Spring Trout Derby at Barrett Cove
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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Eastman bass bite improving, and Pine Flat bass staying hungry, Steve Newman reported. McClure bass hitting, Ryan Cook said. Southern Aqueduct stripers on a good bite, Pete Cormier reported. McSwain trout gulping bait, Steve Marquette said. San Luis stripers providing good action, Dave Hurley reported.
2-Have to work hard
4-Fish jumpin’ in boat
Delta Mendota Canal and Sloughs
Striper 3 Catfish 2
Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun reported decent action for striped bass with Rat-L-Traps or jerkbaits along the headgates with moving water. He said, “There is a lot of bait in the system, but the topwater bite hasn’t taken off yet. The Storm Wild Eye swimbait is another good option, and it is always popular in the aqueduct. Cut baits such as mackerel have also been working.”
In the southern section of the aqueduct in Kern County, Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield reported continued good striped bass fishing with swimbaits and Gitzits along with various types of cut baits.
Safety precautions at this time of year must be taken at all times as the calm waters of the aqueduct are deceptive as still waters can start flowing rapidly without warning, creating strong currents and turbulence. The concrete sides can be slippery with sand, algae, or gravel, making it nearly impossible to climb out without assistance. Float lines and safety ladders are spaced periodically along the sides, and the safety ladders are located at the end of float lines and along the canal 500 feet apart on alternate sides of the Aqueduct and marked by a yellow background painted on the concrete above the ladder.
Bass 3 Trout 2 Bluegill 2 Catfish 2 Crappie 2
Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “The largemouth bass bite is picking up as the bass are responding to the change in temperature. The fish are holding at depths from 15 to 30 feet off of the shoreline above submerged islands and in between the saddles. There is a spinnerbait and reaction bite in the shallows as the bass are holding in the flooded brush as an ambush point. The deeper fish are found on jigs with a big trailer or large plastics. The key is to stick with the fish until they are willing to bite.”
The lake has risen to 77 percent.
Call: Eastman Lake 689-3255
Bass 2 Trout 2 Catfish 2 Bluegill 2 Crappie 2
At Hensley, Newman said, “Bass action has been decent with jigs, creature baits, 6-inch plastics on a shakey head, or wacky Neko-rig as the fish are preferring a larger profile bait in the stained water with visibility from 5- to 8- feet. The average keeper fish is in the 1.5- to 3-pound range. The lake is back on the rise, coming up from 39 to 42 percent.
Lake Don Pedro
Bass 2 Trout 2 Kokanee 2 King salmon 1 Crappie 2
Trout fishing has been tough with experienced guides such as Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing struggling for a handful of rainbows despite having six rods in the water. There hasn’t been a pattern as they have taken trout on leadcore line with spoons, on the planer board with Rapalas, and on the downrigger at 20 feet. Ryan Cook of Ryan Cook’s Fishing said, “There is still a big population of bass in deep water, but the smaller bucks are in the shallows. The larger females must be out in deeper water in pre-spawn mode, but I think they will move up on the coming full moon. Glidebaits, tubes, Senkos, underspins, and plastics on a shakey head are all working.” Mike Gomez of Berserk Baits said, “The reaction bite for largemouth and spotted bass is improving, and ripbbaits, glidebaits, jigs, or plastics on the drop-shot are working, but the topwater bite has yet to emerge.” The water temperature ranges from 53 to 57 degrees, and the lake is warming up. The lake dropped slightly from 85 to 84 percent.
Lake Isabella/Bakersfield area
Bass 2 Trout 2 Crappie 2 Catfish 3 Bluegill 2
At Lake Isabella, Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield reported quality catfish have been found in the shallows in the South Fork with mackerel, but there have been few other reports. Trout plants will be released within the next five weeks in anticipation of the Kern Valley Chamber of Commerce Lake Isabella Trout Derby scheduled for April 13-15 with registrations are being taken now. 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 through the Kern Valley Chamber of Commerce website. The 72,000-acre foot restriction on Lake Isabella has been lifted, and the construction work on the upstream side of the Borel Canal and the French Gulch interim boat ramp extension and lake levels will now be allowed to rise to 361,250 acre-feet or 2,589 feet in elevation, weather providing. There will be no further need to lower lake levels for the duration of the project, expected to be completed in 2022. It rose from 32 to 35 percent this week, and it is still rising. The upper Kern River near Kernville received a trout plant this week, but the river is running high, making for difficult conditions. Nightcrawlers, live crickets, or Power Bait are working for the occasional planted rainbow. Buena Vista is the only local lake with regular trout plants, and some quality rainbows have been taken from the banks at this pay-and-play impoundment. Buena Vista continues to receive intermittent trout plants, and a few crappie are starting to show up as well.
Bass 2 Crappie 2 Trout 2 Catfish 2
The largemouth bass and crappie should be moving up into pre-spawn mode as the lake continues to warm up with the springlike weather. Upcoming tournaments should provide more information. Kaweah is due for an excellent crappie year. The lake dropped from 29 to 27 percent.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212
Bass 3 Trout 2 Catfish 2 Crappie 3 Bluegill 2
Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield reported good action from the banks for both largemouth bass and crappie as the lake temperature is warming up. The lake dropped from 52 to 48 percent this week, but the snowpack in the Tule River watershed is impressive. The Tule River should stay muddy for some time. Chuck Stokke of the Sequoia Fishing Company in Springville is giving fly casting lessons at the Pierpoint Café the second Sunday of each month at 10 a.m. The lessons are free and all equipment is provided.
Bass 3 Trout 2 King salmon 0 Kokanee 0 Crappie 2 Catfish 2
McClure rose to 69 percent of capacity, and Mike Gomez of the Bait Barn in Waterford reported a solid bite with River2Sea SWavers along with jigs and plastics on the drop-shot or shakey head. The Purple Hornet jig by Berserk Baits has been particularly effective. The bass are holding along main lake points and walls to 35 feet, and they are poised to move up. Ryan Cook of Ryan Cook’s Fishing said, “It was a bit tougher on Sunday, but we did land plenty of bass to 3.5 pounds. The fish are moving up, and I observed three small bucks on beds already, The water temperature is warming at 62 degrees. Glidebaits, underspins, Senkos, tubes, and plastics on the shakey head are all working to 25 feet in depth. The Mother Lode Kayak Anglers are holding an event at the lake this coming Saturday, March 23. Crappie are taken near Barrett’s Cove in the afternoon with small minnows or crappie jigs. The marina at Barrett Cove will open for the season on April 7.
Call: Ryan Cook – Ryan Cook’s Fishing 691-7008
The lake remains stained, and it is close to maximum pool, but Steve Marquette of the Lake McSwain/McClure Recreational Company reported good trout fishing in the dinghy water with the new pink Needlefish spoon along with green garlic trout dough ban and nightcrawlers near the Handicapped Docks, marina, or the cabins. The annual Merced Irrigation District Trout Derby is scheduled for April 6-7, and over 450 anglers participated in the event last year.
Call: McSwain Marina 209-378-2534
Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River
Bass 3 Striped bass 1 Shad 1 Bluegill 2 Crappie 2
The spotted bass bite at Millerton Reservoir has turned on within the past few weeks, and the reaction bite is heating up along with the standards of working the bottom with plastics. A huge limit for Millerton took first place in Saturday’s New Jen Bass Tournaments event at 16.52 pounds by the team of Jeff D’Alessandro and Tyler Wells with a big fish at 5.65 pounds.
Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “A 13- to 15-pound limit is possible, and the bass are found in the main lake wby dragging plastics along with jerkbaits. It has been a mixed bag out there right now. I was on the lake on Thursday, and we focused on the river arm with a chatterbait, but the reaction bite wasn’t on for us. We came back into the main lake and landed around 15 keepers out of 25 total fish using finesse techniques holding the bottom including Neko-Rigs, dart head, and drop-shot in green pumpkin, green pumpkin purple, bluegill, and shad patterns. 6-inch Pro Gold plastics, larger creature baits on a Texas-rig or jigs are also good options. My largest bass was 16 inches, and it had a 3-inch bluegill in it’s throat as it seems that the bass are feeding on bluegill in the river arm. With the high water levels, there are a number of locations that are now flooded and providing new food sources. There is quite a bit of debris in the river arm, but the main lake is relatively clear and the bass are holding along any rocky structure with boulders or vertical walls. There haven’t been any stripers reported, and this was a bit surprising with the number of fishermen working the lake during the recent tournaments.”
Millerton rose to 83 percent, and it is three-quarters of the way up the first ramp.
Call: Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474
New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch
Bass 2 Crappie 2 Catfish 2 Trout 2 Kokanee 1
New Melones is expected to produce big largemouth and spotted bass during the months of February and March, and although there have been some quality bass, the numbers of big bass have been less than anticipated.
John Liechty of Xperience Fishing Guide Service said, “It has been hit or miss for the larger grade, and I thought it was going to bust wide open with this weather, but this hasn’t happened as of yet, I normally start looking for some larger fish in the mornings with reaction baits or Senkos in 5 to 15 feet of water, and although we have picked up some decent fish, the giants have been missing so far. If the bite is not what I’m looking for, I will back off of the shoreline and work jigs or plastics on the shakey head at depths from 25 to 35 feet. I would prefer not to do this in March, but it was what the lake is giving up right now. We have yet to formulate a pattern on the lake, but it is time for the big fish to move up.”
Best Bass Tournaments held an event at the lake on Saturday, and the winning weight was 21.22 pounds by the team of Mike Caddick and Tyson Rappleye. There were 63 teams participating in the event, and the largest fish came in at 6.87.
As Liechty is prone to say, “The swimbait game is one of presentation and persistence, but if you put in the time and focus on each cast, we have proven that dreams can be made. The next couple of months we can anticipate some more incredible catches.”
New Melones dropped slightly to 85 percent.
Pine Flat Reservoir/Kings River
Bass 3 Trout 3 Kokanee 0 King salmon 0 Catfish 2 Crappie 3
Pine Flat Reservoir continues to be steady for both spotted and largemouth bass despite the water levels starting to descend. There are two groups of bass with the deep fish schooled up while the shallow bass are isolated into ones and twos.
Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “Pine Flat remains steady, and after these few nice days of weather, the fish are moving into the shallows from the banks to 20 feet. There is an improving bite with spinnerbaits or jerkbaits in the shallows, but you have to cover water to find them as these fish are nomadic. There are a load of bass in the 20 to 30 foot range ready to move up into the shallows. There is still a tremendous inflow coming into the lake, and water releases down the lower Kings River have increased this week. Typically, once the lake stabilizes, the bas will move up into pre-spawn mode. Staying in contact with the bottom is another solid option with plastics on a Texas-rig or Neko-rig, and the key is holding in touch with the bottom. The best action is n the main lake as the river arm is still plagued by floating debris. Crappie fishing is getting good, and it should bust wide open with a few days with the good weather. The slabs are holding in any flooded tree below 10 feet with most in the 20-foot range. Small minnow imitations in chartreuse/white or pearl/black flake are effective as well as those with jigs heads with orange and an orange body. The water is slightly stained, and they are biting the lure on a slow fall. A 1/16th- ounce jigs head will create the slow drop as they are picking up on the drop and slowly swimming away.”
In the lower Kings River below the dam, Newman said, “They are letting a lot of water out, and the river has bumped up considerably. There still is a good trout bite in the slower water pockets adjacent to moving water with spinners such as Roosertails or Kastmasters in white, gold, or silver along with trout dough bait or a piece of nightcrawler. The higher flows will disperse the planted rainbows throughout the river.”
San Luis Reservoir and O’Neill Forebay
Striper 3 Catfish 2 Bass 2 Crappie 2
San Luis Reservoir remains very good for striped bass with shore anglers having as much success as boaters within the past week. The bite has improved for a variety of techniques including casting, drifting minnows, soaking bait, or trolling.
Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “It is red-hot there right now with the lake level flooding new areas and providing additional sources of food. A 35-pounder was brought in from the banks around Romero Visitor Center, and the fish are running the banks with the best action in low-light conditions such as the early morning or just before dusk. They are catchable from the shorelines as another of our fishermen reported landing eight keepers using a 5-inch hard jerkbait. Trolling has been best from 60 to 80 feet, but it is a matter of staying on top of them as all of the schools aren’t biting.”
Roger George of Roger George Guide Service said that the bite for boaters has been up and down for the last week. “I took out several guests last Thursday and we hit a real tough bite with lots of suspended fish. We got nine fish to 23 inches, mainly out of groups of active fish holding at around 60 feet. Other regular anglers were telling us the same things – but a few days later things improved again. Wardens have reportedly given out quite a few tickets lately to both shore and boat anglers. I’ve heard about a lot of poaching going on by shore anglers off 152 who are using the high water as an easy way to get to the water and then quickly taking off with their fish . Practicing selective harvesting or catch and release – as well as having release tools like the hollow-needle Bends Mender to allow deep fish to go back down are key to keeping the lake healthy.”
George is doing his Downrigging 101 class on April 4 at Sportsman’s Warehouse in Fresno at 6 p.m. Preregistration is required for the limited-seating class and the cost is $50. Call George at 905-2954 for preregistration.
San Luis is at 99 percent.
In the O’Neill Forebay, undersized striped bass remain the rule as one out of 10 may be over 18 inches, but jerkbaits or soft plastic swimbaits are working for numbers. Shore anglers are soaking blood worms, pile worms, anchovies, or jumbo minnows from the banks near Check 12 or the Highway 152 Bridge. A few more largemouth bass have been caught and released recently. There is water pumping in and out of the small reservoir both into the main lake and out into the California Aqueduct.
Bass 2 Trout 2 Kokanee 0
The annual Bass Lake Chamber of Commerce Trout Derby is scheduled for May 4-5, and the Sheriff’s Motor Fee is enforced on a year-round basis now. There have been few reports for either bass or trout. A webcam of the lake is available at basslakeca.com/index.php. The lake dropped slightly to 74 percent.
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 www.dot.ca.gov/cgi-bin/roads.cgi or call 800-427-7623 for road conditions. The Vermilion Valley Resort at Lake Edison has been inaccessible, even by snowmobile, due to the heavy snow levels.
Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000
Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake
Kokanee 2 Trout 2
The weather has been spectacular at Shaver Lake over the past few days, and bank fishermen continue to find success with Mice Tails for browns and rainbows to 19 inches. The plant of 40,000 fingerling brown trout five years ago is starting to pay dividends. Trollers are working hard for a few trout and the possibility of a kokanee, and Joseph Torres of Hanford boated a quality brown near the Point with a black/gold spinner behind a Dick’s Mountain Flasher. Boaters need to check the launch ramp conditions via the webcam of the Sierra Marina launch ramp is available at www.sierramarina.com/camera.html. The lake dropped slightly to 52 percent.
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 until mid to late April.
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
Striper 2 Crab 3 Surf Perch 3
With the local rockfish season opening on April 1st and ocean salmon below Pigeon Point on April 6th and in local waters on April 13, the Half Moon Bay harbor is ready to bust loose within the next few weeks.
Captain Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat has been the only large party boat north of Pigeon Point consistently running the combination trips, but the weather has been a major limiting factor during the months of January, February, and into March. The weekend of March 16 brought great ocean conditions, and Mattusch took out a crew of 13 anglers including Clara Ricabal of Angler West TV for a combination trip. Fishing in flat seas with just a slight rolling swell, Mattusch said, “ We came back with 804 sand dabs and six petrale sole to 3 pounds fishing as deep as 280 feet. Stephanie Overbay from San Leandro landed the largest petrale, and Darren Seiji of Vallejo picked up two sole along with a load of sand dabs. Ricabal showed her skill by loading up on sand dabs time after time along with helping out tremendously while pulling the crab pots.”
Out of Half Moon Bay Sport Fishing, final touches are being placed on the party boats as they are booking rockfish trips and will make the 18-mile run south below Pigeon Point for ocean salmon starting April 6.
Surf perch fishing along the beaches remains excellent, and one of the winning perch in the recent Sand Crab Classic out of Santa Cruz was taken along the Half Moon Bay shoreline. With the opening of the primary species of rockfish and especially salmon, the public boat launch will be crowded along with the local campgrounds.
Striper 2 Crab 2 Sand Dabs 2 Surf Perch 2
Out of Chris’s Fishing Trips, the Caroline when out for sand dabs on Saturday, and deckhand Troy reported 15 petrale sole for 10 passengers along with half-buckets of sand dabs and around three crab per angler. Chris’s is already filling up for the opening days of the salmon season on April 6, but there is room for rockfishing starting April 1.
San Francisco Bay
Halibut 2 Striper 2 Leopard shark 2 Sturgeon 2
Captain Trent Slate of Bite Me Charters out of Loch Lomond Marin took out a crew from Humboldt County for two days of fishing over the weekend. They scored 5 limits of striped bass on Saturday to go with two shaker sturgeon, and he even put them onto 8 of the 10 bass on Sunday plugging in the murky waters off of the Marin Island. He said, “We switched over to chartreuse jigs, and we picked up a total of 8 bass along with two more on the anchor. They really wanted to take home a sturgeon, and after finding slow action at Buoy 7, they scored sturgeon at 49 and 44 inches at China Camp on frozen mud shrimp.”
The south bay is kicking out halibut on the troll, and this is a great portent for the future when live bait is available. The Lovely Martha
Scored 14 legal halibut trolling on Sunday with another 26 undersized flat fish. The water is clearing up in the south bay, and the bite should continue to improve. Grass shrimp draggers are releasing hundreds of both legal and undersized halibut in their nets.
San Luis Obispo
Surf perch 2
Nature and whale watching trips along with the occasional sand dab/crab trip will be on the schedule through March until the rockfish season opens once again on April 1st. The landings of Morro Bay Landing and Virg’s in Morro Bay along with Patriot Sport Fishing in Port San Luis are taking reservations for a variety of trips.
Bass 3 Striper 2 Sturgeon 2 Catfish 2 Bluegill 2
The Sacramento-Delta remains high and muddy with heavy water releases from the upstream tributaries, and grass and debris have plagued sturgeon and striped bass anglers on the anchor. Sturgeon fishing continues to improve with some major scores during the past week, and it is only a matter of time before the striped bass follow suit.
Johnny Tran of New Romeo’s Bait and Tackle in Freeport said, “Stripers to 30 inches have been showing up in the Sacramento River near Freeport along with a number of smaller schoolies, but bait is the only way to go in the high and stained water. Pile worms, blood worms, and sardines coated with garlic spray are most effective, and you have to fish near the shorelines to stay out of the current. The water is dropping and clearing, but it will still be a while before it returns to normal. Sturgeon action is best with ghost shrimp or pile worm/eel or nightcrawler/eel combinations.”
Captain Steve Mitchell of Hook’d Up Sport Fishing will be out on the water this coming week, and he is expecting great sturgeon action with the warming water conditions, He said, “We will are ready to go all week long, and our annual Battle of the Six-Packs is scheduled for March 23rd for the Phenix captains.”
Captain Joey Gamez of Golden State Sport Fishing has been launching out of Martinez and had found solid sturgeon action further west from the Ozol Pier into the Carquinez Straits, primarily with eel. He said, “We had been averaging a few sturgeon per day until Sunday, but it slowed up for us with only two shakers. The bite turned up in Montezuma Slough, and several boats were in their trying. The big limiting factor has been the weeds as it is difficult to stay down with all of the weeds and grass on the bottom.”
Tony Lopez of Benicia Bait reported selling out of all live bait but grass shrimp by Saturday as they were deluged with customers in the sunny weather. He said, “There were 40 boats on the anchor at the Mothball Fleet on Saturday when I came over the bridge with another 20 on Sunday. Shore fishermen are picking up small striped bass in our area.”
The 8th Annual Purple Heart Anglers Disabled Veterans Fishing Event will take place on Saturday, April 13 at Brannan Island State Recreation Area. This is the largest event each year attracting Disabled Veterans and volunteers from around northern and central California. The organization is always seeking volunteer boat captains, deckhands, setup and clean-up crew, as well as food prep help. To volunteer for this invaluable event, contact Darren Butler at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Largemouth bass fishing is taking center stage in the San Joaquin-Delta, but the high-water levels will be bringing in striped bass as soon as the temperatures warm up. Crappie and bluegill are making an appearance in the south Delta sloughs. The system is still high and muddy, but the water clarity is improving in several locations.
There is clear water in the south Delta, and Clyde Wands, shallow trolling expert, was out twice this week, and he found schools of striped bass to 24 -inches in front of Bullfrog Marina as well as in Little Connection Slough. He said, “The water is quite trollable down here, but the real good news was the report of limits being taken from the Santa Clara Shoals, even in the dirty water.”
Speaking of clear water, J.D. Richey of Richey’s Sport Fishing will begin his topwater/swimbait trips into the Delta within the next week to 10 days, and he said, “Then it will be an upriver show on the Sacramento and the Feather all of April. I am pumped!”
James Netzel of Tight Lines Guide Service has been working the muddy water off of the Santa Clara Shoals with deep-diving Yozuri Crystal Minnows, and he said, “We have been putting in limits in spite of the muddy water, and everything is deep right now as with the high water, it could be a problem to run in the shallows with hidden structure.”
Jeff Soo Hoo of Soo Hoo’s Sport Fishing went out scouting on Sunday with jumbo minnows for 4 keepers to 5 pounds along with 2 shakers. He said, “It is starting to pick up now, and the water was pretty clear on the shoals and very clear in Connection Slough.”
Nelson Vineyard of Topline Sport Fishing launched out of Rio Vista to troll for striped bass for a few hours, and they put in 3 keepers along with two shaker stripers, losing another two big fish at the boat using red/white deep-diving Yozuri Chrystal Minnows with a chartreuse worm. He said, “The water clarity is still low, but the spring run of stripers has begun and the fish are stacking up.
Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, is working the Fred Hall Show in Bakersfield this weekend, but he was on the Delta twice this week, and he said, “We did pick up some quality bass in the 4- to 6-pound range, but the key is to slow way down with big worms such as a 10-inch Power Worm or the General with Max Scent in earth tones. The water is off-color, and the bass have great difficulty finding the bait unless you use scent and slow down. If you are going down the banks too fast, your chances of getting bite are diminished. I tried reaction baits for awhile, but we didn’t stick with it since you can throw a spinnerbait for a few quality fish, but they are few and far between.
Dan Mathisen of Dan Mathisen Outdoors held a tournament out of Russo’s Marina on Saturday, and he said, “We had four limits over 20 pounds in the event led by the team of Harvey Pulliam and Jamond Andrews at 24.80 pounds. I was out for a few hours on Sunday after church, and we put in a 16-pound limit throwing chatterbaits and spinnerbaits in white-on-white or orange. The water is in good shape at 55 degrees and the bass are ready to move into the shallows.
In the south Delta, Whiskey Slough has been the location for bank anglers, and H and R Bait also had a busy weekend with the great weather, selling out of all live bait with most fishermen heading to Whiskey Slough.
Lake Nacimiento/San Antonio/Santa Margarita/Lopez
Bass 2 White bass 2 Striper 1 Catfish 2 Crappie 2
The bass have gone deep at Lopez Lake as the lake is both cold and muddy, but they will be moving up soon. Large plastics with scent and vibration such as creature baits, jigs, or big worms on a Texas-rig are working on a slow presentation as deep as 40 feet. The crappie are also deep and holding around structure with crappie jigs. A webcam of the lake is available at http://805webcams.com/lopez-lake-webcam/. At Nacimiento, the lake continues to rise, and it came up from 82 to 84 percent this week. The bass are moving up into the shallows, and the best action has been occurring in areas with clearer water or inflow from the creeks. A slow presentation with plastics on the drop-shot or shakey head has been the best technique. White bass have scattered with the high water. A webcam of the lake is available at http://www.lakenacimientolive.com/. At Santa Margarita, the lake is still in excess of 100 percent of capacity, and boaters are advised to contact the lake’s ranger station for information on the availability of the single ramp at (805) 788-2397. Bass fishing continues to be slow with the muddy water, but a few decent largemouth bass have been taken on creature baits or jigs along with plastics on a drop-shot. Catfishing is another possibility with cutbaits, and there are crappie schools starting to form around submerged structure. webcam of the lake is available at http://805webcams.com/santa-margarita-lake-webcam-california/. At San Antonio, the lake rose from 37 to 38 percent, and few fishermen have been venturing here, The best action is for catfish with stinkbaits or cut baits around the inflowing creek inlets. Bass fishing remains slow, but a few fish are taken on a very slow presentation with finesse techniques.
New Jen Bass Tournaments: March 16 at Millerton – 1, Jeff D’Alessandro/Tyler Wells, 16.52 pounds (Big Fish 5.65); 2, Daniel Segura/Cory McKenna, 13.90; 3, Randy Burger/Kyle Manes, 11.90.
Best Bass Tournaments: March 16 at New Melones – 1, Mike Chaddick/Tyson Rappleye, 21.22; 2, Christian Ostrander/Ronnie Hiel, 18.30; 3, Bill Vernon/Jason Hopper, 16.92.
Sierra Bass Club: March 16 at McClure – 1, Dan Riportella/JeremyNagy, 12.51; 2, Michael Murphy/Jerry Siligo, 11.48 (Big Fish 4.35); 3, Carlos Contreras Sr. and Carlos Contreras Jr., 11.47.
Dan Mathisen Outdoors: March 16 at Delta/Russo’s Marina – 1, Harvey Pulliam/Jamond Andrews, 24.80; 2, Zack Cutshaw/Anthony Gibbs, 22.45 (Big Fish 9.28); 3, Jim LaRosa/Brent Ziesko, 21.81.
Bass 101: March 17 at Millerton – 1, Mark Corrente, 13.20 (Big Fish 5.18); 2, Matt Willenborn, 7.40; 3, Jeff D’Alessandro, 7.20.
March 23: Delta/B and W Resort – California Bass Federation, Delta/Russo’s Marina – Hook, Line, and Sinker, Don Pedro – Fresno Bass Club, McClure – Mother Lode Kayak Anglers, Pine Flat – American Bass Association, Success – Lahu Bass Club, Lopez – San Luis Obispo Bass Ambushers
March 24: Delta/Ladd’s Marina – Riverbank Bass Anglers
March 29-31: New Melones - Wild West Bass Trails
March 30: Delta/Ladd’s Marina – Merced Bass Club/Mid Valley Bass Club, Don Pedro – Kerman Bass Club, Santa Margarita – American Bass Association, Isabella – American Bass Association, Kaweah – Lahu Bass Club
March 30: Roosevelt High School Bass Fishing Club annual Fishing Tackle Faire club fundraiser, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The Boat Shoppe, 2125 Ventura Ave., Fresno. Local tackle manufacturers and the club will be on site selling their baits to the public. Roosevelt coach Mike Spencer will be available to answer questions about the SAF California High School Tournament Trail or how to start a high school fishing club.
Week of March 24 by California Department of Fish and Wildlife:
Fresno County: Woodward Park Lake, Kings River below Pine Flat Dam
f = full moon> = peak activity