NEW MELONES RESERVOIR/TULLOCH — Melanie Lewis of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp reported fairly tough conditions during the 75-boat Future Pro Tour bass tournament, but largemouths to 9.62 pounds were landed on a variety of techniques. Use a slow presentation at 30-40 feet near wood with spoons, swimbaits, Carolina-rigged creature baits in green pumpkin or similar crawdad-imitation colors. Numbers of smaller fish can be taken on 4-inch plastics on the drop shot. Bank anglers are starting to find holdover rainbows in Angels or Glory Hole Coves with Power Eggs, Power Bait or crawler/marshmallow combinations. Trolling with Needlefish, ExCels or small Countdown Rapalas is improving as the fish are from the surface to 50 feet. Trout plants are scheduled for the next two weeks. Catfish have moved into deep water, but there are still some to be taken with anchovies, mackerel, sardines, chicken liver or a ball of night crawlers. Randy Miller and Jay Linker landed cats to 10 pounds, 4 ounces on live minnows. Crappie and bluegill fishing continues to be slow with the best action at night under lights. The lake is holding at 46 percent capacity. Monte Smith of Gold Country Fishing continues to tout Lake Tulloch as the top Mother Lode lake for rainbows to 2½ pounds. He suggested rolling shad to dragging Vance's Slim Fins or ExCels at 13-25 feet deep in the Green Springs Arm at 2.5 mph. Danny Layne of Fishn' Dan's Guide Service has been picking up rainbows trolling off of the South Shore Launch Ramp with small ExCels, Needlefish, Humdingers or Shasta Tackle's Matrix Paddletails at 10-35 feet deep. Call: 736-4333; Monte Smith 581-4734; Danny Layne 586-2383; Sierra Sport Fishing 599-2023.
SAN LUIS RESERVOIR / O'NEILL FOREBAY — Boats limiting out on fish to 6 pounds with extra-large minnows in Portuguese Cove at depths to 40 feet Saturday, but the bite turning soft Sunday with few fish reported. Ly Tu of Ly's Fishing Goods in San Jose reported an up-and-down striper bite. There are still fish to be found on top-water lures in the early morning in the shad boils, but the majority of these are undersized stripers. Bob Scharton of Herb Bauer's Sporting Goods had a pair of productive trips with streamers and Clowser Minnows on a shooting head sinking fly line for fish to 10 pounds. The key was to locate the schools of fish on the meter below the surface. Tu said Forebay action has been fair for those plugging white swimbaits at night for 22- to 24-inch fish. The lake rose to 26 percent capacity. Wind conditions: (800) 805-4805. Call: Ly's Fishing Goods (408) 629-9644; Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711.
McSWAIN RESERVOIR — Diana Mello of A-1 Bait in Snelling reported trollers are scoring early limits on chartreuse Wedding Rings tipped with a crawler behind a dodger or blade/crawler combinations from the surface to 12 feet deep from Gilligan's Island to the Dam. Bank anglers have been soaking lemon-lime Power Bait, green Power Eggs or marshmallow/night crawler combinations at the Handicapped Docks or the Brush Pile. A 5.25-pound rainbow was landed at the Handicapped Docks on a marshmallow/crawler combination. Call: 378-2534.
McCLURE RESERVOIR — Manny Basi of the Bait Barn in Waterford reported the top-water bite has slowed, but drop-shotting with Reaction Innovation worm in Bad Shad Green, Pro Worm 300 small redflake or Jackal Cross-tail shad in watermelon or ghost is the best technique at 10-30 feet deep. Diana Mello at A-1 Bait in Snelling said live minnows are producing bass to 6 pounds in Barrett's Cove. Catfish are also biting minnows near McClure Point. Trout fishing continues to be slow. Call: A-1 Bait 563-6505; Fishwrangler's Guide Service 604-8222; Bub Tosh 404-0053.
LAKE DON PEDRO — Danny Layne of Fishn' Dan's Guide Service predicted the lake should turn over in the next couple of weeks, but there are still some decent rainbow action in the upper end of the lake in the Woods Creek Arm. He has been trolling from the Highway 120 Bridge to the Buoy Lines at 10-35 feet deep with Vance's Slim Willies in tandem with a night crawler or lures such as ExCels, Midge Wobblers or Shasta Tackle's UV Humdingers for 2- to 4-pound rainbows. King salmon to 3 pounds have been hitting rolled shad at 35 feet from Rough and Ready Island to the bend in the canyon. Manny Basi of the Bait Barn reported the largemouth bass bite has shown slight improvement with Carolina-rigged lizards or Baby Brush Hogs in watermelon red. Jigs in greenpumpkin with greenpumpkin trailers are working as well as Reaction Innovation plastics in Bad Shad Green. The top-water bite has slowed. The lake is holding at 70 percent capacity. Call: Monte Smith 581-4734; Danny Layne 586-2383; Bait Barn 874-301.
STOCKTON — Benicia Bait reported continued good fishing for 12- to 15-pound stripers at the Firing Line between Buoys 23 and 24 with live bullheads. One angler fished the better outgoing tide at the Fleet on Saturday night for a 48-inch, 40-pound striper and a 58-inch sturgeon, both on lamprey eel. Shoreline anglers have been feeding bait to the tiny but aggressive Dungeness crabs in the area for the occasional stripers to 25-inches. Anglers are advised to fish their bullheads weightless, so they can escape the clutches of the crabs. Jim Smith on the Happy Hooker put in 12 limits of striper on Friday by 10:30 a.m. in Suisun Bay, but Sunday's trip in the same area produced only five bass. As a result, he went west into San Pablo Bay on Sunday. Dockside Bait in Pittsburg said striper fishing was very good Saturday in Broad Slough, near the PG&E Plant, Chain Island and near Buoy 2 in both shallow or deep water with fresh shad or bullheads on Saturday for schoolie fish. Jay Lopes of Right Hook Sport Fishing out of Martinez confirmed the slowdown in the sturgeon bite with fish marked in the same locations, but the larger fish didn't bite nearly as well — perhaps due to the smaller tides. Jay Sorensen of Jolly Jay's Guide Service put in a couple of limits of small stripers on the San Joaquin River in False River and off of Twitchell Island on fresh shad. Mark Wilson of Mark's Wilson's Sport Fishing trolled Broad and Montezuma Sloughs on Saturday, and he didn't find any stripers in either location. So he soaked fresh shad off Sherman Island at 30-35 feet deep at the last of the incoming tide for limits of stripers to 4.5 pounds. Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, said the striper bite in the San Joaquin River slowed down since last week's phenomenal bite, perhaps due to heavy boat traffic and angler pressure. Pringle said the stripers are scattering in smaller groupings. Jeff Boyle of Bass Pro Shops in Manteca has been deep-trolling in the south Delta for steady limits of 5- to 8-pound fish. Call: Randy Pringle 543-6260; Kevin Yost, Lucky Strike Fishing (707) 301-8050; Mark Wilson Sport Fishing (916) 682-1630; Fin Addict Sport Fishing 367-4665; Jolly Jay's Guide Service 478-6645.
SAN FRANCISCO BAY — Jim Smith of the Happy Hooker out of Martinez motored into San Pablo Bay on Sunday for 19 limits of stripers to 12 pounds in a couple of hours. He said the fish were hitting it all: mudsuckers, bullheads or live anchovies. Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait in San Rafael reported fantastic bass fishing over the weekend Every skiff came back to the harbor with limits of bass, and several boats caught and released up to 30 fish. Fraser expected things to really be good with next weekend's tides.
HALF MOON BAY — Peggy Beckett of Huck Finn Sport Fishing cancelled their trips over the weekend due to the swell, and she said Saturday was a total blow-out. The early grade of crab reported was not encouraging. Sheryl Jimno at the Rusty Hook in Pacifica said anglers were all geared up for the opener, but the gates were locked on the pier throughout the weekend with the waves crashing against the shoreline and the pier. Things are expected to open up within the next couple of days. 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.
California Department of Fish & Game trout plants during week of Nov. 8:
- Mariposa County: Lake McClure
- Stanislaus County: Turlock Lake
- Tuolumne County: Cherry Lake, Don Pedro Reservoir, New Melones Lake, Tulloch Resservoir.