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. Have a photo of a recent catch to share? Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org with “fish photo” in the subject line.
2-Have to work hard
4-Fish jumpin’ in boat
Delta Mendota Canal and Sloughs
Striper 3; Catfish 2; Bass 3
The Delta Mendota Canal near Firebaugh has been the location for largemouth bass, with fishermen punching the weeds with Creature Baits such as Brush Hogs under 1- to 1.5-ounce tungsten weights. There have been some impressive largemouths to 6 pounds landed. There is also a frog bite. Striped bass for school-sized fish is still available in the California Aqueduct near Kettleman City with Duo Realis 120 jerkbaits or Lucky Craft 128’s. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “We have sold out of the Duo’s in ghost minnow, but there are plenty of the other colors available for this popular lure.” In the south aqueduct in Kern County, Jacob Rutledge of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield reported fishermen are targeting catfish with garlic shrimp, Sonny’s Dip Bait, Kat Nip Beef Bait and super meal worms. Samia Sarasone of Bakersfield upgraded his leading fish in the August Carp Derby with a 10.9-pounder taken on Power Bait in the aqueduct. The entry is $1.
Bass 3; Trout 1; Bluegill 2; Catfish 3; Crappie 1
Eastman remained the top bass lake in the Fresno area with the occasional largemouth from 5-7 pounds taken on Senkos or Brush Hogs along the weed line. The deepest water is near the dam, and anglers are working this area in the evenings or nighttime. The area up the river arm that had been closed off to accommodate nesting bald eagles reopened Aug. 1, but only about 100 yards past the buoy line given the shallow conditions. Bluegill can be found on red worms or wax worms in a variety of locations. Catfishing remained solid at night with frozen sardines, chicken livers, or anchovies. Low water continues to contribute to unmarked rockpiles as boating hazards; most are running their trolling motors or idling slowly when in transit. Ranger Bryan Stiles of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reported, “We sincerely appreciate our visitors cooperation in protecting the habitat of the nesting bald eagles in the area. As anglers enter the area once again, please remember that beyond the buoy line, submerged hazards are not marked, and the area will remain a no-wake zone.” The lake dropped to 7% capacity and to 467.84 feet in elevation.
Call: Six Star Tackle Box 673-5688; Eastman Lake 689-3255
Bass 2; Trout 1; Catfish 3; Bluegill 2; Crappie 1
The launch ramp is all but over with kayaks, canoes and float tubes the best option for getting wet. Kayak fishermen are targeting largemouth bass with Senkos, Carolina-rigged lizards or plastics on the drop-shot for the occasional fish over 4 pounds. Catfish are biting sardines or anchovies with the best action at night. The lake dropped slightly to 448.19 feet in elevation and 6% capacity.
Call: Fresno Fisherman’s Warehouse 225-1838; Valley Rod Gun, Clovis 292-3474; Six Star Tackle Box 673-5688; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Hensley Lake Hidden Dam 673-5151
Lake Don Pedro
Bass 2; Trout 2; Kokanee 1; King salmon 2; Crappie 2
King salmon and trout action at Don Pedro remained slow with the fish holding deep even as the lake continues to recede. Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing reported a tough bite during a recent trip – four resulting in two salmon and a rainbow trout while fishing as deep as 100 feet with a variety of presentations. Smith said, “We started out fast-trolling heavy spoons without any action although we marked plenty of fish and bait at depths from 30-50 feet, and after this slow period, we switched over to smaller spoons, losing a decent salmon that was taking line. As we marked bait, I put on Wiggle Hoochies with a piece of anchovy at depths from 90-100 feet, and the lures came up with the anchovy missing. We put a shad down to roll, but it didn’t get hit either before we finally landed a quality rainbow at 85 feet on the Wiggle Hoochie along with two other king salmon. I think the bite will start within the month as there is so much bait holding between 30 and 50 feet.” Smith advised fishermen to heavy scent their baits with various Pro Cure flavors as well as running ball trolls for added flash in the dingy water. He added, “The water at Don Pedro is generally off-color at this time of year.” For spotted and largemouth bass, Manny Basi of the Bait Barn in Waterford reported large minnows have been effective from the banks, and the bite was solid until the weekend triple-digit temperatures hit. The best action is early in the morning or late at night, and boaters are having to drop-shot at depths to 60 feet for decent action with Reaction Innovation’s Bad Shad Green or Robo Worm’s Hologram Shad. The ramp at Fleming Meadows is the only launch on the lake, and it requires a skillful backup job as it turns to the left. Once past the curve, the launch ramp opens up, allowing for two boats to be put in or taken out at a time. The lake dropped 2 feet to 679.95 in elevation and 33% capacity.
Call: Monte Smith (209) 581-4734; Danny Layne-Fish’n Dan (209) 586-2383; Gary Vella (209) 652-7550; Bait Barn (209) 874-3011
Lake Isabella/Bakersfield area
Bass 2; Trout 1; Crappie 2; Catfish 3; Bluegill 2
Jacob Rutledge of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield reported continued solid catfish action with garlic shrimp, Sonny’s Dip Bait, Kat Nip Beef Bait or the 3-inch super meal worms. Fishermen are working the long flat near Red’s Marina in the early morning or late evenings for the best action for the whiskerfish. The early morning is also the best time for bass, with the largemouths going into hiding in the limited structure. Crankbaits in the early morning are said to be effective. Crappie fishermen are picking up a few slabsides near the submerged trees in the lake’s south end. The trees look like sticks sitting up out of the water as their branches have been worn away over the years of immersion. With the low water levels, a four-wheel-drive vehicle is needed to launch a vessel from the dirt ramp near Red’s. There are no marinas or courtesy docks. The lake dropped slightly to 2,523.38feet in elevation and 6% capacity. In the upper Kern River, trout plants from the evacuation of the San Joaquin Hatchery have occurred, and the rainbows are holding in the deeper pools. In the lower river, hot weather has limited the number of fishermen, but Zoom Trick Worms or Deadly Duo custom-poured plastics in green pumpkin or watermelon colors are working for largemouth and smallmouth bass. Buena Vista is kicking out some catfish at night along with a few bass.
Call: Bob’s Bait (661) 833-8657; North Fork Marina (760) 376-1812
Bass 3; Crappie 2; Trout 1; Catfish 2
Sierra Sporting Goods in Exeter reported good bass fishing with crankbaits or live minnows in medium to large sizes. The bite has been best once the sun goes down with drop-shot plastics, jigs or crankbaits. Crappie are found on the far side of the lake near rockpiles with small minnows while bluegill are biting live crickets or wax worms. The catfish bite has been slow. The lake receded nearly 2 feet to 610 in elevation and 15% capacity.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212
Bass 2; Trout 1; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
Hot weather has limited the number of fishermen trying, and the bass bite remained slow. A few fish can be taken on the bottom with lizards in watermelon red on a slow presentation. The best location has been in the deepest section near the dam. Carp are moving shallower, with dough baits or prepared Powder Bait both effective. The lake dropped a foot to 584.38 in elevation and 7% capacity.
Call: Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626, sequoiafishingcompany.com
Bass 2; Trout 2; King salmon 1; Kokanee 1; Crappie 2; Catfish 3
Bass and catfish from the banks are available, but there are few boats launched in the low water conditions. The North Barrett Cove ramp is the only launch operational as the lake has dropped 2 feet this week to 617.17 in elevation and 10% capacity. The ramp requires a long walk back to the parking lot unless you arrive early. Updated conditions are available at (855) 222-5253. A proposal to close the Merced River to fishing until Jan. 1 because of the drought has been presented for public review.
Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505; Bub Tosh (209) 404-0053
McSwain Marina is closed Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Spotted bass are dominating action for the few bank and boat fishermen as the warm-water species have moved into the lake because of releases from upstream McClure. A decision on the resumption of trout plants is pending a review based upon the water temperatures.
Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River
Bass 2; Striper 1; Shad 1; Bluegill 2; Trout 1; Catfish 2
The bass bite remained extremely tough, with experienced fishermen working 3-4 hours for a single 10-incher. The lake continues to release water, and the combination of recreational boat traffic and steadily dropping levels are major contributors to few fishermen targeting the lake. Catfish to 3 pounds can be found at night with anchovies or sardines near the Madera Launch Ramp. There were no striper reports. All vessels must possess a low-emission motor. Millerton dropped nearly a foot this week to 483.09 in elevation and 33% capacity because of the releases from upstream reservoirs. Regulations on the lower San Joaquin, and from Friant Dam downstream to the Highway 140 Bridge, allow only two hatchery trout or hatchery steelhead with a total of four in possession.
Call: Fresno Fisherman’s Warehouse 225-1838; Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474
New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch
Bass 2; Crappie 3; Catfish 3; Trout 2; Kokanee 2
At New Melones, the ramp situation is keeping boaters from the lake, but patient fishermen are easily able to launch on the gravel road with a four-wheel-drive tow vehicle. Fortunately, action from the banks remains solid with the crappie bite starting to emerge. John Lietchy of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp stated: “The last time the lake was this low, the crappie fishing in the mid- to late summer was really good. Standing timber is lining the lake, and the crappie will hold in the submerged timber and ambush schools of small shad as they come by. Find an area where the timber is near deep water, and anchor and drop a submersible light to attract crappie.” Morgan Styre of Sonora caught more than 30 crappie up to 2 pounds while fishing with live minnows at night. Catfishing remains outstanding with the whiskerfish cruising the shallows along the shorel in search of food. Sardines, mackerel, anchovies, or frozen shad are all working for quality whiskerfish, and Lietchy advised using additional scent along with a bead to create noise and vibration. Trout fishing remained slow with spotted bass coming up on the end of lines as much as the rainbow trout. The bass are suspending and chasing shad in the main lake where the temperatures are cooler. Night fishing under lights at depths from 40-60 feet has been the best option for rainbows with trout dough bait, minnows or nightcrawlers. Kokanee is very slow with few fishermen targeting the landlocked salmon. Bass fishing is fair and the bite is getting tougher through the period of triple-digit weather. The bass are suspended and chasing shad in the main lake. There is a small window for topwater, but the best action is at night with black spinnerbaits with a small single Colorado blade with a small boot-tail trailer. Lietchy said, “This bait will create a thumping sound with the rotation of the blade and the wag of the tail.” The lake dropped 3.5 feet to 13% capacity and 811.98 in elevation. Tulloch rose to 508.83 and 96, but water releases are expected to begin in earnest Aug. 23.
Call: Glory Hole Sports (209) 736-4333; Monte Smith (209) 581-4734; Danny Layne-Fish’n Dan (209) 586-2383; Sierra Sport Fishing (209) 599-2023
Pine Flat Reservoir/Kings River
Bass 2; Trout 2; King salmon 1; Catfish 3; Crappie 2
Bass fishing is extremely slow but Patrick Movey of the Fisherman’s Warehouse in Fresno said, “ A few fish are found on the bottom with purple worms on the drop-shot.” Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis added, “Fishermen have put in up to 5 hours for one or two small bass.” Catfishing at night is the top draw with chicken livers, sardines or anchovies near the houseboats. The trout bite is all but dead, and few trollers are focusing on this lake. Recreational boating has basically taken over the lake, and the water level continues to drop steadily on a daily basis. The lake dropped 4 feet in the past week to 730.65 in elevation and 13% capacity. In the lower Kings River, trout fishermen are working the banks below the dam for planters with Kastmasters, spinners or Power Bait. The spinners are working best in the fast water as bait has a tendency to get hung on the bottom. Regulations in the Kings River above and below Pine Flat Dam set the season as running from the last Saturday in April to Nov. 15 from Pine Flat Dam downstream to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Bridge on Pine Flat Road with a five-fish limit. The bridge is the first one to the west of the dam.
Call: Fresno Fisherman’s Warehouse 225-1838; Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474; Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626; The I Forgot Store 787-3689
San Luis Reservoir and O’Neill Forebay
Striper 2; Catfish 2; Bass 1; Crappie 1
Extra-large minnows available in area shops has led to more anglers drifting the live bait in the main lake. Trollers are finding the best action at the mouth of Portuguese Cove or around Dinosaur Point with P-Line’s Predator Minnows, broken-back Rebels, swimbaits on an Umbrella-rig or Yozuri Crystal Minnows. Roger George of Roger George Guide Service said that the fish have been very lethargic for him and several other good anglers for the past week. “We only got four fish to 22 inches trolling all day, with unusual numbers of the fish just sitting on the bottom in the mud. We didn’t see one other boat catch a single fish Saturday, telling me something was way off . The water level is actually pretty good, but the heat was tough. Boats are launching at the second dirt ramp at Basalt now.” The banks around Romero Visitor Center are producing with blood worms or pile worms, but a long walk to the parking lot is necessary. In the O’Neill Forebay, Anthony Lopez of Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill reported that catfish are showing up around Highway 152 and Check 12 with chicken liver, while small stripers are abundant with white flukes on a three-sixteenths-ounce Scrounger head, blood worms or pile worms. Keepers in the 18- to 22-inch range are possible, but you have to go through a number of fish to find a limit. The main lake continues to release water at a rapid clip for agricultural and domestic uses. It dropped 1% this week to 22% capacity with a release of 3,807 acre-feet Monday.
Call: Coyote Bait andTackle (408) 463-0711, Roger George of rogergeorgeguideservice.com (559) 905-2954
Bass 2; Trout 2; Kokanee 1
Heavy recreational boating activity dominates, especially on weekends. Low lake levels have contributed to submerged trees close to the surface, creating a hazard for trollers. The Sheriff’s Motor Fee is in effect, and few bass fishermen are launching boats. A few dedicated bass fishermen are walking the dam in the middle of the night tossing big swimbaits for spotted bass to 3 pounds. The weed growth is heavy, particularly on the north end. The lake held at 51% capacity, and launching a large boat requires skill and experience.
Call: Todd Wittwer 288-8100; Mike Beighey 642-3748
Brown trout 2; Trout 2
At Mammoth Pool, the trout action remains extremely slow despite lake levels holding at 77% capacity. Crawdad fishermen are finding good action in their traps, but the trout are a mystery. Over Kaiser Pass, Lake Edison has held at 18% after being below 10% for most of the year, and anglers walking the banks are picking up rainbows and browns casting small Kastmasters, Roostertails or trout dough bait from the shore in the shallow reservoir. Florence held at 33%.
Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000
Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake
Kokanee 2; Trout 4; Smallmouth 4
The fourth consecutive year of drought has for the first time resulted in the evacuation of rainbow trout in the San Joaquin Hatchery at the base of Friant Dam on the San Joaquin River. The water level at Millerton Lake is so low that that the temperature is not cold enough for hatchery fish to survive. As a result, rainbow trout to 3 pounds have been released into Shaver, Huntington, Courtright and Wishon reservoirs in Fresno County. That had led t oa fishermen’s invasion at Shaver Lake, with bank anglers lining the shore and so many boats cramming into a one square mile area that Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters compared the flotilla to the “Oklahoma Land Rush.” Nichols has been scoring up to four quick limits on a daily basis within 2 hours of launching, and his best action has been around the front of the dam, the Point and the Island with Dick’s Trout Busters tipped with a piece of nightcrawler behind a Mountain Flasher at depths from 23-55 feet. Orange or pink Apex lures tipped with a nightcrawler are also effective. Bank fishermen are lined up around the Sierra Marina, the dam, and Roads 1 and 2 with trout dough bait or inflated nightcrawlers. Smallmouth bass fishing remained outstanding, with Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project members Mike O’Connell and Bob Bernier taking youths with Down’s syndrome from the local Camp Down to Earth for 50 smallies within a couple of hours. Nichols and Dave Dungy took other campers on their boats to troll for rainbows. Steve Santoro of Fish Box Charters confirmed the red hot bite, stating, “Fishing at Shaver has just been off the hook.” He is scoring with various lures in orange at depths from 40-50 feet. The Shaver Lake project netted about $29,000 at their fifth annual dinner two weeks ago, funds that will help plant trout and take kids fishing in 2016. The project, per its custom, will not meet this month but will resume its gatherings Sept. 16 at the Edison Tiffany Pines meeting room. The public is always invited. Huntington, while also receiving some rainbows from the hatchery, saw trout fishing improve for the few trollers willing to launch their small boats from the shore near the ramp. Bank fishermen are concentrating around the mouth of Rancheria Creek or Dam 2 with inflated nightcrawlers or trout dough bait. Kokanee in the 10- to 11.5-inch range have been found on small spinners or spoons tipped with shoepeg corn. Huntington and Shaver remained stable at 56% and 64% of capacity, respectively.
Call: Dick’s Fishing Charters 841-2740; Dinkey Creek Inn 841-3435; Rancheria Marina 893-3234; Shaver Lake Sports Inc. 841-2740; Fish Box Charters 871-3937
Wishon and Courtright have benefited from the evacuation of rainbow trout from the San Joaquin Hatchery, and trout plants occurred during the last week. Chuck Crane of the Wishon Village RV Park and Store said, “Wishon is quite low, but boats can still be launched from the dirt road. Bank fishing has slowed down from along the dam and launch ramp, but you can catch fish if you are patient.” The best bank action has been near the mouth of Short Hair Creek and at the headwaters of the lake with trout dough bait in orange or pink along with inflated nightcrawlers. Trollers are finding very good action at the far end of the lake pulling Speedy Shiners in copper/red or brass/red at 3-5 colors on a very slow presentation. Blade/crawler combinations are also effective. Merritt Gilbert at Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis rated Wishon as good as Courtright at the present time. At Courtright, bank fishing is fair around the dam for planted rainbows with trout dough bait or inflated nightcrawlers. Casting Thomas Buoyant spoons is another productive option. Trollers are picking up rainbows along with an occasional brown trout with ExCel spoons, Speedy Shiners, or Needlefish in various colors at 3-4 colors of lead core, also on a slow presentation. Gilbert added, “The cut of rainbow is better at Courtright than Wishon although the numbers are around the same.” Fires in the southern Sierra have brought smoke to the high country, but the lure of excellent fishing and the triple-digit heat in the Valley have resulted in big crowds over the weekend.
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
Salmon 2; Rockfish 4; Striper 3; White seabass 2
Dennis Baxter of the New Captain Pete went rockfishing Saturday for 21 limits of rockfish and four ling cod before beating it back home against the wind and current. He said, “We had an unforeseen breeze along the coast, and it made for rough conditions in the afternoons.” Private boaters are still finding enough salmon to keep them occupied between the Red and Green Buoy, but the hot spot over the weekend was Egg Rock and Pedro Point for salmon. He said, “There is a good scattering of fish along the coast, and the Que Sera Sera landed 5 commercial grade salmon after rockfishing on Saturday near San Gregorio.” Baxter has an open load salmon trip on Tuesday, and he said with conviction, “We are going!” Rob Chaney at the Rusty Hook in Pacifica reported striped bass action is slowing down at bit, particularly during the day, but the bite is solid at night with hair raisers, jigs, and spoons in red/white with a chartreuse line. The water has been flat calm, and the weather has been humid and smoky along the coast. No salmon have been taken from the pier, but trollers are finding good action off Pedro Point. A few white sea bass also are showing up off of Egg Rock with the accumulation of squid in the region.
Call: Happy Hooker (510) 223-5388; Roger Thomas, Salty Lady (415) 760-9362; Bait and Switch Sport Fishing Center (650) 726-7133726-7133; Emeryville Sport Fishing (510) 654-6040; Don Franklin, Soleman (510) 703-4148
Rockfish 4; Striper 2
Chris Arcoleo of Chris’ Fishing Trips in Monterey reported limits of rockfish and solid ling counts remain the rule with 22 limits and 15 lings on the Caroline on Sunday along with 21 limits and 16 lings on the Check Mate. It was more of the same Saturday with a combined 46 ling cod and 62 limits of rockfish on the Caroline and Star of Monterey.
Call: Chris’ Landing(831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173; usafishing.com
San Francisco Bay
Halibut 2; Striper 2; Rockfish 4; Leopard shark 3; Sturgeon 1; Salmon 2
Salmon fishing was just under a fish per rod Friday and Saturday with Captain Roger Thomas of the Salty Lady out of Sausalito returning with 14 salmon to 22 pounds for 20 anglers along the Marin coast Friday. It was an up and down bite again Sunday with the Sundance and Super Fish out of Emeryville Sport Fishing putting in moe than a fish per rod with 19 salmon to 16 pounds for 15 anglers working the Marin coastline. The Blue Runner out of Sausalito had a solid day with 11 salmon for 15 anglers working the Marin coast. It was a different story for the three Sausalito boats as they went south in search of salmon Sunday to find only 16 for 55 anglers before running back north along the Marin coast. Their action was better Saturday as they went south and west of the Golden Gate for 40 salmon to 26 pounds for 47 fishermen; the Sundance, C Gull II, New Salmon Queen and New Seeker combined for 45 salmon to 22 pounds for 61 fishermen. The C Gull II came in with nearly a fish per rod at 12 for 15 fishermen plus a 12-pound striped bass. It’s still a pick out there with good days followed by slower action. It has been hard to get a read on the salmon fishing this year. Pick a day, pick a location – and you may get lucky. Rockfishing is far more consistent with the Happy Hooker putting in limits of rockfish and up to 39 ling cod Thursday and Friday. They ended up with three-quarter limits of rockfish along with 39 ling cod despite fishermen bringing out their big baits. Captain James Smith on the California Dawn put in 57 lings for just shy of limits for 20 anglers Sunday along with 177 rockfish – there may have been a bit of a case of ling cod fever on this boat as well. Friday’s score was tremendous for Smith as he took out an 11-man charter for limits of ling cod, 11 halibut, 11 striped bass, a salmon and 72 rockfish. The New Huck Finn, Sea Wolf, New Seeker and Tiger Fish out of Emeryville Sport Fishing went up the Marin coast Saturday for 104 limits of rockfish and 130 ling cod to 20 pounds. On Sunday, the Sea Wolf went to the Farallon Islands and caught mackerel and sand dabs on the way out, accounting for 65 ling cod to 18 pounds along with 25 limits of rockfish. It is the time of year when the live bait becomes available for the party boats offshore. Inside the bay, Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle in San Rafael reported continued outstanding striper action in San Pablo Bay. He said, “Drifting Loch Lomond shiners at the Brothers or Sisters or trolling along the shoreline at the top of the tide is producing no end to the stripers.” An occasional salmon is landed at California City, but Fraser advised, “It’s worth going but don’t quit your day job to go just yet.” Captain Gordon Hough of the Morningstar was at Raccoon Straits on Saturday, and he marked plenty of striped bass holding on the small reef at the west end of the strait. Fraser has frozen midshipmen as well as plenty of shiners in the shop. Captain Bill Clapp of Bill’s Sport Fishing has been targeting commercial halibut in the bay, and after a few days of slower action, he had flatfish at 30, 20, and 12 pounds in the box Sunday.
San Luis Obispo
Rock cod 4; White seabass 2
Rockfishing continued to be excellent off San Luis Obispo with party boats from both ports putting the passengers onto limit action. Out of Port San Luis, the Patriot scored 29 limits of rockfish with 50 ling cod to 22.7 pounds Monday near Point Sal. Their ling cod count is at 2,607 for the season. They have live bait in the harbor, and the bait was the key to the high ling count. A number of white sea bass also have been showing up on private boats out of Port San Luis. The Avila Beach Pier is closed, but the Harford Pier at Port San Luis remains open. The Endeavor out of Morro Bay Landing put in 15 limits of assorted rockfish Monday along with five lings to 8 pounds. The Fiesta and Rita G out of Virg’s Landing combined for 341 assorted rockfish, 89 vermilion rockfish, a sheephead and 19 ling cod to 11.2 pounds – with the jackpot fish taken by Jesus Medina of Woodlake – for 43 fishermen Saturday. Their ling cod count is at 4,620. Bob’s Bait Bucket in Bakersfield is setting up a charter on the Island Spirit out of Ventura on October 18th as the August trip is sold out.
Call: Virg’s Landing, (805) 772-1222; (800) 762-5263; Patriot Sports Fishing (805) 595-4100; Port Side Marine Sports Launch (805) 595-7214
Bass 2; Striper 3; Sturgeon 1; Catfish 3; Bluegill 3; Salmon 2
Salmon fishing remains extremely slow along both ends of the Delta, but the water cleared up enough Sunday to account for three salmon to 15 pounds taken off Dillon Point State Park. In the upper river near Freeport, at least four salmon to 20 pounds have been caught since the opener. Striped bass are moving in with more force, spread from Benicia up above the Rio Vista Bridge. James Nguyen of Dockside Bait in Pittsburg reported small striped bass to 5 pounds are plentiful in Broad Slough, Sherman Lake and along Decker Island with live mudsuckers, frozen shad or grass shrimp. At least two salmon have been landed from the shore near Antioch on spinners, but the fish are moving so fast through the river because of the water temperatures. Mark Wilson, striped bass trolling expert, was out on the river Sunday during the triple-digit temperatures and reported solid action with three-quarter-ounce Rat-L-Traps on light tackle in the shallows above the Rio Vista Bridge. “We ended up catching and releasing 30 stripers to 6 pounds, and there were at least five fish in the 4- to 6-pound range.” Alan Fong of the Fisherman’s Warehouse in Sacramento confirmed the emergence of the striped bass, and swimbaits are the ticket for the linesides near Liberty Island. Johnny Tran of New Romeo’s Bait and Tackle in Freeport reported live mudsuckers are producing stripers in the Sacramento Deep Water Channel, Liberty Island and along the sandbar above the Rio Vista Bridge. He said, “Stripers are getting better and better every day.” Steve Santucci of Steve Santucci’s Fly Fishing Guide Service reported, “Currently we have great smallmouth fishing. If you fish now for smallie, you can plan on non-stop action all day long.” For the upcoming sturgeon season, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife is asking anglers to use caution and extra vigilance to help conserve the white sturgeon and green sturgeon populations, which are being impacted by the drought. Anglers are encouraged to use high-strength fishing line to reduce the duration of the fight and employ in-water techniques for measuring the size of white sturgeon. Anglers should leave oversize white sturgeon in the water at all times and know how to quickly identify green sturgeon. The regular appearance of fresh shad in local bait shops has coincided with the arrival of striped bass in the Antioch area. Water temperatures remain very high, but the striper action, although slower than the neighboring Sacramento River, is starting to heat up. Largemouth bass are taking refuge under the mats because of triple-digit temperatures, and punching the weeds remains a top technique. Doug Chapman of Gotcha Bait in Antioch reported good numbers of fishermen are out despite the heat. Stripers to 36 inches have been taken off Antioch Fishing Pier. Chapman picked up a 29-incher on fresh shad during the week. Fresh shad has been the top bait along with live mudsuckers. For largemouth bass, Fong reported punching the weeds with Missle’s D-Bombs in green pumpkin on a 1- to 1.5-ounce tungsten weight are producing bass, and there is an early morning topwater bite with Whopper Ploppers or buzzbaits. Largemouth bass are also found in Big Break or Frank’s Tract with large minnows. Also for largemouth bass, Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, was the tournament director for the weekend Best Bass Tournament at Russo’s Marina. He said, “It was tough out there with the triple-digit temperatures, and the best action was found on topwater lures along with drop-shot plastics with a scattered bite with spinnerbaits or crankbaits.” He plans on flipping the Berkley Chigger Craw in black/red near the banks or tossing ima’s Helly P propbait on a slow, steady retrieve to keep the bait in the strike zone.
Call: Randy Pringle (209) 543-6260; Captain Stan Koenigsberger – Quetzal Adventures (925) 570-5303; Intimidator Sport Fishing (916) 806-3030
Lake Nacimiento/San Antonio/Santa Margarita/Lopez
Bass 3; White bass 2; Striper 1; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
There is little change, with low water conditions and heavy recreational boat traffic at Nacimiento. Santa Margarita is very low, and terrestrial wildlife have reclaimed the exposed section. Bass fishing can be solid with jigs, crankbaits, Senkos or frogs; crappie are found around the buoy line and the docks. Santa Margarita is less than 15% capacity, but the marina store is open for supplies and rental vessels. Lopez is kicking out a few quality bass to 6 pounds with plastics worms while the bluegill and crappie bites are solid. Lopez is the main location for upcoming coastal bass tournaments within the month. San Antonio is closed given low-water levels. Recreational boating continues to be the top draw at Nacimiento, but spotted bass can be taken in the less-trafficked morning and evening hours with drop-shot plastics, crankbaits or spinnerbaits. .
Call: Lake Nacimiento (805) 238-1056, ext. 3; Lake San Antonio Marina (805) 472-2818; Central Coast Bass Fishing.com (805) 466-6557
- Best Bass Tournaments on Aug. 15 at Delta/Russo’s Marina: 1, Kevin Cornwell/Tim Meeks 20.27 pounds (big fish 6.05); 2, Jesse Groves/Christopher McLain 18.83; 3, Nick Nourot/Ryan Bottini 18.47
- Angler’s Choice on Aug. 15 at Delta/Ladd’s Marina: 1, Lorenzo and John Rossetti 19.34 pounds; 2, Harvey Pulliam/Kevin Arbert 18.87 (big fish 5.78); 3, Dan Daniel/Dee Thomas 16.39
- Saturday-Sunday: Best Bass Tournaments at Delta/Russo’s Marina; Manteca Bassin’ Buddies at Delta/B and W Resort; Riverbank Bass Anglers at New Melones; 101 Bass at Kaweah
- Sunday-Monday: Fresno Bass Club at Pine Flat
- Aug. 28: Jim’s Pro Bass Tackle at Lopez
- Aug. 28-29: 101 Bass at Millerton
- Aug. 29: Angler’s Choice at Delta/B and W Resort; Glory Hole Sporting Goods at New Melones; Sierra Bass Club at Eastman
- Tuolumne County: Lyons Canal (Columbia Ditch); Moccasin Creek; Powerhouse Stream; Stanislaus River Clarks Fork; Stanislaus River Middle Fork; Stanislaus River South Fork
q = quarter moon