NEW MELONES RESERVOIR — Danny Layne of Fishn' Dan's Guide Service reported the water in the southern portion of the lake has warmed up and there is a good surface bite for rainbows using Uncle Larry's Powerbait spinners, Glitterbug spinner/hootchies, silver Triple Teasers and blade/crawler combinations. The best areas have been off of Bear Cove to Peoria Bay trolling at a speed of 1.5 mph at 5 to 15 feet. A few kokanee are showing up near the 49 bridge into Coyote Creek at 20 to 30 feet on the Uncle Larry's Pinkie tipped with garlic-scented corn behind a Vance's Watermelon Dodger. Melanie Lewis of Glory Hole Sporting Goods said trolling is still the best option. Greg Branson of Mokelumne Hill landed a 1.25-pound brown trout on a firetiger Apex at 50 feet in the main lake. Bass fishing remains fair, but things should heat up with the warm weather. Spots in the 1 to 2-pound range can be found along main lake points at 20 to 25 feet with Texas-rigged plastics or jigs. Swimbaits are landing larger fish, including a 13.5-pounder on a Huddleston caught and released by Nick Barse. Mike Sanders of Hughson caught and released a 6.98-pound spotted bass on a 6-inch Roboworm in oxblood on a lake point in Angels Cove. Catfishing remains slow with the only fish being found in deeper water. Anchovies, mackerel, sardines, chicken livers or night crawlers are still the staples. Crappie and bluegill fishing is fair at night under submersible lights near Bear, Mormon or Carson creeks with small or medium minnows or crappie jigs in red/white, black/chartreuse or purple/white at depths from to 25 to 40 feet near structure. 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 reports that high water levels are keeping action in the main lake slow. He said stripers are chasing shad in the early mornings in Portuguese Cove or between the Basalt Recreation Area and the dam, and top-water lures such as Pop R's or swimbaits should be effective. Most fishermen are working the forebay soaking pile worms from the inlet off of Highway 33 or at Check 12. Mickey Clements of Coyote Bait and Tackle said trollers are pulling Rapala X Raps, primarily in Tennessee Shad, at 5 to 15 feet for stripers in the 20 to 28-inch range. Rapala Husky Jerks are also working from the banks. Clements said a group of three anglers should expect a couple of collective fish. A few catfish had been taken on mackerel near Check 12. Wind conditions: 800-805-4805. Call: Ly's Fishing Goods (408) 629-9644; Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711;
McSWAIN RESERVOIR — McSwain Marina reports that a Calaveras Trout Farm plant last Friday perked up action, and Aaron Kjono and Gary Collette of Sonora boated limits of rainbows from 1.5 to 2-pounds in three hours pulling CD5 Rapalas in rainbow trout, firetiger or brook trout on the normal trolling pattern from the second fence line to the chimney. Bank fishing has improved with green Power Bait being tops with Laurie Mosher scoring a 4-pound rainbow and Antonio Candido of Hughson landing limits to 3-pound near the campgrounds or the brush pile. Call: 378-2534
McCLURE RESERVOIR — Manny Basi of the Bait Barn in Waterford says bass are easy for find, particularly using live minnows, but the fish are small. Best artificial action has been on ½- or ›-ounce Berserk Purple Hornet jig or drop shotting with the Pro Gold redflake color 300 at depths from 40 to 50 feet. Live minnows have been hot from the banks. Trout fishing has been slow by McClure standards with only a few fish a rod by anglers working hard. No catfish or crappie reports. Call: A-1 Bait 563-6505, Bub Tosh 404-0053.
LAKE DON PEDRO — Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing targeted king salmon on a recent trip near the Dam and Mexican Gulch with slow action for 14-inch king at 46 feet in depth. They switched to trout trolling gear, and boated six quality rainbows from 2.5 to 3-pounds at depths from 14 to 23 feet on the downrigger with shad patterned spoons. He thought the weather should help to push the fish into deep water as they drop in the water column. Water temperatures range from 53.5 degrees at the Dam to 56 in Middle Bay. The bass bite has been tough with only two limits taken during Sunday's Fresno Bass Club tournament with the best action at 15 to 40 feet on jigs or drop shotting. Swimbaits produced a few missed opportunities for big fish. Manny Basi said the best bite has been with Wacky Jigs with a Jackal Flick Shake plastic in pumpkin pepper, green pumpkin, watermelon candy or camel. He advised light line and shake the plastic slowly on the bottom. Call: Monte Smith 581-4734, Danny Layne 586-2383, Bait Barn 874-301.
STOCKTON — Sturgeon fishing is at a standstill, but Captain Jim Smith on the Happy Hooker got one of the last ones on Friday during the horrible rainstorm, boating a fat 50-incher that weighed 49 pounds. Alan Fong of the Fisherman's Warehouse in Sacramento said the sturgeon bite near Hood has been most consistent, adding that stripers were around Courtland in clearer water. The Mokelumne River bite has dried up with the fish moving out of the river and north to spawn. Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, said the cold front mid-week shut down the bass bite since the Florida-strain largemouths do not adjust to fluctuating water temperatures. Despite more consistent action on slow presentations, the majority of anglers have been "Beating the banks" with crankbaits in red craw in shallow water at high tide. Call: Randy Pringle 543-6260; Mark Wilson (916) 682-1630, Fin Addict Sport Fishing 367-4665, Jolly Jay's 478-6645.
SAN FRANCISCO BAY — Sturgeon fishing has been on and off with the best bite found in feeder rivers in San Pablo Bay. In the central bay, anglers switched from sturgeon to halibut. John Akina at Oyster Point Bait, Tackle and Deli reported a few boats landed up to two halibut drifting or trolling between Oyster Point and Candlestick over the weekend. The interest has definitely switched over the flat fish. Sharks are biting a variety of baits off the pier with jack smelt also keeping pier anglers happy. The Petaluma and Napa Rivers are holding lots of fish with slightly warmer water.
HALF MOON BAY — It appears the squid have left the coast, so local party boat operators will change their focus to salmon. The majority of calls have been for salmon, and they anticipate starting trips on April 3. Sheryl Jimno at the Rusty Hook in Pacifica said the surf is still rough, but crabbers are working snares off of the pier for "enough crab to keep their interest." A few stripers were taken on hair raisers or blood worms from Linda Mar or Rockaway Beaches. 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.
MONTEREY — Sonny Arcaleo at Chris's Landing said the squid have moved out, but there are plenty of sand dabs and blue mackerel. Heavy northwest current has been "absolutely insane," sanding in the crab pots, but they were able to locate 10 pots for 30 crabs. Current also brought in krill for the first time this year. They haven't marked salmon around the krill, but the presence is encouraging. White sea bass have also moved on with no reports from private or commercial boats in the past week. Call: Chris' Landing (831) 375-5951, Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173, usafishing.com