Lake Don Pedro
Few reports from Don Pedro, with launch conditions at Fleming Meadows appearing to discourage fishermen. There are king salmon and rainbow trout holding at depths from 30 to 60 feet near Jenkins Hill and Fleming Bay. The lake dropped over 2 feet to 683.85 in elevation and 35% 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.
New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch
Launch conditions continue to encourage trout and kokanee fishermen to stay away. John Lietchy of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp said, “The rainbows are down in deep water and holding near the old lake and existing river channel as the shad have also headed towards the cooler and deeper water. Trollers should target depths from 50 to 70 feet with rattling or wobbling baits coated with scent in order to entice more strikes, and a contour or topographical map are essential in order to keep from snagging the bottom.” Night fishing under lights are producing crappie, rainbow trout, spotted bass, and catfish as all species are focusing on the lake’s shad schools. Bass fishing continued to be good with Lietchy stating, “We have found solid action on my last few guide trips as there are plenty of small fish willing to bite plastics dragged on a Carolina-rig or drop-shot or on jigs at depths from 25 to 35 feet. There are schools of spots suspended at depths of 35 feet in 200 feet of water, and trollers targeting rainbows are catching them. This happens every year.” Catfishing remains outstanding as the large whiskerfish are moving into the shallows. Night fishing with frozen shad, anchovies, sardines, mackerel or nightcrawlers on a weightless presentation along muddy, sloping banks is the best technique. At Tulloch, night fishing for bass is the only game in the afterbay for New Melones with heavy recreational boating during daylight hours. The lake has dropped to 15% capacity at 822.37 feet in elevation. Tulloch is holding at 508.61 and 97%. 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
In the main lake, bank fishermen are targeting Dinosaur Point or Basalt Recreation Areas in order to avoid the long walk at Romero Vistor Center. Blood worms and pile worms are the top baits while a few fishermen are tossing out medium minnows. Wind conditions continue to plague the lake. Few fishermen are drifting minnows since bait shops are still waiting for shipments of extra-large and jumbo minnows. Large minnows will work, but few anglers are willing to explore with the smaller baits. Trollers are finding fair action with large plugs on the downrigger in and around the entrance of Portuguese Cove. Catfishing remains good at night with blood worms, anchovies or mackerel. In the O’Neill Forebay, catfish are the top species with chicken livers or big pieces of mackerel near Check 12 while small striped bass are abundant on shallow-diving jerkbaits such as Lucky Craft 100’s in bright colors. The best action is early in the morning. Call: Coyote Bait andTackle (408) 463-0711, Roger George of rogergeorgeguideservice.com (559) 905-2954.
The river salmon season is off, but as of yet not running at even a crawl. There have been at least six salmon landed off the Benicia shore with three large fish in the 17- to 18-pound range at First Street and three in the 7- to 10-pound range at Dillon Point State Park. Vee-Zee or Flying C spinners in green/yellow are the top lures, but at least one salmon was landed on a pink Flying C. Tony Lopez of Benicia Bait said, “The water has cleared up along First Street, and the minus tides this week will be in the middle of the night. The water had been muddy with the bottom of the tide in the early morning during the first week of salmon fishing.” Small legal stripers in the 18- to 20-inch range are biting blood worms, pile worms, or anchovies from the Benicia shore. Jim Pickens of the Fishermen’s Friend in Lodi said, “We have had a couple of reports of shore anglers landing salmon in the Antioch and Benicia area, and numerous reports of salmon rolling from Rio Vista up to Sacramento. From shore, throw Triple C’s or Blue Foxes for the best action and trollers are advised to pull Silvertron spinners on spreaders or back trolling with Flatfish and Kwikfish. The Delta Cross Channel Gates opened July 24, and boats launching out of New Hope or Wimpy’s on the Mokelumne will now have access to the Old Sacramento River.” Striper trollers Guy Brown and Bill Crooks of Sacramento launched out of Sandy Beach south of Rio Vista on a recent trip in search of striped bass, and Crooks said, “We traveled 45 miles in order to find clear water, but once we found it, we caught and released seven keepers to 7 pounds and a pair of shakers using Yozuri Crystal Minnows or Bombers in the shallows.” Triple-digit temperatures are on their way again, and the largemouth bass are already staging in the 79-degree water on the San Joaquin River. The hot weather will only keep the bass hunkered below the mats and hyacinth in the river. Alan Fong of the Fisherman’s Warehouse in Sacramento said, “The key to getting bit is finding moving water, and we have been scoring by punching Missle’s D-Bombs in green pumpkin with no skirt on a 1- to 1.5-ounce weight.” Call: Randy Pringle (209) 543-6260; Captain Stan Koenigsberger – Quetzal Adventures (925) 570-5303; Intimidator Sport Fishing (916) 806-3030.