LAKE DON PEDRO Guide Randy Pringle found good action in Saturday's Best Bass Tournaments with drop-shotting, spinnerbaits and jigs, all working for numbers from the banks down to about 30 feet. A few large fish were taken during the tournament, but the 7-pound largemouth plucked off of a bed was the exception. Manny Basi of the Bait Barn in Waterford touted the Berserk Bait Purple Hornet jig with a Yamamoto trailer in brown/purple or cinnamon/purple. Small to large swimbaits are also effective on a slow roll along the bottom, and Basi recommended the 8-inch Huddleston Deluxe in rainbow trout with a Rate of Tall 12, the K-Tech 4.8 rainbow shad, or the Berserk Mad Shad Light Holographic Smoke. Basi said live minnows are working for bass and trout, and trollers are picking up limits with Mack's Wedding Rings tipped with a night crawler at 25 to 30 feet trolled at 1.5 mph.Call: Monte Smith (209) 581-4734; Danny Layne (209) 586-2383; Gary Vella (209) 652-7550; Bait Barn (209) 874-3011
McCLURE RESERVOIR Guide Danny Layne reported good schools of kokanee, small king salmon and rainbow trout can be found near the A-frame, off Temperance Bay and at the dam into the mouth of the Cottonwood Arm. Ralph and Eva Murphy of Copperopolis limited with Layne this week while targeting rainbows in the 14- to 16-inch range at 15 to 30 feet using blade/crawler combinations. He found kokanee to 14 inches in the 40 foot range with Sockeye Slammers or orange hootches tipped with anise-scented shoepeg corn. "King salmon to 2½ pounds can be taken on frozen shad at 75 to 110 feet with the best action at 85 feet," said Layne. "We also landed kings on the lures intended for rainbows at 20 feet." The lake level is rising and there is some debris floating on the surface. The bass bite is good on live crawdads or 6-inch Keeper 082 worms in redflake/chartreuse tail plastics. Last weekend's tournament winners were said to be using 6-inch plastics on a split-shot with a kicker largemouth at 5½ pounds. Catfishing is getting better on chicken livers off the banks. Crappie action is only fair. Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505; Bub Tosh (209) 404-0053
McSWAIN RESERVOIR The Merced Irrigation District Trout Derby is this weekend, but it's too late to enter having reached its limit of 500 anglers a week ago. Around 1,500 pounds of rainbows were planted on April 10, and another plant arrives just before the derby. Bank fishing has been slow despite the plants, but trollers are finding limits with the the PPK Tomahawk spinner in a variety of colors tipped with a piece of night crawler. The best trolling is around Gilligan's Island toward the second fence line. Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
MILLERTON LAKE/SAN JOAQUIN RIVER Millerton is still "wide open" as bass anglers are hooking 30 to 50 fish a day using Senkos, drop shotting, dart heading, rip baits and spinnerbaits. All boats must fill out a Quagga mussel self-inspection form before launching. Call: Fresno Fisherman's Warehouse 225-1838; Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474
NEW MELONES / TULLOCH RESERVOIRS Guide Gary Burns said The kokanee are on a "hot bite, and we are seeing larger and fatter fish than last year." Client Dave Roberts of Murphys landed a 14¾-inch kokanee. The fish are spread out all over the lake, but Burns has been focusing on Glory Hole Point and the spillway and dam at 24 to 65 feet. He's using Uncle Larry spinners in pink or orange and Glitter Bug tube or micro hootches in the same colors. Guide Danny Layne confirmed the excellent kokanee bite on bugs, spinners or hootchies behind a Vance's watermelon dodger tipped with garlic shoepeg corn at 25 to 40 feet. The rainbows in the same depth range, said Layne, and "seem to prefer Vance's Sockeye Slammers behind the same dodgers." Melanie Lewis of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp reported fair trout action with trollers working the main lake over the river channel, the Highway 49 Bridge, or near the spillway with Uncle Larry spines or Wedding Rings tipped with a piece of night crawler. Lewis said, "A good rule of thumb is bright skies, bright lures; dark skies, dark lures." She said rolling shad at 30 to 50 feet will bring some lunker browns to the boat. Bank fishermen are struggling, but bass fishing is good, Lewis said. Larger fish are in deeper water. Dragging a Brush Hog or a lizard on a Carolina rig is working, and the top-water bite with Zara Spooks, Rovers or Lucky Craft Sammies is working, too. Catfish action is good with live minnows, anchovies, mackerel or frozen shad. Lake Tulloch dropped to 501.11 feet in elevation and 84 percent capacity. 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 Travis Bounds of Coyote and Tackle in Morgan Hill reported decent striper fishing for boaters drifting jumbo minnows or mooching anchovies at 60 to 80 feet in the main lake around the trash racks, Basalt Recreational Area or Portuguese Cove. Trolling plugs also is working at 25 to 50 feet. Yozuri Crystal Minnows, P-Line Predators, Smithwick Deep Suspending Rattlin' Rogues and broken backed Rebels are all effective. Guide Roger George said the high winds and falling water put the fish down as another front passed through the area, but he caught fish at 80 feet on chartreuse plugs in the morning. Action in the Forebay is best at night with pile worms, blood worms or anchovies under the Highway 152 Bridge or at Check 12. Call: Roger's Guide Service (559) 905-2954
DELTA/STOCKTON Persistent winds have kept most anglers away, but those with larger boats have been picking up sturgeon. Capt. James Smith on the California Dawn out of Martinez wrapped up his sturgeon season Sunday with a pair of keepers despite 40 mph winds. Big winds caused guide Randy Pringle to change largemouth tactics, slowing presentation or using vibration and smell. He has scored with the Timber Tiger Crankbait with a large wobble or chatter bait style baits in deeper water. Call: Randy Pringle (209) 543-6260; Vella's Fishing Adventures (209) 521-0164.
HALF MOON BAY No boats launched in the dangerous conditions over the weekend, but Capt. Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat towed in the Coastside Fishing Club's Salmon Acclimation Pens in the protected waters of the harbor. The pens were filled with salmon smolts Monday, and they will be released later with the hope of improving the fishery along the San Mateo coast. Call: Happy Hooker (510) 223-5388; Roger Thomas, Salty Lady (415) 760-9362, Bait and Switch Sport Fishing Center (650) 726-7133 or 726-7133
MONTEREY/SANTA CRUZ Chris Arcoleo of Chris's Landing said the weekend was slow with the Star of Monterey picking up three salmon Sunday after scoring only six for 26 fishermen Saturday. Call: Chris' Landing (831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173;usafishing.com
SAN FRANCISCO BAY Bay Area salmon boats stayed tied to the docks. But the Tigerfish of Emeryville took 15 anglers trolling Sunday and got three stripers and a 15-pound leopard shark.
Compiled by Dave Hurley and Roger George