NEW MELONES RESERVOIR — Melanie Lewis of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp reported trout fishing remains strong from the banks for fish averaging 2 pounds off of Glory Hole or Tuttletown Launch Ramps with Berkley chartreuse or green glitter Power Bait, Power Eggs or a crawler/marshmallow combination. The fish are moving into the shallows at depths from 5 to 20 feet. Boaters are still fishing on the anchor with similar baits in the same areas, as well as Carson or Mormon coves. Trolling is starting to improve with shad or rainbow trout-patterned lures such as ExCels or Needlefish at the mouths of major coves and major creek arms. Spotted bass are oriented to wood near steep flats or drop-offs with brown/purple jigs with a trailer, watermelon/redflake or green pumpkin Zoom Baby Brush Hogs or other creature baits on a Carolina-rig or shaky head. Catfishing should be slow at this time of year, but there have been quality whiskerfish to 18 pounds taken on night crawlers at night. The catfish have moved out to deeper water at this time of year. 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 in the big lake is slow with one regular customer taking over a dozen minnows for only a couple of small linesides drifting near the Trash Racks. Tu recommends the Forebay as a better option at this time of year, and both he and Mickey Clements of Coyote Bait and Tackle thought the inflow from the rains should improve the striper bite by turning over the lake and bringing in nutrients. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said the sales of Lucky Craft 128's in American Shad or ghost minnow have started to pick up, as local fishermen are heading up to the big lake for top-water action for stripers in the 18- to 23-inch range. The lake rose 5 vertical feet to 452.46 with 12,571 acre-feet of inflow and Delta water. Call: Ly's Fishing Goods (408) 629-9644; Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711; wind conditions (800) 805-4805.
McSWAIN RESERVOIR — The water level is stable, and limits to near-limits of trout continue to be taken from the banks on Power Bait or inflated night crawlers. Angling pressure has been light in the recent weather conditions. There are no plants scheduled until February, but they may receive an unscheduled plant. Call: 378-2534.
McCLURE RESERVOIR — Manny Basi of the Bait Barn reported bass fishing remains slow with the best action continuing on small-profile jigs such as the brown or brown/purple Bass Patrol jigs in ›- and ½-ounces. The majority of fish are taken on finesse techniques worked very slowly with light line. Drop shotting with Reaction Innovations Bad Shad Green or the Flirt at depths of 20-50 feet. There haven't been many reports of trout trolling in the past week. The bank bite continues to be decent with rainbow glitter Power Bait or gold Kastmasters. There is no catfish report or crappie report. The lake came up 1.5 feet to 748.71 in elevation and 40 percent of capacity. The only two launch ramps open are McClure Point and the Barrett's Cove south ramp. Call: A-1 Bait 563-6505; Fishwrangler's Guide Service 604-8222; Bub Tosh 404-0053.
LAKE DON PEDRO — Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing said trout fishing continues to be good in the top 15 feet with large spoons in the 2.5- to 3.5-inch range such as the Chucker T, Needlefish, ExCels or Vance's Slim Fins. The key has been locating the fish which may require covering some water. Manny Basi said bass fishing is still slow with a few larger fish landed on River2Sea or SWave swimbaits in bright rainbow trout colors at depth of 40-50 feet on a slow presentation. The Reaction Innovation Bad Shad Green or Flit is working on the drop-shot as well as small-profile brown jigs with a forked brown trailer at depths of 20-50 feet. Bank fishing for planted trout continues to be good with rainbow glitter Power Bait or gold Kastmasters throughout the bank access areas. Call: Monte Smith 581-4734; Danny Layne 586-2383; Bait Barn 874-3011.
SAN FRANCISCO BAY — Outside the Gate, limits of crab were reported prior to the storms, but most boaters have pulled out their pots to wait for better conditions. Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle didn't have much to report, as angling pressure has been nil with the wind and the rain. He couldn't wait for next week due to the expected push of sturgeon into San Pablo Bay near the Pumphouse. Stripers, which have been non-existent for months, have shown up in the Napa River with Ashley Norris of Sweeney's Bait in Napa catching and releasing the schoolies to 4 pounds on the shrimp baits.
HALF MOON BAY — Private boaters report averaging more than four crab per pot while pulling their gear before the arrival of the first of the storms on Sunday. Most private boaters pulled their pots to keep them from sanding in with the high surf and swell expected this week. It is highly doubtful that anyone will be out for the next several days. Sheryl Jimno of the Rusty Hook in Pacifica reported crabbers are still working the pier for enough crab to keep their interest. Blood worms are working for the occasional surf perch. 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.
STOCKTON AREA — Sturgeon continue to be stacked from Sherman Island to the Mothball Fleet, and there are signs the diamondbacks are starting to become more active, jumping and rolling on the surface. Finding fish willing to bite continues to be the challenge. Jim Smith of the Happy Hooker out of Martinez was out with a light load of nine anglers on Saturday, and he headed east to the Pittsburg area where the majority of fish have been holding. Despite marking and finding jumping fish from Seal Island, the Big Cut, the Duck Club at the mouth of the Little Cut and near the Benicia/Martinez Bridge, they had to settle for shaker sturgeon to 43-inches released and a 14-pound striper which bit salmon roe. "We marked fish in every location, and there were fish jumping within 4 feet of the boat at the mouth of the Little Cut but finding fish willing to feed has been difficult", said Smith. "We probably counted 30 jumpers throughout the day", added Smith. He said the water temperatures have warmed up to 49.1 degrees, and they would continue to rise with the fresh water inflow. Smith said, "The expected rain should push the fish down to San Pablo Bay where they seem more willing to bite at the present time." James Nguyen of Dockside Bait in Pittsburg said sturgeon fishing has been hit or miss with some diamondbacks biting in deeper water near Buoys 31, 33 and 34 on ghost shrimp. He landed his second legal fish at 54-inches this week on shrimpbaits near Buoy 33. He also caught and released 4 shaker sturgeon. There have been large striped bass to 48-pounds landed consistently in the past week in 45 feet of water off of Chipps Island on live splittail. The majority of anglers are catching and keeping the huge bass which have ranged from 20 to 48-pounds. Dave Scatena and Tom Noel of Stockton fished the main Sacramento River near Light 14 Saturday for good action for stripers to 16-pounds released, another large fish lost on a long distance release and a limit kept to 7-pounds on frozen shad from H and R Bait in Stockton. Allison Shawnego of Hap's Bait in Rio Vista reported three sturgeon weighed in Saturday with two of the fish taken by Lisa and Jay Shepard of Stockton at 55 and 52-inches at the Sherman Island Powerlines on frozen shad or ghost/grass combinations. Steve Alford This week's storms should disperse the fish with the water expected to muddy up by week's end.
Call: Randy Pringle 543-6260; Mark Wilson (916) 682-1630; Fin Addict Sport Fishing 367-4665; Jolly Jay's Guide Service 478-6645.