LAKE DON PEDRO Manny Basi of the Bait Barn in Waterford said the fish are moving off of the banks in the mornings to 30 feet then hitting drop shots on Reaction Innovations Flirts in Bad Shad Green or Pro Worms Purple Shad pattern 124. The top-water bite has been slow. With slower action at New Melones, guide Monte Smith headed for Don Pedro and put clients Charles Wilson Jr. and Mike Abourzek onto 3-pound rainbows working open water from 35 to 60 feet. They trolled heavy spoons, Smith said. With cooler temperatures predicted soon, the shad will be forced to ball up and that will make good targets for the trout. Call: Monte Smith (209) 581-4734; Danny Layne-Fishn' Dan (209) 586-2383; Gary Vella (209) 652-7550; Bait Barn (209) 874-3011
McCLURE RESERVOIR Live bait has been the key for larger spotted and largemouth bass. Diana Mello at A-1 Bait in Snelling said live minnows and large crawdads are working for bass to 8 pounds and catfish to 7 pounds. McClure Point has been particularly good and there's been a good bite behind the houseboats in Arnold Bay. Trout and king salmon reports have been scarce with most trollers heading to McSwain, Don Pedro or New Melones. Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505; Bub Tosh (209) 404-0053
McSWAIN RESERVOIR Stephanie Powell of the marina said trout action from the banks near the brush pile is good on garlic Power Bait or night crawlers. McSwain will host its Fall Trout Derby Oct. 6-7, starting at 7 a.m. Saturday and ending at noon Sunday. Go to lakemcclure.com or call (855) 800-2267. There's a grand prize of $3,000. Diana Mello of A-1 Bait in Snelling said one of her customers caught a limit of quality rainbows at McSwain on Monday by trolling blade/crawler combinations from the floating restrooms to the second fence line. Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
NEW MELONES / TULLOCH RESERVOIRS Guides Danny Layne and Monte Smith both reported excellent rainbow action, though Smith said it was much slower Friday. Layne called the action "fantastic: for rainbows and spotted bass, which are gorging on threadfin shad in open water. He suggests rolling shad or trolling Excel lures in Cop Car or blue/silver at 60 to 75 feet for rainbows up to 20 inches and 3 pounds. Layne said that Joe Fernandez of Sonora and a partner boated 10 fish topping the scales at 28½ pounds with four fish going over 3 pounds. Melanie Lewis of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp said Andrew Palleschi of Oakdale landed a 7-pound, 2-ounce brown trout while trolling a kokanee lure near the Tuttletown boat launch. She added that night fishing under a submersible light is really good and should stay that way through October. But bank fishing is slow, said Lewis. Kokanee fishing is only fair as the fish lose their scales in preparation for spawning. A few limits of dark fish have been taken; try orange baits. Bass fishing is fair, as the water level drops about 2 feet a week, pushing the fish out of shallows. Lewis advised fishing vertical banks with a -ounce darthead in natural crawdad or shad patterns or a ¼-ounce jig as the lighter weighted baits will stay in the strike zone longer. With the shad schooling, bass have been chasing them to the surface. Pop R's, Spooks, or Lucky Craft Gunfish work when you see that. Catfishing is excellent on frozen shad, mackerel, chicken livers or anchovies. Lewis said Melones catfish "tend to be fish eaters," so the frozen shad and cut baits are the top offerings. Call: Glory Hole Sports (209) 736-4333; Monte Smith (209) 581-4734; Danny Layne (209) 586-2383; Sierra Sport Fishing(209) 599-2023
DELTA Jerry Greene of Brentwood, released an 80-inch sturgeon estimated to weigh up to 200 pounds on Sunday. There had been an excellent striper bite near the Middle Grounds with live bullheads Saturday for fish to 9 pounds. For largemouth bass, guide Randy Pringle said "They are jumping in the boat" with a good top-water bite in the mornings, followed by crank baits or worms on the bottom later. He recommended crank baits on windy days. The Ace in the Hole and Persuader Double Buzz bait are tops for getting loud while the Timber Tiger DC 8 in bluegill or crawdad patterns are best for getting quiet at depths to 5 feet. Upriver, Alan Fong of the Fishermen's Warehouse in Sacramento reported outstanding action at Viera's on Saturday, and he expected these fish to be at Freeport by Sunday. Call: Randy Pringle (209) 543-6260; Vella's Fishing Adventures (209) 521-0164; Mark Wilson Sport Fishing (916) 682-1630; Intimidator Sport Fishing (916) 806-3030.
SAN LUIS RESERVOIR / O'NEILL FOREBAY Heavy pumping into the main lake has spurred the striper bite with big linesides taken on live jumbo minnows near the trash racks. Mickey Clements of Coyote Bait in Morgan Hill advised dropping minnows down halfway to the bottom with a ¾ or 1-ounce weight. The top-water bite has been best in the Forebay with rip baits such as Rapala XP8 or Lucky Craft 78 in American shad or ghost minnow. Merritt Gilbert reported local anglers continue to buy 4-inch Storm swimbaits in bluegill pattern or small Lucky Crafts for plugging along the banks in either lake in the evenings. Call: Ly's Fishing Goods (408) 629-9644; Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711
HALF MOON BAY The albacore bite exploded Saturday and Sunday with Capt. Dennis Baxter on the New Captain Pete landing 51 big fish on the live bait for 5 passengers and 4 crew. The action has been within sight of the Farallon Islands, and he trolled a mile circle near Gumdrop in the neighborhood of 37.33/123.12. There has been a hard temperature break from 55 to 58.2 degrees. Capt. Dew on the Mooch Better, a six-pack out of Bait and Switch Sport Fishing, got 30 fish Sunday in the same area. Rockfishing on the local reefs is still terrific with Capt. Guy Anthony of the New Gravy posting limits on Friday and Saturday with over a ling cod per rod. White sea bass action has slowed as market-grade squid schools have begun to show up. Heavy boat traffic might have put the fish off of the bite. For salmon, a few boats have been willing to run north to Duxbury but have returned with less than a fish per rod. Call: Happy Hooker (510) 223-5388; Roger Thomas, Salty Lady (415) 760-9362, Bait and Switch Sport Fishing Center (650) 726-7133 726-7133; Emeryville Sport Fishing (510) 654-6040; Don Franklin, Soleman (510) 703-4148
MONTEREY/SANTA CRUZ Chris Arcoleo of Chris's Landing in Monterey reported excellent rockfishing with limits on all three trips to the local reefs this weekend, averaging 12 ling cod per trip. They are focusing on rockfish with the possibility of white sea bass depending on the action. The squid have moved out of the bay. The albacore are 60 miles offshore. Bayside Marine in Santa Cruz reported good inshore action at the Mile Buoy, Capitola, and up the coast with white sea bass taken in 35 to 70 feet around the balls of bait. Rockfishing has been excellent up the coast or near South Rock in 40 to 80 feet of water. They reported a good albacore bite at 36'32/122'19, 36'29/122'19, and 36'26/122'20 with scores ranging from 5 to 20 fish per boat with the best action in the morning. Call: Chris' Landing (831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173;usafishing.com
SAN FRANCISCO BAY The New Huck Finn took 6 anglers out for albacore Monday and got 60 longfins on live bait working near the Farallons. The added bonus of live bait is an advantage the Bay Area fleet has over other ports. Salmon fishing remains slow, but the fish are large. Two boats went to Sausalito Sunday with 42 fishermen for 11 salmon to 25 pounds and a pair of halibut to 25 pounds while trolling from Rocky Point to Buoy One. Inside the bay, James Smith of California Dawn targeted big sharks and landed 2 soup fins to 60-pounds, a 25-pound leopard shark, and released 6 seven-gill sharks to 200-pounds. In the south bay, John Akina at Oyster Point Bait, Tackle, and Deli reported slow fishing. Most boaters ran outside the Gate for salmon, and there is talk of heading out for albacore. Sharks and rays are still the top draw off of the pier.
Reservoirs and lakes that will be planted with trout during the week of Sept. 23:
Tuolumne Beardsley Reservoir; Cherry Valley Reservoir; Lyons Canal; Moccasin Creek; Powerhouse Stream; Middle Fork, Stanislaus River.
Fresno Kings River below the Pine Flat Reservoir; San Joaquin River below Friant Dam; Woodward Park Lake.