Compiled by Dave Hurley and edited by Roger George, a former Olympic-class decathlete at Fresno State and striper record-holder at Millerton Lake and who now guides in the greater Fresno area. Telephone numbers are in 559 calling area unless noted. Have a photo of a recent catch to share? Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org with “fish photo” in the subject line.
Bass Lake trout fishing rebounds, Richard Walter said. Delta sturgeon and bass fishing very good, Alan Fong reported. Millerton spotted bass fishing wide open, Merritt Gilbert said. Aqueduct stripers hitting, Meng Xyong reported. Shaver producing mixed limits, Dick Nichols said. New Melones kicking out bass, crappie and catfish, John Liechty reported.
2-Have to work hard
4-Fish jumpin’ in boat
Delta Mendota Canal and Sloughs
In the California Aqueduct, Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun said, “Most of our interest has concentrated on the Huron area for striped bass while those targeting catfish are heading to the Delta-Mendota Canal with anchovies at night.” Meng Xyong, of the Fishaholics out of Fresno, reported, “The striper bite continues to improve with anglers catching fish on a variety of lures and techniques. Anglers are using SpeedLures for the shallower bite and flukes for fish deeper in the water column. The evening bite is improving with fishermen catching better quality fish in the moonlight. Water levels are low in the north ’duct and it continues to be murky. In the south ’ducts, anglers are having better luck using cut baits for stripers and catfish. The Delta Mendota Canal is also showing signs of life with anglers catching several shakers on cut baits and lures. A few anglers are targeting bass in the mattes with some success.” In Kern County, Jacob Rutledge of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield reported the area near the Buena Vista Golf Course is still fenced off, but once the access road is paved, it will be reopened. The water is flowing through this section after recent repairs. Most striper fishermen are heading to the section adjacent to Highway 166. Trash and other debris left along aqueduct levees remain a major problem. Fishermen are advised to pack out all debris to maintain the ability to fish there.
Bass 2; Trout 1; Bluegill 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
Bass action has improved, with visibility to 3 feet in the main lake. A huge largemouth at 9.14 pounds was landed on a Senko near the dam. Small crappie are found near structure, but most Valley crappie fishermen are heading to Clear Lake or south to Kaweah. There are reports of fishermen removing largemouth bass from the lake smaller than the 22-inch limit, as Eastman is a designated trophy lake. The northeastern portion behind the buoy line remains closed to all water recreation through Aug. 1 to protect bald eagles nesting in the area. The lake rose to 512.87 feet in elevation and 31 percent capacity.
Call: Six Star Tackle Box 673-5688; Eastman Lake 689-3255
Bass 3; Trout 2; Catfish 2; Bluegill 2; Crappie 2
The lake has come up 3 more feet in the past week to 504.07 in elevation and 47 percent capacity. Bass numbers are good for fish in the 1.5- to 3.5-pound range, but the water remains stained. Scent and vibration are a must to entice strikes. A few small crappie are landed on minijigs or minnows.
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 2; King salmon 2; Crappie 2
The lake continues to rise leaps and bound with an increase of 7.5 feet to 752.87 in elevation and 59 percent capacity. All three launch ramps are open, but boaters who use Blue Oaks are advised that the entire area from this ramp out to the 5-mph no-wake buoys between Schoolhouse and Fleming Point will remain a slow 5-mph no-wake zone until lake level conditions allow for the removal of houseboat moorings. Travel time from the Blue Oaks ramp to the no-wake buoys at that speed is about 25 minutes. Vessel access in the Tuolumne River Arm is now navigable 4 miles upstream from the Moccasin Point Recreation Area. A barrier boom has been closed to prevent floating debris from moving downstream. A second boom farther downstream is open, but is subject to closure during rainy weather. Please boat with caution in this area and throughout the lake as there is still floating woody debris in many areas. Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing confirmed the floating debris, but there is 10 feet of visibility. They picked up a kokanee, three rainbow trout and a bass on a recent trip, so the trolling action is picking up. With the rising water levels, bass fishing remains hit or miss.
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
Lake Isabella is starting to kick out a few largemouth bass along with crappie showing up from the banks above Red’s Marina. Catfish remain the best bet with frozen shad, jumbo minnows or store-bought salmon near Rocky Point. The lake has risen to 2,535.06 feet in elevation and 10 percent capacity. The upper and lower Kern River remain slow for all species. Jacob Rutledge of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield reported two large bass over 10 pounds were caught and released in Lake Ming. Buena Vista is best for bass, and the last trout plant of the season went in last week. There is a crappie bite, but you need a boat to access the submerged structure. Big crappie have been found in canals near Alpaugh.
Call: Bob’s Bait (661) 833-8657; North Fork Marina (760) 376-1812
Bass 2; Crappie 3; Trout 1; Catfish 2
The lake continues to rise rapidly, and the bass bite has been up and down with the opportunity for a large one as the fish have moved onto the beds. Crappie fishing remains solid around submerged structure with minijigs or small minnows. The lake is rising again, coming up to 652.60 feet in elevation and 40 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, “The lake is getting full, and the bass are moving onto the beds. There is a lot of interest in the lake for bass and crappie, and anglers are using Brush Hogs, plastics on the drop-shot or Zoom lizards. Crappie are found around submerged trees with live minnows or minijigs. There is a new marina at the lake, and it is very impressive.” Larry Kerns of the Success Bass Club reported a 10-pound limit took Sunday’s tournament. The lake rose to 625.79 feet in elevation and 28 percent capacity. In the Tule River, Stokke said, “The river is flowing great, and with the warmer weather, all fishing should be good to excellent. Dry flies, nymphs, and Panther Martins are all scoring browns and rainbows.”
Call: Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626, sequoiafishingcompany.com
Bass 3; Trout 2; King salmon 1; Kokanee 1; Crappie 2; Catfish 2
The lake has risen 10 feet in the last week to 723.76 in elevation and 32 percent capacity, but remains below the 50 percent average for this time of year. The original Exchequer Dam is covered with water for the first time since 2013. Mike Gomez of the Bait Barn in Waterford said, “Bass fishing is solid with the fish holding from the banks to 10 feet with jigs, spinnerbaits and shallow-diving Squarebill crankbaits in bluebill/chartreuse particularly the River2Sea squarebill. The water is stained, but it is clearing up.” The Barrett’s Cove launch ramps are in the water.
Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505; Bub Tosh (209) 404-0053
The lake is clearing up after months of overflow of stained water out of Lake McClure. The trout plant within the past two weeks has led to improved action from the banks at the regular locations of the marina, brush pile and handicapped docks.
Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River
Bass 3; Striper 1; Shad 1; Bluegill 2; Trout 2; Crappie 2
Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “A wide-open Senko bite exists for numbers of spotted bass to 3.5 pounds, with the best cut of fish found at depths from 15-20 feet. Thirty to 40 spotted bass are possible on a trip with an average of nearly 2 pounds. The occasional crappie is taken in Finegold Creek with minijigs.” The photograph of a reported 58-pound striped bass has not emerged; witnesses put it in the 25-pound range. All boats need to possess a low-emission motor sticker. The lake has risen to 540.80 feet in elevation and 68 percent capacity, but is releasing water into the Friant/Kern Canal. It is now on the top ramp with the docks installed at this level. In the San Joaquin River, Sycamore Island Pond is still holding a few trout from the recent plants for the derby at the start of the month. There are no trout plants into the river. 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. Hatchery fish have a healed adipose fin clip.
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
The Glory Hole launch is on the concrete and the floating docks in the water as the lake has risen 8 feet in the past week to 879.84 in elevation and 25 percent capacity. With the ramp back on the concrete, the lake will be able to host upcoming bass tournaments. Glory Hole remains the only launch available on the lake with another 30 feet of vertical rise necessary to open the Tuttletown ramp. John Liechty of Glory Hole Sports in Angels Camp said, “The bass are getting more active as we are finding 60-degree water in many locations in the lake. The fish are thinking about spawning, and some have already starting to spawn as it is bass season right now. Senkos are good for both numbers and size, and I like to fish them on a Texas-rig near brush before switching to a dart head or tube when working around rocks. Ripbaits and small swimbaits are also effective. The fish are still relating to deep water, and I look for areas with deep water leading into creek channels and spawning areas. Please practice catch and release as the spawn is near and many fish will be holding eggs. Take photos and carefully release the fish back into to the lake to maintain a healthy fish population for generations to come.” Josh Parris of San Andreas caught and released a massive bag of largemouth bass, with his largest weighing 11.24 pounds on a large swimbait. Crappie are the other main story in the lake with slabsides to 2.33 pounds landed by Colten Lewis while targeting bass. Anglers have been picking up limits of crappie with medium minnows or minijigs around the submerged wood along the shorelines. Trout action is fair, with trollers picking up a few holdover rainbows in the main river channel with Needlefish in Cop Car in clear water and gold patterns in stained water at depths from 20-30 feet. Bank fishing is fair, although recent rainfall has washed nutrients and oxygen into the lake. Floating baits with scent in bright colors are the top offerings from the banks. Kokanee have yet to emerge, but April should start to produce limits. Catfishing is on the upswing in the warming water, and large chunks of bait produce the larger whiskerfish in the shallows. Glory Hole Sports is under new ownership after Dan and Melanie Lewis finished their 20-year run, and the new owners will hold a grand opening on April 23 featuring a large sale, raffle prizes and a barbecue.
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 3; Trout 2; King salmon 1; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
The bass bite is starting to show signs of life with the fishing moving into the shallows at depths from the banks to 15 feet with Senkos. The fish are in the 13- to 15-inch range, but are not locked onto beds yet. A 9.11-pound largemouth was caught and released on swimbait on the only bite of the day. Larry Kerns of the Success Bass Club reported outstanding action at the lake. Small crappie are found above the debris barrier with minnows. Trout trolling remains very slow. Recreational boats are starting to show up on weekends. The lake continues to rise, coming up over a foot per day with an increase to 818.89 in elevation and 38 percent capacity. In the lower Kings River, trout anglers continue to find tough fishing despite solid flows. 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
In the main San Luis Reservoir, Coyote Bait reported fair action for striped bass with jumbo minnows or trolling P-Line Predator Minnows once the schools are located under the bait balls at depths to 80 feet. Roger George of Roger’s Guide Service took out 80-year-old Robert Lewis of Reedley and his 18-year-old grandson, Jack, for a total of 13 striped bass with the majority of fish in the 21- to 24-inch range. George said, “The fishing went according to script with grandson Jack landing/releasing a robust personal best 290inch, 10-pounder – great memory for a special day. We used a new custom-painted Speedlure by Nick Xyooj for most of our fish. Pumping in the big lake has come to a standstill this week, and there has already been one small release, causing concern among anglers they may start lowering the lake.” The main lake has risen to 51 percent capacity. O’Neill Forebay has been a solid location for central California striped bass fishermen, with a number of limits in the 21- to 23-inch range taken. Larger fish can be found in the main San Luis Reservoir while the aqueduct system is kicking out a variety of striped and largemouth bass. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis reported, “We are selling quite a few Speed Lures over the past few weeks for fishermen heading to the forebay or to the aqueduct. The lures are produced by a local fishermen, and we can’t keep the popular colors on the pegs within a day of their arrival. Stripers in the low-20 inches are taken in the forebay with the lures along with Duo Realis jerkbaits or Lucky Craft Pointer 100’s.” Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill reported a good striped bass bite from shore with blood worms, pile worms, anchovies or frozen shad.
Call: Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711, Roger George of rogergeorgeguideservice.com (559) 905-2954
Bass 2; Trout 3; Kokanee 1; Crappie 2
The trout bite is taking off for the first time in months with limits found with spoons or Wedding Rings tipped with a piece of nightcrawler behind a dodger at depths from the surface to 40 feet. Richard Walter of Bass Lake Water Sports said, “The weekend proved to be very productive for just about anyone fishing for trout from a boat. Most of the action I noticed and experienced was from the launch ramp at Bass Lake Watersports down to the bay by Miller’s Landing with any combination of dodger and lure tipped with part of a worm worked well but a blue dodger with a blue hootchie caught the most. One BIG and noticeable difference was the size of the fish caught. These were all of the recent stocker size whereas the others were definitely older and larger fish.” For bass, a few large swimbait fish are being landed, and a 22-pound limit consisting of 5- and 6-pound bass was caught this week. The crappie bite is decent with anglers picking up a few slabs off submerged structure with minnows or minijigs. The boards will be installed on April 1, and the lake will continue to rise once again. Several campgrounds will remain closed until July 4 because of the removal of more than 5,000 hazard trees in the wake of the bark beetle invasion. Campground status reports are available at 642-3212. The annual Bass Lake Chamber of Commerce Trout Derby is April 30-May 1. The lake is at 74 percent capacity.
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 are starting to rise, but remain very low with Edison at 9 percent and Florence at 26 percent. Lower elevation Mammoth Pool rose to 39 percent.
Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000
Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake
Kokanee 2; Trout 3
Shaver Lake remains among the rare California lakes kicking out kokanee, and the early-season landlocked sockeyes are in the 12- to 13.5-inch range. Local tackle manufacturer Captain Jack Yandell, went out with Chris Hansen of Tollhouse during the week and scored mixed limits at depths from 20-35 feet running orange Apex lures or Captain Jack’s Super Bugs in orange behind a CJ Dodger near the dam and Black Rock. Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters will resume his operations next week, and he said, “With beautiful weather, Shaver continues to be the lake to fish. Every day this past week at least a dozen or more boats are on the water, and most are having good luck, catching a couple limits of mixed kokanee and trout, with the kokes averaging 13-13.5 inches. I think those who are catching fish are experimenting in depth and color of spinners or Apex lures, and 20-35 feet down seems the best depth near Black Rock, the island and dam area. Not all of the trollers are doing that well, but the majority of experienced trollers are scoring limits.” Bank fishermen are scoring from 2-4 small rainbows with various colors of trout dough bait or nightcrawlers near the dam. Fish and Wildlife planted 10-inch rainbows several weeks ago, and these fish are still holding near the dam. The marinas are scheduled to open by mid-April, and the Sierra Marina launch ramp remains open with webcam access at sierramarina.com. The Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project will release the first of their trophy plants within the next month. Funds for the plants are raised during their annual Sportsmen’s Dinner, scheduled this year for Aug. 13. Shaver dropped slightly to 57 percent capacity. At Huntington, the lake rose to 45 percent but there have been no reports of brown trout fishermen moving into the lake with the snow levels still a concern.
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. Chuck Crane of the Wishon Village RV Park and Store has report both lakes are filling up nicely. The rainbows will be holding over until the road reopens in spring.
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
Striper 2; Crabs 4
New opportunities are on the horizon out of Pillar Point Harbor with the opening of rockfish season below Pigeon Point starting Friday, the ocean salmon opener Saturday, and the rockfish opener in local waters above Pigeon Point on April 15. Dungeness crab remains excellent, but the opening of the commercial season will impact the recreational haul. The Huli Cat out of Pillar Point went crabbing off of Half Moon Bay on Saturday for 18 limits pulling only seven pots for 180 crab. The commercial season opened March 26, but despite the new pressure there should be enough crab to continue to put together limits to near-limits. Mattusch will start a variety of trips including crab-only, crab/rockfish, and salmon trolling trips after April 1. The California Kayak and Canoe Co. will be offering their kayak fishing safety and rescue class on April 23 at Pillar Point Harbor, and these are essential skills for anyone fishing in the ocean. Registration is available at fareharbor.com/calkayak/items/14239/.
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
Striper 2; Crabs 3
Chris Arcoleo of Chris’ Landing in Monterey reported a slowdown on crabbing with an average of 5-6 Dungeness per angler Saturday. They will be crabbing until the end of the week, pulling the pots before the rockfish opener. The water temperature has dropped to 59 degrees, and with the northwest winds coming in, some darker water is showing up in the bay along with more krill. He said, “There are plenty of sardines along the beaches from Monterey on up in 15 to 20 fathoms of water, and small striped bass are bunched up in large schools along the beaches.” They are sold out for Friday’s rockfish opener along with both weekend days with the salmon opener Saturday. Allen Bushnell of Santa Cruz Kayak Fishing reported, “The Santa Cruz Harbor may be receiving federal assistance soon to deal with the shoaling problem at the harbor mouth. Last week, the U.S. Coast Guard assigned a “safety z” status to the harbor entrance. The original notice indicated the harbor entrance would be closed to any traffic beyond emergency services. This was quickly amended with the harbor issuing a notice that traffic will be permitted, albeit with conditions. Essentially the Harbor Master has to approve any traffic. The amended statement from the Santa Cruz Port District includes, ‘The safety zone is closed to all vessel traffic, except as may be permitted by the Captain of the Port or a designated representative. Vessel operators desiring to enter or operate within the safety zone must contact the Santa Cruz Harbor Master to obtain permission to do so. Vessel operators given permission to enter or operate in the safety zone must comply with all directions given to them by the Santa Cruz Harbor Master. Persons and vessels requesting permission to enter the safety zone may contact the Harbor Master on VHF-9. In the event the Harbor Master cannot be reached, persons and vessels may contact the Coast Guard Command Center at (415) 399-3547.’ ”
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
Ocean salmon season begins Saturday, and party and private boats out of Sausalito, San Francisco, Emeryville,and Berkeley will be out searching for the popular species. Most boats will run south of the Golden Gate to the deep reef off the San Mateo coast. Heavy winds have limited private boats over the past weekend, and only the largest party boats were able to head out for Dungeness crab. Captain Jim Smith of the Happy Hooker out of Berkeley Marina went outside the Gate in rough conditions Saturday to put five pots for 25 limits of crab before heading back to the safety of San Francisco Bay. He was right when he predicted the pots would be stuffed, and they were with up to 50 legal crab, stating, “Every pot was plugged.” Once inside the bay, they landed four halibut and four striped bass in the Berkeley Flats with a few more missed opportunities using sardines. Captain Chris Smith ran the California Dawn on Saturday and Sunday, and in addition to crab limits in the rough conditions, they found some halibut, including a 26-pounder on Easter Sunday.
San Luis Obispo
Rockfish season starts Friday, and both ports are ready. Out of Patriot Sport Fishing in Port San Luis, rockfishing is on the agenda for the opening weekend. Virg’s Landing in Morro Bay has a two-for-one deal on April rockfish trips. They are taking reservations for this year’s two-day trips aboard the Princess along the Big Sur coast. The trips leave Friday night and return Sunday evening at $295 per angler for the boat, bait and bunk on limited loads of 24 fishermen. Two limits are possible and generally the rule on these trips. The trip dates are available at virgslanding.com. 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 3; Striper 2; Sturgeon 4; Catfish 2; Bluegill 3
In the Sacramento River Delta, just when the six-pack operators took off for the cornucopia of species available in San Francisco Bay, the sturgeon bite has gone wild from Freeport west to the Carquinez Bridge. The water is starting to clear up from the effects of the rainstorm of two weekends ago, and the sediment load has allowed for the water temperatures to continue to rise. Another wall of muddy water will be arriving by midweek into the Sacramento River because of releases from Oroville Reservoir on the Feather River and the collapse of a cliff in the tributary of the Yuba River. Captain Jay Lopes of Right Hook Sport Fishing in Martinez said, “Fishing is outstanding with at least 30 fish landed in the last nine trips. We have been working deep water near the Benicia/Martinez Bridge, and we landed two keepers in the low 40s on Thursday along with releasing three oversized to 8.5 feet. Saturday’s trip was even better with three legal fish in the 50-inch-plus range. There are a number of huge oversized sturgeon right now, and the previous day we had keepers at 54 and 56 inches. The water is very brown, and most everything is coming on lamprey eel.” In the upper river, Johnny Tran of New Romeo’s Bait in Freeport reported red hot striper action with bank anglers using sardines with garlic spray, pile worms or blood worms on weights ranging from 2- 6 ounces as the fish are near the shore in the heavy flows. The stripers range from undersized to 30 inches. The water is muddy, and sturgeon are found with eel/nightcrawler combinations or eel/pile worm combinations using a 14 to 16-ounce weight to get far away from the banks. Dan Mathisen of Dan’s Delta Outdoors in Oakley said, “Striper trolling and plug casting has started to recover a bit from the dirty water. Water temps raised a bit this week and a few more stripers in the Cache Slough area responded. Sturgeon remains the focus here. Diamondback anglers are heading to Light 41, Liberty and Cache Slough areas with roe and eel reporting success. Sturgeon anglers in front of Collinsville or Red Barn are still getting bit while shore bound anglers are scoring both species. The best place to score a striped bass or sturgeon remains Sherman Island in the area of the power lines with sardines or Big Red’s Bloody Eel.” Mathisen will be holding a striper seminar at the shop from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday featuring plug casting expert Tom Amberson and trolling techniques by Mathisen. Pam Hayes at Benicia Bait reported improved striped bass action from the bank areas with some linesides from 24-35 inches with blood worms, pile worms and anchovies. Sturgeon fishing remains good in lower Suisun Bay, and there are some reports from Montezuma Slough on salmon roe with some anglers scoring much better than others. The Central Valley Anglers Spring Striper Derby out of Sandy Beach south of Rio Vista is Saturday, with information at centralvalleyanglers.org. Clear water is still the key to find largemouth bass, but big limits are becoming readily available as the bass are concentrating on moving into the shallows in preparation for the spawn. In the San Joaquin River, Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, said, “As this past week progressed, the bite got tougher due to the full moon allowing the bass to eat throughout the evening. There are some fish spawning, but the majority have yet to spawn as it has been cold in the mornings, particularly on Monday and Tuesday. When the temperature changes, you have to slow down, and the Havoc Flat Do on 8-pound test has been working in the mornings. The bite gets better as the day progresses and the water warms up, and the ima Squarebill crankbaits in chartreuse/blue back is working as the water is starting to clear up. A slow presentation is necessary in the dirty water, and you have to use vibrating baits such as crankbaits, lipless crankbaits, and the ima Rock N’Vibe in chartreuse or crawdad patterns are working in the afternoons.” Alan Fong of the Fisherman’s Warehouse in Sacramento went out in Monday’s windstorm, with gusts to 25 mph, and found great action for largemouth bass to 9.14 pounds. Dan’s Delta Outdoors held their first bass tournament of the season out of Big Break Marina with 19 boats, and they paid out $1,767 to the winning team of Hunter and Chris Schandler (27.28 pounds). Mike Andrews and Phillip Dutra brought in the largest fish at 10.31 pounds. Mathisen said, “Jigs or punching the dead hyacinth with creature baits produced the largest bags, and the females are moving under the weed clumps to keep their eggs warm. The bite is rolling in Discovery Bay with both Senkos or slow-rolling spinnerbaits near ledges along tule flats; and in Frank’s Tract, Vince Borges of Phenix Rods and VBO Outdoors caught and released a 13.9 pound largemouth on a River2Sea Big Poppa.” Steve Santucci of Steve Santucci’s Fly Fishing Guide Service reported. “We found really good numbers of striped bass on Thursday with many fish over 20 inches and up to 11 pounds. We also caught largemouth bass and crappie with most of our fish landed on green and yellow Clouser Minnows.”
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. Lopez will host a few tournaments in April. At Naci, spotted bass in the 1- to 2-pound range are available with plastics on the drop-shot plastics, Senkos, small creature baits or jigs. Larger fish are possible on reaction baits. Live minnows are working for crappie near structure. At Lopez, crappie are the top species with minijigs or tube baits while bass fishing is fair with a variety of techniques from working the bottom to reaction baits. San Antonio remains closed indefinitely as a result of extremely low water conditions at 4 percent capacity and high operating expenses. The launch ramp at Lopez is expected to remain open for the remainder of the season, but there is no report for the lake. Santa Margarita remains low, but bass are moving shallow to spawn. Reaction baits are working for the larger fish. The marina store is open for supplies and rental vessels.
Call: Lake Nacimiento (805) 238-1056, ext. 3; Lake San Antonio Marina (805) 472-2818; Central Coast Bass Fishing.com (805) 466-6557
- Dan’s Delta Outdoors Open on March 27 at Delta/Big Break Marina: 1, Hunter and Chris Schlander 27.28 pounds; 2, Steve O’Brien/Fidel Campos 25.84; 3, Steve Pulliam/Jamond Andrews 24.05; Big fish, Mike Andrews/Phillip Dutra 10.31
- Success Bass Club on March 28 at Success: 1, Dave Coy/Jerry Williams 10.06 pounds; 2, Moreno/Gary Wasson 9.93; 3, Turner 9.70
- Saturday: Kerman Bass Club at Delta/Ladd’s Marina; Tracy Bass Club at Delta/Tracy Oasis; California Delta Team Trail at Delta/B and W Resort; Future Pro Tour/Valley Backlashers at New Melones; American Bass Association at Nacimiento –
- Sunday: Central Valley Anglers Striped Bass Derby at Delta/Sandy Beach; 101 Bass at Pine Flat
- April 9: Dan’s Delta Outdoors at Delta/Big Break Marina; Stanislaus County Employees/Sonora Bass Club at Delta/Ladd’s Marina; Local 3999 at McClure; Best Bass Tournaments at Pine Flat; Oro Madre Bass Anglers at Tulloch; Best Bass Tournaments at Nacimiento
- April 9-10: Bakersfield Bass Club at Lopez
- April 10: California Delta Team Trail at Delta/Russo’s Marina; California Bass Federation at Delta/B and W Resort; Tracy Bass Club at Delta/Tracy Oasis; Kings VIII Bass Club at Bass Lake
- April 16: Best Bass Tournaments at Delta/Russo’s Marina; Stanislaus County Employees at Delta/Ladd’s Marina;Manteca Bassin’ Buddies at Pardee; Stanislaus County Employees at Tulloch; Stanislaus County Employees/Tri Valley Bassmasters at Don Pedro; Visalia Bass Club at Kaweah; Success Bass Club at Success; Lake Isabella Bass Masters at Isabella; San Luis Obispo County Bass Ambushers at Santa Margarita
- April 17: Rat-L-Trap Open at Delta/Russo’s Marina; Kings River Bass Club at Don Pedro; California Bass Federation at Bass Lake
- April 23: Best Bass Tournaments Delta/Russo’s Marina; Stanislaus County Employees at Delta/Ladd’s Marina; Manteca Bassin’ Buddies at Pardee; Stanislaus County Employees/Kerman Bass Club at Tulloch; Stanislaus County Employees at Don Pedro; American Bass Association at Pine Flat; Sierra Bass Club at Bass Lake; Success Bass Club at Success; American Bass Association at Isabella
- April 23-24: Escalon Sportsmen’s Club Striped Bass tournament at Delta/Sacramento County; Kern County Bassmasters at Santa Margarita
- April 24: Riverbank Bass Anglers at Delta/Ladd’s Marina; California Bass Federation at New Melones; Fresno Bass Club at Tulloch; Kings River Bass Club at Bass Lake
- April 30: Best Bass Tournaments at Delta/Russo’s Marina; Mid Valley Bass Club at Delta/Ladd’s Marina; Badge Packers at Don Pedro; American Bass Association at Nacimiento; Tri Valley Bass Club at Lopez
- May 1: California Delta Team Trail at Delta/Russo’s Marina
- Fresno County: Wishon Reservoir
- Kern County: Kern River, sections 4-5
- Tulare County: Kaweah Reservoir; Kern River, sections 5-6
q = quarter moon > = peak activity