Hunting Fishing

Fishing report for week of July 3-9: Holiday weekend looks good for action in many waters

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

New Melones kokanee and bass bite continues, Monte Smith said. Hensley and Eastman bass bites good, and Pine Flat and Millerton bass action steady, Steve Newman reported. Don Pedro and McClure topwater bass action good, Ryan Cook said. Lake Isabella multi species hitting, Pete Cormier reported. Shaver Lake kokanee and trout active for limits, Dick Nichols said. Wishon trollers scoring trout limits, Kelly Brewer reported. Bass Lake kokanee and bass active, Mike Beighey said.


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

With the slowdown of the shoreline bite at San Luis Reservoir and small fish dominating the California Aqueduct, the California Aqueduct has become a more viable option. The best action remains in the clearer, moving water south of Highway 152 with anchovies, sardines, or blood worms along with hard jerkbaits like Duo Realis 120s.

In the southern section of the aqueduct in Kern County, Bill Schuman of Bakersfield won the June Striped Bass Derby at Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield with a 17-pound lineside taken on a fluke. Blood worms and pile worms continue to score striped bass as minnows have been scarce. Catfish are coming on chicken livers, nightcrawlers, or large minnows. Bob’s Annual July Catfish Derby has started with an entry fee of $1, and the leader at the end of the month will collect all of the entry fees along with the contribution from Bob’s Bait.

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

Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “The bass action has been solid for some and a struggle for others, but there are largemouths in the 6- to 8-pound range landed each week. There are a few topwater fish with wakebaits or glide baits, but the best action has been over the island tops or rockpiles at depths from 20 to 30 feet with 6- to 10- worms such as the Magnum Trick Worm. The larger worms with ribs, a ribbon tail, or a paddle tail will displace more water, and the bass are attracted to the water movement. A Texas- or Tokyo-rig along with a shakey head presentation on the big worms is also effective. There is a decent bite in the river arm with weightless plastic worms or Senkos in the shallower water. This is the time for deep-diving crankbaits at the dam to start working, and Strike King’s XD10s have been effective at depths from 15 to 20 feet banging against the rocks.” The crappie bite remains slow. The lake is releasing water, and it dropped from 85% to 82%.

Call: Eastman Lake 689-3255

Hensley Lake

Bass 3 Trout 2 Catfish 2 Bluegill 2 Crappie 2

Steve Newman said, “The bass action remains very good in the high water conditions that have been lacking for the past several years. Spinnerbaits and underspins are effective along the shorelines while larger worms or creature baits such as Sweet Beavers or Brush Hogs are working over humps around 15 feet in depth. The bass are holding on the deep edges of the humps away from the shoreline.” Tossing swimbaits has been feast or famine for the larger fish, but there will be some trying for a big kicker in the upcoming River Rat tournament on July 6. A small grade of crappie are found around the brush and submerged cockleburs. Catfish to 4 pounds are taken from the banks with cut baits or chicken livers. The lake dropped slightly to 71%.

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

Lake Don Pedro

Bass 3 Trout 2 Kokanee 2 King salmon 1 Crappie 2

Ryan Cook of Ryan Cook’s Fishing said, “The topwater bite continues to be solid for both largemouth and spotted bass with the Reaction Innovation’s Vixen or River2Sea Rover, but the bass have been spread out with the high water conditions and current in the river arm. The river arm at Wood’s Creek and Moccasin are the best locations. Jigs are working for the larger grade of bass, and they are scattered from the surface to 40 feet, Underspins are also an option along with frogs due to the amount of debris in the lake. Most kokanee fishermen continue to opt for the hot bite at New Melones, but the action should improve as the kokanee start to school up near structure as the water temperatures stabilize.” The lake held at 97%.

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

Lake Isabella/Bakersfield area

Bass 3 Trout 2 Crappie 3 Catfish 3 Bluegill 2

At Isabella, Pete Cormier reported a continued good crappie, catfish, and bass fishing with the slabs found around structure in both forks of the river arm. A boat is better for reaching the crappie, but there are still those finding success from the banks with minijigs. Minnows have been hard to obtain. Bass fishing is best with deep-diving crankbaits, Senkos, or plastic worms at depths to 30 feet. Catfish are coming on chicken livers, frozen shad, large minnows, or nightcrawlers. The lake rose slightly to 60%. The upper and lower rivers are still high and difficult and dangerous to fish, but the flows are coming down. The upper Kern River is still very high, and we will start our trips through the Golden West Pack Station on July 4 in the Golden Trout Wilderness.

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

Water releases have started, and the lake dropped slightly to 96%. Bass fishing is best with crankbaits and Rat-L-Traps, and the topwater bite should be starting soon. The recreational boating season is in full swing.

Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212

Lake Success

Bass 2 Trout 2 Catfish 2 Crappie 2 Bluegill 2

The lake is over capacity at 111%, and bass fishing remains either hot or cold with the best action on Senkos, frogs, creature baits, and topwater lures. The Tule River remains closed due to snowmelt.

Call: Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626,

McClure Reservoir

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

Lake McClure is spilling over for the first time in several years, but the bass are biting despite being spread out in the high water conditions.

Ryan Cook of Ryan Cook’s Fishing said, “The bass bite remains very good as there is a topwater bite in the mornings with the Reaction Innovation’s Vixen and Super Spook, but this is the time of year when I will throw large topwater lures such as the big floating BBZ, the River2Sea Lunker Punker, or the AC Minnows. Since there is so much floating debris on the surface right now, I have a frog tied on all of the time, and I am using either the Molix Super Nauto Frog or the Booya Toad Runner in white or black. When it is overcast or low light, I use the black frog, and during the daytime, I opt for the white one. The better fish are deep, and jigs are picking up the best grade along with ½ to 3/8th ounce Fatty Worm’s underspins loaded with a 3.8 to 4.3 Kei Tech swimbait. The bass are scattered from the surface to 40 feet, and you have to pick your technique and depth. There are a lot of small fish up in the shallows.”

Call: Ryan Cook’s Fishing 691-7008

McSwain Reservoir

Trout 3

Steve Marquette of the Lake McClure/McSwain Recreation Company reported a trout plant from the Calaveras Trout Farm boosted action from the banks around the new cabins or the Brush Pile with inflated nightcrawlers, silver/blue Kastmasters, or various colors of trout dough bait. Kayakers have been drifting dough bait near the Brush Pile while trollers are pulling Wedding Rings tipped with a piece of nightcrawler behind a dodger upriver. The lake is expected to remain at flood stage for the next few months.

Call: McSwain Marina 209-378-2534

Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River

Bass 3 Striped bass 1 Shad 1 Bluegill 2 Crappie 2

Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said Millerton remains consistent for number of bass, and this is an excellent time to practice topwater techniques in the evenings with walking baits or Poppers. Largemouth bass to 2.5 to 4 pounds are possible, but you have to work the topwater lures methodically over points and submerged points. The high water is pushing the bass into the shallows, and plastics on a Texas-rig dragged along the bottom slowly near the point and flat areas is effective as well as jigs or small plastics on a Ned-rig at 15 to 30 feet over rocks and sand. A 30-inch striped bass was caught and released from the banks near the dam on a nightcrawler under a bobber. Boaters have to be very cautious when running full out along the edges. There are also fallen trees and floating logs and debris in the river arm. The logjam has grown to almost 60 yards and is heavy. The American shad have yet to show up in any numbers in the river arm The lake rose from 91% to 98%, and the lower San Joaquin is also running high.

Call: Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474

New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch

Bass 3 Crappie 2 Catfish 2 Trout 2 Kokanee 3

New Melones remains the Mother Lode lake for kokanee, and the landlocked salmon are getting larger and larger as a 20-inch kokanee is not out of the question by the end of the season. The lake’s water levels continue to rise, and boaters need to be aware of floating debris and logs in the main lake.

Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing was on the lake several times this past week, and he said, “We picked up limits by 8:45 a.m., but the bite was a bit tougher on Thursday, but we still ended up with 13 kokanee and 3 rainbow trout, losing another 9 fish. We also landed the largest kokanee we have seen in quite a while at 17.75 inches and 2 pounds 5 ounces at 45 feet at 12:30 p.m. We were out in cloudy conditions on Friday for a dozen kokanee with another 8 lost opportunities. We are scoring at depths from 40 to 55 feet, and we landed a rainbow trout over 3 pounds in 40 feet of water at 12:30 p.m. on Apex lures. Uncle Larry’s spinners, pink micro-hoochies, and Apex lures behind Sling Blades have been our go-to setups.”

Joe Aksamit of Joe Fish Guide Service continues to score limits of kokanee along with a few bonus rainbows running Rocky Mountain Tackle’s pink or orange Plankton Squids or Father Murphy’s Lucky Lady Super Bug tipped with corn scented with Pro-Cure’s Bloody Tuna or Kokanee Special behind an RMT Moonshine Dodger or Father Murphy’s Watermelon Dodgers at depths from 40 to 65 feet away from the main flotilla.”

Mark Watzke continues to find great action on his private boat, and they put in two limits of kokanee and a bonus trout on Sunday, and they were back at the ramp by 10:30 a.m.

For bass, John Liechty of Xperience Guide Service, said, “The bass have scattered in the high-water conditions, and some banks are holding bass while others are loaded with bass. There is some solid topwater action in the morning and evenings around the shade lines.”

Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, took a father and his 12-year-old son out, and they caught and released 51 spotted and largemouth bass to 4.5 pounds on the ima Squarebill and Rock N’Vibe Suspend over rocks and grass.

The lake held at 93%.

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 water levels at Pine Flat remain very high as the lake continues to rise despite heavy water releases down the lower Kings River resulting in danger warnings for recreational use in the river. Bass fishing is best in the river arm with reaction baits while the main lake is best with contact baits. Trout fishing is slow with the shad schools scattered throughout the reservoir.

Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “The bass bite remains good and steady as the fish are holding in a summer pattern. There is a reaction bite in the evenings with walking baits or Poppers, but an aggressive retrieve is best with the bass striking on the pause. Jerkbaits are also working, and the better fish including most of the largemouth bass are in the river arm. Jigs have also been effective in the river arm while the main lake has primarily been a worm bite with plastics on a shakey head or Texas-rig. The key for the contact bait is to work slow and low but keep it moving along the bottom. The river arm is very wide right now, and there are newly-flooded areas releasing insects and crayfish into the food chain, but the high water has scattered out the shad spawn. As a result, the bass have become nomadic and roaming around as the shad are not concentrated in any one location.”

The Cen Cal Elite Bass Tournaments held an event on Saturday, and the team of Gary Wasson and Joe Baeza took first place out of the 29 teams with a 14.00-pound limit with a big fish at 5.62 pounds. Wasson said, “After posting limits at 17 and 19 pounds earlier in the week, the bite was a lot tougher on tourney day, but we managed 14 pounds which was enough.”

Trout fishing has been slow in the high water, and the anglers who have been drifting roe or salmon eggs in the river arm about Trimmer have been absent for the past few weeks. Crappie fishing has improved in the river arm as the slabs are holding around the submerged trees and brush to stay out of the current.

The lake is high, and there is debris in the river arm along with unmarked hazards close to the edge of the shoreline. Newman advises boaters to be particularly cautious when running the edges due to boulders or logs normally far out of the water now being submerged.

With the snowmelt, the upper Kings River is running high, and with the water releases, the lower Kings is still closed or limited to recreational usage in Tulare and Kings Counties.

Pine Flat rose from 89 to 94%.

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

San Luis Reservoir and O’Neill Forebay

Striper 2 Catfish 2 Bass 2 Crappie 2

San Luis Reservoir has been tough overall for striped bass anglers as the combination of wind and hot temperatures have limited interest to the evening hours, but there have been some solid scores for experienced trollers.

Roger George of Roger’s Guide Service out of Fresno, the only licensed guide at the reservoir, took out cousins Felipe and Rudy Villicanas of Salinas this week, and they both caught and released their personal-best striped bass at 13.5 and 10 pounds, respectively. George said, “We landed over 30 fish using Lucky Crafts in shad-patterns at depths from 30 to 70 feet in Portuguese Cove and off of the Romero Visitor Center. The water temperatures were around 68 degrees, and we had winds in the 5-15 mph range. I am surprised at how many male striped bass are milting this late in the season. The algae is getting worse with yellow clumps forming, and the wind has been the biggest problem. I continue to suggest using the Dinosaur Point launch ramp for safety if the wind is blowing.”

Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “The striper bite from the banks is so/so as most of our fishermen are going to the California Aqueduct instead of the main lake. The jerkbait and fluke bite has slowed down as sales of these lures has slowed down. A few fishermen are soaking bait in the evenings.”

Joe Juane of Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill had a similar report for bank fishing as most anglers are heading out in the evenings with blood worms or pile worms. They have some jumbo minnows in the shop this week.

There has been an advisory from the State of California issued for contact with the reservoir’s water as the blue-green algae. Danger signs are posted at the Basalt and Dinosaur Point boat launches, and the alert will remain in place until further notice.

The reservoir is at 73%.

In the forebay, there is not much change with few anglers targeting it, opting for the main lake or the California Aqueduct for striped bass. Water movement is constant with pumping in and out of the Delta and the big lake and the aqueduct. Anchovies, sardines, blood worms, or frozen shad near the moving water. The key is finding moving water. Jerkbaits and ripbaits are also effective, and you have to cull through a number of linesides before putting in a limit.

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

High Sierra

Bass Lake

Bass 3 Trout 2 Kokanee 3

The bass bite remains very good for those getting on the lake early before the boat traffic ramps up, and the north end of the lake in the river arm has the least amount of boat traffic. The bass are now in post-spawn mode, and they are hanging out at the front edges of the docks in the afternoons. The bass can be found shallow in the mornings with spinnerbaits or reaction baits, but as the day goes on, they move out into the ledges with jigs and plastics on the drop-shot. In the shallow north end, spinnerbaits and chatterbaits are working around the grass and weed lines. Mike Beighey of Guide Service has been averaging from 16 to 18 kokanee to 17 inches per trip running pink or orange MAG Tackle micro-hoochies behind a Stealth Dodger at 25 to 35 feet from Miller’s to the Towers. The lake rose from 91% to 94%.

The Sheriff’s Motor Fee is enforced on a year-round basis now. Lake webcams and conditions:

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

Edison/Florence/Mammoth Pool

Kaiser Pass is open, but drivers are advised to be very cautious. The lakes continue to rise with Edison at 75%, Florence at 90% and Mammoth Pool over capacity at 102%.

For the latest Sierra National Forest road conditions:

Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000

Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake

Kokanee 3 Trout 3

Kokanee continue to dominate action out of Shaver Lake with early limits the story for experienced trollers. Due to the recent trout plants from the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project, the trout bite has also improved considerably. Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters said, ”I took out Bill Mott, former Major League Baseball player, along with his son, Colton, and friend, Jackson Esparza, from San Luis Obispo in between their games at the Cal Ripken 10 and under tournament at Clovis East High School, and they limited out on kokanee with five rainbow trout in the mix. I continue to use Dick’s Koke Busters in orange tipped with crayfish scented corn behind purple and silver Mountain Dodgers and pink or orange Mountain Hoochies or Kevorkian Apex lure on the downriggers at depths to 26 feet. On Monday, we also put in 3 limits, but they were down a little deeper at 27 to 35 feet in the same areas.”

Todd Wittwer of Guide Service was out on Sunday with five clients, and they limited out with five limits of kokanee in the 13.5- to 14-inch range and were searching for rainbows by the end of the day. He said, “We have been working the lake at depths from 26 to 36 feet with the orange Radical Glow Tube or the orange double-glow hoochie behind an orange Moonshine dodger, the orange double-glow hoochie continues to score limits for his clients working Rocky Mountain Tackle’s Signature Squids in pearl white behind a purple/pink Tsunami dodger along with Cotton Candy Squid behind the purple Moonshine dodger.”

Shaver held at 85%.

Huntington is full at 99%, and trollers are finding some success with Wedding Rings or small spinners tipped with a nightcrawler for holdover trout and small kokanee from the surface to 15 feet.

Sierra Marina launch ramp webcam:

Call: Dick Nichols, Dick’s Fishing Charters 281-6948; Todd Wittwer, Guide Service 288-8100; Dinkey Creek Inn 841-3435; Tom Oliveira Fishing 802-8072


Trout 3

Kelly Brewer of Wishon Village RV Park and Store reported good action for trollers pulling blade/’crawler combinations or Rapalas from the surface to 15 feet near the dam. The shoreline is producing planted rainbows with trout dough bait in sherbet. The lake is brim full, and launching is no problem at all from the concrete ramp. Bank anglers are working near the launch ramp or both sides of the dam. The inlets are flowing heavily. The Kiwanis Special Olympics Trout Derby is July 13 at Wishon.

Courtright is now open, and the lake is brim full. Anglers are picking up holdover rainbow trout on trout dough bait in sherbert while trollers are pulling blade/’crawler combinations or Rapalas near the surface. No trout plants have been reported.

Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361


Half Moon Bay

Salmon 2 Rockfish 3 Striper 2 Surf perch 2

Captain Dennis Baxter of the New Captain Pete out of Half Moon Bay Sport Fishing went up to Stinson Beach on Friday for limits of salmon, but the local scene has been much slower for salmon as the fish are holding deep. There has been a trickle of salmon taken out in front of the entrance buoys to the Pillar Point Harbor, but there are not enough fish to entice a party boat to stay local.

He will be off of the water this week before emerging again by the coming weekend.

The Dungeness crab season ended on June 30, but Captain Tom Mattusch on the Huli Cat will run salmon or rockfish/lingcod trips south of the harbor near San Gregorio or at the Deep Reef.

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

Monterey/Santa Cruz

Salmon 2 Rockfish 3 Striper 2 Surf perch 2

Chris Arcolleo of Chris’s Fishing Trips in Monterey said, “We haven’t been salmon fishing for the past two days, but we put in 22 big fish on Friday for 14 anglers in 180 feet of water off of Soldier’s Club. Those fish moved, and the Kahuna only had six on Sunday. Davenport has been loaded with salmon, and the commercial boats did well up the coast on their last day of the season with a two-week hold. Without the commercial boats working, it will be difficult to stay on top of the salmon since there are so few boats fishing for them. Rockfishing has been outstanding, and the Star of Monterey found some great rockfish action off of Cypress Point on Saturday with plenty of big vermilion, copper, and canary rockfish in the sacks. When we have been able to make it down the coast, the rockfish and ling cod fishing has been tremendous, but the wind has been blowing the past few days.

Clara Ricabal, fresh off of her cover on Western Outdoor News and a tuna run to San Diego, took Alex Niapas out for another new experience – this time- surf fishing off of the Point Sur coastline. They ended up with a handful of rockfish for their efforts within a few hours of soaking some squid.

Allen Bushnell of Santa Cruz Kayak and Surf Casting landed a limit of halibut on two consecutive trips using a bounce-ball rig with a dodger off of his kayak.

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

San Francisco Bay

Salmon 2 Halibut 3 Striper 3 Rockfish 3 Leopard shark 2 Sturgeon 2

The salmon bite has been up and down the past few days, but it is only a matter of time before they are on the full on bite again. Captain Trent Slate out of Bite Me Charters out of Loch Lomond put in limits of salmon on Friday before struggling for a pair of salmon on Saturday and another pair on Sunday before hitting the North Bar for 6 quality halibut. Slate plans on switching up his gear to a longer fluorocarbon leader to entice more strikes as the Crusty Crustacean was able to find salmon limits while many others struggled over the weekend.

The Tigerfish out of Emeryville Sport Fishing is one of the only boats rockfishing, and they put in 38 limits of rockfish along with 18 lings to a whopping 25 pounds at the Farallons.

Captain Steve Mitchell of Hook’d Up Sport Fishing out of Berkeley is making his first trip to the Farallons on Monday, but he will be focusing on halibut and striped bass in the bay until the salmon get closer to the opening of the Golden Gate.

Inside the bay, halibut fishing remains outstanding, and Captain Steve Mitchell of Hook’d Up Sport Fishing posted 8 halibut and limits of striped bass on Sunday. He said, “The bass are on the rocks right now, and they are biting.” Mitchell is booked for most of the current week.

On Monday, Trent Slate worked the rockpiles for limits of big striped bass on live anchovies as the larger grade of striped bass are holding on the rocks with the improved tides pushing the bait into structure.

The California Dawn also had a banner day on Sunday with 21 limits of striped bass plus crew fish for a total of 50 bass along with 45 halibut, releasing over 150 shaker halibut.

Anchovies have been hard to get a hold of in the past week as the bait moved out of the bay, but J and P Bait in San Francisco has a fresh load of anchovies averaging around 4 inches.

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, Hook’d Up Sport Fishing 707-655-6736

San Luis Obispo

Rockfish 3 Surf perch 2

Out of San Luis Obispo County, the ling cod counts have dropped off for the party boats, but perhaps anglers are not targeting the lings. Out of Virg’s Landing in Morro Bay, 43 anglers returned with limits of rockfish on Monday on the Fiesta and Black Pearl with 276 vermilion, 74 copper, 50 canary, and 30 assorted for mostly bottom-grabbing rockfish. The Avenger, Starfire, and Endeavor out of Morro Bay Landing were out with 97 anglers on Saturday for 290 vermilion rockfish, 65 copper, 40 Boccaccio, 540 assorted rockfish, and 9 ling cod to 10 pounds. Out of Port San Luis, the Patriot and Flying Fish, took out a combined 58 anglers on Sunday on ½ day trips for a total of 73 vermilion, 13 copper, 6 Boccaccio, 426 assorted rockfish, and a single ling cod. All ports are running a variety of trips in the coming weeks for rockfish/ling cod including overnight trips.

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



Bass 3 Striper 2 Sturgeon 3 Catfish 2 Bluegill 2 Shad 2

American shad continue to trickle through the northern portion of the Delta on their way to the upper tributaries of the Feather, Yuba, and American Rivers, but the action around Freeport has slowed as the bulk of the run is over. Striped bass can still be taken on bait, but with the amount of water flowing down the river system from water releases from upstream reservoirs, bait continues to work best for the downstream running linesides. Smallmouth bass are making a showing around the rockpiles in the upper Delta, and with the arrival of warmer water conditions, bluegill and catfish are also making an appearance. Sturgeon fishing continues to be solid in lower Suisun Bay, but most sturgeon anglers have tagged out for the year.

Smallmouth bass are found along the rocky banks with live minnows or plastics on a drop-shot rig along with deep-diving crankbaits or 3-inch Kei Tech’s swimbaits. Sardines coated with garlic spray or pile worms are best for downstream striped bass. Catfish are biting chicken livers, mackerel, or nightcrawlers in the Sacramento Deep Water Channel or the back sloughs, Bluegill are also thick in all of the back sloughs with red worms or jumbo red worms.

Tony Lopez of Benicia Bait said, “There haven’t been that many fishermen out with conditions alternating between the wind and the heat, but small stripers continue to come off of the shorelines near Dillon Point or under the Benicia/Martinez Bridge with grass shrimp or pile worms. A few sturgeon have been reported outside of McAvoy’s Boat Harbor in Bay Point, but there haven’t been many trying.”

The sturgeon are still around, but they weren’t biting for Captain Joey Gamez of Golden State Sport Fishing on Thursday as he worked the deep water where the fish were concentrated, and he even tried shrimpbaits, but they couldn’t get them to go. He said, “There are so many sturgeon still here, and we marked them all over, but we just couldn’t get them to bite. As a result, I switched this weekend’s trips to the bay/ocean for halibut and salmon.”

There are still some quality striped bass coming in the lower San Joaquin River, but few anglers are targeting them. Bill Crooks, Jim Pedri, and Ron Retzlaff of Sacramento trolled the lower San Joaquin for 11 keepers and 11 shakers, releasing huge linesides at 24 and 20 pounds, keeping three limits to 6 pounds with most of the action on the deep troll.

Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, took a father and 12-year old son out for two days of fishing with the first day at New Melones and the second in the Delta. He said, “After landing 51 bass to 4.5 pounds at New Melones, we hooked 31 fish to 3.5 pounds in the Delta concentrating on rocks and weeds with the ima Squarebill crankbait or the the Rock N’Vibe Suspend in Hot Craw.”

The Best Bass Tournaments held an event out of Russo’s on Saturday, and the team of Anthony Crivelli and Joseph Durling took first place with a limit at 20.66 pounds out of 116 teams. They scored most of their keeper bass with plastics on the drop-shot around hydrilla patches, but chatterbaits were also working.

Dan Mathisen of Dan Mathisen Outdoors has been working frogs primarily in preparation for the upcoming tournaments, and he said, “I am forcing the action right now to get ready, but punching, plastics on the drop-shot, and spinnerbaits in the wind are all working. I have been finding striped bass from Eddo’s upriver to Holland Tract with chatterbaits or spinnerbaits for linesides to 26 inches, but if I was targeting them, I would use either an Optimum Bad Bubba Shad swimbait or a River2Sea SWaver. There are tons of golden shiners in the river right now.” Mathisen’s next open tournament is June 20 out of Russo’s Marina.

Windmill Cove has been the location for Stockton-area bank fishermen, and some huge bluegill hauls have been taken out of the main San Joaquin River here with red worms or jumbo red worms. Catfish are also landed on sardines, anchovies, or chicken livers in any of the south Delta sloughs.

There are two large frog tournaments coming up in the next six weeks with the Ultimate Frog Challenge at the end of July and the Snag Proof Open during the first weekend in Aug. 3-4.

Call: Randy Pringle 209-543-6260; Captain Steve Mitchell 707-655-6736; Vince Borges Outdoors 209-918-0828; J.D. Richey, Richey’s Sport Fishing 916-952-1554

Lake Nacimiento/San Antonio/Santa Margarita/Lopez

Bass 3 White bass 3 Striper 1 Catfish 2 Crappie 2

At Nacimiento, recreational boating starts in force by mid-morning, but the white bass are boiling throughout the main lake and in the mouths of coves in the early mornings. Small white Kastmasters, Roostertails, or topwater lures are attracting the whites. Both the spotted and white bass are chasing shad, and the best action for spots has been with topwater lures early before dropping to the bottom with plastics on the drop-shot or dart head. Crappie have dropped as deep as 25 feet in structure, and minijigs are plucking the slabs out of the trees and brush. Catfish are taken on cut baits. The fuel dock is now selling fuel again from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The lake dropped slightly to 71% this week.

At San Antonio, catfish remain the top species with cut baits soaked in scent. Small largemouth bass averaging around a pound are possible while blue gills are taken on red worms. Crappie remain slow. The lake dropped slightly to 41%, and the lake is now open daily at the South Shore.

At Lopez Lake, topwater bite action in the mornings remains solid for largemouth bass to 5 pounds with walking baits while the reaction bite with jerkbaits, underspins, and chatterbaits takes off when the wind is blowing. By midmorning, working the bottom with jigs or big plastics on the drop-shot are best. Panfish are found as deep as 25 feet with red worms or jumbo red worms.

At Santa Margarita, there is a good topwater bite with walking baits or Poppers in the mornings and evenings while reaction baits are effective when there is a breeze. Dropping to the bottom with big plastics to 10 inches along with jigs or creature baits is best by mid-morning. Crappie are scarce, but there have been some big slabs to 2 pounds taken so it is quality over quantity rightnow. Catfish are found with cutbaits, and there have been some big cats landed within the past week.


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

More online

Go to for Ocean, Delta, Kern County and Central Coast lakes and for event results and the tournament schedule.



Best Bass Tournaments: June 29 at Delta/Russo’s Marina – 1, Anthony Crivelli/Joseph Durling, 20.66 pounds; 2, Sean and Dennis O’Riordan, 19.45 (Big Fish 8.71); 3, Xiong Yang/Tou Vang, 18.89.

Cen Cal Elite Bass Tournaments: June 29 at Pine Flat – 1, Gary Wasson/Joe Baeza, 14.00 (Big Fish 5.62); 2, Carl Nelson/Zac Tate, 12.87; 3, Nai Saeleau/Jeremy Jones, 12.74.

Central Valley Kayak Fishing: June 30 at Hensley (4-fish limits) – 1, Michael Sharp, 61.75 inches; 2, Lee Xiong, 60.25 (Big Fish 23.75); 3, Cameron Wagner, 56.75.


Name of event: July 6-7: Delta/Russo’s Marina – American Bass Association

July 6: Eastman – RiverRat Bass Tournaments

July 12: Santa Margarita – 101 Bass

July 13-14: Don Pedro – Fresno Bass Club, Isabella – Kern County Bass Masters, Lopez – Golden Empire Bass Club

July 13: Delta/Russo’s Marina – New Jen Bass Tournaments, Delta/Ladd’s Marina – Bass N’ Tubes, Camanche – Gold Country Junior Bass Club, New Melones – Kokanee Power Team Kokanee Tournament, Don Pedro – Riverbank Bass Anglers, McClure – Merced Bass Club, Eastman – Kings River Bass Club, Pine Flat – Bakersfield Bass Club, Wishon – Kiwanis Division 5 Trout Derby, Santa Margarita – Best Bass Tournaments

July 14: Camanche – Gold Country Junior Bass Club, Success – New Jen Bass Tournaments

Aug. 3-4: Delta/Russo’s Marina – Snag Proof Open Frog Tournament

Trout plants

Week of by July 7 in Central California by California Department of Fish and Wildlife:

Tuolumne County: Lyons Canal (Columbia Ditch), Lyons Reservoir, Pinecrest Lake, Stanislaus River (middle, south and north forks)

Solunar table









































q = quarter moon > = peak activity

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