New Melones Reservoir — Danny Layne of Fishn' Dan's Guide Service reported an excellent kokanee bite at the Spillway, Rose Island and the Coyote Creek Arm at 25-50 feet deep for 12- to 16-inch fish. Several limits were taken with a variety of spinners, flies or kokanee bugs tipped with garlic-scented corn behind a dodger. Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing suggested using pink or blue hootchies or a Marni Bug closely behind a Sling Blade at similar depths. He marked large school of fish in the open water near the Spillway. The water temperature is 60-62 degrees. Bank fishing for trout is slow, but trolling is improving at 20-30 feet deep with shad or rainbow trout Countdown Rapalas, Trophy Sticks or Shasta Tackle Kazi Minnows. Bass fishing remains good using Carolina-rigged 6-inch worms, spinnerbaits, Zoom Baby Brush Hogs and other creature-type baits, as well as spinnerbaits and top-water baits. Dennis Lee, who caught a 13.15-pound black bass last week, caught a five-fish limit of lunkers — the smallest was 6 pounds, the biggest was 11. He released them all. James Goble caught a couple of nice fish in the Angels Creek Arm. Catfishing is improving with anchovies, sardines or mackerel. Crappie fishing is still best at night under lights. The lake is holding at 53 percent capacity. Call: 736-4333, Monte Smith 581-4734, Danny Layne — Fishn' Dan 586-2383, Sierra Sport Fishing 599-2023
Lake Don Pedro — Manny Basi reported female bass have moved into deeper water with the end of the spawn. The overall bite is tough with plastics in shad-patterns on a /-ounce darthead producing numbers and swimbaits such as ROF 12 Huddlestons in rainbow trout. Danny Layne reported an improved bite for king salmon and rainbow trout to 18 inches in open water at 25 feet deep with shad-imitation lures or blade/crawler combinations. King salmon to 4 pounds have been found in Fleming Bay at 70-100 feet deep with rolled shad. A few kokanee to 14 inches are showing up off of Big Oak Island and Jenkins Hill. The lake rose to 70 percent capacity. Call: Monte Smith 581-4734, Danny Layne 586-2383, Bait Barn 874-3011
San Luis Reservoir / O'Neill Forebay — Ly Tu at Ly's Fishing Goods said the winds kept most boaters off of the lake last weekend, but there were a few school-sized fish to 5 pounds landed from the banks on the left side of Dinosaur Point with plugged Jumbo Minnows or Lucky Craft Pointer 128s. The bridge under the Forebay continues to get high interest for anglers soaking pile worms. The lake dropped to 451.45 feet in elevation. Call: Wind conditions, (800) 805-4805; Ly's Fishing Goods (408) 629-9644; Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711
McSwain Reservoir — Chuck Rowell of A-1 Bait reported a good trout bite for rainbows or brook trout. Bank anglers are scoring with white Power Eggs and Power Bait as well as inflated night crawlers from the Handicapped Docks or Brush Pile. Trollers are working from the Marina to the first Fence Line from the surface to 35 feet deep with chartreuse or red Wedding Rings tipped with a crawler behind a flasher, Needlefish in Cop Car or rainbow trout, and Kastmasters in blue/chrome or green/chrome. Call: 378-2534
Delta Mendota / Canal and Sloughs — Patrick Movey of Fishermen's Warehouse said stripers to 28 inches have been taken on cut anchovies or Lucky Craft Pointer 128s in Ghost Minnow. Pete Cormier of Bob's Bait Bucket said the bite in the south aqueduct near Lost Hills and Taft remains hot with anchovies or blood worms for 3- to 5-pound stripers.
McClure Reservoir — Chuck Rowell said bass fishing has been very good with the fish on the beds from the surface to 25 feet deep. Jigs in shad or crawdad patterns have been effective, particularly the Pacific Catch in brown/purple. The best areas have been in Piney or Cottonwood creeks and up the river arm past Barrett's Cove. The fish are on the small side, 11-15 inches. Mike Van Guilder Jr. of Fishwrangler's Bass Guide Service said numbers of bass can be taken on Gitzits, 4- to 6-inch plastics or ripbaits when the wind picks up. The water is rising too fast to locate the bed fish. Water temperatures range from low 50s in river to mid-60s on the upper end of the lake. Manny Basi said there is an early top-water bite with Lucky Craft Gunfish or PopRs in Temperance Creek. The pattern observed during the weekend's Mike Van Guilder Sr. Memorial Tournament was the bass were found on natural banks with dried grass, and they were absent from green natural banks. Fishing for brook trout to 2 pounds is very good in the early morning from Barretts to Horseshoe Bend from the surface to 30 feet with Wedding Rings tipped with a crawler behind a dodger. There is also some action at the mouth of Piney Creek. Kokanee 14-17 inches are holding below the trout in the main lake and have been taken at depths to 45 feet on Kokanee Killers, Wedding Rings or Rocky Mountain Assassin spinners tipped with corn. King salmon have been found at 65-85 feet near the Dam with rolled shad or anchovies. Small minnows or salt/pepper mini jigs are working. Catfishing has yet to take off. The lake rose to 47 percent capacity. Call: A-1 Bait 563-6505, Fishwrangler's Guide Service 604-8222, Bub Tosh 404-0053.
Bass Lake — The Bass Lake Chamber of Commerce Trout Derby is this weekend, so angler interest will be high. Todd Wittwer of www.Kokanee.net said the trout bite is excellent with pink UV Hootchies and Rocky Mountain Tackle spinners. The rainbows have been throughout the lake with most action around Fawn Point and from the Sheriff's Tower to the Dam. A few 15- to 17-inch kokanee have been taken on UV pink splatter hootchies behind a UV or Father Murphy's pink/purple bugs behind a Vance's gold dodger at 24 feet deep. Call: (559) 642-3141, Todd Wittwer (559) 288-8100, (559) 642-3633, (559) 642-3737
San Francisco Bay — Sturgeon fishing has been difficult for trollers, as the waters turned muddy from the wind and minus tide. Jim Smith of the Happy Hooker still brought in a fish per rod Sunday, including a 20-pounder landed by the captain on a live shiner minnow. Many fishermen are holding back and waiting for the arrival of live bait, which has yet to appear. Halibut bite also slower. Sturgeon activity in San Pablo Bay perked up with the big tides with Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait in San Rafael saying the best bite is at the end of the outgoing tide and the start of the incoming tide.
Half Moon Bay — The rockfish season opens below Pigeon Point on Friday. Sheryl Jimno of the Rusty Hook in Pacifica said crabbing from the pier continues to be strong with surf perch and the occasional striped bass biting blood or pile worms from the shoreline. Top-water lures and hair raisers are also producing striped bass. Call: Roger Thomas (415) 674-3474; Huck Finn Sport Fishing Center (650) 726-7133; California Dawn (510) 773-5511; Don Franklin, Soleman (510) 703-4148.
Stockton — A few anglers used the minus tides to their advantage by scoring legal sturgeon near the first row of the Mothball Fleet and also into the Little Cut. Benicia Bait reported shoreline striper fishing has been hit or miss with the best location off 9th Street. Flounder are still in the Benicia area. Kevin Yost of Lucky Strike Fishing said legal sturgeon to 50 inches are in upper Suisun Bay. Another good area was in 35 feet of water near the Pittsburg PGE Plant. Jay Sorensen of Jolly Jay's Guide Service was on the San Joaquin River in shallow water on the long outgoing tide yesterday with a couple of friends for 3 limits in the 5/6-pound range on fresh shad. He said they boated two fish with the first twenty minutes of setting anchor. He was able to get some excellent fresh shad from H and R Bait on Highway 4 in Stockton. Most local bait shops are now carrying fresh shad. Dale Dedic of the Central Valley Anglers in Lodi reported good striper action out of Brannan Island. The target length was 27¾ inches with one fish right at the mark. Clyde Wands and his grandson caught and released more than 30 fish. In the Rio Vista area, sturgeon fishing has been best in the upper sloughs; Tony Guido of Stockton pulled in a 52-inch sturgeon from the banks. Call: Happy Hooker (510) 223-5388; Randy Pringle 543-6260; Kevin Yost — Lucky Strike Fishing (707) 301-8050; Mark Wilson Sport Fishing (916) 682-1630; Fin Addict Sport Fishing 367-4665
100 Percent Bass, at Don Pedro (April 25): 1, Jon McManis/Darren Cox, 16.14 (Big Fish, 9.49); 2, Mike Sanders/Matt Lindsey, 10.89; 3, Ron Howe/Bob Miller, 9.59.