Striper action continues to be hot from the Carquinez Straits up to the Sacramento Deep Water Channel. At the lower end of the Delta, Jim Smith of the Happy Hooker in Martinez put on another bullhead clinic over the weekend with 19 limits of bass to 14 pounds today to go with 43 bass to 12 pounds for 26 clients. They have been plagued by a pod of sea lions that have pulled off over 30 hooked fish over the weekend. Benicia Bait reported striper fishing is "hotter than a pistol" at the Mothball Fleet with cut bullheads for fish to 20-pounds. Shore anglers continue to score smaller fish to 26 inches on live bullheads. Jay Lopes of Right Hook Sport Fishing found good sturgeon action on Saturday in upper Suisun Bay with a huge oversized estimated between 85 and 90 inches requiring them to pick up anchor after 20 minutes to chase down. Kevin Yost of Lucky Strike Fishing out of Pittsburg reported landing a legal sturgeon near the PGE Plant to go with three other undersized fish. He has been working in deep water with a combination of baits, including their patented scent dispenser. Field scouts Jeff Boyle and Grant Clemens caught and released over a dozen stripers to 17 pounds in deep water near Chain Island on fresh shad. They also experienced sea lions stealing hooked fish off their lines. Audie Urbano at Hap's Bait in Rio Vista confirmed the busy action on the Sacramento side of the Delta with several fish weighed in over the weekend, including a few limits to 12 pounds. Bullheads, mudsuckers and fresh shad have been the top baits. Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, said striper action on the San Joaquin has slowed down with the cooling water temperatures and the bright afternoon skies. The best bite is found during the foggy conditions in the early mornings. 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
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The low water in the canals has slowed down the bite for both stripers and catfish in the local canals. Pete Cormier of Bob's Bait reported continued 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 or with live jumbo minnows for fish to 25 inches.
LAKE DON PEDRO
Manny Basi of the Bait Barn in Waterford reported a few large fish to 8 pounds have been landed on Huddlestons or the 6-inch Bass Grande swimbaits in rainbow trout colors. The larger fish during the past weekend's American Bass Tournament were picked up on swimbaits. Drop-shotting with shad colored plastics or three-eighths-of-an-ounce jigs in brown/purple have also been effective for a smaller grade of fish. The Do Poe Men will be holding weekly mid-week tournaments with a $50 entry fee each Wednesday from December to March with a monthly tournament on Sunday with a $100 entry fee. Trout and king salmon fishing continue to be very slow with rain and colder weather desperately needed to improve things. 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 continues to be strong with both live minnows and red/white minijigs with the possibility of limits around the houseboats in the Barretts Cove Marina, in Little Piney Creek, the spillway and the dam around structure. Bass fishing is continuing to improve with dark-colored purple or brown plastics in depths from 25 to 30 feet around the spillway and from Cottonwood to Piney Creek. There is a small window for top water in the morning. Live crawdads and minnows continue to work off of the banks. Manny Basi of the Bait Barn said excellent numbers of spotted and largemouth bass to 1.5 pounds can be found on 6-inch Roboworms in Hologram Shad or Smallie Beavers in Bad Shad Green at depths from 30 to 45 feet in depth. Bass are holding under the numerous shad schools. Trout fishing is improving with the fish starting to rise in the water column in 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 slow with a few fish to 3 pounds located 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.
Stephanie Wood of McSwain Marina reported excellent trout fishing for both bank anglers and trollers with the best bite early in the morning or after 3:30 p.m. Trollers are pulling Wedding Rings tipped with a night crawler behind a dodger or blade/crawler combinations from the surface to 20 feet from the floating restrooms to the second-fence line. Bank anglers are concentrating at the handicapped docks in the early morning or in the deeper water near McSwain Dam with rainbow Power Bait or inflated crawlers. Chartreuse Power Eggs or Power Bait combined with a white color has also been very effective. A Calaveras Trout Farm plant is scheduled for this week. Call: 378-2534.
Todd Arcaleo of Chris' Landing in Monterey reported excellent rockfish action on their trips to Point Sur with up to a dozen ling cod per trip. The local trips to Carmel Bay are producing limits of smaller fish to go with a couple Dungeness crab per angler. They will be fishing sand dab/crab combinations or Humboldt squid trips after the rockfish closure this Sunday. Bayside Marine in Santa Cruz reported good inshore fishing at depths from 40 to 70 feet near Davenport for halibut, ling cod, cabezon and assorted rockfish. Humboldt squid are holding near the edge of the Soquel Hole in 800 to 1,000 feet of water. Crab fishing is decent for those willing to wait for a long soak. Call: Chris' Landing (831) 375-5951, Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173, usafishing.com.
NEW MELONES RESERVOIR
Melanie Lewis of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp reported the surface temperature has dropped, bringing the trout to the shore. Planter fish are being landed on marshmallow/crawler combinations or rainbow glitter Power Bait at Glory Hole Point or Angels Cove. Bass fishing is improving with numerous spots in the 1- to 2-pound range with a few larger fish to 5-pounds found from 5 to 50 feet in depth with Carolina-rigged crawdad-patterned plastics or greenpumpkin Baby Brush Hawgs. A few large catfish to 14 pounds have been taken on anchovies, mackerel, sardines, chicken livers or night crawlers near Tuttletown, Glory Hole Point and the visitors center. The Angels Boat Ramp is out of the water with the lower Tuttletown and medium ramp at Glory Hole available for use. The lake came up 1,080 acre-feet from upstream sources to 46 percent of capacity. Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing is focusing upon nearby Lake Tulloch as the best area current trout option in the central Mother Lode. He has been rolling shad or pulling blade/crawler combinations from the surface to 20 feet in depth. Call: 736-4333, Monte Smith 581-4734, Danny Layne-Fishn' Dan 586-2383, Sierra Sport Fishing 599-2023.
SAN FRANCISCO BAY
Rockfishing remains solid with the majority of the boats heading to the Farallon Islands for limits and a few ling cod. The crab counts have dropped dramatically with the majority of the large commercial crabbers vacating the area for ports north. The New Seeker, New Salmon Queen and C Gull II out of Emeryville Sport Fishing took 71 anglers to the Farallons on Sunday for full limits of rockfish, 4 lings to 15 pounds and 188 crabs.
SAN LUIS RESERVOIR AND O'NEILL FOREBAY
Ly Tu of Ly's Fishing Goods in San Jose said the water in the big lake is rising, displacing the fish throughout the lake. As a result, bait action has slowed on the big lake. Limits to 26 inches can be had with jumbo minnows or anchovies once the fish are located. The area around the Pumps or Trash Racks has been the most consistent. Buck Deaner of Fisherman's Warehouse in Fresno reported quick limits of stripers to 22 inches have been taken in the Forebay with deep diving Yozuri Crystal Minnows in chartreuse or redhead/white at 15 feet in depth in 20 feet of water. The boat traffic was heavy over the weekend. Call: Ly's Fishing Goods (408) 629-9644; Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711; wind conditions: (800) 805-4805.