Modesto-area fishing report

September 17, 2013 

VALLEY

• LAKE DON PEDRO — Rainbows are starting to bite as the fish focus on the balls of shad forming in cooler water. Guide Monte Smith reported very good action on one recent trip then so-so action on the next. The rainbows are working the shad on the surface, but the action is just below at 40 to 60 feet with fast-trolled spoons in shad-patterns. Spotted bass are also keying on the shad, and Smith said he got a quadruple hookup of spots while trolling through a bait ball. "The fish on the surface aren't biting, and our key has been to locate the shad schools with electronics and the rainbows are found around the bait," he said. Kokanee are scarce, as they prepare spawn. For bass, Manny Basi of the Bait Barn in Waterford reported good action with top-water lures such as the small River2Sea Whopper Plopper with less action on Zara Spooks. After the sun hits the water, drop shotting with shad-patterned plastics such as Reaction Innovation's Bad Shad Green or Robo Worm's Hologram Shad are working on the bottom. Live minnows or night crawlers work from the banks. 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 in Snelling said the bass have moved into deeper water as the lake continues to recede. Those trolling for trout are starting to catch bass. Limits of trout and the occasional king salmon are being taken in deeper water near the dam with shad-patterned spoons. Mello reported that one boat took limits using a Cop Car Needlefish. Manny Basi of the Bait Barn in Waterford said the best action is on the River2Sea Whopper Plopper in the early mornings. After the sun rises, anglers are advised to switch to shad-patterned plastics or jigs. Live minnows or crawdads are also working for bass and catfish. The lake dropped 3½ feet and 33 percent capacity. Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505; Bub Tosh (209) 404-0053

• McSWAIN RESERVOIR — Trollers are finding good action in the deeper parts of the lake from the floating restrooms to the second fence line with chartreuse PPK spinners, Wedding Rings tipped with a night crawler or blade/crawler combinations. Boats have been anchoring in the deep holes and soaking Original Garlic Dough Bait or fluorescent yellow garlic eggs for limits of planted trout. From the banks, Jason Mello of A-1 Bait in Snelling said lemon-lime garlic Power Bait is working from the handicapped docks. Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534

• NEW MELONES RESERVOIR/TULLOCH — Melanie Lewis of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp said the highlight of the weekend were two big bass caught and released. Graham Ward of San Andreas released a 9-pound, 3-ounce largemouth Saturday. He caught it on a watermelon/black Senko near standing timber. Josh Parris of San Andreas released a 10-pound largemouth Sunday caught on a half-ounce brown/purple jig. Cooler weather has improved the bass bite and most seem to prefer drop-hot plastics, Carolina rig, Texas rig or dart head. Trout fishing is fair with anglers having the opportunity for limits since the water has cooled. Shad schools are moving toward the mouths of major creek arms, and Lewis advised trolling with shad-patterned lures such as ExCel spoons, Needlefish or Speedy Shiners in deep water near the dam, spillway, or Rose Island. Night fishing remains good under submersible lights. Bank fishing for trout is still slow. Kokanee fishing has slowed with the best action occurring between the Highway 49 and Parrott's Ferry bridges at 70 to 100 feet. The fish are starting to turn red, and developing a hooked jaw. Lewis suggested Apex lures in pinks, greens or orange behind a large dodger with shoepeg corn scented in Garlic, Anise, Kokanee Special or Bloody Tuna. Catfish is outstanding with most fishermen landing multiple whiskerfish on anchovies, frozen shad, mackerel or chicken livers. Kracker Morris of Arnold landed seven catfish, including big fish at 13½, 14½ and 15 pounds during all-night trips. New Melones dropped over 1 foot last week. Tulloch is at 96 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 — Mickey Clements of Coyote Bait in Morgan Hill reported good action in the forebay for striped bass despite heavy weeds along the banks. The best fishing is on small rip baits such as Lucky Craft 68s, 78s, and 100s or Pointer Staycees in Ghost Minnow, Chartreuse Shad or American Shad. The key has been to boat out to the area around the twin islands or along the rockwall to avoid the weeds. Bass are busting the surface in the evenings and small top-water lures are working for stripers in the 18- to 22-inch range. Clements said two Coyote Bay employees caught and released 40 stripers recently. Guide Roger George said the main lake has started dropping again after rising for a month, which usually shuts down the bite. Call: Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711; Roger George (559) 905-2954

• DELTA — The 3rd Lauritzen's Yacht Harbor Catch and Release Derby is Saturday and Sunday. For largemouth bass, guide Randy Pringle said there is excellent action for numbers, but they're not very big. His most consistent strikes came on rip baits such as the ima Flit in Misty Shad or Olive Herring. When the wind is blowing, Pringle said, the fish will strike on reaction baits such as the half-ounce Persuader spinnerbait. The key, he said, is staying close to the weedlines near moving water. Call: Randy Pringle (209) 543-6260; Captain Stan Koenigsberger (925) 570-5303.

OCEAN

• HALF MOON BAY — Albacore action has really picked up along the 123 line. Capt. Tom Mattusch on the Huli Cat brought back 47 longfins for nine anglers. Capt. Dennis Baxter of the New Captain Pete went to 37'50/123'30 for 66 albacore and an opah for eight anglers from Lake Tahoe. Rockfishing is strong, too. Call: Happy Hooker (510) 223-5388; Roger Thomas, Salty Lady (415) 760-9362, Bait and Switch Sport Fishing Center (650) 726-7133; Emeryville Sport Fishing (510) 654-6040

• MONTEREY/SANTA CRUZ — Chris Arcoleo at Chris's Landing in Monterey reported solid rockfishing. The harbor is lined with salmon fishermen and Bayside Marine in Santa Cruz said the harbor salmon went on the bite near the west side jetty Sunday morning. A few fishermen went home with limits caught on pink Mad River worms. Call: Chris' Landing (831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173

• SAN FRANCISCO BAY — Albacore fishing took off in the past week with party boats returning with over 100 longfins. Capt. Roger Thomas of the Salty Lady in Sausalito got 72 big longfins to 35 pounds using live bait. The fish have been holding around Fanny Shoals. Capt. James Smith of the California Dawn worked the deep water near the Golden Gate Bridge for cow and seven-gill sharks to nearly 200 pounds.

Compiled by Dave Hurley and Roger George

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