Fishing Report (12/23/09)

NEW MELONES RESERVOIR -- Melanie Lewis of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp reported plenty of rainbows to 2.5 pounds can be caught from the banks near the Tuttletown or Glory Hole Launch Ramps with Berkley Power Bait in chartreuse or green glitter, Power Eggs, marshmallow/crawler combinations or small Kastmasters in firetiger, rainbow trout or silver/blue. The best fishing continues along the shoreline, with the warmer water on the north slopes in the afternoon. Zach Porterfield of Riverbank landed a 3.5-pound rainbow on chartreuse Power Bait near the Tuttletown ramp. Trollers are working the shoreline with blade/crawler combinations. The bass are hanging around the shad balls in the middle of the lake at 30-60 feet. The fish are not oriented to structure, so they are biting trolling lures intended for trout. Lewis advised looking for steep drop-offs such as the main creek channels up the river arm. Numbers of smaller fish can be taken on 4-inch plastics on the drop shot. There have been some quality catfish taken. Chicken livers are also working as well as anchovies, mackerel, sardines or a ball of night crawlers. Crappie and bluegill action has been slow. Crappie can be found hanging around submerged trees at 30-45 feet deep in Bear, Mormon or Carson creeks with live small or medium minnows. Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing reported slow fishing at Lake Tulloch on recent trip in cold 52-degree water. The recently planted brown trout have been reluctant to bite. 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 a 27-pound striper was landed on chrome/blue back RatLTrap off Goosehead Point near the Basalt Recreation Area in the early morning. The angler also caught and released a few stripers to 6 pounds. Jumbo minnows drifted near the trash racks or Portuguese Cove have been working for small legal stripers to 5 pounds. Anglers have to work hard for limits. In the forebay, bank anglers have been plugging with small swimbaits or live mudsuckers for legal fish to 20 inches. The area under the bridge has been the top spot. A few small catfish have been taken on cut baits. The lake rose to 38 percent capacity. 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-I Bait in Snelling said trout action was slow, with anglers complaining about catching only a few fish per rod. The McSwain Marina reported the lake is full, but there has been little interest. A trout plant from Calaveras Trout Farm is scheduled for this week. Call: 378-2534.

McCLURE RESERVOIR -- Jay Graham of the Fresno Bass Club reported 14 limits out of 19 anglers at Sunday's Tournament of Champions. There was an early top-water bite on Zara Spooks, with jigs, tubes, Texas-rigs or drop-shotting all working. The majority of fish were spotted bass. Manny Basi of the Bait Barn said the bass bite continues to be slow, with the best action at 40-55 feet with Bad Shad Green on the drop shot or brown jigs. Diana Mello at A-I Bait in Snelling said live crawdads have been working at McClure Point, near the Dam and in Piney Creek. Watermelon/redflake Baby Brush Hogs are also working. Trout fishing has been slow, with only a few fish per rod landed on shad-patterned Needlefish at 20 feet deep near the Dam. Catfish have moved into deeper water to seek out warmer temperatures for the winter. The lake is holding 40 percent capacity. The only two launch ramps open are McClure Point and the Barrett's Cove south ramp. 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 said a few quality largemouths continue to be taken on rainbow trout 8-inch Huddlestons with a Rate of Fall of 12 at 10-20 feet in any of the creek channels where planted trout are holding. Drop-shotting Reaction Innovations in Bad Shad Green or Robo Worms Hologram Shad at to 50-feet deep has also been effective. Basi recommended targeting island tops in the deep water. Bank fishing for planted trout has been solid with rainbow glitter Power Bait or gold Kastmasters. The planted trout are holding near the shorelines in shallow water. Monte Smith continued to advise trolling as close to the shoreline as possible with blade/crawler combinations or shad-imitation spoons on sideplaners while using your electric motor, if possible. A long-line presentation and quiet approach should work for the trout, particularly on sun-exposed coves and banks. A trout plant is scheduled for this week. Call: Monte Smith 581-4734; Danny Layne 586-2383; Bait Barn 874-3011.

DELTA/STOCKTON -- Sturgeon fishing is starting to show signs of life as the water temperatures are starting to creep back up to nearly 50 degrees with the slight amount of inflow. The rivers are still clear, as the inflow hasn't muddied up the water yet. Benicia Bait reported a very good sturgeon bite near the Mothball Fleet near Buoys 4 to 6 with ghost or grass shrimp with eel also working. Private boaters reported landing legal sturgeon to 50-inches-plus, with other legal fish taken in 45 feet near Honker Bay on the small incoming tide. Overall, striper fishing has been slow throughout the Delta with few fish reported. Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, said striper fishing in the south Delta has been "hit or miss." He advises a slow retrieve for largemouth and moving around until you locate fish, as there will be multiples in an area once you locate one. 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 Bay Area party boats have ceased running crab-only trips due to a lack of interest. There is little pressure off the Marin coast, most likely due to private boaters traditionally giving up at this time of year due to the big commercial hauls. 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.