NEW MELONES RESERVOIR — Melanie Lewis of Glory Hole Sporting Goods said the best option is trolling for trout with bright-colored or shad-patterned spoons such as Apex, Needlefish, ExCels or Kastmasters at 10-20 feet deep in the mouths of coves or major creek arms into the main lake. She advised targeting Glory Hole Cove, Mormon Creek or Carson Creek, and at the steep walls near the dam and spillway. Brown trout are in the same areas, but deeper and closer to structure and hitting Countdown Rapalas or Trophy Sticks in rainbow trout or shad-patterns. Ed Lima of Stockton landed a 4.75-pound rainbow trolling a shad-patterned Rapala at 15 feet near the spillway. Trout fishing from the bank continues to slow, but a few rainbows to 3.5 pounds can be taken on Power Bait in chartreuse or green glitter, Power Eggs or marshmallow/night crawler combinations. Garrett McBride of Angels Camp picked up a 3.5-pound rainbow off the bank at Glory Hole Point with chartreuse Power Bait. Lewis reported fair action for spotted bass to 2 pounds; Texas-rigged plastics or jigs work best, with larger fish taken on swimbaits. Catfishing improving with fish found in deeper water with anchovies, mackerel, sardines, chicken livers or night crawlers. 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 action in the main lake is very slow though a few 20- to 22-inchers have been found in the Forebay with pile worms. The best action is under the Bridge or near Check 12 when the water is running. Call: Ly's Fishing Goods (408) 629-9644; Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711.
McSWAIN RESERVOIR — Diana Mello of A-1 Bait said trout action is best from the banks at the handicapped docks or brush pile with Power Bait in Bubble Gum or Sunrise Power Eggs. Trollers are working from the Chimney to the Second Fence Line with Wedding Rings tipped with a crawler or minnow imitation plugs. The lake is scheduled to be planted by the end of this month. Call: 378-2534.
McCLURE RESERVOIR — Diana Mello of A-1 Bait in Snelling said there is a good crappie bite near Horseshoe Ben on live medium minnows. Live crawdads are also in demand. Manny Basi of the Bait Barn said it's easy to find bass, but size is another matter. The small profile brown Bass Patrol one-half or three-eighths jigs are working best. He advised setting up over 40 to 50 feet and tossing toward the banks and working back to deeper water. One boat landed three salmon by rolling shad behind a three-blade chrome Ford Fender at 30 feet from Barrett's Cove to McClure Point. Call: A-1 Bait 563-6505; Bub Tosh 404-0053.
LAKE DON PEDRO — Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing reported decent trout fishing throughout the lake from Moccasin, Blue Oaks and Schoolhouse Point. Shad-imitations spoons from the surface to 20 feet deep are working best, including: Needlefish, ExCels, Vance's Slim Fins or Shasta Tackle Cripplures. One boat reported landing a limit of rainbows, losing three hookups and several hits without sticking. Smith advised patience and moving off the shorelines into open water along drop-offs for the rainbows, as the fish are moving into the deeper regions of the lake. Small king salmon to 14 inches are biting near Jacksonville-Stent Bridge. Rolling shad or anchovies will produce the larger salmon at 50-80 feet in open water. Manny Basi said the smallmouth bite has improved near the banks with RatLTraps, jigs or crankbaits. Call: Monte Smith 581-4734; Danny Layne 586-2383, Bait Barn 874-3011.
SAN FRANCISCO BAY — Stripers are moving into the bays with several to 10 pounds landed from the banks in San Pablo Bay with blood worms or hair raisers. Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait reported good numbers to 8 pounds. Sean Tracey took out a supply of Loch Lomond mud shrimp, ghost shrimp and grass shrimp Sunday, and he had a great day between the Pumphouse and Sonoma Creek, fishing in 8 feet at the top of the tide for two keeper bass, a 61.5-inch sturgeon, a flounder and a 70-inch oversized and a 36-inch shaker sturgeon. Fraser thought the tides this week were decent for sturgeon and bass. Joel Sinkay of Leonard's Bait at Port Sonoma said anglers "are hammering the sturgeon in the Petaluma River." Chris Seabourne at C Biscuits in Vallejo said sturgeon are biting in the Napa River on ghost or grass shrimp near the Mare Island Bridge, the Towers and Green Island.
HALF MOON BAY — Peggy Beckett at Huck Finn Sport Fishing has been running whale watching trips and Roger Thomas on the Salty Lady will be running squid trips until the rockfish opener. Call: Happy Hooker (510) 223-5388; Huck Finn Sport Fishing Center (650) 726-7133, Emeryville Sport Fishing (510) 654-6040, Don Franklin (510) 703-4148.
MONTEREY — Sonny Arcaleo at Chris' Landing in Monterey reported "lights-out" squidding. He added that private boaters continue to score white sea bass, with as many as 10 landed daily. There were four skiffs trying early this week without success until the afternoon where within an hour, all of the skiffs had at least one fish. Halibut fishing has been the best all year. Arcaleo said there are "gobs of sand dabs" to be had, and huge blue mackerel to 3 pounds have been "balling" up the market-grade squid. Call: Chris' Landing (831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173; usafishing.com.
STOCKTON — Sturgeon are on the chomp most party boats and six-packs reported legal fish in the box. Jim Smith on the Happy Hooker landed a 52-inch legal sturgeon and released a shaker in front of Martinez Harbor in deep water in the Straits. Tony Lopes at Benicia Bait said several sturgeon were brought in from either the Mothball Fleet or the Big Cut with ghost shrimp, grass shrimp or eel. Eel continues to be the hot bait. Jay Sorensen reported legal sturgeon landed off of the pipes at Twitchell Island on the San Joaquin River. Fishing in the Mokelume River has been slow, but Alan Fong of Fisherman's Warehouse in Sacramento had some great catches Monday and Tuesday with the Spro BBZ swimbait or an Al-E-Baby. It was hot between Wimpy's Marina and Walnut Grove during a brief bite window before switching over to targeting black bass with Fish Traps. Stockton welcomes the first event of the ESPN Bassmasters Elite with the "Duel in the Delta" on March 11-14 at Weber Point Event Center. Call: Randy Pringle 543-6260; Mark Wilson (916) 682-1630, Fin Addict Sport Fishing 367-4665, Jolly Jay's Guide Service 478-6645.
Reservoirs and lakes that will be planted with trout during this week:
- Fresno — Avocado Lake; Kings River below Pine Flat Reservoir; San Joaquin River below Friant Dam.