NEW MELONES RESERVOIR — Danny Layne of Fishn' Dan's Guide Service reports the kokanee are starting to bite with a school found from the Highway 49 Bridge into Coyote Creek at 35-40 feet using Uncle Larry's spinners, Glitterbug Hootchies, or pink and orange Apex lures scented with Pautske's Fire Corn. There are also fish off Shipwreck Island, the dam pocket and off the Spillway. Monte Smith confirmed the good kokanee bite in open water from the Spillway to Glory Hole Point at 13-40 feet. Melanie Lewis of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp said small spotted bass are providing plenty of action up the river arm. There have been some big largemouths as well. Wacky-rigged Senkos, Carolina-rigged Creature baits such as a Zoom Baby Brush Hog or Yamamoto Creature or shaky head Zoom Trick Worms at 10-20 feet are effective, but the larger fish are in deeper water on brown/purple jigs or larger creature baits. Catfishing is improving. Anchovies, mackerel, sardines, chicken livers or a ball of night crawlers are the top baits from the banks. Crappie and bluegill remains best at night under lights with small or medium minnows or minijigs in Bear Cove, Mormon Creek or Carson Creek. Call: 736-4333; Monte Smith 581-4734; Danny Layne 586 2383; Sierra Sport Fishing 599-2023.
SAN LUIS RESERVOIR / O'NEILL FOREBAY — Most of the action is still in the Forebay due to high water in the main lake, but a 15-pound striper was taken on a top-water Pencil Popper early in the morning to the left of the Basalt Recreation Area launch ramp. There have been some school-sized stripers taken by trollers pulling P-Line Predators, X-Raps or broken-backed Rebels at depths to 30 feet in Lone Oaks Bay, with a few fish landed on pile worms or jumbo minnows in Portuguese Cove. Ly Tu reported good action for small stripers in the Forebay near the Highway 152 Bridge or Check 12, particularly with pile or blood worms. Paul Jolley of Coyote Bait in San Jose said similar trolling lures are working in the Forebay, with mudsuckers also effective from the banks. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said most bank striper anglers have been avoiding the canals in favor of the Forebay with pearl Flukes or Lucky Craft 128s. A few catfish continue to be found around Check 12 on cut baits. Wind conditions: (800) 805-4805. Call: Ly's Fishing Goods (408) 629-9644; Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711.
McSWAIN RESERVOIR — Trolling remains steady for planted trout for anglers pulling Wedding Rings or small spoons from the surface to 20 feet deep in the mornings from the dam to the second fence line. Bank anglers continue to target the handicapped docks or the brush pile with night crawlers or Power Bait. There are still quite a few trout in the lake from the derby a few weekends past. Call: 378-2534.
McCLURE RESERVOIR — Manny Basi of the Bait Barn in Waterford reported a good bass bite during the Mike Van Guilder Sr. Memorial Tournament this weekend. He landed fish on the Yamamoto Twin Tailed Grub in color 330 (green pumpkin purple/copper flake) on a half-ounce jig head at 10-20 feet deep in the main lake. Senkos in natural shad or drop-shotting with Reaction Innovations Bad Shad Green are also effective. The big fish of nearly 12 pounds was caught in Horseshoe Bend on a Brush Hog. Live minnows have also been producing spotted bass from the banks. Trout fishing has been fair, with the best action in the Cottonwood area and near the dam at 35-50 feet on ExCel lures, Needlefish or similar spoons. Most trout anglers are heading to New Melones or Don Pedro. Salmon fishing is spotty. Crappie fishing is starting to improve with live minnows near the houseboats or adjacent to submerged structure. Call: A-1 Bait 563-6505, Bub Tosh 404-0053.
LAKE DON PEDRO — Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing reported larger king salmon are starting to show up, as expected. The majority are about 15 inches, but an 8.5-pounder was landed during Sunday's West Coast Salmon tournament. Top area has been open water near Jenkins Hill at 70-100 feet with rolled shad or anchovies. Rainbow trout are scattered from Moccasin to past the Highway 49 Bridge into the canyon arm from the surface to 25 feet with blade/crawler combinations and Uncle Larry's spinner or small hootchies behind Sling Blade. Danny Layne said kokanee are showing up from Six Bit Gulch to under the Power Lines at 40 feet with spinners, bugs or hootchies. Manny Basi reported a great bass bite on Yamamoto Hula Grubs in cinnamon/purple or watermelon/red on a half-ounce jig head. Large minnows continue to provide unlimited action from the banks. Call: Monte Smith 581-4734; Danny Layne 586-2383; Bait Barn 874-3011.
DELTA/STOCKTON — Anglers are targeting stripers instead of sturgeon, and the last wave of muddy water has passed through the Rio Vista area. Another wave from last week's storms should arrive soon. A few sturgeon have been taken from Garnet Point, the Mothball Fleet or the Big Cut in Suisun Bay on pile worms or eel. The water in the Sacramento River has cleared enough to allow trolling, and there are scattered pockets of stripers from Collinsville to Walnut Grove. Jay Sorensen released a 45-inch sturgeon to go with a 6-pound striper on the San Joaquin River on fresh shad in the lower Santa Clara Shoals. Dave Hurley released an 11¼-pound striper on shad in the San Joaquin River. Call: Randy Pringle 543-6260; Mark Wilson Sport Fishing (916) 682-1630, Intimidator Sport Fishing (916) 806-3030, Jolly Jay's Guide Service 478-6645.
LAKE CAMANCHE — Trout fishing has been very good with reports of a 9½-pounder being caught Monday by an angler trolling salmon eggs. Jerry Gammon of Manteca caught 3 trout, the biggest at 8½ pounds, on Wednesday, working the cove in Camanche Arm using a Rebel Crawdad. Fishing could get even easier as the lake managers planted 6,300 pounds of trout over the last 2 weeks. Catfish are being caught from the banks and up toward the Mokelumne, mostly on chicken liver. Lake temperature is 66 degrees. Call: (925) 426-3060
SAN FRANCISCO BAY — Salmon fishing still very spotty outside the Golden Gate with most party boats staying inside the bay to catch halibut or striped bass. High boat for the salmon season has been the New Huck Finn of Emeryville with seven fish a couple of weeks ago. There has been a steady pick for halibut throughout the bay with the best action off of Paradise, Southhampton Shoals, the mouth of the Richmond Marina, Oyster Point and the Alameda Rockwall. Chris Seabourne at C Biscuits in Vallejo said there are still a few sturgeon landed up the Napa River near Green Island Road or the 37 Bridge with pile worms since grass shrimp has been hard to get.
HALF MOON BAY — Captain Kelly Sponsellar of the New Gravy said there's nothing happening on the salmon scene. He's getting ready for Saturday's rockfish opener south of Pigeon Point. Sheryl Jimno of the Rusty Hook in Pacifica said crabbing is still good from the pier, particularly with snares in the rough conditions. Call: Happy Hooker (510) 223-5388; Huck Finn Sport Fishing Center (650) 726-7133; Emeryville Sport Fishing (510) 654-6040; Don Franklin (510) 703-4148.
MONTEREY — Sonny Arcaleo at Chris' Landing said the salmon are still very deep, hugging the bottom. He said there is a huge school of market-grade squid in the bay, and he expected commercial boats to suck up about 800 hundred tons early in the week. Ly Tu said striped bass have been landed on Pencil Poppers in the surf near Monterey Dunes with a few barred perch to 2 pounds landed off of Pajaro Beach with Berkley Camo Worms. Call: Chris' Landing (831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173; usafishing.com.
Reservoirs and lakes that will be planted with trout during the week of April 25:
- Fresno — Kings River below the Pine Flat Reservoir; San Joaquin River below Friant Dam.
- Tuolumne — Lyons Canal; Middle Fork Stanislaus River; Moccasin Creek; Powerhouse Stream; South Fork Stanislaus River; Stanislaus River, Clark Fork.