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, stripers and shad providing great action, Alan Fong said. McClure bass on topwater, Mike Gomez reported. New Melones kicking out bass, John Liechty said. Wishon trout fishing excellent, Chuck Crane exclaimed. Coastal salmon fishing good, Roger Thomas said.
2-Have to work hard
4-Fish jumpin’ in boat
Delta Mendota Canal and Sloughs
Stripers 2; Catfish 3; Bass 2
In the California Aqueduct, Meng Xyong of the Fishaholics based in Fresno said, “Many fishermen are targeting stripers near check gates using bait for several shakers before catching a keeper or two. Anglers continue to work the bottom with lures such as Lipless Speedlures, flukes or Rat-L-Traps for stripers. Many anglers are catching bass using frogs targeting the weeds growth along the concrete walls. Water clarity continues to improve with current flowing south.” Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis reported sales of SpeedLures, Duo Realis jerkbaits and Lucky Craft Pointers have been high for striper anglers, but soft swimbaits are also starting to pick up. In the south aqueduct in Kern County, Jacob Rutledge of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield said, “The catfish bite is still good, but it has slowed down slightly. Sonny’s Dip Bait, Katnip Beef Bait, anchovies, chicken livers, or sardines are all working for the whiskerfish while moss is starting to accumulate, forcing striper fishermen to work bait on the bottom. Blood worms, lug worms, or sardines are the top bait. Lures have been slower.” Fishermen are remineded to pack out all trash and other debris in order to maintain the ability to fish key locations along the aqueduct.
Bass 2; Trout 1; Bluegill 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “Largemouth bass to 6 pounds are available in the mornings with swimbaits before switching to rockpiles on the bottom with Hula Grubs in green pumpkin/black flake or cinnamon/blue or similarly patterned jigs. Senkos or spinnerbaits are working for male bass are cruising the shorelines.” Catfishing has been fair at best with cut bait. The lake continues to rise slowly, up to 37 percent capacity and 521.19 feet in elevation. The northeastern portion of the lake behind the buoy line is now closed 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 1; Catfish 2; Bluegill 2; Crappie 2
Continued slow action for spotted bass with few anglers targeting the lake. Catfishing is also slow. The lake held within the past week at 509.46 feet in elevation and 54 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 3; Trout 3; Kokanee 2; King salmon 1; Crappie 2
Mike Gomez of the Bait Barn in Waterford said, “The bass bite is solid with topwater lures in the early mornings before switching to the bottom at depths from 20-25 feet with jigs or plastics on the drop-shot. Bank fishermen are catching planted trout with nightcrawlers or trout dough bait while trollers are finding good action in the top 20 feet from the surface.” The fish are still high in the water column despite rising water temperatures. The Moccasin Marina will once again be operational, and the houseboats will be returning from the main lake to Moccasin, allowing for much quicker access in the main lake. All three launch ramps are open with the lake at 74 percent capacity and 785.23 feet in elevation.
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 Isabella, Jacob Rutledge of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield said, “The water is warming up, and the fish should be biting.” Catfish remain the top species with chicken livers, clams or nightcrawlers, but the crappie remain in deep water structure, requiring a boat to reach the slabsides. Bass fishing should be picking up, and there are a few upcoming tournaments on the lake in June. The lake has risen 3 feet to 2,551.60 in elevation and 22 percent capacity. Trout fishing is best in the upper river for planted trout in the deeper pools with live crickets, salmon eggs or nightcrawlers while the lower river is confined to largemouth bass with plastics on the drop-shot or shakey head. At Buena Vista, crappie fishing is slow, but there is a good bite for largemouth bass and catfish. Hart Park and Ming are the top local impoundments for bass, but the size of the fish are small. Bryte Lake in the Tehachapi’s is the top local lake for crappie with minijigs. In the Big Kern River, owner Steve Day of Golden Trout Pack Trains said, “With the high water, it looks to be an awesome year for trout in the high-county wilderness.”
Call: Bob’s Bait (661) 833-8657; North Fork Marina (760) 376-1812
Bass 2; Crappie 2; Trout 1; Catfish 2
The lake continues to rise, and the bass are suspended off the shore. Action has been fair with the fluctuating weather. Brush Hogs, lizards or plastics on the drop-shot remain the top techniques as well as live minnows or crawdads from shore. Crappie fishing is fair in the submerged structure around Horse Creek. The lake rose 5 feet to 692.97 in elevation and 70 percent capacity.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212
Bass 2; Trout 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
Chuck Stokke of Sequoia Fishing Co. said, “Bass fishing has been from slow to fair with minimal interest due to the recent weather including thunderstorms. Reaction baits, Brush Hogs and jigs are the top producers.” The lake rose more than a foot to 637.43 in elevation and 63 percent capacity, a level where the lake is held because of restrictions on the dam. In the Tule River, Stokke said, “The river is flowing to the point of being almost unfishable in some sections due to the heavy flows, but I fished the Hidden Falls area near Balch Park and landed about a dozen natives on caddis patterns with a stimulator.”
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 to 56 percent capacity and 788.25 feet in elevation. Mike Gomez of the Bait Barn in Waterford said, “There is an excellent topwater bite in the mornings with the River2Sea Rover or subsurface SWaver. By midmorning, bass fishermen are finding the best action on the bottom between 20 and 25 feet with jigs such as the Berserk Purple Hornet or Sprayed Grass jigs or plastics on the drop-shot or dart head.” The McClure Point and Barrett Cove South launch ramps are open with the Barrett Cove North ramp under construction. The Bagby and Horseshoe Bend ramps remain closed, most likely for the rest of the season.
Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505; Bub Tosh (209) 404-0053
Trout fishing remains very slow with the lack of planting. The last plant was April 8, but an occasional rainbow is taken from the shore with trout dough bait, nightcrawlers or Kastmasters. The Marina Store is open Thursday through Sunday.
Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River
Bass 2; Striper 1; Shad 2; Bluegill 2
Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis reported, “Consistent action for a small grade of spotted bass with plastics on the drop-shot or spinnerbaits as the fish are oriented to the shallows. Catching numbers of fish is no problem, but putting together a quality limit is a challenge. Chatterbaits are also picking up a few fish. Striped bass fishing is slow. A few American shad are starting their move up the river. A few stripers have been following up hooked spots near Finegold.” All boats need to possess a low-emission sticker on their motors. Recreational boat pressure should be high over the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. Millerton rose 5 feet to 533.69 in elevation and 63 percent capacity. In the San Joaquin River, a decent grade of spotted or largemouth bass can be found by working from bank access areas with plastic worms. Regulations on the lower San Joaquin, and from Friant Dam downstream to the Highway 140 Bridge, allow only two hatchery trout or hatchery steelhead with a total of four in possession. The hatchery fish have a healed adipose fin clip. All wild steelhead or trout with an adipose fin present must be released immediately. The San Joaquin River is closed to the take of salmon. They may not be targeted by fishermen and must be released immediately 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 2
Kokanee pushing 16 inches have been the story at New Melones. Although the action isn’t hot and heavy, the quality of the landlocked salmon are providing some of the largest fish in the state with an average of 14-15 inches. John Liechty of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp said, “The kokanee have been biting pretty good most days, but they have been tough to find on other days. When you do find them, the good news is that they are extremely fat and healthy, putting up a great fight. We can expect them to continue to grow throughout the summer months. A variety of lures are working with Glitterbug’s micro-hoochies or tube bugs in pink and purple behind a Shasta Tackle Sling Blade or teardrop dodger at depths from 30 to 50 feet at speeds from 1.4 to 1 mph. MPH. Garlic, Bloody Tuna, and anise have been the top scents for shoepeg corn.” John Darroch, owner of Glitterbugs, put in four chunky kokanee with the largest nearing 2 pounds using his lures and blades. The other solid bite on the lake is for spotted bass, and Liechty, who also operates Xperience Fishing Guide Service said, “The late spring post-spawn bass bite has been pretty good, but the fish are scattered and it takes a little searching to find them. We have been picking up a couple fish on each stop, making over 20 different stops on an evening trip to catch and released over 30 bass with topwater lures such as Rovers.” Catfish and crappie action remain solid while the trout trolling bite is fair at best. The lake rose nearly 4 feet in the past week to 882.64 in elevation and 26 percent capacity after receding for the past few weeks. Gary Burns of Take It To The Limit Guide Service said, “The kokanee bite is good, but you have to put your time in to get your limit as it is not a fast bite for small koks but a slow bite for big kokanee with most of the fish ranging from 14-15 inches. Boy, are they fat and healthy, and you have to hold onto your rod as they are putting up quite a fight. We are still trolling in the main lake around the spillway and the dam over to Rose Island at depths from 32-40 feet with gold spinners, Uncle Larry’s spinners in blue/pink, or Glitterbug’s tube hooches in pink tipped with garlic-scented corn behind blue dodgers.” Trout action remains fair as the surface temperatures rise, and the fish move out into deeper water. The rainbows are holding near the schools of shad, and they will feed on the bait fish throughout the summer months. Trollers are finding some success with shad-patterned spoons such as ExCels, Speedy Shiners, or Needlefish at depths from 40 to 60 feet in the main river channel in the main lake. The bass bite has slowed, but Mike Gomez of the Bait Barn in Waterford reported an 11-pound limit was taken on topwater River2Sea Rovers or the SWaver with the fish found at various depths in the water column. Liechty said, “The fish are pulling off of the shoreline and starting to feed and recuperate from the spawn. Bluegill, shad, and baby bass are the top food at this time of year.” The Future Pro Tour tournament this weekend will bring a number of participants to the lake. Catfishing continues to improve as the water warms and the whiskerfish are moving into the shorelines. Frozen shad, mackerel, nightcrawlers or chicken livers are all working along sloping banks with deep water access. Crappie are biting, and slabs over 2 pounds have been taken from areas with standing timber adjacent to shallow water. The lake rose 3 feet to 882.93 in elevation and 26 percent capacity. Glory Hole remains the only launch available on the lake with two lanes and a courtesy dock.
Call: Glory Hole Sports (209) 736-4333; Monte Smith (209) 581-4734; Danny Layne-Fish’n Dan (209) 586-2383; Sierra Sport Fishing (209) 599-2023
Pine Flat Reservoir/Kings River
Bass 2; Trout 2; King salmon 1; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “Trout action has slowed considerably within the past week with the best numbers found near Trimmer. The main lake near the dam has been slow. Numbers of small bass are possible with ripbaits, Brush Hogs or jigs near submerged bush. The lake has risen over previously dry ground during the past four years, and the fish are holding in the submerged structure. Most fishermen are targeting main lake points with the submerged brush with few bass anglers heading above the barrier near Trimmer.” There are no king salmon plants scheduled during the current year because of drought conditions at the Iron Gate hatchery. The possibility of the trash barrier being removed by June 1 remains, allowing access to the Trimmer area from the main lake. Recreational boating will be high over the Memorial Day weekend. The lake rose 9 feet to 880.46 in elevation and 63 percent capacity. In the lower Kings River, there have been few trout fishermen targeting the planters, and the 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
Wind has been the major inhibitor of fishing in the main San Luis Reservoir, but the stripers are starting to school up in preparation for the annual spawn. The water level in the main lake continues to fall on a daily basis, and it has dropped over 125,000 acre-feet in the past few weeks from a high in excess of 1 million acre-feet to 38 percent capacity. Roger George of Roger’s Guide Service out of Fresno said, “Fishing has been sporadic as the stripers react to the rapidly falling water. The storms and the full moon have changed the bite too, and getting out on the lake on a calm day is the trick right now. I had a scouting day where I got into some active fish and I got over 15 fish in the 20- to 26-inch range at 60-80 feet, topped by a 7-pounder in some pretty good sized rollers. You gotta know when to call it a day when it hits, because the Basalt ramp can be tough to dock at if the waves/rollers are coming from the North or Northwest. Dinosaur might be a good launch choice if you suspect the wind is coming up later,” George said. In the O’Neill Forebay, the striper action has been excellent for those tossing jerkbaits from a boat with a number of schoolies caught and released. Meng Xyong and Nick Xjool of Fresno threw the new Speed Lure 95 Series jerkbait in green ghost or the Duo Realis 120 for countless stripers in the 18- to 19-inch range in the Forebay on Saturday. Xyong said, “It was on fire, and my wrist couldn’t keep up with the action. The schools kept moving around so once you found them, catching multiple fish was easy.” Bank action has been best around Checks 11 or 12 with blood worms or jumbo minnows.
Call: Coyote Bait andTackle (408) 463-0711, Roger George of rogergeorgeguideservice.com (559) 905-2954
Bass 2; Trout 2; Kokanee 1
A plant of 50,000 kokanee smolts were released into the lake on May 2, but the population of adult kokanee is currently severely affected. The adult population has not recovered from the turbidity leak from the Crane Valley Dam construction in 2012. The turbidity from the dredging operations created a major algae bloom, consuming much of the lake’s oxygen. Combined with four years of drought conditions, the result is a decline of adult kokanee in the lake over the past three years. Another factor is the lack of trout plants last year as the rainbows in the Friant Hatchery were emptied out to higher elevation lakes. The water level is the best it has been in years, and conditions are good – for the kokanee smolts along with the 17,000 rainbow finglerlings released last week – for a high survival rate. The lake is close to spilling at 94 percent capacity. Campground status updates are available at 642-3212.
Call: Todd Wittwer 288-8100; Mike Beighey 642-3748; Bass Lake Watersports 642-3200
Brown trout 2; Trout 2
Kaiser Pass Road should be open to Edison and Florence Lakes for the Memorial Day weekend, pending clearing any remaining blockages. Warmer temperatures have accelerated melting of the snowpack and the lakes continue to rise steadily with Edison at 30 percent, Florence at 94 and lower-elevation Mammoth Pool at 96 percent.
Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000
Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake
Kokanee 2; Trout 2
The weather has been fluctuating wildly. Along with rising lake levels, the trout and kokanee bites have been sporadic, requiring patience in order to push fish in the box. Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters said, “I have fished all week and found the bite somewhat off. The lake has raised a bunch this past week beginning on Thursday, and the trout are feasting on insects falling off the bank into the raising water. This has led to slower action for rainbows. Clovis residents Leon and Debby Jennings fished with me during this week for two limits of mostly kokanee as Leon celebrated his 70th birthday along with their wedding anniversary. Earlier in the week, one to 1.5 limits were the norm until Saturday when Rodney Couto of Fresno and John Seely of Santa Clarita broke the cold streak with two quick limits of mixed fish with rainbows to 16.5 inches. I expect the bite will be hit or miss until the lake levels off.” Nichols is trolling at depths of 15-20 feet on the side poles using Trout Busters tipped with crawler and corn behind Mountain Flashers. On the down riggers a Captain Jack’s pink Super Hoochie tipped with corn behind a C.J. Dodger on one and an orange Apex tipped with corn on the other at 31-35 feet deep. The island, Black Rock areas have been his go-to areas. Bank fishermen have been targeting the Edison ramp area with some success on trophy sized fish. The Herb Bauer’s Sporting Goods Shaver Lake Chamber of Commerce Trout Derby is in full swing, and three trophy-sized fish were weighed in at Shaver Lake Sports this past week. Another trophy trout plant provided by the Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project is slated for early summer. Higher elevation Huntington Reservoir has heated up for kokanee once the lake topped 80 percent and the launch ramp has become available. Terry Walton of Trimmer and Carl Hanson of Tollhouse found easy limits of a small grade of third-year kokanee on Saturday using Sierra Gold spinners tipped with corn behind a Sierra Gold blade near the surface. Shaver is at 74 percent and Huntington at 96 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 reported, “The lake is low, but trout fishing has been excellent for both trollers and planters alike. Bank fishermen are soaking trout dough bait in various colors with pinks or oranges the top choice. Trollers are working at depths from 2-4 colors with Speedy Shiners, Thomas Buoyants or Needlefish in orange/gold or red/gold in the mornings, and in the afternoons running a Rapala on a long setback is producing quick limits. Launching a boat is best from the dirt road with a long walk to the parking lot from the low concrete ramp. The upper end of the lake in the creek arm is loaded with debris, limiting fly fishermen in the creek arm.” The road is anticipated to be open by Memorial Day weekend, with information at 297-0706 or through the Wishon Village RV Park and Store.
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
Salmon 3; Rockfish 3; Striper 2; Crabs 3
The salmon were holding at Pedro Point on Sunday, and Captain Dennis Baxter of the New Captain Pete said, “All of the skiffs that were there early ended up with limits. We ran up to Duxbury where the excellent bite had been on Saturday before coming back to Pedro Point, ending up with 11 commercial grade salmon for 14 anglers. The fish were found at depths from 45-90 feet, and the downriggers on Spectra were the key to getting down in the water column. There were humpbacks working in tight to the shoreline at Devil’s Slide, feeding on bait fish. Two miles outside of Pedro Point, the stickboats were working, and one boat had 15 fish in the early morning.” Baxter is running his only rockfish/crab combination trip Saturday, with a open trip Sunday for salmon if they are still in the area. Second Captain Michael Cabanas of the Huli Cat went rockfishing Sunday in good ocean conditions, with Mike McNulty of San Francisco picking up the big fish of the day – an 11-pound ling cod on a hitchhiker. On Saturday’s rockfish trip, they also put in limits of Dungeness crab for eight passengers in addition to solid rockfish action along with lings to 8 pounds.
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; Halibut 2; Striper 2
Chris Arcoleo of Chris’s Landing in Monterey reported continued solid rockfishing with 25 ling cod and limits for 29 anglers on the Star of Monterey on Sunday along with 19 limits of rockfish and 12 lings on the Caroline. Saturday’s scores were similar with 35 limits of rockfish and 15 lings on the Star with 18 limits and 30 lings on the Check Mate. Allen Bushnell of Santa Cruz Kayak Fishing said, “On the north side of the bay, Todd Fraser at Bayside Marine notes good lingcod fishing up the coast near Davenport, while suggesting the rock cod fishing is more productive near Natural Bridges and South Rock Reef.” In other good news, Fraser is fielding an increasing number of halibut reports. Most of the fish caught have been in 40-70 feet of water, though a few lucky anglers pulled in keeper halibut while surfcasting near New Brighton Beach. And finally, surf-casting from any of the beaches along the bay can be very productive. While the barred surfperch are becoming scarcer, the remaining perch are big and feisty. A regular perch rig might attract striped bass as well. Anglers specifically pursuing stripers are finding success with a variety of presentations including topwater poppers, SP Minnows, KastMasters, Krokodiles, swimbaits and HairRaisers.
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; Crab 3; Salmon 3
What a difference a day makes. After tremendous salmon action off Duxbury Buoy on Saturday, the bite slowed to a crawl on Sunday with some of the Sausalito boats making the long run south to Pedro Point off of the San Mateo coast at 2 p.m. Captain Roger Thomas of the Salty Lady said, “We ended up with six salmon for eight passengers on Sunday, and I really think the fish were just off of the bite.” Thomas has open loads throughout the week for salmon. Alastair Bland, journalist for a number of Bay Area publications, was on the boat Sunday and landed the largest salmon of the day at 12 pounds. The bite was back Monday, with Captain R.J. Waldron of the Sundance out of Emeryville Sport Fishing putting together eight limits of salmon to 20 pounds outside of the main shipping channel. Saturday was a whole different ballgame, with Second Captain Jared Davis of the Salty Lady returning with 20 salmon to 22 pounds for 19 anglers. The fish are all big commercial grade averaging 12-15 pounds and going up to 22. Jared said they found some fish on the Middle Grounds but the best action was around Duxbury. Most are biting on straight bait in 75-100 feet of water with troll depths ranging from 25-70 feet. Inside the bays, halibut fishing has been very good, and there are a trickling of striped bass moving into the bay. Captain Jim Smith of the Happy Hooker ended up with 20 fish for 37 passengers on Sunday working the flats in the central bay. He said, “There are a lot of shaker halibut in the bay, and sometimes we would have four to five shakers on at the same time. Things should be very good for the next couple of years with the number of smaller halibut in the bay. There is plenty of bait fish in the bay at the present time, and we put in 12 halibut and 15 bass on Saturday for 27 customers.” Captain James Smith of the California Dawn put in two good days with 28 halibut Saturday before the bite slowed a bit for 16 halibut and four stripers Sunday. Steve Talmadge of Flash Fishing out of Pier 45 in San Francisco has third-generation captain Jonathan Smith running the Flash II, and he said, “Both the Flash I and Flash II were on the water on full-day trips on Friday with Jonathan putting his clients onto nine fish while we ended up with 12 fish with Jim Graham landing his first halibut along with a limit of bass. On Saturday, the young Smith got his revenge with nine fish while we came back with 5five for four clients. We have been working the Berkeley Flats, and there are a number of shaker halibut in the area.”
San Luis Obispo
Rockfishing remains outstanding out of both San Luis Obispo County ports. The Princess, Fiesta, and Rita G took out 92 anglers Sunday for 101 ling cod, 260 vermilion rockfish, 426 assorted rockfish, two cabezon and 29 copper rockfish. Jackpot winners were Arlindo Brasiz of Lemoore with a 21.3-pound ling, Ron Youngling of Hanford with a 13-pound ling, and Matthew Villa of Bakersfield with a 5.3-pound ling. Virg’s continues to take 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 a cost of $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. Out of Patriot Sport Fishing in Port San Luis, the Patriot and Avenger went out on Monday with 27 fishermen for a total of 38 vermilion rockfish, 75 coppers, 143 assorted rockfish, 14 bolina and 22 ling cod to 15.5 pounds. There are still a few spots available for the charter on the Endeavor out of Morro Bay by Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield on June 12.
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 3; Sturgeon 2; Catfish 3; Bluegill 3; Shad 4
American shad remain the best option in the northern stretches of the Sacramento River Delta, but there has been a solid striper bite in the northeast sloughs for those willing to change techniques. Schoolie stripers have been available for guides working the area with live bait. Alan Fong of the Fisherman’s Warehouse in Sacramento reported excellent shad fishing in the Sacramento River and upstream with shad darts or grubs in champagne or pink. The shad are mostly males, but there are larger females to 4 pounds starting to show up in the river. He said, “It’s a pretty good run of fish, and it has just started.” Scott Feist of Feisty Fishing Guide Service said, “We crushed them on during the week despite the wind blowing at least 20 knots. The fish are schoolies up to 7 pounds.” Johnny Tran of New Romeo’s Bait and Tackle in Freeport said, “The striper guys are still out there with the occasional big fish coming as the stripers are moving back down from up north. Inside Steamboat Slough and at the mouth of Miner Slough have been hot areas for drifting jumbo minnows. Sardines coated with garlic spray, pile worms, Duo Realis jerkbaits, or River2Sea SWavers are all working for bank guys.” J.D. Richey of Richey’s Sport Fishing took out two members of the Coast Guard and a Marine on Saturday for a “Support Your Local Heroes” event out of the Rio Vista Coast Guard Station. He said, “We caught stripers all day long, and we mostly worked the bottom with spoons for schoolie stripers.” Mark Wilson, striper trolling expert, also took out members of the police, fire and/or military on what organizers hope will be an annual event. Pam Hayes at Benicia Bait reported overall slow interest with most sturgeon fishermen heading for the bay or ocean. A few fishermen are picking up a few stripers from the shore; their employee, Gene, came back with a limit at 20 and 28 inches Wednesday casting at the State Park. Jack smelt are thick at the state park. They have blood worms, pile worms and possibly ghost shrimp for the weekend in addition to all of the frozen baits. In the San Joaquin Delta, the wind has been the story over the past week, but the breezes slowed over the weekend, allowing most fishermen to make it to their spots. Largemouth bass remain the top story, and the FLW-Costa Series event was held out of Russo’s Marina during the past weekend. Charley Almassey of Oakley won the event with a total of 58 pounds, 8 ounces over three days for a total prize of $32,000 using the ABT Glide Bluegill as his primary weapon. The high winds and the cool temperatures slowed down the bite, forcing fishermen to adapt to the unusual conditions. Switching to a darker-color of vibrating jigs in the off-color water, Almassey found his best action along wind-blown flats in 2-5 feet of water on days one and three while running south to Discovery Bay on day 2. Bluegill imitations such as Bobby D’s Custom Baits Grinder with a watermelon candy Assault Lures Ringer paddle-tail swimbait trailer proved essential for Almassey. Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, took out a fly fisherman who is preparing for the upcoming Bass N’ Fly at Ladd’s Marina in Stockton on June 4. Pringle said, “I showed him how to catch bass on a plastic worm on a Zappu head on a fly rod, but you have to use a strike indicator since there is so much slack on the water with the fly line. Bass fishing is at its finest right now, and we are crushing them on the Little Stick by keeping the bait in the strike zone right now. The bass are in all three phases of the spawn, and they are either on beds, guarding fry, or feeding heavily on secondary points. The key is matching the lure with the tide, as on the low tide a buzzbait is a good lure especially with the new triple wings or quad winds, and adding a trailer hook to your lures is important since many of the bass are just slapping at the lures while guarding fry. The best action on the low tide is in 5-7 feet of water along the outside edges. The bass are also starting to feed, and the Chigger Craw in black/red or the Havoc Bottom Hopper or Flat Dogs are all working. Spinnerbaits are best on the high tides where you can keep the lure out of the grass. It’s really good out there right now.” Richey found great action for striped bass on the main San Joaquin River-Delta despite the high winds. He said, “The winds were howling, and the water and winds were fighting each other, and I had to run the big motor in order to keep straight. We caught plenty of schoolie stripers tossing swimbait or spooning, and the fish were in the middle of the river in deeper water. All of the fish are spawned out now.” Steffen Masters of Lost Anchor Bait in Antioch said, “The sturgeon bite continues to be steady between the Antioch Marina and the Antioch Bridge with several sturgeon landed on ghost shrimp, grass shrimp, or pile worm/shrimp combinations.”
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, and the bite is decent with numbers taken on plastics on the drop-shot or shakey head with the larger fish in the 2-pound range landed on reaction baits. Spinnerbaits, jerkbaits, and crankbaits are the top producers. White bass are starting to get more active, and they can be found near Las Tablas and the Narrows with small lures such as Kastmasters or Roostertails. Fresno-area anglers continue to take limits of crappie and bluegill out of the lake for consumption despite health warnings for excessive mercury. Recreational boating will be heavy starting the upcoming weekend. Lopez Lake is improving for larger bass with the warmer weather, and the reaction baits should turn on. At present, plastics on the drop-shot or shakey head along with jigs are the top techniques for numbers. The panfish are oriented to the boat docks with a variety of baits. At Santa Margarita, the lake remains low, but there is a solid reaction bite for quality largemouth bass in the mornings and evenings with glide baits, topwater lures and swimbaits. Red ear perch are flooding the shallows while catfishing is fair with cut baits. Launching a boat is not an option, but the marina has rentals available. San Antonio remains closed indefinitely as a result of extremely low water conditions at 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
- Forrest L. Wood Cup/Costa Series on May 19-21 at Russo’s Marina: 1, Charley Almassey 60.10 pounds; 2, Mike Birch 58.50; 3, Roy Hawk 56.23
- Sierra Bass Club on May 21-22 at Delta: 1, Bob Hamasaki/Leroy Bibb 36.17 ; 2, Randy Rowe/Don Hodges 30.00 (Hodges big fish at 9.54); 3, Dan Riportella/Randall Smith 23.74
- Fresno Bass Club on May 21-22 at Clear Lake: 1, Roy Champ 31.45 ; 2, Dan Marshall 30.83; 3, Nick Beck 30.83; big fish, Roger Lockhard 8.60
- May 28: American Bass Association at Delta/Russo’s Marina
- May 29: California Delta Team Trail at Delta/Russo’s Marina
- June 3-4: Bass N’Fly at Delta/Ladd’s Marina
- June 4: Kerman Bass Club at McClure;Clovis Elks Lodge No. 2599 Trout Derby at Shaver; Bakersfield Bass Club at Kaweah American Bass Association at Success; Best Bass Tournaments at Nacimiento
- June 4-5: Lake Isabella Bass Club at Isabella; Wild West Bass Trails at Delta/Big Break Marina
- June 5: California Bass Federation at Delta/Ladd’s Marina; Modesto Ambassadors at Delta/Ladd’s Marina
- June 11: Christian Bass League at Delta/Ladd’s Marina; Sonora Bass Club at New Hogan;Contra Costa Bass Club at Don Pedro;Mid Valley Bass Club at Eastman; Kern County Bassmasters at Pine Flat; U.S. Forest Service Trout Derby at Shaver Lake; Golden Empire Bass Club at Isabella
- June 11-12: Angler’s Press at Delta/Russo’s Marina; Tracy Bass Club at Delta/Tracy Oasis; Taft Bass Club at New Melones; Modesto Ambassadors at Don Pedro
- June 12: Fresno Bass Club at Delta/B and W Resort; Manteca Bassn’ Buddies/Kings River Bass Club Delta/Ladd’s Marina; Bass N’ Tubes at Delta/Ladd’s Marina; Kings VIII Bass Club at Eastman
- June 18: American Bass Association at Delta/Russo’s Marina; Best Bass Tournaments at Delta/Russo’s Marina; Sierra Bass Club at Eastman; Visalia Bass Club at Kaweah; American Bass Association at Isabella; San Luis Obispo Bass Ambushers at Santa Margarita
- June 18-19: Angler’s Press at Delta/Ladd’s Marina; Success Bass Club at Success
- June 19: Dan’s Delta Outdoors at Delta/Big Break Marina
- June 24-26: California Tournament Trail at Delta/Russo’s Marina
- June 25: Kokanee Power Phil Johnson Memorial at Don Pedro; Fresno Scottish Rite Temple Trout Derby at Shaver
- June 25-26: Best Bass Tournaments at Delta/Ladd’s Marina
- Fresno County: Big Creek, Huntington; Dinkey Creek; Hume Lake; Huntington Lake; Kings River, below Pine Flat Dam; Mono Creek; Portal Forebay; Rancheria Creek; San Joaquin River, South Fork; Tamarack Creek Fresno; Tenmile Creek, Upper
- Kern County: Cuddy Creek Pond; Kern River, sections 1-5
- Madera County: Corrine Lake; Lewis Creek; Manzanita Lake; Nelder Creek; Willow Creek North Fork
- Mariposa County: Big Creek, Madera; McSwain Reservoir; Merced River Section II
- Tulare County: Big Meadows Creek; Bone Creek; Dry Meadow Creek; Freeman Creek; Kern River, sections 5-6; Nobe Young Creek; Peppermint Creek; Peppermint Creek, Lower; Stony Creek; Tule River Middle Fork; Tule River North Fork, Middle Fork 1; Tule River South Fork, Middle Fork 2; Tule River South Fork, Middle Fork 3
- Tuolumne County: Beaver Creek; Lyons Canal (Columbia Ditch); Moccasin Creek; Pinecrest Lake; Powerhouse Stream; Stanislaus River Clarks Fork; Stanislaus River Middle Fork; Stanislaus River North Fork; Stanislaus River South Fork; Tuolumne River Middle Fork; Tuolumne River North Fork; Tuolumne River South Fork
q = quarter moon