NEW MELONES RESERVOIR — The kokanee bite is coming to a close, so guide Gary Burns recommends being on the water by 5:30 a.m. since the bite only lasts for the first hour. Limits of kokes are possible, but you will have to put in a full day if you don't get there early. He has been finding fish at 36 to 90 feet with hootchies in orange, pink, or green tipped with garlic or ginger-scented Shoepeg corn behind a Shasta Tackle UV Sling Blade in blue or green. Melanie Lewis of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp said the kokanee have not begun to lose their scales or "pink up." Guide Danny Layne advised bottom-bouncing near structure off Glory Hole Point, as the fish are hugging the bottom. Lewis said the best bet for trout continues to be using a submersible light at night at 20 to 30 feet near the dam, the spillway, or under the Highway 49 Stevenot Bridge with Power Bait, night crawlers, live minnows, or vertical jigs such as Kastmasters or Hopkins Spoons. Trollers should target the main river channel between the bridges from 30-50 feet with shad or rainbow trout patterned Apex, Excel, Cripplure or Rapala Countdown tipped with a small piece of night crawler. Bank anglers should head to local streams and creeks with Pautzke's eggs, Berkeley Select Scented Power Bait, crawlers, or small spinners such as Mepps or Panther Martins. On the bass front, Lewis said there is a reaction and topwater bite in the early morning with Lucky Craft Pointers, Staycees, Zara Spooks, PopR's, and Jitterbugs close to the banks. Deeper-diving crankbaits such as Norman, Bandit or Rapalas are producing better fish. After the sun comes up, the fish are going deep, and Pro Guide jigs with a twin-tail grub trailer of Carolina-rigged creature baits are effective. Michael Grinder of Stockton caught a 4 pound, 14-ounce catfish on chicken liver. Crappie and bluegill continue to be best at night under a light around submerged trees in Bear Creek, Mormon Creek and Carson Creek, or upriver. Call: 736-4333, Monte Smith 581-4734, Danny Layne 586 2383, Sierra Sport Fishing 599-2023.
SAN LUIS RESERVOIR / O'NEILL FOREBAY — Main lake is starting to produce quality stripers, and Ly Tu of Ly's Fishing Goods in San Jose said one boat took a limit of 10-pound fish mooching anchovy fillets at 40 feet in Portuguese Cove. Bank anglers are picking up smaller fish with tossed lures, but Paul Jolly of Coyote Bait in San Jose recommended the areas around Dinosaur Point, Lone Oak Bay and Honker Bay with blood or pile worms for better stripers. In the forebay, Tu said bank fishermen have been donning waders to cast mudsuckers or swimbaits for stripers in the 18- to 21-inch range. A few small catfish are found near check 12 with sardines, anchovies, pile worms, or blood worms.Call: Ly's Fishing Goods (408) 629-9644; Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711
McSWAIN RESERVOIR — Diana Mello at A-I Bait in Snelling said trolling action has been the top technique during the hot weather with the fish dropping into the main river channel at around 40 feet. Wedding Rings tipped with a night crawler, blade/crawler combinations, and silver/blue Kastmasters are consistent offerings. Call: 378-2534
McCLURE RESERVOIR — Manny Basi of the Bait Barn in Waterford said bass fishing has been very tough during the past week, with a few fish taken on topwater Lucky Craft Gunfish in Chartreuse Shad in the early mornings before changing to drop shotting with Reaction Innovation's Bad Shad Green or the twin-tailed Yamamoto Hula Grub in color 300 at 25 feet from the banks. Live crawdads also have produced keepers in the slot limit, but minnow sales have been at a minimum. Diana Mello of A-I Bait in Snelling said catfishing is strong along muddy, sloping banks with chicken livers, night crawlers, live crawdads, anchovies or sardines at depths to 20 feet. Trout limits have been reported by trollers working from the dam to Barrett's Cove on silver/blue or chrome ExCel lures at depths from 30-50 feet on the downrigger. Crappie fishing appears slow, with few small minnows being sold. The lake dropped 4 feet in the past week to 834.31 feet in elevation and 79% of capacity. Call: A-1 Bait 563-6505, Bub Tosh 404-0053.
LAKE DON PEDRO — Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing reported fantastic trout fishing at 30 to 50 feet with Chucker T silver/nickel spoons on a fast troll. He said the lake is loaded with shad, and the fish he catches are stuffed with them, making them look like "little footballs." The high water conditions have been beneficial to baitfish, and the trout and trout fishermen are reaping the benefits. Guide Gary Burns landed over 15 rainbows and king salmon on a recent trip, trolling at 27-37 feet with chrome/blue or chrome red spoons. Manny Basi reported continued slow bass action with a few fish on topwater Lucky Craft Gunfish in Chartreuse Shad in the early mornings before changing to drop shotting with Reaction Innovation's Bad Shad Green or the twin-tailed Yamamoto Hula Grub in color 221 (cinnamon/purple) at 25 feet. Call: Monte Smith 581-4734, Danny Layne 586-2383, Bait Barn 874-301.
DELTA — Stripers are moving into the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers, but the big push is still several weeks off. Tony Lopez said stripers can be found along the shoreline, with fish to 32 inches on bullheads or pile worms. Locals are gearing up for the salmon opener Sept. 4. Capt. Mike Gravert of Intimidator Sport Fishing found a huge school of stripers Friday in the northeast Delta, catching and releasing more than 100 fish in two trips. Allison Shawnego at Hap's Bait said trolling shallow running lures in the Old Sacramento River near Isleton has been the best thing going, and this area will be inundated with boats starting Sept. 4 for the salmon opener. Call: Randy Pringle 543-6260; Mark Wilson Sport Fishing (916) 682-1630, Intimidator Sport Fishing (916) 806-3030, Jolly Jay's Guide Service 478-6645.
SAN FRANCISCO BAY — The most consistent fishing is at the Farallon Islands. Four Emeryville boats went to the Farallons on Saturday for a total of 950 rockfish and 35 ling cod. Captain Bob Wright of the Happy Hooker went got three-quarters limits of rockfish with three ling cod to 10 pounds for 19 anglers. The New Seeker was after salmon on the Marin coast, and got five salmon to 18 pounds for 19 fishermen. The rockfish bite was less than a limit proposition at the Farallons Sunday. Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle in San Rafael said shark fishing was downright fantastic near the Pumphouse for Capt. Jim Cox on the Touch of Gray and Capt. Mike Andrews on the Predator. Both boats used mudsuckers. In the north bay, Joel Sinkay encouraged by the number of schoolie stripers starting to show up along the China Camp shoreline, the Marina shoreline, and in Sonoma Creek with live bullheads being the top bait.
HALF MOON BAY — White sea bass have moved down the coast to Monterey, taking the flotilla south in hot pursuit. Coastal rockfishing remains good. Peggy Beckett at Huck Finn Sporting Fishing reported the New Gravy loaded up with half limits of "bomber" black rockfish, three cabezon, two lings to 8 pounds, and a solitary 8-pound halibut at Pescadero. The Ankeny Street came back with 16 limits of rockfish working from buoy 1 south to the Ritz Carleton. Sheryl Jimno of the Rusty Hook in Pacifica said crabbers are working the pier for rock or red crab since the Dungeness season is long over and won't reopen until November. Striper fishing continues to be hit or miss. 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, lakes and streams that will be planted with trout during the week of Aug. 22:
- Tuolumne — Lyons Canal; Middle Fork Stanislaus River; Middle Fork Tuolumne River; Moccasin Creek; Pinecrest Lake; Powerhouse Stream; South Fork Stanislaus River; South Fork Tuolumne River; Clark Fork.
- Madera — Corrine Lake; Starkweather Lake; Upper Middle Fork San Joaquin River.