Fish Report (4/8/09)

New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch

Bass Crappie Catfish Trout Kokanee Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing is planning on scouting the lake for kokanee as it is time for the fish to appear. There have been limits of small kokanee to 13 inches on orange hootchies or spinners behind a Sling Blade in 35 to 38 feet of water up in the river channel from the 49 Bridge down to Tuttletown and off the Angels Creek Arm. Trout fishing from the banks is slowing down as the fish are moving into open water. Trolling is the best option with a variety of offerings. A trout plant is scheduled for this week, with the net pens to be released later this month. Bass fishing is improving as spinner baits continue to be the top producers along the banks in water as deep as 30 feet. 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. Catfishing continues to be slow, with crappie fishing best at night under lights around submerged trees at depths from 10 to 30 feet with small or medium minnows or crappie jigs in Bear, Mormon or Carson Creeks. The lake released water into Tulloch and downstream to 53 percent capacity. Danny Layne reported a continued great trout bite at nearly Lake Tulloch for rainbows to 3 pounds from the South Ramp to the Dam and in Black Creek with Vance's Slim Willies tipped with a crawler, Uncle Larry's spinners or rolling a small shad at depths to 10 feet. Call: (209) 736-4333, Monte Smith (209) 581-4734, Danny Layne-Fishn' Dan (209) 586 2383, Sierra Sport Fishing (209) 599-2023.

San Luis Reservoir and O'Neill Forebay

Stripers Catfish Bass Crappie Ly Tu at Ly's Fishing Goods in San Jose reported three consecutive days of intense winds kept boats off the big lake through Sunday, but anglers are scratching for a few small keeper stripers with frozen anchovies or grass shrimp. The fish are scattered with the higher water levels, and you will have to search to find them. There have been boils near shore in the mornings as the stripers are chasing shad into the shallows. Rebel Jumbo Minnows in white have been the top plug tossed into the boils. Merritt Gilbert confirmed the night action for pluggers with Lucky Craft 128's in American shad. Striper action in the forebay has been consistent for limits in the 3- to 4-pound range with pile worms at night under the bridge or near Check 12. There have been a few fish as large as 10 pounds. The lake came up to 50% capacity in response to increased pumping from the delta. Wind conditions: (800) 805-4805. Call: Ly's Fishing Goods (408) 629-9644; Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711

McSwain Reservoir

Trout A-1 Bait in Snelling reported an overall slowdown in trout action, with the best fishing along the banks at the Brush Pile or Handicapped Docks with Power Bait, Power Eggs or Power Balls in lemon lime. Chunky Cheese has been a hot item as well. Trollers are working from the surface to 15 feet with blade/crawler combinations or Wedding Rings tipped with a crawler behind a dodger from Floating Restrooms to the Dam. Call: (209) 378-2534

Delta Mendota Canal and Sloughs

Stripers Catfish Lucky Craft 128's continue to be hot ticket items for bank anglers for stripers to 24 inches from the access areas in the canals. Frozen shad or anchovies are working for catfish. Pete Cormier of Bob's Bait in Bakersfield reported the striper bite in the south aqueduct continues to be steady for fish to 22 inches with anchovies, as well as the large 1-ounce RatLTraps or LVR's 10 or 15's in American Shad.

McClure Reservoir

Bass Trout Brook trout King salmon Kokanee Crappie Catfish A-1 Bait in Snelling reported a good bass bite for small fish with live minnows or crawdads up the river arm from Barretts Cove. Brown/purple Berserk jigs with a Yamamoto twin-tailed grub in baby bass or cinnamon are also working as well as football head jigs in similar colors. Manny Basi of the Bait Barn in Waterford touted quarter-ounce dart head plastics or half-ounce Bass Patrol jigs in brown/purple for numbers. Trout fishing continues to be outstanding for brook and rainbow trout near the Dam or in Piney Creek at depths from 10 to 15 feet with Vance's Little Slim Willies, Wedding Rings or Double Trouble spinners. Small kokanee can be found high in the water column with Rocky Mountain Assassins, Kokanee Killers or Apex lures at depths from 45 to 55 feet. King salmon action is inconsistent with rolled shad or lures. Crappie fishing is hit or miss with the best action with small or medium minnows or salt/pepper minijigs in Piney or Temperance creeks and near Horseshoe Bend at depths to 40 feet. Catfishing remains slow. The lake rose 4 vertical feet to 40% capacity. Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505, Fishwrangler's Guide Service (209) 604-8222, Bub Tosh (209) 404-0053.

Lake Don Pedro

Bass Trout Kokanee King salmon Danny Layne of Fishn' Dan's Guide Service reported good rainbow trout action to 16 inches near Big Oak Island, Jenkins Hill and off the face of the Dam with blade/crawler combinations or small spoons in shad-patterns such as Shasta Tackle Humdingers, ExCels or Vance's Slim Fins from the surface to 20 feet in depths. King salmon to 3 pounds are in the same areas at depths to 80 feet with rolled shad or anchovies. Cop Car Apex lures are also working. Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing recommended having to cover lots of water as the king salmon are not schooled up. A 4.5-pounder was landed on a purple hoochie at 60 feet. He landed small kings from 40 to 60 feet, and they marked fish as deep as 100 feet, but they were able to get them to bite. Manny Basi reported a continued tough bass bite with the high winds over the weekend. The lake is at 67% capacity. Call: Monte Smith (209) 581-4734, Danny Layne-Fishn' Dan (209) 586-2383, Bait Barn (209) 874-301.

San Francisco Bay

Halibut Stripers Leopard shark Sturgeon Halibut fishing was slower over the weekend after the bay was hit with gale-force winds for three days. The New Huck Finn out of Emeryville landed 5 halibut to 6 pounds and a bonus of 10 stripers to 9 pounds Saturday with the tiger fish working the south bay for 7 halibut for 11 anglers Sunday. The California Dawn out of Berkeley is back on the water after being repowered, and they reported 7 halibut to 10 pounds.

Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait in San Rafael said, "Sturgeon fishing is the best it has been in the past three or four months," with the majority landed in the area of the pumphouse on ghost or grass shrimp.


Bass Stripers Sturgeon Sturgeon action has been hit or miss, with the best action near the Mothball Fleet at the western end of the delta or up in the sloughs north of the Rio Vista Bridge. Benicia Bait reported a couple of legal sturgeon to 62 inches were weighed in from the fleet on Sunday on ghost, mud or grass shrimp. Bank action for stripers is improving, with a 25-pounder taken on blood worms on 14th Street in Benicia. There are large numbers of 24- to 28-inch fish. A couple of legal halibut were landed from the banks on Fifth Street on grass shrimp, attesting to the saltiness of the delta's waters. Jay Lopes of Right Hook Sport Fishing had sturgeon trips on Saturday and Sunday with legal fish to 50 inches landed both days. Their best bite was in 33 feet of water near the fleet with a grass shrimp/eel combination. Call: Happy Hooker (510) 223-5388; Randy Pringle (209) 543-6260; Kevin Yost, Lucky Strike Fishing (707) 301-8050, Mark Wilson Sport Fishing (916) 682-1630, Fin Addict Sport Fishing (209) 367-4665.