The pendulum has swung from striped bass to sturgeon with most anglers targeting diamondbacks as the stripers have moved into the back sloughs or deep water. The huge 7-foot outgoing tide slowed things down over the weekend with bait shops and anglers reporting poor action despite great weather conditions after the morning fog burned off. Captain Mark Delnero of Fin Addict Sport Fishing soaked combinations of grass and ghost shrimp the confluence of Broad Slough and the Sacramento River in deep water to 50 feet on the incoming tide with only three shaker sturgeon for his efforts. Despite heavy angler pressure on the Sacramento River, only a few fish were landed. Dockside Bait in Pittsburg confirmed the slow action, even with heavy angler interest over the weekend in the beautiful weather conditions. Kevin Yost of Lucky Strike Fishing has switched to a 30-pound test braid leader and smaller hooks to increase hooksets with the very light sturgeon bite. On the striper front, Mark Wilson of Mark Wilson's Sport Fishing is bait fishing exclusively with fresh shad in the Collinsville area for a few quality fish to 10-pounds and an occasional bonus sturgeon. Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, has located a few schools of stripers ranging from 3- to 7-pounds at depths from 25 to 35 feet in the main San Joaquin River channel, and he continues to spoon up the fish with ¾- to 1-ounce Hopkins Spoons in green or the Berkley Hollow Belly swimbait on a half-ounce Persuader jig head in 3 to 12 feet of water. He said 20 to 30 fish days have been the norm. The stripers are not feeding on the surface, so you must use your electronics to find the bass as the birds are not working the boils. 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
Buck Deaner said schoolie stripers have landed on the Aqueduct west of Firebaugh on chartreuse/blue backed RatLTraps or jumbo minnows. Pete Cormier of Bob's Bait in Bakersfield said there have been two undersized sturgeon to 36 inches that have been taken out of the southern portion of the Aqueduct by anglers unaware of regulation for sturgeon and also of the species caught. Reminder: The slot limit for sturgeon is 46 to 66 inches, and all anglers must possess a 2009 Sturgeon Report Card. Anchovies have been the top baits with pile worms also effective for schoolie stripers to 5 pounds.
LAKE DON PEDRO
Mike Van Guilder Jr. of Fishwrangler's Bass Guide Service reported a tough bass bite, but a limit of fish can be found on Berserk 6-inch worms dragged slowly at depths of 20 feet. Manny Basi of the Bait Barn in Waterford confirmed the slow bass bite with the best action on jigs or plastics from 10 to 40 feet at the fish are still scattered and not holding to any pattern. Anglers can pick up 20 fish, but they are all small. Bass anglers tossing rip baits have been consistently hooking trout, as the planted trout are the still the best thing going with continued easy limits off of the banks near the Marina and Fleming Meadows. RoosterTails in yellow or red/white, Kastmasters in blue/chrome or rainbow glitter Power Bait are all working. Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing recommended trolling lures such as ExCels or Humdingers on sideplaners at a faster clip near the banks, as the fish are holding in the shallower water with a slightly warmer temperature and steady food supply. Call: Monte Smith 581-4734, Danny Layne-Fishn' Dan 586-2383, Bait Barn 874-3011.
Mike Van Guilder Jr. said a few quality bass are found on wakebaits, spinnerbaits, Gitzits, Berserk jigs or plastics. Rip baits are more effective for trout than bass with bass anglers being pestered with the omnipresent trout. Manny Basi of the Bait Barn in Waterford said the best bass technique has been to toss Hologram Shad plastics or brown/purple or brown jigs from depths of 40 feet towards the shore and drag the lure back slowly to the boat. The swimbait bite is slow with the fish preferring the real thing with trout all over the lake. Trout fishing continues to be on fire for trollers and bank anglers alike with loads of fish in the lake with an addition of a recent plant of brook trout to the mix. Crappie fishing is slow as the crappie have scattered with a few fish found up in the river canyons at depths to 45 feet with small minnows or red/white minijigs. Catfishing is also slow with the cooling water temperatures. Call: A-1 Bait 563-6505, Fishwrangler's Guide Service 604-8222, Bub Tosh 404-0053.
McSwain Marina reported work at Exchequer Dam lowered the water level at McSwain at least 15 feet over the weekend, but despite the falling water, fishing only slowed slightly. The water level has been restored presently, but more work is required on the Dam. 2100-pounds of brook trout were released by Calaveras Trout Farm and the Department of Fish and Game in the past week. Trollers continue to use red or green Wedding Rings tipped with a night crawler behind a dodger or blade/crawler combinations at depths from 25 to 30 feet from the Dam to the Chimney for fish to 16 inches with bank anglers scoring at the Brush Pile or Handicapped Docks with various colors of Power Bait or night crawlers.
Mike Aughney of usafishing.com reported private boats are still seeing a few squid out along the edge of the shelf. Ly Tu of Ly's Fishing Goods reported small perch to 1.5 pounds on grass shrimp or Berkley Camo Sand Worms at Sea Cliff or Sunset Beaches. Chris' Landing in Monterey is running combination trips for giant squid/mackerel and sand dabs Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays for $65. Call: Chris' Landing 831-375-5951, Bayside Marine 831-475-2173, usafishing.com.
NEW MELONES RESERVOIR/TULLOCH
Russ Faught of the Fisherman's Friend in Lodi said trollers have been scoring easy limits with the Mr. Kokanee Hootchie Wriggler tipped with a crawler pulled from 150 to 200 feet behind the boat at the surface. The majority of fish are planters, but the action has been hot, particularly near the banks in the warmer water on south or west facing slopes and in Angels or Glory Hole Coves. Melanie Lewis of Glory Hole Sporting Goods reported continued easy limits from the banks with rainbow or chartreuse glitter Power Bait, marshmallow/crawler combinations, yellow or rainbow trout RoosterTails, and gold or shad-patterned Kastmasters along Glory Hole Point, Angels Cove, Tuttletown and under the Highway 49 Bridge. This is an excellent time to take youngsters out for the consistent action. Bass fishing continues to be slow, but local guide John Chiarpotti continues to find big fish on swimbaits. Numbers of fish are most likely located with drop- or split-shot 4-inch shad-colored plastics dragged along the bottom. Catfishing, crappie and bluegill are all slow at the present time. Call: 736-4333, Monte Smith 581-4734, Danny Layne-Fishn' Dan 586-2383, Sierra Sport Fishing 599-2023.
SAN LUIS RESERVOIR AND O'NEILL FOREBAY
Ly Tu of Ly's Fishing Goods said drifting anchovies at the Trash Racks at depths from 50 to 90 feet has produced limits of stripers in the 22- to 26-inch range. Experienced trollers reported slow action with a few schoolie stripers taken on Yozuris or Rebels along the Dam and the Trash Racks. The Forebay has been very slow. The lake has risen 5,525 acre-feet from Delta sources to 28 percent of capacity. Buck Deaner of the Fishermen's Warehouse in Fresno said there was heavy boat and bank pressure at Los Banos Creek Reservoir over the weekend with the outstanding weather. Trollers were pulling red/gold Cripplures or Rapalas or the Gulp Minnow in rainbow trout from the surface to 15 feet in depth and averaging a couple of fish per hour. The banks were lined with anglers tossing Power Bait, night crawlers or Kastmasters. Wind conditions: 800-805-4805. Call: Ly's Fishing Goods 408-629-9644; Coyote Bait and Tackle 408-463-0711.
SAN FRANCISCO BAY
John Akina at Oyster Point Bait, Tackle and Deli in South San Francisco said things were hot at the Oakland Airport over the weekend with several sturgeon landed. Don Franklin of the Soleman out of Pier 39 in San Francisco confirmed the solid bite with a 51-inch sturgeon boated on a herring/ghost shrimp combination in 18 feet of water on a weekend trip. He said several other boats were hooked up as well with John Badger of Barbarian Sport Fishing landing four legal sturgeon in the same area Saturday. Ly Tu at Ly's Fishing Goods said a couple of sturgeon were landed off of the Dunbarton Bridge Pier on Sunday with fishermen crowding the pier in a frenzy with the reports of a few fish. The Redwood City Boat Launch is projected to open Thursday. The Herring Hot Line at the Department of Fish and Game reported herring have been difficult to locate during this weekend of extreme tides with the schools smaller in size and scattered. A trawl survey in the Alameda area located a school of anchovies near Markers 8 and 9 with a small group of herring found near the Romberg Laboratory at depths of 60 feet. The location of herring schools is a key to finding sturgeon in the bays at this time of year.