Don Pedro trout bite is good ... McClure trout are on the prowl. ... New Melones rainbow fishing is better. ... Pine Flat trout fishing, "best in area," says one guide.
LAKE DON PEDRO Guide Rick Frisk of the Fishermen's Friend in Lodi reported that trollers working close to the shoreline are finding a good bite for planter trout using ExCels, Needlefish or Speedy Shiners. The fish are oriented toward both the surface, but fast-trolling lead core at depths to 6 colors is a option. Frisk said Middle Bay and near the dam are the top areas. Look for birds as sign there are trout below the surface. Bass fishing is slow, and the top techniques remain working ½- to ¾-ounce Berserk Junior Special or Purple Hornet jigs in tandem with a Yamamoto cinnamon/purple flake twin-tailed Huli Grub at 70 feet. A slow presentation is necessary with all baits. A few quality fish are landed on umbrella rigs dragged slowly across the bottom. Live minnows are working for both bass and crappie. Call: Monte Smith (209) 581-4734; Danny Layne (209) 586-2383; Gary Vella (209) 652-7550; Bait Barn (209) 874-3011
McCLURE RESERVOIR With the extended cold spell, trout fishing is the best thing going; trollers are finding limits of rainbows at 20 to 40 feet on night crawlers behind flashers or Wedding Rings tipped with a night crawler behind a dodger in Temperance Creek or around the dam. Bank fishing is steady with night crawlers or Power Bait near McClure Point and Barrett's Cove. Warm water species have slowed significantly with the best action found in the deep water with jigs such Berserk Bait's Purple Hornet or Junior Special with a Yamamoto twin-tailed trailer in cinnamon/purple or umbrella rigs such as the Berserk with Mad Shad Light Holographic swimbaits or the ABT Multi-Rig with K-Tech rainbow trout swimbaits. An absolute "dead stick" presentation is necessary. Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505; Bub Tosh (209) 404-0053
McSWAIN RESERVOIR Trout fishing is the only game in town, and bank anglers are picking up a few planted rainbows from the handicapped docks, the brush pile, or the points near the marina with Power Eggs, Power Baits or night crawlers. Trollers are scoring a few fish per rod with night crawlers behind a dodger or Wedding Rings tipped with a night crawler behind a dodger from the floating restrooms to the second fence line. Trout are planted every other week. Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
NEW MELONES RESERVOIR/ TULLOCH Guide Gary Burns put in limits of rainbows to 14 inches with the best action in Carson Cove with small night crawlers to 10 inches behind a Glitter Bug Teardrop Chrome Blade with a ¼-ounce weight. Burns said he had to "look around for the rainbows, so don't give up." Melanie Lewis of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp said recommended trolling the top 10 feet with shad-patterned Rapalas, Speed Traps, No. 3 Needlefish, ExCels, Kastmasters or Speedy Shiners. Rick Frisk of the Fishermen's Friend in Lodi confirmed good trout fishing in Carson Cove, Mormon Cove, the spillway, Glory Hole Cove and up the river arm. He said a variety of lures are working for fish hugging the shore. Bank fishermen are also scoring with rainbow or chartreuse/garlic Power Bait or Gulp! Eggs at Angels Cove, Glory Hole Cove, Black Bart or Tuttletown launch ramp. The bass bite is "fairly tough," but the Sonora Bass Anglers had a club tournament Saturday. Justin Rose and Josh Paris won it with a limit of 17.68 pounds, including a 10.2-pound largemouth taken on a jig. The swim bait bite is improving. Catfishing remains is fair on live minnows, frozen shad, mackerel and anchovies. Crappie fishing remains slow. 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 Mickey Clements of Coyote Bait in Morgan Hill said the striper action is decent, especially in the shallows in Portuguese Cove. He recommended rip baits or lipless crankbaits. The bass are chasing shad into the shallows in the inlets. At the trash racks, anglers are dropping jumbo minnows or 1¾- to 2-ounce spoons in black/white or chartreuse/white at 80 to 100 feet for a few quality linesides. Trollers are pulling P-Line Predators, broken back Rebels, RatLTraps, swimbaits or Lucky Craft Pointer 128s near the trash racks. The cold weather has kept a lot of anglers off the lake. Guide Roger George fished the big lake on a tough bite for 10 fish, all released, in the usual 19- to 23-inch range. The bite is "definitely tougher" in the 52-degree water, he said. The Forebay is also slow, except around Check 12 when the water is pumping. Most anglers, standing shoulder to shoulder, are tossing blood worms, pile worms or jumbo minnows. Patrick Movey at the Fishermen's Warehouse in Fresno said RatLTraps or swimbaits are also good options. Call:; Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711; Roger George's Guide service (559) 905-2954
DELTA Sturgeon and striper fishing has slowed to a crawl with freezing temperatures. The fish have not acclimated to the lower water temperatures during this record cold spell. There are two large sturgeon derbies in the coming weeks with the 7th Diamond Classic Catch and Release Sturgeon Derby out of Martinez is Jan. 26, and anglers should reserve their favorite bait. The Original Sturgeon Derby, aka "Super Bowl Sturgeon Derby," is Feb. 2-3. Go to www.foundationsportsmansclub.org for information. 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's Landing in Monterey said his boats are coming back with 5-gallon buckets of dabs for each angler to go with 14 limits of crab both Saturday and Sunday. Anglers have been averaging 40 sand dabs each, and they are planning combination trips Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Call: Chris' Landing (831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173
SAN FRANCISCO BAY The New Huck Finn went on its first sand dab/crab trip outside the Gate up the Marin coast, and got 16 limits of crab and 800 dabs. Inside the bay, Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle said Capt. Armand Castanga of the six-pack Imagine landed 11 legal bass Friday. Capt. Joel Sinkay of Leonard's Bait at Port Sonoma said a few sturgeon have been landed near the pumphouse this weekend, but action has been slow. A 50-inch sturgeon was taken from the Oakland Airport on Saturday to go with an undersized sturgeon Sunday.
HALF MOON BAY Capt. Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat took sand dab/crab combination trips Saturday and Sunday, and said the sand dab action was good and the crabs "decent." 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
COMPILED BY DAVE HURLEYAND ROGER GEORGE