NEW MELONES RESERVOIR — Melanie Lewis of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp reported a few smart trout boaters are still-fishing way upriver, rather than trolling. Bass anglers report catching plenty of trout while fishing in the creek arms and upriver with small shad imitation lures. Trout are feeding heavily on the small threadfin shad that are plentiful right now. The rainbows are starting to move up as the water temperature cools. Trollers have been having success with shad-patterned lures such as Needlefish or Ex-Cels and smaller Rapala Countdowns from the surface to 20 feet, both in the mouths of coves and upriver. Brown trout anglers are trolling Trophy Sticks or Countdown Rapalas at depths of 20-40 feet near structure. Night fishing under lights is still producing limits at depths of 30-50 feet, but it is getting much colder. Bass are chasing the shad both in the coves and out over deeper water. There are numerous smaller fish with large bass difficult to come by. Anglers have been searching for shad boils and tossing top-water lures into them. Still a good top-water bite going on at dawn and dusk with Zara Spooks, buzz baits or Pop-Rs. Bass can also be taken on drop-shot plastics in shad imitations and Senkos in green pumpkin, watermelon or shad colors. Catfishing is slowing with the cooler weather, as the fish move into deeper water. Crappie and bluegill action continues to be slow with the best action at night under lights at depths of 10-30 feet around submerged trees with live small or medium minnows, or crappie jigs with jigs in red/white, black/chartreuse or purple/white in Bear, Carson or Mormon creeks. The lake rose to 958.01 feet and 46 percent capacity. The Angels Cove Launch Ramp is closed, Tuttletown is on the low-water ramp and Glory Hole is still at the mid-ramp. The lowest ramp at Glory Hole is usable until the lake hits 860 feet. Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing touts nearby Lake Tulloch as a solid trout option, particularly during the week when there are fewer wake boarders and jet skiers. He has been pulling shad or Vance's Slim Fins at 13-17 feet in the main lake. The water temperature is 64 degrees, and Smith expects the bite to really take off once the lake dips below 60 degrees. Call: 736-4333, Monte Smith 581-4734, Danny Layne 586 2383, Sierra Sport Fishing (209) 599-2023.
SAN LUIS RESERVOIR / O'NEILL FOREBAY — Ly Tu of Ly's Fishing Goods in San Jose said that before the last storm there were stripers boiling on the surface of the main lake chasing shad, with anglers seeking out diving birds and tossing Zara Spooks and Pencil Poppers for fish to 26 pounds. But the Fresno CSBA striper derby Saturday found the fish had moved down to around 50 feet and the bite had slowed, probably due to the low pressure. Most fish were taken in 30-50 feet on minnows, with most boats scoring only one or two fish. Boaters have had to launch at Basalt instead of Dinosaur Point. In the forebay, bank fishermen are using dip nets for freshwater shrimp which are used for stripers 22-24 inches. Throw nets or seine nets are illegal, and wardens are on the lookout. The grass in the Forebay is lying down with the increased pumping of water in and out of the lake. Call: Ly's Fishing Goods (408) 629-9644, Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711.
McSWAIN RESERVOIR — The McSwain Marina reported great action in the Merced Irrigation Trout Derby over the weekend with the $3,000 trout landed by James Marshall of Groveland. Richard Lee of Stockton picked up one of the $1,000 fish. There were 18 additional tagged fish paying $140 each. Victor Gomez of Turlock caught the big fish at 5.47 pounds for $200. The lake was heavily planted prior to the derby. Bank anglers are scoring with Kastmasters in split chrome, corn yellow or chartreuse Power Bait combined with a white marshmallow or Power Egg at the Brush Pile or Handicapped Docks. Trollers have been picking up limits in the early morning with green Wedding Rings tipped with a crawler behind a dodger from Gilligan's Island to the dam and back at depths to 20 feet. Call: 378-2534.
McCLURE RESERVOIR — Manny Basi of the Bait Barn reported a continued strong bass bite with top-water PopR's in the mornings before switching to drop-shotting with the Reaction Innovation worm in Bad Shad Green. He added that a small-profile jig head with a Yamamoto Hula Grub in color 330 is also effective. Diana Mello of A-1 Bait in Snelling said the crappie bite in Cottonwood Creek is on the upswing, even in the daytime, with small minnows around structure. Catfishing remains good with chicken livers, crawdads or anchovies along muddy, sloping banks. There have been a few trout around the dam at depths to 80 feet. Call: A-1 Bait 563-6505, Fishwrangler's Guide Service 604-8222, Bub Tosh 404-0053.
LAKE DON PEDRO — Monte Smith reports the trout bite slowed before and after the downpour. He was able to put his clients on to six quality rainbows to 4 pounds the day before the rains, but things turned tough later in the week. They were pulling Vance's Slim Fins or the Shasta Tackle Wiggle Hootchies at depths of 55-70 feet. Smith said the water is still relatively clear despite the heavy inflow. Manny Basi reported the bass bite was also tough with a few fish to 4 pounds taken from the banks to 30 feet in depth with the S Wave mini swimbait from River2Sea or drop-shotting with the Reaction Innovation plastic worm in Bad Shad Green. Call: Monte Smith 581-4734, Danny Layne 586-2383, Bait Barn 874-301.
STOCKTON AREA — Striper action has been pretty hot in the Delta with the larger fish concentrated from the Mothball Fleet to Bay Point. Mark Delnero of Fin Addict Sport Fishing was running the Lucky Strike Too on Friday, putting Richard Suchil Jr. of Stockton on to a 42-inch/24.9-pound striper on fresh shad at the end of the outgoing tide near the Middle Grounds. Jeremy Kangas of StickEm. Sport Fishing was working the sandbar near the Mothball Fleet with bullheads with 6 clients for 9 stripers to 15-pounds and a surprise 22-pound halibut on the bullhead. Jim Smith will be bringing the Happy Hooker to Martinez this coming weekend, and the possibilities of striper action on the live sardines look very promising with the fish in the area and good tides. Benicia Bait confirmed the good striper action at the Mothball Fleet with fish to 15-pounds taken on bullheads. There also was a 53-inch sturgeon landed on a bullhead over the weekend by an angler targeting stripers. Kevin Yost of Lucky Strike Fishing put one of his clients on to a 64-inch/49.1-pound sturgeon on Saturday morning on the incoming tide near the PGE Plant in Pittsburg. Sunday brought only shakers working the same areas at depths from 35 to 57 feet. Jay Lopes of Right Hook Sport Fishing had a sturgeon trip in the Pittsburg area on Friday for some good action on ghost shrimp and grass shrimp/eel combinations. Call: Randy Pringle 543-6260; Mark Wilson Sport Fishing (916) 682-1630, Fin Addict Sport Fishing 367-4665, Jolly Jay's Guide Service 478-6645.
SAN FRANCISCO BAY — Bob Wright, second captain of the California Dawn, reported fantastic ling cod and big rockfish action Saturday at the Farallon Islands. They made two long drifts for 35 ling cod to 17 pounds, including a good number of fish over 10 pounds. They ended up with 130 rockfish for the 20 anglers on board composed of an excellent grade of fish. James Smith of the California Dawn had similar numbers both weekend days with a few fish short of 22 limits on Saturday to go with over 20 lings, despite a good number of anglers choosing to stay inside the cabin. They had a banner day Tuesday with 26 limits of rockfish and 38 ling cod to 15 pounds. He will be working on the rockfish for the remaining two weeks of the season with trips planned today through Sunday. On Sunday, three boats out of Emeryville put in near-limits of rockfish (660 for 72 fishermen) to go with 79 lings to 20 pounds and a pair of bonus halibut on their way back to the harbor. The rockfish season ends Oct. 31.
Call: Happy Hooker (510) 223-5388, Huck Finn Sport Fishing Center (650) 726-7133, Emeryville Sport Fishing (510) 654-6040, Don Franklin, Soleman (510)
The following streams and lakes will be planted with trout during the week of Oct. 25:
- Stanislaus: Modesto Reservoir, Woodward Reservoir.
- Tuolumne: Lyons Canal, Middle Fork Stanislaus River, Moccasin Creek, Powerhouse Stream.
- Madera: Corrine Lake