NEW MELONES RESERVOIR — The brakes are on the kokanee action and most anglers are checking out other lakes for trout or king salmon. A few fish are possible, but only first thing in the morning. The fish are at 40-90 feet and hitting 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. Trout fishing remains best with a submersible light at night at 20-30 feet near the dam, the spillway, or under the Highway 49 Stevenot Brigdge with Power Bait, night crawlers, live minnows, or vertical jigs. Trollers should target the main river channel between the bridges. Bank anglers should head to streams and creeks. On the bass front, there is a reaction and top-water bite in the early morning with Lucky Craft Pointers, Staycees, Zara Spooks, PopR's, and Jitterbugs close to the banks. Catfishing is probably the best thing going with anchovies, mackerel, sardines, chicken liver, or a ball of night crawlers. Crappie and bluegill continues to be best at night with a submersible light around submerged trees in Bear, Mormon and Carson creeks, or upriver. Bluegill are hitting king mealworms or a piece of night crawler under a bobber. Call: 736-4333; Monte Smith 581-4734; Danny Layne 586 2383; Sierra Sport Fishing 599-2023.
SAN LUIS RESERVOIR / O'NEILL FOREBAY — The winds were too dangerous for launching in the forebay Saturday, and Ly Tu of Ly's Fishing Goods in San Jose said bank anglers are scoring stripers in the 18 to 20-inch range on live mudsuckers. Billy Hill of Coyote Bait in San Jose said anchovies and pile worms have been the top baits in the forebay. The best area is still under the Highway 33 Bridge at night, with a few small catfish found near check 12 with sardines, anchovies or pile worms. Hill said the action in the main lake will take off within the next month as the water cools and the lake levels stabilize. The month of October is generally a good month at San Luis. Call: Ly's Fishing Goods (408) 629-9644; Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711.
McSWAIN RESERVOIR — McSwain Marina said a Calaveras Trout Farm plant put 1,000 pounds of fish in the lake, and one angler scored a limit of quality trout at the point near the marina by dipping night crawlers into Berkley garlic Power Bait. Otherwise, bank action was slow. Trout have also been found in the river channel near Exchequer Dam with Power Bait in nymph purple or garlic, or Power Eggs. The lake level remains high and stable. Call: 378-2534.
McCLURE RESERVOIR — Danny Layne of Fishn' Dan's Guide Service reported a good bite for "diehard" kokanee anglers along the face of the dam at depths to 80 feet with Uncle Larry's spinners, Glitterbug hootchies, or Vance's Sockeye Slammers tipped with Pautske's pink Fire Corn for fish to 18-inches. Diana Mello of A-1 Bait added that limits of rainbow trout have been consistent with silver/blue, chrome, or rainbow ExCel spoons at 35-50 feet deep from the dam to Barretts Cove. Manny Basi of the Bait Barn said the bass bite remains slow with the best action on the twin-tailed Yamamoto Hula Grub in color 330 from the banks. Catfishing continues to be good along muddy, sloping banks with night crawlers, chicken livers, anchovies, or sardines.Call: A-1 Bait 563-6505; Bub Tosh 404-0053.
LAKE DON PEDRO — Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing reported outstanding trout fishing at 30-35 feet. He continues to fast troll Chucker T silver/nickel spoons for rainbows to 21 inches and 3.75 pounds. The fish are holding near shad bait schools. Danny Layne of Fishn' Dan's Guide Service confirmed the "wide-open" trout bite with the best action from Woods Creek to Fleming Bay with Vance's Slim Fins, ExCel spoons or Shasta Tackle Matrix Paddletails scented with Pautske's Krill paste. He added that kokanee to 16 inches are off of Jenkins Hill at depths to 110 feet. King salmon action is hit or miss. Manny Basi of the Bait Barn in Waterford said bass fishing remains slow and there is no top-water bite. The lake dropped to 87% capacity. Call: Monte Smith 581-4734; Danny Layne 586-2383; Bait Barn 874-3011.
DELTA — The lower Sacramento River salmon season is Saturday through Oct. 4, and hundreds of boats are expected to troll opening day. Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, found some large stripers ranging to 20 pounds in the San Joaquin River system on top-water lures. There are numerous smaller stripers in the Delta, but the larger fish are found along ambush points in moving water both in the main river channel and around the side sloughs. For largemouth, Pringle has been working top-water lures for fish to 4 pounds, but the most consistent action has been with the Berkley Hand-poured plastics on a Zappu head. 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 Golden Gate was unforgiving Saturday, and few boats made it to the salmon grounds. The Outer Limits reported 10 salmon for 16 anglers. Sunday, the weather was beautiful, but salmon fishing was slow with the water changing from dark to clear and dropping a half-dozen degrees. The ocean salmon season closes Monday, so the last hurrah is this weekend. Five boats out of Emeryville Sport Fishing rocked and rolled up the Marin coast on Saturday with 95 anglers for near limits of rockfish. With fishing outside the Gate a dicey option at best, Bryan Chan of the California Dawn and Bob Wright of the Happy Hooker took a two-boat charter to the south bay for shark fishing. Using live and cut sardines, both reported spectacular fishing, with 15 anglers on the California Dawn landing 42 leopard shark, 12 seven-gill shark and a bonus 50-pound soupfin — with the big fish taken in the last 10 minutes. John Akina at Oyster Point Bait, Tackle and Deli in South San Francisco reported slow fishing in the south bay.
HALF MOON BAY — Coastal rockfishing has been the only game now that the white sea bass have slid down the coast. Sheryl Jimno of the Rusty Hook in Pacifica said things have been on the quiet side, but she is still selling loads of pile and blood worms for perch anglers. An occasional striped bass is landed. Also vacant are the salmon that normally, in a good year, crowd the waters around the pier by mid-summer. The pier is limited to rock or red crabbing and perch fishing. 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.
MONTEREY/SANTA CRUZ — Sonny Arcaleo of Chris' Landing in Monterey said the Checkmate put in 14 limits of mixed grade of rockfish on the local reefs, and they were back at the harbor by noon with sacks full of blues, yellows and gophers on Sunday. The white sea bass action was decent with skiffs reporting up to three fish. Arcaleo said the squid boats are laying out their gear. Bayside Marine in Santa Cruz reported shore fishing is going well for anglers working near Davenport for halibut in 50-75 feet of water. Rockfishing has been good near the Mile Buoy or South Rock in 60-90 feet of water. There are still a few white sea bass being caught near Seaside, but there have been no anglers out for albacore due to the winds. Call: Chris' Landing (831) 375-5951, Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173, usafishing.com.
Reservoirs and lakes that will be planted with trout during the week of Sept.1:
- Tuolumne — Lyons Canal; Middle Fork and South Fork, Stanislaus River; Moccasin Creek; Pinecrest Lake; Powerhouse Stream; Clark Fork.
- Madera — Corrine Lake; lower Chiquto Creek; Rock Creek; Starkweather Lake; upper fork Stanislaus River.