STOCKTON — Wind has been miserable, limiting boaters to back sloughs or locations sheltered from the winds. Fishing in open water has been impossible. The winds were so rough over the weekend that one boat couldn't make it back into Benicia from Grizzly Bay. Shoreline fishing in the Benicia area has been pretty spotty with the exception of one keeper and three shakers under the Benicia Bridge on grass shrimp. Kevin Yost of Lucky Strike Fishing said the Lucky Strike Too was up in Montezuma for action on large, oversized sturgeon with an 81-incher released at the bottom of the outgoing tide on grass shrimp with anise scent. Jay Sorensen of Jolly Jay's Guide Service has been limited to hiding from the winds behind Sherman Island, and he reported two legal fish to 4 pounds out of a total of 25 fish Saturday soaking fresh shad from H and R Bait in Stockton. The trolling bite has been limited by muddy water from the last series of huge tides. Mike Gravert of Intimidator Sport Fishing has been working the upper Delta for stripers to 15 pounds drifting live jumbo minnows or bluegill. The water has been muddy, but it clears up at the top of the tide. Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, reported wide-open largemouth action in the central Delta with the Berkley Heavyweight or Hand Pour worms on a Zappu Head on the outside of the weed lines at low tide at depths from 3-14 feet before switching to the IMA Shaker, Pure Poison and Double Diamond in blue gill patterns once the tide came up for fish to 4 pounds. There were fish cruising in the shallows, but they weren't willing to strike at top-water lures. Call: Pringle, 543-6260; Kevin Yost, Lucky Strike Fishing (707) 301-8050; Mark Wilson Sport Fishing, (916) 682-1630; Fin Addict Sport Fishing, 367-4665; Jolly Jay's Guide Service, 478-6645.
NEW MELONES RESERVOIR — Melanie Lewis of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp reported a red-hot bite for easy limits of 14- to 15-inch kokanee at 40-60 feet anywhere in the main lake. The best bite is early in the morning. Uncle Larry's or Rocky Mountain Tackle spinners and Glitterbug or Crystal Basin hootchies are some of the hot lures. Pautske's Fire Corn, shoepeg corn scented with ProCure Carp Spit or Garlic and Berkley Gulp Waxie's are all working on the end of the lures. Bank trout action has slowed and the best fishing is up in Angels or Murphy's creeks with Power Bait or Pautske's Fire Eggs. Trollers are scoring rainbow trout to 3 pounds about 10 feet above the kokanee schools with shad or rainbow-patterned lures such as Needlefish, Kastmasters, ExCels or blade/crawler combinations. Brown trout are found near structure with Countdown Rapalas or Trophy Sticks in rainbow trout or shad-patterns. Lewis reported bass action is good with a top-water bite early and late with Zara Spooks, Pop-R's or buzz baits. Once the sun is up, Senkos, jigs, Carolina-rigged 6-inch plastics, ripbaits, spinnerbaits are all working around submerged wood. The larger fish are in the backs of coves, with numbers located upriver. Catfishing is improving on muddy, sloping banks with anchovies, night crawlers, sardines, chicken livers or mackerel. Crappie fishing is fair to good at 10-30 feet with small minnows or minijigs in red/white, black/chartreuse or purple/white in Bear, Mormon or Carson creeks. The lake is holding at 55 percent capacity and 984.52 elevation. Call: 736-4333; Monte Smith 581-4734; Danny Layne 586 2383; Sierra Sport Fishing 599-2023.
SAN LUIS RESERVOIR/O'NEILL FOREBAY — Chong Yang of Fresno has struck again — this time a 44-pound striper out of the big lake on a white fluke. This is the fifth striper of more than 40 pounds he's landed in the past six weeks. Ly Tu of Ly's Fishing Goods in San Jose reported most anglers in the Forebay have moved from under the bridge to the Santa Nella side with pile worms or frozen shad for stripers to 5 pounds. There is a top-water bite at Check 12 for barely legal and undersized fish. Fish to 10 pounds have been taken by boaters working the big lake with anchovy fillets in 80 feet of water out of Dinosaur Point. The lake dropped to 422.24 elevation. Call: Wind conditions, (800) 805-4805; Ly's Fishing Goods, (408) 629-9644; Coyote Bait and Tackle, (408) 463-0711.
McSWAIN RESERVOIR — Action remains good in the cold water on the bottom of the lake for planted trout with 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 or Handicapped Docks with white Power Eggs, rainbow Power Bait or inflated crawlers. Call: 378-2534.
PINE FLAT RESERVOIR — Merritt Gilbert said the bass bite is slow and few anglers are working the lake, but there is a better bite at night for numbers of fish. Trout anglers are also heading for the high country. Pine Flat's fish are scattered from Deer Creek to the Power Lines and upriver. There are large schools of bait fish in the lake, and the key is to locate the bait. Once the bait schools are found, shad-patterned ExCels, Thomas Buoyants, Needlefish, Shasta Tackle Humdingers and Cripplures are working at four to five colors deep. Call: (707) 787-2387; (707) 225-1838; (707) 292-3474.
LAKE DON PEDRO — Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing reported excellent fishing for kokanee to 14.5 inches and rainbows to 3 pounds. Kokanee are hitting at 55-75 feet deep on Uncle Larry's Pink Tiger spinners behind a Vance's or Sling Blade, Marni Bugs behind a pink Shasta Tackle Sling Blade or Shasta Tackle PPK hootchies behind a pearl Sling Blade. Larger kokanee are found deeper in the water column. Bruce Hamby of Sierra Sport Fishing has been locating 15- to 18-inch trout from the surface to 20 feet deep on rolled shad or Vance's Slim Fins or ExCels in shad-patterns near Fleming and Middle bays. On the bass front, Mike Van Guilder Jr. of Fishwranglers Bass Guide Service said Yozuri ripbaits tossed along gentle parallel sloping banks with small points or ripped through the grass are producing fish, in addition to flukes and brown or green Berserk jigs around submerged wood. Manny Basi of the Bait Barn in Waterford reported good numbers of bass are hitting a ¼-ounce dart-head or drop-shot with shad-patterned plastics on 6-pound fluorocarbon leaders from the banks to 30 feet deep. Brown or brown/purple jigs with a matching trailer are also working, as is the 5-inch Hula Grub in colors 208 or 221. The swimbait bite is slow. Call: Monte Smith, 581-4734; Danny Layne 586-2383; Bait Barn 874-3011.
Bass Lake — Todd Wittwer of Kokanee.net Guide Service finally found kokanee willing to bite on an evening trip Monday with a limit of fish to 17 inches with a few rainbows in the mix. He had been marking fish holding on the bottom, and he decided to see if they would come up in the evening. The best action was on the Rocky Mountain Tackle blue Radical Glo Tube behind a Hyperglo Blade or with a Father Murphy's Bug behind a large GoldStar dodger with a pink stripe. Merritt Gilbert said spotted bass to 1.5 pounds can be found near the Docks with Senkos in the evenings. He added that shore anglers on the South Side of the lake are picking up a couple of trout per rod on Power Bait. The lake has risen to 76 percent capacity. Call: (707) 642-3141; Todd Wittwer, (707) 288-8100; (707) 642-3633; (707) 642-3737.
SAN FRANCISCO — Live bait was finally located and placed in the receivers at Berkeley and San Francisco last week, but they still ran out on both Saturday and Sunday despite the efforts of two boats searching for more. In fact, there is a troubling scarcity of anchovy and sardine schools along the entire coast. Bob Wright, second captain of the Happy Hooker, has been averaging more than a fish per rod, with 20 halibut to 15 pounds and a bass for 18 anglers Saturday to go with eight halibut and seven stripers to 15 pounds Monday. He has had the most success with 12-pound test fluorocarbon leaders with #2 Owner Mosquito hooks to match the tiny size of the live bait. James Smith on the California Dawn also has been averaging more than a fish per rod, with a mixture of halibut and bass to 20 pounds, primarily on the Berkeley Flats near F Buoy. The majority of the bass in the bay are found on the flats and with the lack of live bait in the bay, they have been stuffed with tiny crabs. Emeryville Sport Fishing reported the New Huck Finn, C Gull II and Tigerfish landed nearly two fish per rod Sunday for 45 anglers, with 41 stripers to 12 pounds and 41 halibut to 14. Mark Delnero of Fin Addict Sport Fishing took the Lucky Strike out of Berkeley Marina into the south bay today and kept five legal leopard sharks along with a bonus 25-inch halibut while on the anchor with an anchovy on a 9/0 Octopus hook. Kevin Yost of Lucky Strike Fishing was on the bay on Saturday for nine leopard sharks before switching over to drifting for bass and halibut. Despite minus tides, sturgeon fishing in San Pablo Bay near the Pumphouse was only fair due to the winds making it impossible to sit on anchor.
Half Moon — Peggy Beckett at Huck Finn Sport Fishing Center said the New Gravy was down the coast just above Franklin Point the past couple of days with 14 limits of mixed rockfish on both days to go with a ling and a cabezon bonus Saturday. The limits have been a mixture of gophers with a few nice vermilion sprinkled into the sacks. Sheryl Jimno at the Rusty Hook in Pacifica said striper fishing has been solid along the regular beach hot spots at Mori's Point, Mussel Rock, the RV Park, the Post Office, Linda Mar and Rockaway Beaches with top-water lures and white hair raisers. The big tides and the lack of live bait have no doubt pushed the stripers outside the Gate with reports of fish from Pacifica down to Monterey. Crabbing is still happening on the pier until the season closes June 30. Call: Happy Hooker, (510) 223-5388; Huck Finn Sport Fishing Center, (650) 726-7133; California Dawn, (510) 773-5511; Don Franklin (510) 703-4148.