Striper action continues to be fantastic from the Carquinez Straits upriver to Rio Vista. The best action has been on bullheads or fresh shad, as the large tides and dirty water slowed down the trolling bite to a crawl. Curtis Hayes at Benicia Bait reported outstanding striper fishing with cut bullheads at the Fleet in water of 35 feet or deeper. Sturgeon fishing has been fair with the best action up in Grizzly Bay and into the Big Cut on the first part of the outgoing tide with ghost shrimp on the E-chip sturgeon leader. John Badger of Barbarian Sport Fishing has been working some deeper water near upper Suisun Bay for a 53-inch sturgeon to go with fish to 69 inches released on eel strips combined with other baits.
Mark Wilson of Mark Wilson's Sport Fishing has switched over to bait fishing with stripers of 29, 27, 22 and a couple of 18s released in the past week. Jay Sorensen of Jolly Jay's Guide Service out of Eddo's Boat Harbor brought in limits of stripers to 16 pounds on shad near Decker Island on the incoming tide. Kevin Yost of Lucky Strike Fishing is in the midst of the Sturgeon Marathon for Water4Fish this week, and he reported a difficult bite with four shakers released in the Pittsburg area, despite marking an abundance of fish. Call: Happy Hooker 510-223-5588; 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.
DELTA MENDOTA CANAL AND SLOUGHS
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Buck Deaner said the striper action in the Delta-Mendota and California Aqueduct slowed down, perhaps in response to lower water levels. Pete Cormier of Bob's Bait in Bakersfield reported excellent striper action in the southern portion of the California Aqueduct both early and late with the 3.75-inch sculpin-imitation tube baits in pumpkin or green/blackflake. He landed seven fish on a morning trip and 16 on an afternoon trip by letting the tubes hit the bottom and retrieving slowly with a stop and go motion. The stripers range between 20 and 25 inches.
LAKE DON PEDRO
Manny Basi reported a tough bite with only a 6-pound winning limit during the weekend's tournament. A few large fish have been taken on either the Huddleston or 6-inch Bass Grande swimbaits in rainbow trout colors. Trout and king salmon fishing continue to be very slow, but colder water temperatures and DFG trout plants should improve prospects in the near future. Call: Monte Smith 581-4734, Danny Layne-Fishn' Dan 586-2383, Bait Barn 874-3011.
Diana Mello of A-1 Bait reported the crappie bite has exploded with both live minnows and red/white mini jigs for limits to 3 pounds. The best action has been around the houseboats in the Barretts Cove Marina, in Little Piney Creek, the spillway and the dam around structure. Bass fishing is improving with dark-colored purple or brown plastics in depths from 25 to 30 feet around the spillway and from Cottonwood to Piney Creek. The Keeper 082 has been particularly effective. Manny Basi of the Bait Barn said a 10-pound largemouth was taken on a Huddleston to win the WON Bass Tournament with a single fish. Ninety percent of the tournament anglers were unable to weigh in limits.
Trout fishing is starting to improve with in the top 35 feet up the river narrows from Barretts Cove to Horseshoe Bend or from the dam to the first buoy line with chrome/green or chrome/blue ExCels or Wedding Rings tipped with a crawler behind a flasher. Catfishing is slowing for fish to 3 pounds around soft, muddy banks at depths to 20 feet with live crawdads, anchovies or cut baits. Call: A-1 Bait 563-6505, Fishwrangler's Guide Service 604-8222, Bub Tosh 404-0053. McSWAIN RESERVOIR
Diana Mello of A-1 Bait in Snelling reported continued excellent trout fishing for both bank anglers and trollers. Limits have been the rule with fish from 13 inches to 6 pounds. Trollers are pulling Wedding Ring/crawler combinations behind a flasher from the dam to the second fence line. Bank anglers are scoring with chartreuse Power Eggs with an inflated crawler or chartreuse Power Bait at the Brush Pile. Call: 378-2534.
Sonny Arcaleo of Chris' Landing in Monterey reported some decent crab action with as many as three per angler on their combination trips. The overall rockfish bite at Point Sur has slowed with limits of the quality fish taken the majority of the day. The fish are there, but the captains have had to work hard and be ready to move to get them to bite. A smaller grade of rockfish can be found on the local reefs. There are bonita found from the Whistle Buoy down to Point. Sur. Four bonita were hooked on a recent Point. Sur trip with shrimp flies designed for rockfish. Private boaters are finding squid in the deep canyon edges. They will continue to run crab combos on Tuesdays-Thursdays and Sundays with trips to Point Sur on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through the end of November. After Dec. 1, they will concentrate on sand dab/crab combinations and Humboldt squid trips. Call: Chris' Landing 831-375-5951, Bayside Marine 831-475-2173, usafishing.com.
NEW MELONES RESERVOIR
Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing continues to tout Lake Tulloch as the best area current trout option in the central Mother Lode. The launch ramp is now on the lower ramp, making for easier launching. He experienced a slowdown in action on a recent trip with a few rainbows and some bright kokanee to 15 inches on crawlers behind a Vance's Dodger from the surface to 15 feet in depth. Melanie Lewis of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp reported bank trout is on the rise with the cooler water temperatures with limits taken off of Glory Hole Point or Tuttletown Launch Ramps with rainbow Power Bait or Power Bait/crawler combinations. Catfish provide the most consistent action on the lake with anchovies, mackerel, sardines, chicken livers or night crawlers. David Gerner of Sonora landed a 15-pound, 15-ounce catfish on a crawler/marshmallow combo while bank fishing off of Glory Hole Point while Al Judnich caught a 13-pound, 11-ounce cat on a crawler while fishing in Angels Cove. Bass fishing continues to dominated by numerous small bass, but keepers are difficult to locate. Call: 736-4333, Monte Smith 581-4734, Danny Layne -Fishn' Dan 586-2383, Sierra Sport Fishing 599-2023.
SAN FRANCISCO BAY
The commercial crab season started on Sunday, and the majority of the large, commercial crabbers are already stacking their gear and heading back north due to an unproductive harvest. The party boats continue to scratch out limits of crab to go with rockfish limits. The New Seeker and C Gull II out of Emeryville Sport Fishing had a combined 54 limits of rockfish and crab to go with 7 lings to 10 pounds. The New Huck Finn also found 27 limits of rockfish with 5 lings to 10 pounds. All of the boats were at the Farallons Islands. The rockfish season ends Nov. 30. Inside the bay, Keith Fraser at Loch Lomond Bait in San Rafael said the large minus tides may have affected fishing over the past weekend with slow action for halibut, stripers and sturgeon. Don Franklin of the Soleman, a six-pack out of Fisherman's Wharf, defied this trend with a 50-inch sturgeon at the Shellbanks and 8 stripers to 12 pounds in the Rodeo Flats on Sunday.
SAN LUIS RESERVOIR AND O'NEILL FOREBAY
John Poindexter of the Fresno Chapter of the California Striped Bass Association said fishing was a bit tough over the weekend's derby with only seven fish over the 24-inch minimum size weighed in by their 21 anglers. The largest fish of 12 pounds was landed by trolling near the Trash Racks with the majority of action by drifting live minnows. Buck Deaner of Fisherman's Warehouse in Fresno reported a consistent striper bite in the Forebay at depths from 18 to 20 feet with deep diving Yozuri Crystal Minnows in chartreuse or redhead/white for quick limits to 22 inches. The bait bite from the banks has been slow. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun said anglers are starting to toss white Flukes near the Forebay Bridge. The lake came up 6,292 acre-feet of Delta water to 17 percent of capacity. Call: Ly's Fishing Goods 408-629-9644; Coyote Bait and Tackle 408-463-0711; Wind conditions: (800) 805-4805.