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.
Don Pedro bass hitting, Monte Smith said. McClure bass bite solid, Dave Hurley reported. Millerton spots active, Steve Newman said. New Melones producing good bass numbers, John Liechty reported. Coastal crabbing has been good for limits, Keith Stemler reported. Delta stripers, sturgeon and bass biting, Alan Fong said.
2-Have to work hard
4-Fish jumpin’ in boat
Delta Mendota Canal and Sloughs
The California Aqueduct continues to draw out central Valley striper fishermen, and the springlike weather improved the action after weeks of heavy flows and cold water. Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “The action is getting better and better, and the water is clearing up. Cut baits are working for striped bass as well as Duo Realis jerkbaits and Speed Lures. We hare having a hard time keeping the Speed Lures in the shop, running through 60 within a few days. We are only carrying the four most popular colors, and the demand has been very high.” Meng Xyong, of the Fishaholics out of Fresno, reported, “There’s a lot of water being released down south, now that the section by Taft has been repaired. With so much water coming through, it’s tough fishing at the checkgates with the heavy flows. Anglers are free-lining their baits and walking downstream for some success. The morning bite is slow with fishermen catching an occasional fish or two throwing jerkbaits such as SpeedLures, Duos Realis or Lucky Craft Pointers, Flukes and Rat-L-Traps continue to work for anglers fishing the bottom of the canal. As the water surface warms up in the afternoon, the fish are more active as you can see them chasing your lures to within a few feet of the concrete wall. Andy Nuber out of Concord fished the north ‘duct over the weekend and caught a healthy 8-pound striper. More anglers in the area are beginning to catch fish again. Some anglers north of Fresno County are bypassing the California Aqueduct and are fishing the Delta-Mendota Canal using the same techniques and tactics used at the ’ducts. Water clarity is best in the south ’ducts. Some areas are slowly becoming stained with the influx of water being release.” In Kern County, Highway 166 and Old River along with the Lerdo Highway continue to be the top areas for stripers, but the water is flowing once again near the Buena Vista Golf Course. The section has fencing, but there are openings for anglers to gain access. The popularity of the aqueduct has led to increased use, with fishermen encouraged to take out all trash and debris when departing.
Bass 2; Trout 2; Bluegill 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
Steve Newman of Valley Rod in Clovis reported, “Bass fishing continues to improve with the clearer water, particularly in the early to mid-morning before the sun hits the water.” Bass in the 2-pound range are found on Senkos, Texas-rigged plastics, or jigs at depths to 30 feet. Small swimbaits such as the 4- to 5-inch K-Tech with a paddletail are also effective for quality bass. Catfishing has slowed. The launch ramp is open with easy access. The northeastern portion of the lake behind the buoy line is closed to all water recreation to protect nesting bald eagles. The area will reopen Aug. 1. The lake rose 0.5 feet to 490.94 in elevation and 18 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 1.5 feet to 24 percent capacity and 481.88 feet in elevation with the recent inflow. Patrick Movey of the Fisherman’s Warehouse in Fresno said, “Bass fishing is fair with small limits possible at depths to 30 feet with plastics on the drop-shot or Texas rig as the bite is tougher than it is as nearby Eastman.” Steve Newman added, “There is some action near the weed line at 15 feet in depth.” The lake is receiving less pressure than nearby Eastman.
Call: Fresno Fisherman’s Warehouse 225-1838; Valley Rod Gun, Clovis 292-3474; Six Star Tackle Box 673-5688; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Hensley Lake Hidden Dam 673-5151
Lake Don Pedro
Bass 3; Trout 2; Kokanee 1; King salmon 2; Crappie 2
Bass fishing remains the top draw, with the best action on drop-shot plastics, swimbaits, glide baits and jigs at depths to 30 feet. There is a window for reaction baits along south-facing banks in the afternoons. The lake will host tournaments every weekend in March. Trout action remains very slow, and Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing said, “It is just a waiting game right now since we put in over three limits of rainbow trout at the same time last year.” The launch ramp at the end of the road near Moccasin is under water; the lake will need to rise to 725 feet for the main Moccasin ramp to be accessible. The Flemings Meadow launch remains the only operational ramp. The lake rose more than 5 feet to 719.84 in elevation and 46 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, low water levels are still discouraging bass fishermen from launching. Catfish remain the top species with a variety of baits near Engineer’s Point. The big event of the month is the 27th annual Kern River Valley Chamber of Commerce Lake Isabella Trout Derby on March 19-21. That week, the lake will be planted with 9,000 pounds of rainbows as well as another 5,000 pounds purchased from the Chaulk Mound Trout Ranch. Online registration is available at kernrivervalley.com. The launch ramp is on the dirt, and a four-wheel-drive vehicle is necessary to put a boat into the lake. The lake rose 0.5 feet to 2,528.78 in elevation and 8 percent capacity. Trout action in the upper river remained slow despite recent trout plants. In the lower Kern River, largemouth and smallmouth bass are taken on live bait such as minnows or nightcrawlers. The local lakes of Ming and RiverWalk are scheduled to be planted with catchable trout every two weeks. Small minnows are popular for crappie at Buena Vista. The RiverWalk will host the fifth annual Bakersfield Fire Fighters Trout Derby and Pancake Breakfast on Saturday. In the upper Kern River, Chuck Stokke of Sequoia Fish Co. in Springville is featured in the March/April issue of Southwest Fly Fishing magazine with an article on the Big Kern River. He touts fly fishing on the Big Kern via horseback as an excellent adventure.
Call: Bob’s Bait (661) 833-8657; North Fork Marina (760) 376-1812
Bass 3; Crappie 2; Trout 2; Catfish 2
The lake level is back on the rise, up more than 6 feet this week to 619.25 in elevation and 19 percent capacity. The bass bite continues to improve as the fish are moving into the shallows in the warmer afternoons, and they are susceptible to reaction baits. Numbers are still best with plastics on the drop-shot at depths from 20-30 feet. The water level has reached the trees near Horse Creek, and many crappie fishermen are concentrating in this area with small minnows or minijigs. Trout fishing from the banks remains slow.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212
Bass 2; Trout 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
Bass fishing is fair at best, but the warm temperatures are bringing the fish closer to the banks, particularly on warm afternoons. Carp are abundant on the surface, and this is a great time to hook and release with fly equipment or spinning rods. No trout plants are scheduled and this has severely affected the number of fishermen coming out to the lake. The lake rose 2.5 feet to 610.31 in elevation and 25 percent capacity. The Tule River has an excellent flow, and fly-fishing with nymphs such as Pheasant Tail Flashbacks or Hare’s Ear on a slow and patient presentation continues to be the best bet. The river will be planted at all of the campgrounds later this spring, and there should be plenty of planted trout in the river in addition to the native browns and rainbows.
Call: Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626, sequoiafishingcompany.com
Bass 3; Trout 2; King salmon 1; Kokanee 1; Crappie 1; Catfish 2
The bass bite is solid with spinnerbaits, crank baits and jigs all working, but the water is stained and about 51 degrees. The Barrett Cove South Ramp is open. There are houseboats in several locations, with the marinas moving the boats into deeper water, and no-wake zones throughout the lake. Maintenance work is being completed on one of the gates at the dam. The lake has risen less than a foot to 18 percent capacity and 664.36 in elevation.
Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505; Bub Tosh (209) 404-0053
Not much change on the trout front, with no plants within the past week. The water is starting to clear after releases from Lake McClure had stained the lake over the past few weeks. Trout fishing has been best from the banks near the campgrounds with blue/chrome Kastmasters or garlic rainbow trout dough bait. The lake is down a few feet as work on the Exchequer Dam at Lake McClure continues.
Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River
Bass 3; Striper 1; Shad 1; Bluegill 2; Trout 2
Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun said, “Bass action is good as the fish are loading up on 1- to 1.5-inch shad, moving into the shallows. The best quality are holding into deep water in the 30- to 40-foot range, and shad-patterned plastics with a purple line are working as well as twin-tailed grubs in green pumpkin or watermelon on a one-eighth or one-quarter-ounce jig or darter head. A few striped bass are chasing hooked spotted bass, but no landed stripers have been reported.” Patrick Movey of the Fisherman’s Warehouse confirmed the good action, and he touted jigs or Brush Hogs as the top lures while a few fish are taken on spinnerbaits. All boats need a low-emission sticker on their motors. The lake has risen to 51 percent capacity, climbing 10.5 feet to 515.76 in elevation. In the San Joaquin River, boaters with jet engines are able to work the river for bass, and a few trout are taken at Sycamore Island. A regular group of fishermen are heading to Woodward Park for planted rainbows with Power Bait. Regulations on the lower San Joaquin, and from Friant Dam downstream to the Highway 140 Bridge, allow two hatchery trout or hatchery steelhead with a total of four in possession. The hatchery fish have a healed adipose fin clip. All wild steelhead or trout with an adipose fin present must be released. The San Joaquin River is closed to the take of salmon; they may not be targeted by fishermen and must be released if inadvertently caught.
Call: Fresno Fisherman’s Warehouse 225-1838; Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474
New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch
Bass 3; Crappie 3; Catfish 3; Trout 2; Kokanee 1
At New Melones, the bass bite remains productive with most fishermen catching and releasing solid numbers. The springlike weather is bringing the bass closer to the banks, and a few large ones have been taken on swimbaits or big plastics or jigs in shad or crawdad patterns. Trout action is starting to come to life, but the overall action remains slow. John Liechty of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp reported, “Some fish are still out in deep water and can be caught using wintertime tactics. The best way to find some good fish is to keep an open mind and fish a handful of areas in both deep and shallow water. The water temperature is still cool and slower moving baits are working best. A Texas Rig or shakey head will work when fishing around cover and switching to a dart head or drop-shot rig is best when fishing in areas void of wood in natural crawdad colors such as green pumpkin, watermelon, brown and purple.” Fish and Wildlife continues to plant rainbow trout in New Melones, and the action is starting to pick up slightly in the main lake, but the main river channel remains the top location. Bank fishermen are finding success near the Highway 49 Bridge with nightcrawler/marshmallow combinations or trout dough bait on a 3- to 4-foot leader to keep the bait off of the bottom. Boaters are trolling in the main river channel above the 49 Bridge with small spoons in shad patterns near the surface. Liechty also runs Xperience Guide Service, and he said, “The trout fishing has been slow, but the last few trips we have been landing a few. As the water level slows down, I believe the fishing will pick up. We have been catching most of our trout upriver – and make sure you stay in the main river channel or the trees will grab the nice lure you just bought. Speedy Shiners and Needlefish in shad or chrome and blue or black at depths from 8-11 feet worked the best, but we also landed a few around 20 feet at speeds from 2.4 to 3 mph.” Kokanee are still a few weeks off, but the warming trend has brought out the catfish and crappie bite, with the best time to target whiskerfish in the warmer afternoons along south facing banks with large chunks of frozen bait. The launch ramp at Glory Hole Point is a two-lane dirt and gravel road with no courtesy dock, and it is best to launch with a four-wheel-drive vehicle. The lake continues to rise coming up more than 3 feet to 848.01 in elevation and 19 percent capacity within the past 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 1; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
Patrick Movey and Steve Newman reported an inconsistent bite with numbers of small bass starting to show up but finding quality fish is a challenge. The best action is at depths from 30-50 feet with plastics on the Texas-rig or drop-shot along with jigs. The fish have been reluctant to rise in the water column. The lake has been receiving heavy fishing pressure given the number of local tournaments. Trout fishing remains null and void. A debris barricade has been placed across the lake below Trimmer. The lake continues to rise, up more than a foot per day with an increase of 15 vertical feet this week to 783.91 in elevation and 27 percent capacity. Trout fishermen have been heading to the lower Kings, but despite the recent trout plants action has been slow. The flows are normal, but the action has been less than stellar. Regulations in the Kings River above and below Pine Flat Dam set the season as running from the last Saturday in April to Nov. 15 from Pine Flat Dam downstream to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Bridge on Pine Flat Road with a five-fish limit. The bridge is the first one to the west of the dam.
Call: Fresno Fisherman’s Warehouse 225-1838; Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474; Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626; The I Forgot Store 787-3689
San Luis Reservoir and O’Neill Forebay
Striper 2; Catfish 2; Bass 2; Crappie 1
The main San Luis Reservoir continues to climb in size, jumping up from 41 percent to 43 percent with heavy pumping from the Delta despite the slowdown on the state side of the pumps. The striped bass are responding to all of the new locations under water, and limits are possible for those throwing bait from the shoreline, drifting jumbo minnows, or trolling minnow plugs. Anthony Lopez of Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill said, “We are selling a ton of jumbo minnows, and anglers are either mooching or slow-trolling with an electric or trolling motor in order to cover more water. With the moving water, the area in front of the trash racks has been the top locations, but fishermen are also finding action at the mouth of Portuguese Cove. There is water in the cove, but the action is much slower in there.” Roger George of Roger George Guide Service said that all the badly stained water being pumped in has slowed the action overall. “The pump area has water with less than a foot visibility and lots of trash-so it’s been hard to get a reaction bite. We have moved to areas farther away from the pumps and less stained water to get our fish. I fished last Friday and Saturday and we got eight fish to 24 inches each day – not an easy bite – but the fish were very robust. One group of anglers came over to tell me they got/released a 42-incher on a minnow on Saturday. I applaud anglers carefully letting the big girls go – it helps all of us. Lots of guys are also using the Seaqualizer release tool now to put fish back unharmed! The bite should improve any day,” George said. Trollers are pulling Rapalas, P-Line Predator Minnows, Speed Lures, and Lucky Craft Pointer 128’s at depths from 60-90 feet for variable success. The bass are scattered into tight groups with the rising water. The O’Neill Forebay has been good for numbers of stripers from 18-22 inches for fishermen from the banks near the Highway 152 Bridge with blood worms, pile worms, anchovies or jumbo minnows. The California Aqueduct is also improving for numbers of stripers as the water is clearing up throughout the system. Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “Speed Lures have been particularly effective in purple urkle or green ghost along with Lucky Craft Pointers, and Duo Realis jerkbaits. We have been running through shipments of the Speed Lures within a couple of days in the shop.”
Call: Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711, Roger George of rogergeorgeguideservice.com (559) 905-2954
Bass 2; Trout 2; Kokanee 1
The lake has jumped up to 67 percent capacity, but bass fishing remains tough. The majority of action has been taking place by boaters working rockpiles with finesse techniques at 30 feet in depth. Bank action is slow. Trout fishing remains very slow. Launching a boat is not a problem with the water level, but the courtesy dock has yet to be installed.
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 is limited to those on snowmobiles. The lakes remain very low, with Edison at 6 percent and Florence at 14 percent. Lower elevation Mammoth Pool rose to 30 percent.
Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000
Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake
Kokanee 1; Trout 2
The springtime temperatures and promise of solid trolling action have proven inviting for central Valley trout fishermen to head up the hill to Shaver Lake. Dick Nichols, president of the Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project said, “Great weather and fair to good fishing having brought many fishermen to Shaver Lake, and this past week has been a mostly hit but sometimes slow action for Shaver. Anglers such as Paul Truitt of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis have found this pattern to be true as he found so-so action one day followed by limits of rainbows the following day.” Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis reported good action with Wedding Rings in orange or pink tipped with a small piece of nightcrawler working at 4-5 colors of lead core. He said, “With the cold water, it is a very soft bite, so you will receive many more strikes than hookups.” Earl Taniguchi, Carl House and Terry Walton picked up three limits again this week, working the triangle between the island, Black Rock and the Boy Scout camp at depths around 34 feet deep pulling Terry Walton Sierra Gold spinners in pink, orange or chartreuse.” Nichols added, “The depth is very important to get into the thermocline area that is rich in oxygen and feed, and the fish are moving daily so changing locations is very important.” Fish and Wildlife planted about 5,000 pounds of 9- to 10-inch fish, and these are congregating in the dam area. They will be to catchable size by summer. The Shaver Lake Trophy Trout seminar at Herb Bauer’s Sporting Goods was a total success, drawing a standing-room crowd. Bob Sharton, Herb Bauer’s Sporting Goods manager, said, “This annual event has always had a great turnout, but this was the best turnout they have ever had.” Topics of smallmouth bass, night fishing, the thermocline areas and trolling for kokanee and trout were discussed. Shaver dropped slightly to 56 percent capacity. At Huntington, ice and snow are keeping anglers from dragging in their aluminum boats in search of huge brown trout, but this situation will change in the coming weeks. Huntington rose to 43 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 spring.
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
Striper 2; Crabs 3; Surf Perch 3
With the Dungeness crab season having opened in mid-February, there is finally a reason to start up a boat out of Pillar Point Harbor. Second Captain Micheal Cabanas of the Huli Cat out of Pillar Point Harbor continues to return with limits of crab off Martin’s Beach, with up to 33 Dungeness per pot. They pulled 10 pots for 25 limits Friday along with easy limits Sunday. The limit is 10-crab per fishermen for the first time on a party boat. The Queen of Hearts out of Half Moon Bay Sport Fishing and the Salty Lady captained by Roger Thomas and Jerad Davis are still whale watching until the anticipated openings of ocean salmon and rockfish seasons in April. Farther north in Pacifica, Rob Chaney of the Rusty Hook reported excellent crabbing off Pacific Pier with snares or crab traps, and the snares work much better when the surf is up. There have been stripers taken from the beaches at night with lures while surf perch is also strong with sand crabs, pile worms or blood worms. The Sand Crab Classic Surf Perch Contest is March 12, with the event in Santa Cruz. Fishermen allowed to work the San Mateo coast before making it south to the weigh-in at the Santa Cruz Portuguese Hall.
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
Keith Stemler of Chris’ Fishing Trips in Monterey reported quick limits have been the rule with the Check Mate returning with 24 limits of crab while the Caroline put in 15 limits along with both boats loading up with sand dabs. Saturday’s action resulted in 17 limits on the Check Mate with six crabs per angler on the Caroline along with all the sand dabs you could want. They have room throughout the week and into next weekend on the crab/sand dab combination trips. Allen Bushnell of Santa Cruz Kayak Fishing said, “Boaters are reporting full limits of big, firm Dungeness crab on overnight soaks. Even the party boats are getting 10-crab limits for all their customers, every day. The Santa Cruz Harbor is gaining the upper hand on our channel entrance dredging project. The latest soundings show a decent central channel opening up. We have seen an increasing number of boats entering and exiting the harbor mouth this week, including some of the bigger boats like Stagnaro’s Velocity.”
Call: Chris’ Landing(831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173; usafishing.com
San Francisco Bay
Halibut 2; Striper 2; Leopard shark 2; Sturgeon 2; Crabs 3
Outside the Golden Gate, Captain Jim Smith put in consecutive days of easy crab limits on the weekend with 38 limits Saturday, followed by another 20 limits Sunday. The action has been fast and furious with an average of more than 20 crab per pot. Captain Trent Slate of Shelter Cove Sport Fishing out of Loch Lomond Marina continues to run crab-only trips, and limits have been the rule. He said, “The big swell scattered our pots, but we were able to find all of the pots with some holding up to 20 crab while others were empty.” Inside the bay, the buzz was the halibut trolling Sunday with Captain Michael Rescino of the Lovely Martha putting his clients onto nine halibut to 19 pounds along with some striped bass. This score definitely contributed to a number of captains making the run back into the bay. Captain Mike Andrews of Predator Sport Fishing was in San Pablo Bay on Sunday, and in addition to a legal sturgeon on eel, one of his clients landed a bonus 30-inch halibut, also on eel on the anchor.
San Luis Obispo
Surf perch 3
Pismo Beach continues to be the top location for surf perch anglers, with the fish biting Berkley Camo or Sand Worms along with sand crabs, pile worms or blood worms. Out of Patriot Sport Fishing in Port San Luis, nature cruises will be running on the weekends, but groups of 10 or more can 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 on rockfish trips in April. Bob’s Bait Bucket in Bakersfield has scheduled their first of a series of rockfishing charters on the Endeavor out of Morro Bay Landing on April 10.
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 3; Sturgeon 2; Catfish 3; Bluegill 3
Striped bass are starting to take over in the normal transition from sturgeon to striper fishing in the Delta. Sturgeon action has been solid for some and a struggle for others. Captain James Smith of the California Dawn, had a great day for his clients Saturday with keepers at 56, 55, and 54 inches along with a 62-inch oversized released and seven shakers. Captain Jay Lopes of Right Hook Sport Fishing said, “Sturgeon fishing is not what it should be right now. There have been some captains that have found a brief window for biters, but the overall action is much slower than previous years.” Captain Steve Mitchell of Hook’D Up Sport Fishing out of Pittsburg has been consistently finding good action for his clients for legal sturgeon, oversized sturgeon and shakers. He said, “We had an awesome day on the sturgeon ground at the end of the week with all oversized and undersized for our efforts along with a striped bass.” Andy Doudna, organizer of the Addathon Iron Man Sturgeon out of Pittsburg Marina on St. Patrick’s Day weekend, said, “This weekend the sturgeon fishing improved from the last few weeks. I heard of all sizes of groups of sturgeon being caught from Sacramento to Martinez. I was out on the water throughout the weekend, and I did notice the water is starting to clear up as there was hardly any grass on gear and surface trash is almost gone. The water temps are ranging from 57-61 degrees due to these warmer days and nights.” Jim Pickens of the Fishermen’s Friend in Lodi said, “Sturgeon action has been steady this week in the usual locations on the Sacramento from Pittsburg all the way up to Cache Slough outside of Liberty Island. Striped bass have begun moving into the bay and up into the Delta. Due to the higher water temps, anglers are catching as many trolling as on bait.” Jay Lopes has started trolling for stripers, and he put in three limits to 13 pounds out of the 15 stripers hooked at the end of the week in the Decker Island area. Clyde Wands, striper trolling expert, found slower action earlier this week in the north Delta where he found quality striped bass last week. Alan Fong of the Fisherman’s Warehouse in Sacramento reported quality striped bass have been found inside Liberty Island with 6-inch River2Sea Swavers in shad patterns. James Nguyen of Dockside Bait in Pittsburg reported large stripers in the 15- to 20-pound range were brought to the shop Saturday with live splittail while live mudsuckers or frozen shad are producing stripers to 25 inches at depths from 15-20 feet. The San Joaquin River continues to be outstanding for largemouth bass as the water continues to clear and warm. Alan Fong of the Fisherman’s Warehouse in Sacramento said, “Bass fishing is good everywhere, and we have been scoring good numbers and size with chatterbaits or Senkos at depths from 4-6 feet.” Dan Mathisen of Dan’s Delta Outdoors in Oakley said, “As water temps reach the mid-50s, the black bass bite is rolling in Discovery Bay. Most largemouth anglers are sticking with jigs and slow rolling blades searching ledges near sparse tule flats. Others looking to beat the clear conditions are starting to crank Red-Eye Shad and Big Poppa’s. In Frank’s Tract, the black bass bite is picking up at a consistent pace with black Blue Fizzles, Swim Jigs and FatSack jigs are great options while spinnerbaits are also productive.” Pickens added, “The bass bite on the San Joaquin has been decent this week. Fourteen Mile Slough, King Island, White Slough, Mildred Island and Franks Tract will be your best bets for largemouth. In the stained water, Chatterbaits and Flippin’ dark colored jigs are working. In cleaner water, squarebill’s and drop-shotting would be best.” Steve Santucci of Steve Santucci’s Fly Fishing Guide Service said, “The Delta is fishing pretty well for numbers and starting to catch a few quality Stripers.” Out of Stockton, Brandon Gallegos of H and R Bait said, “The striper bite is picking up in Whiskey Slough and off of Bacon Island Road, but the fish are mostly undersized with a few barely keepers in the mix.” The water needs to warm up more in order to bring out the larger stripers.
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. There are a number of tournaments scheduled at Nacimiento in March, with no large tourneys set for Lopez. At Naci, plastics on the drop-shot or jigs on a dead-stick presentation remain the top techniques. San Antonio remains closed as a result of extremely low water conditions. The launch ramp at Lopez is anticipated to remain open for the remainder of the season. Santa Margarita remains at 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
- Saturday: Sonora Bass Anglers at Delta/Ladd’s Marina; Tracy Bass at Delta/Tracy Oasis; Mid Valley Bass Club at Don Pedro; fifth annual Bakersfield Fire Fighters Trout Derby and Pancake Breakfast at The Park at the Riverwalk; American Bass Association at Nacimiento
- Saturday-Sunday: Orange County Bass Club at Pine Flat
- Sunday: California Bass Federation at Delta/Ladd’s Marina; California Delta Team Trail at Delta/Russo’s Marina; Modesto Ambassadors at New Melones
- March 12: Christian Bass League at Delta/Ladd’s Marina; California Delta Team Trail at Delta/B and W Resort; Best Bass Tournaments at Don Pedro; Kerman Bass Club at McClure; Visalia Bass Club at Kaweah; Best Bass Tournaments at Nacimiento
- March 12-13: Hook, Line, and Sinker at Delta/Russo’s Marina
- March 13: Kings VIII Bass Club at Tulloch; California Bass Federation at Don Pedro
- March 18-20: New Romeo’s Bait and Tackle Sturgeon Derby at Delta/Freeport
- March 19: Best Bass Tournaments at New Melones; Kern County Bassmasters at Kaweah
- March 19-20: Addathon Iron Man Sturgeon Derby at Delta/Pittsburg Marina
- March 20: Tracy Bass Club at Delta/Tracy Oasis;California Delta Team Trail at Delta/Russo’s Marina; Riverbank Bass Anglers at Don Pedro; Roosevelt High Bass Fisher’s Striped Bass Derby at San Luis; Kings River Bass Club at Eastman
- March 23: Riverbank Bass Anglers at Don Pedro
- March 25: E and J Gallo at Don Pedro
- March 26: Dan’s Delta Outdoors at Delta/Big Break Marina; American Bass Association at Don Pedro; Success Bass Club at Success; Lake Isabella Bass Club at Isabella; San Luis Obispo Bass Anglers at Nacimiento
- March 27: Central Valley Anglers Striped Bass Derby at Delta/Sandy Beach
- Fresno County: Avocado Lake; Woodward Park Lake; Kings River, below Pine Flat Dam
- Kern County: Cuddy Creek Pond; Ming Lake; River Walk Lake
- Tulare County: Murry Park Pond
n = new moon > = peak activity