Fishing report: Bass biting early and late at Lake Don Pedro

June 24, 2014 

Lake Don Pedro

The Bait Barn reported a good early and late window of bass fishing for anglers using topwater River to Sea Whopper Ploppers in Bone or Rainbow trout. If it gets windy, the bite is better on white or chartreuse/white buzzbaits for lots of small bass and better-quality fish. Recreational anglers are having a blast with the bass right now, according to the Bait Barn. In addition, minnows have been very effective. The key is to catch the very early and late windows of the bite they reported. Monte Smith reported a decent early kokanee bite on Uncle Larry’s spinners at depths of 70 to 100 feet. In addition, he has been able to switch to a great trout bite when the koke bite fades for fish holding at 35 to 65 feet. He said he’s gotten some Kings into the mix. Trout fishing also has been decent with minnows or ’crawlers fished five feet under a bobber off sloping shorelines near flats. Powerbait in Rainbow glitter has also been a hot item for shore anglers. There is a 5-mph speed limit from the ramp at Blue Oaks Recreation Area to the Buoy Line at the mouth of Fleming Bay. The lake is at 52 percent of capacity. Call: Monte Smith (209), 581-4734; Danny Layne-Fish’n Dan, (209) 586-2383; Gary Vella, (209) 652-7550; Bait Barn, (209) 874-3011.

McClure Reservoir

Diana Mello of A-1 Bait in Snelling reported bass fishing with minnows has been good. Crawdads also are working for the spots, and bank anglers are still doing well. Trout fishing for trollers using Wedding Ring spinners or flasher ’crawler combos are seeing limits. Mello said the PPK Tomahawk is a popular lure for the trout trollers. There have been few reports of any crappie with the lower water levels. The other bright spot has been the catfish bite, with a 7.1-pounder brought in this week. It was taken by the dam – and was unusually caught on a lure. There were several other good sized catfish taken, too. A-1 and the Bait Barn are stocked with all sizes of minnows due to high demand. Call: A-1 Bait, (209) 563-6505; Bub Tosh, (209) 404-0053.

McSwain Reservoir

McSwain Marina reported fishing has been decent for trout with shoreline anglers using nightcrawlers by the handicap dock and marina areas. Trollers working the upper river between the floating restroom and marina are doing well on blue/silver Kastmasters and black/white Copcar Needlefish. The last Calaveras trout plant was 1,000 pounds on June 19. Call: McSwain Marina, (209) 378-2534.

Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River

Bass fishing has been fair for numbers of small bass on dartheads tipped with Hologram shad and Aaron’s Magic plastics, Eric Kaai of Fisherman’s Warehouse said. Echoing the trend, Merritt Gilbert reported that anglers are catching 15 to 20 fish a day and a good limit would be in the 7- to 8-pound range. He said there had been a good evening bite on blades if there was some chop on the water. The fish are holding from the bank to 20 feet deep and most are in the 11- to 12-inch range. He felt the numbers were better here than at Pine Flat. Dartheads and dropshotting plastics were the best bets. There was a report by Patrick Movey at Fisherman’s Warehouse of a local angler who caught/released a 30-pound striper while trolling. No other reports of stripers. Shad schools are hard to find, and most anglers have given up with the bigger inflows. The lake has risen to 334,000 acre-feet and is coming up about half a foot a day to 64 percent of capacity with 2,641 acre-feet of inflow. All boats must fill out a Quagga mussel self-inspection form before launching. In the lower San Joaquin, fishing interest remains low with the lack of plants. There are new regulations on the lower San Joaquin, and from Friant Dam downstream to the Highway 140 Bridge only two hatchery trout or hatchery steelhead are allowed with a total of four hatchery trout or hatchery steelhead in possession. Call: Fresno Fisherman’s Warehouse, (559) 225-1838; Valley Rod & Gun, (559) 292-3474.

New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch

Trout fishing is fair with night fishing the most productive with anglers catching limits of chunky 2-pound trout. Nightcrawlers and Power Bait are working best with live minnows being a good choice as well. Anchoring in 40 to 60 feet of water near 100- to 200-foot areas, then dropping the light 10 to 20 feet down is key to the nighttime technique. Trolling anglers have been doing better each week and bringing in a handful of nice trout along with their kokanee. The main river channel will have the coolest water and is a good place to locate trout and kokanee. Try trolling in 30 to 50 feet of water at 2.5-3 mph. Bank fishing for trout has been slow. Kokanee are biting and most anglers are catching limits. The average size is 11 to 13 inches with a few fish measuring 14 to 16 inches. The fish are schooling in deep water off Glory Hole Point and near the dam, spillway and Rose Island. A variety of colors are producing limits. Orange has been a favorite for a couple of weeks. Adding a Scent Chamber/chain swivel is working for some anglers. The bass fishing has been fair with the fish done spawning and moving out into deeper water. Reaction baits in the cooler hours of the day and switching to slower-moving baits during the heat is working. A great presentation that works at all depths is a Carolina Rig with a soft plastic lizard or brush hog. A Texas Rigged worm with a “brass-and-glass” weight and bead has been effective in the stained water, too. Catfishing has been good with big cats showing up in shallow water and live minnows, frozen shad, mackerel or anchovies the best bets. Crappie fishing has been slow. Fishing trees and flooded timber in 25 to 40 feet of water is working. The courtesy docks at Glory Hole have reached the end of their cable and are putting out an extension of new cable to re-anchor the dock on the far left. New Melones Lake is currently holding 739,507 acre-feet of water. The lake level dropped 3 feet this week and is currently at 903 feet above sea level and 182 feet from full. Call: Glory Hole Sports, (209) 736-4333; Monte Smith (209), 581-4734; Danny Layne-Fish’n Dan, (209) 586-2383; Sierra Sport Fishing, (209) 599-2023.

San Luis Reservoir and O’Neill Forebay

Coyote Bait and Tackle reported anglers trolling the main lake at 40 to 80 feet with Smithwicks and Broken back Rebels were picking up a few schoolie stripers in the 3- to t8-pound range. Shore anglers in the Forebay and main lake were casting Rattletraps and flukes, while pile and blood worms were working off key points. Merritt Gilbert reported several anglers had been picking up school-size Forebay stripers on Rattletraps fishing at night. One large striper was reported by Gilbert that he estimated at 40 pounds taken from the Forebay at night. Wind continues to be the main issue for anglers trying to fish the big lake. The lake is at 31 percent of capacity after releasing 7,000 acre-feet and is falling about a half to three-quarters of a foot a day. Call: Coyote Bait and Tackle, (408) 463-0711; Roger George Guide Service, (559) 905-2954.

San Francisco Bay

James Smith on the California Dawn out of Berkeley went out in much improved weather conditions Monday for 24 limits of rockfish and 18 ling cod to 13 pounds before returning to the bay for three striped bass to 13 pounds and three halibut. Dave of the Happy Hooker said the wind has been the limiting factor but there are a lot of stripers in the bay, and they had done well on cod and ling cod when the wind slowed. The halibut bite has been slow. He expected the tides to be favorable for striper fishing in the next few days.

Delta/Stockton

Pam Hayes at Benicia Bait reported shoreline fishing has been dominated by undersized striped bass. In the Pittsburg area, Do Doung of Dockside Bait said, “Small striped bass have been the rule rather than the exception with boaters attempting to avoid the wind by staying out of the main channel.” Largemouth bass action is also strong in the usual Delta locations of Mildred Island, Frank’s Tract, White Slough and Disappointment Slough. Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, reported a “phenomenal” crankbait bite in the wind with his novice clients catching and releasing 63 bass to 4 pounds during the past week. The ima Squarebill in black/red, which drops out at 4 to 5 feet in depth, has been very effective, and Pringle is using the Squarebill in white on Nano line for small striped bass, of which he says, “Are a blast on the spinning rods.” In the Antioch area, Doug Chapman at Gotcha Bait and Tackle reported striped bass to 31 inches have been taken from the Antioch Fishing Pier. Call: Randy Pringle, (209) 543-6260; Captain Stan Koenigsberger – Quetzal Adventures, (925) 570-5303; Mark Wilson Sport Fishing, (916) 682-1630; Intimidator Sport Fishing, (916) 806-3030.

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