Lake Don Pedro
Manny Basi of the Bait Barn in Waterford reported a solid bass bite with 5-inch Senkos in cinnamon/purple/black flake (color 221) or the half-ounce Berserk Purple Hornet jigs with a Yamamoto twin-tail cinnamon/purple/black flake trailer. There is a top-water bite early with the River2Sea Whopper Plopper in white or rainbow trout. Live minnows remain effective from the bank. Kokanee remained scattered throughout the lake, and they are seeking structure in an earlier-than-normal transition to spawning mode. Rainbow trout provide the most action, but trollers will have to cover as much water as possible to find the schools. There is a new 5-mph speed limit from the ramp at Blue Oaks Recreation Area to the Buoy Line at the mouth of Fleming Bay. Call: Monte Smith, (209) 581-4734; Danny Layne – Fish’n Dan, (209) 586-2383; Gary Vella, (209) 652-7550; Bait Barn, (209) 874-3011.
Jay Graham of the Fresno Bass Club said members were “pleasantly surprised by the bass action” during its two-limit night tournament last weekend. The top four placers all landed 6-pounders. In all, six bass over 6 pounds were weighed in. Texas-rigged or drop-shot plastics were the top technique, and Graham used a 4-inch ProWorm paddle tail on the drop shot for his limits. There were a few “blow-ups” on top-water lures with an occasional keeper landed on spinner baits. Diana Mello reported live crawdads have been effective for bass near the dam and up the river arm while kayak anglers found catfish using live minnows. The lake dropped to 692.54 feet in elevation. A-1 and the Bait Barn are stocked with all sizes of minnows due to high demand. Call: A-1 Bait, (209) 563-6505; Bub Tosh, (209) 404-0053.
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Victoria Sturdivant of McSwain Marina reported a 1,000-pound plant from the Calaveras Trout Farm on Friday bolstered action following a similar plant on July 2. Action has been fair from the banks, and float tubers are finding solid fishing with garlic Power Eggs. The hot temperatures have limited fishing to the early morning or evening hours near the marina, the Handicapped Docks and the Brush Pile. Trollers are finding the best action near the Chimney with F-7 Rapalas or Wedding Rings tipped with corn yellow Power Bait. Call: McSwain Marina, (209) 378-2534.
Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River
Recreational boating pressure is high during the week and higher on weekends. There is a small window for top-water action, but with the gates opening at 6 a.m. the bite is generally over before anglers can get on the water. Working the bottom with shad-patterned plastics on the drop shot or dart head at 15-30 feet during the daytime remained the top technique. Striper reports have been nil. A few catfish in the 2- to 3-pound range can be found at the mouth of Finegold with anchovies. All boats must fill out a Quagga mussel self-inspection form before launching. In the lower San Joaquin, Merritt Gilbert said bass fishing is tough in the Milburn Pond, but there is plenty of water in the lower river that’s accessible. There are new regulations on the lower San Joaquin and from Friant Dam downstream to the Highway 140 bridge: Only two hatchery trout or hatchery steelhead are allowed with a total of four hatchery trout or hatchery steelhead in possession. The hatchery fish have a healed adipose fin clip. All wild steelhead or trout with an adipose fin present must be released immediately. The San Joaquin River is closed to the take of salmon, and they must be released immediately if inadvertently caught. Call: Fresno Fisherman’s Warehouse, (559) 225-1838; Valley Rod & Gun, (559) 292-3474.
Chris Arcoleo of Chris’ Landing in Monterey reported exceedingly slow salmon fishing. Rockfishing remained outstanding. Call: Chris’ Landing, (831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine, (831) 475-2173; www.usafishing.com.
New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch
The 10.48-pound spotted bass landed by Keith Bryan of Powell Rods on Feb. 22 was certified last week as the new world record. At the present time, the bass action is only fair with the fish in a summertime pattern of moving into the shallows in the mornings and evenings before heading into deeper water during the daytime. There is a small window for top-water action. After the sun rises, John Lietchy of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp said dragging a Carolina rig near deep water or shaking a Texas rig near wood are effective. Kokanee action slowed, with Lietchy advising trollers to stay in the area once you locate a school. The average size is 11 to 13 inches with a few 14 to 16. The fish are schooling in the deep water off of Glory Hole Point, near the dam, spillway and off of Rose Island. Trout fishing remains slow with night fishing the best and live minnows, minijigs, Power Bait or night crawlers working under lights. Trollers should target deep water in the main lake as the fish are feeding on the 2- to 4-inch shad. Shad Raps, Scatter Raps, RatLTraps or jointed Shad Raps are working. Catfishing continues to be very good in the shallows with live minnows, frozen shad, mackerel or anchovies on a sliding sinker rig with a bead to create a clicking noise. Crappie fishing remains slow with the best action at night under submersible lights. New Melones dropped to 891.27 feet in elevation and 28 percent capacity. The Tuttletown Launch Ramp is closed while the Glory Hole Point launch ramp remains open with no plans to close it. 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/O’Neill Forebay
Chris Chung of Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill reported the best action for numbers of stripers is in the Forebay with anchovies, jumbo blood worms, pile worms or large minnows from the banks near Check 12 in the moving water. Catfishing is also solid near Check 12 with anchovies, night crawlers, chicken livers or mackerel. Boaters are tossing lipless crankbaits, jerk baits and swimbaits in shad patterns near coves. In the main lake, the action is slower but the opportunity to land a larger striped bass is possible. Similar to the Forebay, pile worms, jumbo blood worms and live minnows are working from the banks while boaters are drifting large minnows or casting shad-patterned lures. Extra-large and jumbo minnows remained nearly impossible to find in bait shops. The lake dropped to 27 percent capacity. Call: Coyote Bait and Tackle, (408) 463-0711; Roger George of Roger’s Guide Service, (559) 905-2954.
The river salmon opener during the middle of the week is the top news in the Delta. Sturgeon fishing remained slow, although there was a report of a 73-incher. For largemouth bass, the persistent winds continued to be to the benefit of the crankbait bite, and Randy Pringle reported excellent action with the ima Square Bill crankbait in either crawdad or bluegill patterns. Brandon Gallegos of H and R Bait in Stockton reported striper fishing has slowed. Call: Randy Pringle, (209) 543-6260; Captain Stan Koenigsberger – Quetzal Adventures, (925) 570-5303; Mark Wilson Sport Fishing, (916) 682-1630; Intimidator Sport Fishing, (916) 806-3030.