Fishing reports for lakes, reservoirs and rivers in Modesto area

Lake Don Pedro

Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing took out Dan Bacher, Managing

Editor of the Fishsniffer Magazine during the week, and the kokanee bite

dropped with minimal action in the morning. They switched over to running

Smith’s heavy custom spoons on a fast troll, and they put in kings to 5.2

pounds and rainbows to 2.8 pounds. Middle Bay, the Graveyard, and

around Big Oak Island remain the top locations. 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. All three launch ramps are open with

the lake at 77% of capacity and 789.45 feet in elevation, dropping one foot

on Monday.

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

The lake is showing signs of life for all species with the return of the

houseboats to the lake. Terry Mello of A-1 Bait in Snelling reported night

fishing under lights is producing crappie, bass, and trout. There is a

topwater bite in the early mornings for bass before working the bottom with

Berserk’s Purple Hornet or Sprayed Grass jigs. Plastics on the drop-shot

are also effective for numbers. Live crawdads and large minnows are

another productive choice for bass. 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 to 58% of

capacity and 793.74 feet in elevation.

Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505;

McSwain Reservoir

The campgrounds were filled for the July 4 th holiday weekend, but fishing

remains slow with a few trout landed before first light with trout dough bait

from the Brush Pile, the Handicapped Docks, or along the peninsula at the

Marina. The last trout plant occurred in May. The temperatures ranging

from 104 to 109 degrees have not been conducive to sitting on the banks

during the daytime.

Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534

New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch

The kokanee action improved this past week, and some of the largest

landlocked kokanee in the state are coming out of New Melones. John

Liechty of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp said, “The kokanee

in New Melones are extremely fat and healthy this year, and we have

measured fish up to 17 inches, weighing close to 2 pounds. We anticipate

seeing some in the 19-inch range by the end of the season. The best

fishing is in the main river channel and in the creek channels leading into

the main body of the lake as the fish have moved down further in the water

column from 30 to 60 feet of water. Hoochies or Super Squids behind a

leader measuring from 8 to 12 inches is working but don’t be afraid to

downsize if the fish do not want a large offering. Teardrop dodgers with

micro hoochies, Plankton, mini kokanee flies or Kokanee Bites will coax

bites from finicky fish. Gold, watermelon, blue and pink are good color

choices for blades while pink, purple and blue have been good color

choices for lures. Garlic and Garlic Bloody Tuna have been two of the most

productive scents.”

Gary Burns of Take It to the Limit Guide Service added, “We had a number

of kokanee from 15 to 17 inches in the box this past week, and New

Melones is showing hope this year with larger fish. One day we put in 2

limits of kokanee weighing a total weight of 16 pounds, 3 ounces. It is not a

fast bite, so it is important to get on the water early and work the middle of

the lake from the dam to the spillway and back. The kokanee are not

schooled up, and the best depth has been from 42 to 52 feet with pink

hoochies, Uncle Larry’s spinners or Wedding Rings in pink behind 6-inch

dodgers in varying colors with the hoochies from 6 to 8 inches behind the

blade and spinners from 8 to 10 inches behind the dodger.”

Trout action remains fair, but the few rainbows landed are loading up with

shad. The shad are in deeper water, and the rainbows can be found around

the shad schools in the main river channel and the intersection of creeks

into the main lake. Night fishing under lights continues to improve in 40 to

80 feet of water with live minnows, Gulp! Minnows, or spoons for a variety

of catfish, bass, crappie or trout.

Bass fishing is fair as the lake continues to drop in elevation and the water

temperatures rise. The fish are in the shallows in the mornings before

heading out into deeper water. Catfishing remains good at depths from

5 to 20 feet along main lake points and sloping muddy banks with sardines,

frozen shad, or anchovies. Crappie action is fair at best with the slabsides

holding in a few selected submerged trees. Small minnows, mini jigs, or

Beetle spins are producing a few slabs.

The lake is releasing water on a daily basis, and the lake dropped 3.5 feet

to 882.94 feet in elevation and 26% 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-



The Sacramento River – Delta has moved into full summertime mode with catfish, smallmouth bass, and panfish taking the top spots for the next month. High winds have been the rule along with very hot temperatures. Striped bass should start moving through the system during the month of August, and generally some of the largest stripers of the year are taken along the West Bank by trollers in August. A few shad are coming from the Freeport area, but most shad fishermen are working the American River around Sunrise and Goethe Park. Catfishing is best for channel cats and mud cats with chicken livers or nightcrawlers in the Sacramento Deep Water Channel or along Eight Mile Road. Do Doung of Dockside Bait in Pittsburg said, “The wind was blowing hard on Sunday after several days of very hot temperatures, and the small stripers are still the rule with limits in the 18- to 22-inch range possible on anchovies, sardines, or frozen shad.” At the Dillon Point State Park, salmon are being thrashed around by sea lions, and the river salmon season will open on July 16 th . A few sturgeon have been taken off of Eckley Pier in Crockett with pile worms as the river has been far too windy to anchor most of the time. The combination of high winds and hot temperatures are limiting factors for anglers in the San Joaquin-Delta, but the largemouth bass bite remains solid. Craig Kamikawa of the Fishermen’s Warehouse in Sacramento reported a solid punch bite with the weed growth growing steadily in the San Joaquin sloughs. Anglers are using either the Double-wide Beaver or Missle’s D Bombs behind a 1 to 1.5-ounce tungsten punch weight. Dan Mathisen of Dan’s Delta Outdoors in Oakley said “The frog and punch bite has been very good, and we have been using the Pro-Z frog along with the California Craw Beaver or the D Bomb with a 1-ounce weight around current. The fish are all under the mats, but you have to have current moving through the area as the bass are in the full summer pattern.” Mathisen hosted a tournament out of Big Break Marina last weekend, and Marc Young and Dave Newton took the top place with a 25.24-lb. limit including a kicker at 7.75 pounds using frogs. The Ultimate Frog Challenge is scheduled for July 30/31 with the Snag Proof Open the following weekend. Brandon Gallegos of H and R Bait in Stockton confirmed the improvement in the striped bass bite with three anglers bringing in limits from 4- to 8-pounds using live bluegill in Whiskey Slough. Call: Randy Pringle (209) 543-6260; Intimidator Sport Fishing (916) 806- 3030; Captain Steve Mitchell – Hook’d Up Sport Fishing (707) 655-6736

San Luis Reservoir and O’Neill Forebay

Hot temperatures and corresponding wind have been the limiting factors on the lake as well as the absence of jumbo minnows until August. Andrew Yeh of Coyote Bait and Tackle in San Jose said, “Trollers are working at depths from 60 to 80 feet in front of the dam for the occasional quality lineside, and P-Line Predator Minnows, broken backed Rapalas, or Lucky Craft Pointers are the top lures.” The lake is rapidly dropping, and it has receded to 17% of capacity, creating a long walk to the shoreline for bank fishermen. Roger George of Roger George Guide Service said that the winds have kept most anglers off the water the past week. “The Rangers told me they have moved the Dinosaur Point ramp down to the 4 th level position-like they did last year at the lowest level. The dropping water levels are already 2 feet lower than last season at 337,000 acre feet -compared to 347,000 acre feet at the lowest pool last year . We are all scratching our heads because its been a great water year and now they’re draining the lake down further than during last years drought!” George said. In the Forebay, small striped bass in the 18- to 22-inch range are possible, but the majority of linesides are undersized. Rat-L- Traps, Speedlures, blood worms, pile worms, or anchovies are picking up stripers near Check 12. Jumbo minnows are scarce in area bait shops, and this will remain until August. Check 12 becomes crowded quickly in the mornings. The reservoir continues to recede, and it is currently at 17% of capacity with heavy water releases on a daily basis. Call: Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711, Roger George of (559) 905-2954

Half Moon Bay

Half Moon Bay’s Huli Cat was rockfishing from Martins Beach to Pigeon Point. Capt Tom Mattusch says, “The schoolies aren’t biting well yet which makes easy limits difficult. The good news is the bottom fish such as vermillion, brownies, coppers and gophers are biting well. The blacks are doing well, the boat usually has to run away from nice quality black rockfish, as anglers are only allowed 5. A few lingcod are showing every trip.” Capt Tom says next year will be interesting in that the limit on black rockfish will probably be cut to 3, however, it looks like nglers will get to keep a canary. The last week showed anglers sloppy weather and difficult conditions. Along the beaches, Rob Chaney of the Rusty Hook in Pacifica reported excellent striped bass action with white/white hair raisers in the mornings before switching to Diawa SP Minnows in the afternoons. Kayakers are scoring off of Rockaway and Linda Mar Beaches with the SP innows, and the stripers range from Ocean Beach in San Francisco south to Pescadero. Call: Happy Hooker (510) 223-5388; Captain Roger Thomas, Salty Lady (415) 760-9362; Emeryville Sport Fishing (510) 654-6040.

Monterey/Santa Cruz

Chris Arcoleo of Chris’s Landing in Monterey said, “We took a group of holiday anglers south to Point Sur on Sunday for limits of rockfish on both the Check Mate and the Caroline. With the crew on board, we decided not to concentrate on the lings, and we didn’t put together any live bait. We ended up with 8 to 10 lings per boat anyway. We have room throughout the coming week with the exception of next Saturday.” Allen Bushnell of Santa Cruz Kayak Fishing Company said, “It’s July. High season for sport fishing on the Monterey Bay. Winds, swells and other weather conditions have made things a bit tough for boat-based anglers on the bay so far this year. The less-than- stellar boat-based fishing is balanced nicely by fantastic surfcasting action, with more stripers being caught up and down the coast than we have ever seen. Capitola Boat and Bait reports multiple hookups of bigger stripers from the wharf, with the best chance for bass around sundown. Jig up small mackerel, and deploy on a Carolina rig or the “Dead Man” rig, with a leader attached via slider to the main line, and a pyramid weight to hold the main line on the bottom. An increasing number of legal lingcod being caught by the skiffs working the local reefs outside of Capitola and up towards Pleasure Point. Halibut are also coming on the bite in Capitola in 50-70 feet of water, and by the Mile Buoy, according to Todd Fraser at Bayside Marine. Fraser also has good news on the king salmon front, “The salmon are still around in 220 feet of water near Pajaro and up by Natural Bridges. The wind has settled and the marine layer is staying around in the morning. The swell has dropped and the fishing is bound to improve!” Bottom fishing near Santa Cruz remains steady as well. Santa Cruz Port District successfully launched our new dredge Twin Lakes on Thursday. The new dredge is about the same size as the old one, but being new and capable of higher engine RPM’s, should prove to be more efficient in keeping the harbor channel clear during winter months. Further information, including plans for an “Official Christening” of the Twin Lakes, is available on the Santa Cruz Small Craft Harbor website.” Call: Chris’ Landing (831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173.

San Francisco Bay

Salmon fishing was solid on Sunday along the Marin coast with the three Sausalito boats returning with over a fish per rod with 52 salmon to 23 pounds for a combined 48 anglers. Out of Emeryville Sport Fishing, the New Seeker and New Salmon Queen combined for a fish per rod on salmon on Sunday with 21 to 24 for 21 fishermen. On Friday, Second Captain Jerad Davis on the Salty Lady trolled off of Duxbury for 15 salmon to 25 pounds for 9 anglers on Friday with more than a few lost opportunities for full boat limits. The Salty Lady will be running open load salmon trips throughout the week. For rockfish, the New Huck Finn, Tigerfish, Sea Wolf, and Superfish out of Emeryville Sport Fishing combined for 96 limits of rockfish and 73 ling cod to 19 pounds. Inside the bay, Captain Jim Smith of the Happy Hooker stayed in the bay for most of the day on Sunday for a count of mid-20’s on the striped bass only with 3 halibut. He also made a run outside for three quality rockfish per angler along with a single ling cod. He said, “It was rough outside, but we landed all big black and Bolinas rockfish.” Shark fishing in the south bay remains outstanding with Captain Jay Lopes of Right Hook Sport Fishing putting his clients onto as many shark as they wanted on Sunday.