LAKE DON PEDRO Guide Monte Smith says quality kokanee to 14½ inches can be found down to 100 feet. "It's really early for the kokanee to be found this deep, but they generally hold much deeper at Don Pedro than other Mother Lode lakes," Smjith said. "I think they are in such deep water to avoid the copepods." Kokanee are also starting to orient to structure. Smith and two clients landed three limits of 5 kokanee, two king salmon, and 8 rainbows with rainbows taken on either kokanee gear or heavy spoons. Smith has been running Uncle Larry's spinners in UV glow red or orange Rocky Mountain Tackle spinners behind a Vance's or RMT dodger. Surface temperatures have dropped to 71 degrees due to the high winds. Live medium to large minnows are best for bass, but the top artificial remains a jig, especially the half-ounce Berserk Purple Hornet with a Yamamoto twin tail trailer in cinnamon purple. TNT's Special Ops are also working. There is a top-water bite in the early mornings with PopR's, Spooks, Rovers and there is a buzzbait bite along the shorelines on windy days. Senkos in color 306 natural shad is another good option. Call: Monte Smith (209) 581-4734; Danny Layne (209) 586-2383; Gary Vella (209) 652-7550; Bait Barn (209) 874-3011
McCLURE RESERVOIR Guide Monte Smith was on the lake for the first time in several months and reported a very good catch of quality rainbows. They also hooked and lost four or five kokanee estimated at 16 to 17 inches. The kokanee are scattered with no real accumulation. Smith said the best trout action was at 40 to 45 feet on ExCel spoons behind a Rocky Mountain Tackle dodger. Smith was trolling Uncle Larry's spinners, Vance's hootchies or Rocky Mountain Tackle hootchies at 50 to 65 feet for the kokanee. Bass fishing is good with live minnows, and Jason Mello caught and released a 16-inch largemouth on a River2Sea SWaver from the banks at Barrett's Cove. He also found decent action by drop shotting a 4½-inch Robo Worm in Hologram Shad. Numbers of bass are taken with a variety of techniques,. Mello reported over 35 bass were landed on one boat in the Cottonwood Arm with Robo Worm's Margarita Mutilator on a Texas-rig. Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505; Bub Tosh (209) 404-0053
McSWAIN RESERVOIR Jason Mello of A-I Bait in Snelling got a report of a 9-pound rainbow taken from the lake by a troller. He figures there are a number of large fish in the lake after April's Merced Irrigation District trout tournament. Trollers have been scoring from Gilligan's Island to the second fence line with Triple Teasers, chrome Kastmasters or Wedding Rings tipped with a night crawler behind a dodger. Bank action is also solid with yellow, pink or white garlic-scented Power Bait or garlic Power Eggs around near the brush pile, handicapped docks and the peninsula near the marina. Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
NEW MELONES RESERVOIR/TULLOCH LAKE Kokanee action is outstanding said guide Danny Layne after he scored quick limits off Rose Island, the dam pocket, the spillway and Carson Cove with spinners, hootchies, micro hootchies or Kokanee Killers in orange or pink behind a Shasta Tackle 6-inch Sling Blade at 45 to 60 feet. Layne said larger dodgers are working best as the fish are moving into deeper water. Guide Monte Smith also enjoyed outstanding kokanee action with quick limits. Trout fishing remains is fair with the rainbows in the main lake chasing the abundant shad. Trollers should look for the shad schools and work shad-patterned Needlefish, ExCel spoons or Rapalas at 30 to 50 feet. A few large brown trout are being caught. Bank trout fishing is slow with the fish moving into deeper water. Bass action is also rated fair an early morning top-water bite with Lucky Craft Sammies, River2Sea Rovers, or Zara Spooks. When the top-water bite dies, Brush Hogs on a Carolina rig or wacky-rigged Senkos are working on main lake structure. Catfishing is good with live minnows, frozen shad, mackerel or anchovies on a sliding sinker rig. New Melones is at 56 percent of capacity; Tulloch at 95 percent. 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 Water releases has slowed the striped bass action. Anthony Flores of Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hilll reported a few boaters are drifting jumbo minnows or pulling Lucky Craft 128's, P-Line Predator Minnows, or Smithwick Deep Suspending Rattlin' Rogues in front of the moving water at the trash racks, but the fish have gone deep. In the Forebay, weeds are thick and there's been an algae bloom. Fishermen are congregating around Check 12 with blood or pile worms. Call:; Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711; Roger's Guide Service (559) 905-2954
DELTA Guide Randy Pringle reported an excellent bite for using baits with a chartreuse tinge due to the fish feeding heavily on bluegill in the off-colored water. He has been scoring with the ima Squarebill crankbait in chartreuse/white by dragging the lure through the trough on the back side of the weeds and rocks or by tossing the ima Flit with a chartreuse bill, jerking it down as the fish are eating it on the way to the surface. On the high tide, Pringle has been working a 10-inch Power Worm in June Bug on a Zappu head. This weekend's extreme minus tides will pull the largemouth bass off of the banks to the safety of deeper water. Call: Randy Pringle (209) 543-6260; Vella's Fishing Adventures (209) 521-0164.
MONTEREY/SANTA CRUZ Rockfishing is outstanding with Chris Arcoleo of Chris's Landing in Monterey reporting the Checkmate put in 12 limits of rockfish and 12 lings topped by a whopping 26-pounder. The best counts have been south at Point Sur. There is plenty of squid, krill and baby boccaccio in the bay, but the tail fish are absent. Call: Chris' Landing (831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173;usafishing.com
Reservoirs and lakes that will be planted with trout by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife during the week of May 26:
Calaveras North Fork Stanislaus River.
Fresno Huntington Lake; Shaver Lake; Kings River below the Pine Flat Reservoir; San Joaquin River below Friant Dam
Madera South Fork Willow Creek; San Joaquin River below Friant Dam.
Mariposa Merced River, Section II.
Merced Yosemite Lake.
Tuolumne Beardsley Reservoir; Beaver Lake; Lyons Canal; Lyons Reservoir; Moccasin Creek; Pinecrest Lake; Powerhouse Stream; Clarks Fork, North Fork; South Fork Stanislaus River; North Fork, South Fork, Middle Fork Tuolumne River.