LAKE DON PEDRO Manny Basi of the Bait Barn in Waterford said bass anglers are scoring by drop-shotting Reaction Innovations Flirts in Bad Shad Green or Pro Worms Purple Shad pattern 124 at 30 feet once the sun hits the water. He said there is a top-water bite in the mornings and evenings on Heddon's Super Spooks in "Okie Shad." For trout, guide Monte Smith braved the holiday boat traffic to get limits by 10:30 a.m. by trolling heavy spoons. The shad schools are forming, and the trout will be holding next to them. Smith said the rainbow action will be very good over the next few months. Call: Monte Smith (209) 581-4734; Danny Layne (209) 586-2383; Gary Vella (209) 652-7550; The Bait Barn (209) 874-3011.
McCLURE RESERVOIR Diana Mello at A-1 Bait in Snelling said most anglers waited until all the jet skiers had left the lake Monday. Manny Basi of the Bait Barn in Waterford said top-water action in the early mornings is strong on with Heddon's Super Spooks or the PayCheck Repo Man. Once the sun is up, the fish drop to 30 feet, and the Reaction Innovations Flirt in Bad Shad Green or Pro Worms Purple Shad pattern 124 are the top plastics. Catfishing is outstanding at 15 to 25 feet along muddy, sloping banks with anchovies, chicken livers or live crawdads. Mello said trout fishing is slow, but the decreased number of boats and cooling temperatures should turn it around. Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505, Bub Tosh (209) 404-0053.
McSWAIN RESERVOIR Stephanie Powell of the marina reported trollers got good action near the dam with silver/blue or silver/orange Kastmaster or night crawlers behind cowbell flashers. Diana Mello of A-1 Bait in Snelling said bank action was good near the brush pile on night crawlers. Garlic marshmallows have also been working near the handicapped docks. Calaveras Trout Farm planted the lake on Aug. 29 and a Department of Fish and Game plant is expected by mid-week. Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534.
NEW MELONES RESERVOIR / TULLOCH RESERVOIR Guide Danny Layne said there are "some trophy rainbows" to be found as the trout stuff themselves on threadfin shad. He put two clients from Texas onto 25 rainbows and kokanee, keeping just enough for a meal. They landed rainbows to 3¾ and 3½ pounds and released several in the 2-pound range along with several 14-inch kokanee. The best action is in open water from Glory Hole Point to just past the opening of the dam on ExCel spoons in blue/silver with a gold tail (pattern 101) or silver tail (pattern 102) at 58 to 74 feet. Layne scented the spoons with Pautske's Krill. Melanie Lewis at Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp said there's still good kokanee fishing and the fish are aggressive during the prespawn period. She said they've lost their scales and are getting a hooked jaw. The kokanee are schooling at 60 to 90 feet; Two Sling Blades in tandem in front of a hootchie or Apex to increase the size of the presentation is a good choice. Larger kokanee are found on ExCel spoons or Vance's Slim Fins trolled at 2 to 2½ mph. Lewis said "Garlic, Carp Spit and Kokanee Special" scents have been producing. Bass fishing has been fair with fish harder to find on hotter days. She suggested trying vertical banks with a -ounce darthead or a ¼-ounce jig with most fish striking on the initial fall, so lighter weighted baits will stay in the strike zone longer. Baitfish schools of shad are balling up, and they will head for the shallows in the fall. Shad patterned spinnerbaist or jerk baits will help locate fish. Catfishing is excellent with Dick Stockton of Valley Springs landing a 12¼-pound whiskerfish while trolling a purple hootchie for kokanee. Frozen shad, mackerel, chicken livers or anchovies are the top baits. Lewis said "larger catfish have become shy," so she suggests using a fluorocarbon leader. 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 Lake levels are low at 29 percent and the stripers concentrated into a smaller pool of water, but the action is slow. Patrick Movey of the Fishermen's Warehouse in Fresno said night anglers have been scoring legal stripers on white or pearl ice flukes from the shorelines. October is generally the best time for targeting striped bass. A few boaters continue to drift jumbo minnows or anchovy fillets near the bottom by the trash racks with bank anglers soaking cut baits near Dinosaur Point. In the Forebay, cut baits from the shoreline area near Check 12 or under the bridge at night have produced a few catfish and legal striped bass to 24-inches. Call: Ly's Fishing Goods (408) 629-9644, Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711.
DELTA The salmon are shooting through the Delta, and the action should continue to improve over the next few weeks. Tony Lopez at Benicia Bait said eight salmon were taken at the State Park on Saturday and another seven were caught Sunday. There were two fish to 19 pounds taken on 1st Street on Saturday on white/silver and green/yellow Vee-Zee spinners. Capt. Stan Koenigsberger of Quetzal Adventures went through 57 stripers for 5 legal fish to 22-inches soaking frozen shad fishing on the outgoing tide on the San Joaquin River at the mouth of Three Mile Slough. He moved over to the mouth of Dutch Slough when the tide turned. For largemouth bass, guide Randy Pringle came off of two days of great dove hunting in the valley near Madera, and he reported catching and releasing an 8-pound largemouth bass and another at 5 pounds. Most of fish are solid 2- to 3-pounders. Pringle said bait fish in the Delta are small, so you have to "match the hatch." He has tried frogs and top-water lures with no luck, so the Skimmer and the ima Flit "got the nod." Call: Randy Pringle (209) 543-6260; Stan Koenigsberger (925) 570-5303; Mark Wilson (916) 682-1630; Intimidator Sport Fishing (916) 806-3030; Jolly Jay (209) 478-6645; Mark Delnero (209) 367-4665.
HALF MOON BAY Private and party boats are waiting for the intermittent weather breaks to run for albacore. They got one Saturday, and the "Mooch Better" ran south toward the Monterey Weather Buoy for 46 longfins before calling it a day. Capt. Dennis Baxter of the New Captain Pete said every boat "in the know" was blowing ice into their fish boxes for the run, and they returned with "all of the albacore they could possibly want." He said it is "critically important" to spike the fish, bleed them thoroughly and immediately put them on ice to keep the meat from degenerating. When the boats aren't waiting for weather breaks, rockfishing is still outstanding, The Tigerfish put in ¾ limits and a ling cod working the close area of the Buoys outside of the harbor. Baxter's son worked a few honey holes drifting dead squid on the bottom for a pair of halibut after loading up with limits of rockfish Sunday. A school of salmon has shown up along the San Mateo coast with party boats form the Golden Gate fleet running south for the first time in weeks. Call: Happy Hooker (510) 223-5388; Huck Finn Sport Fishing Center (650) 726-7133; Emeryville Sport Fishing (510) 654-6040; Don Franklin, Soleman (510) 703-4148.
MONTEREY/SANTA CRUZ Chris Arcoleo of Chris's Landing in Monterey reported outstanding rockfishing with "big-time ling cod counts" with several fish over 20 pounds. Albacore action was fantastic Sunday, and one party boat got 50 longfins. The bite was slower Labor Day. Chris's is back out for albacore Tuesday with a full boat, but there is some room Thursday. Call: Chris' Landing (831) 375-5951, Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173.
SAN FRANCISCO BAY The salmon bite rebounded to over a fish per rod on Labor Day with Capt. Roger Thomas on the "Salty Lady" out of Sausalito putting in 17 salmon to 25-pounds for 12 anglers. Out of Emeryville, the Sundance trolled for 8 salmon to 15 pounds for six anglers along the Marin coast while the New Salmon Queen mooched up 21 salmon to 26 pounds for 14 anglers along the San Mateo coast. Rockfishing is still outstanding with Capt. Chris Smith of the Happy Hooker loading up with over a ling cod a rod with 28 to 22 pounds.