LAKE DON PEDRO Largemouth bass have been biting. Manny Basi of the Bait Barn in Waterford reports a good top-water bite in early mornings or evenings on Heddon's Super Spooks in "Okie Shad" or the PayCheck Repo Man "Winning." Drop shotting with Reaction Innovations Flirt in Bad Shad Green or Pro Worms Purple Shad are working on the bottom to 30 feet and brown jigs such as the Berserk Jr. Special or TNT jigs with a green pumpkin or purple trailer are also effective. For rainbow trout and kokanee, heavy spoons fast-trolled from 40 to 70 feet are working. The kokanee have dropped to 100 feet. One local angler caught a 9-pound king this week and posted a photo at Escalon Bait and Tackle. Call: Monte Smith (209) 581-4734; Danny Layne (209) 586-2383; Gary Vella (209) 652-7550; Bait Barn (209) 874-3011.
McCLURE RESERVOIR What works at nearby Don Pedro for bass will also work at McClure. Diana Mello of A-I Bait in Snelling said there is excellent catfishing along muddy banks at 15 to 25 feet on anchovies, chicken livers or live crawdads. Crappie fishermen have been buying dozens of small minnows, but reports of success have been scarce. Trout and the occasional kokanee are taken in the deepest portions of the lake near the dam with spinners tipped with a piece of night crawler behind a dodger. Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505; Bub Tosh (209) 404-0053.
McSWAIN RESERVOIR Trout fishing is consistent with some anglers scoring limits. There are more trollers and they're finding the best action up the river arm toward the dam in deep water on blade/crawler combinations. Wedding Rings tipped with a piece of crawler behind a dodger, or blue/silver Kastmaster also works. Shore fishing is good at the handicapped docks, brush pile or at the marina with night crawlers or garlic Power Bait. A DFG trout plant is scheduled by the end of the week. Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534.
NEW MELONES RESERVOIR / TULLOCH LAKE The kokanee are getting ready to school up; they're holding at 60 to 90 feet as they prep for their spawning run upriver. Most fishermen are picking up mixed limits of kokanee and trout in the main lake with ExCels or Vance's Slim Fins. Guide Gary Burns said he's been spending "quite a bit of time on Mew Melones" because the bite has been good. He said the kokanee are "hitting on anything you put on the hook." He said the kokes are at 90 feet with the rainbows at 60 to 70 feet. "The way the rainbows are showing up early, I think it's going to be a good fall and winter bite," said Burns. Melanie Lewis of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp said night fishing under submersible lights is very good with anglers bringing in quality rainbows in the 2- to 3-pound range from spillway. Fish at 50 to 100 feet using Power Bait, Gulp! Eggs, or night crawlers. She said bank fishermen should head to the high country. Catfishing is "wide open," said Lewis; they're hitting frozen shad, mackerel, chicken livers or anchovies. "The Melones cats are fish eaters, so the shad, mackerel and anchovies are good choices," she said. 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 Low water levels are concentrating the stripers in the deeper portions of the lake. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said one troller worked the trash racks at around 40 feet with RatLTraps for limits of linesides from 9 and 6 pounds. In the Forebay, Jason Tosolovich of Coyote Bait in Morgan Hill said pluggers are targeting grassy areas with the Flukes on a Scrounger head and working the lures over the top of the grass for stripers. Anchovies, sardines, or mackerel are producing a few catfish in the moving water at Check 12.
DELTA Mike Pipkins at Gotcha Bait in Antioch reported the best striper action of "the last 15 to 20 years" with quality stripers in the 20- to 22-pound range being caught. Most are from 4 to 8 pounds and are being caught off the Antioch Fishing Pier on fresh shad, mudsuckers or sardines. On the San Joaquin, guide Gary Vella put clients onto limits of linesides trolling deep-diving lures near Bruno's Harbor. For largemouth bass, guide Randy Pringle is emphasizing the importance of casting accuracy. He said the first cast is the most important. He touted the Persuader E-chip spinnerbait in chartreuse/white with gold/silver blades or the Persuader Imaged Blade tossed tight to the banks between the tules. Call: Randy Pringle (209) 543-6260; Vella's Fishing Adventures (209) 521-0164; Mark Wilson Sport Fishing (916) 682-1630.
HALF MOON BAY Rockfish are the best local bet but you might catch a salmon or two if you go north of the Golden Gate. Capt. Dennis Baxter of the New Captain Pete went north to Stinson Beach for 5 salmon for 18 anglers on Sunday. He said conditions are excellent along the San Mateo coast near Mussel Rock and Pedro Point with plenty of bait, but there are no salmon there. Capt. Guy Anthony on the New Gravy, also out of Bait and Switch Sport Fishing, switched to rockfishing at Colorado Reef near Montara for three-quarter limits of rockfish and a few ling cod for 13 passengers. Saturday, he put 18 anglers onto limits of black, yellow, china, gophers and blues on the local reefs. Baxter said halibut fishing on the beaches with fresh or frozen squid is also very good. Tom Mattusch on the Huli Cat got some albacore running around 43 miles from Monterey. Call: Happy Hooker (510) 223-5388; Roger Thomas, Salty Lady (415) 760-9362, Bait and Switch Sport Fishing Center (650) 726-7133 726-7133; Emeryville Sport Fishing (510) 654-6040.
MONTEREY/SANTA CRUZ Todd Arcoleo of Chris's Landing reported 38 limits of rockfish and 8 quality ling on the Star of Monterey on Sunday while the Caroline had to settle for three-quarter limits of rockfish. Saturday, they were only able to roust up a single salmon, so the salmon bite appears to be just about over. Chris's is planning albacore trips for $200 per angler Thursday and Friday, weather permitting. The Checkmate had banner albacore action on two trips last week with 45 tuna for 10 anglers followed by 69 for 12 anglers the next day. Bayside Marine in Santa Cruz also reported good albacore fishing for boats that braved Sunday's winds. An occasional quality salmon has been hooked at 60-100 feet near Aptos.
SAN FRANCISCO BAY Salmon fishing turned from pretty good to pretty bad over the weekend. But a new school has moved off the Marin coast, and the scores rebounded to full limits Monday. Rockfishing has been outstanding, and Capt. Chris Smith on put 21 anglers onto limits of rockfish and 28 ling cod while taking the Happy Hooker up the Marin coast Sunday. The Emeryville Sport Fishing boats went to either the Farallons or to the Marin coast for bottomfish, and four boats put in 639 rockfish and nearly a ling cod per rod for 75 anglers Sunday after 992 rockfish Saturday for 102 fishermen. Capt. Mike Andrews on the Predator went shark fishing in the south bay for 14 leopard and seven-gill sharks to 44 pounds Saturday.
The Bee encourages fishermen to send in photos of their catches. E-mail: email@example.com or send to Big Fish, 1325 H Street, Modesto, Ca., 95352.
Reservoirs and lakes that will be planted with trout during the week of Aug. 26:
Tuolumne Clarks, North, Middle, South forks of Stanislaus River; Lyons Canal, Lyons Reservoir; Moccasin Creek; Pinecrest Lake; Powerhouse Stream;
Calaveras White Pines Lake; North Fork of Stanislaus River.
Fresno Kings River below the Pine Flat Reservoir; San Joaquin River below Friant Dam