Fish Report (7/29/09)


New Melones Reservoir — The kokanee bite continues, though the fish are on the move into the northern portion of the lake. Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing took Bill Karr, editor of Western Outdoor News, caught limits of kokanee to 15 inches at depths from 75 to 90 feet from Shipwreck Island to the Coyote Creek Arm. Smith suggested using green lures in the deep water, and he has been pulling the Uncle Larry's Mad Irishman, green Glitterbug hootchies or the Radical Glow Tube with a pink tail behind a Vance's dodger or Sling Blade. He has been using garlic-scented corn, but he will be switching over to crawdad scents as the fish get closer to their attempt to spawn. Rainbows continue to hit rolled shad or shad-patterned spoons above the kokanee schools. Bank fishing is over and shore anglers are advised to head up Highway 4 to Spicer or Lake Alpine. Bass continue to hit Zara Spooks, buzz baits or PopR's early or late before switching to crawdad or shad-colored Carolina-rigged 6-inch plastics, ripbaits, spinnerbaits, Zoom Baby Brush Hogs or Senkos. Night fishing with a dark-colored Power Worm is effective. Melanie Lewis of Glory Hole Sporting Goods said catfishing is red hot with mackerel, chicken livers or night crawlers. The lake dropped two feet to 973.22 feet in elevation. The Angels Cove Launch Ramp is closed with the Tuttletown on the low-water ramp and Glory Hole at the mid-ramp.

Call: 736-4333; Monte Smith 581-4734; Danny Layne 586 2383; Sierra Sport Fishing 599-2023.

San Luis Reservoir / O'Neill Forebay — Ly Tu of Ly's Fishing Goods in San Jose said there is renewed interest in the big lake as the water level has dropped, concentrating the schools of fish. Mooching anchovies or blood worms at 40-60 feet deep in front of the Trash Racks has consistently produced limits of stripers to 5 pounds. The Forebay continues to be busy at night and over the weekends with anglers plugging live freshwater bullheads, the Rebel Jumbo Minnow in bone or white flukes for the occasional legal striper. The majority of fish are undersized. Blood and pile worms are also effective. Catfish have been biting mackerel, anchovies or clams at the back of the Forebay Dam and Check 12. Lake levels continue to drop. Call: Ly's Fishing Goods (408) 629-9644; Coyote Bait (408) 463-0711.

McSwain Reservoir — Diana Mello of A-1 Bait in Snelling reported a lake-record rainbow trout of 19.5 pounds was landed by Debby Hiebert of Modesto on corn yellow Power Bait in shallow water near the Brush Pile. Hiebert is a regular angler from the banks at McSwain. Red Power Bait is also working for limits of planters at the Handicapped Docks. Trolling action is picking up a bit with chrome Ford Fenders trailed by a night crawler in the deepest portion of the lake from the Dam to the Second Fence Line. Call: 378-2534.

McClure Reservoir — Danny Layne of Fishn' Dan's Guide Service said there a few kokanee to 17 inches were taken on spinners or hootchies off of the A-Frame Cabin at depths to 70 feet. He added that king salmon to 16 inches and rainbows are in the same area, and he recommended rolling shad or small shad-patterned spoons. Diana Mello said catfish are on a hot bite in the shallows to 10 feet deep at Barretts or McClure Point with live minnows or bag anchovies. For bass, live minnows or crawdads are consistent for fish over the slot limit. Manny Basi of the Bait Barn said the bass continue to be small and PopR's are working on the surface early in the morning or at dusk. Brown jigs or shad-colored plastics are best during the daylight hours. The lake dropped three feet to 793.01 feet elevation. Call: A-1 Bait 563-6505; Fishwrangler's 604-8222; Bub Tosh 404-0053.

Lake Don Pedro — Manny Basi of the Bait Barn in Waterford said bass fishing is tough, with only two limits weighed in out of 16 boats during a weekend tournament that featured a winning weight at 6 pounds. Shad-colored plastics on the drop-shot, dart head or Brush Hogs at 15-30 feet deep are working best. Basi said search for the shad balls to find the bass. Danny Layne reported an improved bite for king salmon to 3 pounds at 70 feet deep in Woods Creek or in the Tuolumne River Canyon at 50 feet with rolled shad. Rainbow and brook trout at biting Kastmasters, ExCels, Cripplures or Apex in Cop Car or shad-patterns up the river arm. The lake has dropped three vertical feet 81% capacity. Call: Monte Smith 581-4734; Layne 586-2383; Bait Barn 874-3011.


San Francisco Bay — The minus tides slowed the halibut and striper counts, with the central bay getting muddy with the tides and the winds. Party boats averaged a fish to two per rod in the larger tides over the weekend, but Captain James Smith on the California Dawn took advantage to the diminishing tides to boat 41 halibut to 12-pounds with 6 bass Monday. Live sardines have been the best bait, but anglers must be patient to allow the larger bait to be swallowed by the gamefish. The tides back off each day, and striper and halibut counts should climb around the windows where the water moves. Keith Fraser at Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle reported Sunday was much better than Saturday as 18 fishermen taking a combined 25 bass/halibut.

Half Moon — Peggy Beckett at Huck Finn Sport Fishing Center said she had two boats out Tuesday with the New Gravy boating 21 limits of rockfish at the Ritz with the Connie O heading down to shallow water at Pescadero for 5 limits. With good rockfishing, there hasn't been any reason to head to the Islands. Call: Happy Hooker (510) 223-5388; Huck Finn (650) 726-7133; Don Franklin (510) 703-4148.


Stockton — Signs of life with larger stripers starting to move back into the river. Benicia Bait reported improvement in the striper front with fish taken along all of the shoreline spots from under the Bridge to 12th Street. There have been sturgeon landed at 1st Street and 9th Street with stripers at 12th Street on pile worms, grass shrimp or anchovies. Dockside Bait in Pittsburg reported lots of undersized stripers, but more and more of the 5- to 6-pound fish have been taken in the past week. Pile worms and grass shrimp have been the top baits. Three legal sturgeon were weighed in over the weekend with two of the fish in the 48- to 50-inch range. Chain Island and Montezuma Slough have been the top areas for diamondbacks. Jay Sorensen of Jolly Jay's Guide Service was at the mouth of Three-Mile Slough on the San Joaquin River in 15 feet of water with fresh shad for a bunch of undersized stripers and a legal fish at 24-inches. Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, advised working top-water lures early in the mornings for bass prior to switching to targeting deeper water with the Berkley Chigger Craw in crawdad-patterns or the Strike King #4 crankbait in red craw. Call: Randy Pringle 543-6260; Kevin Yost (707) 301-8050; Mark Wilson (916) 682-1630; Fin Addict 367-4665; Jolly Jay's Guide Service 478-6645.