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.
Morro Bay surf perch biting, Jacob Rutledge said. New Melones pumping out fat spotted bass, John Liechty reported. Don Pedro bass dominate the action, Dave Hurley said. Delta sturgeon gulping baits, Steve Talmadge reported. McClure bass active, Roosevelt Bass Club reported. Shaver trout bite rebounds in sunshine, Merritt Gilbert said. San Francisco sturgeon hitting, Jim Smith reported.
2-Have to work hard
4-Fish jumpin’ in boat
Delta Mendota Canal and Sloughs
The aqueduct is slowly coming back to life with fishermen reporting stripers are chasing baitfish up along the concrete wall. Speedlures in the purple urkle color pattern are working for linesides on a planar board for quality stripers. Water clarity and the catfish and largemouth bass bite are improving. A three-quarter-mile section of the aqueduct under repair near the Buena Vista Golf Course in Kern County will be reopened in a few weeks. Fishermen are encouraged to remove all trash and debris from the aqueduct. Meng Xyong, spokesman for the Fishaholics out of Fresno, reported, “This high pressure system has improved the fishing. Many south ’duct anglers are catching their limits using a variety of techniques. Soaking bait seems to work best for schoolie stripers and the occasional catfish. While the striper quality up north isn’t as good as down south, many are catching quality catfish fishing the north ’ducts using cut baits. Safety is a big concern at the California Aqueduct. When taking your kids, one way to keep them away from the water and also allow them to fish is to have them troll with a planar board. It keeps their lure in the strike zone and they can pull the lure from the road. Dropping a hooked worm inside grates for smaller bass or panfish is also a great alternative for kids. Water clarity is slightly stained and continues to improve. Water continues to flow in the north ’ducts while the south ’ducts receive a trickle from the high volume of water being pumped in the water system.”
Bass 2; Trout 2; Bluegill 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
The lake continues to rise slowly, but the water is extremely muddy. Catfishing is still best near the dam with chicken livers, but no double-digit fish were reported. Bass fishing is slow, but a few to 2.5 pounds can be taken on jigs in deeper water. Meng Xyong of the Fishaholics provided this report from Eastman, “Branden Heintz out of Fresno went with his dad for some solid winter bass fishing over the weekend. They caught and released a total of 10 fish with the top five fish totaling about 14 pounds. They found them deep in the lake using a variety of techniques and jigs. He recommends fishing deep since there’s a ton of snags now with the rising water. Water clarity isn’t bad with a thin layer of algae on the surface.” A trout plant occurred last week, but with the dirty water, there have been few reports of swimbait action for largemouth bass. The northeastern portion of the lake behind the buoy line is closed to all water recreation to protect nesting bald eagles. The area reopens Aug. 1. The lake rose 3 feet to 488.44 in elevation and 16 percent capacity.
Call: Six Star Tackle Box 673-5688; Eastman Lake 689-3255
Bass 2; Trout 2; Catfish 2; Bluegill 2; Crappie 2
The lake rose 4 feet to 21 percent capacity and 477.35 in elevation with the recent inflow. The Buckeye and Hidden View launch ramps are open, with Buckeye on the top ramp and Hidden View on the middle. A few bass are taken on Senkos in the cold and muddy water, but a slow presentation is necessary. There have been no trout reports despite a plant several weeks ago. There are more and more boats starting to access the lake, and the muddy water is beginning to clear.
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 1; Crappie 2
Bass fishing continues to dominate fishing interest at the lake, and the Kerman Bass Club held a derby over the past weekend with 14 limits to 11.02 pounds weighed in by the 23 participants. The big fish of 6.82 pounds was landed by Luigi Bianchi. Best action remains on the bottom with drop-shot plastics or jigs at depths from 25-30 feet, as the reaction bite is slow. Few trout fishermen are working the lake, but Monte Smith of Gold County Sport Fishing will be scouting the lake within the next week. The Fleming Meadows Launch is the only ramp on the lake, but three boats can be launched. The lake rose more than 5 feet to 706.85 in elevation and 42 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
At Lake Isabella, Jacob Rutledge of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield said, “Most fishermen are targeting catfish near Engineers Point with various baits, but the recent warm weather should bring out more and more bass fishermen as the fish should start to move up in the warm afternoons.” There are no trout reports, but the lake will be planted with 9,000 pounds of rainbows along with another 5,000 pounds purchased from the Chaulk Mound Trout Ranch ahead of the annual Lake Isabella Trout Derby. The 27th annual event is March 19-21, with early-bird registration closing at 4 p.m. Feb. 29. Online registration is available at kernrivervalley.com. The launch ramp is on the dirt, and a four-wheel-drive is necessary to put a boat into the lake, which rose 1 foot to 2526.59 in elevation and 7 percent capacity. Flows have increased in the lower river, and bass fishing has been solid with live minnows or nightcrawlers. Trout plants are scheduled this week in the upper Kern River at section 4. The local lakes of Ming and RiverWalk are scheduled to be planted with catchable trout every two weeks. Rutledge added that small minnows are working for crappie at Lake Ming. The smaller lake at Buena Vista is good for planted trout with Berkley Mice Tails, Power Bait, or nightcrawler; catfishing is decent with a few crappie taken on live small minnows. The RiverWalk will first host the 12th annual Kern County Sheriff’s Activity League Fishing Derby from 8 a.m. to noon Feb. 20 and the fifth annual Bakersfield Fire Fighters Trout Derby and Pancake Breakfast on March 5.
Call: Bob’s Bait (661) 833-8657; North Fork Marina (760) 376-1812
Bass 2; Crappie 1; Trout 2; Catfish 2
The lake level has been fluctuating wildly, rising several feet last week before dropping drastically. That has left the bass in flux; they are suspending off structure. The water is stained and cold from the inflow. The snowpack is beginning to melt, bringing colder water into the lake. Live minnows or crawdads are working best for bass, and a slow presentation with plastics on the drop-shot at depths to 40 feet is tops for artificial. Planted trout are landed on Power Bait with scent along with nightcrawlers from the bank areas near the launch ramp. The lake is dropping rapidly, receding 5 feet to 611.24 in elevation and 15 percent capacity over the past week.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212
Bass 2; Trout 1; Catfish 2; Crappie 1
Chuck Stokke of Sequoia Fishing Co. in Springville said, “The good weather expected throughout the week should be bringing out more fishermen, and the lake is fluctuating in water level due to inflow and releases.” The variable water has the bass in limbo, and there has been little or no interest. The lake has floating debris, and it is accumulating along the dam. The lack of trout plants also has contributed to less interest. The lake rose 3 feet to 599.05 in elevation and 15 percent capacity. The Tule River is roaring through Springville; trout fishing is at a standstill with the snowpack melting well ahead of schedule.
Call: Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626, sequoiafishingcompany.com
Bass 3; Trout 2; King salmon 1; Kokanee 1; Crappie 2; Catfish 2
The Roosevelt High Bass Fishing Club had a tournament on the lake Saturday, the first bass event there in several months. The club ‘s recap: “The 2016 Central Valley SAF Open is in the books and what a great day for youth fishing! Alfredo Jimenez landed the day’s big fish at 7.04 pounds; his partner Eugene Kondratyck (together they won the High School Division at 15.78 pounds) and their school, Central Valley-Ceres, won the overall High School Championship. On the Youth side, Miles Kaneko from the Delta Teen Team took the top spot with 12.26 pounds and the division’s big fish with a monster 6.32-pound spotted bass. A huge thank you to the marvelous boat captains, the Roosevelt After School crew for cooking lunch and taking care of us off the water, and our generous sponsors – Manchester Center, The Boat Shoppe, Clovis Tub and Tile, Edd Allen Marine Solutions, Valley Rod & Gun, Pro Worms, Tackle Warehouse, Dobyns Rods, Lew’s, Lake Fork Tackle, and Rod Sox. We hosted 52 young men and women, fishing in 27 boats, representing 10 different high schools and eight different clubs. Go Bass Fishers!!!” The lake is still stained the color of red clay from the rapid runoff from previous storms. The water clarity is only 8 inches, and a slow presentation with plastics coated with scent is the top presentation. The North Barrett Cove launch ramp is open as the lake rose 9 feet in the past week to 647.91 in elevation and 15 percent capacity. Maintenance work is being completed on one of the gates at the dam.
Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505; Bub Tosh (209) 404-0053
A trout plant was scheduled for Monday, the second plant of the season. The lake remains heavily stained because of water releases from upstream Lake McClure, and trout action has been slow. The lake is down about 4 feet as work on the Exchequer Dam at Lake McClure continues.
Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River
Bass 2; Striper 1; Shad 1; Bluegill 2; Trout 2
Few boats are targeting spotted bass with the lack of upcoming tournaments, but Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun was on the lake midweek for 12 bass to 2 pounds within three hours working the bottom with plastics on the drop-shot. The lake continues to rise, and the launch is currently on ramp 4. Gilbert said, “There were only four boat trailers in the parking lot, and at least one boat was trolling for striped bass near Finegold.” A few kayakers are drifting jumbo minnows for stripers, also near Finegold. Millerton Lake has not hosted a tournament in 2016, with a few scheduled for spring. The lake has come up to 42 percent capacity, rising 4 feet to 501.63 in elevation. Sycamore Island on the lower San Joaquin reopened Feb. 1, and trout plants have brought out bank fishermen to the area. Woodward Park is another location for trout fishing, and Gilbert added that local anglers are taking their children to the lake to soak Power Bait for the planted rainbows. 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 3; Crappie 2; Catfish 2; Trout 2; Kokanee 1
At New Melones, bass fishing remains the top draw with fishermen finding numbers of chunky spotted bass along with largemouths. John Liechty of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp said, “The lake level continues to rise, and the fish are moving up and down in the water column on a daily basis. Depending upon the structure and the area of the lake, the fish will be holding either in deep or shallow water. The fish are not chasing bait in the cold water in the 49- to 52-degree range, and the best action remains with a slow presentation on the bottom with plastics on the Texas-rig, drop-shot, or dart head. The longer you allow the bait to sit in one place, the more likely the fish will become agitated. When there is rock, wood, or submerged timber, it is best to use a weedless offering to keep from being hung up, and changing color patterns is advised since the fish are either focusing upon shad or crawdads.” February is traditionally the top month for trophy bass at the lake, and fishermen are requested to release all largemouth bass along with the big spotted bass in order to keep the population stable in the lake. Trout action remains fair at best and very slow compared to winter months in previous years. The best action for bank fishermen remains at Glory Hole Point or near the Highway 49 Bridge as there is access to deep water in both locations. Floating a nightcrawler/marshmallow combination or trout dough bait in rainbow or chartreuse with garlic scent are the best options on light line with a small wire hook. It is important to keep the bait off the bottom. Trollers are finding a few fish at depths from the surface to 40 feet with brightly colored spoons upriver from the Highway 49 Bridge to Horseshoe Bend. The lake is rising rapidly, and the Old Parrott’s Ferry Bridge is starting to go underwater. Catfish and crappie remain slow with few anglers targeting the species, but the action will improve throughout spring. The dam area remains buoyed off to keep out boats during periods of water releases although the water level is at least 15 feet above the danger zone. The launch at Glory Hole Point is two lanes of dirt and gravel with no courtesy dock. A four-wheel-drive tow vehicle is advised. The lake rose 5.5 feet to 837.40 in elevation and 17 percent capacity. Downstream Lake Tulloch is scheduled for trout plants this week.
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 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
Bass fishing continues to improve at Pine Flat amid warm springlike weather drawing the fish into the shallows during the afternoon. Patrick Movey of the Fisherman’s Warehouse in Sacramento reported, “Most anglers are still working on the bottom with a slow presentation with jigs or plastics, but there are some fish coming up in the afternoons, and they are susceptible to jerkbaits.” Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “Fishermen are able to pick up between 7-8 fish, but they have to work for them. The best action is still between 25-30 feet in depth with jigs or plastics on the drop-shot or dart head, but Gary Wasson landed his big 9.98-pound largemouth last week on a crankbait.” The Trimmer ramp is getting close to being easy to launch as the water is rising, but few boats are taking off from there there since they are unable to access the main lake given to the barricade in place to keep floating debris from the Rough Fire from entering the main lake. There is little water in Sycamore and Rattlesnake Creeks, but the lake has been continually rising, and it is finally over 20 percent capacity. There have been few reports of king salmon in the lake, but Gilbert observed a picture of a huge salmon at 13 pounds landed by a local angler in early January. He said, “The fisherman said he was trolling a blade/crawler combination on lead core line just off of the Deer Creek launch ramp, and he was reluctant to report this fish since he thought you needed a salmon report card for Pine Flat. This was the largest salmon that I have ever seen out of Pine Flat, and he reportedly landed another one around 10 pounds at the end of October.” On the trout front, more trollers are starting to work the lake, but there have been few reports. The lake rose 7 feet to 767.23 in elevation and 22 percent capacity. Trout fishermen are purchasing a few jars of Power Bait for the lower Kings, but reports have been scarce. Regulations in the Kings River above and below Pine Flat Dam set the season as running from the last Saturday in April to Nov. 15 from Pine Flat Dam downstream to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Bridge on Pine Flat Road with a five-fish limit. The bridge is the first one 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 2
San Luis Reservoir has risen to 36 percent in capacity after being as low as 18 percent a few months ago – 10,081 acre-feet was pumped in Monday. The rapid rise may have contributed to a slower striper bite, as action has decreased considerably for trollers. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun said, “Anglers who have been consistently scoring limits trolling at depths from 60-80 feet were switching over to drifting jumbo minnows for small limits. The fish are marking on the meter, but they are reluctant to bite anything but live bait.” Patrick Movey of the Fisherman’s Warehouse in Fresno said, “A few fishermen are scoring from the banks with cut anchovies or live minnows.” Roger George of Roger George Guide Service said fishing had slowed overall with the water inflows. “I fished with Steve Thatcher of Fresno on Saturday and the fish were tough to target, but we caught/released 13 fish to 24 inches trolling shad colored lures. Trollers and bait guys we talked to were struggling to get one or two fish. There were a lot of hit and runs, too, telling me the fish were not eating but just reacting. The water temps rose to over 56 degrees, up from 49-50 degrees over a month ago! The fish are in flux and moving a lot now,” George said. More are targeting O’Neill Forebay given a slowdown in the main lake for striped bass. Small linesides can be taken on jumbo or extra-large minnows, and live bait also is working for largemouth bass. The best action is near Check 12 and the channel near the Highway 152 Bridge.
Call: Coyote Bait andTackle (408) 463-0711, Roger George of rogergeorgeguideservice.com (559) 905-2954
Bass 2; Trout 2; Kokanee 1
There was a trout plant in early January, but none scheduled for February. Trout fishing remains very slow, but the launch ramp is easily accessed as the lake has risen to 61 percent. The water temperature is still cold at 42 degrees. Other than a few anglers searching for bass, there have been few reports.
Call: Todd Wittwer 288-8100; Mike Beighey 642-3748
Brown trout 2; Trout 2
The high country along Kaiser Pass continues to receive snow, with access limited to those on snowmobile. The lakes remain very low, with Edison at 4 percent and Florence at 9 percent. Lower-elevation Mammoth Pool rose to 28 percent.
Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000
Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake
Kokanee 1; Trout 3
A week of springlike weather brought back the trout trollers to Shaver Lake, and there are still plenty of rainbows remaining from the heavy plants during the summer. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis reported good action from one of their employees Saturday morning, with six rainbows by 9:30 a.m. He said, “There was a 28-inch brown trout caught in the lake within the past few weeks, but this fish was so skinny it looked like a pike.” There were no other details on this brown trout, which are extremely rare in Shaver Lake, particularly after it was drained a few years ago. Bank fishing remained slow with fishermen reporting a few bites, but few fish actually landed, while setting up near the Sierra Marina or the dam with trout dough bait or inflated nightcrawlers. The best action for trollers is occurring with blade/crawler combinations from the surface to 15 feet in Stevenson Bay, on the opposite end of the lake from the launch. The ramp at the Sierra Marina should remain open during the spring, and a webcam with updated conditions is available at sierramarina.com. The Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project will be planting thousands of trophies in the lake during the spring. A project-hosted seminar at at 6 p.m. Feb. 25 at Herb Bauer Sporting Goods in Fresno will feature Mike O’Connell on jigging and still boat fishing for rainbows, Lee Gates on night fishing, Bob Bernier on his secrets for smallmouth bass, Nichols on 2015 results from 128 guided trips on the lake during the past year, kokanee tackle innovator Captain Jack Yandell’s pointers on kokanee fishing and the third-year kokanee, and an update on upcoming trophy plants. Shaver dropped slightly to 61 percent capacity. At Huntington, after heavy snows fell on the region, few fishermen are braving the conditions. It was holding at 41 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
The road to both lakes has closed for the season at Dinkey Creek. The rainbows will be holding over until it reopens in the spring.
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
Big waves continue to pound the San Mateo coast at the start of February, and with the lack of interest in fishing given the Dungeness crab closure, boats remain tied up with the last trip out of the harbor by a party boat for fishing taking place on Jan. 24. Whale watching remains the primary reason for heading out of the safety of the harbor. The Queen of Hearts out of Half Moon Bay Sport Fishing and the Salty Lady captained by Roger Thomas and Jerad Davis are ready to go when the conditions allow. All boats continue to wait for the possible scheduling of the Titans of Mavericks Surf Competition, with big wave surfers arriving from around the globe to work the waves along Mavericks Reef north of the harbor. Interested passengers are advised to sign up for the email list at fishingboat.com/Mavericks as notification will be sent out when and if the event is scheduled. The competition is held on a 48-hour notices, and interested passengers will be added to the boats on a first-come, first-served basis. The latest Dungeness crab testing on Jan. 25 out of Half Moon Bay resulted in an average of 5 parts per million of domoic acid in the tested Dungeness with 0 percent testing over the 30 parts per million federal standards. Tests farther up the coastline at Point Arena and Salt Point at the end of January are above the allowable federal standard, and timely testing in February is needed to determine if the season will be opened in Northern California above Piedras Blancas Lighthouse in San Luis Obispo County. The big waves have limited access for surf anglers, but will bring benefits in the long run with the upwelling of food sources. The Sand Crab Classic Surf Perch Contest is March 12. Although the event is in Santa Cruz, fishermen are able to work the San Mateo coast before making it south to the weigh in at the Portuguese Hall in Santa Cruz.
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
The Check Mate out of Chris’ Landing went out with 17 anglers Saturday for loads of sand dab and mackerel. They will be running these trips whenever there is enough interest, combined with fishable weather. There was no trip on Super Bowl Sunday. Allen Bushnell of Santa Cruz Kayak Fishing said, “The Santa Cruz Harbor is still shoaled at the entrance. Boaters are advised not to transit at this time. A few boats are coming in and out, notably the kelp cutter boat that gathers food for American Abalone farm in Davenport. Weather and big swells are keeping the Monterey boats at the dock some days, but when they get out they are doing well on sanddabs and mackerel. Reports from last week also indicate the Pacific Bonito are still hanging around Carmel submarine canyon. The bonito are deep, with anglers catching them at 200 feet.” All proceeds from the Sand Crab Classic Perch Derby go to the Monterey Bay Salmon and Trout Project.
Call: Chris’ Landing (831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173; usafishing.com
San Francisco Bay
Striper 3; Leopard shark 2; Sturgeon 3
With the Dungeness crab closure, sturgeon are the top species in the bay, and there are still diamondbacks holding in San Pablo Bay despite the herring spawns occurring in the central and south bays. Captain Jim Smith of the Happy Hooker went into San Pablo Bay on Saturday loaded with ghost shrimp for his 17 anglers, and they released four shaker sturgeon along with six keeper stripers and numerous shaker stripers. Smith said, “There were plenty of small stripers in the bay.” Captain Mike Andrews of Predator Sport Fishing was able to find a much larger striper, stating, “We chose the wide expanse of shallow water in San Pablo Bay as an alternative to the crowded waters of Suisun Bay and the Napa River, and the surprise was an initial show of striped bass with Saturday’s topping out at 17 pounds. We also got a sturgeon to, so while the crazies took over the upper bays, we found what we wanted – some quiet water, hungry fish, and warm sunshine on our baits. This is hopefully the start of some great spring time fishing.” Captain Chris Smith of the Captain Hook out of Martinez Marina was also in the derby, and he found good action Saturday morning, with Floyd Porteous landing the fourth-place sturgeon on Smith’s boat and Dan Wulff of Manteca releasing a small legal sturgeon. Smith went into San Pablo to avoid the heavy boat traffic in the Delta. Sweeney’s Sports in Napa reported similar action to last week in the Napa River with a good sturgeon bite from the Highway 37 Bridge up past the 29 Bridge. Striper fishing has slowed for trollers and plug casters, but the water is starting to clear. Live mudsuckers or cut baits are producing the occasional striped bass. Captain David Bacon said, “There are big herring spawns going on in the lower bay, moving from Richmond to Richardson Bay and reports from the Golden Gate, so some folks feel that many of the sturgeon are off chasing that roving spawn.”
San Luis Obispo
Surf Perch 3
Surf perch fishing is the top draw for Valley anglers, and Jacob Rutledge of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield reported a number of anglers are heading to the coast with blood worms. Pismo Beach has been a particularly hot location for barred surf perch, but there are reports of many vehicles getting stuck in the sand. Out of Patriot Sport Fishing in Port San Luis, they will be running some weekend nature cruises; groups of 10 or more are able to be scheduled during the week. Virg’s Landing in Morro Bay will be running whale watching and nature excursions through March. They have a two-for-one deal on rockfish trips in April. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has opened the recreational Dungeness crab and rock crab season on the mainland coast south of Piedras Blancas Light Station in San Luis Obispo County.
Call: Virg’s Landing, (805) 772-1222; (800) 762-5263; Patriot Sports Fishing (805) 595-4100; Port Side Marine Sports Launch (805) 595-7214
Bass 2; Striper 2; Sturgeon 3; Catfish 2; Bluegill 2
Captain Steve Talmadge of Flash Sport Fishing, organizer of last weekend’s Diamond Classic Catch and Release Sturgeon Derby, said, “We had an epic day, hooking at total of 10 sturgeon and landing six. I like the tides for the next two weeks, and now is the time for sturgeon fishing.” Captain Steve Mitchell of Hook’d Up Sport Fishing out of Pittsburg fished the entire length of the derby, and they found fantastic action, hooking 13 sturgeon with four keepers that were released as the fish were not close to the target length, and oversized, and a number of shakers just short of the 40-inch legal mark. “The fish weren’t biting on the outgoing tide, but once the tide turned around, it was like the dinner bell turned on.” Mitchell was using salmon roe and lamprey eel. Dan Mathisen of Dan’s Delta Outdoors in Oakley reported Big Red’s Bloody Eel has been the top bait for sturgeon, and even anglers that swear that roe is the only bait are buying the eel this week. The sturgeon bite has been best from the Antioch Bridge west into Suisun Bay, and he advised concentrating on depths from 30-35 feet with his best bets at the mouth of Spoonbill Slough or Montezuma Slough or the Duck Club at the mouth of the Little Cut. In the upper Delta near Freeport, Johnny Tran of New Romeo’s Bait and Tackle reported the Sacramento River has cleaned up nicely with minimal debris, and eel/nightcrawler or pile worm/ghost shrimp combinations are working for sturgeon from Freeport to Clarksburg. Boaters should use extra caution while motoring under the Three Mile Slough Bridge as the clearance is much lower because of construction crews running rigging across the bottom length of the bridge, with rows of pipes hanging down. The best fishing remains in the clearer water in the south Delta near Holland Tract or in Discovery Bay. Doug Chapman of Gotcha Bait in Antioch said, “Bait was hard to get for us this weekend for the derby, and we were unable to obtain ghost shrimp. Striped bass are still caught from the Antioch Fishing Pier, but most of the linesides are small. The best action has been in either Holland Tract or Discovery Bay, and one of our employees landed a 10-pound largemouth bass on a jumbo minnow in Holland Tract.” They have plenty of minnows of all sizes in the shop. Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, continued to advise searching for clear water with a slow presentation. The springlike weather will bring more and more bass into the shallows, and they will become more active. Said Mathisen: “There have been sturgeon landed in the San Joaquin around the Antioch Bridge, and most boats are anchoring near the Antioch Cement Plant.” Mathisen added that Discovery Bay is starting to clear up, and the A-rig bite is happening for both largemouth and striped bass along with the Optimum’s Big Bubba Shad swimbait or the new Savage Gear’s glidebait. Steve Santucci of Steve Santucci’s Fly Fishing Guide Service said, “Warmer weather should spur good action for stripers on the California Delta this upcoming week. The water should be clearing as the incoming rivers are returning to normal flows. Fishing was a little on the slow side last week, but I’m hoping to get into them this coming week.”
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. The American Bass Association held a tournament at Nacimiento on Saturday, but there were no results as of Monday night. The best action for small spotted bass has been with plastics on the drop-shot or jigs on a dead-stick presentation. San Antonio remains closed as a result of extremely low water conditions. San Antonio remains at 3 percent capacity and Nacimiento at 22%. The launch ramp at Lopez is expected to remain open for the remainder of the season; there are several tournaments on the lake this month. The bass bite is tough, with the best action on plastics or Senkos on a finesse presentation. Santa Margarita is rising, but it is still less than 15 percent capacity. The marina store is open for supplies and rental vessels. Cold water temperatures have limited action.
Call: Lake Nacimiento (805) 238-1056, ext. 3; Lake San Antonio Marina (805) 472-2818; Central Coast Bass Fishing.com (805) 466-6557
- Foundation Sportsmen’s Club Original Sturgeon Derby, Feb. 6-7 in Bay Point: (57-inch target length) – Saturday, 1, Steve Gollnick 56 3/4 ; 2, Mike Newman 57 1/2 ; 3, Roy Davis 59 9/16 ; 4, Floyd Porteous 56 5/16 ; 5, Mike Parker 58 7/16 ; 6, Gary Faselli 55 3/8 ; 7, Keith Peddle 54 3/4 . Sunday, 1, Lath Yoeung, 56 3/4 ; 2, Matt Bruce 57 5/16 ; 3, Klifford Brueker 57 5/16 ; 4, Manuel Roman 56 3/16 ; 5, Brian Buehler 56 1/4 ; 6, Jerry Borchers 57 5/16 ; 7, Dion Childs 58 3/16 . Payouts – 1, $6,287; 2, $2,515; 3, $1,257; 4, $1,006; 5, $628; 6, $503; 7, $377.
- American Bass Association on Jan. 30 at Pine Flat: 1, Gary Watson/Chris Gosselaar 20.17 pounds (big fish 9.83); 2, Darin Bishop/Dean Miller 9.60; 3, Jerry Williams/Eric Arbelo 9.10
- Kerman Bass Club on Feb. 6 at Don Pedro: 1, Ryan Voorhees 11.25 pounds; 2, David McEwen 11.02; 3, Jeff Farmer 10.90; big fish, Luigi Bianchi 6.82
- Roosevelt High Bass Fishing Club Central Valley High School and Youth Open on Feb. 6 at Lake McClure: High School Division – 1, Alfredo Jimenez/Eugene Kondratyck, Central Valley High (Captain Brandon Weis) 15.78 pounds; 2, Austin Head/Bubba Montoya, Delta Teen Team (Captain Scott Head) 10.66; 3, Luke Johns/Brandon Burkey, Vista Del Lago (Captain Jerry Jung) 10.60; big fish, Alfredo Jimenez 7.04. Youth – 1, Miles Kaneko (Captain Josh Kaneko) 12.26; 2, Michael Alaya (Captain Aaron Galassi) 5.52; 3, Jared Fremery (Captain Barry Streud) 1.52; big fish, Miles Kaneko 6.32
- Saturday: Angler’s Press at New Melones; Best Bass Tournaments at Pine Flat; Bakersfield Bass Club at Kaweah; Best Bass Tournaments at Nacimiento
- Sunday: Kings VIII Bass Club at Pine Flat
- Feb. 20: Tracy Bass Club at Delta/Tracy Oasis; Best Bass Tournaments/Kerman Bass Club at Don Pedro; Sierra Bass Club at McClure; Kern County Bassmasters at Pine Flat; The 12th annual Kern County Sheriff Activity League Fishing Derby at The Park at the Riverwalk; Tri-Valley Bass Club at Nacimiento
- Feb. 21: Fresno Bass Club at McClure
- Feb. 27: Christian Bass League at Delta/Ladd’s Marina; Bass Anglers of Northern California at Delta/Russo’s Marina; Angler’s Press at New Melones; American Bass Association at Kaweah; San Luis Obispo Bass Ambushers at Lopez
- March 5: Fifth annual Bakersfield Fire Fighters Trout Derby and Pancake Breakfast at The Park at the Riverwalk
- March 19: Best Bass Tournament at New Melones
- Kern County: Brite Valley Reservoir; Kern River, Section 4
- Mariposa County: McSwain Reservoir
- Merced County: Los Banos Reservoir; Merced River, Section I; Yosemite Lake
- Stanislaus County: Modesto Reservoir; Turlock Reservoir; Woodward Reservoir
- Tulare County: Del Lago Park Lake
- Tuolumne County: Don Pedro Reservoir; New Melones Reservoir; Tulloch Lake
q = quarter moon > = peak activity