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.
San Francisco salmon bite “can’t get any better!” Trent Slate said. Courtright trout take over bite, Chuck Crane reported. Shaver lake producing mixed limits, Todd Wittwer said. New Melones bass and crappie on the prowl, John Liechty reported. Eastman bass on a night bite, Dave Hurley said. Don Pedro trout, bass and crappie all active, Monte Smith reported. McClure bass and crappie hitting, Merritt Gilbert said.
Delta Mendota Canal and Sloughs
Interest in striped bass fishing in the California Aqueduct remains limited, perhaps due to slower action but also there are increasing reports of vehicle vandalism in the parking areas. Catfish are the top species with sardines, anchovies, or stink baits around Whites Bridge on Fresno Slough. In the south aqueduct in Kings and Kern counties, the moss remains a limiting factor, and bait is the most effective setup for linesides. Lure tossers will have to locate clear sections of water in order to keep the moss off of their hooks. Catfish can still be found on cut baits or stink baits.
There is a good night bite for quality largemouth bass with jigs, plastics on the drop-shot, jigs, Carolina-rig or Neko Rig. The best action occurs from 6:00 to 12:00 p.m. The crappie bite overall has slowed down, but there are still small slabs found in the flooded willows with Mr. Crappie Stingers, Finnish Fish, or Gulp! Alive Minnows. The lake is releasing water, and it dropped to 69 percent.
High winds affected the lake during a recent bass tournament, but there was a 17-pound limit from the 23 boats with a few in the 16- and 15-pound five-fish range. Jigs on the bottom have been the top techniques for bass with a few in the 3- to 4-pound range. The crappie bite has also slowed overall, but Fresno-area anglers continue to find small slabs on minijigs in the flooded trees. There are still small bluegill throughout the lake in the shallows. Catfishing is best in the evenings with cut baits or stinkbaits from the shoreline. The lake has dropped to 40 percent.
Lake Don Pedro
Trout fishing has been outstanding at Don Pedro with quick limits of rainbows along with the very occasional kokanee or king salmon. Bass fishing is also strong, and there are crappie to be had as well.
Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing said, “I took three trips on the lake this week for trout, and we put in limits on every trip. On Saturday morning, I couldn’t get the second rod out before we had a fish on, and we were done with limits by 8:30 a.m. The action was just as good on Friday, and the fish are fat and healthy. They are loaded with small shad and even grasshoppers, and there have been a number of fish working the surface. We have even caught and released a number of spotted bass, and green has been the color for both trout and bass, perhaps due to the fish loading up on the small grasshoppers. We have been running ExCel spoons behind a Sling Blade at 30 to 50 feet on the downrigger. We landed a few small 2nd- year kokanee this week, and we are releasing these fish to grow larger for next year.”
John Liechty of Xperience Fishing Guide Service took a trip to Pedro this week, and he found a five-fish limit around 15 pounds working plastics on a shakey-head off of long tapered lake points or offshore structure at depths from 20 to 30 feet. He said, “We came out in the afternoon at 3:00 p.m., and we started finesse fishing before throwing jerkbaits, also with success.”
Don Pedro is also kicking out crappie, and Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “We have a number of our Fresno-area crappie fishermen heading north to Pedro with Mr. Crappie, Panfish Stingers, Lunker City’s Finnish Fish, or Gulp! Alive Minnows. We must have sold 100 jars of the Gulp!Alive this week.”
Boaters are cautioned to watch for unmarked hazards and floating debris. The lake dropped from 94 to 93 percent.
Lake Isabella/Bakersfield area
The wind continues to be a limiting factor at Lake Isabella, but there are crappie, catfish, and largemouth bass to be had. A trout plant was released this week, and rainbow trout are an additional option. For trollers working the North Fork as well as bank anglers at the Auxiliary Dam. Catfish are biting stink baits, cut baits, or live minnows. The lake dropped from 43 to 42 percent this week. The local lakes are producing bluegill, crappie, and bass, and there has been a run on the popular Wussy Bait for carp. The Kern River in both the upper stretch and the lower river below the day are very fishable with trout in the upper river and catfish, bass, and trout possible in the lower river. In the headwaters of the upper Kern, Chuck Stokke has been working out of the Golden Trout Wilderness pack station, and he said, “The only section that is fishable is around Big Lake and Kern Flat, and stimulators and Woolley Buggers are very effective.”
Kaweah is releasing water, and it dropped from 87 to 77 percent this week. With the dropping water, the bass are suspending in open water. There is some interest in crappie fishing with Fresno-area fishermen making the trek south to either Kaweah or Isabella. Bluegill are holding near structure in the shallows.
Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212
Chuck Stokke of Sequoia Fishing Company in Springville said, “Bass are hard to find right now, but if you do find them, you can hook into a few quality largemouths. The hot temperatures have made lake fishing tough during the daytime hours, and mornings and evenings are best. Topwater lures, wacky-rigged Senkos, or crankbaits are all working. Gary Wasson took first place in Sunday’s Porterville Bass Club tournament with a 19.51-pound limit. The lake held at 67 percent. In the Tule River, Stokke said, “It is hot on dry flies right now as the river is very fishable right now with perfect flows.” Stokke is giving fly casting lessons at the Pierpoint Café on the second Sunday of every month at 10:00 a.m. The lessons are free and all equipment is provided.”
Lake McClure has enjoyed high water for the past two years after nearly being drawn down to empty during the drought, and the fishery has responded well to the increased pool of water. With the high water, the spotted bass and crappie bite has been excellent, and there was even a 7.25-pound rainbow trout landed within the past week.
McClure has been a top destination for Fresno-area crappie fishermen wit Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis saying “I am hearing McClure mentioned a lot lately, and our sales of crappie gear has been off the hook with over 100 jars of Gulp! Alive going out of the shop on Saturday along with various Mr. Crappie, Panfish Stingers, Lunker City’s Finnish Fish.”
Mike Gomez of the Bait Barn in Waterford reported a ‘wide open’ spotted bass bite with topwater lures such as Zara Spooks or River2Sea Rovers in the mornings before dropping to the bottom with plastics on the drop-shot or jigs by mid-morning. The topwater bite dies by 9:00 a.m.
Steve Marquette of the Lake McClure-McSwain Recreation Company said, “There is a lot of bass action at McClure with plastics in watermelon. We are selling plenty of live minnows, and we would be selling live crawdads if they were larger as the cold water is keeping them on the small side. A 7.25-pound rainbow trout was landed by an angler targeting bass, and he weighed the fish at the Sheriff’s station, but he didn’t leave a name.”
Catfishing is best on muddy, sloping banks with anchovies, sardines, or stinkbaits. The lake dropped from 91 to 90 percent.
A trout plant of 1,000 pounds has been occurring around once per month, and the bank action is best just after the plant. A major water theme park is arriving at the lake June 23, and this will be anchored in the lake with water slides and additional water attractions.
Call: McSwain Marina 209-378-2534
Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River
Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “I prefished this week for Sunday’s Bass 101 Father’s Day Open, and we stayed in the main lake this week after working the river last week, and I probably caught 20 bass with only 4 being keepers for a 5.5-pound limit. The week before, my limit up the river weighed around 6.5 pounds, and I expect a limit around 11.5 pounds to win the Father’s Day tournament. There are bluegill all over, and I caught everything on the bottom with plastics on a drop-shot or dart head or jigs at 18 to 25 feet.”
There are also small American shad in the 4-inch range in the river arm now. Gilbert said, “There haven’t been as many shad up the river arm as in the past several years.”
Millerton rose from 91 to 92 percent.
Call: Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474
New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch
New Melones is in excellent shape after two years of high water, and the bass bite is outstanding and will only get better. There are still big rainbow trout in the main lake, but they are few and far between, limiting the number of trollers trying. The occasional 2nd-year kokanee is also showing up for trollers in the southern part of the lake.
John Liechty of Xperience Fishing Guide Service said, “It is a great post-spawn bass bite right now even though the lake is dropping a big. There is a topwater bite in the mornings and evenings with lures such as River2Sea Whoppers or walk-the-dog baits like Spooks. The fish will tell you what they want, and some days, they want the walk-the-dog baits, particularly when they are busting shad on the surface. We are finding schools of bass as the lake is very healthy. In fact, I have never seen it so healthy, and it will get even better. We are getting into schools of fish so thick - that we are leaving after catching and releasing 15 to 30 bass. Many of these are in the 8- to 12-inch range, but there are larger bass mixed in. The bite is really good, but it might get tricky again like it was in February and March. During the summer months, I only run half-day trips in the mornings and evenings since the bass do not want to bite after mid-morning and the recreational boaters will take over the lake.”
For rainbow trout, Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing said, “I haven’t been on the lake for the past few weeks since the action at Don Pedro has been so good, but if I had clients that wanted an opportunity at one or two trophy fish, this would be the place to go. You have to get out early, and the action doesn’t last very long.”
Crappie fishing has been excellent, and anglers have been traveling from as far away as Fresno to soak live minnows or various minijigs around submerged brush for the slabs.
The lake dropped from 81 to 80 percent.
Pine Flat Reservoir/Kings River
The Cen Cal Elite Bass Club formed within the past year from the combination of the Kaweah Bass Club out of Visalia and the Success Bass Club from Porterville, and the club held their 1st Annual First Responders Benefit on Saturday at Pine Flat Reservoir.
34 teams participated in the event with the proceeds going to Officers Joel Guerrero and Ray Zavala. It was a 50/50 tournament with a total of $4700 going to the officers and their families. The tournament was won by the team of David Coy and John Barron with an 11.38-pound five-fish limit including a big fish at 3.88 pounds. The team of Dave and Ken Smith landed the big fish of the tournament at 4.90.
Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “The day bite has been slow at the lake, but there is a good night bite with jigs. There have been bass in the 4- to 6-pound range landed at night on a regular basis.”Most trout anglers are avoiding the lake with the hot temperatures, but a few rainbows can be taken at depths to 40 feet in the main lake with Needlefish, Wedding Rings tipped with a nightcrawler, or Speedy Shiners. The lake dropped to 81 percent this week.
San Luis Reservoir and O’Neill Forebay
The wind has been the limiting factor for boaters, but on calm days, a few boats continue to troll broken-backed lures or drift jumbo minnows near the Trash Racks or at the mouth of Portuguese Cove. Shore fishermen are finding some life as stripers in the 20- to 24-inch range are actively chasing small shad in the shallows. Small topwater lures, swimbaits, ripbaits, or jerkbaits matching the 1- to 1.5- inch shad are working. Bank anglers near Romero Visitor Center are finding linesides with anchovies after sunset. Boaters should contact the park for launch ramp conditions as the Basalt Recreational Area ramp was closed over the weekend due to muddy conditions. Dinosaur Point remained open. The lake dropped from 74 to 71 percent with increased water releases.
The skiers have showed up en masse, and fishing action is limited to a few hours in the early mornings or late evenings. Few fishermen are targeting the lake, but there are a few trollers working for rainbow trout near the dam in the early mornings. Todd Wittwer of Kokanee.net Guide Service said, “Trout action has been good near the Falls with Power Bait in salmon peach or grape nymph, and Mike Beighey has been picking up from 3 to 8 rainbows per morning outing trolling Apex lures or spinners tipped with Gulp! Maggots or a piece of nightcrawler behind a dodger or flasher. put The lake rose to full capacity this week.
The reservoirs are rising with Edison at 72, Florence at 96, and Mammoth Pool at 97 percent. Trout trolling at Edison has been decent for near-limits running spoons or blade/’crawler combinations. The Vermilion Valley Resort at Lake Edison is open and fully operational for hikers, and the ferry is operating across Edison Lake twice a day, leaving the VVR at 9 am every morning and 4 pm every afternoon. Pick up is on the Mono Pass side of the lake at 9:45 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. A few trout to 18 inches have been landed from the banks at Edison on Power Bait.
Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000
Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake
The Shaver Lake water level continues to rise with only a few feet before reaching capacity, and as a result, there is a large amount of debris on the surface. The trout continue to move up on the banks feeding on bugs, making for good action, especially near the two marinas and Camp Edison.
Todd Wittwer of Kokanee.net Guide Service experienced a very good trout bite all week including several trophy trout from Sierra Marina and Camp Edison to Eagle Point. He said, “Most were caught on leadcore at 3 colors with a orange mountain dodger and RMT double glow orange Billfish tipped with garlic pinched crawler or Gulp maggots. A couple were caught at 30 feet off the riggers using the RMT Sunburst Moonshine dodger with a RMT double glow orange hoochie. We even had a double on a Thursday afternoon trip. We picked up lots of trout on the surface. Trolling for trout has been very good from the surface to 20 feet using various flashers like Ford Fenders, Dick's Mountain Flashers or Vance’s dodgers with small spoons or Dick’s Trout Busters or wedding ring spinners in both red or green tipped with a piece of night crawler or Gulp! Maggots. There are lots of small kokanee with a few larger kokanee are also landed in this depth range. It's important to carefully release the smaller 6- to 9- inch kokanee for next year since there were no kokanee fry planted this year. If you are experiencing catching a lot of small kokanee, either change depths or the location you are fishing. The kokanee bite was down on Monday and Friday, but the rest of the week, we put in from 2 to 4 limits of kokanee at 24 to 38 feet with the pink RMT moonshine dodger with pink glitter hoochie and pink/purple Tsunami with a pink radical glow tube continue to produce but the hot setup for the week was the orange Moonshine dodger with the orange double glow hoochie all tipped with Gulp! Maggots or Pro-Cure herring corn. Jack Ericson of Fresno landed a 17.5" Kokanee during the tougher bite Friday.”
From the banks, chartreuse and grape Nymph trout dough bait have produced a few trophy trout at Camp Edison and Sierra Marina. Nightcrawlers floated with marshmallows or inflated with a worm inflator, glitter dough bait, or Power Eggs, or Pautske’s Green Label salmon eggs with marshmallows continue to be a good choice, and throwing a silver Kastmaster or spinner such as a Rooster Tail is also effective from shore.
Steve Santoro of Fish Box Guide Service took out Dustin Cotta and Robert Gomez from Dos Palos for two limits including 2 trophy rainbows, three catchable rainbows, and five kokanee running an orange Apex tipped with corn behind a silver dodger at 30 feet, a pink hoochie behind a pink Sling Blade at 25 feet, or a white hoochie at 4 colors of leadcore line.
Tom Oliveira of Tom Oliveira Fishing guided Peter Castanos for mixed limits of fish on Paulina Peak Tackle flutter hootchies in Cotton Candy and pink with one kokanee in the 17 inch range too.
At Huntington, Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “It has been very windy in the afternoon, but there is a decent bite from the shoreline at Dam 2 or the mouth of Rancheria Creek with trout dough bait or inflated nightcrawlers. Jay and Jack Irvine from Visalia found six rainbows and 4 kokanee running watermelon spinners for the rainbows and purple yellow hoochies for the kokanee. The lake has risen to 99 percent.
Call: Dick Nichols, Dick’s Fishing Charters 281-6948; Todd Wittwer, Kokanee.net Guide Service 288-8100; Dinkey Creek Inn 841-3435; Rancheria Marina 893-3234; Shaver Lake Sports Inc. 841-2740; Tom Oliveira Fishing 802-8072; Steve Santoro Fish Box Charters 871-3937
After the trout plant at the end of the past month, Courtright Reservoir has heated up for both trollers and shore anglers while Wishon Reservoir has slowed to a crawl.
Chuck Crane of the Wishon Village RV Park and Store said, “Courtright is the place to go right now, and it has been crowded over the weekends. Since school is now out, the weekdays are also getting busier. The lake has been planted, and both shore fishermen and trollers are catching plenty of fish. Trollers are working blade/’crawler combinations at 10 to 15 feet while shore anglers are scoring with trout dough bait in pink or orange in front of the campground and along both sides of the launch ramp.”
Wishon is a completely different story right now with a very slow trout bite. Crane said, “Anglers are working very hard for a fish or two. I went out and trolled the entire lake on Wednesday for 4 bites and two fish running Speedy Shiners at 15 to 20 feet. The Speedy Shiners in brass are working best with some trollers running as deep as 40 to 60 feet. Shore anglers are picking up a few fish with the best action with pink or orange near the mouth of Short Hair Creek.”
Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361
Half Moon Bay
Mike Aughney of USA Fishing.com said, “The salmon came up munching on the first day of the 2018 ocean salmon season with the combined Golden Gate and Half Moon Bay party boat fleet working a wide area from W buoy to the Deep Reef. The majority were trolling south of W buoy in 35 to 40 fathoms. On the southern end, the Half Moon bay boats working in 40 to 50 fathoms north of the Deep Reef have limits or are very close to limiting. At 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, Captain Dennis Baxter on the New Captain Pete put in 23 limits of salmon, and he said, “The fish are stuffed with anchovies and some krill with a solid 8- to 12- pound average with fish to the high teens. This is a fantastic sign to see early limits on the first day of the season.”
Second Captain Michael Cabanas of the Huli Cat, and he said, “There were a number of big fish to 18 pounds placed in the box on Apex/dodger combinations or straight baits. We had several fish in the upper teens along with many, many missed opportunities.”
Chris Arcoleo at Chris’s Fishing Trips in Monterey said, “We couldn’t find any squid on Sunday, but we still ended up with 41 limits of rockfish and 12 lings. The lings didn’t bite without the squid, but the commercial boats are still loading up with squid. We have some room this week on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, but next weekend is already filled for rockfish/ling cod.”
When they are able to locate squid and weather conditions conducive for a trip south towards Point Sur, limits of big bottom-dwelling rockfish and ling cod are the rule. There has been a good bite for salmon for private boats right out in front of Moss Landing, but the commercial salmon season reopened on Tuesday, and the commercial fleet should quickly mop up the majority of salmon in the area.
San Francisco Bay
The salmon bite was as good as it gets outside of the Gate, and Captain Trent Slate of Bite Me Charters out of Loch Lomond Marina said, “It can’t get any better than this as we had 6 early limits on straight bait or watermelon Apex lures near W Buoy. I can’t wait to get back out there. It was pretty rough on Sunday, and it wasn’t private boat weather as there were mostly party boats out there.”
The scores were ridiculous with the Hog Heavon posting 18 limits within an hour, the Lovely Martha scoring 25 limits before 10 a.m., and the Outer Limits with 24 limits to 16 pounds in two hours. Day two of the salmon season was just as good as the Salty Lady posted 30 limits of salmon by 10 a.m., and every other party boat had a similar score/
There is a line of fish from W Buoy south to the Deep Reef below Half Moon Bay.
Inside San Francisco Bay, the bays are still recovering from the combination of big tides and high winds, and it will be a few days before the halibut bite comes back on once the water clears.
Steve Mitchell of Hook’d Up Sport Fishing out of Berkeley Marina took out Travis Morgan from Guns, Fishing, and Other Stuff and his crew for some excellent shark action on Saturday with a number of seven-gill and leopard sharks.
When the tides were cooperative during the previous week, there have been several huge halibut in excess of 40 pounds landed on live bait in the deep water from Alcatraz to Angel Island. The halibut action should be back on once the tides back off by week’s end.
San Luis Obispo
The ling cod counts were down over the weekend, but limits of rockfish were the rule out of the San Luis Obispo County Ports. Out of Virg’s Landing, the Fiesta and Black Pearl put in 60 limits of rockfish composed of 284 vermilion and 316 assorted rockfish to go with 5 lings to 15 pounds. Virg’s has a 2-day trip on the Black Pearl up to Cape San Martin, leaving June 22 at 9 p.m., with a still a few spots available. Virg’s Landing said, “The trip is definitely a go, a full trip is a limited load of 22, and you get 2 limits of fish. The crew has intentions of scoring some live bait, and there is a great galley as Lisa will cook anything you request if she has it. Tri tip & ribs for dinner. The galley seats 16, and they have a comfortable bunk room for your sleeping pleasure.. Make your reservation at www.virgslanding.com under the sportfishing tab, or call 805-772-1222. Also out of Morro Bay, the Endeavor and Avenger out of Morro Bay Landing put their 47 passengers onto 180 vermilion, 60 copper, 50 Boccaccio, and 180 assorted rockfish to go with three ling cod to 12 pounds. David Clegg of Bakersfield landed the big ling. Out of Port San Luis, Patriot Sport Fishing sent out the Patriot and Phenix with 54 anglers on Monday for 132 vermilion, 42 copper, 12 Boccaccio, and 352 assorted rockfish to go with 5 lings to 8 pounds. Steven Leggs of Fresno landed the jackpot ling. All landings are running a variety of bottom fishing trips from half-day to two-day ventures up the coast.
The Sacramento-Delta has moved progressively from the top location for striped bass and sturgeon in the Delta to the summer pattern of resident striped, largemouth, and smallmouth bass. The American shad are still moving through the Delta, but the action around Freeport has slowed considerably. The American River remains the top location with the best action in the evenings while the wider waters of the Sacramento River are providing far more difficult for the migrating herring. The next big news on the Sacramento River will be the river salmon opener within four weeks with a July 16 opener. One more deterrent to fishing has been the rapidly changing weather with either high winds or no wind and triple-digit temperatures.
The striped bass migration from the upper tributaries has slowed down with the bulk of the linesides running to the colder waters of either San Francisco Bay or outside the Golden Gate. Live mudsuckers or bullheads are working for a few of the larger resident or migrating linesides.
Mike Pipkins of Gotcha Bait in Antioch reported sturgeon fishing has been good around Chain Island in the Pittsburg area with grass shrimp, ghost shrimp, and pile worms. The sturgeon are still in the river system, but few anglers are targeting the diamondbacks.
Dave Houston went out in very windy conditions out of Martinez, and he said, “I searched above and below the Mothball Fleet, the creeks across from the fleet, and around the Horseshoe and into the Big Cut without marking a single sturgeon. It was very rough and windy, and I didn’t even set anchor before calling it a day.”
The wind has been either blowing hard or not blowing at all, and in either case, the weather conditions create a special challenge for anglers with alternating days of triple-digit weather followed by high winds.
For striped bass, Clyde Wands, shallow trolling expert, took out Dave Houston earlier in the week, and they found plenty of action for striped bass to 6 pounds in False River. Wands said, “It was very warm out there, and we got off the water by 12:30, but there was a lot of action. There was even one striper that hadn’t spawned yet, but the rest of them were skinny and spawned out. These are hard-fighting fish. There are still a number of stripers in the Delta.”
Mike Percey of Oakland went fly fishing with Clowser Minnows on Wednesday out of Big Break, and they caught and released around 100 striped bass with approximately 20 keepers in the 5 to 6-pound range along with a half-dozen largemouth bass.”
Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, was on the Delta three times this week, and he said, “It was very hot one day, but the wind has returned. If you want to find action on topwater lures, you had to locate somewhere in which hiding from the wind was possible. The ima Rock N’Vibe Suspend is doing very well in the wind, and we are throwing the Rock N’Vibe along the banks on the high tide and the ima Pinjack crankbait outside of the weed line on the low tide. When there have been periods of flat calm, the topwater bite is good with the ima Little Stick and particularly the Heli P prop bait. Bluegill has been the top pattern as there are bluegill all over. We are working in the current, and you have to be around the current right now. The General on a Zappu head along with the 6-inch Hit Worm in bluegill or anything with a chartreuse line also a good option. When the weather gets hot, the fish do one of two things: either hide in deep cover or go into deep water. The weeds in a number of locations in the Delta have been eradicated, and the food sources are dying with the weeds gone.”
Dan Mathisen of Dan’s Delta Outdoors in Oakley reported a huge striped bass at 27 pounds was caught and released by Phil Lago on a River2Sea SWaver in the San Joaquin River. He said, “There are still stripers to 30 inches taken on bait off of the Antioch Fishing Pier, and even pre-spawn largemouth bass on live minnows. The wind has been a limiting factor for the fleet of small tin boats that have been drifting bluegill for striped bass. The stripers do seem late. The largemouth bass bite has been best with buzzbaits or the River2Sea Whopper Plopper, and if the conditions calm down, the frog should work if you move it slow. The weather is expected to stabilize in the next week, and the bite should continue to improve. In the central Delta, buzz baits, Whopper Ploppers, and 6th Sense Poppers are working for largemouth bass, and we are finding a more consistent bite in Frank’s Tract with Green Man Bear Pigs or Beavers as well as 3/4th ounce jigs.
Alan Fong, manager of the Fishermen’s Warehouse in Sacramento, will be out on the Delta this week, and he reported excellent largemouth action with topwater lures, frogs, or crankbaits.
Mike Pipkins of Gotcha Bait in Antioch reported at least 10 legal sturgeon have been landed off of the River View Pier in Antioch on grass shrimp, ghost shrimp, or pile worms within the past week. Whiskey Slough, Orwood Marina, and Holland Tract are kicking out bluegill and red ear perch on wax worms or jumbo red worms along with catfish to 15 pounds near Holland Tract and in the Old River. The crappie bite has slowed down. Pipkins will be holding out for fresh shad until the fall when the shad are far more solid.
Lake Nacimiento/San Antonio/Santa Margarita/Lopez
At Nacimiento, Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield reported good white bass action with the warming temperature conditions as the whites are boiling in the mornings and evenings. White Roostertails, Kastmasters, or similar small white jigs are working for the white bass while the spotted bass remain active with topwater lures or flukes in the mornings before working the bottom with jigs or plastics, Buzzbaits are working for the largest grade of spotted bass. Crappie action remains decent with live minnows or minijigs, and although eating the slabs from Nacimiento is not advised due to a high level of mercury, many anglers continue to consume the panfish. Bluegill are also abundant with waxworms, meal worms, or jumbo red worms. The water levels are dropping, and the fish are on the move as the lake has dropped from 37 to 36 percent. Recreational boating is heavy after 10:00 a.m. A webcam of the lake is available at www.lakenacimientolive.com.
At San Antonio, the lake held at 30 percent, and it is now open 7 days per week. Lopez is kicking out red ear perch, crappie, and bluegill, and the bass bite is solid with topwater lures in the mornings or evenings before switching to the bottom with jigs or plastics by mid-morning.
Yak-A-Bass Nor Cal Kayak Tournament: June 9 at New Melones – 1, Travis Lear, 51.50 inches; 2, Lee Xiong, 51.00 (Big Fish 22); 3, Wes Jones, 50.75.
Best Bass Tournaments-Delta/Wine Region: June 16 at Delta/Ladd’s Marina – 1, Dustin Tacker/Mark McCord, 22.02 pounds; 2, Cesar Lagunas/David Potreras, 19.93; 3, Tony Vue/Lee Yang, 19.61 (Big Fish 8.67).
Cen Cal Elite First Responders 50/50 tournament: June 16 at Pine Flat – 1, Dave Coy/John Barron, 11.38 (Big Fish 8.97); 2, Jackson Xiong/Pete Moua, 10.88; 3, Jerry Williams/Gage Coy, 9.70; Big Fish Dave and Nick Smith, 4.90.
Porterville Bass Club: June 17 at Success – 1, Gary Wasson, 19.51; 2, Dave Nishimoto, 18.78; 3, John McNally, 18.02.
June 22: Don Pedro – Poe Man’s
June 23-24: Delta/Ladd’s Marina – Best Bass Tournaments
June 23: Delta/Russo’s Marina – California Tournament Trail, Delta/Ladd’s Marina – Bass N’ Tubes, Pardee – 17-90 Bass Club, Eastman – Sierra Bass Club, Isabella – Kern River Valley Elks Lodge Trout Derby
June 24: Pardee – Riverbank Bass Anglers
June 26-27: Delta/Russo’s Marina – California Firefighter Olympics
June 29: Don Pedro – Poe Man’s, Nacimiento – 101 Bass Night
June 30: Delta/Big Break Marina – Dan’s Delta Outdoors, Delta/Ladd’s Marina – Stanislaus County Employees
q = quarter moon > = peak activity