Compiled by Dave Hurley and edited by Roger George, a former Olympic-class decathlete at Fresno State and striper record-holder at Millerton Lake and who now guides in the greater Fresno area. Telephone numbers are in 559 calling area unless noted. Have a photo of a recent catch to share? Email it to email@example.com with “fish photo” in the subject line.
Delta bass fishing “to die for!” Randy Pringle said. Millerton spotted bass continue hitting, Merritt Gilbert reported. New Melones Kokanee, trout, crappie and catfish providing action, John Liechty said. Wishon opens to good trout fishing, Chuck Crane reported. Shaver Lake trout and Kokanee kicking out mixed limits, Dick Nichols said. Ocean salmon bite improved, Roger Thomas reported.
2-Have to work hard
4-Fish jumpin’ in boat
Delta Mendota Canal and Sloughs
In the California Aqueduct, Meng Xyong of the Fishaholics out of Fresno reported, “The changing weather system is having an unpredictable effect on the fishing recently. Some fishermen are having better luck than others. Anglers are catching fish on lures such as SpeedLures, Duo Reals and Lucky Craft jerkbaits. They are also throwing flukes paired with a jig head with some success, bouncing the soft plastic on the bottom. There is current flowing through the aqueduct system, and it’s attracting anglers to the check gates where the water stirs up the bottom after flowing through the gates. Anglers are soaking bait at these locations for the occasional striper and catfish. Some anglers are catching catfish while fishing for stripers using lures. The Delta-Mendota Canal continues to attract anglers to the area. The bass bite is picking up with fishermen catching more quality sized fish targeting the heavy cover along the water’s edge. The canal system is loaded with smaller stripers and anglers are catching several shakers before catching a legal-sized fish.” In the south aqueduct in Kern County, Jacob Rutledge of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield reported the aqueduct action remains hot, but fishermen are starting to look for different venues as they may be tiring of the consistent striper bite for small fish in the aqueduct. Catfishing is best with Sonny’s Dip Bait, Katnip Beef Bait, or anchovies. If you witness or have information about a poaching or polluting incident or any fish and wildlife violation, call the 24-hour toll-free CalTIP number 888-334-CALTIP (334-2258). Anonymous tips may be sent to Fish and Wildlife using tip411, an internet-based tool from CitizenObserver.com that enables the public to text information to wildlife officers, who can respond as part of an anonymous two-way conversation. Anyone with a cell phone may send an anonymous tip to Fishing and Wildlife by texting “CALTIP,” followed by a space and the message to 847411 (tip411). There also is a free CALTIP smartphone app, available via the Google Play and iTunes stores. Be prepared to give the fullest possible account of the incident, including name, address, age and other description of the suspect and vehicle, direction of travel, license number, type of violation and when and where it occurred. Debris left along the aqueduct’s levees remains a major problem, and fishermen are advised to pack out anything they bring in to maintain the ability to fish these valuable locations.
Bass 2; Trout 2; Bluegill 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “The bass are in a post-spawn mode, and the best action for the larger cut of fish is in deep water from 20-25 feet with drop-shot plastics, Senkos or jigs for bass to 5 pounds.” Numerous small male bass in the 11- to 12-inch range can be found by walking the banks. Catfishing is fair with anchovies or sardines, but crappie are scarce. Patrick Movey of the Fisherman’s Warehouse in Fresno said, “Trout trollers are finding a few fish per rod near the pile close to the dam with blade/’crawler combinations or spinners. The best cut of largemouth bass is found in deeper water in the 20- to 25-foot range with Senkos.” The lake continues to rise, coming up to 36 percent capacity and 520.19 feet in elevation. The northeastern portion of the lake behind the buoy line is losed to all water recreation until Aug. 1 to protect nesting bald eagles.
Call: Six Star Tackle Box 673-5688; Eastman Lake 689-3255
Bass 2; Trout 2; Catfish 2; Bluegill 2; Crappie 2
The bass bite remains tough with the occasional small fish taken on Brush Hogs or Senkos. The bass have moved off the banks in a post-spawn mode. Catfishing is fair at best with chicken livers, sardines, or anchovies. Crappie fishing remains slow. The lake is starting to release water, though dropped less than a foot to 510.82 in elevation and 56 percent capacity.
Call: Fresno Fisherman’s Warehouse 225-1838; Valley Rod Gun, Clovis 292-3474; Six Star Tackle Box 673-5688; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Hensley Lake Hidden Dam 673-5151
Lake Don Pedro
Bass 2; Trout 3; Kokanee 1; King salmon 2; Crappie 2
Trout fishing continues to be solid with Danny Layne of Fish’n Dan’s Guide Service scoring rainbows to 22.75 inches using watermelon Apex lures, Cop Car Excel spoons or blade/’crawler combinations at depths to 20 feet in lower Fleming Bay. Bass fishing is improving as the water is stabilizing at 67 percent and 770.84 feet in elevation. Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing will be on the lake this week, and he thought the good bite he found on a recent trip should continue given good water clarity. All three launch ramps are open. A barrier boom is located upstream from Moccasin Point.
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 3; Crappie 3; Catfish 3; Bluegill 2
At Isabella, Jacob Rutledge of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield said, “Fishermen have reported a good trout bite from the banks with Power Bait, and there are also crappie moving closer to the shoreline since shore fishermen are also catching the slabsides with minijigs. Before these reports, you have needed a boat to find success for crappie. A number of Fresno-area fishermen have recently started to make the trip south to Isabella for crappie, so the bite must be good enough to justify the long drive south. The catfish bite is still going, and clams, chicken livers, and nightcrawlers are working best. The water is still cold, and bass action is hit or miss.” The lake has risen 1.5 feet to 2,543.91 in elevation and 16 percent capacity. The upper and lower Kern River have been planted with rainbow trout, and planters are landed with live crickets, salmon eggs or nightcrawlers. Planted rainbows are still taken at Buena Vista in addition to bluegill, crappie and catfish. In the local lakes, Truxton has a solid bluegill bite and a few bass are taken out of the Riverwalk. Rutledge found success on the Riverwalk by tossing a watermelon/red flake KVD Finesse Worm on a drop-shot from the banks.
Call: Bob’s Bait (661) 833-8657; North Fork Marina (760) 376-1812
Bass 2; Crappie 2; Trout 2; Catfish 2
The water level held stable, and the bass action has been best with Senkos or plastics on the drop-shot. Crappie fishing is fair at best with a number of fishermen from Fresno heading farther south to Isabella. Catfishing is improving as the water continues to warm. The planted trout have headed upriver in search of cooler water. The lake held at 651.34 feet in elevation.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212
Bass 2; Trout 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
Chuck Stokke of Sequoia Fishing Co. said, “Bass fishing is fair to good with 6-inch Zoom lizards in junebug or Baby Brush Hogs in bluegill patterns. The best action is early and late with crankbaits also producing.” The lake rose a foot to 634.28 in elevation and 57 percent capacity. In the Tule River, planted trout are stocked at Wishon and Belknap Campgrounds; fishermen using Power Bait, nightcrawlers and spinners are picking up the catchables. Fly fishermen are scoring with black Woolley Buggers.
Call: Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626, sequoiafishingcompany.com
Bass 3; Trout 2; King salmon 1; Kokanee 1; Crappie 2; Catfish 2
The lake continues to rise, coming up 5 feet this week to 47 percent capacity and 767.58 feet in elevation. Bass fishing remains good with jigs or plastics on the drop-shot, and warmer weather will improve the topwater bite. The McClure Point and Barrett Cove South launch ramps are open with the Barrett Cove North ramp under construction.
Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505; Bub Tosh (209) 404-0053
Trout 2; Bass 3
Trout fishing is slow with the lack of planting, but spotted bass are abundant near the launch ramp with nightcrawlers. Trout fishermen are trying, but success is fleeting. There are still several tagged fish in the lake from the MID Derby, and registered participants can still pick up the No. 1 fish worth $500. The Marina Store is open Thursday through Sunday.
Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River
Bass 3; Striper 2; Shad 1; Bluegill 1
The 39th annual Central Sierra Angler’s Catfish Derby is Saturday at Woodward Park Lake. This event, a central Valley staple for introducing children to fishing, will start at 9 a.m. Participation for youths 15 and younger is free, with three divisions for trophies. An entrance fee to the park is required. At Millerton, Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun said, “I fished with my son for around three hours, and we caught over 20 fish for a 7.5-pound limit, and there were a number of 11.5- to 12.5-inch bass in the mix. The bite petered out by 9:30 a.m., and we caught everything on the drop-shot or dart-head, jigs, or Senkos. I threw a spinnerbait for 20 minutes without a bite, and the action was better in the main lake as opposed to the river arm.” A 22-pound lineside was caught and released on a small shad-patterned swimbait above Finegold. Patrick Movey of the Fisherman’s Warehouse confirmed the solid bite with most fish being cookie-cutters in the 1.5-pound range. All boats need a low-emission sticker on their motors. Recreational boat pressure should start to ramp up within the month, leading to Memorial Day. Millerton came back up again this week to 57 percent capacity and 524.82 feet in elevation. Regulations on the lower San Joaquin, and from Friant Dam downstream to the Highway 140 Bridge, allow only two hatchery trout or hatchery steelhead with a total of four in possession.
Call: Fresno Fisherman’s Warehouse 225-1838; Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474
New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch
Bass 2; Crappie 3; Catfish 3; Trout 3; Kokanee 3
Kokanee fever has drawn kokanee enthusiasts to New Melones in search of a quality grade of the landlocked salmon. Trout action is heating up along with solid bass, catfish, and crappie action – providing anglers with a cornucopia of species in which to target. Gary Burns of Take It To The Limit Guide Service said, “Limits of kokanee are starting to show up, and they are the biggest I’ve seen in years for the beginning of the season. Most of the fish are running between 13 and 14.25 inches, and we have put a few 14.5-inchers in the boat as well. The kokanee are in the main lake near the dam, and we just started hooking them in the spillway at depths from 27-30 feet with Uncle Larry’s spinners in pink/blue or orange/copper. Glitter Bug’s just came out with a new chrome teardrop blade, and this has been working great for us combined with a pink hoochies tipped with garlic corn. John Redpath and Bob Scruggs and I landed three limits composed of eight kokanee and seven rainbow for our first kokanee limit of the year.” Bill Dunn of Bill Dunn’s Sport Fishing said, “These kokanee are fat and chunky, and when I cleaned them, they are just loaded with plankton. We were trolling with Radical Glow tubes behind a pink Diamond dodger from Chesapeake Tackle Company or a pink Apex behind a pink Rocky Mountain Tackle dodger, and everything came from the spillway towards the dam at 35 feet in depth from 300 to 500 yards off of the bank.” John Liechty of Glory Hole Sports in Angels Camp reported continued good trout action for trollers running Needlefish, ExCels, or Speedy Shiners from the surface to 30 feet. The water temperature is about 65 degrees, and the rainbows are moving deeper in the water column. Bank fishing for trout remains slow. For bass, Liechty said, “The bite has tapered off some with the fish in post-spawn mode and the colder weather during the week, but it still can be good with Senkos, Baby Brush Hogs, or Sweat Beavers on a Texas-rig between brush and wood. Soft plastics baits with a little red flake also work well.” Tim Wells landed an 8.66-pound largemouth as part of a 19.83-pound limit during the California Bass Federation Derby using topwater lures and Brush Hogs. The catfish continue to move into the shallows as the water warms, and they are feeding throughout the day. Frozen shad or nightcrawlers coated with scent are working best. Crappie action is heating up with small minnows or minijigs near timber in the main coves. The lake dropped 2 feet in the past week to 881.92 in elevation and 26 percent capacity. Glory Hole remains the only launch available, with another 24 feet of vertical rise necessary to open up the Tuttletown ramp.
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
The upcoming Best Bass Tournament Trout action has brought out a number of anglers prefishing for the event, and Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun reported, “The bass bite is improving, and a few above-average fish have been taken as part of 8- to 8.5-pound limits, and the best action is on the bottom with Texas-rigged worms, flukes, plastics on the drop-shot, jigs, and Senkos along with the occasional Alabama-rig fish. The topwater bite is non-existent. Patrick Movey of the Fishermen’s Warehouse said, “There is a good bite with plastics on the dart head in the shallows, and there are a few spinnerbait and ripbait fish.” Largemouth bass in 1.5- to 1.75-pound range can be found above the barrier, but crappie fishing has slowed with Fresno-area fishermen heading south to Lake Isabella. The trout bite is showing definite signs of life with Dave Dungy of Shaver Lake, Tommy Johnson of Fresno and Larry Joneson of Sanger scoring two-plus limits of rainbows using Dick’s Trout Busters tipped with a nightcrawler behind a Mountain Flasher or Apex lures at a setback of 150 feet behind the boat and 25 feet on the downrigger near the power lines. The trout bite isn’t red hot, but it continues to improve. The lake has risen to 52 percent capacity and 856.161 feet in elevation, with an increase of 5 feet this past week. In the lower Kings River, trout action is fair at best with Power Bait, nightcrawlers or live crickets. Special 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
Mickey Clements of Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill said, “High winds continued to be the story over the past week, and most fishermen have been heading to the O’Neill Forebay for linesides. Sales of jumbo minnows have decreased while pile and blood worm sales have increased. This is big fish time, but the winds has limited access to the best locations.” Roger George of Roger George Guide Service said he fished/scouted for only 2 hours Sunday before his steering failed: “I ended up getting some very nice, bigger than average, fat fish going 7, 9 and 10 pounds in just several trolling passes, but a steering hose failed and my day was over! The bite is tough, very sporadic, and it seems to be all or nothing in the quirky weather and wind we’re having.” Prior to the wind, Dave Dungy of Shaver Lake and Tommy Joneson of Selma reported they caught/released several striped bass in the 20- to 25-pound range. The lake continues to release water, and it is currently at 47 percent capacity. In the O’Neill Forebay, Clements said, “Striper fishermen are soaking pile worms and blood worms at either Check 12 or the Highway 33 Bridge for stripers to 24 inches. The best grade is found in the early morning hours before smaller stripers show up by mid-morning. Five-inch K Tech swimbaits, swimming Senkos, and swimming flukes are also working.” The winds have kept trollers off the lake during the past week.
Call: Coyote Bait andTackle (408) 463-0711, Roger George of rogergeorgeguideservice.com (559) 905-2954
Bass 2; Trout 2; Kokanee 1
The opening day of the Bass Lake Chamber of Commerce fishing derby was memorable for Chor Vue of Fresno along with his 4-year old son, Ryan, who pulled out one of the two $10,000 tagged planted rainbows. No fishermen managed to hook the big money fish in 2015, but participation in the 36th annual derby proved to be a windfall for Vue in his first-ever derby. After catching the fish early in the morning from the banks near the dam, Vue headed immediately to derby headquarters at Miller’s Landing where Michelle Miller and Nancy Gunning, Bass Lake Chamber of Commerce treasurer, presented Vue with two checks – one for his bank account and the other for the photo opportunity. In addition to two $10,000 trout released into the lake, there was another at $50,00 along with 150 worth $100 each and 847 worth $20. There were nearly 900 entriesthis year, with about 30 registering online overnight. The overall count of trout landed during the derby was about 50. Todd Wittwer of Kokanee.net Guide Service stayed off the lake during derby weekend, moving his boat out to a mooring to allow for additional dock space. The winds blew in the 30- to 35-mph range Saturday night, powerful enough to drag his mooring anchor 40 feet along the bottom. The lake level has risen to 83 percent. Several campgrounds remain closed until July 4 because of removal of more than 5,000 hazard trees resulting from the bark-bettle invastion. Campground status updates are available at 642-3212.
Call: Todd Wittwer 288-8100; Mike Beighey 642-3748
Brown trout 2; Trout 2
Access to the Kaiser Pass lakes is still limited to those on snowmobiles, but the road is expected to open before Memorial Day. The lakes are starting to rise, with Edison at 18 percent and Florence at 49 percent. Lower-elevation Mammoth Pool dropped to 62 percent.
Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000
Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake
Kokanee 2; Trout 3
Shaver Lake continues to produce quality rainbows along with the occasional kokanee for trollers thanks to the acclimation of the trophy-sized trout planted by the Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project last week along with an additional plant of Department of Fish and Wildlife released planter-sized rainbows. Dick Nichol’s of Dick’s Fishing Charters took out Scott Gray of San Leandro along with son Ryan of Castro Valley for two limits composed of seven rainbows and three kokanee. He said, “Our fish have been taken on orange Captain Jack’s Super Hoochies behind a C.J. Dodger at 30 feet in depth along with Dick’s Trout Buster tipped with a piece of crawler behind a Mountain Flasher at 15-20 feet near the Point, the island and the triangle in Edison Cove. Two of our trout were in the 16- to 17-inch range with the majority from 12-14 inches. Saturday was very cold, and we worked hard for a dozen rainbows, but Sunday brought out much better weather and we ended up with three limits including six kokanee to 11 inches working the island and Road 2 areas.” Nichols was able to land three limits Monday for a group from England, and they kept two kokanee at 15 inches for a barbecue. He added, “We caught six second -year kokanee, and it is important to release the small fish at the side of the boat without bringing the fish into the boat since they are very fragile. We had one casualty, and the eagle quickly swooped down and took care of the floating fish.” Earl Taniguchi – a regular Shaver Lake troller – and his two partners picked up three limits including six kokanee working at depths from 32-40 feet. Steve Santoro of Fish Box Charters out of Madera took out Pat Madrid and Paul Gomez of Fresno, Jose Martinez of Clovis and Hugo Gomez of Fresno for four mixed limits including five kokanee using blade/’crawler combinations at four colors of leadcore along with orange Apex lures tipped with corn behind a dodger at 25-40 feet. The lake is expected to reach 80 percent capacity by July; it is currently 61 percent. A launch-ramp webcam at Sierra Marina is available at sierramarina.com. At Huntington, a few aluminum boats have been launched as anglers searching for brown trout have found another location to carry a boat to the water’s edge. The snowmobile trail is off limits until the snow melts, or June 1, and tickets for those attempting to launch by driving over the trail have been issued. The lake has risen to 79 percent capacity.
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
Chuck Crane of Wishon Village RV Park said, “The road to Wishon opened up last Thursday, and the banks were crowded with fishermen over the week.” There were also a number of boats in the lake, and with the lake’s low level, all boats are launching off of the dirt road. He said, “The lake is fluctuating, but it will be on the dirt road for some time. Number 2 Needlefish or Speed Shiners in a variety of colors are working at depths from 2-3 colors for trollers while bank fishermen are scoring with Power Bait in pink or multi-colors along with nightcrawlers. The Wishon Store/RV Park and campgrounds have opened for the season.” Fish and Wildlife planted trout last Monday, and there are still a number of quality holdovers. At Courtright, the road to the lake will not reopen until late May. Updates are available at 297-0706.
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
Salmon 3; Rockfish 3; Striper 2; Crabs 3
The winds and swell kept the party and private boats off the water during the last week of April, but there was at least one window when boats were able to rockfish along the coast. On Sunday, winds subsided enough for salmon trollers to make it out along the San Mateo coast, and the initial reports were positive with even party boats from the Golden Gate coming south to get in on the salmon action. Second Captain Michael Cabanas of the Huli Cat out of Pillar Point went salmon fishing Sunday, and Toni Sack from Cloverdale took the large fish at 14 pounds, and the boat came back with four salmon from 8-14 pounds off Pedro Point. Captain Roger Thomas of the Salty Lady said, “There were reports of up to limits taken north of Pillar Point near Pedro Point. This is encouraging news for the first trip out after a week of wind.” Sherri Ingles of Half Moon Bay Sport Fishing said, “The Rip Tide is out there rockfishing on Sunday, and we expect our flagship, the Queen of Hearts, to be back on the water within the week as it is going through its final checks after being repowered with brand-new engines. Salmon trollers are finally out there, and the reports have been positive, so there are salmon out there somewhere along our coast.” Farther up the coast, Sheryl Jimno at the Rusty Hook in Pacifica said, “Stripers, surf perch, and crab are the story around here, and we are still selling plenty of snares for Dungeness crab while topwater lures, shallow divers and hair raisers are working for striped bass. Fishermen on the pier find better action with anchovies, sardines, blood worms, or pile worms for the bass, but the beach fishermen seem to prefer lures. Perch fishermen are using pile worms and blood worms, although the blood worms have been small. The crab reopener has been a blessing for us since there were several months from September to March when business was exceedingly slow.” Second Captain Michael Cabanas of the Huli Cat out of Pillar Point went on a rock cod crab combo trip Saturday for ling cod to 6 pounds and limits of Dungeness crab for 20 anglers out of the 11 pots pulled. The crab limits keep on coming.
Call: Happy Hooker (510) 223-5388; Roger Thomas, Salty Lady (415) 760-9362; Bait and Switch Sport Fishing Center (650) 726-7133726-7133; Emeryville Sport Fishing (510) 654-6040; Don Franklin, Soleman (510) 703-4148
Rockfish 3; Striper 2; Salmon 2
Keith Semler of Chris’ Fishing Trips in Monterey said, “We did start salmon mooching on Saturday morning, but after an hour, the passengers opted for rockfish and ling cod. The Check Mate went south to Twin Rocks on Sunday for 29 limits of rockfish and 15 lings while the Caroline stayed closer to home for 22 limits and 35 lings. Saturday’s scores were more of the same with half limits of rockfish and full limits of lings for 17 on the Caroline, half limits of rockfish and 50 lings for 30 anglers on the Star of Monterey, and half limits of rockfish and 40 ling cod for 20 on the Check Mate. Semler added, “Although we didn’t find any salmon during the brief venture on Saturday morning, commercial boats have come back with as many as 26 salmon, and the krill has made it to the surface at Moss Landing, and the humpbacked whales are in the area.” Allen Bushnell of Santa Cruz Kayak Fishing said, “Prior to the weekend windstorm, salmon anglers found a few fish here and there, mostly in the deep canyon areas. The Soquel Hole produced averages of 0-5 fish per boat, and a few boats caught fish near Pajaro and off of Moss Landing. In general, the salmon bite is slow. It is well worth a few trips though, to get a fish or two for the table or the smoker. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced sport salmon fishing in our area will close on July 15 this year, due to low return counts and disappointing ocean salmon abundance reports. Big waves tend to keep halibut scattered in deeper waters. We received no reports of halibut caught this week. High winds also have the effect of lowering water temperature, another negative factor for halibut fishing. Rockfishng and lingcod are still on the bite however, and it will only get better from here on out for this staple fishery in Monterey Bay. Chris’ Fishing Trips in Monterey reported three-quarter limits of rockfish and up to 30 lingcod per trip for multiple days on multiple boats last week. Surfcasters are still doing very well all around the bay for surfperch as well as striped bass. The best areas are more central beaches on Monterey Bay, from Rio Del Mar down to Sand City.”
Call: Chris’ Landing (831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173; usafishing.com
San Francisco Bay
Halibut 3 Striper 2 Rockfish 3 Leopard shark 3 Sturgeon 2 Salmon 2
Captain Roger Thomas of the Salty Lady said, “The Sausalito boats went north in search of salmon at the last known location of success a week ago, but after finding clear and cold water at 49 degrees loaded with bait and birds, they couldn’t get the salmon to cooperate. Early reports were of good action off of S Buoy, and the Hog Heaven, Outer Limits, and New Rayann went below S Buoy for a total of 39 salmon for 44 passengers.” Mike Aughney of USAfishing.com reported, “The stripers are starting to make their way back to the bays as they complete their annual spawn run up to the rivers. Jim Smith on the Happy Hooker had a banner day fishing the Central Bay to Berkeley flats to the Brothers. Jim reported 12 stripers to 8 pounds and 12 halibut to a whopping 35 pounds. The coastal waters look to be calm the next few days which will allow boats to target rockfish and lings and stripers and halibut back in the bays.” Captain Jim Smith took a charter of Boy Scouts and ended up with four halibut, four stripers, four ling cod and about 30 rockfish. Smith’s sons Chris and James also had good days in the bay, with the California Dawn taking its r first official live bait trip of the year for 10 halibut and 19 striped bass for 23 passengers. Chris Smith on the Captain Hook put in eight halibut and a striper for four customers on his six-pack Saturday.
San Luis Obispo
Out of Morro Bay, weather has been the limiting factor. Wind and swells should stay down for the next few days before another storm moves through central California. Virg’s out of Morro Bay is 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 night 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. Trip dates are available at virgslanding.com. Out of Patriot Sport Fishing in Port San Luis, the Avenger was out on a half trip Monday with 18 fishermen for 80 vermilion rockfish, five boccaccio, 10 assorted and 36 ling cod to 12 pounds. Their boats have already posted 683 lings since the April 1 opener. Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield is taking a charter on the Endeavor out of Morro Bay on June 12, with 10 spots still available.
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 2; Bluegill 3
Big wind was the story on the Sacramento River during the past week. American shad continue to move into the upper ranges of the Sacramento-Delta area, and bank fishermen and boaters are getting in on the action with a variety of presentations. Striped bass are moving up and down the river, and sturgeon fishing remains good for the few anglers still targeting the diamondbacks in lower Suisun Bay. Craig Kamikawa of the Fisherman’s Warehouse in Sacramento said, “Shad fishing is good at Freeport and the Minnow Hole and they are just starting to move above the Freeport Bridge. The majority of stripers in the Delta have spawned, but there are indications that there are still fresh fish moving into the system.” James Netzel of Tight Lines Guide Service was on the Delta three times last week, and he said, “Overall the bite has slowed down, but there have been new big fish moving into the system as we have landed males loaded with milt to 10 pounds along with some females with eggs, but most stripers are downstreamers. The best action has been on the Sacramento side of the Delta, and I have been trolling Yozuri Crystal Minnows in red head/white, chartreuse, and clown in both deep and shallow diving patterns.” For sturgeon, Captain Steve Mitchell of Hook’d Up Sport Fishing out of Pittsburg took his final sturgeon trip of the season Sunday, and he said, “The fish are still here, and we released two oversized to 81 inches on Saturday along with a slot-limit fish and we had another slot-limit fish on Sunday to go with a few oversized. They want roe right now, and they are biting aggressively. Now is the time to go, and the fish are stacking up in the Little and Big Cuts.” Pam Hayes at Benicia Bait reported a number of oversized and legal sturgeon have been landed from shore from the Dillon Point State Park to Glen Cove by fishermen targeting striped bass. Clyde Wands, shallow trolling expert, was out trolling twice. He said, “It was slower for us (on day 2) but one boat had eight fish released and Mark Wilson also landed six fish. Our largest striper was 5.5 pounds, and we only kept two, and they were spawned out.” Kenji Nagakawa, Delta Wood Bomber Pro-Staff, was out with Elvis Rocha of Lodi, and they continued their assault on San Joaquin River stripers with two linesides at 18 pounds caught and released during the last hours of daylight. Steve Santucci of Steve Santucci’s Fly Fishing Guide Service confirmed the overall slowdown in the striper bite, stating, “Fishing for stripers in the Delta is decent, but it has slowed down from last week. Four-inch Clouser Minnows presented on a fast sinking line is the way to go fishing in 4-15 feet of water.” Dan Mathisen of Dan’s Delta Outdoors in Oakley reported the largemouth bass bite is still good, and “we are selling Senkos, Senkos, and Senkos in 6 and 7-inch sizes in color patterns 208, 297, and 925.” Anglers are starting to punch the weeds, and the wind is bringing out the spinnerbait bite. The Fat Sack Tournament Series compact spinnerbait in one-half to three-quarter ounces has been effective in chartreuse/white. Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, said, “The largemouth bite is to die for right now as we have landed bass from 7-11 pounds in the past week. We caught and released 55 fish to 5 pounds on Thursday by staying out of the wind along levees with cover. This week has been interesting with the water temperatures dropping from the 65-67 degrees to 63.5 degrees. The topwater bite has slowed down as a result, and our best action has been flipping or worming with the Havoc Flat Dog or Power Worms in earth tones on a Zappu head. The bass are still in holding from the banks to 6 feet in depth.” Ador Lopez of the California Tournament Trail reported the winning team of Lemaj Plaza and Ron Berg threw frogs and chatterbaits in the morning before switching over to flipping along weeds and tule lay-downs later in the day. They put in a limit at 35.70 pounds with the second big fish of the tourney at 9.27. Drop-shot plastics and Senkos were the trick for the second- and third-place teams.
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 3; White bass 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
At Nacimiento, spotted bass remain the top species with a number of fish moving into the shallows at depths from 8-15 feet. Working the bottom with finesse techniques with plastics on the drop-shot, jigs or creature baits are working along with medium-diving reaction baits. White bass are starting to show up early or late, and white lures such as Roostertails, Kastmasters or similar spoons are working in the Narrows and Las Tablas. At Lopez, working the bottom with plastics on the drop-shot or Texas-rig remains the best technique, but there is an improved bite with small creature baits or jigs. Spinnerbaits are effective when the wind is blowing.. At Santa Margarita, bass to 6 pounds have been taken on plastics on the drop-shot, small swimbaits, Senkos or jigs, as the fish are in all stages of spawning. The lake remains low and launching a boat is not an option. San Antonio remains closed indefinitely as a result of extremely low water conditions (4 percent capacity) and high operating expenses
Call: Lake Nacimiento (805) 238-1056, ext. 3; Lake San Antonio Marina (805) 472-2818; Central Coast Bass Fishing.com (805) 466-6557
- California Team Tournament Trail on May 1 at Delta/Russo’s Marina: 1, Lemaj Plaza/Ron Berg 35.70 pounds; 2, Scott Adkins/Tim Woltkamp 29.22; 3, Brent Potter/Michael Farmer 26.16 (big fish 9.70)
- Saturday: American Bass Association at Delta/B and W Resort; Best Bass Tournaments at Pine Flat; Central Valley Sportsmen’s Catfish Derby at Woodward Park Lake
- May 14: Best Bass Tournaments at Don Pedro; Mid Valley Bass Club at McClure; Kerman Bass Club at Bass Lake; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Pine Flat; Hume Lake Christian Camp Trout Derby at Hume Lake; Bakersfield Bass Club at Kaweah; Kern County Bassmasters at Success; Lake Isabella Bass Club at Isabella; Taft Bass Club at Lopez
- May 15: California Delta Team Trail at Delta/B and W Resort; Kings VIII Bass Club at McClure
- May 19-21: Forrest L. Wood Cup at Delta/Russo’s Marina
- May 21: California Bass Federation at Delta/Ladd’s Marina; Angler’s Press at New Melones; Christian Bass League at Don Pedro; American Bass Association at Kaweah; Visalia Bass Club at Success; Golden Empire Bass Club at Lopez; Tri Valley Bassmasters at Santa Margarita
- May 21-22: Sierra Bass Club at Delta/Russo’s Marina; Fresno Bass Club at Clear Lake
- May 22: Forrest L. Wood Cup at Delta/Russo’s Marina; Modesto Ambassadors at Delta/Ladd’s Marina; Bass N’Tubes at New Melones; Riverbank Bass Club at McClure; Success Bass Club at Success; San Luis Obispo County Bass Ambushers at Lopez
- May 28: American Bass Association at Delta/Russo’s Marina
- May 29: California Delta Team Trail at Delta/Russo’s Marina
- Fresno County: Courtright Reservoir; Huntington Lake; Kings River, below Pine Flat Dam
- Kern County: Kern River, section 4-5
- Tulare County: Kern River, sections 5-6; Peppermint Creek; Tule River Middle Fork; Tule River North Fork, Middle Fork No. 1; Tule River South Fork, Middle Fork No. 2; Tule River South Fork, Middle Fork No. 3
- Tuolumne County: Lyons Canal (Columbia Ditch); Moccasin Creek; Pinecrest Lake; Powerhouse Stream; Stanislaus River Clarks Fork; Stanislaus River Middle Fork; Stanislaus River South Fork; Tuolumne River North Fork
n = new moon > = peak activity