NEW MELONES RESERVOIR / TULLOCH
Danny Layne of Fishn' Dan's Guide Service reported the trout are moving into deeper water with a good bite in the south end of the lake near Bear Creek and the Peoria Arm with blade/crawler combinations, small spoons or Uncle Larry's Spinners tipped with a crawler at depths to 20 feet. Melanie Lewis of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp said the bank bite is slowing as the fish move into deeper water. There have been limits of kokanee to 13 inches taken on orange hootchies or spinners behind a Sling Blade at 35 feet to 38 feet. Gary Burns of Take It to the Limit Guide Service reported landing a couple of limits. He suggested working the river channel from the 49 Bridge to Tuttletown and also off the Angels Creek arm for kokanee. Bass fishing is improving as evidenced by the weekend's Western Outdoor News Bass tournaments. A single 10.42-pound largemouth landed by Jay Bryant and Kevin Marsheky on a swimbait won Saturday's tourney. Spinnerbaits continue to be the top producers along the banks in water as deep as 30 feet. 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. Catfishing continues to be slow. Crappie fishing is best at night under lights around submerged trees at depths from 10 feet to 30 feet with small to medium minnows or crappie jigs in Bear, Mormon or Carson creeks. The lake is holding at 53 percent capacity. Layne reported a continued great trout bite at Lake Tulloch for rainbows to 3 pounds on Shasta Tackle Humdingers, ExCels, Vance's Slim Fins or Slim Willies tipped with a crawler or chartreuse Power Bait at 10 feet deep. Call: 736-4333; Monte Smith, 581-4734; Danny Layne, Fishn' Dan, 586-2383; Sierra Sport Fishing, 599-2023.
SAN LUIS RESERVOIR / O'NEILL FOREBAY
Ly Tu at Ly's Fishing Goods in San Jose reported that high winds Sunday and Monday kept boaters off the lake, but the fish are scattered in the big lake with the increased water levels. When the wind is down, live jumbo minnows are working for fish to 27 inches at depths to 90 feet. Good electronics are a necessity to locate the fish schools. Trollers can work the forebay with spoons for stripers to 24 inches. Tu reported a 22-pound striper was landed in the forebay under the bridge on a pile worm. There is a reaction bite from the banks for fish to 24 inches on the Lucky Crafter Pointers. Wind conditions: (800) 805-4805. Call: Ly's Fishing Goods, (408) 629-9644; Coyote Bait and Tackle, (408) 463-0711.
McSwain Marina reported the lake level is stable and the water has cleared, opening the window for excellent action for brook trout for trollers pulling blade/crawler combinations or Wedding Rings tipped with a crawler behind a dodger from the floating restrooms to the dam at depths to 30 feet. Bank anglers have scored trout to 4 pounds with various colors of Power Bait at the handicapped docks or the Brush Pile. Call: 378-2534.
Fishing continues to be good for brook and rainbow trout on night crawlers behind a Vance's Little Slim Willie from the surface to 15 feet, and with rolled shad at 22 feet to 40 feet deep from the dam to the buoy line. Good numbers of small bass are found on one-fourth-ounce Berserk or Revenge dartheads with either a shad-patterned plastic in red or purple flake or 5-inch Senkos in greenpumpkin copperflake (No. 330), as well as half-ounce jigs. The fish are moving up into the beds. Chuck Rowell of A-1 Bait in Snelling said kokanee are hitting Rocky Mountain Assassins, Kokanee Killers or Apex lures at 45 feet to 55 feet below the trout schools. Kokanee to 16.5 inches have been reported. Crappie fishing has improved with small or medium minnows or salt/pepper minijigs in Piney or Temperance Creeks and near Horseshoe Bend at 40 feet deep. Anglers are catching up to 10 fish to 2.25 pounds per rod. Catfishing continues to be slow. The lake rose to 38 percent capacity. Call: A-1 Bait, 563-6505; Fishwrangler's Guide Service, 604-8222; Bub Tosh, 404-0053.
LAKE DON PEDRO
Jeff Boyle of Bass Pro Shops in Manteca reported patience was necessary to boat six rainbows and four brook trout in high winds Sunday. The wind made trolling extremely difficult. Danny Layne of Fishn' Dan's Guide Service said rainbows are scattered throughout the lake from the surface to 25 feet. Blade/crawlers, Vance's Slim Fins, ExCels or rolled shad are working for rainbows and brook trout in the Woods Creek arm. The best king salmon bite has been in the Upper Bay near the power lines at 35 feet to 60 feet deep. Bruce Hamby of Sierra Sport Fishing has been targeting salmon at 80 feet to 100 feet deep in Fleming Bay, Middle Bay and near the dam with rolled shad and silver Sockeye Slammers. On the bass front, the fish are moving into the shallows in preparation for bedding. Smaller profile jigs in browns/purples, Huddleston or Bass Grande swimbaits in rainbow trout patterns are recommended for targeting larger fish. Numbers can be found by drop-shotting shad patterned worms. The lake is at 66 percent capacity. Call: Monte Smith, 581-4734; Danny Layne, Fishn' Dan, 586-2383; Bait Barn, 874-301.
SAN FRANCISCO BAY
With the salmon season closed for at least another year and the live bait season yet to start, there is great interest in trolling for halibut in the limited number of spots. John Badger of Barbarian Sport Fishing on the charter boat Flying A reported persistence was necessary to boat 10 halibut and a 12-pound striper near Paradise Cove in 12 feet of water on Sunday using a double Cone Zone Flasher followed by an anchovy with a 24-inch dropper. There were at least 21 halibut taken near Oyster Point with 41 boat trailers in the parking lot Saturday. The Tigerfish out of Emeryville Sport Fishing stayed along Oyster Point on Sunday for nine halibut to 13 pounds, plus a 5-pound striper. Emeryville Sport Fishing is scheduling halibut trolling trips Wednesdays through Sundays. The California Dawn out of Berkeley will also start halibut trolling trips until live bait fishing is available, most likely by mid-April. Jay Lopes of Right Hook Sport Fishing is also starting halibut charters. Halibut fishing should improve with smaller tides in the upcoming week. Keith Fraser at Loch Lomond Bait in San Rafael said the big minus tides turned on the sturgeon bite with several fish landed in the pumphouse to buoy 5 to China Camp. Don Franklin of the Soleman out of Pier 45 in San Francisco landed two legal sturgeon to 52 inches in addition to a 6-pound bass on ghost/mud shrimp near buoy 9 in San Pablo Bay. Striper fishing has been decent on the anchor and along the China Camp shoreline.
DELTA — STOCKTON
Jim Smith of the Happy Hooker took his last sturgeon trips of the season over the weekend, boating a 64-inch legal fish on Sunday to go with two keepers on Friday. He was successful with grass shrimp near the Glomar Balls east of the Mothball Fleet. The majority of boats were clustered around the Glomar as Benicia Bait reported a 56-inch keeper sturgeon, a 35-inch striper and an 88-inch oversized sturgeon released on mud shrimp by a father/son combination. Striper fishing on the Benicia shoreline continues to be fair for stripers to 33 inches on pile or blood worms and bullheads. Dockside Bait in Pittsburg reported excellent striper action for fish to 7 pounds on grass shrimp. The majority of the sturgeon anglers headed east to the Mothball Fleet. Trollers have been scoring male schoolie stripers along the west bank of the Sacramento River with shallow running Yozuris. The larger females are moving up into the river systems to spawn. Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, recommended throwing large baits with lots of vibration as the bigger fish are moving into shallow water with the warming temperatures. 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, (209) 367-4665.
Mariposa County: McSwain Reservoir. Merced County: Merced River from McSwain Dam to Merced Falls.