Hunting Fishing

Fishing report for week of Jan. 23-29 | Eastman bass bite rebounds, McSwain trout hitting

Scenes along local rivers

Scenes of people fishing and enjoying both the San Joaquin River and the Kings River
Up Next
Scenes of people fishing and enjoying both the San Joaquin River and the Kings River

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.

Photo gallery

Show off your success! Share your fish photos and videos with Bee readers. Please share only jpeg images and Mp4 video files. Include “Fishing Report” in the subject line and email to

Best bets

San Francisco sturgeon bite takes off, Keith Fraser said. South Valley Aqueduct stripers on tap, Pete Cormier reported. Eastman bass bite rebounds, Jake Figgs said. San Luis stripers hitting, Mickey Clements said. McClure bass numbers good and Don Pedro bass going, Ryan Cook reported. McSwain trout on good bite, Steve Marquette said.


1-Try dynamite

2-Have to work hard

3-Limits possible

4-Fish jumpin’ in boat


Delta Mendota Canal and Sloughs

Striper 4 Catfish 2

The northern section of the aqueduct has been quiet this past week, perhaps due to the inclement weather, but there is plenty of water movement in the aqueduct. With the water movement, the bait should accumulate close to the headgates, and the stripers will not be far behind when the water is moving. Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield reported continued excellent striped bass fishing in the Kern County section of the California Aqueduct, and large and jumbo minnows along with flukes or tubes are all working for the linesides.

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

Jake Figgs of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “The largemouth bass bite is starting to pick up again with fish over 3 pounds. Dragging swim jigs near the rock piles close to the dam and along the deeper humps at 45 to 50 feet are working along with a vertical presentation with ice jigs.” The water clarity is getting dinghy from the recent rainfall, and the river arm should heat up with the inflow. The lake rose from 42 to 47 percent.

Call: Eastman Lake 689-3255

Hensley Lake

Bass 2 Trout 2 Catfish 2 Bluegill 2 Crappie 2

The bass bite continues to be slow with few anglers targeting the lake. Most area fishermen are heading to Eastman as the top option in the area. With the low lake conditions, the big motor is hard to use due to hazards, and most boaters are using their trolling motors to get around. The lake rose from 18 to 23 percent.

Call: Valley Rod Gun, Clovis 292-3474

Lake Don Pedro

Bass 3 Trout 2 Kokanee 1 King salmon 1 Crappie 2

Don Pedro hosted the Best Bass Tournament on Saturday, and the bite was solid with 55 limits weighed in out of the 60 participating teams with 19-year old Christian Ostrander teaming with Ronnie Heil for the first-place limit at 18.51 pounds with a big kicker fish at 7.10 pounds.

Ryan Cook of Ryan Cook’s Fishing had a spectacular trip earlier in the week in stormy weather with Michael Bryan and Ryan Orozco of Dos Palos, and he said, “I like to keep saying, nasty weather equals big fish, and it was just one of those days with the bass came into the shallows. We still had to fish slow as we only landed one largemouth bass on a River2Sea Swaver 200, but every thing else came on the bottom with jigs or plastics on the drop-shot at depths from 5 to 25 feet with Nevada Bretz Fatty Worms. The larger Florida-strain largemouth bass want a slow presentation right now as the reaction bite has been slow. I have been focusing around shallow rock right now as we haven’t seen the shad schools, and few bass are spitting up shad. Most of the bass seem to be feeding on crawdads as the bait is scattered out. As a result, I am working over rock in the main lake.”

Kevin Cheek, Best Bass Tournament Mother Lode director, said, tournament director, said, “Slow, slow, and slower as the story, and if you think you were going slow, you probably weren’t going slow enough. Swimbaits, jigs, or plastic worms were working, but everything was very deep from 60 to 120 feet.”

To protect the main body of Don Pedro Lake from floating debris, part of the Tuolumne River and Moccasin Creek channels have been boomed off. The rest of the lake is open.

The lake rose slightly to 73 percent.

Call: Monte Smith 209-581-4734; Ryan Cook – Ryan Cook’s Fishing 691-7008

Lake Isabella/Bakersfield area

Bass 2 Trout 2 Crappie 2 Catfish 2 Bluegill 2

Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield said, “There hasn’t been much going on at Lake Isabella over the past few weeks, but construction on the dam repairs is expected to start within the next few months. The Kern Valley Chamber of Commerce Lake Isabella Trout Derby is scheduled for April 13-15, and registrations are being taken. There is a total prize pool of $26,544 and counting, and all top five positions will pay double with the purchase of a T-shirt or hoodie. Online registration is open, and registration is available at, then proceed to Calendar & Events, and click on Isabella Lake Fishing Derby Link. Catfish remain the top species with Triple S Dip Bait, frozen shad, nightcrawlers, or chicken livers. The lake rose slightly to 13 percent. The upper Kern River near Kernville will be planted for the next two weeks, and action is decent in the deeper holes with live crickets, salmon eggs, Roostertails, Panther Martins, or nightcrawlers.

Another 500-pound plant is scheduled at Lake Ming sometime this spring, but it will be the only local lake planted by the Department of Fish and Wildlife. Buena Vista is planted by concessionaires on a bimonthly basis.

Call: Bob’s Bait Bucket 661-833-8657; North Fork Marina 760-376-1812; Golden Trout Pack Station 542-2816

Lake Kaweah

Bass 2 Crappie 2 Trout 2 Catfish 2

There are several bass tournaments scheduled for the lake early in 2019, and typical of its nature of filling quickly, the lake rose from 14 to 17 percent in the past week. A slow presentation in deep water continues to be the top technique, but there are signs that the bass are moving shallower. Plastics on the drop-shot or jigs remain the best option. Mooney Grove Park near Visalia is to be planted with trout this week.

Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212

Lake Success

Bass 2 Trout 2 Catfish 2 Crappie 2 Bluegill 2

Bass fishing remains slow overall with the fish holding in deep water, but a dead stick presentation with plastics on the drop-shot or dart head remains the best option in deep water. Ice jigs or spoons are also a good possibility. The lake rose from 14 to 19 percent.

Call: Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626,

McClure Reservoir

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

Lake McClure continues to produce numbers of spotted bass, and the team of Alex Niapas and Jason Remmers seems to have the key to the lake as they posted the second limit over 30 pounds in the past few weeks to take Saturday’s Merced Bass Club Tournament, winning the event by a whopping 17 pounds. While McClure is producing numbers, New Melones is a good option for both size and numbers.

Ryan Cook of Ryan Cook’s Fishing was on a half-day guide trip on Sunday with Nick and George Morrow, and he said, “We still caught and released 30 bass on the half-day trip, and right now is the time to go as it is the best time to catch numbers. Everything is on the bottom with plastics or jigs, and we scored with either 6-inch Nevada Bretz’s Fatty Worms on a quarter-ounce dart head or a Fatty Worm’s shakey head with 4- to 5-inch Senkos at depths from 20 to 50 feet. There were a few shallow fish, but most everything came deep. Bait has been hard to find, and I have been working over rock as the bait is scattered and seems to be hunkered down on the bottom.”

Call: Ryan Cook – Ryan Cook’s Fishing 691-7008

McSwain Reservoir

Trout 3

Steve Marquette of the Lake McSwain/Lake McClure Recreation Company reported good action from the shoreline with Roosterails or blue/silver Kastmasters as the lake remains relatively clear. The Brush Pile, cabins, and the Handicapped Docks are the top locations. A trout plant from the Calaveras Trout Farm in Snelling is anticipated in the near future.

Call: McSwain Marina 209-378-2534

Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River

Bass 2 Striped bass 1 Shad 1 Bluegill 2 Crappie 2

Jake Figgs of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “At Millerton, Figgs said, “The bite has slowed down quite a bit, and the bass seem to have moved out into deep water with the recent storms. Fishermen are using line as light as 4 to 6 pounds with plastics on the drop-shot to get down to 45 to 50 feet where the bass are holding. I went off of the bank at Sky Harbor, and I landed bass at 2 and 3 pounds on a Strike King Rage Chunk. It is hard to get deep enough from the banks right now.”

Millerton rose slightly to 59 percent.

Call: Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474

New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch

Bass 2 Crappie 2 Catfish 2 Trout 2 Kokanee 1

Conditions are similar at New Melones to McClure, but John Liechty of Xperience Fishing Guide Service was able to catch and release an 8-pound largemouth bass on a big glidebait in the shallows on Thursday morning. He said, “I was out for a half-day just trying to find some big fish on big baits, but the best action for numbers continues in deeper water from 30 to 50 feet with jigs or plastics on the drop-shot or shakey head. The bait is smacked down to the bottom, and plastics in crawdad patterns of oxblood, green pumpkin, or brown are working best. The bite is hit or miss, and you really have to watch your rod to see the line move off slowly.” Kenji Nakagawa of Lodi also caught and released a quality spot on a rainbow-trout patterned swimbait said the big fish are there for those willing to work hard for a few quality bites.

The lake rose to 77 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 2 Trout 2 Kokanee 0 King salmon 0 Catfish 2 Crappie 2

Pine Flat and Millerton toughened up over the past week with Pine Flat being the most consistent of the two low-elevation reservoirs east of Fresno. Pine Flat hosted two tournaments over the weekend with the Sierra Bass Club out of Clovis on Saturday, and the Fresno Bass Club on Saturday.

Morgan Swisher of the Fresno Bass Club said, “It was a tough bite on Sunday with 10 limits to 9.64 pounds weighed in out of 20 anglers, and Larry Lutz took first place and also big fish at 3.75 pounds.”

Jake Figgs of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “The bite at Pine Flat has been consistent with limits in the 10- to 13-pound range with Ryan Reynolds taking first place during Saturday’s Sierra Bass Club tournament with over 13 pounds including a big fish at 5.03 pounds on a Ned-rig. The big fish are still found in the river arm with jigs on crawdad patterns including green pumpkin at depths from 35 to 40 feet. There hasn’t been much going on in the creeks with run off, but the action is far better in the river arm than in the main lake.”

In the lower Kings, a plant of brooder rainbows spurred on the bite, particularly in the ‘catch and release’ section from Alta Weir downstream. In section below the dam, Winton Park or the first bridge below the dam has been kicking out planters with salmon eggs, nightcrawlers, or trout dough bait. Chuck Stokke of the Sequoia Fishing Company in Springville caught and released a trophy rainbow below the Weir on the fly.

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

San Luis Reservoir and O’Neill Forebay

Striper 3 Catfish 2 Bass 2 Crappie 1

San Luis Reservoir remains a consistent producer for striped bass fishermen in the Central Valley, but the weather conditions have been a challenge over the past week of wind and rain.

Travis Porter of Hollister was out on Sunday with K.C, Wilson, and he reported a decent bite for 9 stripers working the shallower water coves with JKings Lures jerkbaits. He said, “The fish were suspended in deeper water, but the deep fish didn’t want to bite.”

Jesus Reyes Silva of Hollister and Ivan Ramos of Fresno were throwing JKings Lures topwater baits in the morning on Saturday, and they found epic action on the surface working the coves. They reported that they landed over 50 stripers-with several in the 20 pound class- topped by a 30, that was the 4 th consecutive new PB that day for Ivan. All fish were released they said. .

Roger George of Roger George Guide Service said that he fished the lake right before the storm and the deeper trolling bite was off. “It was a prefrontal condition with clouds coming in and we were lucky to get 12 fish to 23 inches in a half day trip. The weather windows are the key to the bites right now.” George said. George is doing his Downrigging 101 for Stripers class Thursday evening at Sportsman’s Warehouse on Friant Road in Fresno. Preregistration required. Class limited 20 students. Cost $50. Call 905-2954.

Mickey Clements of Coyote Bait and Tackle said, “The weather has been the limiting factor, but boaters are still out dropping jumbo minnows or trolling Lucky Craft Pointer 120s in Ayu or American Shad. The fish have gone deeper from 40 to 80 feet.

In the forebay, Clements reported a number of fishermen are congregated on the Highway 33 side along the rockwall along with the old launch ramp at the Medieros Day Use Area. He said, “There is a steeper channel near the launch ramp, and fishermen are casting into the deeper water.”

The lake rose to 81 percent due to increased pumping out of the south Delta.

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

bass lake
David Aquino shows off his recent stringer caught at Bass Lake. courtesy David Aquino Special to The Bee

High Sierra

Bass Lake

Bass 2 Trout 2 Kokanee 0

The launch ramp is more accessible as the water level has risen to 58 percent, and launching a boat is possible with plenty of concrete on one side of the ramp, but the dock is out of the water, requiring boaters to enter the vessel at the beach. The Sheriff’s Motor Fee is required all year-long now. The bass bite is decent for quality largemouth or spotted bass with a slow presentation using plastics on a wacky- or Ned-Rig at depths from 25 to 30 feet. The bass are feeding primarily on crawdads with patterns such as Purple Ghost working.

Edison/Florence/Mammoth Pool

Snow in the high country slowed down any interest in fishing in the Kaiser Pass region or the difficult to access high country as the road is closed for the winter. 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

Despite five inches of rain along with some periods of snow, Shaver Lake continues to attract a few boaters.

Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters said, “The fishing has been slow with few boats on the lake, and following this last series of storms, there was only two boats on the lake. One boat was a regular Shaver troller from Fresno who picked up a nice rainbow at 14 inches after leaving the Sierra Marina launch ramp, but he never landed another fish for the rest of the day.

Tom Oliviera of Tom Oliviera Fishing was out with his friend, Dr. Potter from Tulare, and he said, “We fished in 40.7-degree water and landed a total of six fish. We trolled along the dam to Road 2, around the point towards the houses and then back. The fish were hard to mark, but we didn’t spend a lot of time searching. Dr. Potter and I used mini Mag Tackle’s pink or orange hoochies behind a Stealth Dodger in similar colors.

Nichols, Todd Wittwer of Guide Service, and Oliviera will present a seminar on Shaver Lake trolling techniques for rainbow trout and kokanee at the new Turner’s Outdoorsman on North Blackstone Avenue in Fresno from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Feb. 28.

Boaters intending on heading up the hill to Shaver Lake need to check the launch ramp conditions via the webcam of the Sierra Marina launch ramp is available at The lake rose to 53 percent.

Call: Dick Nichols, Dick’s Fishing Charters 281-6948; Todd Wittwer, Guide Service 288-8100; Dinkey Creek Inn 841-3435


Road conditions to both lakes have been affected by the recent winter storms, and the gate at Dinkey Creek is closed, eliminating access to both Wishon and Courtright.

Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361


Half Moon Bay

Striper 2 Crab 2

The first break in the weather for the past two weeks happened over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, and Captain Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat took advantage of the weather to head out with 8 anglers on Saturday, Jan. 19.

The Huli Cat remains the only large party boat running sand dab/crab combination trips out of Half Moon Bay, and he said, “We picked up 458 sand dabs for 8 anglers, and I also managed a rod for a short period to help out with the overall count. We started out at 270 feet for the sand dabs and then moved out to 300 to 307 feet for the petrale sole. It is such a gradual slope out there that it takes a mile or two to drop 30 feet in depth. Once we got out into deeper water, we started picking up petrale sole, and we ended up with a handful of sole. Crabbing was no problem, and we averaged around 8 to 11 legal crab per pots. There were a couple of pots that came up empty, but these were the exception.”

Out of Half Moon Bay Sport Fishing, the party boats will focus on nature trips along with whale watching in the interim months before the rockfish and salmon seasons are anticipated to open in April. Captain Jerad Davis of the Salty Lady will also be running whale watching trips on Saturdays and Sundays through April.

Dungeness crab are still available from the commercial boats in the harbor, and Captain Dennis Baxter of the New Captain Pete is selling live crab off of the boat on the weekends.

Further north in Pacifica, rough weather has kept the pier closed on occasion, and the overall size of crowds has diminished, particularly during the week. Rock crab along with the occasional Dungeness crab are taken on snares loaded with squid, anchovies, or sardines. The pier is open daily from 4 a.m. through 10 p.m., weather depending.

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

Monterey/Santa Cruz

Striper 2 Crab 3 Sand Dabs 2 Surf Perch 2

Light loads on the sand dab/crab combination trips are leading to near 10-crab limits on the Check Mate. Over the weekend from Friday through Sunday, the Check Mate posted plenty of sand dabs along with 160 crab for 23 anglers for nearly 8 crab/angler. Chris’s will run the combo trips through April, weather and interest permitting.

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

San Francisco Bay

Halibut 2 Striper 2 Leopard shark 2 Sturgeon 3

As predicted by Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle, San Pablo Bay went off over the weekend highlighted by Ron Davis of Novato and Joe Mockle of Woodacre who landed seven legal sturgeon to 59.5 inches along with 7 legal striped bass to 10 pounds. Fraser said, “The sturgeon were all in the 40 to 48-inch range, and they went out and took advantage of the afternoon outgoing tide. Fishing is just fabulous right now, and the only fly in the ointment is the number of small striped bass picking at the bait. The action has been happening from the Pumphouse to Sonoma Creek with nothing above the Richmond/San Rafael Bridge.”

Captain Trent Slate of Bite Me Charters had two spectacular days for sturgeon action on Friday and Saturday with 3 legal sturgeon on Friday with a 58.5 incher by himself along with Erik Castillo of Novato and Geoff Knight of Marin following up with legal sturgeon on shrimp baits. He went back out on Saturday, and it was slow in the morning, but he said, “Wait, we will get one in the next 20 to 40 minutes, and Koji Takahashi of Novato landed his first legal sturgeon. I was going to go out on Sunday morning, but the wind was coming out of the south at 20 knots, and it was ugly. Hopefully, the wind will lay down on Monday.”

Captain Steve Talmadge of Flash Sport Fishing took out two visitors from Wyoming to San Francisco on the Flash II to San Pablo Bay on Saturday, and they released a pair of sturgeon, one near the lower slot limit, along with a leopard shark and a seven-gill shark. He said, “I thought the fresh water would push the sharks out of San Pablo Bay, but I was wrong. They bit eel which also surprised my, and everything was at the end of the flood tide into the slack. I had heard about the good bite in San Pablo Bay so I decided to take the Flash II out which is docked in San Francisco.”

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

Nature and whale watching trips along with the occasional sand dab/crab trip will be on the schedule throughout January, February, and March until the rockfish season opens once again in April. Virg’s Landing has posted their prices for the coming rockfish season, and the outstanding two-day trips with meals included are a bargain at $340. Two limits are a possibility on these trips to the lightly-harvested grounds north of Morro Bay. A reverse overnight with meals included is $245, an overnight is $175, full day $95, 3/4 day $75, and half day $65.

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



Bass 2 Striper 2 Sturgeon 2 Catfish 2 Bluegill 2

The Diamond Classic ‘Catch and Release’ Derby is next Saturday, and anglers can get ready for the event by reserving bait at their favorite bait shops. The bait shops will be able to meet the heavy demand over the weekend of the Diamond Classic and the Super Bowl Derby if they can prepare with bait reservations.

Mike Pipkins of Gotcha Bait in Antioch is one shop that will not take pre-paid bait reservations, but he plans on having 250 pounds of grass shrimp available in the shop to take care of his regular customers along with derby entrants. He said, “I normally sell up to 180 pounds of grass shrimp on the Super Bowl Derby weekend, and I plan on having even more this year. This is some of the best grass shrimp coming out of the south bay that I have seen in years. When the tides level out this week, the bite will be really good as the window has been small with the fish biting only when the tide slows down for around an hour or so. However, when the window comes, you better have baits lined up. Striped bass fishing is best with cut baits right now in the stained water, and sturgeon fishing has been best from Pittsburg to Rio Vista and even near Isleton on the Old Sacramento River. Buoy 31, the Big Cut, and the Little Cut have also been good locations for sturgeon.”

Tony Lopez of Benicia Bait reported heavy interest over the weekend with high sales of grass shrimp. He said, “We are taking bait reservations for the derbies, and we plan on loading up with ghost shrimp and grass shrimp in addition to the normal frozen baits.”

Captain Steve Talmadge of Flash Fishing went into San Pablo Bay on Saturday instead of his normal haunts near the Benicia/Martinez Bridge, and he is the primary organizer of this weekend’s 13thannual Diamond Classic Catch & Release Sturgeon Derby out of the Martinez Marina. He said, “Everyone is waiting to see what the weather will be before entering, and it looks like the weather will be good through Friday.” A pre-derby seminar will take place at La Tapatia Restaurant on Main Street in Martinez from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Friday, January 25. Several six-pack and party boat captains will participate in the seminar including Talmadge.

The following weekend, the 35th Annual Foundation Sportsman’s Club Original, aka ‘Super Bowl’ Sturgeon Derby will be held on Saturday, February 2 starting at 7:00 a.m. to Sunday, February 3 at 1:00 p.m. The entry fee is $30.00 with a deadline of 7:00 a.m. on February 2. The target-length will be the same for both days, and it will be announced on Saturday morning at 7:00 a.m. All persons in the boat must be entered in the derby as bank fishing is not allow, and no one entered in the derby is to fish on Friday, February 1 until Saturday at 7:00 a.m. All fish must be alive and must be measured at the Sportsman’s Club at McAvoy’s Boat Harbor in Bay Point. The bait shop at McAvoy’s has changed hands, but the new owners are committed to being open for the weekend of the Super Bowl Derby as McAvoy’s is ground zero for the derby.

Several six-pack boats are option for both derbies, and the Happy Hooker, the only large party boat focusing on sturgeon, has relocated from the bay to Martinez Marina for the sturgeon season.

With the arrival of muddy water loaded with debris, sturgeon are showing up on the western edge of the San Joaquin-Delta. Largemouth bass fishing requires a slow finesse presentation, but there are indicators of an improving reaction bite. Striped bass fishing is best with cut baits in the muddy water.

For largemouth bass, Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, said, “I expect the striped bass to move further inwards as the water warms from these southerly storms, but the water needs to clear in order to find a reaction bite. For largemouth bass, the key is to work areas with current and weeds with the weeds waving in the current. If the weeds are pulled over too far, the current is too strong. Keeping your bait in the strike zone as long as possible with baits with scent such as the Bottom Hopper with Max Scent on a Zappu head is working best along with a slow presentation with ripbaits such as the ima Flit 120 in American Shad or Olive Herring.”

Dan Mathisen of Dan’s Delta Outdoors in Oakley said, “For some reason, we have been selling a number of umbrella rigs this past week, and I think anglers are wanting to throw out a bunch of white baits out there. The southern area of the Delta from Orwood into Discovery Bay seems to be the top location for largemouth bass. Our first tournament of the season is this coming weekend at Russo’s Marina on Bethel Island, and I expect to host between 30 and 50 boats for this event.”

Fresh shad won’t be available for a few months, but most bait shops have plenty of frozen shad in the freezers.

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 2

At Nacimiento, lake has risen significantly within the past week from 17 to 29 percent with heavy inflow from the Nacimiento River. The marina has already been pulled back to the shoreline, and it is accessible by land now. The Best Bass Tournaments held at tournament on Saturday with the team of Damon Meeks and Jay Short taking first with a winning weight of 11.53 pounds. The best techniques for the spotted bass are plastics on the drop-shot, spoons, and underspins. Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield reported numbers of small spotted bass are the rule. White bass action remains slow. A webcam of the lake is available at At Santa Margarita, the catfish bite is on the upswing with the inflow into the lake, and cut mackerel or anchovies are working best for the whiskerfish around the muddy, sloping banks. Bass fishing is fair at best with jigs or crankbaits for size while numbers are best with plastics on the drop-shot or Texas-rig. A webcam of the lake is available at

At San Antonio, the lake rose from 13 to 16 percent, and the inclement weather has limited the number of fishermen during the past week. Bass fishing is slow with the best action on plastics on the drop-shot or jigs in deep water. Launching at the Harris Ramp is still a possibility, but the Lynch Ramp remains closed. Lopez is decent for quality largemouth bass with deep cranks or jigs while numbers are taken on plastics on the drop-shot, split-shot, or dart-head with 4- to 6-inch worms. With the colder water temperatures, the panfish bite has slowed. 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



Best Bass Tournaments: Jan. 19 at Don Pedro – 1, Christian Ostrander/Ronnie Heil, 18.51 pounds (Big Fish 7.10); 2, Anthony and Norval Pimentel, 16.35; 3, Bryan Kane/Heath Lane, 15.03. Jan. 19 at Nacimiento – 1, Damon Meeks/Jay Short, 11.53; 2, Graham Grove/Brandon Colombo, 11.07; 3, John and Erik Zillig, 9.77.

Merced Bass Club: Jan. 19 at McClure – 1, Alex Niapas/Jason Remmers, 31.48 (Big Fish 7.10); 2, Robbie Wain/Jaimie Porter, 14.36; 3, Seth Rowe, 11.26.

Sierra Bass Club: Jan. 19 at Pine Flat – 1, Ryan Reynolds, 13.05; 2, Caesar Gonzalez, 10.95 (Big Fish 5.55); 3, Tony Hunt, 8.75.

Fresno Bass Club: Jan. 20 at Pine Flat – 1, Larry Lutz, 9.64 (Big Fish 3.75); 2, Corey Squires, 8.35; 3, Mark Corrente, 7.79.


Jan. 24: Downrigging 101 for Stripers at Fresno Sportsman’s Warehouse, 6-8 p.m., limited to 20 students, cost $50, info: 905-2954

Jan. 26: Delta/Russo’s Marina – Dan Mathisen Outdoors, Pine Flat – California Bass Nation, Nacimiento – Golden Empire Bass Club

Jan. 27: New Melones – Riverbank Bass Anglers

Feb. 2-3: Delta/McAvoy’s Boat Harbor in Bay Point – Foundation Sportsmen’s Club Original “Super Bowl” Sturgeon Derby

Feb. 2: Don Pedro – New Jen Bass Tournaments, McClure – Manteca Bassin’ Buddies/RiverRat Bass Club, Pine Flat – Cen Cal Elite Bass Tournaments/Kerman Bass Club, Santa Margarita – American Bass Association

Feb. 3: Pine Flat – Cen Cal Elite Bass Tournaments

Trout plants

Scheduled week of Jan. 27 by California Department of Fish and Wildlife:

Fresno County: Kings River below Pine Flat Dam, Woodward Park Lake

Kern County: Kern River section 4 and 5

Tulare County: Kern River sections 5 and 6

Solunar table









































q = quarter moon