LAKE DON PEDRO Guide Monte Smith said flashers such as Vance's Little Slim Willies combined with scent are enticing trout. The fish should be moving toward the shore in the top 10 to 15 feet as they chase the abundance of food washing off the banks. The water near the banks and in feeder creeks will be stained from the heavy inflow, and Smith suggested side planers to get close to the shore. Trout plants at Don Pedro started last week. Drop shottting with Pro Worm's Purple Shad or Pro Gold or the Robo Worm's Hologram Shad or dart heading with 3½-inch Dry Creek Tubes in green pumpkin/purple copper flake are the top options for bass, but the overall bite has been slow. A larger grade of bass should be taken on swimbaits with the trout plants and the fish moving closer to the shorelines. Call: Monte Smith (209) 581-4734; Danny Layne (209) 586-2383; Gary Vella (209) 652-7550; Bait Barn (209) 874-3011
McCLURE RESERVOIR Jason Mello of A-1 Bait and Tackle in Snelling says the crappie bite has turned on with rangers finding a lot of carcasses in the cleaning stations at Barrett's Cove and Horseshoe Bend. Small to medium minnows are working. Catfishing is solid on chicken liver or night crawlers from the shorelines along muddy, sloping banks at 15 to 20 feet. Bass fishing has been good with Mello landing a 2¼-pound largemouth on the River2Sea SWaver in light trout after Sunday's rain. He also has been finding good action with the Robo Worm's Xmas Purple Weenie 6-inch plastic on a Texas-rig. He advised using a similar rig in 4-inches on the drop shot or on a shaky head at 20 to 40 feet over structure. Bass have been biting on live crawdads and trout fishing is good from the banks at Barrett's Cove on various colors of Power Bait or chrome Kastmasters. Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505; Bub Tosh (209) 404-0053 McSWAIN RESERVOIR Stephanie Powell at the marina reported minimal interest over the rainy weekend, but the fishermen came out in droves Monday. They got good action from the banks using garlic Power Bait. Jason Mello of A-1 Bait in Snelling said the trout were biting from the banks on Power Eggs in garlic/white or garlic/pink from the brush pile. Trollers have been scoring limits to 3¾-pounds with night crawlers behind a hammered nickel cowbell flasher from the floating restrooms to the second fence line. The fish are moving closer to the banks as the water cools. A Calaveras Trout Farm plant expected this week. Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
NEW MELONES RESERVOIR/TULLOCH Melanie Lewis of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp reported the DFG trout plant has improved the bank action as the fish feed near the shorelines in the early morning. Trolling is slow with the best action up the river arm along vertical canyon walls with F-5 Rapalas, Rebel Crickhoppers, shad-patterned spoons or night crawlers behind a dodger long-lined behind the boat. Water flowing from the shore and the creeks is bringing bugs and other food sources into the lake close to the banks. Bass are gorging on shad, so they're biting on whatever looks like shad. Look for balls of shad suspended over the main creek channels, and target the fish feeding above and below with ½-ounce or ¾-ounce spoons, said Lewis. She said there's a good jig bite on the main lake with California Reservoir Lure's jigs in Melones craw with Zoom Baby Brush Hog or a Yamamoto Fat Baby Craw as trailer. With the water staying warm, catfishing is staying good. Crappie fishing is slow, but Lewis said fish can be found at 15 to 40 feet in the backs of creek channels near submerged timber. 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 Jared Dominici of Coyote Bait in Morgan Hill reported little interest with high winds last week. Before it started blowing, stripers had been biting on super jumbo minnows, Alabama Rigs, Magnum Flukes, Super Flukes or Zoom Flukes in white near the trash rack or Basalt Recreation Area. Frozen shad, anchovies or pile worms are the top baits from the shore. In the Forebay, the recent heavy pumping from the delta has dropped the water temperature and the striper bite has slowed until the fish adjust to the temperature. The area around Check 12 is the most consistent with frozen shad, pile worms or anchovies with RatLTraps or lures such as Lucky Craft LV 78s in American Shad, MS Gunmetal Shad or MS Crack. Call: Ly's Fishing Goods (408) 629-9644; Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711; Roger George's Guide service (559) 905-2954
DELTA/STOCKTON Heavy inflows from the Sacramento, Mokelumne, Calaveras and San Joaquin Rivers have brought a lot of muddy water and debris into the delta. Before the storms, sturgeon and striper fishing was best in upper Suisun Bay toward Chain Island and north of Rio Vista in Cache or Liberty sloughs. Guide Mark Delnero saidthe sturgeon have scattered with the storm. Guide Randy Pringle said with stained water from the inflows, anglers will have to slow their presentations, use larger baits with brighter colors and use scent. "Muddy water isn't necessarily a bad thing, but you have to adjust," said Pringle. Striper fishing will be limited to bait fishing with fresh shad or live bullheads or mudsuckers until the water clears. 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.
HALF MOON BAY High winds and heavy swell kept all boats tied up over the weekend, but both the New Captain Pete and Huli Cat will be operating rockfish/ Dungeness crab combo trips or crab-only trips, weather and interest permitting. Rockfish season ends Dec. 31. 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 / ROCKFISH Chris Arcoleo of Chris's Landing said his boats haven't been out for several days due to weather. But as soon as the storms abate, The Star of Monterey will be going out for rockfish/Dungeness crab combo trips. Before the storms, rockfish limits were the general rule, and crab counts ranged from ½ to full limits. Rockfish season ends Dec. 31. Call: Chris' Landing (831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173;usafishing.com
SAN FRANCISCO BAY After canceling four straight trips, a small weather window opened Saturday and James Smith of the California Dawn got out of the Golden Gate, collecting 16 limits of crabs off the North Bar. The fresh water flowing into San Pablo Bay will force the sturgeon to move into the flats around the pumphouse and the mouths of Sonoma Creek and the Petaluma River. While in San Francisco Bay, the sturgeon will move toward the South Bay inlets and along Bay Farm Island and the Oakland Airport.