Fish Report (7/22/09)


New Melones Reservoir — Danny Layne of Fishn' Dan's Guide Service said the "wide-open" kokanee bite is still on, with fish in the 13- to 14-inch range and an occasional 15-incher. He had been scoring at 40 to 55 feet before the hot weather, and as deep as 70 off of South Island and Carson Creek as the fish drop down in search of cooler water. The fish are also starting to turn a bit pink in their preparation for the spawn attempt. He has been using the Glitter Bug pink or chartreuse hootchies, Uncle Larry's Mad Cow, UV Pink Vee or Pink Tiger scented with vanilla, anise or garlic-flavored Shoepeg corn. Layne touts the Berkley Gulp! Maggots in pink or natural as a new and effective product. A few rainbows are found in the top 30 feet of the water column before the sun rises with rolled shad or ExCel shad-patterned spoons. Lakeside, bank trout fishing is over, and anglers are recommended to head up Highway 4 to Spicer or Lake Alpine. Bass continue to hit top-water lures early or late before switching to crawdad or shad-colored Carolina-rigged 6-inch plastics, ripbaits, spinnerbaits, Zoom Baby Brush Hogs or Senkos. Catfishing improving from the banks or on the anchor with mackerel, chicken livers or night crawlers. Night fishing for crappie is fair to good at 10-30 feet in Bear, Mormon or Carson creeks with small minnows or minijigs. Call: 736-4333; Monte Smith 581-4734; Danny Layne 586-2383; Sierra Sport Fishing 599-2023.

San Luis Reservoir and O'Neill Forebay — Ly Tu of Ly's Fishing Goods in San Jose has been selling blood worms, pile worms and grass shrimp for bank anglers in the Forebay. There is heavy interest under the bridge in the evenings. Most stripers undersized. Anglers are tossing Rebel Jumbo Minnows or Lucky Craft 128s in the Forebay. Most consistent bite has been for catfish around Check 12 with chicken livers, mackerel or clams. In the main lake, the lower water levels have concentrated the stripers around the Trash Racks, and mooched anchovies are bringing in fish to 25 inches. Most striper fishermen are continuing over to the beaches to participate in the best striper fishing in the past several years from Monterey to San Francisco. Lake level continues to drop. 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 said trout fishing has slowed. Fish have dropped in the center channel in deeper water. Best action on chrome Ford Fenders trailed by a night crawler. Bank action slow with a few fish taken early in the morning or at dusk with rainbow, Chunky Cheese or corn yellow Power Bait at the Brush Pile or Handicapped Docks. Call: 378-2534.

McClure Reservoir — Manny Basi of the Bait Barn in Waterford said small bass bite is decent with top-water lures such as PopR's early or late before changing to ¼-ounce dart-head or drop-shot with 5- to 6-inch plastics in shad-patterns similar to the Pro Worm 300 small gold/red flake from the banks to 20 feet deep. Diana Mello of A-1 Bait said anglers are finding trout upriver and near the dam on nightcrawlers behind a chrome Ford Fender. There have been a few kokanee in the past week, and perhaps this is the start of the great kokanee fishing experienced late in the season two years ago. Catfish are responding to hot weather with strong bite on live jumbo minnows or anchovies near muddy, sloping banks in 15-20 feet. Crappie fishing is fair at best in the evening near the Houseboats in Barrett's Cove with live minnows. The lake has dropped to 796.99 feet elevation. Call: A-1 Bait 563-6505; Fishwrangler's Guide Service 604-8222; Bub Tosh 404-0053.

Lake Don Pedro — Manny Basi of the Bait Barn in Waterford said bass anglers have been using brown or brown/purple jigs, Brush Hogs in watermelon/red or shad-patterned plastics on a one-fourth-ounce dart-head from 20 feet deep to the banks. Top-water bite is slow. No trout, kokanee or king salmon reports, with nearly everyone heading to New Melones for the great kokanee fishing. Call: Monte Smith 581-4734; Bait Barn 874-3011.


Stockton — Delta in summertime doldrums and most anglers are heading to the bays or mountains to get out of the heat. Benicia Bait and Tackle reported fishing slow Sunday with only a few anglers out, but there were a couple of sturgeon taken under the Benicia Bridge or from the 1st Street Pier. There have been jack smelt — yes, jack smelt — landed off of the shorelines. That tells you how much water is making it through the river to the bay. Striper fishing is limited to the occasional fish to 25 inches, though an 18-pounder was landed on grass shrimp at the Middle Grounds by an anglers targeting sturgeon. There are small stripers everywhere hitting grass or ghost shrimp, frozen shad or pile worms. There haven't been many legal sturgeon, but several shakers have been reported near Chain Island and Buoy 2. Mike Gravert of Intimidator Sport Fishing has been pulling limits of stripers in the Mokelumne system trolling deep-diving hand-painted Yozuris or drifting live blue gill. Largemouth action heating up. Call: Randy Pringle 543-6260; Kevin Yost (707) 301-8050; Mark Wilson (916) 682-1630; Fin Addict Sport Fishing 367-4665; Jolly Jay's Guide Service 478-6645.


Bass Lake — Todd Wittwer of Kokanee.net Guide Service said kokanee remains iffy, but there have been at least three fish over 18 inches landed in the past week. He is targeting kokanee with a pink or blue Radical Glow Tube behind a watermelon dodger or the blue RGT behind a pink or blue Hyperglo dodger. No bass report. Boat traffic heavy by mid-morning. Call: (559) 642-3141; Todd Wittwer (559) 288-8100, (559) 642-3633; Mike Bieghy (559) 642-3748.


San Francisco Bay — Halibut bite along the coast turned soft with most boats struggling for a few big fish. Jay Lopes of Right Hook Sport Fishing put in an 18-pounder and lost another fish at nearly 30 pounds on his first drift Sunday outside the Gate, but the action turned slow and they returned to the bay near Angel Island for 8 more fish for a total of 10 for 4 anglers to 20-pounds. He put in another 10 halibut to 10-pounds, three stripers and a 20-pound white sea bass on Monday inside the bay. Larger tides spurred a renewed bass bite with Jim Smith on the Happy Hooker landing 15 limits to 15-pounds at Mel's Reef on Monday to go with 5 halibut in the sandy areas off of Angel Island. The week should be good for stripers and halibut until the tides get large over the weekend. Rockfish action at the Farallons was slow due to the rough seas, but coastal rockfishing has been outstanding. Smith put in the largest ling count of any one boat on the entire coast Saturday with 26 lings to 18-pounds and 40 limits of rockfish before son James on the California Dawn boated 35 lings to 15-pounds. Large live sardines have been the ticket for the lings.