Compiled by Dave Hurley and edited by Roger George, a former Olympic-class decathlete at Fresno State and striper record-holder at Millerton Lake and who now guides in the greater Fresno area. Telephone numbers are in 559 calling area unless noted. Have a photo of a recent catch to share? Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org with “fish photo” in the subject line.
Lake Don Pedro
Trout fishing is improving with anglers picking up limits including an occasional king salmon with custom spoons as deep as 60 feet. Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing braved the rain Sunday for limits of rainbow trout for his clients. The lake is getting interest from kokanee anglers in preparation for the Kokanee Power Phil Johnson Memorial tournament June 24. Trollers are finding far more trout than kokanee, but the few kokanee landed are large. Mike Gomez of the Bait Barn in Waterford reported a slowdown on the bass action, perhaps because of rising water levels and temperatures. Information on the kokanee tournament is available at kokaneepower.org. The lake rose 7 feet this week to 93 percent capacity and 818.00 feet in elevation, with all launch ramps open. Because of the Controlled Spillway Operation in February, Bonds Flat Road remains closed from Blue Oaks Campground to the DPRA Headquarters Visitor Center. Those going to Fleming Meadows or the Visitor Center you will need take Highway 132 through La Grange, drive 8 miles east and then turn left on Bonds Flat. Access to Moccasin Point via Highway 120 and Blue Oaks via J59/La Grange Road is not affected. Bonds Flat Road repairs are to begin this summer. Call: Monte Smith (209) 581-4734; Gary Vella (209) 652-7550
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Mike Gomez of the Bait Barn in Waterford reported solid bass action with opportunities for quality spotted bass along with the occasional largemouth using Berserk’s Purple Hornet jigs or Pro Worms 300 on the drop-shot at depths from 25-45 feet. The fish have moved off shore and are actively feeding. Launch ramps at Barrett Cove and McClure Point are open. The lake rose 9 feet to 93 percent capacity and 853.75 feet in elevation.
Trout fishing is fair with garlic trout dough bait, inflated nightcrawlers or chrome or gold Kastmasters from the shore near the brush pile, handicapped docks and the peninsula near the marina. Trollers are finding a few fish above the second fence line with Wedding Rings tipped with a piece of nightcrawler behind a dodger or blue/chrome Kastmasters. Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
The lake level at New Melones is as high as it has been in several years, with bass spread throughout. Quality largemouth and spotted bass are the rule once you locate them. Huge kokanee in excess of 2 pounds are possible, but they are few and far between while trout fishing has improved in the colder waters of the river arm. John Liechty of Xperience Fishing Guide Service said, “With the bass finishing their annual spawn and the water levels continually rising, finding areas where the fish are located has been a bit difficult. However, the quality of fish has been great. On most trips we are landing at least one fish over 4-pounds and backing that with a handful of 2-pound fish. Topwater lures such as Whopper Plopper 90’s, small swimbaits, and ring-tailed worms are working for bass to 8 pounds.” Bill Lewellan of Glory Hole Sports in Angels Camp confirmed the unusual bass bite stating, “Well if there is one thing that is unpredictable this year, it's the pattern on New Melones . The bass fishing is good. Top water is working in the early morning and late afternoon. Fisherman have weighed fish in using everything from dark colored Senkos , drop-shot rigs and spinner blades. With a little more warm weather, a true pattern will show. With the high water this year, it will make for some great habitat for this years' hatch, giving them a higher chance to make it to a safe size.” Trout fishing is best between Highway 49 and Parrott’s Ferry Bridges with kokanee gear such as pink Apexes or hoochies behind a pink/white fishscale dodger at depths from 25-70 feet in the cooler waters of the river channel. Gary Burns of Take It To The Limit Guide Service said, “The rainbow bite is hot, but It takes between 6 and 8 hours to put limits in the boat. I say is hot because they are all fat, healthy trout with our last 10-fish limit weighing in at over 22 pounds. We have been scoring with Rocky Mt. Tackle Assassin spinners in crystal watermelon or chrome behind a Green Moonshine Dodger tipped with garlic corn at depths from 35-42 feet at 1.5 mph on the GPS.” Catfish are moving into deeper water, but still are cruising the shore in the early mornings and late evenings with frozen shad to nightcrawlers working for the big whiskerfish. Crappie action has picked up along with crappie jigs along the shore and also under submersible lights at night with live minnows or minijigs. Glory Hole Sports in Angels Camp is holding their Sizzling Summer Seminars June 17 with seminars from Burns, Cory Keller of Tasmanian Devil’s, local bass angler Josh Parris, Liechty, Vance Staplin of Vance’s Products and Nick Smith of the Informative Fisherman. The Angels Cove ramp and the main one on Glory Hole Point are open, with one ramp at Tuttletown. Floating debris remains on the main lake with the water level at 1,063.13 feet in elevation and 88 percent capacity. Call: Glory Hole Sports (209) 736-4333; Monte Smith (209) 581-4734; Danny Layne-Fish’n Dan (209) 586-2383
San Luis Reservoir
and O’Neill Forebay
San Luis Reservoir remains popular with Fresno-area fishermen walking the banks in the evenings for the chance at a trophy linesides. The Basalt Recreation Area or Dinosaur Point are the top locations for bank fishermen, who are arriving about 5:30 p.m. and fishing well into the evening. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “Almost all of our striper fishermen are heading to the main lake, and they are buying packs of Magnum Flukes in white or white ice along with 4-inch Storm swimbaits in bluegill. Lucky Craft and Duo Realis jerkbaits remain popular as well, and our striper fishermen who were working the south aqueducts near Taft are now also heading north to the main lake. We must have sold 20 packs of flukes within the past week.” Chris Chung at Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill said, “Striped bass in the 18- to 22-inch range are coming from the banks near Dinosaur Point with frozen shad, pile worms, or blood worms while a few anglers are also tossing out the extra-large minnows. There haven’t been many trollers within the past week, but I expect more and more to be on the main lake in the coming months as the winds settle down.” Roger George of Roger George Guide Service said that the wind has been a real problem for trollers lately. “I just got back from vacation and guys are telling me that the wind has been problematic, but for those getting out there have been some decent days for schoolie-sized fish on the usual lures. I think we may have a few windows of calmer weather coming, however the forecasted temps are going to be high! “ George said. In the O’Neill Forebay, there is a jerkbait and Rat-L-Trap bite in the early morning, but the most consistent action at Check 12 has been with shad, blood worms or pile worms. The dam area is off limits for any fishing, day or night, and the Basalt side requires anglers to walk into the lake from the locked road gate just past the Basalt State Park Kiosk if you are night fishing past closing time. The water in the main lake has risen again to 95 percent. Nearby Los Banos Creek Reservoir continues to be outstanding with local fishermen finding great action for largemouth bass with ripbaits, crankbaits or spinnerbaits. Call: Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711, Roger George of rogergeorgeguideservice.com (559) 905-2954; San Luis Reservoir and O’Neill Forebay Wind Conditions (800) 805-4805.