Striper action continues to be hot in the cooling water from the Carquinez Straits up to the Port of Sacramento. The heavy fog has been a major concern with boaters needing to be familiar with the water they are fishing, as well as having all safety equipment and GPS in working order. The visibility has been limited to less than 50 feet most mornings from Martinez up to Sacramento. Jim Smith of the Happy Hooker out of Martinez continues his roll with consecutive days of 16, 20 and 20 limits of stripers to 19 pounds Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Sea lions continue to make more than a nuisance of themselves by stealing fish off the lines on a regular basis. The fish have been biting bullheads and live anchovies with a vengeance, but Smith has taken some large fish on fresh butterflied shad, including a 19.5-pounder landed by Dave Hurley of Stockton. Jay Lopes of Right Hook Sport Fishing experienced excellent sturgeon action early in the week with a 58-incher, 48-incher and an oversized at 69-inches released on Monday and Tuesday. Kevin Yost of Lucky Strike Fishing out of Pittsburg had great action this week with an 88- and 72-inch oversized to go with 55- and 53-inch keepers, plus 10 undersized fish in a three-hour window on ghost or grass shrimp and salmon roe with squid paste. Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, has been fishing the north Delta above the Rio Vista Bridge for striped bass, largemouth and smallmouth bass. He reported hooking several stripers to 18 pounds with three doubles during the day. They have been using the Strike King Red-Eye lipless crank bait in the foggy conditions. The heavy fog allows the bass to remain close to the banks in shallow water throughout the day. 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
DELTA MENDOTA CANAL AND SLOUGHS
A 44-pound striper was landed in Mendota Slough on Monday by Bobby Helmuth of Fresno with a Bomber Long A in baby bass colors on 12-pound test while trolling. The fish took quite a while to get to the boat. Pete Cormier of Bob's Bait in Bakersfield reported striper action is still hot in the southern portion of the California Aqueduct both early and late with RatLTraps, hair raisers, Lucky Craft Pointers in American Shad or the Garland Gitzit 3.75 inch sculpin-imitation tube baits in pumpkin or green/blackflake. They have sold over 60 packages of the tube baits in the past week.
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LAKE DON PEDRO
Both Manny Basi of the Bait Barn in Waterford and Mike Van Guilder Jr. of Fishwrangler's Bass Guide Service reported a very tough bass bite with the best action on drop-shotting or jigs at depths to 60 feet along rocky points. A few large fish to 9 pounds have been landed on 8-inch Huddlestons in rainbow trout colors. The Do Poe Men will be holding weekly midweek tournaments with a $50 entry fee each Wednesday from December to March. They also will have a monthly tournament Sunday with a $100 entry fee. The trout plants have spurred on the bank bite at Fleming Meadows with limits on rainbow glitter Power Bait or Rooster tails. Trout plants are scheduled for the next two weeks. Call: Monte Smith 581-4734, Danny Layne-Fishn' Dan 586-2383, Bait Barn 874-3011.
Mike Van Guilder Jr. reported quality fish can be landed on brown or green Berserk jigs from the shoreline to 50 feet as the fish are holding in various depths. Berserk shad-patterned spinnerbaits are picking up a few fish during the day. Manny Basi said small fish can be taken on 6-inch Hologram Shad on the drop shot or half-ounce brown jigs at depths to 40 feet. The bass are holding closer to the banks on overcast days. Trout fishing is showing improvement 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 1st Buoy Line. A trout plant is scheduled for this week. 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. The lake came up 499 acre-feet to 25 percent capacity. There are launch ramps open at McClure Point or Barretts Cove. Call: A-1 Bait 563-6505, Fishwrangler's Guide Service 604-8222, Bub Tosh 404-0053.
McSwain Marina reported continued excellent trout fishing with regular plants from the Department of Fish and Game or Calaveras Trout Farm. The DFG planted 1,000 pounds Monday. Bank anglers have been scoring with rainbow Power Bait or inflated crawlers at the Brush Pile or Handicapped Docks. 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. Call: 378-2534.
Sonny Arcaleo of Chris' Landing in Monterey reported a great ending to the rockfish season with limits and a few lings taken down at Point Sur. They found over 60 Dungeness crab on a recent trip. They will be running crab/sand dab combinations on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays with open boats Saturday for sand dab/mackerel. They also will run Humboldt squid trips depending upon angler interest. Squid still are holding near the edge of the Soquel Hole in 800 to 1,000 feet of water. Call: Chris' Landing (831) 375-5951, Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173, usafishing.com.
NEW MELONES RESERVOIR
Melanie Lewis of Glory Hole Sporting Goods said trout fishing is red hot with the heavy plants from the DFG. Glory Hole, Angels Cove and under the Highway 49 bridge have been hot spots from the bank with rainbow glitter Power Bait or marshmallow/crawler combinations. Kastmasters or Roostertails also are working. Trolling has been slow, but should improve with the cooling water. 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 in the creek beds. Julianne Grover caught a 10¾-pound largemouth on a Roostertail while fishing for trout from the bank at Tuttletown. Spoons also are working near rockpiles or structure. Catfishing is slowing down, as well as crappie and bluegill action. 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 1161 acre-feet from upstream sources to 46 percent capacity. Call: 736-4333, Monte Smith 581-4734, Danny Layne-Fishn' Dan 586-2383, Sierra Sport Fishing 599-2023.
SAN FRANCISCO BAY
The rockfish season ended Sunday with limits all around on the rockfish and declining crab counts for boats heading to the Farallon Islands. The New Seeker and New Salmon Queen out of Emeryville Sport Fishing combined for 42 limits of rockfish and 104 Dungeness crab with the New Huck Finn went on a rockfish/ling cod combination to the Islands for 18 limits of rockfish and a solitary ling cod of 6 pounds. Emeryville will be running sand dab/crab combinations on Tuesdays and Fridays with Humboldt squid trips scheduled for Fridays and Saturdays. The crab counts have dropped off dramatically in the past couple of weeks as predicted. Out of Berkeley, James Smith on the California Dawn reported 33 limits of rockfish at the Islands with 48 Dungeness crabs. Inside the bay, halibut action is slowing down and the best striper action is up in the Delta. Sharks and rays have been the mainstay for both pier and boat fishermen.
SAN LUIS RESERVOIR AND O'NEILL FOREBAY
Ly Tu of Ly's Fishing Goods in San Jose said the striper bite on the big lake has been hit or miss with heavy boat pressure. The majority of the fish weigh between 3 to 4 pounds and are hitting either jumbo minnows or frozen anchovies near Romero Visitor Center. Field scout Chris Counts landed limits of stripers to 27 inches on chartreuse or firetiger Bombers and Yozuris with long set backs of 125 to 175 feet from the Trash Racks to the Basalt Bay along the Dam at depths from 65 to 85 feet. Tu said the Forebay has been limited to heavy angler pressure and small, undersized fish. The lake has risen with 2,034 acre-feet of Delta water to 20 percent capacity. No trout report for Los Banos Creek Reservoir with trout plant scheduled for the next two weeks. Wind conditions: 800-805-4805. Call: Ly's Fishing Goods (408) 629-9644, Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711.