NEW MELONES RESERVOIR — Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing reported great trout action on two consecutive trips this week. They landed 20 fish to 2.5 pounds trolling at the surface and down to about 15 feet with Trucker T Lures on lead core line at speeds between 2 and 3 mph. The Trucker T is a heavy spoon that is not commercially made. He reported having a difficult time keeping three rods in the water, as two were continually getting hit. He found the best action on the lead core at 7 to 8 feet, with fewer strikes on the downrigger at 15 feet. The Tuttletown Launch Ramp and Glory Hole Point continues to be crowded with shore anglers pulling limits of planted rainbows on Berkley Power Bait in chartreuse or green glitter, Power Eggs, marshmallow/crawler combinations or small Kastmasters in firetiger, rainbow trout or silver/blue. Bass anglers continue to target the shad schools suspended in the middle of the lake or upriver. The fish are holding at depths from 20 to 50 feet, and they are not oriented to structure. A slow presentation is a must in the cold 55-degree water. Steep drop-offs with deep water access have been the best areas. Slow ripping lures such as rainbow trout Lucky Craft Pointers or green pumpkin tubes on a dart-head are effective, as well as Carolina-rigged creature baits in green pumpkin, crawdad-colored Zoom Baby Brush Hogs or Reaction Innovation Sweet Beavers. The larger fish continue to come on Huddleston swimbaits in rainbow trout. Catfishing has been slow, but a few large fish continue to be taken. Anchovies, chicken livers, mackerel, sardines, or a ball of night crawlers are working. Crappie and bluegill action has been slow. Call: 736-4333; Monte Smith 581-4734; Danny Layne 586 2383; Sierra Sport Fishing 599-2023
SAN LUIS RESERVOIR / O'NEILL FOREBAY — Ly Tu of Ly's Fishing Goods in San Jose said striper fishing was very slow, with regular customers only landing a pair of small fish on jumbo minnows near the trash racks. The lake rose to 441.80 elevation. Call: Wind conditions (800) 805-4805; Ly's Fishing Goods (408) 629-9644; Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711
McSWAIN RESERVOIR — The Marina reported only a few anglers before New Year's, but in the past few days limits were taken at the brush pile or the handicapped docks on Sunrise or Bubble Gum Power Eggs or blue/chrome Kastmasters. Calaveras Trout Farm planted 1,000-pounds on Dec. 30, in addition to the 7,000-pound plant in early December. There are no plants scheduled until February, but they may receive an unscheduled plant. Call: 378-2534
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McCLURE RESERVOIR — Manny Basi reported bass action has slowed, with most landed on finesse techniques. Light line and a slow presentation are the keys. Drop shotting with Reaction Innovations Bad Shad Green or three-eighths-ounce jigs in brown or brown/purple to 50 feet are working best. He recommended using light line at 5 to 6 pounds for drop shotting and 8-pound test for ›-ounce jigs in brown or brown/purple or Carolina-rigging from 30 to 50 feet. Trout trollers have scored limits with J7 Rapalas pulled at 2.2 to 2.5 mph with a setback to 150 feet on the surface near the dam and into Cottonwood Creek. Plugs have been the key, with slower action on spinners, blade/crawlers, and spoons. Bank bite is fair with rainbow glitter Power Bait or gold Kastmasters. Crappie is picking up with red/white mini-jigs or medium minnows in submerged trees or under the houseboat docks from 12 to 15 feet at Barrett's Cove. The lake is at 40 percent of capacity. Call: A-1 Bait 563-6505; Fishwrangler's Guide Service 604-8222; Bub Tosh 404-0053
LAKE DON PEDRO — Manny Basi of the Bait Barn said the bass bite is slow, with finesse techniques continuing to work best. He recommended using the same pattern as McClure with light line. The 6 or 7-inch S Wave from River2Sea in bright rainbow trout has been working for the occasional larger fish. Bank fishing for planted trout continues to be good with rainbow glitter Power Bait or gold Kastmasters throughout the bank access areas. Trollers have been pulling a variety of shad-patterned spoons for planted and holdover trout near Big Oak Island and Jenkins Hill. The lake is at 70 percent of capacity. Call: Monte Smith 581-4734; Danny Layne 586-2383; Bait Barn 874-301
STOCKTON — Sturgeon are starting to move up the river systems with signs of life from the Mothball Fleet up the Sacramento River to Decker Island. Eel is the bait of choice, with the majority of party boats using it or a combination with shrimpbaits. Small Dungeness crabs continue to plague bait fishermen, with the crustaceans as far east as Montezuma Slough. Jay Lopes of Right Hook Sport Fishing reported landing two legal sturgeon on Sunday to go with another legal fish on Saturday along with somewhere in the range of nine shakers. The weather has been cold, and the mornings extremely foggy throughout the delta. He said the water is creeping up to the 50-degree range, and the best sturgeon bite has been in afternoons as the water warms. He has been fishing buoys 4 through 6 and up into the cuts. There also has been a strong bite near buoys 4 through 6 and also at the mouth of the Little Cut in 40 feet of water on the incoming tide. Mark Wilson of Mark Wilson's Sport Fishing has been doing a combination of bait fishing and trolling in the Collinsville area for an average of three to seven stripers per trip. The fish that have been caught have been excellent, with six stripers over 20 pounds caught and released in the past two weeks. The majority of the large fish have been landed trolling. Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, has been searching for stripers in the extreme back sloughs of the south delta. Call: Randy Pringle 543-6260; Mark Wilson (916) 682-1630; Jolly Jay's Guide Service 478-6645
SAN FRANCISCO BAY — There are only a few private boaters running off the Marin coast for crab, but limits are still available. Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle in San Rafael reported cold and rough conditions in San Pablo Bay over the weekend. When the tides are right and the water fishable, there have been large sturgeon from 60 to 65 inches, with several oversized caught. 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
Reservoirs and lakes that will be planted with trout during the week of Jan. 3:
- Fresno — Avocado Lake; Kinger River below Pine Flat Reservoir; San Joaquin River below Friant Dam; Woodward Park Lake.