Sturgeon action is on the upswing with the brown, muddy water from heavy rains in the upper end of the watershed. This weekend brings minus tides that should spur on the sturgeon bite in deep water on the incoming tide and in shallower water on the outgoing tide. The fresh water inflow has weakened the smaller incoming tides during the past week. Kevin Yost of Lucky Strike Fishing had a great day Monday with clients Doug Zomes and Jim Cunningham landing legal fish at 51 and 48 inches to go with a 45-inch sturgeon released. Jay Lopes of Right Hook Sport Fishing out of Martinez has caught and released six oversized fish in the past week with the best bite on the outgoing despite the dirty water and debris. Mark Wilson of Mark Wilson's Sport Fishing has returned to bait fishing with butterflied shad since the Sacramento River has gotten dirty in the past couple of days from all of the water moving down the river. He was able to pick up stripers earlier this week on bait to go with five catfish and some shaker stripers on the outgoing tide, but the big story was what he did prior to the water getting dirty. He took Cal Kellogg, associate editor of the Fishsniffer Magazine out on a trolling trip for 26 keepers to a whopping 24 pounds. Wilson said the bite was "wide open" in the morning with Kellogg catching and releasing personal bests at 21 and 24 pounds. The action came on deep diving Yozuris at 14 feet. 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
Local tackle stores continue to be unable to keep Lucky Craft 127s or 128s in Ghost Minnow for anglers plugging in the white water near the weirs. The plugs are selling out within hours of being stocked in the stores. Pete Cormier of Bob's Bait in Bakersfield said blood worms are working for schoolie stripers in the south aqueduct near Taft. Top water lures continue to also produce fish.
LAKE DON PEDRO
Manny Basi of the Bait Barn in Waterford reported the best action has been on three-quarter-ounce Berserk jigs in brown or brown/purple or quarter-ounce Revenge dart heads with watermelon/red or purple in water as deep as 70 feet. The heavier jigs are necessary to reach the bottom in the deeper water and provide a better feel with the finesse techniques. The swimbait bite has been slow with a ratio of 10 anglers trying for every single fish landed. Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing scouted the lake for king salmon and found a pair of kings to 2.5 pounds on rolled shad at 35 feet in depth near Fleming Meadows. He thought the majority of kings are still holding up the river arm. He added a limit of rainbows on the surface with a night crawler behind a Vance's Little Slim Willie on a sideplaner. The lake rose to 59 percent of capacity with a water temperature starting at 54 degrees.
Call: Monte Smith 581-4734,
Danny Layne-Fishn' Dan 586-2383,
Bait Barn 874-3011.
NEW MELONES RESERVOIR
Melanie Lewis of Glory Hole Sporting Goods said the Department of Fish and Game planted the lake last week, while bank fishing or still fishing on the anchor in Angels or Glory Holes Coves or near the Tuttletown Launch Ramp continued to provide the best trout action. In addition to various colors of Power Bait, lures or marshmallow/crawler combinations; live minnows under a bobber have also been working. Dennis and Dustin Tarap managed to land nine trout to 2.7 pounds while bass fishing up in the South Fork of Stanislaus River Arm with shad-patterned lures. Trollers are advised to fish on the surface early before dropping to 15 feet when the sun comes out with gold, silver or shad-patterned Rapalas, Shasta Tackle Kazi Minnows or broken backed Rebels. Bob Edwards, fishing with Ed Burlarley of Sierra Guide Service, landed a 4.2 pound brown trout on a rolled shad at a depth of 50 feet near Rose Island. Kokanee fishing should begin in March or April, although an occasional kokanee continues to be found. Bass fishing is starting to improve with the largest fish taken on spinnerbaits dragged across banks up to 30 feet deep. The spotted bass are moving shallower and seem to be getting ready to spawn. Numbers of bass can be caught by dragging a drop-shot-rigged or split-shot rigged 4-inch shad-colored or oxblood worm on secondary points or submerged island tops, or by vertical spooning with a Hopkins Spoon under bait balls. Swim bait and reaction-type baits are working, especially on windy days. Crappie fishing is best at night under lights around submerged trees at depths from 10 to 30 feet with either small or medium minnows or crappie jigs in Bear, Mormon or Carson Creeks. Catfishing is showing signs of life with mackerel, anchovies or night crawlers in Glory Hole or Angels Coves or near the Tuttletown Launch Ramp. Their next weekly seminar is scheduled Sunday at 3 p.m. with Nick Welton on choosing the right line. The lake came up 3166 acre-feet from upstream sources to 50 percent of capacity. Nearby Lake Tulloch continues to produce trout from the surface to 20 feet with blade/crawler combinations or rolled shad. The lake level has risen to 82 percent. Call: 736-4333,
Monte Smith 581-4734,
Danny Layne-Fishn' Dan 586-2383, Sierra Sport Fishing 599-2023.
Trout fishing continues to provide quick and easy limits for trollers pulling Berkley Gulp Worms behind a Sep's 4/0 watermelon dodger near McClure Point. The heavy plants of rainbows and brook trout have spurred on the hot bite. Live minnows under a bobber from a boat or the banks near Barretts South Launch Ramp are also working. A few king salmon have been taken on rolled shad in various depths. Manny Basi at the Bait Barn said small bass are found up in the Narrows along steep, rocky banks with quarter-ounce dart-head plastics in watermelon/red or purple or three-quarter-ounce jigs in brown/purple in deep water to 70 feet. Catfishing continues to be slow. The lake rose 962 acre-feet to 32 percent of capacity. Call: A-1 Bait 563-6505, Fishwrangler's Guide Service 604-8222, Bub Tosh 404-0053.
Last week's DFG trout plant recharged the lake for bank anglers with Power Bait or night crawlers from the banks near the Marina, the Handicapped Docks or the Brush Pile. Trollers have been pulling Wedding Rings tipped with a crawler, blade/crawler combinations or chrome/blue Kastmasters from the surface to 20 feet. Call 378-2534.
SAN FRANCISCO BAY
Three consecutive weekends of stormy weather has brought fresh water into the bays from the Sacramento/San Joaquin Rivers and feeder creeks. The storms have also limited angling interest, particularly on the weekends. Inside the bays, things have busted loose with halibut and striped bass returning to join the steady pick of sturgeon. Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait in San Rafael said a total of three limits of stripers to 10 pounds were taken on a pair of boats in the anchor at the Pumphouse. These are the first bass to poke their heads out of the Delta in a long, long time. Fraser thought this weekend's minus tides beginning Wednesday, in combination with the fresh water inflow, would turn on the sturgeon bite in San Pablo Bay with ghost, grass or mud shrimp. John Akina of Oyster Point Bait, Tackle and Deli in South San Francisco reported that five legal halibut were landed this week by trolling frozen anchovies in the Hunter's Point, A-Crane and Candlestick areas. Halibut are also found on the Berkeley Flats from the Pier to Brooks Island.