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.
California Aqueduct pumping out stripers, and Eastman bass action solid, Steve Newman said. Delta bass, stripers and salmon bites continue, Alan Fong reported. Shaver limits the rule, Dick Nichols said. Kaweah bass bite good, Sierra Sporting Goods reported. Wishon and Courtright producing trout, Chuck Crane said.
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2-Have to work hard
4-Fish jumpin’ in boat
Delta Mendota Canal and Sloughs
The California Aqueduct continues to be the go-to location for San Joaquin Valley striped bass fishermen, with increased interest in casting lures. Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “The aqueduct is smoking as the increased water movement has stirred up the bass, and they are breaking the surface chasing bait. The local almond farmers are taking less water at the present time, and the current is flowing through the headgates. Pencil Poppers, Zara Spooks, Duo Realis jerkbaits, Heddon One-Knockers are all flying off of the shelves, and we are having a hard time keeping the lures on the pegs.” The increased interest may be a result of the upcoming FishAholics Striped Bass Derby on October 24. Added Newman: “There have been a number of first-time fishermen heading to the aqueduct with the good reports, and in addition to the striped bass, there are quality largemouth bass also hitting the lures.” Meng Xyong of TheFishAholics.com said, “Anglers continue to have success using SpeedLures and Duo Realis jerkbaits. The topwater bite is producing as well in the morning and evening hours. Most north ’duct anglers continue to have success, although they have to go through a number of shakers before finding a keeper or two. The water continues to be murky with a thin layer of algae along certain sections in the central aqueducts of Fresno and Kings County. The green water and disappearing weeds along the central aqueduct hasn’t stopped the striper activity, with anglers reporting striper boils in the early morning and evening hours. The key is to match the hatch. Some anglers have better success by soaking anchovies, liver or worms when the water current is moving slowly or not at all.” The FishAholics’ open striper derby runs from midnight to noon and will be the first event of its kind held out of the aqueduct. Information is available at the group’s website. In the south aqueduct in Kern County, Jacob Rutledge of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield reported Whopper Ploppers have been the top lure for striped and largemouth bass, with the topwater lures flying off shelves. Yum tube baits also have produced quality stripers, with largemouth bass limits taken on white flukes. Catfishing in the aqueduct is fair, but most whiskerfish anglers are heading to Lake Isabella.
Bass 3; Trout 1; Bluegill 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
Launching a boat is still a possibility with the lake at 7 percent capacity, but most fishermen are not turning over their main engine, choosing to run a trolling motor in the lowered pool full of unmarked hazards. Bass fishing is solid with topwater lures in the early mornings before dropping to the bottom for a finesse bite with plastics or medium-diving crankbaits in bluegill or crawdad patterns at depths from 8-10 feet over rockpiles and drop-offs near flats. Bank fishermen are finding action for catfish with chicken livers, sardines or anchovies. The area above the buoy line is open, but the area is a no-wake zone with little water avaiable to venture far and submerged hazards still unmarked. The lake dropped to 466.86 feet in elevation.
Call: Six Star Tackle Box 673-5688; Eastman Lake 689-3255
Bass 2; Trout 1; Catfish 2; Bluegill 2; Crappie 2
The lake is very low, with trailered boats unable to be launched into the reservoir. Kayaks and float tube are being put into the lake, and anglers are working the bottom with plastics on the drop-shot or Senkos. Catfishing is best near the dam at night with garlic-scented chicken livers. The lake dropped slightly to 447.24 feet in elevation and percent 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
The lake is in the doldrums, with few trout trollers or bass anglers heading to the lake. Cooler water is needed for schools of shad to start balling up, attracting the bass from their suspended position and drawing the rainbows and king salmon from the depths. Bank fishermen are working the banks with nightcrawlers or medium to large minnows. The boat launch has a slight curve, but once you get around that, launching two boats at the same time is possible. A grant for the improvement of the Fleming Meadows Launch Ramp has been approved, and construction to create a two-lane ramp should start shortly. The lake dropped to 31 percent capacity. The lake dropped about three-quarters of a foot to 671.25 in elevation and 31 percent 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 2
Jacob Rutledge of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield said most anglers heading to Isabella are targeting catfish with super meal worms, mackerel, Katnip Beef Bait, Secret 7 Catfish Bait or Sonny’s Dip Bait. The best fishing is in the South Fork along the long flat by Red’s Marina. The low water level is discouraging fishermen from launching into the lake. A four-wheel drive vehicle is needed to launch from the dirt ramp near Red’s. There are no marinas or courtesy docks. The lake dropped slightly to 2,522.475feet in elevation and 5 percent capacity. The lower Kern River remained solid for largemouth bass with plastics on a Texas-rig or Carolina-rig from the mouth of the canyon down to Democrat Beach. Zoom Trick Worms or Deadly Duo custom-poured plastics in green pumpkin or watermelon colors are the top baits. There are still few reports from the upper river. Buena Vista has been best for catfish with cut baits.
Call: Bob’s Bait (661) 833-8657; North Fork Marina (760) 376-1812
Bass 3; Crappie 2; Trout 1; Catfish 2
Sierra Sporting Goods reported continued outstanding bass action with live minnows or crawdads, and there have been largemouth bass to 9 pounds landed on crawdads. There is a topwater bite in the early mornings before dropping to the bottom with plastics on the drop-shot by mid-morning. The bass are chasing bait in the early mornings into the coves. The crappie are starting to get active around submerged rocks or brush with small minnows or minijigs. Bluegill are abundant, and fishermen are scoring plenty of the panfish with wax worms. Catfishing is best at night with chicken livers, frozen shad or stink baits. The lake receded 2 feet to 592.89 in elevation and 9 percent capacity.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212
Bass 2; Trout 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
Chuck Stokke of Sequoia Fishing Co. in Springville said, “The bass bite has been very tough this last week, and there has been minimal interest due to the heat.” Only a few small bass have been taken on a variety of plastic worms, crankbaits or jigs. The lake is extremely low at 575.14 feet in elevation and 4 percent capacity. Carp have moved into the shallows, and dough bait is the top offering. In the Tule River, Stokke added, “The river came up from last week’s rain, and the flow has gotten much better. Fly fishing is good with terrestrial such as beetles or ants in the Camp Nelson area.” The Springville Apple Fair is this weekend, and Sequoia Fishing will have free fly-casting and tying lessons for all interested. Don Lieb will demonstrate fly tying, and the Kaweah Fly Fishermen will assist with the casting lessons.
Call: Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626, sequoiafishingcompany.com
Bass 3; Trout 2; King salmon 1; Kokanee 1; Crappie 2; Catfish 3
Bass fishing in the Mother Lode has basically gone on hiatus, but Lake McClure has been one bright spot for bank fishermen soaking minnows or tossing plastics. The lake continues to release water, and it has dropped to 9 percent capacity and 604.08, creating a long walk to the shore. Fishermen continue to be willing to make the trek, and it has paid off with good action as the fish are concentrated into a very small pool. The lack of boating pressure over the past two summers has created ideal conditions for bank fishermen, and bass fishing has been very good from there with drop-shot plastics, jigs or Senkos. Fishermen are catching and releasing big numbers of spots to 2 pounds. Small boats can be launched from the Barrett Cove North Ramp, but there is limited parking near the end of the ramp. Few boats are launching in the low water conditions, but kayaks, float tubes, or canoes can be launched by hand for anglers willing to make the trek from the parking lot.
Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505; Bub Tosh (209) 404-0053
The annual Merced Irrigation Derby Fall Trout Derby has been postponed until April 9-10 because of the warm water conditions at the lake amid a fourth year of drought. The McSwain Marina is closed Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Spotted bass are as plentiful in the lake as rainbow trout, with the fish arriving over the dam at Lake McClure.
Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River
Bass 2; Striper 1; Shad 1; Bluegill 2; Trout 2
Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “Numbers of spotted bass are abundant, and the fish are found on the bottom at depths from 5-30 feet with plastics on the drop-shot or Senkos. There is a reaction bite in the early mornings or evenings with ripbaits or spinnerbaits, and this is a good way to locate the schools of bass with the reaction baits. There is a lipless crankbaits bite as well with Rat-L-Traps or similar lures.” Catfishing has been best up the river are with chicken livers or sardines. There were no striped bass reports. All vessels must possess a low-emission motor. The lake is again releasing water and dropped a foot to 489.71 in elevation and 36 percent capacity. Only a few anglers are working the lower San Joaquin, and most interest is in the slack-water zone in the main river on the west side of Highway 99. 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 2; Catfish 3; Trout 2; Kokanee 1
At New Melones, fishing interest remained at a minimum as low water conditions have limited those willing to launch off the gravel road at Glory Hole Point. The water releases have ceased for now, and the lake has held at 11 percent capacity. The launch ramp requires a four-wheel-drive tow vehicle. The slight change in weather patterns has made the fish more active, and the shorter days and cooler nights will force the water temperature to continue dropping. Catfish are the top species at the lake, and several large whiskerfish are brought to Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp on a weekly basis. John Lietchy of Glory Hole stated, “There are still a few anglers each week targeting catfish, and most bank anglers have been finding their best action off of Glory Hole Point on down by the Highway 49 Bridge. With cooler daytime temperatures, the catfish are more active during the middle of the day, and try to fish flat areas that have deep water nearby.” Bass fishing is fair, and the schools of spotted bass are targeting the shad baitfish, which are starting to ball up in the cooler water temperatures. Vertical jigging with spoons or a drop-shot rig are productive as well as using ripbaits for the suspended fish. The bass on the bottom are feeding on crawdads and jigs such as California Reservoir Lures in a variety of crawdad patterns are effective. Trout trolling remained extremely slow, but the bite will improve as the water continues to cool, bringing the rainbows closer to the surface. The lake remained at 798.40 feet in elevation. Tulloch rose 1.5 feet to 500.32 in elevation and 83 percent.
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
Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “Bass numbers are on the uptick for the first time in several weeks, but the size of the bass is limited to small 11- to 12-inch fish. There is a reaction bite in the early morning before switching to finesse techniques on the bottom at depths from 10-25 feet with plastics on the Carolina or Texas rig. The bite is solid for a few days, but it drops to next to nothing within the following days.” Catfishing is fair with anchovies or sardines near Deer Creek Marina. Bluegill also are found around the docks at Deer Creek with wax worms or red worms. There were no trout reports, with trollers heading into the high country. Carp fishing is another option with dough bait in the shallows. The lake held at 721.98 feet in elevation and 11 percent capacity. In the lower Kings River, interest for planted trout remains very slow with few fishermen out with the low flows on the lower river. Power Bait has been the top option. 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 the dam downstream to 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 2; Crappie 1
In the main San Luis Reservoir, Chris Chung of Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill said, “Jumbo minnows are producing limits of striped bass in the 24- to 28-inch range for fishermen arriving early in the morning and staying on the lake until noon. The stripers are suspended over structure near the trash racks and the mouth of Portuguese Cove. Shore fishermen are tossing topwater lures, swimbaits, or lipless crankbaits, and the suspended lures are working working best until the water cools.” Trolling has been slower. The launch at Dinosaur Point is on the second ramp, and there is a submerged berm on the left hand side of the cove. A four-wheel-drive tow vehicle is advised at both ramps. The lake has dropped to 18 percent capacity. In the O’Neill Forebay, the weedy shoreline growth has been dying off after spray operations in the past month. The bank bite has improved, with the opportunity for keepers in the 19- to 22-inch range possible with jumbo blood worms or jumbo minnows under the Highway 152 bridge or near Check 12. White flukes on a Scrounger head, Lucky Craft Pointer 100’s, Rat-L-Traps or 5-inch white Big Hammer swimbaits also are effective.
Call: Coyote Bait andTackle (408) 463-0711, Roger George of rogergeorgeguideservice.com (559) 905-2954
Bass 2; Trout 2; Kokanee 1
The bass bite is slow, but a few are working jigs in the weeds for some smaller fish. A finesse bite on the bottom is the ticket for success. The launch ramp is problematic as the lake has decreased to 47 percent capacity. It is difficult to launch a large boat, and one side of the ramp has a large hole in the concrete. Walt Lee of the Kerman Bass Club reported 18 anglers participated on 12 boats during Saturday’s club tournament resulting in nine limits weighed in. He confirmed the difficult conditions at the ramp. The lake held at 47 percent capacity.
Call: Todd Wittwer 288-8100; Mike Beighey 642-3748
Brown trout 2; Trout 2
The high country along Kaiser Pass has been limited to a few fishermen, with Edison dropping to 4 percent and Florence at 22 percent. Mammoth Pool has changed from more than 80 percent to the current 9 percent within the past two months.
Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000
Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake
Kokanee 1; Trout 3
Rainbow trout limits remain the rule at Shaver Lake, and Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters continues to put his clients on to quality rainbows. He has extended his charter season into the first week of October given the quality action. The majority is occurring around Eagle Point and Stevenson Bay, leading Nichols to state, “You can’t go wrong with these two locations, and I would recommend those who want to troll to start west of the island and troll down to Eagle Point. If you are fishing with the right tackle at depths from 20-31 feet deep you should catch fish near the island and down to Eagle Point where the bite should increase. After working this area, I would then continue east to the Stevenson Bay and make circles between the Tunnel and the south fork of the Stevenson for a few hours. As the morning progresses toward 10:30 a.m., I would head toward Eagle Point and cross over it several times before calling it a day. We continue to use Trout Busters, tipped with crawler, behind a weighted Mountain Flasher on the side poles and Koke Busters tipped with crawler behind a Captain Jack’s C.J. Dodger on the down riggers at 31 feet.” Nichols added, “Clovis residents Rich and Kerry Wass and their family caught multiple limits of trout, several in the 2-pound class. Lee Gates and Pete van Vleet, John Krum of Sanger and Keith Matsumura of Clovis, Jess Magana of Alpaugh, and Tommy Winans of Visalia with John Wheeler from Fresno also boxed limits.” From the shore, action has been hit or miss. Nikki Hamilton and her son Alex landed two limits of fish to 17 inches near Sierra Marina but found the bite to be slower on a subsequent trip. The rainbows in the shallows are cruising the shore in search of easy prey. At Huntington, the launch ramp is inaccessible for trailered boats. The banks near Rancheria Creek remain the best area for rainbow trout with various colors of trout dough bait or inflated nightcrawlers, and a few fishermen are heading to the shore near Dam 1 or 2. The secret society of brown trout fishermen has been quiet, but if the weather changes to cold and windy, they will start dragging their aluminums down to the lake. Shaver is at 55 percent capacity with Huntington dropping to 30 percent.
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
At Wishon and Courtright, Chuck Crane of the Wishon Village RV Park and Store said, “Wishon is actually increasing with water, and the launch ramp is on the concrete. Trollers are finding great action on the far side of the lake with small flashers behind a nightcrawler at depths from 3-4 colors of lead core. Shore fishing has been excellent, and Justin and Dillon Crane of Fresno scored two limits within 1.5 hours with trout dough bait near the mouth of Short Hair Creek.” At Courtright, Crane said, “The launch ramp is out of the water as the lake is very low, but anglers are picking up limits from the day-use area by either casting lures and walking the banks or soaking trout dough bait or inflated nightcrawlers.”
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
Salmon 2; Rockfish 3; Striper 2
The Huli Cat has been having great rockfish action out of Half Moon Bay with limits by 11:30 a.m. Sunday off the Ritz-Carlton. They have put in limits off the Ritz the past three days. The Dungeness crab season opens Nov. 7, and the Huli Cat out of Pillar Point Harbor will be running crab/rockfish combination trips.
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; White sea bass 2; Bluefin tuna 2
Bluefin tuna continue to occupy several private skiffs in the quixotic battle for the occasional trophy. Tom Joseph on the Fish On – a four-pack – is one of the only anglers to have this fishery dialed in, and he hooked five, landing three to 48 pounds gilled and gutted Saturday. Rockfishing remains fantastic out of Monterey, and the lings keep climbing on to the live mackerel. Chris Arcoleo of Chris’ Landing reported 11 limits of ling cod and rockfish on the Caroline on Sunday, with 65 lings and half limits of rockfish on the Check Mate. Both boats were fishing the local reefs. Saturday’s scores were similar. The whale watching continues to be outstanding, and there were bonita breaking in the bay Sunday near the whales. They have room throughout the week, and there is still room for the opening days of Dungeness crab season starting Nov. 7.
Call: Chris’ Landing(831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173; usafishing.com
San Francisco Bay
Halibut 2; Striper 3; Rockfish 4; Leopard shark 3; Sturgeon 2; Salmon 2
Salmon fishing was solid Friday before making a precipitous drop-off Saturday and Sunday. Captain Roger Thomas of the Salty Lady out of Sausalito had a great day Friday trolling near Rocky Point with 10 salmon, for nine passengers, to 25 pounds. The bite fell off big time Saturday with the Emeryville boats landing one salmon for 24 anglers while the Sausalito boats picked up 10 to 24 pounds for 53 anglers trolling from Muir Beach to Double Point. It wasn’t much better Sunday with two Sausalito boats combining for eight salmon to 19 pounds for 36 anglers. Going to the Farallons, Captain Jim Smith of the Happy Hooker took a charter out Saturday for 19 limits of rockfish and six ling cod to 16 pounds. The big news was the report and video taken by tourists of a great white shark eating a seal off Alcatraz. This is the first known sighting of a great white inside the bay. Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle in San Rafael reported great bass fishing at Red Rock with more numbers of legal bass. Captain Gordie Hough of the Morningstar put in six halibut for nine customers in Raccoon Straits. Fraser said, “I have never seen so many halibut caught during the month of October.”
San Luis Obispo
Rock cod 3
Rockfishing continues to be outstanding with the Princess out of Virg’s Landing in Morro Bay returning with 18 limits of rockfish, 12 lings, four bonita, and a 15.5-pound sheephead landed by Mike Dobbs of Wasco on Sunday. The Fiesta has similar results with 31 limits of rockfish, 12 lings to 8.5 pounds, and one bonita; the jackpot fish was taken by Alvino Levario of Porterville. Out of Port San Luis, the Patriot scored 25 limits of rockfish composed of 50 vermilion, and 200 assorted along with two ling cod to 6 pounds. 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. The John Rowley Ling Cod Tournament is scheduled for Dec. 12, and the largest ling cod each week qualifies for the tournament.
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
Salmon fishing from the banks in lower Suisun Bay and the upper end of the Delta near Freeport has attracted hordes of anglers tossing heavy spinners such as Vee-Zees or Mepp’s Flying C’s, while boat pressure in the Freeport area has increased for fishermen jigging heavy spoons in the hope of hooking a salmon. Alan Fong of the Fisherman’s Warehouse in Sacramento confirmed the good salmon action near Freeport with boaters filling up the narrow waterway jigging spoons near Freeport Bridge and the Minnow Hole. The shore is lined with fishermen tossing spinners into the mix. Timing is essential, and Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing traveled down to Freeport on Thursday after launching at Garcia Bend. He said, “We hooked one fish upriver, but it came unbuttoned, After this, we motored downstream to Freeport, and the river was lined with boats with only a few salmon taken so far.” The Rio Vista Bass Derby and Festival took place over the weekend, and there were several salmon landed trolling from the length of Clyde Shoals above the Rio Vista Bridge to the Ryer Island Ferry. This section of the river has been increasingly productive over the past few years. In the Old Sacramento River, a few salmon continue to be taken near Walnut Grove with various colors of Silverton spinners. Jim Pickens of the Fishermen’s Friend in Lodi said, “The salmon bite has definitely arrived and with the cooler mornings it will continue to improve. Central Valley Anglers held their Salmon Derby last Saturday with over 70 anglers, and the best area was from Vieira’s up the Old Sacramento toward Freeport. Most of the fish are being caught on Silvertrons, Kwikfish or Blue Fox spinners on a spreader with an inline or keel weight. Shore anglers are using Flying C’s or Blue Fox spinners with good success.” Striped bass action is picking up throughout the Sacramento River system, and Fong has been finding good action for quality linesides near Liberty Island with 10-inch Whopper Ploppers in the shallows. River2Sea’s SWavers and Kincannon Glide Baits also have been effective. Fong went into the Sacramento Deep Water Channel, and they located huge schools of small stripers from 6-22 inches. He added, “We hooked fish on nearly every drop, and it is important to switch to a single hook when jigging the smaller fish. In the Rio Vista area, Mark Fehrenbach of Mark’s Sport Fishing has been finding a plethora of striped bass above the Rio Vista Bridge tossing Kalin’s Sizmic Shad swimbaits in Arkansas shad, white pearl crystal, or bluegill. He said, “The best fishing is at the bottom or top of the tides where you can find an open window for up to an hour. We have also been tossing topwater lures in lowlight conditions.” The larger fish have been missing in action. Clyde Wands, shallow trolling expert, was on the Delta during the week, and they worked around the Broad Slough and Collinsville area. He said, “We landed a 5.5-pound striper on a shallow-running Rat-L-Trap within 30 seconds of letting out the line, but it got tougher after this point.” Moving water is the key to getting bit from Antioch to Liberty Island. Their next Catch, Photo, and Release Striper Derby is Saturday, and there is a seminar at the shop Thursday on striped bass topwater and swimbait techniques. The target-length striped bass for the Rio Vista Bass Derby was 29.5 inches, and there were several fish brought in close to the mark. In the Pittsburg area, Do Doung of Dockside Bait said, “Stripers in the 4- to 6-pound range are common on shad or live mudsuckers, and there have been a number of undersized sturgeon with the occasional keeper showing up around Buoys 33 and 34, Collinsville, and the Big and Little Cuts.” Jay Lopes of Right Hook Sport Fishing went out on Sunday in preparation for his first charter out of Pittsburg on Monday. He said, “I went out to check things out, and we were able to see lots of jumpers and release a few undersized sturgeon.” Out of McAvoy’s Boat Harbor in Bay Point, Tony Lopez confirmed the movement of larger stripers into the Delta, and the regulars out of McAvoy’s are starting to pick up linesides in excess of 20 pounds using live splittail or jack smelt. Striped bass and largemouth action dominate the San Joaquin side of the Delta, but the water hyacinth is starting to take possession of the back sloughs. In the Mokelumne River, Pickens said, “Due to the warm/low water issues on the Mokelumne the pulse flows have not been scheduled to begin. Once the pulse flows have started, the salmon bite will turn on within two days for jigging with spoons or trolling.” Also finding numerous stripers from 19-25 inches was Mike Percey of Oakland while flyfishing near Holland Slough. He said, “We boated several stripers in this range during the last two hours of the ebb tide, but the action during the previous eight hours was limited to a fish or two here and there with nothing of size.” Steve Santucci of Steve Santucci’s Fly Fishing Guide Service said, “Delta fishing continues to improve as more fish filter into the system. Water temps and air temps continue to drop, which will improve conditions. Good numbers can be caught right now in most sections of the Delta. We are using fast sinking lines for the majority of the fishing to access fish in 7- to 15-foot range. The most productive fly is the 4-inch Clouser Minnow.” Christian Lauritzen of Lauritzen’s Yacht Harbor in Oakley reported, “The news of the week is the fact that the Department of Water Resources and their contractor, The Dutra Group of San Rafael, starting taking out the removable rock barrier at False River. The rock barrier must be completely removed by Nov. 15.” Largemouth bass action is solid with creature baits punched through the hyacinth mats in the back sloughs. Fong has been scoring with this technique under a 1.5-ounce tungsten weight as well as tossing 5-inch Whopper Ploppers on the surface. In the Stockton area, H and R Bait reported the sea lions have moved into the Middle River, and the hyacinth is getting thicker and thicker. The striper action slowed, but soaking fresh shad or live mudsuckers in the clearer waters of the Old River have been producing. Fresh shad is plentiful, and they have been receiving up to 200 pounds per day. Bacon Island Road, Whiskey Slough, and Eight Mile Road continue to be the go-to locations for bluegill and redear perch anglers with jumbo red worms or wax worms.
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 2; White bass 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
In a normal year, fishermen from the Central Valley would heading over the hill to fish these coastal lakes, but with the low water conditions interest has waned. The launch ramp at Lopez is anticipated to remain open for the remainder of the season as the lake is holding at 34 percent capacity. There are a number of upcoming tournaments scheduled for Lopez and Nacimiento. Santa Margarita is at less than 15 percent capacity, but the marina store is open for supplies and rental vessels. San Antonio remains closed.
Call: Lake Nacimiento (805) 238-1056, ext. 3; Lake San Antonio Marina (805) 472-2818; Central Coast Bass Fishing.com (805) 466-6557
- Kerman Bass Club on Oct. 10 at Bass Lake: 1, Jordan Espino 9.32 pounds (big fish 3.24); 2, Jeff Farmer 9.05; 3, Mitch Melikian 8.57
- Saturday: Delta Dan’s Outdoors Catch, Photo, and Release Striper Derby at Delta/Big Break Marina; Manteca Bassin’ Buddies at Don Pedro; Kern County Bassmasters at Pine Flat; Golden Empire Bass Club at Kaweah; Lake Isabella Bass Club at Isabella; Bakersfield Bass Club at Nacimiento; 101 Bass at Lopez
- Saturday-Sunday: Fresno Bass Club at Delta/B and W Resort
- Sunday: Tracy Bass Club at Delta/Tracy Oasis; Hook, Line, and Sinker at Delta/Russo’s Marina; Kings River Bass Club at Pine Flat; 101 Bass at Nacimiento
- Oct. 24: Fishaholics Striper Derby at California Aqueduct-Kettleman City Fishing Access, thefishaholics.com, midnight to noon; Sierra Bass Club at McClure
- Oct. 25: Stockton Bass Club at Delta/Ladd’s Marina; Success Bass Club at Kaweah
- Oct. 30-31: California Bass Federation at New Melones
- Tuolumne County: Moccasin Creek
q = quarter moon > = peak activity