Schools of stripers have flooded the Sacramento/San Joaquin River system and are being taken on a variety of methods from live bait to jigging. Jim Smith of the Happy Hooker out of Martinez put in 11 limits of bass to 15 pounds before 9 a.m. Saturday with live anchovies and sardines in upper Suisun Bay. Montezuma Slough is a hot spot with large stripers to 40 inches taken on live bullheads or mudsuckers from the public fishing docks or by boat. Benicia Bait reported excellent sturgeon fishing at Garnet Point with ghost shrimp. Kevin Yost of Lucky Strike Fishing out of Pittsburg reported sturgeon stacked up from the PG&E plant to Chain Island. He has experienced his best action on night trips for legal sturgeon and limits of stripers with salmon roe. Trolling has improved with the smaller tides as the major rush of water from the storm hasn't affected water clarity. Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, had an outstanding day with a client Monday, catching and releasing more than 50 stripers to 7 pounds on one-ounce Hopkins Smoothies in green in the San Joaquin River. He's locating the schools by watching birds crashing the surface, then motoring quietly to the spots and dropping the heavier spoon to get through the smaller fish. He replaces the treble hook with a Diachi Big Mo single hook for ease of releasing fish. The stripers are breaking the surface chasing the abundant shad schools. 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.
NEW MELONES RESERVOIR
Melanie Lewis of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp said catfish provide the most consistent action with anchovies, mackerel, sardines, chicken livers or night crawlers. Jay Linker of Angels Camp landed a 14-pound catfish at the mouth of Coyote Creek on a live minnow from a boat. Trout fishing remains slow. Robbie Dunham, one of the top trollers in the area, reported an 8-pound, 11-ounce Sacramento Pikeminnow with no trout taken on a trip last weekend. There are numerous small bass, but keepers are difficult to locate. Trout plants are scheduled for this week at Melones and Tulloch. Call: 736-4333; Monte Smith, 581-4734; Danny Layne, Fishn' Dan, 586-2383; Sierra Sport Fishing, 599-2023.
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Trout fishing for fish to 4 pounds continues for bank anglers and trollers. Power Bait in Salmon Peach or Rainbow or a night crawler with rainbow or chartreuse Power Eggs work at the brush pile and handicapped docks. Trollers are pulling blade/crawlers or Cop Car Needlefish at depths from 20 to 25 feet in the center of the lake from the dam to the second fence line. A trout plant is scheduled for this week. Call: 378-2534.
Mike Van Guilder Jr. of Fishwrangler's Bass Guide Service reported good top-water action with Spooks in the early morning before switching to Berserk jigs in brown or green along rocky points. Quality bass to 3 pounds are hitting the Berserk Perfect Shad Spinnerbait with smaller fish located on shaky heads with a 4- to 6-inch shad-patterned worm. Live minnows or crawdads are still consistent producers around main lake points with deep-water access. Trout fishing is slow, crappie fishing has slowed, and catfishing is slowing with the colder weather. Trout plants are scheduled for the next two weeks. Call: A-1 Bait, 563-6505; Fishwrangler's Guide Service, 604-8222; Bub Tosh, 404-0053.
LAKE DON PEDRO
Manny Basi of the Bait Barn in Waterford said the bass bite is tough this week with the best action on live minnows from small to large. A few fish have been found at 40 to 50 feet in shad-patterned plastics. Last weekend's storm and colder water temperature should pick up the action. Trout plants are scheduled for the next two weeks. Call: Monte Smith, 581-4734; Danny Layne, Fishn' Dan, 586-2383; Bait Barn, 874-3011.
SAN LUIS RESERVOIR and O'NEILL FOREBAY
Ly Tu of Ly's Fishing Goods in San Jose reported the big lake has been on fire for bank anglers and boaters, even during Saturday's storm. Boaters are fishing off of Romero Point and picking up stripers to 27 inches on anchovies or jumbo minnows. The larger fish are coming on the minnows. The fish are fat and healthy. A trout plant is scheduled for Los Banos Creek Reservoir this week. Call: Ly's Fishing Goods 408-629-9644; Coyote Bait and Tackle 408-463-0711; wind conditions: 800-805-4805.
SAN FRANCISCO BAY
The crab opener came with high wind and a huge swell. Only a few brave party boat captains ventured out to pull pots Saturday with the New Seeker and California Dawn finding limits for their clients. The best bottom has been from N Buoy to Double Point with 4 to 6 crab per pot. The New Seeker had a spectacular Sunday in improved conditions with 31 lingcod to 20 pounds to go with 26 limits of rockfish and crab at the Farallon Islands. Captain James Smith on the California Dawn reported 13 limits of rockfish and crabs Sunday and 29 limits of crabs and two halibut fishing in the bay Monday. Live bullheads continue to take stripers to 15 pounds out of the feeder creeks of the Petaluma River, Sonoma Creek and the Napa River, and along the Rodeo shoreline.
HALF MOON BAY
On Sunday, the Tigerfish was the lone party boat out on a combo trip from the Huck Finn Sport Center with 27 limits of crabs and rockfish and six lings fishing at the Farallons. The best crab reports are coming from the 200- to 250-foot depths off Montara and south along Martin's Beach. Most private boaters are reporting one or two and up to five crabs per pot. 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.
Todd Arcaleo of Chris' Landing in Monterey reported limits of quality rockfish Sunday at Point Sur with a few lingcod in the mix. A crab combo trip to local reefs produced rockfish limits and a couple of crab per angler. A few Humboldt squid continue to be pulled out of the depths in the Soquel Canyon and near Cypress Canyon. Call: Chris' Landing, 831-375-5951; Bayside Marine, 831-475-2173; usafishing.com.