Modesto-area fish report

Lake Don Pedro

Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing said, “Kokanee are holding in Middle Bay at depths from 70-105 feet, and some of the male kokanee are already showing signs of turning hook jawed in preparation for a spawn. Rainbow trout also are found in Middle Bay with heavy spoons on a fast troll.” For bass, there is a small window for topwater lures in the early mornings before working the bottom with plastics on the Texas rig or drop-shot. The lake fell to 76 percent capacity and 787.51 feet in elevation. 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

Still a solid option for catfish, bass, or crappie with a topwater bite in the early mornings for bass before working the bottom with Berserk’s Purple Hornet or Sprayed Grass jigs. Live crawdads and large minnows are another productive choice for bass. Crappie can be found around submerged structure with minijigs or small minnows. Catfish are holding on sloping, muddy banks with cut baits or crawdads. The McClure Point and Barrett Cove South launch ramps are open with the Barrett Cove North ramp under construction. The lake is releasing water, and it has dropped 4 feet to 56 percent of capacity and 789.95 feet in elevation. Call: A-1 Bait 209-563-6505

McSwain Reservoir

Still a dead sea for rainbow trout with the lack of plants over the past several months. The occasional holdover rainbow is taken early in the morning or late evening with trout dough bait from the shoreline along with the possibility of a spotted bass that has dropped over from upstream McClure. The last trout plant occurred in May. Call: McSwain Marina 209-378-2534

New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch

Some quality largemouth bass have been found on topwater lures in the early mornings, but the most consistent bite for numbers is with Senkos, plastic worms, or jigs in deeper water once the fish move off of the shorelines by mid-morning. Kokanee are fat and chunky, but the action is sporadic around the spillway, dam, and the south end of the lake. Catfish are found throughout the lake with sardines, frozen shad, or anchovies along sloping banks. Crappie fishing is fair with a few slabs holding in submerged structure. The lake is releasing water on a daily basis, and the lake dropped 2 feet to 880.94 feet in elevation and 26 percent of capacity. Glory Hole remains the only launch available on the lake with two lanes and a courtesy dock. 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


The Sacramento River-Delta is in a holding pattern until river salmon season begins July 16 and the first run of fall striped bass arrives in August. There is high optimism for the river salmon season, but the reality is the action will not begin in earnest until mid-August. Catfish, smallmouth bass and bluegill provide the most action at present. Johnny Tran of New Romeo’s Bait in Freeport touted smallmouth bass, stating, “The smallies are stacked up along the rocks at depths from 10-15 feet with live minnows or plastics on the drop-shot.” Do Doung of Dockside Bait in Pittsburg said, “Small stripers are the rule, but there have been stripers as large as 12 pounds taken in Honker Bay on live bait. Most legal striped bass are in the 18- to 22-inch range on live minnows, anchovies, mudsuckers, sardines, or frozen shad.” The San Joaquin-Delta is in recovery mode from heavy boat traffic. Largemouth bass and bluegill remain the top species, but a few decent stripers are showing up on live bait. Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, said, “This is the week that I give the Delta a break since the boat traffic in all of the major thoroughfares has muddied up the shallows. Prior to the Fourth, we found great action on topwater lures such as the ima Little Stick, buzzbaits, and even some on Furbet the Frog.” Dan Mathisen of Dan’s Delta Outdoors is preparing for the two big upcoming frog tournaments – the Ultimate Frog Challenge on July 30-31 and the Snag Proof Open on Aug. 6-7, both out of Russo’s Marina. He and Chris Ball are hosting a frog seminar July 28 at the shop. He said, “Largemouth bass fishing is best with topwater lures in the mornings along with white buzzbaits.” Alan Fong of the Fisherman’s Warehouse in Sacramento said, “The punch bite has slowed down some with the cooler weather, but the topwater bite remains good.” Brandon Gallegos of H and R Bait in Stockton reported stripers from 6-8 pounds. Call: Randy Pringle 209-543-6260; Captain Stan Koenigsberger – Quetzal Adventures 925-570-5303; Intimidator Sport Fishing 916-806-3030