LAKE DON PEDRO Guide Monte Smith found a very difficult trout bite Sunday despite using the same techniques that produced limits the previous week. "We didn't get a hit on our lead-core lines, and the only action we received was on the downriggers," he said. "I expected that the lake had turned around with consistent action, but it was just plain tough." He pulled heavy spoons on lead core at depths 13 to 15 feet or on a downrigger down to 40 feet but had little luck. He couldn't find the large bait balls of shad, which haven't schooled up yet. For bass, Walt Lee of the Kerman Bass Club said 20 anglers landed only 21 fish during Saturday's club tournament. The best catch was four fish, and 9 fishermen didn't weigh in. Call: Monte Smith (209) 581-4734; Danny Layne (209) 586-2383; Bait Barn (209) 874-3011
McCLURE RESERVOIR Jason Mello of A-1 Bait in Snelling said the action at McClure has been slow for bass. Most anglers are drop-shotting plastic worms in deep water but a few are throwing the River2Sea SWaver. The shop has been selling live minnows and crawdads, but there have been few reports of success. Trout fishermen have reported limits on blade/crawler combinations at 40 to 60 feet near the dam. The lake dropped to 25 percent capacity. Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505; Bub Tosh (209) 404-0053
McSWAIN RESERVOIR The Marina reported Calaveras Trout Farm planted 1,000 pounds if trout Nov. 1, and action from the banks has been solid. Large night crawlers, white or rainbow scented garlic nuggets, or gold Kastmasters are all working. Anglers are also tossing rainbow trout patterned Pot O'Gold spoons. Jason Mello of A-1 Bait and Tackle reported good action from the banks with one customer scoring a pair of 3-pounders with Bubble Gum garlic Power Bait. The brush pile and handicapped docks are best. Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
NEW MELONES RESERVOIR/TULLOCH Melanie Lewis of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp said the trout action has been good as water gets cooler. The fish are moving toward the surface, targeting tiny shad bait balls. Trollers are scoring with top-lined small plugs such as Rapalas, Speed Traps or Lucky Craft lures. "Try shad patterned lures on clear days and firetiger or rainbow trout colors on overcast days," said Lews. Guide Gary Burns put client Jed Bender of Angels Camp onto a limit of chunky rainbows trolling shad-patterned ExCel Spoons. Bank anglers are tossing Kastmasters or soaking rainbow/garlic Power Bait. "They have a good chance of catching them since the fish are starting to show up near the shoreline where they are more accessible," said Lewis. Bass fishing is fair with the fish holding throughout the water column. Lewis said the window for catching bass is quite short and advised using shad-patterned grubs on a quarter-ounce dart-head either dragged along the bottom or fished vertically. Catfishing is very good with the fish feeding heavily in the shallows. Night crawlers, chicken livers, shad or anchovies are the top baits. New Melones dropped to 42 percent capacity with Tulloch rising slightly to 85 percent. At Tulloch, guide Danny Layne was putting clients onto small planter rainbows when they were slammed by a 17-inch, 2-year old kokanee just north of the South Shore ramp at 37 feet. He was using an Uncle Larry's Mad Irishman spinner loaded with Pautske's Fire Corn behind a Vance's Gold dodger. The kokanee weighed 2-pounds, 3-ounces. "Tulloch may be the only lake with any real water to fish this winter at it is only down around the normal range of 6 feet," said Layne. The water is around 57 degrees with "outstanding clarity," he said. 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 Andy Bedell of Fresno scored a huge personal-best striper at 43 inches, 32.9 pounds trolling Saturday with guide Roger George near the trash racks. "This is the fifth striper at, or over, 30-pounds we've landed this year," said George, "releasing all but one badly injured big fish. It's been an exciting year of catching big fish but it takes real work!" Bedell had been trying for 20 years to bring in a 20-pounder, but his biggest had been 18 pounds. Most anglers have been getting limits of slot fish on minnows despite a slow morning bite. The Check 12 area has been hot over the past week. Bait fishermen are throwing freshwater grass shrimp into the Forebay, and stripers are sucking up the live bait. The live bait cannot be taken from one body of water to another. The reservoir is down to 22 percent capacity due to heavy pumping.
DELTA/STOCKTON Sturgeon fishing was very good Saturday in the deep water near the Pittsburg PG&E plant with several boats reporting limits of diamondbacks on a variety of baits. The Pogo Derby starts Friday night and goes through Nov. 9. Guide Bob Wright out of Lauritzen's Yacht Harbor in Antioch said there was an excellent striper bite Monday with a catch-and-release session of 25 keepers to 16-pounds drifting live bait over the flats. Call: Randy Pringle (209) 543-6260; Capt. Stan Koenigsberger (925) 570-5303; Mark Wilson (916) 682-1630; Intimidator Sport Fishing (916) 806-3030.
HALF MOON BAY Capt. Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat was the only party boat leaving the harbor Sunday. "It was sloppy pulling the crab pots at 4 miles out, but we came up with 22 limits," he said. He said that private boaters flocked the ocean. In Pacifica, Sheryl Jimno of the Rusty Hook said "it was like a zoo out here" Saturday, but fishermen were catching crab. 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 of Chris's Landing in Monterey reported outstanding action on the combination trips with the Check Mate scoring 20 limits of rockfish and Dungeness. "We have been pulling up a solid 13 crab per pot average," he said. There are striped bass trapped in the Salinas River lagoon, and though the lagoon is open for fishing, duck hunting in the area has limited the number of anglers. Call: Chris' Landing (831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173
SAN FRANCISCO BAY Ocean salmon season ends Nov. 10, and fishing has been decent for some with better than a fish-per-rod for some lighter loads. The Dungeness opener was spectacular with Capt. Jim Smith of the Happy Hooker getting great results, hand-pulling 8 pots for 29 limits of commercial and jumbo crab. Rockfishing is still very good.