Hunting Fishing

Fishing Report: Week of Sept. 1

Roosevelt High School Bass Fishing Club president Corrie Williams, left, and Bryce Her, right, hold forth the bass they caught midway through the April Extravaganza bass fishing tournament at Eastman Lake Sunday morning, April 14, 2013.
Roosevelt High School Bass Fishing Club president Corrie Williams, left, and Bryce Her, right, hold forth the bass they caught midway through the April Extravaganza bass fishing tournament at Eastman Lake Sunday morning, April 14, 2013. FRESNO BEE FILE

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 with “fish photo” in the subject line.

Best bets

Shaver keeps on pumping out limits, Dick Nichols reported. Delta bass and striper action hot, Alan Fong said. San Francisco salmon, rockfish and striper bites good, James Smith reported. Wishon and Courtright smokey-but fishing good, Chuck Crane 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 recent huge striped bass taken at night from the main San Luis Reservoir, including a 52-pounder on a 4-inch Storm swimbait, interest in the Aqueduct has been on the downside for Fresno-area fishermen. Schoolie stripers are taken on Duo Realis jerkbaits or Lucky Craft Pointer 128’s. The Delta Mendota Canal near Firebaugh has been producing largemouth bass for fishermen punching the weeds with creature baits such as Baby Brush Hogs under 1- to 1.5-ounce tungsten weights. In the south aqueduct in Kern County, Jacob Rutledge of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield reported the striper bite is back on with one fisherman catching and releasing 14 linesides to 28 inches using a Lucky Craft Sammy in ghost minnow near the Buena Vista Golf Course. Largemouth bass are still around with live minnows or plastics on the drop-shot. Catfish are still the top species at the aqueduct with Sonny’s Dip Bait, Kat Nip Beef Bait and super meal worms. The August Carp Derby ended Monday, and Dennis Allensworth Jr. took the top prize with a 15-pounder landed at the aqueduct.

Eastman Lake

Bass 2; Trout 1; Bluegill 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 1

A few largemouth bass to 8 pounds were landed during Saturday’s Sierra Bass Club night tournament, with impressive limits weighed in. Morgan Barnes of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ ranger station reported the majority of bass are taken in the early mornings or late evenings with crankbaits, swimbaits or topwater lures for reaction baits while drop-shot plastics are working in the deeper portions near the dam. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun touted Brush Hogs, crankbaits or reaction baits for the larger fish. There is a frog bite in the weed patches in the early evening before dark sets in. Catfishing continued to be productive with chicken livers, sardines or anchovies from the shore, with the best action in the evenings. Bluegill are another option with red worms or wax worms around submerged structure. The area above the buoy line is open, but there is little water to venture too far. Launching a boat isn’t easy, and there are hazards of unmarked rockpiles throughout the lake. Most boaters are running their trolling motors or idling slowly when in transit. The lake is at 7% capacity, falling slightly to 467.43 feet in elevation.

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

Hensley Lake

Bass 2; Trout 1; Catfish 3; Bluegill 2; Crappie 1

Catfish are the top species via anchovies, sardines or mackerel, with the best action in the evenings. The lake has receded to the point of no return for trailered boats, but kayaks, canoes and float tubes remain a possibility for getting on the lake. The lake fell slightly to 447.91 feet in elevation and 5%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 3; Trout 2; Kokanee 1; King salmon 2; Crappie 2; Catfish 2

Despite low water conditions, Don Pedro has turned back on for kokanee and rainbow trout anglers. Monte Smith of Gold County Sport Fishing said, “I have to get back on the lake and see for myself, but three local anglers scoring eight kokanee to 16 inches and seven rainbow trout to 18 inches on a recent trip. The kokanee were found deep from 90-110 feet from Middle Bay to the Graveyard running hoochies without corn, and although they are starting to absorb their scales, their meat is still bright pink. The largest kokanee was over 16 inches and weighed 1.5 pounds. Rainbow action was also encouraging at depths from 50-65 feet with ExCel spoons, and I am looking forward to getting back out there.” Fresno-area bass fishermen have been tired of struggling in their local lakes, and a few have been running north to Don Pedro for solid action. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “One fisherman was tired of the overall poor fishing around here, and he went to Pedro for 11 bass to 2 pounds with a pair of the bass in the morning on topwater lures before going to the bottom with drop-shot plastics.” Catfish have been taken on anchovies near the Moccasin launch ramp. The lake dropped a foot to 675.50 in elevation and 32% 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 2; Crappie 2; Catfish 3; Bluegill 1

Jacob Rutledge of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield catfish are providing the best action at the lake with garlic shrimp, Sonny’s Dip Bait, Kat Nip Beef Bait or the 3-inch super meal worms. A few bass can be found in the early mornings with crankbaits near submerged timber. For catfish, anglers are lining up along the long flat near Red’s Marina in the early morning or late evenings for the best action for the whiskerfish. Crappie action has been slow with only a few slabsides per angler for several hours of fishing. With the low lake levels, it is necessary to use a four-wheel-drive vehicle to launch from the dirt ramp near Red’s. There are no marinas or courtesy docks in the lake. The lake dropped slightly to 2523.12 feet in elevation and 6% capacity. In the upper Kern River, trout plants from the evacuation of the San Joaquin Hatchery have improved conditions. Rainbows are hanging tight to the pools in the warm water. Getting the fish to bite can be challenging. In the lower river, smallmouth bass are abundant, and they are biting Zoom Trick Worms or Deadly Duo custom-poured plastics in green pumpkin or watermelon colors. Buena Vista is fair for catfish at night along with a few bass.

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

Lake Kaweah

Bass 2; Crappie 2; Trout 1; Catfish 2

Bass action is best in the early mornings or late evenings with live minnows in medium to large sizes, nightcrawlers or crawdads. Drop-shot plastics, jigs or crankbaits are effective, although the lure bite has been slower with the fish suspended because of dropping water levels. Catfishing has been slow, but a few crappie are taken near submerged structure with live minnows or minijigs. The lake receded 2 feet to 606.10 in elevation and 13% capacity.

Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212

Lake Success

Bass 2; Trout 1; Catfish 2; Crappie 1

There has been minimal change within the past week with triple-digit temperatures limiting the number of fishermen. The deepest section of the shallow lake near the dam is the best location for the occasional bass, and dragging the bottom with lizards in the deepest water or running crankbaits across main lake points are working. Carp fishing is good in the shallows with dough baits or prepared Powder Bait. The lake dropped 2.5 feet to 581.32 in elevation and 6% capacity.

Call: Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626,

McClure Reservoir

Bass 3; Trout 2; King salmon 1; Kokanee 1; Crappie 2; Catfish 3

Not much change at McClure, with the lake continuing to drop in capacity. Few fishermen are heading to the lake with the low water conditions, but spotted bass and catfish are abundant for those willing to make a long walk. Live crawdads or plastics worms are working best, and there is a topwater bite in the mornings and evenings. The lake dropped 3 feet to 612.39 in elevation and 9% capacity. The Merced River is closed to fishing until January 1 between the Crocker-Huffman Bridge to G Street in Snelling because of warm water conditions.

Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505; Bub Tosh (209) 404-0053

McSwain Reservoir

Trout 2

Few reports from the lake given the lack of trout plants in the warm water conditions. A few holdover rainbows have been taken from the banks in the early mornings before the sun hits the water. As many spotted bass as rainbows are landed, as the spots have invaded from upstream McClure. The McSwain Marina is closed Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534

Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River

Bass 2; Striper 1; Shad 1; Bluegill 1; Trout 1

The bass action is limited to a few small windows in the early morning or just before dusk with Senkos or drop-shot plastics. A solid limit is only 6-7 pounds for five fish with few large ones taken. There was a double limit of more than 32 pounds taking first place at the Bass 101 Team Open Tournament over the weekend, with the large fish at 6.11 pounds. There have been largemouth bass in the 5- to 7-pound range observed following up flukes in the Finegold section of the lake, but they have been unwilling to take the lures. Recreational boating remains high, and it will continue to dominate the lake until after Labor Day. All vessels must possess a low-emission motor. Millerton dropped 2 feet to 477.82 in elevation and 30% capacity. On the San Joaquin River, the Roosevelt High School Bass Fishing Club is back in action, out at Sycamore Island on Saturday to clean up the area. They will be back on Sept.19 after participating in a tournament in the Delta the previous weekend. Regulations on the lower San Joaquin, and from Friant Dam downstream to the Highway 140 Bridge, allow 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 2; Catfish 3; Trout 2; Kokanee 1

Catfish are still the top species in the lake for the few anglers heading to New Melones. Frozen fish are the top baits for luring the whiskerfish in the shallows, especially when scented with various Pro Cure concoctions. John Lietchy of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp said, “Mackerel, sardines, and anchovies will work, but the frozen shad seems to be outfishing all of the other baits as the shad are a natural food source in the lake. Marshmallow/nightcrawler combinations are another solid set up for catfish although many fishermen consider this combination strictly for trout.” Crappie fishing is decent near submerged timber that lines the shore. The crappie are holding in the timber and ambushing the shad. Lietchy advised anchoring in deep water and dropping a submersible light in order to attract nearby crappie while dropping down a live minnow or crappie jig. Bass fishing is fair as the fish are hunkered down in the cooler water and moving up and down in the water column during the day as the shad schools are traveling up and down. Lietchty said, “There are huge schools of small bass in the 4- to 6-inch range loading up on 1-inch shad in the lake. The best action has been with larger crankbaits such as 6-inch Normans or Strike Kings that run deep. I am also tossing swimbaits and counting down to specific depths, and we have lost a few big fish within the past two weeks.” Kokanee fishing is all but dead, and trout fishing is also slow with few fishermen targeting rainbows. Night fishing under lights has been the top technique for rainbow trout. The launch ramp at Glory Hole Point is on the gravel, and four-wheel drive is necessary. The lake dropped 5 feet to 12% capacity and 807.03 in elevation this week. Tulloch held at 507.17 feet and 95%, with water releases expected to begin in earnest after Labor Day.

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

Kokanee 1; Bass 2; Trout 2; King salmon 1; Catfish 2; Crappie 2

Bass fishing continued to be slow with 6-pound limits the rule. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “Black spinnerbaits or topwater lures are working just before dark with the best action in the middle of the lake near the power lines. The dam end of the lake is generally solid during the periods of water releases, but it has been very slow. Carolina-rigged lizards, brass n’ glass or drop-shot plastics are also effective for the small bass, but the fish are scattered at depths from 5-40 feet.” Catfish are found with anchovies or sardines near the houseboats. Trout trolling is nil with nearly all boats heading for the high country. The lake ends just above Edison Point. The lake dropped 1 foot to 726.52 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 fom 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 Army 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

In the main San Luis Reservoir, trollers are pulling a variety of P-Line Predators, Yozuri Crystal Minnows, Rebels or Lucky Craft 128’s throughout the lake for striped bass ranging from 16-25 inches on a fair to tough bite. Using electronics to locate the schools of stripers is important as well as staying on the move to find larger fish. Roger George of Roger George Guide Service said that he and Pauley Gallegos of Los Banos fished for just 3.5 hours, and finally caught/released 10 fish to 23 inches trolling lures at 50-75 feet. “The water temp is right at 74-75 degrees and I’m seeing more active fish than two weeks ago, but it’s still far from an easy bite for trollers. The Basalt ramp is a mess and dangerous in a northwest wind, so driving around to the Dinosaur ramp is a great idea if the wind picks up,” George said. Bank anglers are tossing Storm swimbaits, flukes, or topwater lures in the evenings with huge stripers from 35-52 pounds reported this past week. Jumbo minnows are back in selected bait shops, and boaters are drifting the live bait at depths from 60-80 feet over structure. Delta water is once again being pumped sporadically into the reservoir as the lake level held steady this week. In the Forebay, weed growth has been high, and the recent spraying of the vegetation has not created improved conditions. Fishermen are wading far into the lake in order to get outside the weed line, but the action has been slow overall. Reaction baits have been the top lure although the Forebay has been off color because of the winds. A few catfish are taken on chicken livers, sardines or anchovies near Check 12. The main lake continues to release water at a rapid clip for agricultural and domestic uses, but imports from the Delta are keeping it steady at 20% with an addition of 6,941 acre-feet Monday.

Call: Coyote Bait andTackle (408) 463-0711, Roger George of (559) 905-2954

High Sierra

Bass Lake

Bass 2; Trout 2; Kokanee 1

Minimal information as the lake gears up for the final blowout of the summer, with Labor Day weekend on the horizon. Weed growth is heavy in the shallower ends. Recreational boating is dominating action, but the lake should settle down once the holiday has passed as all local schools have reopened. The Sheriff’s Motor Fee will cease after Labor Day, and bass fishermen will start returning. The lake dropped to 49% capacity, close to the no-return line for larger boats.

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

Edison/Florence/Mammoth Pool

Brown trout 2; Trout 2

At Mammoth Pool, the lake has dropped precipitously in the past two weeks and is at 26% capacity. Edison has receded to 5% after holding at nearly 20% for several weeks. Florence held at 33%.

Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000

Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake

Kokanee 2; Trout 4

Shaver Lake remained the top location in the central Sierra for rainbow trout, and the kokanee are starting to make a late-season showing. The great action is just in time for the Kokanee Power Shaver Lake Derby on Sept. 12. Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters said, “Not many fishing Shaver Lake go home without their limits, as the trout bite has been awesome with more big fish coming in this week. All of our clients have returned with limits of rainbows to 4 pounds including a few kokanee. The kokanee are in prespawn mode, and they are holding just off of the bottom.” The best quality have been found in deep water from 82-95 feet near the Point, the Island or Black Rock with orange Apex lures tipped with a nightcrawler behind a Captain Jack’s C.J. Dodger on the downrigger. Regular kokanee angler Earl Taniguchi of Clovis has been scoring at the same depths with the Terry Walton Banana spinner behind a dodger. The side poles are also producing for Nichols with Dick’s Trout Busters tipped with a nightcrawler behind a Mountain Flasher at depths to 20 feet. The smoke from the Rough Fire still lingers in the region, and boat traffic has decreased with the uncomfortable conditions. Nichols put his clients on Saturday to five limits composed of 20 rainbows to 17.5 inches along with five kokanee by 9:50 a.m. Steve Santoro of Fish Box Charters confirmed the solid bite with Captain Jack’s Super Hoochies behind a Captain Jack’s dodger at depths from 40-60 feet along with orange Apex lures on lead core from 4-6 colors. Bank fishing is good along Roads 1, 2 or 3 and also along the dam with trout dough bait or inflated nightcrawlers. Smallmouth bass remain abundant with Bob Bernier of Fresno and Mike O’Connell of Tollhouse catching and released from 25-50 smallies to 1.5 pounds using live crickets near the rocks. The Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project meets the third Wednesday of each month at 9 a.m. at the Tiffany Pines meeting room near Camp Edison. Everyone is invited. At Huntington, the launch ramp is inaccessible for trailered boats, and there have been no reports from boaters at the lake. Bank fishing has been decent in Rancheria Creek with trout dough bait or marshmallows, but most anglers are stopping at Shaver. Huntington and Shaver are starting to release water and have dropped to 38% and 60% 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


Trout 3

Wishon Reservoir is rising steadily with the rapid drawdown of Courtright Reservoir resulting in the Courtright launch ramp being out of the water, leaving trailered boats unable to be put into the lake. The Rough Fire had increased to more than 66,000 acres and was at 25% containment. The fire has resulted in an evacuation warning for the area around Wishon, and it is part of a planned firing operation in the Wishon area as crews are tying fire lines together in the effort of overall containment. Chuck Crane of the Wishon Village RV Park and Store reported, “The launch ramp is closed at Courtright as the lake has been drawn down for repairs to the dam. Kayakers are able to access the lake, but trailered boats are unable to launch.” Shore fishing has been very good with trout dough bait in various colors for rainbows from 12-16 inches. Kayakers have been paddling out and trolling for good action with various spinners or blade/crawler combinations. At Wishon, shore fishing has been excellent with trout dough bait in orange or pink near the launch ramp area and also at the mouth of Short Hair Creek. Trollers are working blade/crawler combination, Needlefish, or Speedy Shiners in copper/red head for limits with the best action closer to shore. The Rough Fire information line is 332-2028.

Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361


Half Moon Bay

Salmon 2; Rockfish 3; Striper 2; White seabass 2

Second Captain Mike Cabanas on the Huli Cat reported good action for vermilion rockfish to 4 pounds along with ling to 9 pounds Saturday fishing off Martin’s Beach. Mike Luna of El Granada was using a live bait with herring, and he landed three lings to 9 pounds. Rockfish remains the most consistent bite in the area. Captain Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat said, “Rockfish and ling cod are the best option in our section of the coastline.” There are a few private boats finding white sea bass below Pedro Point in the early mornings, and experienced anglers are getting in on the action.

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

Monterey/Santa Cruz

Rockfish 3; Striper 2; White sea bass 2

The wind kept the party boats close to the harbor as Chris Arcoleo of Chris’ Landing in Monterey said, “We stayed down at Carmel Bay on Sunday as the wind came up in the afternoon blowing up 30 knots by the time the boats were back in the harbor. The Check Mate returned with 26 limits and 20 ling cod while the Caroline had 22 limits of rockfish and 20 lings.” On Saturday, the ling counts dropped to an average of about a dozen per trip, but rockfish limits were the rule for all three boats. Arcoleo added, “There are so many whales in the bay that two whales have even come into the harbor where the boats are and feeding on the inside of the rockwall. The anchovies are en masse in the marina, and I just spent the last hour watching the anchovies and blue mackerel swim around the dock with the whales in the harbor.” The BBC has been filming a feature the past three weeks, and Arcoleo gave them footage of a pod of orcas catching a harbor seal and feeding it to a baby orca.

Call: Chris’ Landing(831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173;

San Francisco Bay

Halibut 2; Striper 3; Rockfish 3; Leopard shark 3; Sturgeon 1; Salmon 3

Second captain Jerad Davis of the Salty Lady out of Sausalito said, “Salmon fishing improved dramatically over the weekend, and while we were busy with whale watching trips, the salmon fleet was loading up with a range from a fish per rod to limits of big fish up to 30 pounds. This is the fall run we have been waiting for. “ The Salty Lady will be running open loads all throughout the week. The pattern of slow action followed by good to outstanding action was the tale of the weekend with the party boats struggling for far less than a fish per rod Saturday before scoring limits Sunday. The Sundance out of Emeryville returned with six limits of big fish to 20 pounds on Sunday while one Sausalito boat scored with 18 limits. The three Sausalito boats ended up with 71 salmon to 29 pounds for 56 anglers with several of the fish in the 15- to 29-pound range. They have been trolling west of the Golden Gate while the Sundance was up the Marin coast. It seems that a new school has moved into the area. The New Ray Ann out of Sausalito followed up the good Sunday action with 19 limits of salmon to 27 pounds Monday with several fish in the 15- to 27-pound range. The ocean was flat calm with no drift Saturday, and the Happy Hooker out of Berkeley Marina worked hard for three-quarters limits of rockfish and 21 lings Saturday before finding vastly improved conditions with a good drift Sunday for 25 limits of rockfish and over two lings per customer with 55 lings. They have room all through next weekend including Saturday’s Free Fishing Day. Emeryville Sport Fishing boats stayed on the Marin coast Sunday with the New Huck Finn, New Seeker, Sea Wolf, New Salmon Queen and Super Fish combining for 857 rockfish and 32 lings to 15 pounds along with two halibut to 25 pounds for 103 fishermen. They had gone to the Islands on Saturday for a much higher ling cod count at 233 lings to 22 pounds and 1,278 rockfish for 132 passengers, but the weather conditions must not have allowed for the run to the Islands on Sunday. Inside the bay, Captain James Smith of the California Dawn continues with his series of shark trips this week, and there are a total of 16 of these sold-out voyages on the books this summer. Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle said, “The bass fishing is outstanding as I went out for only 45 minutes on Friday, and we released 15-16 striped bass with one of five fish being of legal size to 5 pounds trolling along the Marin shoreline with Loch Lomond worm-tailed jigs.” He added, “We were getting bit the entire time, and sometimes it would result in a 15-incher and sometime a 20-incher would emerge.” The wind ramped up over the weekend, and it was blowing 18 knots as of Sunday evening.

San Luis Obispo

Rock cod 3

Rockfish and ling cod dominate action in both San Luis Obispo County ports, with the Patriot finding limits of rockfish on a half-day trip Monday, including 20 limits of rockfish and 14 ling cod to 10 pounds. Barbara Jones of Bakersfield landed the jackpot fish. Out of Morro Bay, the Princess, Fiesta and Rita G from Virg’s Landing combined for 77 vermilion rockfish, 581 assorted rockfish, and 19 ling cod for 63 anglers on Sunday. The John Rowley Ling Cod Tournament is Dec.12. The largest ling cod of the week qualifies for tournament, including an 18.3-pounder by Dustin Riley of Clovis. There is live bait at Port San Luis and at Morro Bay Landing. The Avila Beach Pier is closed, but the Harford Pier at Port San Luis remains open.

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 3; Striper 3; Sturgeon 2; Catfish 3; Bluegill 3; Salmon 2

A massive school of striped bass has moved into the upper Delta in the Sacramento Deep Water Channel, and the linesides are scattered throughout the Sacramento River from Liberty Island west to Benicia. Salmon fishing is fair at best, but a few fish continue to be taken on a daily basis at both ends of the Delta at Freeport or the Dillon Point State Park with heavy spinners. Tony Lopez of Benicia Bait said, “There is an average of three salmon per day taken at the State Park, but with 100 anglers out there on the weekends, that isn’t much of a bite.” Sturgeon anglers are starting to come out of the woodwork, and one boat landed a keeper and released a few shakers at the Middle Grounds over the weekend. Lopez said, “The sturgeon have been here, but few people have been fishing for them due to the wind, but there have been fishing jumping in the shallows in Honker Bay over the past week.” Alan Fong of the Fisherman’s Warehouse in Sacramento said, “A huge school of stripers has moved into the Sacramento Deep Water Channel, and Rick Tetz, owner of Blade Runner spoons, said he hasn’t seen a school this big in many years. Tetz has not been able to hit the bottom with the spoons as the school is so thick. The stripers are ranging from 3-15 pounds on the upper end.” Liberty Island has slowed a bit for live bait drifters and swimbait tossers over the past few days, but there have been a number of quality stripers to 30 pounds caught and released in the shallows over the past week. Mark Wilson, shallow trolling expert, said, “There are a lot of stripers in the Delta, and it is important to keep moving and use your electronics to locate the schools.” He has been trolling either deep or shallow running lures from Decker Island west to Collinsville for an average of 20-25 linesides per trip with 8-10 of these keepers to 12 pounds. For shallow-running lures, Wilson has been using three-quarters-ounce Rat-L-Traps on light rods and line. Clyde Wands, Wilson, and Barry Canevaro will be at the Fishermen’s Warehouse in Manteca at 6 p.m. Sept. 3 as part of a team presentation on striper trolling techniques in preparation for the upcoming Rio Vista Bass Derby and Festival. Striped bass are moving into the San Joaquin River, and the action is improving throughout the river from Antioch east into Whiskey Slough. For largemouth bass, Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, reported solid action on the ima floating Flit or jerkbaits for reaction baits while working the bottom with the Berkley Chigger Craw or Havoc Flat Dog has been another productive method. He said, “There are more and more striped bass moving into the river, and we caught and released a number of keepers in the 3- to 5-pound range tossing the ima Big Stick topwater lure or the Optima Double AA swimbait in shad patterns in the shallows. Since we are working only at depths to 13 feet, the half-ounce jig head works best. As the weather continues to cool down, the stripers will start flooding into the San Joaquin.” The removable rock barrier in False Slough will start deconstruction in late September or early October with the removal of the top part of the dam above the water line. Lauritzen added, “ The contract to remove the rock barrier calls for the entire dam including the sheet pile wing dams to be pulled out as well, not something DWR wanted to do but the federal fish and wild life folks will make them do. The entire dam removal project is expected to take no more than 45 days, Oct. 1 to Nov. 15. The contractor will begin in the center of the dam and move to the side.

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

Lopez and Nacimiento are the only coastal lakes where boats can be launched given low water conditions. The launch ramp at Lopez is anticipated to remain open for the remainder of the season as the lake is holding at 34% capacity. Spinnerbaits worked in deep water are working for quality bass at Lopez. Perch, crappie and bluegill can be taken on jumbo red worms, 3-inch brown plastic worms or wax worms near the F Dock or the Patrol Boat Dock. At Nacimiento, the Labor Day holiday should end the recreational boating season, and the lake will return to a more fishermen-friendly atmosphere until the spring. The best action is in the mornings or evenings with spinnerbaits or crankbaits for small spotted bass. At Santa Margarita, kayakers are tossing frogs on the weed mats or punching the weed mats with creature baits. Santa Margarita is very low, and terrestrial wildlife has reclaimed the exposed section of the lake. Santa Margarita is less than 15% capacity, but the marina store is open for supplies and rental vessels.

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



  • Angler’s Choice on Aug. 29 at Delta/B and W Resort: 1, Kevin Cornwell/Tim Meeks 25.72 pounds; 2, Tim Woltkamp/Scott Adkins 22.54; 3, Daniel Daniel/Dee Thomas 20.83
  • Sierra Bass Club Night Tournament on Aug. 29 at Eastman: 1, Craig Gong/Steve Smith 16.74 pounds; 2, Bob Hamasaki/Dan Riportela 7.61; 3, Ed and Ray Armbrister 6.94; big fish – Steve Smith 7.91 pounds
  • Bass 101 Team Open Night Tournament (two limits) on Aug. 29 at Millerton: 1, Mark Corrente/John Albidrez 32.50 pounds; 2, Bill Kunz/Art Martinez 18.53; 3, Tim Turner 17.61; big fish – Mark Corrente 6.11


  • Sept. 6: Stockton Bass at Delta/Ladd’s Marina
  • Sept. 12: Forrest L. Wood LLC at Delta/Russo’s Marina; Visalia Bass Club at Pine Flat; Kokanee Power Trout/Kokanee Derby at Shaver; Lake Isabella Bass Club at Isabella
  • Sept. 13: Success Bass Club at Success
  • Sept. 19: Alameda County Deputy Association at Delta/Russo’s Marina; Tracy Bass Club at Delta/Tracy Oasis; American Bass Association at Isabella; Golden Empire Bass Club at Nacimiento; West Valley Bass Masters at Lopez
  • Sept. 19-20: Taft Bass Club at Delta/B and W Resort; Stockton Bass Club at Delta/Ladd’s Marina
  • Sept. 20: Fresno Bass Club at Delta/B and W Resort; Hook, Line, and Sinker at Delta/Russo’s Marina; Kings River Bass Club at Pine Flat; Success Bass Club at Success
  • Sept. 26: Future Pro Tour at Delta/Ladd’s Marina; Glory Hole Sporting Goods at New Melones; Bakersfield Bass Club at Lopez
  • Sept. 26-27: Sierra Bass Club at Delta/Russo’s Marina
  • Sept. 27: Bakersfield Bass Club at Delta/Ladd’s Marina; Tracy Bass Club at Delta/Tracy Oasis
  • Oct. 1: Glory Hole Sporting Goods Catfish Derby at New Melones

Trout plants

  • Tuolumne County: Lyons Canal (Columbia Ditch); Moccasin Creek; Pinecrest Lake; Powerhouse Stream; Stanislaus River Clarks Fork; Stanislaus River Middle Fork; Stanislaus River South Fork

Solunar table










































q = quarter moon