NEW MELONES RESERVOIR/TULLOCH RESERVOIR — Melanie Lewis of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp reported regular trout plants are starting, so bank anglers should start seeing some action, especially near the boat ramps. Karger trout are feeding heavily on the small threadfin shad that are plentiful. Small minnows under a bobber near the mouth of any creek arms or throwing a small silver spoon is another good choice. Rainbows are starting to move up, and they will continue coming as the water cools. Fishing from boats in the creek arms or upriver from a boat is producing a few trout. Trolling has been slow, but this should improve within the month. Shad-patterned Needlefish, ExCels or Countdown Rapalas are the top lures. Greg Branson of Angels Camp landed a 3-pound, 4-ounce rainbow trout trolling a shad-patterned Lucky Craft lure at a depth of 40 feet near the Spillway. Bass are targeting schools of shad that are holding over wind-blown main lake points. Lewis recommended throwing a swimbait once the wind picks up, particularly with the regular trout plants taking place. At dawn and dusk, there is a top-water bite with Zara Spooks, buzzbaits, or Pop-Rs before switching to a Carolina-rigged creature bait such as a green pumpkin or other crawdad-colored Zoom Baby Brush Hog, Reaction Innovation's Sweet Beaver, or Jeff's Arkie Crawlin' Grub or Crawlin' Fry at depths of 30 to 40 feet over the points. Larger bass tend to eat crawdads instead of shad, so creature baits and jigs seem to be catching the bigger ones. Catfish have moved into deeper water, and there was good action with anchovies, mackerel, sardines, chicken liver, or a ball of night crawlers. Eric Guy of Murphys landed a 16-pound, 7-ounce catfish on oysters while bank fishing during the day near the marina. Jeremia Millard caught a 14-pound, 3-ouncer on crawlers. Crappie and bluegill action is slow, but best at night under lights at depths from 10 to 30 feet around submerged trees with live small or medium minnows. Monte Smith of Gold Country Fishing recommended nearby Lake Tulloch as the top Mother Lode lake for rainbows to three-pounds. The water is still a bit warm at 63 degrees. A trout plant is scheduled at Tulloch this week. 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 reported a great striper bite with extra-large minnows drifted near the trash racks and into Portuguese Cove. There have been fish to 8-pounds taken on minnows, but there is another good bite on Zara Spooks or surface Yozuris with the stripers chasing bait on the surface. Water is rising and cooling, and the linesides are pushing up the shad schools. One boat put in four limits in 30 minutes by following the birds and plugging into the boils. The lake has come up and the Dinosaur Point launch ramp is accessible. There is heavy angling interest in the Forebay, and anglers are wading out into the lake and tossing live mudsuckers for some larger fish to 7-pounds. The lake rose to 25 percent capacity with 10,377 acre-feet of water pumped from the Delta. 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 some limits of planted rainbows have been taken from the banks at the Brush Pile or handicapped docks with night crawlers or various colors of Power Bait. Trollers continue to pull blade/crawler combinations or chartreuse/ruby red Wedding Rings tipped with a crawler behind a dodger from the Dam to the 2nd Fence Line. Call: 378-2534.
McCLURE RESERVOIR — Manny Basi of the Bait Barn reported things are pretty much the same with a decent top water bite in low light conditions on PoPR's or Zara Spooks in the mornings before switching to drop shotting with the Reaction Innovation worm in Bad Shad Green or small profile 3-ounce jig head with a Yamamoto Hula Grub in color 330. A-1 Bait in Snelling has been receiving reports of good bass action at depth from 15 to 20 feet, but these anglers are keeping their techniques quiet due to upcoming tournaments. Trout fishing still slow, but things will improve with plants this week. Catfishing has slowed with the best action on chicken livers, crawdads or anchovies along muddy banks. Call: A-1 Bait 563-6505, Fishwrangler's Guide 604-8222, Bub Tosh 404-0053.
Lake Don Pedro — Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing reported a very slow trout and king salmon bite after a decent bite the previous month. His last three trips have been tough, and they hooked only one large trout on Sunday on a sideplaner near the surface. After slow trout action, they switched to working from 70 to 100 feet for small king salmon. He marked loads of fish, but they weren't able to get them to bite. He thought the lake needs to turn over and cool off with the water temperatures now at 66 degrees. Trout plants are scheduled for the next two weeks. Manny Basi of the Bait Barn reported the largemouth bass has gotten tough with some action on ½- to ¾-ounce jigs in browns, brown/purple or dark green pumpkin from the surface to 30 feet. Basi recommended bouncing the jigs for improved action. Plastics in Bad Shad Green, Pro Worms in 300 small redflake, Hologram Shad and Senkos in 330 or green pumpkin are also working. Basi added that there is an early topwater bite with PopR's or Zara Spooks. Call: Monte Smith 581-4734, Danny Layne 586-2383, Bait Barn 874-301.
STOCKTON — Saturday was good for Jim Smith of the Happy Hooker out of Martinez. His charter boat caught and released over 20 fish, only keeping the bleeders. The majority were small keepers with the largest fish being 27-inches. Live bullheads or anchovies were the most productive baits, as Smith kept the sardines in the tank to eliminate tangles with over 20 anglers onboard. He found fish on both locations above and below the Benicia-Martinez Bridge. Smith was disappointed with his count of 11 bass for 15 rods, but overall action slowed progressively through the week. Benicia Bait reported a good striper bite in deep water near the channel at the Firing Line around Buoys 23 and 24 with cut bullheads. There have been some fish to 35-pounds caught and kept this week. "We could have sold 1000 bullheads if we had them this weekend," was the claim. Bank anglers have been picking up stripers in the 20 to 25-inch range. They also confirmed the excellent sturgeon fishing in the Pittsburg area near Chain Island. Jay Lopes of Right Hook Sport Fishing out of Martinez motored down to Pittsburg on Saturday for 9 shakers in the 40 to 45.5-inch range. The fish bit on everything, but an eel/grass shrimp combination or straight grass shrimp produced the larger fish. Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, reported an excellent striper bite in the San Joaquin River for schoolies to 5-pounds on the Berkley Red-Eye Mullet or white Hollow Belly Swimbait just under the surface. Stripers are chasing abundant shad from the Port of Stockton into the southern portion of the delta. Berkley Chigger Craws or Power Worms on a Zappu head or drop shot in 6 to 15 feet of water is working best. There have been some disturbing reports of poaching of stripers by bank anglers along the San Joaquin River south of Stockton to the confluence of the Stanislaus and in the Grant Line Canal. Wardens have pulled up a few of the poachers, but there are reportedly plenty more taking their place in line on the banks. Call: Randy Pringle 543-6260; Fin Addict Sport Fishing 367-4665, Jolly Jay's Guide Service 478-6645.
San Francisco Bay — James Smith on the California Dawn went to the Farallons on Friday and Saturday for 18 limits of rockfish and 21 lings to 17-pounds on Halloween to go with 28 limits and 18 lings. He said the season closed out with good weather both days.
Trout plants planned by the Department of Fish & Game for this week:
- Mariposa County: Lake McClure.
- Merced County: Yosemite Lake.
- Stanislaus: Modesto Reservoir, Woodward Reservoir.
- Tuolumne: Cherry Lake; Don Pedro Reservoir; Lyons Canal; Moccasin Creek; New Melones Lake; Powerhouse Stream.