LAKE DON PEDRO Guide Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing braved the 106 degree temperatures with two clients at the end of last week and they boated mixed limits of rainbows, king salmon and kokanee on heavy spoons fast-trolled at 40 to 70 feet. Smith wasn't able to get the third rod out before hooking up on the first. Guide Danny Layne said there is "a hot bite at the lake for those willing to put up with the heat." He targeted king salmon and kokanee to 14 inches in Woods Creek and found fish at 100 feet on rolled shad or anchovies cured in Pautske's Fire Brine. Harry Van Arsdale landed the big king salmon at 4 pounds. Mike Gomez of the Bait Barn in Waterford touted an early morning top-water bite with the River2Sea Rover before dropping to the bottom at 25 feet by 8 a.m. with the Berkserk Jr. Special Jig with a green pumpkin trailer, or drop shotting with Reaction Innovation's Bad Shad Green, Robo Worm's Hologram Shad, or the Pro Worm 124 Purple Magic. Call: Monte Smith (209) 581-4734; Danny Layne (209) 586-2383; Gary Vella (209) 652-7550; The Bait Barn (209) 874-3011.
McCLURE RESERVOIR Bass action is good despite the heat, and Mike Gomez of the Bait Barn reports a good top-water bite in the early morning for spotted bass to 4½ pounds. After 8, Gomez advises throwing jigs (the Berserk Jr. Special with a green pumpkin trailer) to 20 feet for bass in the 2- to 2½-pound range. Drop shotting with Hologram Shad or the Berserk Insane Shaker in cinnamon/purple on a shaky head is also an effective technique. The bass move into the shade in the mudline along the shore in the afternoons, and the Berserk Rig (an umbrella rig) loaded with KTech swimbaits dragged through the mudline has been effective. Gomez said he landed 25 bass Sunday. Diana Mello of A-I Bait in Snelling reported a good bite for catfish up to 5-pounds on anchovies or chicken livers in the Cottonwood Arm. Live crawdads are a good option for shoreline bass with the possibility of picking up a big cat. Kokanee and king salmon trollers are working adjacent lakes, but a few kokes can be found in deep water near the dam with small hootchies tipped with shoepeg corn. Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505, Bub Tosh (209) 404-0053.
McSWAIN RESERVOIR With regular plants, trout fishing has been very good. Diana Mello reports trollers are scoring limits with blade/crawler combinations or rainbow Power Bait behind a baby Cowbell flasher. Ford Fender flashers fished with a night crawler are also effective up the river arm towards Exchequer Dam. Shore fishing is good at the handicapped docks, brush pile or the point at the marina with night crawlers or various colors of garlic Power Bait. A Calaveras Trout Farm plant is scheduled by the end of the current week. Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534.
NEW MELONES RESERVOIR / TULLOCH LAKE Kokanee fishing is excellent. Guide Gary Burns says, "you really can't go wrong fishing at New Melones ... The kokanee are spread out all over the lake." The kokanee are at 60 to 90 feet, and Burns is scoring with Uncle Larry's spinners in orange or copper, Anglers Market Bites in pink, or minihootchies behind a blue Shasta Tackle Sling Blade or Glitter Bug Tear Drop Blades. He has been getting off the lake by 10 a.m. due to the heat, with limits the rule. He says there's a better rainbow bite, too, for fish to 21 inches at 50 to 70 feet using blade/crawler combinations at speeds from 1.3 to 2.7 mph with ExCels or Needlefish in any blue pattern. Melanie Lewis of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp recommended tying a ball troll flasher like Vance's Cannonball trolls to a downrigger weights to attract the fish to your bait. She added that night fishing under submersible lights is a good option, and anglers are bringing in quality rainbows in the 2- to 3-pound range from the main lake or spillway. Lewis reported fair bass action with the fish a little harder to find on hotter days. Most fish are 12 to 15 inches with a few 3-pound fish caught. The water is heavily stained, said Lewis, so she advises tossing a chartreuse spinnerbait, a Carolina-rigged 6-inch worm with a chartreuse tail. Lewis reminds fishermen to release any female largemouth bass. Catfishing is "wide open" on frozen shad, mackerel, chicken livers or anchovies. Call: Glory Hole Sports (209) 736-4333; Monte Smith (209) 581-4734; Danny Layne (209) 586-2383; Sierra Sport Fishing (209) 599-2023.
SAN LUIS RESERVOIR / O'NEILL FOREBAY The heat has taken the steam out of daytime fishermen from the banks, and most anglers are off the lake by mid-morning or go fishing at night. A few are heading to the main lake near the Romero Visitor Center with anchovies or pile worms for barely-legal stripers. Fishermen have to walk a long way to the banks with the low lake levels. There's better action in the Forebay near moving water at Check 12 when the pumps are running. Call: Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711.
HALF MOON BAY Capt. Dennis Baxter of the New Captain Pete went out with his son and Capt. Bob Mazzetti of the "Connie O" for salmon Sunday, and put in 3 limits to 16 pounds. Baxter said, "There is a bunch of new fishing moving in, as we landed a few in the 22/23-inch range." Baxter said rockfishing has been outstanding with every reef holding fish. Call: Happy Hooker (510) 223-5388; Huck Finn Sport Fishing Center (650) 726-7133; Emeryville Sport Fishing (510) 654-6040.
MONTEREY/SANTA CRUZ Chris Arcoleo of Chris's Landing said everyone is excited by the albacore action. he said 100 boats have launch from harbors in Moss Landing, Monterey and Santa Cruz. He said one angler brought back "40 fish for three guys" by 11 Sunday morning. The fish are near the Dogbone. The skipper of the Checkmate saw tuna jumping three miles outside of the Point on a whale watching trip Sunday. Chris's is booking midweek albacore trips for up to 12, and they're filling. Call: Chris' Landing (831) 375-5951, Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173.
SAN FRANCISCO BAY Party boats are hooking 1 to 1½ salmon per rod, but the best news was the arrival of California halibut outside the Gate. James Smith of the California Dawn put up a monster score Thursday with 33 halibut to 31 pounds and two king salmon for 15 anglers. Capt. Chris Smith ran the Happy Hooker over the weekend, and put in 6 halibut at the South Bar on Saturday ranging from 12 to 30 pounds. Capt. Jerrad Davis on the Salty Lady called San Pablo Bay "shark central."
Reservoirs and lakes that will be planted with trout during the week of Aug. 19:
Fresno Kings River below the Pine Flat Reservoir; Wishon Reservoir; San Joaquin River below Friant Dam.
Madera Chiquito Creek; Rock Creek.