Fish Report (3/18/09)


Action was slow for all species throughout the Delta, as the water remains heavily stained from the inflow. The water temperature has dropped into the high 50s. Benicia Bait reported six sturgeon were brought into the shop during the weekend from the Fleet and the Glomar Balls. Striped bass are starting to show up along the shorelines, with bank fishermen getting stripers in the 18- to 22-inch range on grass shrimp. Jay Lopes of Right Hook Sport Fishing canceled his trip Sunday out of Martinez due to the wind, as he couldn't fish where he wanted to anchor. He had trips out on Friday and Saturday with a pair of shakers released on Friday to a duo of stripers to go with a solitary shaker yesterday. He wasn't able to fish higher than Buoy 4 due to the wind. Larry King of Manteca landed a 56-inch sturgeon in Broad Slough on grass shrimp to win a small local derby. 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.


There wasn't much information on the local canals, but local tackle shops continue to have difficulty keeping Lucky Craft 127s or 128 in Ghost Minnow in stock. They are selling out as fast as they are coming in. These quality lures must be producing stripers from the white water near the gates. Pete Cormier of Bob's Bait in Bakersfield reported the striper bite in the south aqueduct is still on, with good action for schoolie stripers with blood or sand worms, anchovies or topwater lures.


Manny Basi of the Bait Barn reported a very tough bass bite over the weekend after several large fish were taken on swimbaits previously in the week by anglers pre-fishing for the Heavyweight Bass Classic. After a 17-pound largemouth was landed by Larry Gillespie and 15- and 12-pounders were caught by Joe Bruce during pre-fishing, the bite went sour to the benefit of "Ultimate Bass" radio show host Kent Brown, who took home the heavyweight belt with a whopping 3.83-pounder. He scored a total of four fish all day with Chatter Baits, Senkos and swimbaits. Mike Van Guilder Jr. said the most consistent bass bite has been throwing brown or green Berserk jigs on rocky points. Jeff Boyle of Bass Pro Shops in Manteca reported great action for limits of brook trout averaging 2 pounds and rainbows to 18 inches on ExCels in green shad or black shad or white with red dots at depths from 13 to 20 feet in the Narrows. The lake rose to 64 percent capacity. Call: Monte Smith 581-4734, Danny Layne-Fishn' Dan 586-2383, Bait Barn 874-3011.


Chuck Rowell of A-1 Bait in Snelling reported excellent action for brook trout for trollers pulling blade/crawler combinations or Wedding Rings tipped with a crawler behind a dodger from the Second Fence Line to the Dam at depths to 25 feet. Bankies are working the Brush Pile or Handicapped Docks with inflated night crawlers, various colors of Power Baits, and Kastmasters in black/chrome or green/chrome. A DFG trout plant is scheduled for this week. Call: 378-2534.


Mike Van Guilder Jr. of Fishwrangler's Bass Guide Service said the best limits are found in the brown/purple Berserk Jig, but numbers of fish can be taken on crankbaits, ripbaits, and the Berserk spinnerbaits in shad colors along the shorelines, as they are cruising for places to bed. Four- and 6-inch dark colored plastics before the sun hits the water, and shad-colored plastics the remainder of the day also are productive. Manny Basi of the Bait Barn in Waterford reported up to 20 or 30 small fish up the river canyon with dart-headed Pro Worm leech or paddletail ProGold redflake (No. 300). Dart heading is far more productive than drop shotting at the present time. Call: A-1 Bait 563-6505, Fishwrangler's Guide Service 604-8222, Bub Tosh 404-0053.


Melanie Lewis of Glory Hole Sporting Goods recommended bank anglers fish locations along shaded shores with steep dropoffs, as overall bank fishing has slowed. Trolling is improving, with several large brown trout landed in the past week to go with rainbows taken upriver and in major creek arms adjacent to the moving water. Shad-imitation Kastmasters, ExCels or Needlefish are all working. Kokanee action should start within the next couple of weeks once the water and weather warm. Lewis recommended R and K lures, Rocky Mountain Tackle Radical Glow Tubes or Vance's Sockeye Slammers behind a Sling Blade or Vance's Dodger as early season producers. The spotted bass are moving shallower and are starting to bed with the full moon. Bass fishing is improving with the largest fish taken on spinnerbaits along the banks in water as deep as 30 feet. Most 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. Their next weekly seminar is Sunday at 3 p.m. with John Chiarpotti of Bassin1A Guide Service on spring bass fishing. Call: 736-4333, Monte Smith 581-4734, Danny Layne-Fishn' Dan 586 2383, Sierra Sport Fishing 599-2023.


The bays are rapidly changing over from sturgeon season to halibut and striper action as the linesides poured into the bay during the past week. The east bay shorelines have been producing schoolie stripers on hair raisers and broken-backed Rebels. Hard-core halibut anglers are trolling in the Berkeley Flats and from Brisbane to Candlestick Point with frozen herring or anchovies. John Akina at Oyster Point Bait, Tackle and Deli said there were several halibut taken during the weekend, with 10 fish taken by trollers pulling frozen bait in the flats around Brisbane and Candlestick Point.