LAKE DON PEDRO Bass action has been slow, but Manny Basi of the Bait Barn in Waterford says the best action with 4½-inch shad patterned plastics such as Reaction Innovation's Bad Shad Green, Robo Worms Hologram Shad or Pro Worms Pro Gold. Senkos in natural shad or green pumpkin/purple copper flake are also effective. The top water bite remains slow. Basi said many Mother Lode bass fishermen have been heading to the Delta. Live minnows or night crawlers are working from the banks for bass and rainbow trout, with rainbow glitter Power Bait another good option. Trout trolling is best at 35 to 50 feet with shad imitation spoons in Middle Bay toward Graveyard Bay. 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 reported good bass action with 6-inch plastic worms at 35 to 40 feet with the Robo Worms Warmouth or Hologram Shad effective patterns. Manny Basi of the Bait Barn said a good top-water bite with the River2Sea Whopper Plopper or PopRs in the mornings or evenings. Catfishing has been excellent with anglers landing up to 20 whiskerfish, and they're reporting the fish are "loaded with crawdads." A-1 has live crawdads in the shop. Trout fishing has slowed significantly in the past weeks, but bank fishermen are scoring with rainbow glitter Power Bait or live night crawlers under a bobber. The lake dropped 3 feet to 27 percent capacity. Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505; Bub Tosh (209) 404-0053
McSWAIN RESERVOIR Marina staff said trout plants on Oct. 16 by the Department of Fish and Wildlife and an extra plant on Oct. 18 prior to the Merced Irrigation District's employee picnic have helped. Bank fishing has been good from the handicapped docks and the brush pile with white garlic-scented Power Eggs, garlic Power Bait, or night crawlers. A few boats continue to troll, and the chartreuse PPK Tomahawk Spinners remain a top choice. Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
NEW MELONES RESERVOIR/TULLOCH Melanie Lewis of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp reported good action as trout move from deep water into the shallows. Trolling at 25 to 35 feet with downriggers or diving planes with shad-imitation lures such as Needlefish, ExCels, Kastmasters or Speedy Shiners are working. The key is finding the shad balls. Early in the mornings, fish are feeding on the surface, and top lining a Rapala F5 or J5 is working. Bank fishermen are finding the fish showing up closer to the shorelines. Small Kastmasters in chrome, chrome/blue, or chrome/prism are working on clear days while gold or fire tiger patterns are effective on overcast days. Kokanee are done for the season, and they have moved upriver. Catfishing is still very good with the whiskerfish holding in the shallows and feeding heavily. Night crawlers, chicken livers, shad or anchovies are the top baits. The fish are spread through the water columns and keying on the shad schools. New Melones dropped to 43 percent capacity with Tulloch dropping 2 feet to 85 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 Action is good in the forebay as the stripers break the surface in the mornings from 6 a.m. until around 11 a.m. Adam Moore of Valley Rod and Gun in Fresno reported top-water lures or rip baits are working for linesides in the 18-inch to 8-pound range while Mickey Clements of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis touted Zara Spooks, white flukes, hair raisers or Lucky Craft Pointer 68s, 78s and 100s or Pointer Staycees in Ghost Minnow, Chartreuse Shad or American Shad. He said some anglers are catching and releasing up to 50 fish. A boat is essential for big numbers. In the main lake, Clements reported a decent trolling bite near the trash racks or the rockwall cove along 152 P-Line Predators, Smithwicks or broken backed Rebels. Drifting jumbo minnows is also a good option. Guide Roger George cautioned anglers, saying the good bite fell off drastically with the full moon Saturday. With low water levels, most boats are launching at Basalt Recreational Area with the launch ramp at Dinosaur Point remaining via a dirt road. San Luis Reservoir is at 24 percent capacity. Call: Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711, Roger George's Guide Service (559) 905-2954
DELTA/STOCKTON Striped bass action has been outstanding from the Mothball Fleet all the way to downtown Sacramento. James Nguyen of Dockside Bait in Pittsburg said there are stripers "everywhere" with fresh shad, bullheads or mudsuckers. Sturgeon are coming into the shop every day on ghost or grass shrimp. Broad Slough has been a hot spot with fresh shad on the anchor as well as in Sherman Lake with bluegill or mudsuckers. RatLTraps or swimbaits are also working in Sherman Lake or Big Break. Sturgeon are being caught from the River View Pier in downtown Antioch. Alan Fong of the Fishermen's Warehouse in Sacramento went into the north Delta near Liberty Island for "red hot" striper action for fish ranging from 8 to 12 pounds. For largemouth bass, guide Randy Pringle is transitioning to shad-patterned baits. "Once the water cools down even more, the larger 4- to 6-inch shad will move into the shallows," he said, and then "the top-water bite will be on." Call: Randy Pringle (209) 543-6260; Captain Stan Koenigsberger (925) 570-5303; Mark Wilson Sport Fishing (916) 682-1630; Intimidator Sport Fishing (916) 806-3030.
HALF MOON BAY With the season-opener just two weeks away, Capt. Tom Mattusch on the Huli Cat spent the weekend getting his crab gear together. For the next two weeks, coastal rockfishing is the best bet with limits the rule. There are still a few salmon and ling cod fishing has been outstanding in the shallows from the Ritz south to Pescadero at 60 to 140 feet with live sand dabs, bars, or swimbaits. 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
MONTEREY/SANTA CRUZ Chris Arcoleo of Chris's Landing in Monterey reported excellent ling cod action. Arcoleo also said Humboldt squid are showing up near Morro Bay with a trawler coming up with a big load and a shrimp boat pulling pots below Point Sur reporting the squid chasing up the pots in the clear water. Chris' Landing (831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173.
SAN FRANCISCO BAY A few boats continue to work the Channel Buoys and Duxbury for salmon, and private boats have been finding a fish or two. Rockfishing remains a sure thing at either the Farallons or the Marin coast. The occasional halibut is landed from San Pablo Bay, but overall the action is slow.
Compiled by Dave Hurley and Roger George