NEW MELONES RESERVOIR — Danny Layne of Fishn' Dan's Guide Service said kokanee are on a great bite from 35 to 50 feet near the Dam, South Island, Rose Island, the Spillway and to the 49 Bridge. The kokes are hitting Vance's Sockeye Slammers behind a Vance's Gold Dodge or Glitterbug pink hootchies or Uncle Larry's Pink Tiger spinners behind a Shasta Tackle Sling Blade. Layne has been using garlic scent early in the morning and switching to vanilla later. Bank trout action has slowed, with the best fishing in Angels or Murphy's creeks with Power Bait or Pautske's Fire Eggs. Trollers are scoring about 10 feet above the kokanee schools with shad- or rainbow-patterned lures such as Needlefish, Kastmasters, ExCels or blade/crawler combinations. Robert Dabbs of Lodi landed a 3.25-pound rainbow on an Uncle Larry's Pink Tiger behind a green dodger at 53 feet. Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, continues to find excellent bass fishing using top-water plugs such as the IMA Skimmer on the outside before running up the river arm with the Berkley 3-inch Gulp Minnow in smelt color on a Zappu Head or dart-head. After recreational boaters stir up the water and create mudlines, Persuader spinnerbaits or IMA ripbaits are working as the bass take cover. Catfishing is picking up, with fish to 5.2 pounds landed on anchovies, night crawlers, sardines, chicken livers and mackerel. Crappie fishing is fair to good at 10-30 feet with small minnows or minijigs in red/white, black/chartreuse in Bear, Mormon or Carson Creeks. The lake came up three feet to 984.36. Call: 736-4333, Smith 581-4734, Layne 586 2383, Sierra Sport Fishing 599-2023.
SAN LUIS RESERVOIR and O'NEILL FOREBAY — Coyote Bait and Tackle in San Jose said stripers in the big lake are consistent with anchovy fillets mooched at 40-60 feet in 100 feet of water with 2- to 3-ounces of weight outside of Dinosaur Point. The Forebay has had great interest with white flukes on a half-ounce jig head, Bombers in bone color, Lucky Craft Pointer 128s in American Shad, pile worms or anchovies from the banks for 22- to 26-inch fish. The lake dropped eight feet to 430.80. Wind conditions: (800) 805-4805. Call: Ly's Fishing Goods (408) 629-9644; Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711
McSWAIN RESERVOIR — Diana Mello of A-1 Bait in Snelling reported good trout action on red or chartreuse Wedding Rings tipped with a crawler, blade/crawler combinations or Cop Car or rainbow trout-patterned Needlefish from Gilligan's Island to the Second Fence Line at depths to 30 feet. Bank fishing remains steady at the Brush Pile and Handicapped Docks with white Power Eggs, rainbow Power Bait or inflated crawlers. Call: 378-2534
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Merced Sun-Star
McCLURE RESERVOIR — Mello said top-water lures are producing bass in the morning before switching to brown/purple Berserk jigs, 082 Keeper worms or other dark-colored plastics up the river arm from Barrett's Cove to Horseshoe Bend. Trout slowing, with best action mornings from the surface to 45 feet with chrome/green or blue/ chrome Kastmasters, Cop Car Needlefish, blade/crawler combinations, and Wedding Rings tipped with a crawler behind dodger. Most trout are rainbows, but a few large brooks still being taken. No king salmon or kokanee reports. Crappie are difficult to locate. Best fishing at night at 45-50 feet in Barrett's Cove or the Houseboats near the Spillway with red/white minijigs or small minnows. Catfish picking up with live minnows or crawdads along muddy, sloping banks at 15-20 feet. Call: Fishwrangler's Guide Service 604-8222, A-1 Bait 563-6505, Bub Tosh 404-0053
LAKE DON PEDRO — Layne reported kokanee, king salmon and rainbows are on a hot bite. The rainbows are scattered throughout Fleming and Middle bays from the surface to 30 feet and hitting Vance's Slim Fins, Cripplures and ExCels. Night crawlers behind a Vance's Slim Willie or rolled shad are also working for trout to 3 pounds. Kokanee to 14 inches are off of Laughlin Island, Jenkins Hill, Copper Mountain and Big Oak Island at around 40 feet and chasing Uncle Larry's spinners in pink or green, as well as Sockeye Slammers or red hootchies. King salmon bite excellent for fish to 4 pounds or better with threadfin shad population spread throughout the water column. Salmon can be found from the surface to 100-feet with rolled shad or anchovies. Layne also touted the new Shasta Tackle Wiggle Hootchies in pearl, purple or glitter. Manny Basi of the Bait Barn in Waterford reported a slow bass bite with finesse fishing techniques working the best from the bank to 40 feet with /-ounce dart-head or plastics in watermelon/red or greenpumkin/red flake or Brush Hogs in similar colors. The lake is rising rapidly due to heavy snowmelt. Call: Monte Smith 581-4734, Fishn' Dan 586-2383, Bait Barn 874-301
DELTA/STOCKTON — Stripers on their way back down the river into the bays, and they're keying on bait to bulk up after the spawn. Alan Cover and Jim and Andy Aldersen of Modesto caught and released 16 legal stripers 7-10 pounds on fresh shad on the San Joaquin River at the mouth of Three Mile Slough on the outgoing tide during the week. Trolling slowed down with the large tides, but Mark Wilson found a decent bite from the bottom of the tide through the incoming with the fish scattering on the outgo. He has been working shallow-running Yozuris in the upper Delta and sloughs, but located a nice pod of fish at 14-16 feet. He worked these fish with the new prototype P-Line Predator for hookups on every pass. B and S Bait at McAvoy's in Pittsburg said the wind has been keeping most anglers off of the water, but there continues to be a good sturgeon bite near the Duck Club in the Little Cut, the back of the Big Cut near Garnet Point and in Montezuma Slough near the Cable Crossing. The results from the Department of Fish & Game's last week of striper tagging are concerning, with only 2,336 legal fish taken in the eight weeks, about half the normal amount tagged over the past several years. Pringle found schools of stripers on the San Joaquin River chasing bait early in the morning and caught and released fish to 10 pounds on the 7-inch OB Minnow in bluegill pattern. He said the top-water bite has been good on the incoming tide with Furbet the Frog and the Pure Poison with a 3-inch Double Diamond trailer. In the large outgoing tides, he switches to the Persuader white spinnerbaits with white blades or IMA Shaker in blue gill patterns. There are blue gill all over the shallows trying to get to the bass fry. Call: Happy Hooker (510) 223-5388, Pringle 543-6260, Kevin Yost (707) 301-8050; Mark Wilson Sport Fishing (916) 682-1630, Fin Addict Sport Fishing 367-4665
SAN FRANCISCO — Live bait still not available. James Smith of the California Dawn and Jay Lopes of Right Hook Sport Fishing took matters into their own hands by running south to Santa Cruz Harbor to purchase scoops of sardines, and they carried them back to the bay via pickup truck. They lost about half the bait, but the fresh sardines worked for halibut and bass, despite one of the largest series of tides of the year. John Akina at Oyster Point Bait, Tackle and Deli said decent stripers are moving into the South Bay with several of the halibut rigs working for the linesides.