LOS BANOS RESERVOIR -- Nestled in the foothills not far from San Luis Reservoir, this lake has long been prolific for big bass, crappie and trout. Considered a "local secret," many anglers have taken big stringers of fish out of this lake when the bites take off. And they don't like it whent he word gets out.
NEW MELONES RESERVOIR -- Melanie Lewis of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp reported good trout fishing from the banks at Glory Hole or Tuttletown launch ramps with Berkley chartreuse or green glitter Power Bait, Power Eggs or a crawler/marshmallow combination. Boaters are still fishing on the anchor in the same areas along with Carson and Mormon coves. Some huge bass have been pulled in, such as the 31.54-pound limit by John Chiarpotti of Bassin 1A Guide Service; he had a 13.3-pound largemouth and a 6.15-pound spotted bass. Best numbers of small fish are taken on 4-inch shad-colored plastics. Catfishing is slow but there have been a few quality crappie landed on small or medium minnows at 30 to 45 feet around submerged trees. 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 the heavy flow from surface creeks and pumping from the delta is making the lake level rise and has contributed to a slower striper bite. Top water bite has slowed with the cold water, and the only fish on lures are coming on swimbaits or something tossed under the surface. Call: Ly's Fishing Goods (408) 629-9644; Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711.
McSWAIN RESERVOIR -- Bank anglers continue to have the advantage over trollers in stained water. Don't expect that to change until the water clears. The lake is scheduled to be planted in February. Various colors of Power Bait and Power Eggs have been working for near limits from the Handicapped Docks or Brush Pile access areas. Call: 378-2534
McCLURE RESERVOIR -- Manny Basi of the Bait Barn said fishing remains difficult across the lake. Best action has been on drop shotting Pro Worms in 300 small redflake from the surface to 40 feet. Trout trollers have scored on small spinners tipped with a night crawler on the surface. The only two launches available for large boats are Barrett's Cove or McClure Point with small aluminums able to be launched at the Horseshoe. Water temperatures range from 53 in the main lake to 46 in the canyons. Call: A-1 Bait 563-6505, Bub Tosh 404-0053.
LAKE DON PEDRO -- Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing had a great day Friday, catching 19 rainbows to 2.5-pounds. He has been trolling shad-imitation spoons such as Chucker T's, Vance's Slim Fins, ExCels, large Humdingers or Needlefish on lead core line or on the downriggers from the surface to 17 feet at speeds from 2 to 3 mph. Water conditions are perfect with at least 8 feet visibility and steady temperature around 54 degrees. There are only a few trailers in the parking lot, so pressure has been minimal. Bobby Muhlbier of Sonora landed a limit of quality rainbows and a 5-pound king salmon trolling Speedy Shiners at speeds to 3 mph. Manny Basi of the Bait Barn reported the only bass action on dropshotting to 40 feet with the Pro Worm in 300 small redflake in leech pattern. Trout fishing from the banks has been fair with rainbow glitter Power Bait or gold Kastmasters. Basi said Turlock Reservoir has provided easy limits of planted trout with Power Bait. Call: Monte Smith 581-4734, Danny Layne 586-2383, Bait Barn 874-301.
STOCKTON AREA -- Heavy concentrations of sturgeon have dispersed with the inflow, and boaters have to rely on electronics to find scattered pods. The Original Sturgeon Derby on Super Bowl weekend will fill the delta with boats from San Pablo Bay to Rio Vista. Captain Jim Smith of the Happy Hooker was around Buoy 9 at the top of the Mothball Fleet on Saturday for three sturgeon at 63, 56 and 50-inches. The 50-incher belonged to Art Fabela of Modesto. Grass shrimp combined with eel was the only thing going. Call: Randy Pringle 543-6260; Mark Wilson 916-682-1630, Fin Addict Sport Fishing 367-4665.