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 email@example.com with “fish photo” in the subject line.
Delta stripers continue feeding, and Eastman bass hitting, Steve Newman reported. Delta striper action very good, Alan Fong said. Shaver lake trout staying warm biting lures, Dick Nichols reported. Coastal rock cod action going strong, Jim Smith said. New Melones bass biting, John Liechty reported.
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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 a primary location for Valley striped bass fishermen, and many anglers also are coming from the Bay Area to fish the aqueducts for the first time. Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “Overall the bite has slowed down, and fishermen are switching over to smaller Duo Realis jerkbaits, Reaction Innovation’s Skinny Dippers or Missle’s 3.25-inch Shockwave on an umbrella rig.” Meng Xiong of the FishAholics out of Fresno reported, “Another lunker striped bass was pulled out of the California Aqueduct, coming in at 34 pounds, by Xiong Moau of Fresno.” It’s a sure sign that these big fish are trying to fatten up for winter as well. You can tell by looking at an angler’s catch what region the fish was caught. It seems the north ’duct stripers are doing a better job of catching bait fish. They’ve grown and fattened up so much, if there ever was an obese fish, these stripers would fit that description. Anglers are catching fish using a variety of techniques and lures. In the morning or evenings, jerkbaits such as SpeedLures, Duos and Luckycrafts continue to work. There’s also a small window for topwater, and they are having success throwing Alabama rigs as well. Anglers are catching fish using Rat-L-Traps and flukes jigged on the bottom or midway through the water column. Largemouth bass can be caught along structure and cover. Bridges are great places to start. They’re hiding in schools under the shadow of the bridge. Bigger bass can be caught deeper in the water column using a jig, senko or drop-shot. Water clarity continues to be clear north of Oneill Forebay and murky south of the lake. In the south aqueduct in Kern County, Jacob Rutledge of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield reported a 24-pound striper came into the shop during the weekend, and the overall striper action remains solid with topwater and subsurface lures working best.
Bass 3; Trout 1; Bluegill 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 1
The lake remains slow at 7 percent capacity, but Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “The bass bite remained one of the best in the Fresno-area with finesse techniques of shad-patterned plastics at depths to 20 feet above submerged islands or rock piles. The reaction bite has slowed in the colder water temperatures, and an algae bloom has left a film on the surface. A limit under 9 pounds was the winner of Saturday’s Sierra Bass Club tournament. Catfishing has slowed down in response to the colder temperatures.” The lake is at 466.65 feet in elevation.
Call: Six Star Tackle Box 673-5688; Eastman Lake 689-3255
Bass 2; Trout 1; Catfish 2; Bluegill 2; Crappie 1
The lake is limited to kayaks, canoes, float tubes or walking the banks. It remained at about 5 percent capacity but rose slightly to 447.13 feet in elevation. The catfish bite has slowed considerably within the past few weeks as temperatures dropped. The launch ramp is closed.
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 should be turning over soon, and the action for king salmon and rainbow trout should start in earnest as the fish climb up the water column toward the surface. Manny Basi of the Bait Barn in Waterford said, “Bass fishing is the best thing going, but the bite is slow with the best action on the bottom with shad-patterned plastics such as Robo Worm’s Hologram Shad or Reaction Innovation’s Bad Shad Green.” Live minnow sales have been slow. 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 rose 6 inches to 674.29 feet in elevation and 32 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 2; Bluegill 2
At Lake Isabella, very little fishing is taken place in response to low water conditions and the recent cold weather. The launch ramp is on the dirt, and a four-wheel-drive vehicle is necessary to put a boat into the lake. Few bass fishermen want to take the chance with their expensive vessels. Catfish are the top species, but the action has slowed considerably in the colder water. Similar situation for crappie, with the few taken found inside the marinas where the water is slightly warmer. The shad are balling up in response to the cooler water. The lake held at 2,522.62 feet in elevation and 5 percent capacity. Jacob Rutledge of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield said, “The lower Kern River is slow, and the bass action has slowed way down with only carp and catfish biting at the present time. ” Buena Vista is the only local lake planting trout, and the Taft Chamber of Commerce Trout Derby last Saturday received encouraging reviews with reports of stringers of planted rainbows taken on salmon eggs or various colors of Power Bait. Another 1,000 pounds was scheduled to be planted within days after the derby.
Call: Bob’s Bait (661) 833-8657; North Fork Marina (760) 376-1812
Bass 2; Crappie 2; Trout 1; Catfish 2
The bass bite is up and down, with the fish suspended as the lake has been rising with the recent inflow. The water temperature is also dropping, and the shad are balling up into tighter schools. Working the bottom with drop-shot or Texas-rig plastics has been the top technique along with jigs in crawdad imitation patterns. With the cooler temperatures, catfish action has slowed. The lake rose 3.5 feet to 599.72 feet in elevation and 11 percent capacity.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212
Bass 2; Trout 3; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
Chuck Stokke of Sequoia Fishing Co. in Springville said, “Bass fishing is hit or miss, with the best action in deep water with either jigs or deep-diving crankbaits.” The lake rose more than 1.5 feet to 577.81 in elevation and 4 percent capacity. In the Tule River, Stokke said, “The river has slowed for fly action, but it is hot with Panther Martins or nightcrawlers with fishermen picking up rainbows and browns from 12-14 inches. The river’s flow is up with the recent rains.”
Call: Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626, sequoiafishingcompany.com
Bass 3; Trout 2; King salmon 1; Kokanee 1; Crappie 2; Catfish 3
Terry Mello of A-1 Bait in Snelling said, “The bass fishing remains good from the shoreline for spotted bass in the 1- to 1.5-pound range. Numbers of small bass are the rule with plastics on the drop-shot or darthead. Few fishermen are making the long trek to the water’s edge, and boat launching is limited to kayaks or float tubes. A-1 Bait in Snelling is open on the weekends with a full supply of live minnows and crawdads. Catfish to 10 pounds have been taken from the shoreline on crawdads.” The lake dropped six inches to 589.34 feet in elevation and 7 percent capacity. The North Ramp at Barrett Cove may be used at boater’s risks by kayaks, canoes and other hand-launched craft. The Barrett Cove South Ramp, as well as Lake McClure ramps at Bagby, Horseshoe Bend, and McClure Point remain closed.
Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505; Bub Tosh (209) 404-0053
Trout 2; Catfish 2; Bass 2
Terry Mello of A-1 Bait in Snelling reported catfish and bass are the top species, although most fishermen are landing these while targeting trout. All campgrounds are filled for Thanksgiving weekend. The Lake McSwain Marina and ramp remain open, but the store is closed Monday through Wednesday. Campfires are allowed at McSwain’s campgrounds. Merced River is closed to fishing until Jan. 1 from the Crocker-Huffman Bridge to G Street in Snelling.
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, “The bass bite is typical for this time of year with finesse techniques working best at depths from 30-50 feet with plastics on the drop shot or darthead. The fish are holding over deep structure, ledges, or rock piles, and a good fish will weigh 2 pounds. There has been a limited window for spinnerbaits in the early mornings in the flats.” There are no striped bass reports. The lake is again releasing water and dropped 1.5 feet to 481.30 in elevation and 32 percent capacity. Only a few anglers are working the lower San Joaquin, and Sycamore Island has closed for the winter before reopening Feb. 1. 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. The hatchery fish have a healed adipose fin clip. All wild steelhead or trout with an adipose fin present must be released immediately.
Call: Fresno Fisherman’s Warehouse 225-1838; Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474
New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch
Bass 3; Crappie 2; Catfish 3; Trout 2; Kokanee 1
At New Melones, the water level is holding steady and bass fishing remains good for most fishermen. John Liechty of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp said, “It is not as crazy as it was a couple weeks ago, but there are still plenty of fish biting and it is a good time to catch some big ones. The fish are keying on schools of shad. Once you have located the bait the bass will be nearby. Being able to adjust on the water is very important at this time of the year. The shad will be in an area one day and gone the next, and it is a good idea to try using search baits such as spinnerbaits, ripbaits, crankbaits, or small swimbaits to cover plenty of water. Once you have located an area with bait and feeding fish, you will be able to slow down and switch presentations to catch more fish. One of the best ways to catch a bunch of fish in the fall is with a jigging spoon. The spoon can be lowered below the bait and ripped through it to trigger the bass into biting.” Trout fishing remains slow, but the recent rains, colder temperatures, and coming storms should turn on the bite. The rainbows will move into the shallows in search of easy meals washing down from the shore. Blade/crawler combinations, shad-patterned spoons or Wedding Rings tipped with a nightcrawler at depths from 20-40 feet should start working for the holdover rainbows. Few fishermen are targeting catfish, but they are feeding heavily in preparation for the coming cold weather. Nightcrawlers fished nearly weightless with a few split-shot or a large frozen shad or mackerel fished weightless are the top offering. Liechty added, “Soaking your bait in scent for a few days prior to fishing will help the catch ratio.” Crappie fishing remained slow with only a few slabsides reported. The lake is at 11 percent capacity. The only functioning launch ramp is at Glory Hole on the gravel, and a four-wheel-drive vehicle is necessary. The lake held at 797.73 feet in elevation. Tulloch rose 6 inches to 499.95 feet in elevation and 82 percent capacity. November is typically the top month for trout action at Tulloch.
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 2; Crappie 2
Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “Bass fishing is showing improvement with drop-shot plastics or jigs in shad patterns. The majority of fish are small, but the larger bass are taken on swimbaits which local fishermen are trying to keep quiet.” The water up the river arm is starting to show signs of a heavy sediment load in response to runoff from the upstream Kings River affected by the Rough Fire. Trout fishing remains very slow with trollers picking up a fish or two per rod for a long session. 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 thee 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
The striper action at both impoundment reservoirs for south Valley water usage is starting to pick up slowly with a variety of techniques. San Luis continues to receive water out of the Delta, rising 3 percent in the past few weeks to the current level of 20 percent. Paul Jolley of Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill reported boaters are finding limits of stripers to 26 inches drifting jumbo minnows in front of the Basalt Recreation Area near Goosehead Point near the buoys at depths from 30-80 feet or in front of the Trash Racks near the two submerged islands. Spoons such as 1.75-oz. Duh! Spoons or P-Line Laser minnows are also effective. Roger George of Roger’s Guide Service out of Fresno went out with his friend Andy Bedell for a scouting trip Saturday and they caught and released 10 stripers in the 20- to 23-inch range along with a big striper in the mid 20-pound range before George’s transducer mount broke, ending the day early. George said, “This fish followed the lure right up to the boat, exploding out of the water at the end of my rod. It was a heavy, thick fish.” Jolley confirmed the larger fish are coming for trollers pulling plugs such as P-Line Predator Minnows on downriggers. In the Forebay, Jolley said, “Kayakers are launching and drifting jumbo minnows for a mixed grade of striped bass including a number of undersized fish at depths from 20-40 feet with the top locations on the big shoal near the Twin Islands. The jerkbait bite has slowed down which is unusual, so anglers are switching over to small swimbaits such as 4-inch K-Techs in shad patterns on a light weight or on an umbrella rig for good action. Largemouth bass are also hitting River2Sea Whopper Ploppers near the islands.”
Call: Coyote Bait andTackle (408) 463-0711, Roger George of rogergeorgeguideservice.com (559) 905-2954
Bass 2; Trout 2; Kokanee 1
There is minimal change at the lake with few fishermen heading there given the low water levels. Bass fishing is limited to a few anglers using shad-patterned plastics on the drop-shot or Texas-rig. The lake held at 47 percent.
Call: Todd Wittwer 288-8100; Mike Beighey 642-3748
Brown trout 2; Trout 2
The high country along Kaiser Pass continues to receive snow, and access to the area is limited. Road conditions should be checked before heading to the Kaiser Pass. The lakes are still very low with Edison at 4% and Florence at 6%. The lower elevation Mammoth Pool held this week at 18%.
Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000
Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake
Kokanee 1; Trout 3
Snow is expected to fall in the region this week, but Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters said, “The trout bite remains very good for trollers with the rainbows moving into the top 10 feet of the surface with blade/crawler combinations, Dick’s Trout Busters tipped with a nightcrawler, or with spinners tipped with a crawler. The top areas have been from the island into Stevenson Bay with slower action near the dam. Limits have been the rule for most trollers.” Bank fishing is fair at best with trout dough bait or nightcrawlers near Roads 1 and 2. The launch ramp at the Sierra Marina is expected to remain open throughout the winter months, and ramp conditions can be checked via webcam at sierramarina.com. Steve Santoro of Fish Box Charters confirmed the solid bite with blade/crawler combinations at 3 to 4 colors of lead core, and he said, “My clients have been killing them with Johnny Valov and his 4-year old triplets scoring easy limits.” The Herb Bauer’s Sporting Goods/ Shaver Lake Derby will end Dec. 31, but there is still time to top the current leader at 10.3 pounds. The 2015 winner will be awarded a $200 Herb Bauer gift certificate. At Huntington, snow continues to fall in the region, and access to the lake is limited to kayaks, canoes or small aluminums. There have been no reports of brown trout, and there were no browns reported in Rancheria Creek feeding on the trapped kokanee attempting to spawn. Bank fishing is slow along the snow-covered shore, but a few hardy fishermen are willing to brave the conditions. Both lakes have risen slightly with Shaver at 57 percent and Huntington at 44 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, the Wishon Store and RV Park have shut down for the season, with the road also expected to close after the storm this week. Anglers are advised to contact Sierra National Forest headquarters for current road conditions at 297-0706. It’s the same situation for the higher elevation Courtright Reservoir. The rainbows will be holding over until the road opens again this spring.
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
Rockfish 4; Striper 2
There is more encouraging news on the Dungeness crab front, with many of the tests conducted in the southern portion of their range coming in with less of a concentrate of domoic acid. If the trends continue, the emergency closure may be lifted sometime toward the end of December. Sport crabbers will have a seven-day window once the season is opened before the commercial season starts. Rockfishing remains outstanding, with Captain Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat taking out San Jose’s Southside Anglers on Saturday, and he took them to Arroyo Los Frijoles, aka “Bean Hollow,” and from Pigeon Point south to Franklin Point in order to target ling cod. They fishermen landed over 50 lings with swimbaits, jigs, whole mackerel or live bait. They also picked up a number of vermilion, copper, gophers, and cabezon for near limits of rockfish along with a healthy ling cod count. Brian Takagi landed the jackpot ling at just under 15 pounds. Second Captain Michael Cabanas ran the Huli Cat on Sunday for rockfish off Martin’s Beach. They posted limits of rockfish along with a number of ling cod to 18 pounds with the big fish taken by Cabanas himself on a hitchhiker. Mike Luna of El Granada landed a 16-pound ling, also on a hitchhicker while Mike Gruhlke from Los Gatos landed a 6-pound vermillion on shrimp fly.
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 3; Striper 2; White sea bass 2
The Star of Monterey went down to Point Sur on Saturday, and the 37 anglers on board reaped the rewards of limits of ling cod (That’s 111) and three-quarter limits of rockfish, while the Check Mate returned with 42 ling cod and limits of rockfish for 18 fishermen. The Caroline put in half limits of rockfish and limits of ling cod for 15 anglers. Live mackerel are thick in the harbor, and anglers are loading up with mackerel off the pier. The live bait is responsible for the amazing ling cod counts. Sunday was more of the same with limits of rockfish and 20 lings for 20 anglers on the Check Mate with three-quarter limits of rockfish and 25 lings for 20 on the Caroline. They are nearly full on the Friday after Thanksgiving and full Saturday and Sunday.
Call: Chris’ Landing (831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173; usafishing.com
San Francisco Bay
Halibut 2; Striper 2; Rockfish 3; Leopard shark 2; Sturgeon 2
Rockfishing at the Farallon Islands remains lights out with party boats loading up with ling cod and rockfish. The calm seas Sunday made for a slower start, but once the breeze came up to create a drift, the bite was on. Captain Jim Smith of the Happy Hooker out of Berkeley was out Saturday and Sunday for near limits of ling cod and limits of rockfish. Larry Nelson of Oakland contributed heavily to the fish box on Saturday’s trip, but the bite is so good, that his presence was unnecessary for Sunday’s limits. Smith said, “We put in 17 limits of rockfish plus two crew limits along with only a half-dozen lings short of limits. The weather was absolutely gorgeous with a flat calm ocean, but there was no drift in the morning. I went over the same rock where we pounded the rockfish on Saturday, but there were no rockfish for the first 30 minutes. Once the breeze came up and we started to drift, the fish began to bite. The top ling cod was close to 20 pounds and there were several in the 12- to 14-pound range.” Smith has a start for a trip Tuesday, and he is open for business Friday Saturday and Sunday. Captain Chris Smith ran the California Dawn on Sunday, and they loaded up with 30 limits of rockfish and ling cod, leading James Smith to say, “The fishing looks to remain solid throughout the rest of the season.” All of the party boats are stopping outside Point Bonita and filling up the bait tanks with live mackerel before heading to the Farallons. The Final, Final, Final Loch Lomond Sturgeon Seminar is at 7:15 p.m. Jan. 16 at Marin Rod and Gun Club. The popular event is back by special demand, and host Keith Fraser swears that this will be the final chapter in this long-standing ode to the sturgeon.
San Luis Obispo
Rockfishing remains excellent for both San Luis Obispo County ports, with the Rita G and Fiesta out of Virg’s Landing in Morro Bay returning with 37 ling cod to 19.9 pounds, 98 vermilion rockfish, 165 assorted rockfish, and two cabezon for a combined 49 anglers Saturday. Ernie Costamagna of Hanford took the jackpot on the Fiesta with the 19.9-pound ling while Archie Silva of Tulare was the jackpot winner on the Rita G with a 7.3-pound. ling on the half-day trip. The John Rowley Ling Cod Tournament is Dec.12 and the largest ling cod of the week qualifies for tournament. There will be two additional two-day trips out of Virg’s Landing during December. Out of Port San Luis, the Avenger out of Patriot Sport Fishing took out 28 fishermen Monday on a three-quarter-day trip for 30 vermilion and 168 assorted rockfish along with 28 ling cod to 12 pounds. The jackpot fish was taken by Michael Dobbs of Wasco.
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 4; Striper 2; Sturgeon 1; Catfish 3; Bluegill 3; Salmon 2
A few salmon continue to trickle through the Delta, although most fishermen are switching over to sturgeon and striped bass. Alan Fong of the Fisherman’s Warehouse in Sacramento said, “The stripers have moved out of Liberty Island in response to the clear water, and they have been found in Prospect, Cache, and Shag Sloughs with live mudsuckers. Jay Lopes of Right Hook Sport Fishing had a triple of linesides ranging from 10-12 pounds drifting mudsuckers on a recent trip. Tran confirmed the excellent action in the north Delta with trollers working shallow Rat-L-Traps or Yozuri Crystal Minnows in the Sacramento Deep Water Channel, Miner Slough, Steamboat Slough, and near Liberty Island. He said, “Frozen shad or live mudsuckers are also working, and there is a huge school of stripers in the Deep Water Channel.” Clyde Wands, shallow trolling expert, had a great day on the Delta at the end of the week trolling Rat-L-Traps on light tackle in the Collinsville area. They landed stripers to 9.5 pounds, and the water was relatively clear in the area. Sturgeon fishing has been up or down depending on the location, and Steve Mitchell of Hook’d Up Sport Fishing out of Pittsburg Marina was left scratching his head Sunday, saying, “The fish are scattered like crazy, and we just couldn’t get them to bite, as all of a sudden the fish have just developed lockjaw with the water temperature dropping to 57 degrees.” Andy Doudna, organizer of the Addathon Iron Man Sturgeon Derby, said, “The Pittsburg area still has the most consistent bite going with most fish are found between Sherman Island anto McAvoy’s Boat Harbor along the deep water edges. The Mothball Fleet bite is improving as water temps drop, but Montezuma Slough on the incoming tide has been producing as well. The best action has been coming on the outgoing tide as they go on a chomp when water first moves and remain biting for a one hour window. Eel and raw roe still seem to be the ticket, grass and ghost as well. Eighty percent of the fish caught seem to be jumbo shakers with a few oversized mixed in. The water temp for the most part has been ranging from 55 to 58 degrees.” Jay Lopes of Right Hook Sport Fishing went sturgeon fishing over the weekend for a total of three oversized fish caught and released, including a 7-footer by Dan Wulff of Manteca. Jim Pickens of the Fishermen’s Friend in Lodi said, “Sturgeon fishing continues to pick up in the lower Delta with Chain Island, Collinsville, Montezuma Slough as well as the PG&E stacks are all good locations to start.” Striper fishing has also been solid off the Benicia shore with grass shrimp, ghost shrimp, pile worms, blood worms, and live mudsuckers. Maintenance at the Three Mile Slough Bridge on Highway 160 has the bridge down to one lane until July, with significant delays from the bridge to the base of the Antioch Bridge. Freezing temperatures expected during Thanksgiving Week may put a hurt on the water hyacinth in the San Joaquin River, but the launch ramps in the Stockton area remain closed because of heavy vegetation growth with the exception of Paradise Point Marina off Eight Mile Road. Striped bass have been the top target in the San Joaquin for both bait fishermen with frozen shad or mudsuckers or casting lures. The Roosevelt High Bass Fishing Club participated in the Delta Teen Challenge with four teams out of a total of 39. Nealson Xiong and Steven Cha finished in fourth place, just 5 ounces away from some tournament hardware. Newda Vang and teammate Valentine Thao stuck some fish late in the day while Saul Cervantes and Touxaw Vang limited early and culled often but just couldn’t find that kicker. Ma Yang and Pengsue Vang also had a solid first tournament performance. Moe Bagunu, Terry Rock, Jerry Jung, Chase Dixon, Marcus Goishi, and Brandon Lum all drove a long way and gave up two days to teach, encourage, and mentor the Roosevelt students along with Ron Armstrong and Larry Hodge who called up to offer boats late last week in the event the team were short. Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, reported a great striper bite on the San Joaquin River with the ima Big Stick in the morning for one to five bites before switching over to swimbaits. He said, “Any type of Big Stick in a shiny bold pattern is working, and the swimbait bite is really good, but you have to keep the bait on the bottom and grind it.” He has been using the Optimum 5-inch Bubba Shad or AA swimbait, and the Bubba Shad will work better with the larger profile when there are a number of fish in the area since the bait is more resistant to tearing. The fish are holding close to current, but they are backing off the main flow and feeding on shad. Largemouth bass are active, and the ima Flit ripbait in shad-patterns is a solid choice on a dead stick presentation. He advised gearing up on the line with this lure since the stripers also will hit it. Working bottom with plastics on a Zappu Head or Flat Dog is another solid option. Jim Pickens of the Fishermen’s Friend in Lodi said, “If you can get past the water hyacinth the water is clear and dropping in temperature, there is some great striped and largemouth bass fishing on the San Joaquin.” Chris Lauritzen of Lauritzen’s Yacht Harbor in Oakley said, “The striper fishing continues the best it can be. The days there is no wind like today we have a lot more guys that are fly fishing for stripers the days where there is some wind guys are plugging or bait fishing, live bait fishing or trolling. On the San Joaquin River at the old Antioch Launching Ramp, the current temperature range is 56.37 to 57.65 degrees and on the Sacramento River at the Rio Vista Bridge the temperature is a little cooler at 54.39 to 56.37 degrees.” Maintenance at the Three Mile Slough Bridge on Highway 160 has the bridge down to one-lane until July, and there are traffic backups of up to five miles to the base of the Antioch Bridge. The construction is going on 24 hours per day. The Delta Cross Channel Gates have been opening and closing on a regular basis and may be closed on short notice for fishery protection. Information on the current status is available at the Army Corps of Engineers Central Valley Operations office at (916) 979-2194 or (916) 979-2683.
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
Nacimiento and Lopez remain the only coastal lakes where boats can be launched from a ramp. At Nacimiento, spotted bass remain the top species with topwater or reaction baits in the early mornings before switching to finesse techniques on the bottom. The white bass bite remains slow with the occasional white taken on small white Kastmasters or similar spoons. The launch ramp at Lopez is anticipated to remain open for the remainder of the season as the lake is holding at 33 percent capacity. The bass bite is up and down with some limited periods for action with plastics on the drop-shot or Texas-rig along with Senkos wacky-rigged. Panfish can be found in the shallows around structure with wax worms or red worms. Santa Margarita is at less than 15 percent capacity, but the marina store is open for supplies and rental vessels. The bass have dropped in the water column to depths to 25 feet, and the best action is with finesse techniques of plastics on the drop-shot or Texas-rig. Catfish are taken on cut baits or chicken livers. The river arm has dropped to the point where the old road is now exposed for the first time in years. 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
- Fresno Bass Club on Nov. 15 at Don Pedro: 1, Scott Smith 10.91 pounds (big fish 5.71); 2, Jesse Perez 10.58; 3, Bryan Cox 9.94
- Dec. 5: Manteca Bassin’ Buddies at Delta/B and W Resort; American Bass Association Delta/Russo’s Marina; Sonora Bass Club at New Melones; Kerman Bass Club at Millerton; American Bass Association at Nacimiento
- Dec. 6: Stockton Bass at Delta/Ladd’s Marina; Fresno Bass Club Tournament of Champions/Riverbank Bass Anglers at Don Pedro
- Dec. 12-13: Sierra Bass Club at Pine Flat
- Dec. 13: Kings VIII Bass Club at Pine Flat; Hook, Line, and Sinker at Delta/Russo’s Marina
- Jan. 16: Final, Final Sturgeon Seminar by Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle, 7:15 p.m. at Marin Rod and Gun Club in San Rafael, (415) 456-0321
f = full moon > = peak activity