of Hook’d Up Sport Fishing found great action outside of Pittsburg on Saturday, saying, “Today's trip was nothing short of pure adrenaline as we had two anglers that had the boat to themselves as two others did not show up. They ended up with a terrific day with two slot-limit sturgeon along with releasing 6 shakers. The bigger tides this week have been much better for sturgeon activity. I cancelled this week as the tides were just not right, but there is more water movement over the weekend and we have been able to work both the shallow and deep water.”

Captain Zach Medinas of Gatecrasher Fishing Adventures, also out of Pittsburg, took out a group of 5 anglers on Saturday who were all in their 70’s, and they were amazed at the action with 3 oversized, two big slot-limit sturgeon, and one shaker released on salmon roe in the Suisun Bay area. Medinas said, “The concentration of sturgeon at Pittsburg is starting to dissipate so I decided further downstream to see what we can find.”

For striped bass, Kris Huff of Stockton threw Delta Wood Bombers all day long on Saturday, and he said, “It’s not very often that the little lake inside of the Delta pays off of me, but we found 12 to 15 stripers from 8 to 16 pounds inside of Sherman Lake.”

Bill Crooks of Sacramento went out early in the week with Ron Retzlaff and Mike Steer for limits of a smaller grade of striped bass. Crooks said, “After leaving out of Brannon Island at 6:30 a.m., we trolled 9 to 10 spots from Three Mile Slough to Chain Island on the Sacramento side and found fish in most of the locations while fishing either shallow or deep, depending on the location. If we didn’t get fish in one spot heading downstream, we found them on the way back to the launch. We also had three double and three triples, keeping limits to 5 pounds.”

Jeff Boyle of Bass Pro Shops in Manteca took Steve Wirfs of Ripon out for a combination trolling and bait fishing adventure, and they found great action soaking fresh shad from H and R Bait in Stockton in the San Joaquin River after trolling for an hour in Broad Slough for slow action. Boyle said, “We had steady action once we anchored in 30 feet of water around Chain Island.”

This week’s anticipated rain will only enhance the already good striped bass action on the western edge of the San Joaquin River

Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, reported a solid striped bass bite for a small grade of legal lineside near the Port of Stockton. He said, “The birds were sitting down and not working the bait, but we searched around and found them in tight groups. There were a number of sea lions under the docks on the south side of the channel, and some of the sea lions jumped over 4 feet out of the water to reach the docks at low tide. The following day, we found a good topwater bite with the new ima Little Stick Saltwater version in Sardine, and although this lure has heavier hooks, you still have to replace them after landing several stripers. There were more birds diving the following day, and the stripers were far more active. I am heading out on Thursday to work the flats on the San Joaquin as the fish are holding along the ledges and in the weeds. I plan on using the Bad Bubba Shad swimbait behind a Popping Cork which is a redfish technique that I learned in Louisiana. The Popping Cork is attached to braid line on a spinning reel, and you lob it out there like a surf rod. The cork is just like bluegill fishing as you will watch the cork go down like a bobber, and the cork also keeps the lure out of the weeds.” Most of the stripers were in the 3-pound range.

Steve Santucci of Steve Santucci’s Fly Fishing Guide Service reported on Lost Coast Outfitters – “The Delta fishing was more challenging this last week, as the wind made it tougher to find fish. The water temps have been stable around 63 degrees. This will soon change as we transition into winter. I think the change will spark feeding activity and result in improved fishing conditions.“

Mike Pipkens of Gotcha Bait in Antioch said, “I am just weighing in a limit of striped bass at 11 and 13 pounds on live mudsuckers in the San Joaquin. We have sold a ton of mudsuckers over the weekend along with fresh shad. Big Break has been a good location for striped bass. Sturgeon are coming in numbers on grass shrimp, ghost shrimp, and even on shad for those targeting striped bass. Crappie are biting small minnows in Discover Bay along the docks on a one-fourth ounce barrel weight. Fishing has been fantastic hear, and anglers are still getting red ear perch as we sold 25 dozen minnows over the weekend.”

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 2 Striper 2 Catfish 2 Crappie 3

At Nacimiento, the colder temperatures have scattered both the spotted and white bass, and the best action has been in deeper water with finesse techniques such as plastics on a shakey-head, drop-shot, Texas-rig, or dart-head in deeper water. Shad are starting to congregate into the coves. White bass are also scarce, but schools can be found for those searching. for eating fish from Nacimiento due to excessive levels of mercury. Catfish are found on dip or stink baits. 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, there hasn’t been much change as catfish continue to be the top species with the other species remaining slow at best. The whiskerfish are taken on cut baits, Triple S Blood Formula dip bait, or chicken livers. Bass fishing remains slow with a few fish taken on plastics on Texas-rigs on the drop-shot. Launching at the Harris Ramp is still a possibility, but the Lynch Ramp remains closed. At Lopez, bass fishing remains good for experienced anglers with finesse techniques of plastics on the drop-shot or best with finesse techniques of plastics on the drop-shot or Texas-rig along with jigs or Senkos depths from 10 to 20 feet, but there is a reaction bite when the wind is blowing with spinnerbaits or jerkbaits. 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 27 feet, but crappie fishing remains slow. A webcam of the lake is available at At Santa Margarita, numbers of a small grade of bass are possible with plastics on the drop-shot or Texas-rig, or weightless Senkos, but there is a reaction bite with chatterbaits, underspins, swimbaits, or spinnerbaits. Catfishing remains best with mackerel, anchovies, or chicken livers. 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



American Bass Association: Nov. 17 at New Melones – 1, Jason Remmers/Alex Niapas, 24.60 (Big Fish 8.65); 2, Danny Gillespie/Mike Taylor, 15.65; 3, Brian Bertolotti/Jerrenda Oliver, 15.05.

Sierra Bass Club: Nov. 17 at Eastman – 1, Carlos Contreras Jr., 7.58; 2, Michael Murphy, 7.18; 3, Jamal Lane, 6.31. Big Fish – Martin DeHaven, 3.46.

Clovis Police Foundation: Nov. 17 at Pine Flat – 1, Gary Wasson/Joe Baeza, 22.11; 2, Mark Corrente/John Albidrez, 10.65; 3, Xang Vang/Fang Xiong, 10.30.

Fresno Bass Club: Nov. 18 at McClure – 1, Ron Red, 10.73; 2, Joe Alanis, 10.10; 3, Mark Corrente, 9.06 (Big Fish 2.45).


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

Trout plants

by California Department of Fish and Wildlife scheduled week of Nov. 25

Kern County: Kern River, sections 4 and 5

Tulare County: Kern River, sections 5 and 6

Solunar table









































f = full moon > = peak activity