Lake Don Pedro
Kokanee action had an encouraging performance during last weekend’s Kokanee Power Phil Johnson Memorial Team Kokanee Derby, and the action has continued throughout the current week. Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing took out a group of six anglers, and they returned with five limits of kokanee, including a king salmon and a rainbow trout. He said, “We easily could have put in the final limit since there were several fish lost throughout the day.” The kokanee are found at depths from 40 to 65 feet, and Smith discovered the best bite from 40 to 55 feet with Rocky Mountain Tackle’s Micro Hoochies in pink and orange in the morning before switching to blues and greens by mid-day. He added, “The smallest RMT squid loaded with shoepeg corn scented with Pro-Cure’s garlic, shrimp, prawn or herring is working behind a small RMT teardrop dodger or a Vance’s dodger. We had a few lulls in the action, but once the fish decided to bite, we couldn’t keep the poles in the water.” They focused on kokanee, but a 2-pound king salmon was landed on kokanee gear. Danny Layne of Fish’n Dan’s Guide Service has been finding kokanee to 13 inches at depths from 50 to 70 feet with spinners, hoochies or Apex lures tipped with shoepeg corn. He said, “We spent quite a bit of time in Fleming Bay, but most of our success was off of Jenkins Hill and Big Oak Island, as the fish are really scattered.” He found the kokanee again Saturday in Hatch Creek and toward the Flume, and kokanee and rainbows from 15 to 17 inches were found at the 60-foot level. King salmon from 17 to 21 inches are holding from 90 to 100 feet in depth, and the rainbows and salmon preferred a frog pattern Speedy Shiner or black/silver broken back Rebel. The water temperature is reaching 77 degrees. Bass fishing remained fair with many weekend anglers targeting spotted bass from the banks with nightcrawlers or large minnows. Tournament anglers are working the bottom with Yamamoto twin-tailed Hula Grubs in cinnamon/purple (221) or watermelon red (208) scented with garlic in deep water to 50 feet. The launch ramp is limited to one boat at a time, but during the tournament, experienced boaters were able to put in two boats at a time with assistance from park personnel. The lake dropped 1.5 feet to 701.95 feet in elevation and 40 percent of capacity. Call: Monte Smith, (209) 581-4734; Danny Layne-Fish’n Dan, (209) 586-2383; Gary Vella, (209) 652-7550; Bait Barn, (209) 874-3011.
Bank fishing continued to be outstanding for bass, but few fishermen are willing to make the long walk down to the water’s edge. The North Barrett Cove Launch Ramp is still operational with the lake rising two feet to 636.61 feet in elevation and 13 percent of capacity. Information on the launch ramp is available at (855) 222-5253.
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Few reports from the marina, as the private trout plants have ceased with the closure of the Calaveras Trout Farm due to low water conditions on the Merced River. Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534.
New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch
New Melones continued to drop precipitously, and the Parrott’s Ferry Bridge up the river arm should be exposed within a few weeks. Buoys have been placed on the bridge to mark the boating hazard. The Old Highway 49 Bridge is still 100 feet below the current water level. The state’s third-largest reservoir still has plenty of water, and launching off the dirt road at Glory Hole Point is not a problem with a four-wheel-drive vehicle. Catfishing has been outstanding with the largest whiskerfish in the lake heading for the shallows to feed on bait fish. Frozen shad has been the top bait. John Liechty of Xperience Guide Service said, “ Bass fishing has been very consistent, and we have been catching and releasing many nice spotted and largemouth bass. The fish are in the post-spawn phase, and they can be found in both shallow and deep water. Throughout the day, there will be opportunities to catch fish on reaction baits, and it is best to cover water and fish different structure types, depths and areas with a variety of fishing methods.” Topwater lures have been working for a few fish in the mornings before switching to the bottom with soft plastics or jigs. Kokanee action is also good, and the fish keep getting bigger each week. The schools of kokanee are found at depths from 40 to 60 feet, and they are accessible with Glitterbugs Micro-hoochies, Uncle Larry’s spinners or Simon Baby Wobblers in pink, orange, purple or blue. Leitchy said, “A large dodger is a good choice while fishing in deep water, as the increased profile will create a disturbance that will attract fish from a distance. Adding dyed shoepeg corn scented with Pro-Cure’s Bloody Tuna, anise or garlic scents will also increase strikes.” Trout action is fair with the best fishing in the main lake between Glory Hole Point and the dam since this section of the lake is deep and cool. The rainbows are found from 35 to 55 feet in depth with shad-patterned plugs or square-billed crankbaits ran at a faster speed. Night anglers are finding limits of rainbows under submersible lights with small minnows under a slip-float rig. Crappie action remained fair fishing with small minnows or minijigs around submerged structure. New Melones dropped 2.5 feet to 844.53 feet in elevation and 18 percent of capacity. Tulloch rose slightly to 507.9 feet in elevation and 96 percentof capacity. 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.
San Luis Reservoir and O’Neill Forebay
Most striper fishermen are heading to the big lake, and Mickey Clements of Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill said, “The banks around the Romero Visitor Center have been busy with anglers tossing white or chartreuse flukes in search of the big fish.” The occasional trophy striped bass is taken from the bank areas with Super Flukes in white, Lucky Craft Pointer 128’s in American shad or Duo Realis jerkbaits. Limits of small legal stripers are possible by drifting jumbo minnows throughout the lake. The key is to locate the schools. Roger George of Roger George Guide Service said that although he was up in the high country, anglers were reporting a slow trolling bite with lots of suspended fish. Trolling has slowed, but experienced fishermen are still finding quality and quantity. In the Forebay, Clements said, “There are numerous small stripers in the lake, and it is a matter of sifting through the short fish to put together a limit of keepers over 18 inches.” Trolling a Lucky Craft Pointer 128 100 feet behind the boat has been a solid technique for numbers. Pile worms, blood worms or anchovies are good options from the area around Check 12. Weeds are forming around the edges of the impoundment. The main lake continues to steadily release water, and it dropped 3 percent this week to 50 percent of capacity with a release of 9,101 acre-feet Monday. Call: Coyote Bait and Tackle, (408) 463-0711; Roger George Guide Service, (559) 905-2954.
Half Moon Bay
The salmon bite remained spotty out of Pillar Point with most boats focusing on coastal rockfishing. Second captain Mike Cabanas of the Huli Cat went out Sunday for several ling cod and limits of rockfish. He said, “The lings are definitely biting, and although the rockfish bite is slower, we are still getting limits of rockfish, including a 6-pound cabezon this weekend.” Also on Sunday, the Ankeny Street put in 18 limits of rockfish, including eight cabezon and 26 ling cod. Further up the coast, there were reports of a heavy blitz of stripers at night from 9 to 11 p.m. at Rockaway Beach in Pacifica with 50 anglers on the small beach tossing topwater lures, hair raisers and big metal jigs. There were stripers in the teens reported. 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; Don Franklin, Soleman, (510) 703-4148.
Chris Arcoleo of Chris’ Landing said, “There were lots of salmon ... and private boaters along with commercial salmon anglers were targeting the area from the Soldier’s Club toward Moss Landing. The last few days, the private boats have been doing well for salmon.” Their boats went rockfishing with the Star of Monterey heading south to Little Sur for 35 ling cod and 26 limits of rockfish while the Caroline stayed local for 15 ling cod and 21 limits of rockfish. They have plenty of room on open loads for rockfish and perhaps salmon throughout the week. Striped bass continue to be thick along the beaches north and south of Monterey. Call: Chris’ Landing, (831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine, (831) 475-2173; usafishing.com.
San Francisco Bay
The salmon action remained hit or miss with some party boats returning with up to a fish per rod while others struggled for far less than a fish per rod Sunday. The action is along the Marin coastline from Muir Beach north to Duxbury Buoy, and the final score is dependent upon how many fish the anglers hold onto their hookups. The Sausalito boats combined for 22 salmon to 18 pounds for 41 anglers while the C Gull II out of Emeryville put in limits Friday. Saturday’s scores were much better with two Berkeley salmon boats combining for 30 salmon for 26 fishermen. The overall trend of salmon along the coastline is encouraging. Rockfishing remains a pretty sure thing, and several boats went rockfishing at the islands on Saturday in response to the large tides in the bay. Captain James Smith went out to the Farallons on Monday to take advantage of the good ocean conditions before it starts blowing later in the week, and they returned with 20 limits of rockfish along with 20 limits – that’s 60 – ling cod to 24 pounds. Inside the bay, Captain Jim Smith of the Happy Hooker out of Berkeley put in limits of striped bass to 17 pounds Sunday. The effect of the big tides has subsided, and Captain Jay Lopes of Right Hook Sport Fishing returned with 10 halibut and seven striped bass Monday. Captain Steve Talmadge of Flash Sport Fishing of San Francisco reported continued good action in the bay for four halibut and a bass for five fishermen on a half-day trip Sunday. He said, “The halibut scores should get stronger every day with the smaller tides. The bass are on fire at the turn of the tide. We are drifting live anchovies near buoy 2 in 21 to 26 feet of water. We had to pick through the Smooth Hounds, but the bass are there. We had multiple hookups and singles. We had eight limits by 10:05 a.m. We did continue to fish for halibut but ended up releasing many keeper bass. I know we released at least eight to nine keeper bass.”
Shad action in the north Delta is starting to wind down with the best shad fishing found upstream in the Sacramento and American rivers. Stripers are found throughout the Delta, but the numbers have decreased within the past few weeks. Salty water conditions continue in the lower Delta. Alan Fong of the Fishermen’s Warehouse in Sacramento said, “The shad bite from Freeport to Clarksburg is dying down, and most shad fishermen are now focusing upon the American River.” Striped bass fishing continued to be best in the north Delta, and Clyde Wands, shallow trolling expert, said, “There are still stripers in the Delta.” He was trolling north of the Rio Vista Bridge in shallow water this week, and they landed six stripers to 6.5 pounds with four of the fish coming on P-Line’s Angry Eye Minnow with the remainder on a Yozuri Crystal Minnow. Jim Pickens of the Fishermen’s Friend in Lodi said, “Fresh striped bass continue to show up on the Sacramento side of the Delta with trollers finding action from Lights 42 to 48 on the Deep Water Channel, at Clyde Shoals above the Rio Vista Bridge and along the Old Dairy south of the bridge with P-Line’s Angry Eye, Yo-Zuri’s, broken-backed Rebels or Rat-L-Traps in the shallows.” Benicia Bait reported the final salmon smolt release for the year was held within the past week, and shore fishermen found good action for up to 30 stripers tossing hair raisers or Rat-L-Traps from the state park back to 1st Street. Sturgeon fishing has been best from the banks in Montezuma Slough and Grizzly Bay, but few boaters are targeting diamondbacks at this time of year. The sturgeon are still in the system, but with few fishermen even trying, reports have been sporadic. Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, continues to find good action for largemouth bass in the San Joaquin River system, as there is one more round of spawning taking place with the full moon. He’s using the ima Little Stick topwater lure in the mornings, and if the wind is blowing, he switches to the Persuader Rattln’ Blade spinnerbait or the ima Squarebill crankbait. He has been using a variety of crawdad- or bluegill-patterned lures. The topwater action is best in the early mornings, and the fish are turning on just when the shadows are hitting the water. He has also been using the Berkley Havoc Flat Dog on a Zappu head for numbers, and he normally uses a one-eighth-ounce Zappu, but when the wind is blowing, he increases the weight to 3/16th of an ounce. Alan Fong of the Fishermen’s Warehouse in Sacramento confirmed the bed fish in the Delta, and he found good action for largemouth bass to 6.75 pounds this week tossing Whopper Ploppers, flipping D-Bomb’s Missiles near structures or dropping Senkos. He has been working the upper sloughs west of Stockton. Jim Pickens of the Fishermen’s Friend in Lodi also liked the largemouth bass bite, stating, “Largemouth fishing continued to be good on the San Joaquin side in Disappointment, White and Potato Slough along with Frank’s Tract. Squarebills, Senkos and frogs are working well on the post-spawn largemouth.” Chris Lauritzen of Laurtizen’s Yacht Harbor in Oakley said, “The removable rock barrier at the west end of False River is almost complete. Not only will there be warning signs and buoys alerting boaters that there is a rock barrier ahead, but there will be a line of floating red buoys running from the Bradford Island levee to the Jersey Island levee.” Call: Randy Pringle, (209) 543-6260; Captain Stan Koenigsberger – Quetzal Adventures, (925) 570-5303; Intimidator Sport Fishing, (916) 806-3030.