LAKE DON PEDRO Guide Monte Smith advised trollers to cover plenty of water if they want to find any trout since they will be scattered throughout the lake chasing threadfin shad. He predicted the trout will be found at the entrance to coves and along shallow main lake points. One boat targeting trout ran all the way up Woods Creek only to find spotted bass feeding on shad. For bass, Manny Basi of the Bait Barn in Waterford reported an early morning top-water bite with Spooks, the River2Sea Rovers or PopR's. Water temperatures are dropping rapidly and a very slow presentation is necessary with plastics on the drop-shot or jigs. Basi said, "You have to drag the bottom very slowly, feeling every rock. You can't shake the worm since the fish have become lethargic." Trout plants at Don Pedro start in the week of Nov. 25 with plants at Turlock Reservoir next week. 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 Jason Mello of A-1 Bait reported some heavy limits were submitted in Saturday's American Bass Association Tournament with the winners weighing in 17 pounds followed by limits of 15 and 14 pounds. Deep-diving crankbaits up the river arm, swimbaits or drop-shotting with shad-patterned plastics accounted for the top weights. Mello has been picking up bass from the banks using the Robo Worm 4-inch plastic worm in Warmouth. Anglers have used a combination of live crawdads or minnows to score limits of bass and a few catfish. Manny Basi reported an early morning top-water bite with Spooks, the River2Sea Rovers or PopR's, saying, like Don Pedro, a very slow presentation is necessary. Trout fishing has been best off the south ramp with green Power Bait, since there have been only a few trollers on the lake. Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505; Bub Tosh (209) 404-0053
McSWAIN RESERVOIR Stephanie Powell at the marina said the best shore fishing has been around the handicapped docks with salmon peach or garlic Power Bait or lemon lime garlic Power Eggs. Action around the brush pile has been slow. Powell said trollers are pulling blade/crawler combinations in silver or copper at 30 to 35 feet from the floating restrooms to the second fence line. Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
NEW MELONES RESERVOIR / TULLOCH RESERVOIR Bass and catfish are biting best with the bass moving into the shallows (10 to 35 feet) and feeding heavily on shad and crawdads. Melanie Lewis of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp said shad-patterned rip baits or lipless crank baits on a slow retrieve are working best. The fish are holding on the main lake points with larger rock structure and brown/purple, brown/greenpumpkin or greenpumpkin jigs on a th or 1/12th ounce football head with a Zoom Baby Brush Hog or Yamamoto Twin Tail trailer are good options. She reported slow trout action with the rainbows making the transition from deep water to the shallows. The trout should be moving toward the surface and the shorelines with cooling water temperatures. Bank fishing has been slow, but it should pick up as the water temperatures cool. The river and stream season ends this week. Trout plants are scheduled for New Melones next week. Catfishing has been good with the fish moving into the shallows and feeding on cloudy or rainy days. Live minnows, frozen shad, mackerel or anchovies are the top baits. The catfish are oriented toward shallow flats or areas with chunk rock with deep-water access. Crappie fishing remains slow, but Lewis reported fish in the 15- to 40-foot range in the backs of creek channels near submerged timber. At Tulloch, trout fishing has been good but the lake has dropped to 77 perceht capacity, making launching difficult. A plant is scheduled for next week. 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 The striper bite is holding up with Alex Tran of Coyote Bait in Morgan Hill reporting that jumbo minnows drifted at 80 feet are working off the trash racks. He said bank action is strong at the Romero Visitor Center or Basalt Recreational Area with pile worms or blood worms. He said stripers are chasing bait throughout the lake and he stayed on a school for 45 minutes, tossing bone or rainbow trout Spooks for 25 linesides to 25 inches. He said stripers were "flying onto the banks in their haste to swallow the shad." Roger George, Andy Bedell and Martin Kuwamoto trolled up 24 striper in the big lake, fishing at 70 to 90 feet. In the Forebay, large stripers to 10 pounds have been taken on night crawlers under a float near check 12 with the rockwall, the bridge and the islands. Call: Ly's Fishing Goods (408) 629-9644; Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711, Roger George (559) 905-2954
DELTA Sturgeon and striper action has replaced salmon fishing throughout the Delta. Tony Lopez of Benicia Bait reported good bass action off the shoreline with blood worms, bullheads or grass shrimp. A few sturgeon have been landed at the Middle Grounds. Dockside Bait in Pittsburg reported excellent striper action for schoolies. Shrimp baits are working for sturgeon and there has been a steady stream of two to three diamondbacks weighed in this weekend. A massive school of bass was seen breaking water chasing shad around the Antioch Bridge toward West Island. Sturgeon fishing is improving with grass or ghost shrimp near the Pittsburg PG&E Plant or Chain Island. For largemouth bass, guide Randy Pringle said the bite is "off the hook for small fish." He landed over 50 fish during Saturday's Toys for the Troops tournament out of Russo's Marina. The ima Flit in Olive Herring or the Berkley Power Worm on a Zappu head with a slow presentation was working best. Pringle said the big fish are adjusting to the temperature drop and the best quality will be found in the dingier, warmer water. Call: Randy Pringle (209) 543-6260; Vella's Fishing Adventures (209) 521-0164; Mark Wilson (916) 682-1630; Intimidator Sport Fishing (916) 806-3030
MONTEREY/SANTA CRUZ Chris Arcoleo of Chris' Landing in Monterey reported outstanding crab and rockfish action with the Check Mate returning with 15 limits of crab and rockfish Sunday. The Star of Monterey scored 12 limits of rockfish. Call: Chris' Landing (831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173.
HALF MOON BAY Quick limits of crab are the order of the day and Capt. Dennis Baxter of the New Captain Pete reported 60 limits on a weekend trip. The crab season is expected to remain strong until the commercial opener Nov. 15. But commercial boats might delay the start until there is an agreement on price. Call: Happy Hooker (510) 223-5388; Roger Thomas, Salty Lady (415) 760-9362; Bait and Switch Sport Fishing Center (650) 726-7133 726-7133
SAN FRANCISCO BAY Salmon fishing ended at sunset Sunday. Rockfishing and crabbing have been good. Jim Smith of the Happy Hooker loaded up with commercial grade crab and 31 limits of rockfish. Inside the bay, Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle in San Rafael said this week's tides "don't get any better."
Reservoirs and lakes that will be planted with trout during the week of Nov. 18:
Tuolumne Tulloch Reservoir.
Stanislaus Turlock Lake
Merced Merced River, Section 1; Mariposa Merced River, Section 1;
Fresno Kings River below Pine Flat Reservoir; Pine Flat Reservoir; San Joaquin River below Friant Dam; Woodward Park Lake.
Calaveras Tulloch Lake.