Outdoors

Fishing Report (3/31/10)

VALLEY

New Melones Reservoir — Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing reported a decent trout bite with the fish moving off the banks into open water. He was using a combination of lead core and downriggers for fish to 2-pounds. Smith also trolled for an hour with kokanee gear near Glory Hole Point without results other than a quality rainbow on the kokanee lures. Gary Burns of Take It To The Limit Guide Service found kokanee in the open water in the middle of the lake. Bruce Hamby of Sierra Sport Fishing recommended trolling from the Spillway to the Dam or near the mouth of Mormon Creek at 30-45 feet deep with Uncle Larry's Spinners tipped with a piece of crawler, shad-patterned Slim Fins or Cop Car ExCels behind ball flashers. A brown trout weighing 4.75 pounds was landed near the Dam at 75 feet in depth on a blade/crawler combination. Trout fishing from the banks remains slow, as the pendulum has swung in the favor of trollers.

Fishing remains good for spotted bass in the main lake cuts and coves. Carolina-rigged Creature Baits such as the Zoom Baby Brush Hog or Reaction Innovations Sweet Beavers are working at 20-30 feet deep. Swimbaits will produce on windy days. Catfishing is improving with the warmer water temperatures. Crappie and bluegill bites remain is still fair with the best action 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 25-40 feet deep near structure. The lake is holding at 52 percent capacity. Glory Hole Sporting Goods is holding their annual Seminar Day on April 17 with many of the featured trout, kokanee and bass guides presenting.

Call: (209) 736-4333; Monte Smith (209) 581-4734; Danny Layne — Fishn' Dan (209) 586 2383; Sierra Sport Fishing (209) 599-2023.

Delta Mendota Canal — Merritt Gilbert said most bank anglers are taking their Lucky Craft 128's to San Luis instead of targeting these canals. Pete Cormier of Bob's Bait said striper fishing in the south aqueduct remains steady with a continued high demand for sand or blood worms.

Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River — Merritt Gilbert said small fish are still the rule in the main lake and up the river arm. There is the start of a reaction bite on spinnerbaits or ripbaits, but finesse techniques on the bottom with a drop shot or dragging a Texas-rigged plastic is still the most consistent. No striper report. The lake rose another 4 vertical feet to 557.27 feet in elevation and 82 percent capacity. The water levels on the lower San Joaquin have risen, making fishing conditions difficult. Planted trout are still possible on the lower San Joaquin with various colors of Power Bait, night crawlers or lures. Call: 225-1838; 292-3474.

McClure Reservoir — Manny Basi of the Bait Barn in Waterford said the 300 ProWorm in small purple flake on a one-fourth-ounce dart head is working best for a small cut of bass. Wacky-rigged Senkos in Natural Shad are also effective. The majority of fish are at 20-30 feet deep in rock piles or lake points. There are some fish cruising the banks, but the fish haven't set up on beds. The water is rapidly warming, which should lead to the bass moving up in the next weeks. Trout fishing remains slow, with the best action found upriver near Bagby. Crappie are biting live minnows in the evenings near the Horseshoe. No catfish report. The lake rose 2 feet to 785.91 in elevation and 55 percent capacity.

Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505; Bub Tosh (209) 404-0053.

Lake Don Pedro — Bruce Hamby of Sierra Sport Fishing reported an excellent king salmon bite, but the fish are only 12-15 inches. The salmon are found at 20-100 feet deep with ExCels, Sockeye Slammers, Uncle Larry's new Black/White spinners, Vance's Slim Fins or frozen shad. Danny Layne of Fishn' Dan's Guide Service reported trout fishing is best in the Tuolumne River channel to 25 feet deep with the same lures used for king salmon. Layne recommended targeting the salmon with the Shasta Tackle UV Humdingers behind a UV Slingblade or a hammered Slim Fin scented with Krill -off of Hatch Creek and along Copper Mountain. He added that early season kokanee are beginning to show off of Six Bit Gulch to the Power Lines with typical kokanee gear. Manny Basi reported a consistent jig bit with the Berserk Purple Hornet with Berserk Brawler trailer in watermelon/candy or greenpumpkin/candy. The fish are moving into the beds, and brightcolored plastics in chartreuse/white or swimbaits in bluegill patterns are pulling fish off the beds. He advised using the swimbait pattern that imitates a feeding bluegill with its nose pointed downward with its tail pointed up. Large minnows continue to be effective. The lake is holding at 797.11 feet in elevation and 81 percent capacity. Call: Monte Smith (209) 581-4734; Danny Layne — Fishn' Dan (209) 586-2383; Bait Barn (209) 874-3011.

HIGH SIERRA

Bass Lake — Bass fishing is starting to take off. Merritt Gilbert landed 10 fish to 2.5 pounds at 15 feet deep using the Bassectomy plastics in watermelon or green pumpkin on a Texas-rig, jigs, Senkos or Brass-n-Glass. The best bite is early in the mornings. Trout fishing remains consistent from the surface to 15 feet deep with spinners, Wedding Rings tipped with a crawler or blade/crawler combinations. A 13-inch kokanee was landed on trout gear. The lake dropped slightly to 68 percent capacity.

Call: 642-3141; Todd Wittwer 288-8100, 642-3633, 642-3737; Mike Beighey 642-3748.

Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake — The trout and kokanee action at Shaver is vastly improved, and anglers are heading up the hill in response. Dick Nichols of Dick's Fishing Charters continues to take his weekly outings with Captain Jack Yandell, and they found the kokanee near the Boy Scout Cove with Captain Jack's Super Hootchies in orange, red, or pink tipped with corn behind the Shaver Lake Dodger at 20-30 feet deep. Paul Kalpakoff of Central Sierra Sport Fishing is back on the water after a few months, and he reported putting Early Taniguchi of Fowler and Carl House of Fresno on limits of kokanee from 12 to 14 inches at depths from 39-42 feet deep with Earl's Guchie lure tipped with red corn scented with anise/garlic behind a 5.5-inch Shasta Tackle UV Sling Blade. For trout, Nichols has been scoring with Dick's Trout Busters tipped with a crawler at 12-17 feet deep. The trout are scattered throughout the lake. Rocky Pimental from the Wahtoke Grill in Shaver Lake continues to pull out trout to 5 pounds from the banks at the Point with Power Bait. Nichols will resume charters once the Shaver Lake Marina at Edison Campground opens on April 15. The Sierra Marina dock next to the ramp will be replaced this week. Anglers can get updated launch information at sierramarina.com. Shaver has risen slightly to 66 percent capacity while Huntington - still out of commission due to snow - dropping to 36 percent. Huntington Lake is still out of commission due to the snow level.

Call: 841-2522; 841-2740; Dinkey Creek Inn 841-3435; Rancheria Marina 893-3234; Young's Sporting Goods 841-8271; Dick's Fishing Charters 841-5331.

OCEAN

San Francisco Bay — The most consistent sturgeon bite in the Bay/Delta system has been in the Petaluma River, and Joel Sinkay of Leonard's Bait said, "It is the best fishing that I have seen in the several years that we have owned the shop." Jack Marshall of Captain Jack's Sport Fishing confirmed the great action on the Petaluma River with recent catches of legal fish at 56 and 47 inches with an 82-inch oversized released. Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait in San Rafael said trolling for striped bass has been slow with the larger tides, but things should improve each day with the increasingly smaller tides. Don Franklin of the Soleman got a surprise on Sunday while trolling a Loch Lomond Worm Tailed Jig along the Brickyard during the middle of the incoming tide, boating a 20-pound halibut. They also landed a legal bass on a jig before settling on the anchor, but the crabs made things next to impossible to fish. Franklin reported great shark fishing in the central bay on Thursday, but the bite turned very difficult on Saturday. Franklin said they marked fish, but perhaps the weather front moving through the area put the fish off of the bite. They weren't even able to get a bay ray to hit the bait.

Jim Smith of the Happy Hooker took the boat to Berkeley today in preparation for the salmon opener. On the way, they stopped to troll hair raisers along the Pinole Shores and also at the Brickyard. He said the water was clear, but the fish were absent. He added that there have been schools of sardines and shiners near Alameda. He has a small load for the opener, and he will run for salmon if the weather is favorable. Craig Stone of Emeryville Sport Fishing said the Tigerfish trolled on Saturday with 9 anglers for a solitary 5-pound halibut. They are booking halibut trolling trips from Wednesday through Sunday of the coming week and also for salmon trips on Saturday and Sunday. They have lots of room on their boats for the opener and every day afterwards, depending on the length of the season. John Akina at Oyster Point Bait, Tackle and Deli said the halibut are starting to come into the shop with nine flatties Sunday to go with three striped bass. The top area is from Hunter's Point to the Bird Cage. Red Label Herring has been the top bait, with a few fish on bag anchovies or sardines. Jack smelt are still plentiful from the pier on pieces of pile worms. Ly Tu of Ly's Fishing Goods in San Jose said a 49-inch sturgeon was landed on a herring/ghost shrimp combination near the Dunbarton Train Trestle, but overall sturgeon action in the south bay is slow.

Half Moon Bay — Peggy Beckett at Huck Finn Sport Fishing said they have lots of room on board for the weekend's salmon opener, and they will run the trips if the weather is favorable. Private boaters have been scoring limits of hard-shelled crabs of either commercial or sport grade at 150 feet deep. Some boaters averaged between 6 and 7 legal crab per pot on an overnight soak. There have been a few boats out scouting for brown, salmon-colored water from Half Moon Bay past Ano Nuevo, but there isn't any, in addition to an absence of bait and birds. Crab action continues to be decent from the end of the pier. Perch anglers are using pile worms or anchovies, and the occasional striper has been landed from the beach. There hasn't been much talk about the salmon opener from the pier group because the odds are that the season will be closed before the fish move into the surf near the Pacifica Pier in late May/early June. Jimno said there have been several pier anglers seeking kingfish the past week. The rockfish opener below Pigeon Point is May 1.

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.

Delta/Stockton — The sturgeon have been moving throughout the Bay/Delta system with a good concentration holding between the Carquinez and the Benicia/Martinez Bridge. Striped bass fishing has improved in upper Suisun Bay with bullheads. Captains Chris and Jim Smith on the Happy Hooker landed legal fish on their last weekend of sturgeon fishing with salmon roe on the incoming tide outside the Martinez Harbor. Dave Marquardt of Antioch landed legal sturgeon at 60 and 49-inches on successive trips. They ended their day upriver targeting stripers with bullheads for fish to 9-pounds. Eric Kaai of the Fisherman's Warehouse in Fresno launched his kayak near Rio Vista Bridge on Sunday, and he caught and released a 70-inch sturgeon on grass shrimp. Allison Shawnego of Hap's Bait in Rio Vista weighed in a 60-inch/50-pound sturgeon landed off of the bank under the Rio Vista Bridge on Sunday afternoon. Keeper stripers to 4-pounds have been landed on pile worms from the dock at the Moose Lodge. They also ran out of grass shrimp over the weekend. Bill Crooks and Guy Brown trolled for stripers for 41 miles both above and below the Rio Vista Bridge for four small legal stripers and two shakers with 5 hits without sticking on shallow running Clown Yozuris at depths from 6 to 9 feet during the last of the outgoing through the incoming tide to the beginning of the next outgo tide.

Call: Randy Pringle (209) 543-6260; Mark Wilson Sport Fishing (916) 682-1630; Fin Addict Sport Fishing (209) 367-4665; Jolly Jay's Guide Service (209) 478-6645.

TROUT PLANTS

  • Fresno, Tulare, Madera and Mariposa counties: None.
  • Kern County: Brite Valley Reservoir, Kern River from Democrat Beach to Lower Richbar, Kern River from Powerhouse No. 3 to Riverside Park, Kern River from Sandy Flat to Democrat Beach, Lake Woollomes.
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