Compiled by Dave Hurley and usually 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. This week, Roger is on his first fishing trip to Alaska. Telephone numbers are in 559 calling area unless noted.
Delta Mendota Canal and Sloughs
Striper 1 Catfish 1
Striper fishing remains slow in both the north and south sections of the California Aqueduct as the water flow has been down. A current is necessary to stack up the bait against the headgates, and without the high flows, the baitfish are scattered. In the south aqueduct in Kern County, Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield said, “Our June Striper Derby out of the shop has begun, and we already have a leader at 4.3 pounds out of Pyramid Lake. A much bigger lineside should be weighed in by the end of the month, but the aqueduct has been much slower due to the accumulation of moss. Sardines, blood worms, and lug worms are working for stripers while catfish are found on cut baits or stink baits.
Lake Don Pedro
Bass 3 Trout 2 Kokanee 0 King salmon 1 Crappie 2
The largemouth action at night at Don Pedro heated up with the triple-digit temperatures while the spotted bass continue to please fishermen at Lake McClure.
The Modesto Ambassadors held their 46th annual Night Classic on Saturday night, and the proceeds for this annual event are used for a special fishing day for disabled youth. Jeff Huth volunteered as the emcee for the weigh in, and he said, “30.94 pounds won the event, and the winning team had a big fish at 8.40 pounds. This is a really good event, and I look forward to the opportunity to help out since as bass fishermen, we all have to pay it forward for others. Every team had put together limits, and the few boats that didn’t weigh in dumped their limits since they were in the 12- to 13-pound range.”
Trout fishing remains good for mostly a small grade of rainbows with various techniques for trollers including shad-patterned spoons, cut plugs, or Wedding Rings tipped with a nightcrawler at depths to 40 feet. The lake held at 94 percent.
Bass 3 Trout 0 King salmon 0 Kokanee 0 Crappie 3 Catfish 2
At McClure, Greg Sweeney of the Sportsman’s Warehouse in Fresno said, “The spotted bass bite is on fire as my hunting manager went to the lake one afternoon this week, and they caught and released 125 spots with a variety of lures. He met pro bass fisherman, Ish Monroe, at the launch ramp, and Ish gave him a number of lures that are working including River2Sea Whopper Ploppers. Once he started using the reaction baits, he found a better grade of spots. They slept in the boat overnight and resumed pounding the fish with another 100 spots the following day.” Nine boats from the Kerman Bass Club fished a tournament on Sunday, and 8 teams weighed in limits with the 40 fish weighing a total of 90.53 pounds for a 2.26-pound average. The lake held at 92 percent.
The lake is planted on a biweekly basis, and shore anglers are scoring with Power Bait or nightcrawlers from the normal locations of the Handicapped Docks, Brush Pile, or peninsula near the marina. Kastmasters in silver or gold are also working from the shore. Trollers are pulling Wedding Rings tipped with a piece of nightcrawler behind a dodger. Live minnows are also working, but the action is best within a few days of the plants.
Call: McSwain Marina 209-378-2534
New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch
Bass 3 Crappie 3 Catfish 2 Trout 2 Kokanee 1
Although they are few in number, trophy rainbows continue to be the story at New Melones. Trollers are working hard for the chance at a single big fish, and on most trips with experienced guides, their clients are rewarded with a trophy fish.
Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing said, “We were trolling Apex lures at 25 to 30 feet, and we kept hooking crappie in open water. When we went deeper from 35 to 50 feet with rolled shad, we landed rainbows to 5.5 pounds. We are finding big rainbows, but it is a concern that there aren’t any smaller rainbows in the lake. The net pens from Kokanee Power were released in April, and there does not seem to be any of the smaller grade of rainbows around.”
Jason Meeuwse of Sierra Sport Fishing took out father and son, Larry and Mike Moorman, this week, and he said, “The big trout didn't want to play too much as they did the prior week, but while we battled the wind for the first few hours, we landed a rainbow that weighed almost 4 pounds along with a few smaller fish. After the wind calmed, we had a few hookups and landed a beautiful 7-lb. rainbow. After that the bite slowed, but we were able to put another fish in the boat that was smaller. Everything was taken either rolling shad and trolling Bikini Needlefish at 30to 40 feet deep.”
The crappie have moved out into deeper water, and Nikos Vellios landed a 2.73-pound slab on an artificial lure.
The bass are repositioning themselves daily with the dropping water, and starting the morning with topwater lures before working the subsurface with reaction baits are finding quality spots and largemouth bass.
The lake dropped from 82 to 81 percent.
San Luis Reservoir and O’Neill Forebay
Striper 2 Catfish 2 Bass 2 Crappie 1
The overall striped bass fishing has slowed considerably with fewer and fewer trollers targeting the lake. The best action is from the banks in the early mornings or evenings with pile worms, blood worms, or anchovies. A few boats are drifting live minnows for schoolie stripers. Jesus Reyes Silva of How to Fish said, “We have been finding a number of keeper stripers from 20 to 24 inches working the shallows from the banks to 20 feet with topwater lures or swimbaits that match the shad. The stripers are chasing shad in the 1- to 1.5-inch range into the shallows. The American shad are also cruising the shorelines at night, and some big stripers are following them. The Lucky Craft SP Minnow in 127 or 128 are working for the large linesides. After sunset, anchovies or minnows are working from the banks for keeper stripers near the Romero Launch Ramp.” The lake dropped from 77 to 74 percent with increased water releases. Small stripers remain the story at the forebay with most anglers going out early in the mornings or late in the evenings. Anchovies, blood worms, or pile worms are working best under the Highway 152 Bridge or at Check 12. Largemouth bass are taken on jerkbaits, squarebill crankbaits, or dragging curly-tailed worms in the grass.
Bass 3 Striper 2 Sturgeon 2 Catfish 2 Bluegill 2 Salmon 0
The summertime blues have arrived in the Sacramento-Delta, and fishing action has slowed down with the exception of a few small striped bass from the banks and the occasional American shad near Freeport. The triple-digit temperatures have signaled the start of the summer period where fishing action on the Delta is dominated by the warmer waters of the San Joaquin side. Sturgeon fishing remains solid for the few anglers working Suisun Bay with salmon roe, but most fishermen leave the area for the lure of bay fishing during the summer months.
New Romeo’s Bait in Freeport reported the best shad fishing is taking place upriver at Miller Park or in the American River, but shad fishing is Freeport has slowed. Striped bass continue to be a possibility with blood worms, pile worms, or sardines coated with garlic spray, but the majority of the linesides are schoolies at best. Smallmouth bass is starting to heat up in the sloughs with small crankbaits, but the smallies are miniscule.
Clyde Wands, shallow trolling expert, will start targeting both stripers or smallies in the north Delta in the coming weeks.
Tony Lopez of Benicia Bait and Tackle reported small stripers on grass shrimp have been the story. He said, “We have plenty of grass shrimp in the shop.”
Captain Zach Medinas of Gatecrasher Fishing Adventures will be wrapping up his catch-and-release sturgeon trips this weekend to head for the bay for halibut and striped bass, but deckhand extraordinaire, Virginia Salvador of Accurate Reels, went out on a crew trip this Tuesday upriver to Pittsburg for 5 slot-limit sturgeon and a shaker on Medinas’s custom salmon roe.
Medinas recently took out 10-year-old Mason on a sturgeon trip to help raise funds for Mason’s medical care due to his battle with brain cancer. He said, “The company was fantastic and the fishing was incredible with everyone on board catching multiple sturgeon.”
Deckhand Virginia Salvador of Gatecrashers went out on a crew trip during the week before she left for Cabo San Lucas, and she released 5 legal sturgeon and two undersized diamondbacks on salmon roe near Pittsburg.
In the San Joaquin Delta, the wind was the story early in the week, but the weekend brought triple-digit temperatures to the Delta with a minimum of wind. Largemouth bass action is taking center stage, but there are still striped bass in the system, moving continuously. Bluegill are thick in the shallows in the south Delta.
Dan Mathisen of Dan’s Delta Outdoors in Oakley reported excellent striped bass action with linesides to 12 pounds on Optimum’s Bad Bubba Shad swimbaits west of Sherman Island. He said, “One of our anglers caught and released 35 stripers with a number in the 20- to 22-inch range. The linesides are moving continually, and they can be found on the San Joaquin side of Sherman Island and along the Eddo’s Boat Harbor shoreline. Glide baits or topwater lures are working in the early mornings for the stripers. During our Dan’s Delta Outdoors Team Tournament on Saturday, there were limits over 20 pounds in the top three spots. Second-place finisher Mike Birch caught 40 fish punching Strike King’s Space Monkey on a 1- to 1.5-ounce weight as well as flipping. Most of our fishermen tossed topwater baits in the mornings, and the buzzbait bite has been excellent especially on the morning’s high tide. Chatterbaits in greenpumpkin with a chartreuse line along with topwater frogs are very good options as the bass are feeding on baitfish more than crawdads right now. The shad are going to the banks to spawn, and the Popper bite will be taking off.”
Alan Fong of the Fishermen’s Warehouse in Sacramento took Jason Kincannon out this week to toss his custom glidebaits for largemouth bass, and they hooked three quality bass before releasing them. Fong said, “Whopper Ploppers or frogs are also good options, and the water is in excellent shape.”
Wednesday evening is the night for several excellent striper anglers that hold a weekly Turkey Shoot out of Ladd’s Marina, and a 21.4-pound limit took first place this week.
Captain Stan Koenigberger of Quetzal Adventures has been running half-day trips for striped bass on the anchor in the San Joaquin River, and they are picking up a few keepesr out of a number of shakers using frozen shad on the outgoing tide.
Clyde Wands, shallow trolling expert, said, “I will be taking one more trolling venture into the San Joaquin before switching over to combination trips in the north Delta for smallmouth and stripers, and our trip this week was pretty slow with a total of 4 keepers to 22 inches released. He said, “There are still fish out there, but you have to work for them.”
Luther Thompson of H and R Bait in Stockton said, “It has been pretty slow around here with the heat, but most of our fishermen are targeting bluegill in Whiskey Slough or Bacon Island with wax worms or red worms. Limits of bluegill and red ear perch are the rule, but striped bass fishing has been slow this week.”
Dan’s Delta Outdoors Team Tournament: June 2 at Delta/Big Break Marina – 1, Mike Andrews/Phil Dutra, 21.70 pounds (Big Fish 9.11); 2, Mike and Lori Birch, 20.57; 3, Harvey Pulliam/Jamond Andrews, 19.25.
Modesto AmBASSador’s 46th annual Night Tournament: June 2-3 at Don Pedro – 1, Roland/Ghiorso, 30.96; 2, Barton/Sexton, 23.08 (Big Fish 9.10); 3, Muitoso/Sousa, 20.58.
Kerman Bass Club: June 2 at McClure – 1, Mitch and Chris Melikian, 13.91; 2, Justin Eslick/Anthony Pimentel, 12.57 (Big Fish 5.19); 3, Walt Lee/David McEwen, 12.53.
Cen Cal Elite Bass Club: June 2 at Eastman – 1, Gary Wasson/Joe Baeza, 20.18; 2, Duke Homan/Don Javaux, 18.27 (Big Fish 7.32); 3, Jeff Beutler/Kevin Woodside, 18.05.
101 Bass: June 2 at Lopez – 1, Patrick Touey/Austin Bounjour, 18.75 (Big Fish 6.20); 2, Brad Sheppard/Clark Endres, 18.25; 3, Roger Haas/Randy Wilber, 17.70.
Fresno Bass Club: June 3 at Delta/B and W Resort – 1, Nick Beck, 12.82 (Big Fish 3.88); 2, Roger Lockhart, 12.56; 3, Scott Smith, 11.94.
June 8: Don Pedro – Poe Man’s
June 9-10: Delta/Ladd’s Marina – Angler’s Press
June 9: Delta/B and W Resort – Manteca Bassin’ Buddies, Delta/Russo’s Marina – Wild West Bass Trails, Delta/Ladd’s Marina – Merced Bass Club/Gold Country Junior Bass Club, Pardee – Central Valley Anglers Kokanee Team Tournament, New Melones – Yak-A-Bass, Don Pedro – Sonora Bass Anglers/Mid Valley Bass Club, Kaweah – Kings River Bass Club, Shaver Lake – USFS -EEUC Employees, Isabella – Lake Isabella Bass Club, Nacimiento – Best Bass Tournaments, Lopez – Bakersfield Bass Club
June 10: Don Pedro – Modesto Ambassadors, Eastman – Kings VIII Bass Club, Kaweah – Cen Cal Bass Youth
June 15: Don Pedro – Poe Man’s
June 16: Delta/Russo’s Marina – Best Bass Tournaments, Hensley – Central Valley Kayak Fishing, Pine Flat – Cen Cal Elite Bass Tournaments, Isabella – American Bass Association, Lopez – Kern County Bass Masters, Santa Margarita – San Luis Obispo Bass Ambushers
June 17: Millerton – Bass 101, Success – Porterville Bass Club
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