LAKE DON PEDRO Manny Basi of the Bait Barn in Waterford said bass fishing is slow, but there is action on the surface with the River2Sea Whopper Plopper in white or on the bottom (to 30 feet) with shad-patterned plastics or Senkos in natural shad. Basi said Robo Worm's Hologram Shad is the top plastic. Trout fishing is fair, but it will improve as the water cools. The rainbows are keying on the shad schools, and anglers need to find them then work high and low with with shad-imitation lures. Call: Monte Smith (209) 581-4734; Danny Layne (209) 586-2383; Gary Vella (209) 652-7550; Bait Barn(209) 874-3011
McCLURE RESERVOIR Fishing has been slow, says Jason Mello of A-1 Bait in Snelling, but he is encouraged about the bass gorging themselves on the abundant shad. Mello anticipates a lake-record bass could be landed within the next few months. Few anglers are targeting trout by trolling the lake, but Manny Basi said tossing out night crawlers or small minnows under a bobber from the banks can entice both trout and bass. Sales of large minnows and live crawdads have been slow, an indication of the action. The lake dropped 3 feet to 29 percent capacity. Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505; Bub Tosh (209) 404-0053
McSWAIN RESERVOIR Heavy trout plants by Calaveras Trout Farm for last weekend's Merced Irrigation Trout Derby brought out a good bite from the banks and boats. From shore, anglers are soaking white garlic Power Eggs or night crawlers from the brush pile or handicapped docks while trollers are working upriver at about 20 feet with chartreuse Tomahawk PPKs. The McSwain Marina said the trout was "the best that we have ever had with 500 participants landing plenty of fish, including 8 of the lesser tagged fish." The largest fish was a 44.7-ounce rainbow, and the No. 1 tagged fish (worth $500) for all registered derby participants if landed before Dec. 31. Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
NEW MELONES RESERVOIR/TULLOCH As a federal facility, New Melones is closed to fishing as of last week. Guide Danny Layne has been trolling at downstream Lake Tulloch, where he said the rainbows are on a good bite. "We found fish trolling small shad-patterned lures, blade/crawler combinations, or rolling shad at depths from 35 to 50 feet in front of the dam or in Black Creek near the old Copper Cove ramp," he said. The resort is closed, and the only open launch ramp is at south shore in front of the dam. With the closure of Melones, Glory Hole Sporting Goods is holding a 20 percent off sale on all tackle ending today. New Melones is at 43 percent capacity with Tulloch dropping to 87 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 The striper bite in the O'Neill Forebay and the main San Luis Reservoir remains very good for small linesides. Mickey Clements of Coyote Bait in Morgan Hill reported boaters are drifting jumbo minnows or live grass shrimp near the trash racks or along the rockwall adjacent to Highway 152 at 40 to 60 feet and getting good numbers. Trollers are pulling P-Line Predators, Smithwick's, or broken-backed Rebels at similar depths for solid action. In the Forebay, the stripers continue to boil from sunrise to around 9 a.m., and white flukes on a half-ounce jig head, Umbrella-rigs, lipless crank baits, top-water lures or rip baits such as Lucky Craft 68s, 78s, and 100s or Pointer Staycees in Ghost Minnow, Chartreuse Shad or American Shad are all producing. Clements said some anglers are wading far out into the lake to avoid the grass and tossing weightless flukes on a spinning rod to reach the fish. Most boats are launching at Basalt Recreational Area with the launch ramp at Dinosaur Point accessible only via a dirt road. San Luis Reservoir was at 24 percent capacity by week's end. Call: Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711 Roger George's Guide Service (559) 905-2954
DELTA Salmon and striper fishing from the Benicia shoreline is solid to very good and larger fish continue to be found outside McAvoy's Boat Harbor. The Fleet, the Middle Grounds, inside the Fleet and Honker Bay are all good for stripers. Sturgeon fishing is strong, too. Stripers in the 6- to 8-pound range have been caught on fresh shad, mudsuckers or bullheads. One fisherman brought in a limit at 8 and 13-pounds. Mike Pipkins at Gotcha Bait in Antioch said fishermen are lining up at the Humphrey's Pier for 12 to 14 salmon per day to 40 pounds tossing Flying Cs in chartreuse, pink or red. Guide Bob Wright out of Lauritzen's Yacht Harbor in Oakley said there has been an excellent striped bass bite with live blue gill in the Antioch section. For largemouth bass, guide Randy Pringle reported an excellent bite on rip baits including the ima Flit in Misty Shad or Olive Herring with the new Helly-P working for larger fish. "We had a huge bass blow up on the Helli-P, but it didn't stick," he said. The Berkeley Power Worm on a Zappu Head has been outstanding for numbers worked along the edge of the weeds. Pringle is sticking with the perch and crawdad patterns until the shad schools start to dominate the baitfish scene. Alan Fong of the Fishermen's Warehouse in Sacramento reported jigs such as Duh! spoons or P-Line Laser Minnows are producing most all of the salmon in the metropolitan area. Call: Randy Pringle (209) 543-6260; Captain Stan Koenigsberger (925) 570-5303; Mark Wilson (916) 682-1630; Intimidator Sport Fishing (916) 806-3030.
HALF MOON BAY Capt. Tom Mattusch on the Huli Cat went to San Gregorio and Pescadero for 9 limits of rockfish and a lingcod. In Pacifica, the Rusty Hook reported little interest but surf perch and bait fish can be taken off the pier. Call: Happy Hooker (510) 223-5388; Roger Thomas, Salty Lady (415) 760-9362, Bait and Switch Sport Fishing Center(650) 726-7133726-7133; Emeryville Sport Fishing (510) 654-6040; Don Franklin, Soleman (510) 703-4148
MONTEREY/SANTA CRUZ Todd Arcoleo of Chris's Landing in Monterey reported limits of rockfish. A new batch of albacore arrived southwest of Monterey Bay. Arcoleo said they had 25 fish by 2 p.m. Call: Chris' Landing (831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173
SAN FRANCISCO BAY The Captain Bob Wright put in two great days of rockfishing up the Marin coast. Second Capt. Chris Smith of the California Dawn ran the boat Sunday and reported excellent ling cod action past Duxbury. Salmon fishing is "hit or miss" with two Sausalito boats scoring a total of 11. Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle said salmon fishing at California City is "nothing to brag about." Stripers are abundant, but most are undersized.
Reservoirs and lakes to be planted by California Department of Fish and Wildlife with trout during the week of Oct. 13:
Tuolumne Lyons Canal (Columbia Ditch)
Fresno Kings River, Below Pine Flat Dam
Madera Corrine Lake; Manzanita Lake.
Stanislaus Turlock Reservoir.
Mariposa McSwain Reservoir.
Calaveras Tulloch Lake
Alameda Shadow Cliff Lake
Contra Costa Los Vaqueros Reservoir