Delta Mendota Canal and Sloughs
The action is heating up in the local aqueducts, and Patrick Movey of the Fishermen's Warehouse said, "Sales of Lucky Craft LV 500's in American shad and flukes are on the rise for fishermen targeting stripers along the headgates." Lucky Craft 110's or 127's in ghost minnow or American shad are producing schoolies to 22 inches in the Firebaugh and Mendota areas. In the south aqueduct in Kern County, the beat goes on with Pete Cormier of Bob's Bait in Bakersfield reporting larger fish are starting to show up, and stripers to 28 inches have been reported. Gitzits or similar tube baits work best with bait fishermen sticking with blood worms, sand worms, sardines, or anchovies.
Mark Inman of Six Star Tackle Box reported shallow jigs, Senkos, Baby Brush Hogs, and drop shotting are all working for bass with a good number of fish in the 12- to 15-inch range located. Bank fishermen are picking up planted trout with Power Bait or mini night crawlers in response to the current plants. Call: Six Star Tackle Box 673-5688; Eastman Lake 689-3255
Lake Don Pedro
The trout bite continues with Danny Layne of Fishn' Dan's Guide Service saying, "The rainbows are the dominant fish, and they are found from Big Oak Island south through Fleming Bay from the surface to 35 feet with ExCel spoons, Uncle Larry's spinners, watermelon Apex lures, or a night crawler behind a Shasta Tackle Sling Blade. Limits are the norm, and the fish are averaging from 14 to 16 inches." For bass, Manny Basi at the Bait Barn in Waterford reported live bait from the banks has been working for both trout and bass with live minnows and night crawlers working best. Call: Monte Smith (209) 581-4734; Danny Layne-Fishn' Dan (209) 586-2383; Gary Vella (209) 652-7550; Bait Barn (209) 874-3011
The bass bite is taking off with Manny Basi reporting a 19-pound limit was taken over the weekend as the larger fish are moving in to the shallows. Swimbaits such as 8-inch Huddlestons in rainbow trout with a 12-foot rate of fall are taking the larger fish, but jigs on a half-ounce football head are also effective, including the Berserk Purple Hornet or TNT "Special Ops." King salmon are showing up in the deeper water near the dam, and rainbow trout are located near the dam or in the river arm with a variety of lures and blade/crawler combinations, or Wedding Rings tipped with a night crawler behind a dodger, or blue/chrome Kastmasters. Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505; Bub Tosh (209) 404-0053
Stephanie Powell of the McSwain Marina reported good action over the weekend for trollers and bank fishermen. Trollers have been pulling Wedding Rings tipped with a night crawler behind a dodger or Kastmasters from the Floating Restrooms to the second fence line. Shore fishermen are scoring with garlic or Chunky Cheese Power Bait, Kastmasters, or Roostertails in pink or white with the larger fish found off of the Brush Pile. A Department of Fish and Wildlife trout plant is scheduled for this week. The Merced Irrigation Trout Derby will be April 20-21 with entry forms available at either the Marina or Main Office. Entry fees are $12/fisherman or $28/family. Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch
Kokanee are showing up with Gary Burns of Take It To the Limit Guide Service reporting limits of fat and healthy kokanee from the surface to 65 feet in depth pulling Glitterbug Tube Bugs, Uncle Larry's spinners or Micro Hootchies in pink or orange behind either Glitter Bug Tear Drop blades in chrome or Shasta Tackle's Sling Blades in blue. Burns has been using scented corn in garlic or root beer, and the best action has been around Glory Hole Point or the main part of the lake near the dam. Danny Layne confirmed the good kokanee bite from north of the spillway to Black Bart Cove at depths from 30 to 40 feet with Kokanee Killers, Marni Bugs, Glitter Bug Hootchies, and Uncle Larry's spinners. Melanie Lewis of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp reported good bass fishing with large fish still showing up and with the smaller bass eager to bite a variety of baits including jigs, plastic worms, Senkos, Brush Hogs, lizards and swimbaits. The annual Glory Hole Sporting Goods Seminar and Sale is this Saturday. Call: Glory Hole Sports (209) 736-4333; Monte Smith (209) 581-4734; Danny Layne-Fishn' Dan (209) 586-2383; Sierra Sport Fishing(209) 599-2023
San Luis Reservoir and O'Neill Forebay
Roger George of Roger's Guide Service reported a very tough bite over the weekend with the pumps shut off and an incoming storm front, causing the fish to suspend in the water column. Trollers are using Smithwick Deep Suspending Rattlin' Rogues in chrome/black/orange belly or chrome/blue at depths from 20 to 50 feet from the front of the Trash Racks to the mouth of Lone Oak Bay. Merritt Gilbert reported fishermen have been walking the banks at the big lake tossing Lucky Craft 128's for stripers in the 16- to 22-inch range. Call: Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711 Roger's Guide Service (559) 905-2954.
Sturgeon action remains steady around the Mothball Fleet in Suisun Bay with Tony Lopez of Benicia Bait reporting anglers have been catching and releasing as many as ten sturgeon per outing near Garnet Point on eel strips or grass/ghost shrimp combinations. Schoolie stripers have been dominating the Benicia shorelines, but large linesides to 37 pounds have been taken from the deep water near Pittsburg on live splittail or bullheads. Ghost or grass shrimp have been the top sturgeon baits. For largemouth bass, Randy Pringle found great action on Monday with over 50 largemouths to 6 pounds caught and released for a father/son combination fishing on the delta for the first time. He said, "The fish were falling out of the water. Most of the fish weren't giants, but the action was outstanding." 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
The salmon season is just around the corner, and local party and private boats are gearing up for the opening weekend. Out of Half Moon Bay Sport Fishing, Captain Bob Ingles on the Queen of Hearts said, "It sounds like there are fish out there in addition to the conditions we look for." 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
Chris Arcoleo of Chris's Landing in Monterey said, "There are two distinct areas with mats of krill in the bay, one being at the Soquel Hole north of Moss Landing with the other at Point Pinos near our harbor." With most private boats heading directly for the Soquel Hole, Chris's boats will be focusing on the Point Pinos region. The Fishermen's Warehouse in San Jose will be giving out a limited number of tackle bags with an estimated value of $50 at the Moss Landing launch ramp on Friday evening starting at 5 p.m. Call: Chris' Landing (831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173; usafishing.com
San Francisco Bay
Ocean salmon season opens on Saturday, and party boats from Emeryville, Berkeley, and Sausalito will join the Half Moon Bay fleet searching for the first salmon of the season. In San Pablo Bay, Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle reported excellent action for both striped bass and sturgeon with either live or frozen mud shrimp.