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.
Delta bass fishing hot, Randy Pringle said. Wishon and Courtright kicking out trout limits, Chuck Crane reported. New Melones bass and trout bite good, John Liechty said. Don Pedro bass hitting, Mike Gomez reported. Delta Mendota canal producing big bass, Dave Hurley said.
2-Have to work hard
4-Fish jumpin’ in boat
Delta Mendota Canal and Sloughs
Stripers 2; Catfish 2; Bass 3
The Delta-Mendota Canal remains the top largemouth location in the central Valley with bucketmouths in excess of 7 pounds taken by punching the weeds with heavy tungsten punch weights and large creature baits. Anglers are walking the banks and working the weeds for the largemouth, and the bite has been very good for the past three weeks. With slower conditions and smaller fish at the local reservoirs, more and more area fishermen are targeting the canal. Meng Xyong of the Fishaholics out of Fresno said, “While most catfish have been caught soaking baits, some anglers have been catching them on lures. Fishermen throwing lures such as SpeedLures, Duo Realis or Lucky Craft Pointers have been catching small- to keeper-sized fish. Fishermen are also landing fish trolling lures with a planar board along the canal. The evening bite is beginning to pick up with the hotter days if you want to escape the heat and traffic. Water flow has decreased over the past several days with water clarity improving.” In the south aqueduct in Kern County, Jacob Rutledge of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield said, “There have been fewer people out with the triple-digit temperatures, but catfishing remains solid with Sonny’s Dip Bait, Katnip Beef Bait, anchovies, chicken livers, or sardines.” Trash and other debris left along aqueduct levees remains a major problem; fishermen are advised to pack out anything they bring in to maintain the ability to fish these valuable locations.
Bass 2; Trout 1; Bluegill 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “The dirty water is clearing up, and bass fishing is best on the offshore rockpiles in the 20-foot range or in the submerged brush with jigs or wacky-rigged Senkos. The brush had grown thick with the lake at a minimum pool over the past three years, and this brush is now underwater, providing structure for the bass.” The lake is releasing water, dropping 2 feet to 519.09 in elevation and 36 percent capacity. The northeastern portion of the lake behind the buoy line is 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
Steve Newman reported similar action to Eastman with jigs in the submerged grass towards the main lake. Wacky-rigged Senkos also are effective, but the reaction bite is slow. The lake is releasing water, and it is at 49 percent capacity and 505.33 feet in elevation.
Call: Fresno Fisherman’s Warehouse 225-1838; Valley Rod Gun, Clovis 292-3474; Six Star Tackle Box 673-5688; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Hensley Lake Hidden Dam 673-5151
Lake Don Pedro
Bass 3; Trout 2; Kokanee 2; King salmon 2; Crappie 2
It is not a matter of quantity, but quality at Don Pedro with the rainbows gorging on the shad schools. Largemouth bass fishing remains solid with a topwater bite in the mornings before dropping to the bottom with plastics or jigs. Warmer temperatures are bringing the bass to the surface in the mornings and driving the trout into the deepest parts of the lake. Monte Smith of Gold County Sport Fishing found quality rainbows and kokanee Friday while enduring temperatures in excess of 100 degrees. He said, “We started off trying for kokanee with spinners in the early morning, but after a period without marking fish or any strikes, we switched over to custom spoons at depths from 25-30 feet. Just when I turned back around because I saw some bait in the water, one rod got slammed and it ended up being a 15-inch kokanee weighing 1.5 pounds. There are some nice kokanee and rainbows in the lake, but you have to hunt around for them.” Smith put his clients onto quality rainbows to 3 pounds using his custom heavy spoons, and some of the rainbows were loaded with shad. “I stopped counting at 90 shad in its stomach, the most I had ever seen before in a trout was 10 shad. I think it will be a fantastic fall with the amount of bait fish in the lake. The key is finding the bait balls and working the rainbows below the bait.” Danny Layne of Fish’n Dan’s Guide Service confirmed the quality of the fish, stating, “Although it is not a hot bite, there are some quality king salmon and rainbow trout to be had. The canyon below the Highway 120 Bridge is holding king salmon and rainbows from the surface to 60 feet, and small shad-patterned lures such as ExCel or Needlefish spoons are working at depths from 15-45 feet for the kings to 4-plus pounds and rainbows in the 16- to 18-inch range.” For bass, Mike Gomez of the Bait Barn in Waterford reported a solid topwater bite in the early mornings with River2Sea Rovers or Zara Spooks before dropping to the bottom with plastics on the drop-shot or Texas rig. Gomez said, “The Pro Worm 124 p, a salt and pepper worm with a purple blood line, is working as well as Robo Worm’s Margarita Mutilator or Aaron’s Magic.” All three launch ramps are open with the lake at 76 percent capacity and 788.46 feet in elevation. The houseboats should be out of the river channel near Blue Oaks by the end of June.
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 2; Bluegill 2
At Isabella, a two-day bass tournament was held at the lake over the past weekend, but there has been minimal information. Catfishing is the best bet, but Jacob Rutledge of Bob’s Bite in Bakersfield said, “The numbers have slowed down, and crappie fishing is also slow. There is a very good crappie bite at Brite Lake in the Tehacahpi Mountains, and most crappie fishermen are heading there with live minnows in the morning before using jigs by midmorning.” The rising lake levels are keeping the fish off the shore. The lake has risen nearly 3 feet to 2,556.02 in elevation and 26 percent capacity. The upper Kern River is being planted every other week with trophy rainbows in the 3 to 5-pound range with half-pound to 1.5-pounders on the other weeks. Salmon eggs, nightcrawlers, or live crickets are all working. Rutledge reported a 10-pound largemouth was caught and kept out of Ming on a live nightcrawler, and Truxton has been good for bluegill. The back lake at the Riverwalk is slow with the number of people swimming in the impoundment. Buena Vista is kicking out a few largemouth bass, striped bass, and catfish. In the high country, Chuck Stokke of Sequoia Fishing Co. in Springville said, “I went to the Golden Trout Wilderness this weekend, and the creeks are flowing the best I’ve seen in 10 years. The golden trout are spawning, and they survived the low water conditions. The Big Kern is also fishing excellent.”
Call: Bob’s Bait (661) 833-8657; North Fork Marina (760) 376-1812
Bass 2; Crappie 2; Trout 1; Catfish 2
The lake is rising rapidly, and the bass are holding in the offshore rockpiles. The high water conditions have scattered the fish, and live minnows or crawdads are the top live baits while lizards, Brush Hogs, plastics on the drop-shot or deep-diving crankbaits are picking up a few bass. There is a brief window for topwater lures in the early mornings. Crappie are scattered in selected brush or submerged structure around Horse Creek. The lake rose 7 feet to 702.23 in elevation and 86 percent capacity.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212
Bass 2; Trout 3; Catfish 2; Crappie 2
Chuck Stokke of Sequoia Fishing Co. in Springville reported slow bass action with few fishermen out in the triple-digit temperatures. There is an early morning or late afternoon bite with deep-diving crankbaits, Zoom lizards, Senkos, or topwater lures. The lake rose slightly to 638.43 feet in elevation and 65 percent capacity, and the lake is held around this level because of restrictions on the dam. In the Tule River, Stokke said “The river is fishing excellent, and dry flies such as caddis, stimulators, ants, or hopper patterns on knocking them dead. All campgrounds are stocked as well as Balch Park, and stockers are hitting dry flies as well as nightcrawlers, Power Bait, or salmon eggs.”
Call: Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626, sequoiafishingcompany.com
Bass 3; Trout 2; King salmon 1; Kokanee 1; Crappie 2; Catfish 2
The lake rose to 59 percent capacity this week, and bass fishing has been good with largemouths to 11.43 pounds reported this week. The Kerman Bass Club held a tournament Saturday, and the topwater bite was the best for spotted bass to 3.72 pounds with six of the 13 teams weighing in limits. There were five gold tagged trout released into the lake, and anyone who lands one of these rainbows by Dec. 31 will receive $250. The McClure Point and Barrett Cove South launch ramps are open with the Barrett Cove North ramp remaining under construction. The Bagby and Horseshoe Bend ramps are still closed, most likely for the rest of the season.
Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505; Bub Tosh (209) 404-0053
Trout fishing has improved from the normal locations of the brush pile, handicapped docks or the Marina with trout dough bait, nightcrawlers or Kastmasters. Two of the five rainbows gold-tagged rainbows have been caught, with all worth $250. There also are bass in the lake, with the best bite in the mornings.
Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River
Bass 2; Striper 1; Shad 1; Bluegill 2; Catfish 2
Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis reported the action for larger fish has slowed, but the typical Millerton spotted bass in the 11- to 12-inch range are abundant with finesse techniques with plastics on the drop-shot or dart head at depths from 15-30 feet along vertical walls and drop-offs in the main lake. There were no striped bass reports. Catfish can be found around Sky Harbor with stink baits or anchovies. The lake has risen rapidly to 73 percent capacity and 548.40 feet in elevation. All boats need to possess a low-emission sticker on their motors. Recreational boat pressure was high over the weekend. In the San Joaquin River, Steve Newman reported good bass action from the city access points with River2Sea Whopper Ploppers or buzzbaits. 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 2; Catfish 2; Trout 3; Kokanee 2
Kokanee over 16 inches started to emerge within the past week, with overall action improving regularly. John Liechty of Glory Hole Sporting Goods said, “The bite is not fast or furious, but when you hook into one of these chunks, it is well worth your efforts. David Ingraham landed a very impressive limit of kokanee with the largest fish over 16 inches using pink tubes or spinners behind either Sep’s or Rocky Mountain Tackle’s dodgers. Bob James of Murphys also landed a big kokanee running Glitterbug’s micro-hoochies near the spillway. Most trollers are using small lures behind Sling Blades in pink, blue, or purple.” Trout fishing also has been good with improved action over the past few weeks as the fish are feeding heavily on shad. The shad schools are holding in the deeper parts of the lake, and trollers are pulling large Needlefish or Speedy Shiners in shad patterns at depths from 20-30 feet over the main river channel. Bank fishing for trout has been very slow with most fishermen heading to the high county. Liechty, who also operates Xperience Bass Fishing Guide Service, added, “The post-spawn bite is in full swing, and we have put some quality fish in the boat this past week using a variety of presentations and locations. Each morning we start off searching for a topwater bite before switching to soft plastics on the bottom. The temperatures have been rising, and the fish are moving deeper each day, leading to a smaller topwater window. On a recent trip while reeling in a 12-inch largemouth bass, we witnessed a potential world-record spotted bass try to eat it right at the boat. I reached down to grab the line to release the fish, and the big spot latched on, and I could have grabbed it with my hands.” Catfishing will continue to improve with the hot weather, and they are more likely to feed in the mornings, evenings, or at night. Frozen shad, anchovies, and mackerel are all good choices for the whiskerfish, and there have been catfish over 7 pounds brought to the shop. The crappie bite has slowed a bit with the arrival of truly hot weather. Snowmelt is rushing down from the Sierra, and the lake rose 2 feet to 884.06 in elevation and 26 percent capacity after receding for the past few weeks. 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
Patrick Movey of the Fisherman’s Warehouse said, “Trout fishing continues to be very slow with most fishermen heading to the high country to avoid the 100-plus degree days.” For bass, Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun said, “The reaction bite is picking up with crankbaits, ripbaits, or spinnerbaits on main lake points. There are a few fishermen tossing frogs in the submerged brush in 5 feet of water near the dam.” There are reports of a gap being opened in the trash barrier at Trimmer. Recreational boating is taking over the lake, which has risen to 65 percent capacity and 884.37 feet in elevation. The lower Kings River remains slow for planted trout, with a few fish taken on Power Bait, nightcrawlers or live crickets. 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
Extremely hot weather has kept most fishermen off the main lake. The best action remains by trolling minnow plugs near the dam or drifting jumbo minnows at the mouth of Portuguese Cove. Roger George of Roger George Guide Service said that he took the week off given the heat but other anglers told him that the reaction bite was tough in the falling water. “I’m concerned they are already letting so much water out so early; we are already down to about 600,000 acre-feet. Lots of angry anglers are calling me. Many are asking why so little water was stored in San Luis this season, and now it looks like they are going to take it down to the minimum pool in the middle of the summer, possibly jeopardizing the fish. All this in spite of a great water year!” George said. The lake is at 31 percent capacity. There has been some solid striper action under the Highway 152 with jumbo minnows or blood worms. Check 12 is the top location during the period of triple-digit temperature with live bait such as jumbo blood worms, jumbo minnows, or pile worms. The lure bite is best from a boat with SpeedLures, Duo Realis jerkbaits, flukes or swimbaits. Most of the stripers are undersized with hard work necessary for limits of keepers. Meng Xyong of the Fishaholics out of Fresno said, “The fishing has slowed down significantly from the hot bite these past few weeks. In the morning you can see small disturbances on the water surface that give away striper locations. The lake was calm all morning until midafternoon when the wind finally started blowing. Once you locate the school, casting in the same location is key before the stripers move on. We caught all our fish on SpeedLures or weightless flukes. Overall, the bite wasn’t hot but you’ll still hookup and getting your limit is possible.”
Call: Coyote Bait andTackle (408) 463-0711, Roger George of rogergeorgeguideservice.com (559) 905-2954
Bass 2; Trout 2; Kokanee 1
The Sheriff’s Motor Fee is in effect from Memorial Day to Labor Day; recreational boating has enveloped the lake. Most bass fishermen are avoiding the lake given the motor fee, but a few are walking the banks with plastics on the drop-shot, crankbaits or ripbaits. Steve Newman said, “The water is cooler, and the bass are holding on submerged rockpiles in 20-30 feet of water or along the docks with jigs, plastics on the drop-shot, Senkos or small swimbaits.” Trout action remains slow, and movement of Todd Wittwer of Kokanee.net Guide Service to Shaver Lake for the summer is an endorsement of the poor action. The lake is close to spilling at 97 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
Despite the opening of Kaiser Pass Road, there have been few reports from these high-country lakes. The warmer temperatures have accelerated the snowpack’s melting, and the lakes continue to rise steadily. Edison is at 41 percent and Florence at 98 percent; lower-elevation Mammoth Pool is ready to start spilling at 100 percent.
Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000
Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake
Kokanee 2; Trout 2
Shaver Lake has been hit or miss, with heavy boat pressure during Saturday’s Elks Trout Derby contributing to slower action. Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters said, “The past week remained more miss than hit, and I have fished six of the past seven days for an average of six fish per trip. The kokanee are making up the bulk of our fish, and for the first time in years, we have relied solely on kokanee with one trout or no trout. The trout continue to be stuffed with insects as the water continues to rise, but at a much slower pace. We have been fishing around the island, the point and the Boy Scout Camp at depths from 20-35 feet with the surface temperature at 67 degrees with orange Apex lures tipped with corn behind a Captain Jack’s CJ Dodger with our side poles dropping to 20-23 feet in depth as the fish are scattered. We need a trout plant in the near future, but there are still many of the 150,000 estimated rainbows from last year’s plants from the Department of Fish and Wildlife.” Todd Wittwer of Kokanee.net Guide Service has moved his operation to Shaver Lake for the summer because of poor conditions at Bass Lake. He said, “We found slower action on Saturday during the derby with a total of seven mixed fish, but it was better on Sunday with 10 to the boat. The best action has been between 24 and 32 feet with Rocky Mountain Tackle’s double pink hoochies behind a RMT 5.5-inch or smaller red ice or pink UV dodger. The Funky Frog pattern dodger with a watermelon RMT Assassin Spinner is also working, and everything is basically working with kokanee also caught on blue or pink Radical Glow Tubes or the RMT Hot Head spoon behind a CJ Dodger at 3-4 colors of leadcore. Rainbows are coming on Tasmanian Devils or Gulp! Minnows.” Shaver has reached 80 percent capacity. Steve Santoro of Fish Box Charters out of Madera had a similar report with overall slower action. The best scores were coming from Boy Scout Cove, with five rainbows and a kokanee for Sal and Sarah Rojas of Madera fishing with their daughter Amanda from Dinuba. Orange Apex lures or red Assassin spinners tipped with corn at depths from 20-25 feet are the top set ups along with blade/’crawler combinations at four colors of leadcore. At Huntington, bank fishing has been good for a mix of rainbows and the occasional brown trout with nightcrawlers or trout dough bait from the Auxiliary Dam or in Rancheria Cove. The lake is at 98 percent capacity, and the launch ramp is open.
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
Wishon and Courtright continue to pump out limits of rainbow trout along with the occasional brown trout to 15 inches. Chuck Crane of the Wishon Village RV Park and Store said, “Both lakes are full, but they are fluctuating due to power generation for the central valley cities.” At Wishon, Crane reported limits of mostly planters are the rule, but you have to work hard for them with trollers finding the best action with blade/’crawler combinations or with spoons such as Thomas Buoyants or Needlefish in brass/red. Dan Joseph of Coarsegold put in a limit including a 15-inch brown within an hour trolling a red/gold Needlefish at three colors of leadcore. Shore fishing at Wishon is only fair with the best action found with trout dough bait in pink or orange along with nightcrawlers under a bubble. At Courtright, Crane reported limits are taken by trollers pulling blade/’crawler combinations at 3-4 colors of leadcore or broken-backed Rapalas on a long set back just below the surface. Shore fishing is fair with trout dough bait in pink, orange, or multi-colors. Crane said, “The brown trout fishing is best in the early mornings or late afternoons in low light conditions. The road to Courtright is clear and the courtesy docks are now in at Courtright.” High Sierra streams are still flowing heavily, and Crane thought it would be a few weeks before fly fishermen will be able to find good water.
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
Salmon 3; Rockfish 3; Striper 2
Captain Dennis Baxter of the New Captain Pete said, “The salmon hit on Saturday at the entrance buoys right outside of the Pillar Point harbor, and salmon in the high teens were landed. Our limits were ruby red and loaded with anchovies.” The private fleet ran up from the harbor to Pedro Point for limits to near limits of salmon to 20 pounds with the fish taken on bait in the 50-foot range. The party boats were also at Pedro Point, and some boats ran south from the Bay Area harbors for up to a fish per rod.Second Captain Michael Cabanas of the Huli Cat went rockfishing Saturday, and Himender Chand from San Mateo landed a 13-pound ling and a 5-pound copper on shrimp flies.
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; Salmon 2; Striper 1
Chris Arcoleo of Chris’s Landing in Monterey reported the Caroline stayed local Sunday for 20 limits of ling cod along with half limits of rockfish while the Check Mate went south to Little Sur for 28 limits of rockfish and 20 lings. They are jigging up live squid before heading out to the reefs. Salmon fishing remains slow with the commercial boats scratching up a fish or two, but there are reports of salmon south along the coast at Morro Bay. The local salmon season ends June 15.
Call: Chris’ Landing(831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173; usafishing.com
San Francisco Bay
Halibut 2; Striper 3; Rockfish 3; Leopard shark 3; Sturgeon 1; Crab 3; Salmon 3
The Bay Area Fleet went south to Pedro Point over the weekend with two Sausalito boats returning with 26 salmon to 21 pounds Sunday for 20 anglers after scoring 27 salmon to 21 pounds Saturday. Most of the local party boats went down the San Mateo coast. The Salty Lady out of Sausalito went up the Marin coastline on Friday for six salmon to 22 pounds for 11 anglers with charter master Steve Bicknell of San Anselmo landing the big fish off Duxbury Buoy. Captain Jim Smith of the Happy Hooker went outside the Gate on Sunday in response to the accumulation of big tides, and he said, “We don’t have a drift out here since it is flat calm, but we have been able to scratch up some big black rockfish early in the morning.” The Sea Wolf out of Emeryville Sport Fishing put together a solid day on Sunday with 24 limits of rockfish including some tree rockfish, 63 ling cod to 16 pounds and 150 sand dabs at the Farallon Islands. Inside the bay, big tides and boat traffic put a damper on the bay action Sunday with Captain Jim Smith opting to head outside of the Gate after putting in 32 bass and a pair of halibut for 24 anglers Saturday. Earlier in the week when the tides were smaller, James Smith on the California Dawn out of Berkeley put in limits of striped bass from the central bay rockpiles in addition to a healthy halibut count. Chris Smith of the Captain Hook has been working the sharks due to the big tides, and he found great action Saturday before running the California Dawn during Sunday’s accumulation of big tides. Second captain Jonathan Smith of Flash Sport Fishing is running straight through for the next 10 days with Captain Steve Talmadge on vacation. They went outside the Gate on Sunday on a half-day for solid rockfish action.
San Luis Obispo
Virg’s Landing took a two-day trip up the coast on the Princess over the weekend, and the boat came back with full two limits of both rockfish and ling cod to 20 pounds with a bonus 40-pound halibut landed by Mark Whitt. On Monday, the Rita G and Fiesta combined with 28 anglers for 12 lings to 14 pounds, 56 vermilion rockfish, 36 assorted rockfish, 15 coppers, a cabezon and 22 bolina. The jackpot ling was landed by Garret Arnal of Bakersfield. 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 $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, the Avenger brought home 20 limits of rockfish on Monday with 60 vermilion, 120 bolina, 20 assorted rockfish and 26 ling cod. They are running a variety of different rockfish trips throughout the week.
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 1; Catfish 3; Bluegill 3
The Sacramento River-Delta is in full slowdown mode, and the triple-digit temperatures at the start of June have only served to keep more and more anglers off this side. Shad action is thinning out in the main Sacramento River as most shadders are working above the Freeport Bridge. Schoolie stripers can be found on live bait in the northwest corner of the Delta, and smallmouth bass are thick along the rocky areas of the northwest Delta. Sturgeon are basically on hold until the fall despite remaining present in the river system. James Netzel of Tight Lines Guide Service took one of his final Delta trips for the season Saturday with five keeper stripers from 22-24 inches drifting live extra-large and jumbo minnows north of the Rio Vista Bridge at Clyde’s Shoals or into Cache Slough. Also confirming the presence of spawning stripers was Mark Wilson, striper trolling expert, who was in search of big fish along the West Bank during the week. He said, “There were big stripers at 38, 20 and the high teens at the start of the week at the West Bank, but I didn’t find any of these with keepers in the 5- and 6-pound range along with lots of shakers. The males are still full of milt. I have also been fishing for smallmouth bass in Steamboat, Sutter, Miner and along the Old Sacramento River from Courtland to Walnut Grove and experiencing a wide open bite with 4.5-inch Robo Worms next to the shoreline or trolling Speed Traps next to the rocks in 8-9 feet of water. We landed 140 smallmouth with 14 keepers from 12.5 to 18 inches on Friday, and any location with rocky structure is producing fish. The smallmouth average in the 9- to 10-inch range, and they are as small as 6 inches.” In the San Joaquin-Delta, change happens quickly, and the summer pattern is in full swing with the arrival of triple-digit weather. Largemouth bass are taking center stage with large tournaments out of both the San Joaquin and Contra Costa County marinas in the coming weeks. The Bass N’ Fly was at Ladd’s Marina in Stockton and the Wild West Tournament Trail out of Big Break Marina in Oakley over the past weekend. The Yamamoto Big Bass Challenge will be out of Russo’s Marina this coming weekend. Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, reported a phenomenal largemouth bass bite on the ima Little Stick in American shad, chrome, or bone as a “little flash” is necessary in the clear water. He said, “There is so much bait in the water, and the key is to throw the lure into moving water along the outside edge of the weed line. The best action is on the mid to the top of the tide. When the wind is blowing, the 1/2th-oz Persuader Double Buzz Bait with the two prop baits or the Imaged Spinner Bait in chartreuse/white are my top choices along with the ima Squarebill crankbait in bluegill or crawdad patterns.” Dan Mathisen of Dan’s Delta Outdoors in Oakley said, “The Delta has been quiet during the off-limits period (ahead of the) Wild West tournament, but there is a good bite with the Wada jig with a Flapping Hog trailer or the three-quarters Fat Sack Tackle’s jig in green pumpkin/red with a similar trailer. Crawdad patterns are working as well as chatterbaits and spinnerbaits. The frog bite is starting, but few fishermen are tossing frogs as they are getting ready for the upcoming Yamamoto Big Bass Challenge out of Russo’s Marina on June 11-12. Richard Dobyns was the Day 1 leader out of 88 teams at the Wild West, and he had a 9.84-pound largemouth on a squarebill crankbait. There were four fish over 8 pounds arriving to the weigh table on Saturday.” Steve Santucci of Steve Santucci’s Fly Fishing Guide Service said, “Largemouth bass fishing is the fish of choice with water temperatures approaching 72-73 degrees.” Good topwater action can be had with deer hair divers or your favorite foam fly. Vince Borges of Salida, owner of Phenix Rods, was out on the Delta twice this week for a 32.50-pound limit throwing frogs or the River2 Sea Whopper Plopper before taking eighth at the Bass N’Fly with his partner Alex Sanchez at 20.60 pounds. There were a total of 309 largemouth bass weighed in during the Bass N’ Fly for a total of 562.52 pounds with the big fish at 5.79 by David Merin.
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 are the top draw with an early bite with topwater lures in the shallows before dropping out into deeper water along rocky ledges with deep-diving crank baits, spinnerbaits, or small swimbaits in shad patterns. The white bass are starting to boil in the early mornings in Snake Creek and Las Tablas. The summer recreational boating season has started, and since Nacimiento has launch ramps in the water, jet skis and water skiers will be taking over the lake for the next few months. Lopez Lake is kicking out a few largemouth bass with jigs or Brush Hogs along with small swimbaits, and there is a spinnerbait bite once the wind picks up. At Santa Margarita, the best action remains on the bottom with jigs, plastics on the drop-shot, or Senkos, but there is a small window for topwater lures in the mornings.. 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
- Bass N’ Fly on June 3-4 at Delta/Ladd’s Marina: 1, Brian and Neal Pultz 29.44 pounds; 2, Marty and Joe Adrian 25.29; 3, John Sherman/Ric Rudgers 23.92
- Best Bass Tournaments/Coastal Trail on June 4 at Nacimiento: 1, Chase Austin/Jeramie Dyer 11.57; 2, Jerry Waldrip/Richard Neal 9.80; 3, John Zillig Jr./Eric Zillig– 9.35
- Saturday: 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
- Saturday-Sunday: 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
- Sunday: 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; Courtright Reservoir; Dinkey Creek; Kings River, Below Pine Flat Dam; Mono Creek; Portal Forebay; Rancheria Creek; San Joaquin River, South Fork; Tamarack Creek; Ward Lake
- Kern County: Cuddy Creek Pond; Kern River, sections 1-5
- Madera County: Lewis Creek
- Mariposa County: Big Creek, Madera; Merced River, Section ll
- Tulare County: Balch Park Lake Lower; Balch Park Lake Upper; Bone Creek; Deer Creek; Dry Meadow Creek; Freeman Creek; Hedrick Pond (Redwood Lake); Kern River, sections 5-6; Nobe Young Creek; Peppermint Creek, Low; White River
- Tuolumne County: Beaver Creek; Lyons Canal (Columbia Ditch); Moccasin Creek; Pinecrest Lake; Powerhouse Stream; 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