Sturgeon fishing was hit or miss over the weekend as the debris from upstream sources is working its way down the system. Even with the inflow, the incoming tide has been strong during this current series of tides. Pam Hayes at Benicia Bait said there was heavy boat pressure on the Delta on Saturday in response to the first good weekend weather in a month. As a result, the bite slowed down. Things rebounded on Sunday with a few sturgeon taken at the Fleet on grass or ghost shrimp. Jay Lopes of Right Hook Sport Fishing thought the sturgeon have been extremely temperamental with an inconsistent bite every day. They released three shakers Friday, an oversized in the low 80s and a shaker yesterday and nothing on Sunday. Mark Wilson of Mark Wilson's Sport Fishing left the Collinsville area to search for clear water for striper trolling, and he found some near Big Break for eight keeper stripers to 24-inches. With all of the inflow from the Mokelumne and Consumes rivers, anglers will have to look in the Middle and Old River branches for trolling water. 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
Patrick Movey of the Fisherman's Warehouse in Fresno said a shipment of Lucky Craft 127's or 128 in Ghost Minnow came in on Monday, and he expected the lures to be sold within a couple of days. Merritt Gilbert said a couple dozen of the Lucky Crafts have left the store for the Aqueduct for anglers plugging in the white water near the weirs. Pete Cormier of Bob's Bait in Bakersfield reported a 25-pound striper was taken in the south aqueduct near Taft. One-ounce RatLTraps, Lucky Craft 15s and 128s and various shad-patterned swimbait have been working. Catfish to 6-pounds have been biting frozen anchovies.
LAKE DON PEDRO
The bass bite was very tough over the weekend with the best action on main lake points with half-ounce Berserk jigs in Green Craw with a watermelon/red Yamamoto Twin-tail trailer or with Baby Brush Hawgs in watermelon/red on the split-shot Manny Basi reported. A slow presentation is essential although the water temperature ranges from 53 to 59 degrees. He predicted the fish will be moving up with the warm daytime temperatures. Only three boats weighed in fish on Sunday's nine-boat American Bass Tournament. Heavy surface debris has made trolling for king salmon or trout difficult. A few planted brook or rainbow trout can be found on the surface with night crawlers behind a Sep's Sidekick. King salmon action is still in the future with Bill Dunn of Bill Dunn's Guide Service reported marking schools of fish at 70 feet in depth, but these fish aren't biting rolled shad or lures at various depths. The lake rose to 59 percent of capacity and 766.14 feet in elevation. Call: Monte Smith 581-4734, Danny Layne -Fishn' Dan 586-2383, Bait Barn 874-3011.
Manny Basi of the Bait Barn in Waterford reported bass anglers can pull out 20 or 30 fish up the river canyon, but the fish are all in the 10- to 12-inch range. Dart-headed Pro Worm ProGold redflake (No. 300) or Reaction Innovation's Bad Shad Green Flirt have been the top plastics. The trout bite is still hot for planted brook or rainbow trout to 16-inches with live minnows under a bobber or trolling Sep's grubs or night crawlers behind a Rocky Mountain Tackle dodger, UV Serpent Spoons or spinners at 1.4 to 18 mph near the Buoy Line or Horseshoe Bend. The fish are located from the surface to 20 feet. Catfishing continues to be slow. The lake rose to 35 percent of capacity and 733.45 feet in elevation. Call: A-1 Bait 563-6505, Fishwrangler's Guide Service 604-8222, Bub Tosh 404-0053.
Terry Petersen of the McSwain Marina reported good trout action along the banks with chartreuse or rainbow glitter Power Bait at the Campgrounds, the Handicapped Docks or the Brush Pile. Trollers continue to drag Wedding Rings tipped with a crawler, blade/crawler combinations or chrome/blue Kastmasters from the surface to 20 feet for the planted brookies or rainbows. A DFG trout plant is scheduled for next week. Call: 378-2534.
NEW MELONES RESERVOIR/TULLOCH
Overall trout fishing from the banks slowed down during the week, but some large brown trout were landed by trollers Melanie Lewis of Glory Hole Sporting Goods said. Jake Bunio of Trophy Stick Lures picked up a 9.5-pound brown on a 6.5 Trophy Stick in Baby Bow covered with Pro-Cure Trophy Trout Gel scent at a depth of 60 feet near the Spillway. John Staderoli landed a 5.7-pound brown while rolling shad at 25 feet in depth near the Dam. There were several other browns in the 4-pound range taken up river on ExCels in firetiger. The rainbow action has also picked up along steep banks near shore, particularly upriver with gold/silver or gold/blue ExCels. Kokanee fishing should begin in March or April, although an occasional kokanee continues to be found. Danny Layne of Fishn' Dan's Guide Service will be doing an exploratory trip this week. 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 are starting to bed with the full moon. 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 continues to be slow. Call: 736-4333, Monte Smith 581-4734, Danny Layne-Fishn' Dan 586-2383, Sierra Sport Fishing 599-2023.
SAN FRANCISCO BAY
Keith Fraser at Loch Lomond Bait in San Rafael reported good action for sturgeon and bass in the China Camp area. There were several sturgeon landed in the China Camp area on mud shrimp. Jim Smith of the Happy Hooker landed a 48-inch sturgeon and an 8-pound bass on frozen anchovies despite having excellent fresh mud, ghost and grass shrimp. Smith said you could see the salinity on the meter with fresh water filling the top 20 feet of the water column. He said the grass shrimp have moved into deeper water with all of the fresh water inflow. Joel Sinkay at Leonard's Bait at Port Sonoma said they had their best weekend of the year with guys lining the ramp clamoring for bait. John Akina of Oyster Point Bait, Tackle and Deli said one halibut of 27-inches was landed off of the pier on Sunday to go with 5 halibut in the 8-pound range by boaters. The bite was in the morning near Brisbane with frozen anchovies behind a dodger.