NEW MELONES RESERVOIR — Melanie Lewis of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp reported trout fishing continues to improve from the banks near the mouths of Angels or Glory Hole coves using Kastmasters, Berkley Power Eggs, Power Bait or crawler/marshmallow combinations. Trolling continues to improve with the fish moving up in the water column with shad-patterned Needlefish or ExCels or the smaller Countdown Rapalas from the surface down to 30 feet. Bass fishermen continue to focus on large schools of shad in the main lake around points holding wood with Carolina-rigged creature baits in green pumpkin or similar crawdad imitation colors. Baby Brush Hogs or Reaction Innovation Sweet Beavers are also working from 30 to 40 feet with a ½-ounce weight. Smaller fish can be taken on 4-inch plastics on drop shot. Catfish have moved into deep water, but some will bite on anchovies, mackerel, sardines, chicken liver or a ball of night crawlers. Crappie and bluegill action continue to be slow with the best action at night under lights at depths from 10 to 30 feet around submerged trees with live small or medium minnows or crappie jigs in red/white, black/chartreuse or purple/white in Bear, Carson or Mormon creeks. The lake came up a foot to 957.01 elevation.
TULLOCH LAKE — Monte Smith of Gold Country Fishing is finding holdover and planted trout, but his last trip didn't even get limits. He said the water is crystal-clear, and fishermen will need to drop their line size to 4 to 6-pound test and let more line out behind the boat. Water temperatures are perfect at 57 to 59 degrees. 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 minnows are back in stock; allowing anglers to drift them in Portuguese Cove for stripers to 20 pounds. Fishermen are also tossing swimbaits or top-water lures out of the boils with the fish chasing bait on the surface early in the mornings. Boaters are watching for diving birds then moving over the boils. Patrick Movey said bank anglers are tossing large Bomber Long A's in various colors early in the mornings or evenings. The color hasn't been as important as its profile. In the forebay, Tu said the best action has been under the bridge with anchovies, mackerel or sardines for catfish. There are a few stripers in the 22 to 26-inch range taken on freshwater mudsuckers or pile worms. For wind conditions, call 800-805-4805. ; Call: Ly's Fishing Goods (408) 629-9644; Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711.
McSWAIN RESERVOIR — This might be the best bet of the week as trout continue to hit, according to Diana Mello of A-1 Bait in Snelling. She said lake levels are back to normal and trolling has been excellent with red Wedding Rings tipped with a night crawler behind a dodger at 10 to 12 feet from Gilligan's Island to the floating restrooms. Bank anglers have been picking up fish with Sunrise Power Bait or orange/yellow Power Eggs, or marshmallow/night crawler combinations at the handicapped docks or the brush pile. Call: 378-2534
McCLURE RESERVOIR — Manny Basi of the Bait Barn reported an 8-pound largemouth was taken on a Huddleston swimbait. Drop shotting with Reaction Innovation plastic worms in Bad Shad Green, the Pro Worm 300 small redflake or Senko in color 330 are working best. A 13-pound largemouth was caught and kept by a regular angler dropshotting plastics. Diana Mello at A-1 Bait in Snelling said trout fishing is starting to turn on near the dam from the banks with Roostertails or from drifting boats in Cottonwood Creek with Kastmasters in chrome or chrome/blue. Crappie fishing is improving from the banks at McClure Point with medium minnows under a bobber or red/white minijigs under the docks at Barrett's Cove. Live minnows or crawdads are producing bass from the banks along Barrett's Cove or McClure Point. Catfish have moved into deeper water for the winter. 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 reported a continued slow bass bite with small fish the rule. Finesse fishing is still the best technique with dragging Carolina-rigged lizards or Baby Brush Hogs in watermelon red/flake. Brown/purple or brown jigs are working in a variety of depths from 10 to 50 feet. Reaction Innovation plastics in Bad Shad Green or shad-patterned Keeper worms are working. The reaction bite is non-existent. The lake needs to turn over before the bass and trout fishing turns on. Call: Monte Smith 581-4734, Danny Layne 586-2383, Bait Barn 874-301.
STOCKTON — Majority of stripers continue to hold from upper San Pablo Bay through the Carquinez Straits into lower Suisun Bay. Though there was a bit of rain, the fish won't move upriver in numbers until there is more fresh water flowing. Water in the upper stretches of the Delta is very clear, but the stripers are scattered. Jim Smith on the Happy Hooker had 13 limits Sunday to 17 pounds in San Pablo Bay and upper Suisun Bay. Majority of fish have come on live anchovies, but the larger linesides bit live bullheads while on the anchor. Schoolie stripers to 7-pounds were the rule on either fresh shad or bullheads with no sturgeon weighed in over the weekend. Jay Sorensen of Jolly Jay's Guide Service boated limits of stripers to 28-inches fish on fresh shad during the last of the small outgoing tide in False River on Sunday. They landed legal fish in the clear water of Big Potato Slough. Though the water is clear from the lack of runoff, trolling has been slow in the upper San Joaquin and Sacramento rivers. Mark Wilson has been concentrating downstream in the Collinsville area, and he reported much improved trolling action for fish to 12-pounds with 7 keepers. Loads of stripers in the south Delta. Jeff Boyle of the Bass Pro Shops in Manteca put on two limits from 7 to 9 pounds, releasing at least 15 legal stripers. He found a good swimbait bite in the morning that continued on pearl Berkley Hollow Bellies on a ½-ounce jig head. Stripers are moving in packs, chasing shad through the back sloughs. Boyle was searching for boils before tossing the swimbait behind the boil. Later, he got on a hot jig bite with 1-ounce P-Line spoons in silver/pearl at depths to 20 feet. Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, said the striper bite in the central Delta has been pretty much the same with "search and destroy" techniques of running up and down the main channels to find the small schools of fish. He has been scoring with the IMA Big Stick, Berkley Hollow Belly swimbaits or the Hopkins ¾ oounce. For largemouth bass, the water is very clear, so anglers are advised to downsize their lines. Finesse techniques still best bet with Power Worm in greenpumpkin or oxblood, Chigger Craw or the IMP Flit rip bait along the outside weedlines. 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 — The New Seeker out of Emeryville put in 13 limits of crab Saturday before picking up an 8-pound halibut back in the bay. There were no trips Sunday with crab/sand dab combinations scheduled for nearly every day this week. Private boaters reported quick limits at 100 feet off of the north bar after only a 2-hour soak. Crossing the north bar has required skilled seamanship to return safely to the bay with the large swell. The swell is expected to back down this week, but the winds will still be in the 10- to 20-knot range off of the coast. Joel Sinkay at Leonard's Bait at Port Sonoma said Sonoma Creek is the top inlet in the area for stripers on live bullheads.
HALF MOON BAY — Private boaters are reporting crab limits in commercial grade at 200 feet off the Radio Towers and off Montara at 160 feet. Sheryl Jimno of the Rusty Hook in Pacifica reported good crab action off the pier for both netters and snatchers with mackerel, squid or anchovy baits, but fishing has slowed significantly since crab season opened. Call: Happy Hooker (510) 223-5388; Huck Finn Sport Fishing Center (650) 726-7133, Emeryville Sport Fishing (510) 654-6040, Don Franklin, Soleman (510) 703-4148.
Reservoirs and lakes that will be planted with trout during the week of Nov. 22:
- Stanislaus — Modesto Reservoir; Woodward Reservoir.
- Mariposa — Lake McClure.
- Tuolumne — Don Pedro Reservoir; New Melones Lake