Lake Don Pedro
King salmon and rainbow action has slowed considerably for some reason, with Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing working Middle Bay, Blue Oaks and Fleming Bay for two quality rainbows on a recent scouting trip. He will be looking up the Moccasin Arm in search of the rainbows holding in the cold water break, as September and October are generally the top months for king salmon and rainbows. Danny Layne of Fish’n Dan’s Guide went out with Mark Enea of Concord, and they went up the river arm out of Moccasin Recreation Area looking for the cold water and the opportunity to boat a few king salmon. He said, “A few hundred yards before Rough and Ready Island, the fish finder came alive, marking numerous fish at depths from 50-60 feet. After dropping down to this level, we hooked up on a hard-charging king at 5 pounds. Uncle Larry’s Glow Hoochies and rolled shad continue to produce numerous hookups throughout the morning in the canyon.” For bass, there is a small window for topwater lures before working the bottom with Pro Worms 124 or jigs at 20-40 feet in depth. The lake fell to 777.72 feet in elevation and 71 percent 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.
Mike Gomez of the Bait Barn in Waterford reported, “Numbers of bass can be taken on plastics such as Pro Worm’s 124 on the drop-shot or Berserk’s Purple Hornet jigs at depths from 20-40 feet. There is an early morning topwater bite with the River2Sea Rover.” The lake fell to 770.84 feet and 48 percent capacity. Call: A-1 Bait, 209-563-6505; Bub Tosh, 209-404-0053.
After months of extremely slow trout fishing, conditions are changing with Fish and Wildlife releasing about 10,000 pounds of catchable-sized rainbows into McSwain and into the Merced River downstream of the reservoir. Call: McSwain Marina, 209-378-2534.
New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch
Kokanee action isn’t furious, but the largest fish in the state continue to come out of New Melones. Gary Burns of Take it to the Limit Guide Service said, “We landed our biggest kokanee in our boat so far this year at 19 inches, but it’s not a fast bite, and you have to put time on the water to land some of these beautiful kokanee. I am starting to see changes in some of the kokes as they are getting ready to spawn, so it is time to get on the water and fish. Spinners, hoochies and Apex lures in pink or pink/blue are effective at depths from 80-95 feet in the main lake just south of the dam to the north side of Rose Island, and it is important to stay in the deeper water, as the submerged trees will grab your gear.” John Liechty of Glory Hole Sports added, “The average kokanee is 16 inches, and with the water dropping, the kokanee are moving into deeper water. Trolling at depths from 80-100 feet with large dodgers or Sling Blades in front of a Apex or wiggle hoochie on a small leader to get the most action from the lure.” Ken Hopper landed kokanee from 15-18 inches running pink hoochies behind a silver Vance’s Dodger or an orange micro-hoochie behind a watermelon Simon Wobbler at depths from 70-90 feet in 230 feet of water between Rose Island and the dam. The crappie bite has come on in the day and at night under a submersible light. The lake fell to 872.29 feet in elevation and 24 percent capacity. 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.
Salmon action remained slow off Benicia, but better tides occur this week. More salmon are anticipated from shore. Tony Lopez of Benicia Bait said, “We have been extremely busy with four boxes of blood worms and 10 boxes of pile worms sold over the weekend as striper fishing has improved. Sturgeon are also starting to be caught in the area.” Johnny Tran of New Romeo’s Bait in Freeport said, “The best salmon fishing is upriver from the bridge, but more and more salmon are coming into the shop on a daily basis from those throwing Flying C’s from the shorelines. Jigging has been the most consistent technique. Striped bass are showing up in Liberty Island and at the mouth of Miner Slough, and live mudsuckers are finding the larger fish.” Steve Santucci of Steve Santucci’s Fly Fishing Guide Service reported, “Delta water temps are from 71-76 degrees, depending on location. Smallmouth and largemouth are the best game in town. Striper action is starting off slow but should get better as we approach the end of August.” The Snag Proof Open out of Russo’s Marina featured 216 teams, and just like last weekend, the team of Harvey Pulliam and Jamond Andrews led after Day 1 with a 13.02-pound limit buoyed by an 8.65-pound kicker. Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, is the tournament director for the Snag Proof frog tournament, and he has been finding great action in the east Delta with a variety of lures, stating, “Right now, you can catch a fish on anything!” Pringle has been experimenting with the new ima Popper and the suspending Rock N’ Vibe that were introduced at the recent ICAST show. He added, “With the warm water, the key is to work current which cools the water, and if the weeds are moving, you will be catching fish.” Call: Randy Pringle, 209-543-6260; Captain Stan Koenigsberger – Quetzal Adventures, 925-570-5303; Intimidator Sport Fishing, 916-806-3030.
San Luis Reservoir and O’Neill Forebay
O’Neill Forebay has been the top spot for numbers of striped bass. Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill reported that low water in the forebay is allowing fishermen to access areas previously unattainable. Live grass shrimp continues to be the top bait for shore fishermen in the main lake, and fishermen are catching their own shrimp with cast nets before tossing it into deep water. The main San Luis Reservoir held at 10 percent, but at the level driving a vehicle to the shoreline is problematic. Roger George of Roger George Guide Service said there is a blue-green algae toxin health warning at the big lake. “They are warning anglers not to eat any stripers out of the big lake and that you should not touch the algae due to the toxins in it after they tested the waters off of Dinosaur a week ago. Children are particularly at risk. The forebay levels of toxins are lower and below the danger action trigger level, but warnings are still out to avoid eating forebay stripers.” George said they tried to fish Sunday, but the wind kept the big lake closed most of the day. Call: Coyote Bait and Tackle, 408-463-0711, Roger George of rogergeorgeguideservice.com, 559-905-2954.