LAKE DON PEDRO Trout are biting and most of them are full of shad when reeled in. Guide Monte Smith putting three clients onto limits of rainbows by trolling heavy spoons from 48 to 65 feet in the open water. "The key is finding the bait since the trout won't be far behind," said Smith. For bass, Manny Basi of the Bait Barn in Waterford said an improved top-water bite is coming on PopR's or Super Spooks in Okie Shad in the early mornings or at dusk. After the sun comes up, the fish are dropping to the bottom (from 30 to 40 feet) with Basi saying the two top plastics are the Reaction Innovations Flirts in Bad Shad Green or Pro Worms Purple Shad pattern 124. Call: Monte Smith (209) 581-4734; Danny Layne (209) 586-2383; Gary Vella (209) 652-7550; Bait Barn (209) 874-3011
McCLURE RESERVOIR Bass fishing has been hit or miss with the best action on live minnows at 20 to 30 feet near McClure Point. Jason Mello at A-1 Bait in Snelling fished the banks Monday with a Robo Worm Hologram Shad but got only one small bass. Manny Basi of the Bait Barn in Waterford recommended going for a top-water bite with the Heddon Spitting Image in Tennessee Shad in the mornings then drop shotting at 30 feet with Reaction Innovation's Bad Shad Green Flirt or Pro Worm's Purple Shad color 12. Trout fishing is picking up with Excel spoons in blue/silver or similar lures at 60 feet on downriggers near the dam. Catfishing is good on live minnows, cut baits or night crawlers along shoreline access areas with sloping, muddy banks. Crappie fishing is fair in Horseshoe Bend with anglers picking up a few slabsides on small minnows. Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505; Bub Tosh (209) 404-0053
McSWAIN RESERVOIR Stephanie Powell at the marina said trollers are getting good action from the floating restrooms to the Chimney with blade/crawler combinations or by tossing Kastmasters in the coves. She said the campground area was the top spot from the banks over the weekend with 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. Registration is $12 for individuals or $28 per family. The lake will get a trout plant Wednesday or Thursday from Calaveras Trout Farm with a double plant next week. Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
NEW MELONES RESERVOIR / TULLOCH The trout bite has slowed, but trollers are picking up a few limits at 70 to 90 feet in the main lake using small shad-patterned lures such as ExCel spoons, Needlefish and Vance's Slim Fins. Melanie Lewis reported that night fishing under a submersible light is really good and should stay that way for a couple months. Several limits of fat 2- to 3-pound rainbows have been caught by the dam or spillway. Lewis said there is a good bite on the Stanislaus River using salmon eggs, night crawlers, Rooster tails and Panther Martins. Jack Starr of Angels Camp landed a 3¾-pound rainbow from the bank near the spillway. Kokanee fishing is only fair as the fish are losing their scales as they prepare to spawn. A few limits of dark fish have been taken. The fish are holding tight to structure, so bouncing downrigger balls on the bottom stir up a few fish, but you can lose your gear. Bass fishing is fair, as the water has been dropping at least 2 feet a week for the last four months and the fish are being pushed out of shallow water haunts. Catfishing is excellent with frozen shad, mackerel, balls of night crawlers, chicken livers or anchovies. James Quick of Sonora landed a 12½-pound whiskerfish on a Kastmaster. Call: Glory Hole Sports (209) 736-4333; Monte Smith (209) 581-4734; Danny Layne (209) 586-2383; Sierra Sport Fishing(209) 599-2023
SAN LUIS RESERVOIR / O'NEILL FOREBAY Until Saturday, the striper bite was very good. Anglers were drifting jumbo minnows near the trash racks to get large linesides. But Roger George fished the main lake Saturday and the bite had slowed because the pumping had stopped and the fish had scattered. A few fishermen are mooching anchovy fillets. From the banks, the best areas have been Dinosaur Point and from the Romero Visitor Center to the dam.
DELTA Salmon fishing has been very good from both the State Park and along First Street in Benicia. Tony Lopez of Benicia Bait said 25 salmon were caught off the State Park on Saturday morning, and another 8 were caught Sunday before 10 a.m. Vee-Zee and Flying C's are the top lures. A few stripers continue to be taken by lures intended for salmon. Sturgeon fishing has been very good for the few anglers targeting the diamondbacks with shallow water in Honker or Grizzly Bays being the top locations. The Rio Vista Bass Festival Seminars will be Saturday at 9 a.m. at the foot of Main Street. For largemouth bass, guide Randy Pringle said the time is right "to catch a lot of bass and have a ball on the Delta." He has been scoring numbers of smaller largemouths with topwater lures throughout the day, and both the ima Flit or the ima Skimmer have been working. In the dingy water off in the west Delta, spinner baits and buzzbaits have been working, and crankbaits are on when the wind is blowing. There are loads of shaker stripers in the east Delta with only a few of legal size available. The San Joaquin is closed to all salmon fishing. Call: Randy Pringle (209) 543-6260; Vella's Fishing Adventures (209) 521-0164; Mark Wilson (916) 682-1630.
MONTEREY/SANTA CRUZ Chris Arcoleo of Chris's Landing reported very good rockfish action at Point Sur on Sunday with limits of rockfish and 15 ling cod. The Caroline went far offshore for 11 albacore and 3 opah for 12 fishermen Sunday, but they won't schedule more albacore trips until the warm water break moves closer to the shore. Their white sea bass trip Friday didn't produce a fish, but Arcoleo said those willing to stay out for hours can catch a few. Striped bass have been taken from the shoreline near Marina Beach with top water and subsurface lures. Call: Chris' Landing (831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173
HALF MOON BAY Capt. Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat ran offshore for albacore Sunday, but the weather 35 miles offshore was too rough to fish. Local rockfishing, meanwhile, is still very good, and a few boats have been focusing on white sea bass holding around Martin's Beach. Further up the San Mateo coast in Pacifica, Sheryl Jimno of the Rusty Hook reported a few salmon are getting caught either from the end of the pier or from the beaches by anglers targeting striped bass. The Pacifica Fog Fest is this weekend, and the pier and area will be crowded with tourists. 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
SAN FRANCISCO BAY Capt. Roger Thomas of the Salty Lady reported improved salmon fishing Sunday and Monday with private and party boats scoring at least a fish per rod in the usual trolling locations from Muir Beach to Duxbury. A few private skiffs ran 20 miles past the Farallons on Sunday despite reports of inclement weather for decent albacore scores. Capt. R.J. Waldron of the Sundance posted a very good score Sunday with 7 salmon to 16 pounds for six anglers in flat, calm conditions while trolling along the Marin coastline. Salmon action is limited to those intermittent periods when a school is moving through at high tide. In San Pablo Bay, sharks dominate action, and leopard or seven-gills have been biting midshipmen.
Reservoirs and lakes that will be planted with trout during the week of Oct. 1:
Fresno Kings River below the Pine Flat Reservoir; San Joaquin River below Friant Dam; Huntington Lake.
Madera Corrine Lake; Manzanita Lake