Fishing Report

Fishing report for week of June 26-July 2: Millerton and Pine Flat producing bass action

Brian Avila shows off a 7 1/2-pounder caught at Lake Success.
Brian Avila shows off a 7 1/2-pounder caught at Lake Success. Special to The Bee

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.

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Best bets

Delta bass and sturgeon hitting, Vince Borges said. New Melones bass and kokanee bites good, Monte Smith reported. Millerton and Pine Flat producing bass action, Steve Newman said. McClure bass bite rebounds, Ryan Cook reported. Shaver kokanee limits the rule, Dick Nichols said. San Francisco halibut, salmon and striper bites “like the old days,” Keith Fraser reported.


1-Try dynamite

2-Have to work hard

3-Limits possible

4-Fish jumpin’ in boat


Delta Mendota Canal and Sloughs

Striper 3 Catfish 2

Water releases out of San Luis Reservoir continue to push through the California Aqueduct, and most anglers are heading for the shoreline at the big lake with the heat wave striking the Central Valley. The best action remains in the clearer, moving water south of Highway 152 with anchovies, sardines, or blood worms along with hard jerkbaits like Duo Realis 120s.

In the southern section of the aqueduct in Kern County, catfish are coming on chicken livers, nightcrawlers, or large minnows. The annual June Striped Bass Tournament is almost complete, and a large striper over 17 pounds is the current leader. Entry fee is $1, and the leader at the end of the month will collect all of the entry fees along with the contribution from Bob’s Bait. Anchovies, sardines, blood worms, or jerkbaits such as Lucky Craft 128s along with tube baits are all working as jumbo minnows have been non-existent.

Call: Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis 292-3474; Bob’s Bait Bucket 661-833-8657

Eastman Lake

Bass 3 Trout 2 Bluegill 2 Catfish 2 Crappie 2

Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “The lake is starting to perk up for largemouth bass, but the bite is not as good as it was last year. Working the deep humps with large presentations on the bottom such as 10-inch Power Worms or creature baits on a Texas- or Tokyo-rig dragged slowly over dropoffs or isolated humps at 15 to 20 feet. Once you find active bass with your electronics, they will eat, but you have to stay on top of them and keep working. A grub is another possibility, but a slow presentation is necessary as the fish want a slow fall with subtle movement.” The big fish in last week’s Sierra Bass Club tournament was 4.99 pounds by Amy Avedikian. The crappie bite remains slow with most slab anglers heading for nearby Hensley. The lake is releasing water, and it dropped from 88% to 85%.

Call: Eastman Lake 689-3255

Hensley Lake

Bass 3 Trout 2 Catfish 2 Bluegill 2 Crappie 2

Steve Newman said, “The bass bite is actually better right now than at Eastman with frogs working in the upper river along with big plastics such as creature baits, 10-inch Power Worms, or large jigs on a slow fall over isolated humps, drop offs, ledges, and rockpiles , but contact with the bottom and a slow and subtle presentation is essential.” A small grade of crappie are found around the brush and submerged cockleburs. Catfish to 4 pounds are taken from the banks with cut baits or chicken livers. Some anglers are finding quality largemouth bass with swimbaits or topwater lures with numbers taken on jigs or Senkos. The lake dropped slightly to 72%.

Call: Valley Rod Gun, Clovis 292-3474; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Hensley Lake Hidden Dam 673-5151

Lake Don Pedro

Bass 2 Trout 2 Kokanee 2 King salmon 1 Crappie 2

Ryan Cook of Ryan Cook’s Fishing said, “The bite hasn’t been good for larger fish, but my cousin, Jared Cook of Fresno, landed a 8.25-pound largemouth last week on a topwater lure. The topwater bite is better than at McClure as well as the shallow reaction bite. Jigs have been particularly effective at all of the Mother Lode lakes right now, and I am using the G-Money Jigs out of Fresno.”

Don Pedro has risen to 97%, and there is a fast current in the river arm of the lake.

Call: Monte Smith, Gold Country Sport Fishing 209-581-4734; Ryan Cook’s Fishing 691-7008

Lake Isabella/Bakersfield area

Bass 2 Trout 2 Crappie 3 Catfish 2 Bluegill 2

At Isabella, trout are still a possibility for trollers or bank fishermen with access to cold water. Catfish are coming on chicken livers, frozen shad, large minnows, or nightcrawlers with continued good action for crappie in the South Fork with minijigs or live minnows. Largemouth bass are taken from the shoreline with Senkos, creature baits, deep-diving crankbaits, and plastics on the drop-shot. The lake is rising, and it came up from 57% to 60%. The upper and lower rivers are still high and difficult and dangerous to fish. Chuck Stokke of the Sequoia Fishing Company said, “The upper Kern River is still very high, and we will start our trips through the Golden West Pack Station on July 4th in the Golden Trout Wilderness.”

Call: Bob’s Bait Bucket 661-833-8657; North Fork Marina 760-376-1812; Golden Trout Pack Station 542-2816

Lake Kaweah

Bass 2 Crappie 2 Trout 2 Catfish 2

The recreational boating season is full-on. The lake is rising once again, and it came up to 97% this week, but heavy water releases will begin soon. There were small limits less than 10 pounds during the Cen Cal Elite Junior Bass Tournament on Sunday where an adult is paired with a youth angler. Topwater lures, Senkos or jigs are the best offerings.

Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212

Lake Success

Bass 2 Trout 2 Catfish 2 Crappie 2 Bluegill 2

Bass fishing remains either hot or cold, but fishermen who are scoring are bringing in quality bass. Senkos, frogs, creature baits, and topwater lures are also effective. The Tule River remains closed due to snowmelt. Success has over capacity at 112%.

Call: Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626,

McClure Reservoir

Bass 3 Trout 2 King salmon 0 Kokanee 0 Crappie 2 Catfish 2

After a slowdown last week with the absence of topwater action, Lake McClure is back on the beam for both largemouth and spotted bass.

Ryan Cook of Ryan Cook’s Fishing said, “The lake is coming up fast, and the bass are staging in the shallows in the mornings. You can catch an 8-pound bass in 2 feet or 50 feet of water right now. The better fish are suspended, but they are moving higher in the water column with the inflow of water. There is a jig bite in all of the Mother Lode lakes right now, and I have been scoring with the G-Money jigs out of Fresno along with a Fatty Worm underspin with a 3.8-inch Strike King Rage Swimmer. For topwater, I have been throwing the River2Sea Rover or the Reaction Innovation’s Vixen, and the topwater bite has been back on as well as a slow-rolled spinnerbait.”

Steve Marquette of the Lake McClure/McSwain Recreation Company had a similar report of excellent bas action, and he said, “You can pretty much throw anything out there for a limit of bass, and 95% of our anglers are releasing their fish. There are catfish found near the houseboats at Piney Creek, but the crappie are scattered in the high water. You have to search around different submerged trees or brush to find them.”

The lake came up from 92% to 96%.

Call: Ryan Cook’s Fishing 691-7008

McSwain Reservoir

Trout 3

Steve Marquette of the Lake McClure/McSwain Recreation Company reported a trout plant from the Calaveras Trout Farm boosted action from the banks around the new cabins or the Brush Pile with inflated nightcrawlers, silver/blue Kastmasters, or various colors of trout dough bait. Kayakers have been drifting dough bait near the Brush Pile while trollers are pulling Wedding Rings tipped with a piece of nightcrawler behind a dodger upriver. The lake is expected to remain at flood stage for the next few months.

Call: McSwain Marina 209-378-2534

Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River

Bass 3 Striped bass 1 Shad 2 Bluegill 2 Crappie 2

Millerton remains a go-to reservoir for Fresno-area bass fishermen despite an increase in recreational boating. High water levels over the past few years have contributed to an improved spawn for largemouth bass, and it has been commonplace to pick up largemouths in the 2- to 3-pound range.

Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said,” There was a legitimate double-digit largemouth bass landed in the main lake on a walking bait in the early evening near dusk within the past few weeks, and this is the first largemouth bass over 10 pounds at Millerton in memory. There is a good topwater bite with Poppers or Zara Spooks from 4 p.m. until dark as the walking baits have been effective for the largemouth bass. They will lay around all day long and then start to actively feed when the bait gets moving. During the summertime is a good time to try some new techniques that you may not be familiar with like topwater since the bass are more active. Catching topwater fish in the winter and fall months is more difficult, and with the current high water and temperature level, practicing throwing a topwater lure is ideal.”

Newman added, “Both Jake Figgs and Merritt Gilbert from our shop participated in the Bass 101 Father’s Day Open tournament, and they came in with around 7.5 to 8 pounds as over 12 pounds won the event. Figgs was throwing Strike Kings XD5s or 6s, and he found better action on the silent rather than the knocking ones while Gilbert was using his custom-poured plastics. Banging around in the rocks is the key, and crankbaits and jerkbaits are also working around the isolated vertical walls. A lot of bait has moved into the river arm, and there are big balls of shad above Temperance. No striped bass have been reported although there were 33 boats out during the Father’s Day tournament, and no one reported a hookup or even a near-miss on a striper.”

Millerton rose from 84% to 91%.

Call: Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474

New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch

Bass 3 Crappie 2 Catfish 2 Trout 2 Kokanee 3

Nearly every local guide along with private boaters are targeting this lake right now. The lake’s water level continues to rise, and boaters need to be aware of floating debris and logs in the main lake.

Joe Aksamit of Joe Fish Guide Service said, “We have been continuing with our streak of limits with Joe Crivello and Roland Mounce of Lodi picking up limits of kokanee and a bonus rainbow running Rocky Mountain Tackle’s pink or orange Plankton Squids or Father Murphy’s Lucky Lady Super Bug tipped with corn scented with Pro-Cure’s BloodyTuna or Kokanee Special behind an RMT Moonshine Dodger or Father Murphy’s Watermelon Dodgers at depths from 40 to 65 feet away from the main flotilla. The fish were biting and we hooked a total of 36 fish to put in limits.”

Jason Meeuwse of Sierra Sport Fishing said, “The kokanee bite has slowed a bit as the fish are going deeper and there is no solid pattern of lures. The fish being taken are of quality size up to 18 inches, and the key is to put in your time and switch up your gear often.”

Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing continues to find limits, but he confirmed the slower bite, saying, “It was a much slower bite for us as we weren’t marking the fish like on Friday, and we really had to change many lures. Friday was another story as we had 11 kokanee by 8 a.m. and four limits just after 11 a.m.”

Kyle Wise of Head Hunter Guide Service said, “We left the ramp at 5:30 a.m. and went way east away from the fleet and found fish on structure for limits by 8:50 while dropping a few here and there working depths from 70 to 80 feet with Paulina Peaks gold Big Eye and MAG Tackle’s Purple Stealth Sling Blade paired with Jpex and Apex lures tipped with garlic corn scented with tuna at 1.4 to 1.6 mph. On Saturday afternoon, Tom Oliviera, owner of MAG Tackle, joined me on a scouting mission, and we ventured away from the fleet and found some fish a little south east of Rose Island and pulled his limit out of them, then this morning we went back out and located them and put two limits in. Purple and green had been the go to color for the weekend.”

For bass, John Liechty of Xperience Guide Service, said, “The lake is filling, and I expect it to fill to capacity at hold at this level for at least a month. The bass are spreading around as some places are on fire while other stretches of banks are devoid of any fish. The daytime action has been ‘hit or miss’ as the bite shuts off for long periods, particularly after the sun hits the water. I guide night trips the three days before and after the full moon, and we put in a 26-pound limit with over 70 bass on our latest night trip. We landed the bass 10 to 12 different ways with glide baits, topwater, swimbaits, plastics on the Texas-rig, swimbaits, ripbaits, underspins, and you name it. These trips are really fun because every hook up feels like a huge fish.”

The lake has risen to 93%.

Call: Glory Hole Sports 209-736-4333; Monte Smith 209-581-4734; John Liechty Xperience Fishing Guide Service 209-743-9932

Pine Flat Reservoir/Kings River

Bass 3 Trout 2 Kokanee 0 King salmon 0 Catfish 2 Crappie 2

Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “The water levels are up, and the banks are loaded with small spotted bass to 20 feet in depth with small walking baits such as Poppers. After the early morning topwater bite, working the bottom with plastics on a shakey head or Senko, either weightless or weighted at depths from 15 to 30 feet. The shad schools are moving around a lot in the river arm, and there is a reaction bite with spinnerbaits or topwater lures, but in the main lake, keeping contact with the bottom is essential as the bass are holding around deep drop offs or irregular boulders on main lake points A large Zoom Trick Worm on a shakey head, jigs, or Senkos are best in the main lake, and you have to keep contact with the bottom. The bass are in post-spawn, and a subtle shake or a drag of the worm is essential as the fish aren’t chasing a violent hop. Trout fishing is best up the river arm above Trimmer Marina as the majority of active shad are in the river. Trollers are picking up a few rainbow trout with Wedding Rings in red or orange tipped with a nightcrawler behind a dodger and drifting salmon eggs or roe in the moving water is another good option. The trout should move into the main lake when the reservoir is lowered, but trolling around the edge of the dam with the water moving through the reservoir is another option. There are food sources of terrestrials such as ants and grasshoppers coming into the river inlets, and the trout are fattening up on the insects. Crappie are also found around Trimmer Marina, and with the moving water, they are staging along the edges, ledges, and in submerged trees. Access to the slabs is much better from a boat right now.”

The lake is high, and there is debris in the river arm along with unmarked hazards close to the edge of the shoreline. Newman advises boaters to be particularly cautious when running the edges due to boulders or logs normally far out of the water now being submerged.

With the snowmelt, the upper Kings River is running high, and with the water releases, the lower Kings is still closed or limited to recreational usage in Tulare and Kings counties.

Pine Flat rose to 89%.

Call: Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474; Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626

San Luis Reservoir and O’Neill Forebay

Striper 2 Catfish 2 Bass 2 Crappie 2

The northwest winds have been problematic for boaters and limited access to the lake. Roger George of Roger’s Guide Service was on the lake twice this past week for a limited period of time due to the winds, and the best score was 12 stripers to 25 inches trolling Lucky Craft 128s in shad patterns at depths from 35 to 70 feet in Portuguese Cove. George advised to launch at Dinosaur Point in windy conditions for safety. The water temperature ranges from 68 to 72 degrees, and a toxic blue-algae warming has already been issued for the main lake. There is a ripbait or topwater bite in the evenings from the banks. Drifting extra-large minnows in the evenings are another option as jumbo minnows are not available, The lake rose from 74% to 75% despite water releases with increased pumping out of the south Delta.

The forebay remains the location for undersized striped bass with various bait presentations near the moving water at Check 12 or 13 as the impoundment is constantly pumping in and out of the Delta and the big lake. Anchovies, sardines, blood worms, or frozen shad near the moving water. The key is finding moving water. Jerkbaits and ripbaits are also effective, and you have to cull through a number of linesides before putting in a limit.

Call: Coyote Bait and Tackle 408-463-0711, Roger George, 905-2954,

High Sierra

Bass Lake

Bass 3 Trout 2 Kokanee 2

Recreational boating is ramping up with the start of summer, but bass fishing remains very good for those working the docks with early in the mornings before the boat traffic arrives. Plastics on the drop-shot or Ned Rig along with Senkos are working, particularly along the front edges of the docks in the deeper water. Spinnebaits or crankbaits in bluegill patterns are also working along the front edges of the docks when the bass move out while jerkbaits are effective in the afternoons over deep rock structure. With the trout plants in the lake, trout patterns along with baby bass and bluegill are the go-to colors. Trout trollers have to get on and off of the lake very early in order to find a few rainbows with spinners or nightcrawlers behind a dodger from the surface to 20 feet. The lake rose from 88 to 91%.

The Sheriff’s Motor Fee is enforced on a year-round basis now. Lake webcams and conditions:

Edison/Florence/Mammoth Pool

Kaiser Pass is open, but there is deep snow along the road banks with low visibility around some corners. Drivers are advised to be very cautious. The lakes continue to rise with Edison at 64%, Florence at 92%, and Mammoth Pool at 103%.

For the latest Sierra National Forest road conditions:

Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000

Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake

Kokanee 3 Trout 2

It’s been early limits of kokanee out of Shaver Lake as the weather has turned favorable with the arrival of summer. In addition to the excellent kokanee action, the Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project released their second and final plant of approximately 900 trophy-sized rainbows this past week along with a plant of catchables from the Department of Fish and Wildlife. SLTTP chairman, Bob Bernier, said, “This plant had some much larger fish in the mix.”

Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters said, “Each and every morning everyone on our boat is limiting with quality kokanee starting this past week with attorney Jan Kahn of Hanford and his family. We limited in a timely manner all week. Even with the surface temperature at 68 degrees, we are finding the kokanee in the top 25 feet of water., and I have been focusing at 22 feet most of the time. The kokanee are fat and nearing 14 inches or just slightly over. On the side poles, we are using Dick’s Koke Busters in orange tipped with crayfish-scented corn behind purple-and-silver Mountain Dodgers. The down riggers have pink or orange Mountain Hoochies or a Kevorkian Apex lure. Dr. Barbara Stewart of Prather picked up an easy limit near the Point with the Kevorkian; she was trolling from 20 to 40 feet down, demonstrating that they are found even deeper. This past Friday, I took a morning and afternoon trip for five limits of kokanee with Josh Turner of Fresno along with his children including Josh Jr., a Marine corporal who will be deployed this week, picking up three of the limits out of 22 hookups.”

Todd Wittwer of Guide Service said, “It’s just too easy right now as everyone has had a phenomenal week of fishing with John Finley landing a 4.5-pound trophy rainbow on a double glow Rocky Mountain Tackle Billfish Squid behind a orange Dick’s Mountain Flasher at 3.5 colors of leadcore. I’ve been working the middle of the lake to Rock Haven Cove at depths from 20 to 40 feet as the fish move throughout the water column during the day. There have been plenty of quadruple hookups along with doubles, and the Sierra Marina is so loaded with fish that I haven’t even made it there as it is too easy right now. Rocky Mountain Tackle’s Signature Squids in pearl white behind a purple/pink Tsunami dodger along with Cotton Candy Squid behind the purple Moonshine dodger continue to work for us.”

Tom Oliviera of Tom Oliviera’s Fishing said, “I took Casey and Logan Peck from Hanford on a trip Saturday. We got two limits of kokanee with the largest being 13.75 inches. The warm water is pushing the fish down a bit in the water column. We caught fish from 12 to 28 feet. The Point to Eagle Point was our best locations with MAG Tackle’s pink Stealth dodger with pink and orange hoochie was the best lure.”

Shaver rose from 81% to 85%.

Sierra Marina launch ramp webcam:

Call: Dick Nichols, Dick’s Fishing Charters at Shaver Lake Sports 281-6948; Todd Wittwer, Guide Service 288-8100; Dinkey Creek Inn 841-3435; Tom Oliveira Fishing 802-8072


Trout 3

Kelly Brewer of Wishon Village RV Park and Store reported snowmelt is pouring into the lake from all three inlets, and the lake is now filled with easy launching for vessels. A recent trout plant has spurred on the troll bite near the dam with Rapalas or blade/’crawler combinations at depths from the surface to 20 feet while shore anglers are sitting near the launch ramp or the far side of the dam with inflated nightcrawlers or trout dough bait. The road to Courtright is now open, and the lake is full. There are no reports of fishing as of yet, but anglers now have access to the lake.

Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361


Half Moon Bay

Salmon 2 Rockfish 3 Striper 2 Crab 3 Surf perch 2

After several days of solid action south of the harbor near the Deep Reef, the salmon bite slowed down as the water turned green. However, a northwest wind is expected at the beginning of this week, and the upwelling should bring the salmon up closer to the surface.

Captain Dennis Baxter of the New Captain Pete had several days of limits to near-limits of a quality grade of salmon before the water turned clear, and he went as far south as Ano Nuevo on Friday, June 21st, in search of brown water. He said, “The salmon are definitely here, but they are too deep at 300 feet for us to access them. The commercial boats are picking away at them, but their scores have dropped from 100 fish per day to less than 50 as they have to pick them up off of the bottom. After finding no salmon action, we switched over to deep-water rockfishing for 15 limits of quality bottom grabbers. Rockfishing remains like the good old days at the Deep Reef. One good sign is there has been a trickle of salmon outside of the Pillar Point entrance buoys, and Captain Smitty on the Riptide has 15 fish in the box as of 9 a.m. on Saturday morning while we have 9 salmon. The Queen of Hearts went north on Friday to search around Mussel Rock and S Buoy, but the jellyfish were too thick to keep the lines down so they came back out to pick up a trickle of fish outside of the entrance buoys. There is a mass of salmon along the San Luis Obispo County coastline, and they will eventually meet up with us.

Baxter will be running salmon trips primarily in the coming weeks out of Half Moon Bay Sport Fishing while Captain Tom Mattusch on the Huli Cat will run salmon, rockfish, and crab trips with the crab trips coming to an end on June 30. Second captain Michael Cabanas has been finding excellent rockfish action south of the harbor near San Gregorio or at the Deep Reef.

Call: Captain Dennis Baxter, New Captain Pete 650-576-3844; Captain Tom Mattusch, Huli Cat 650-619-0459

Monterey/Santa Cruz

Salmon 2 Rockfish 3 Striper 2 Crab 2 Surf perch 2

Chris Arcolleo of Chris’s Fishing Trips in Monterey reported outstanding rockfishing at the local reefs at Cypress Point over the weekend with limits of rockfish and a healthy ling cod count. He said, “We have been annihilating the rockfish, and there have been some quality vermilions. There are anchovies all over the place breezing on the surface, but the salmon remain deep. The commercial boats continue to pick up 40 to 50 fish, but they are too deep for us to reach right now. We have a blow coming in on Tuesday, and the northwest should bring the salmon closer to the surface by changing the water temperature and color. Our rockfish trips down to Point Sur have been outstanding as we are working some new rocks down there.”

Call: Chris’ Landing 831-375-5951; Allen Bushnell, Santa Cruz Kayak and Surf Casting 831-251-9732

San Francisco Bay

Salmon 3 Halibut 3 Striper 3 Leopard shark 2 Sturgeon 2

Captain Trent Slate of Bite Me Charters out of Loch Lomond Marina has had two days of limits with a combined 11 limits of quality salmon near Duxbury Buoy. He said, “We trolled on Saturday for 6 limits, but we started mooching for a few fish and a few take downs on Sunday morning before switching back to trolling. We ended the day with 6 big hogs.”

The big party boats continue to run as far as Point Reyes in order to put together limits, but limits have been the rule.

Inside the bay, the tides for halibut are ideal this week until next weekend as they are a series of small sets. However, the tides haven’t been much of an issue right now as the fish are biting on nearly every tide, minus or not. Captain Steve Mitchell of Hook’d Up Sport Fishing continues to find good action for both halibut and striped bass, and the Happy Hooker, California Dawn, and Pacific Dream are returning with over 100 halibut/bass per trip.

Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle in San Rafael, said, “Boaters are putting in limits of halibut and striped bass on Sunday, and their score was pretty typical of what is going on in our bay I haven’t seen anything like this for 30 years as it is like the good old days. There are only two changes from the ‘Good Ole Days,’ – the bass are smaller, but we have never had halibut like this before. However, we did weigh in a 17-pound striper for the tournament. Anglers found fish in every area they tried after starting out at Red Rock, and they were using Loch Lomond anchovies since this is all we had on Sunday morning. We have been stocking up with all three live baits: anchovies, smelt, and shiners, but the demand has been high. There have been two salmon that I am aware of that have been taken on live anchovies at Paradise and also at California City. There was a sea lion devouring a big salmon in Raccoon Straits. It’s all happening around here now.”

Call: Captain Trent Slate, Bite Me Charters 415-307-8582; Happy Hooker 510-223-5388; Captain Jerad Davis, Salty Lady 415-760-9362; Captain Steve Mitchell, Hook’d Up Sport Fishing 707-655-6736

San Luis Obispo

Rockfish 3 Surf perch 2

Rockfishing continues to be excellent off of the San Luis Obispo County coastline, and limits to near-limits have been the rule with some large ling cod in the mix. The Endeavor out of Morro Bay Landing put in a whopping 52 ling cod on Sunday with Dave Putman of Bakersfield landing the jackpot fish at 26 pounds south of Cape Martin. In addition to the 52 ling, this boat combined with the Avenger to post 265 vermilion rockfish, 45 copper, 10 Boccaccio, and 290 assorted rockfish. The Patriot, Flying Fish, and Phenix took out a combined 67 anglers for rockfish for a total of 125 vermilion, 22 copper, 21 Boccaccio, 362 assorted rockfish, 75 Bolina, and 15 treefish. Out of Virg’s Landing in Morro Bay, the Fiesta was out on Monday with 34 anglers on a ¾-day trip out on Monday for 238 vermilion, 68 copper, and 34 canary rockfish to with 34 petrale sole. All ports are running a variety of trips in the coming weeks for rockfish/ling cod including overnight trips.

Call: Virg’s Landing 800-762-5263; Patriot Sport Fishing 805-595-4100



Bass 3 Striper 2 Sturgeon 3 Catfish 2 Bluegill 2 Shad 2

American shad continue to trickle through the northern portion of the Delta on their way to the upper tributaries of the Feather, Yuba, and American Rivers, but the action around Freeport has slowed as the bulk of the run is over. Striped bass can still be taken on bait, but with the amount of water flowing down the river system from water releases from upstream reservoirs, bait continues to work best for the downstream running linesides. Smallmouth bass are making a showing around the rockpiles in the upper Delta, and with the arrival of warmer water conditions, bluegill and catfish are also making an appearance. Sturgeon fishing continues to be solid in lower Suisun Bay, but most sturgeon anglers have tagged out for the year.

Smallmouth bass are found along the rocky banks with live minnows or plastics on a drop-shot rig along with deep-diving crankbaits or 3-inch Kei Tech’s swimbaits. Sardines coated with garlic spray or pile worms are best for downstream striped bass. Catfish are biting chicken livers, mackerel, or nightcrawlers in the Sacramento Deep Water Channel or the back sloughs, Bluegill are also thick in all of the back sloughs with red worms or jumbo red worms.

Tony Lopez of Benicia Bait said, “There haven’t been that many fishermen out with conditions alternating between the wind and the heat, but small stripers continue to come off of the shorelines near Dillon Point or under the Benicia/Martinez Bridge with grass shrimp or pile worms. A few sturgeon have been reported outside of McAvoy’s Boat Harbor in Bay Point, but there haven’t been many trying.”

Captain Joey Gamez of Golden State Sport Fishing is the only six-pack still booking sturgeon trips in Suisun Bay, and he has found continued solid action with salmon roe. The diamondbacks should remain a viable option through July.

The largemouth bass bite is poised to break wide open as the water temperatures continue to rise, but high water releases from the Stanislaus and Tuolumne River systems along with the wind are continuing to keep the water in the main channels off color.

Vince Borges of Vince Borges Outdoors said, “Largemouth bass action has been very good, and it took 24 pounds with a 10-pound kicker to take our Wednesday Night Shootout out of Ladd’s Marina in Stockton. These shootouts take place on Wednesday evenings during the summer months from 4 to 7 p.m., and a number of very good anglers show up for bragging rights. I have found two fish over 8 pounds within the past week for our clients, and our last one came on a wake bait. The reaction bite is solid with chatterbaits, crankbaits, and wakebaits, and we are also punching the weeds with Reaction Innovation’s new Spicy Beaver with 2 ounces of weight for bass in the 3- to 4-pound range. The water temperature has climbed to 81 degrees in the back sloughs, but the main river is dirty from all of the inflow along with the high winds that we have been experiencing. The frog bite has been hit or miss, but the buzzbait has been picking up, and I have been using the Yozuri Noi-Z Wake Bait with good success.”

Dan Mathisen of Dan’s Delta Outdoors in Oakley reported high winds have been a limiting factor around Bethel Island, but there is a good punch bite along with chatterbaits in the central Delta around shade pockets, tule breaks, and the small mats of grass.

There are two large frog tournaments coming up in the next six weeks with the Ultimate Frog Challenge at the end of July and the Snag Proof Open during the first weekend in August.

Neil Simpson of Lodi and his partner, Jason Pitchford, took 4th place during Saturday’s Mother Lode Best Bass Tournament circuit out of Ladd’s Marina in Stockton, and he said, “We were on a very good chatterbait bite earlier in the week, and we found action during the last 45 minutes of the Wednesday Night Shootout and culled up to 18.89 pounds, but the conditions changed over the weekend as there was no wind on Sunday. The ski boat traffic was heavy over the weekend in the central and east Delta, and the combination of the wind and high flows have made the water dinghy. We found good action with chatterbaits on Saturday, but the chatterbait died during Sunday’s windless conditions. We had a couple of short fish on topwater before switching over to flukes and frogs, and we started to pick up bass with either the Spro or River2Sea frogs. Once the water temperatures stabilize around 76 degrees, the frog bite will come on strong. The weed structure has been decimated by the spraying, and the ‘cheese’ is really hard since it is being pushed up against the west banks by the wind, and you can’t get a frog through its thick structure.”

Call: Randy Pringle 209-543-6260; Captain Steve Mitchell 707-655-6736; Vince Borges Outdoors 209-918-0828; J.D. Richey, Richey’s Sport Fishing 916-952-1554

Lake Nacimiento/San Antonio/Santa Margarita/Lopez

Bass 3 White bass 3 Striper 2 Catfish 2 Crappie 2

At Nacimiento, spotted bass have become active on topwater lures before working the bottom with shad-patterned worms on the drop=shot. The action continues to improve. White bass are moving around in the coves in the early mornings and the standard white Roostertails or Kastmasters are picking up the whites. Pan fish have dropped in the water column with the receding water levels, and they can be found with minijigs or red worms around structure. The fuel dock is now selling fuel again from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The lake dropped slightly to 73% this week.

At San Antonio, the lake held at 42%, and the lake is now open daily at the South Shore. The bass bite has improved with topwater in the early mornings before working the bottom with plastic worms, but the majority of bass are smaller than 14 inches. Catfish continue to bite mackerel scented with various concoctions while there have been more and more small striped bass making an appearance. Bluegill are taken around structure with red worms.

At Lopez Lake, there is a topwater bite in the morning with walking baits or buzzbaits for largemouth bass to 4 pounds before heading to the bottom with 4- to 6-inch plastics on the shakey head or drop-shot. Weightless Senkos are also effective. Bluegill have dropped in the water column, but they are taken on red worms, meal worms, or wax worms. Crappie are taken on minijigs around the trees.

At Santa Margarita, quality limits over 20 pounds were landed during Sunday’s 101 Bass tournament, and there is a topwater bite in the mornings before working the bottom with plastics on the drop-shot. When the wind is blowing, shad-patterned spinnerbaits, crankbaits, or small swimbaits while panfish are taken on glow worms or red worms on either a bobber or sliding sinker presentation. Catfish are also getting active with cut baits.


Call: Lake Nacimiento 805-238-1056, ext. 3; Lake San Antonio Marina 805-472-2818; Central Coast Bass 805-466-6557



Best Bass Tournaments/Mother Lode Region: June 22 at Delta/Ladd’s Marina – 1, Christian Ostrander/Ronnie Heil, 20.37 pounds; 2, Larry Hutton/Bob McNabb, 20.12; 3, Cameron Cardoza/Robert Riehl, 19.00. Big Fish: Casey Dunn/Robert Muraco, 8.09.

NewJen Bass Tournaments: June 22 at Delta/Russo’s Marina – 1, Tim Woltkamp, 19.03 (Big Fish 9.78); 2, Billy Hume, 18.94; 3, Juan Acosta/Mark Gomez, 18.14.

Sierra Bass Club: June 22 at Eastman: 1, Amy Avedikian, 9.15 (Big Fish 4.99); 2, Quincy Marrs, 8.74; 3, Martin DeHaven, 7.92.

Bass 101: June 23 at Santa Margarita – 1, Patrick Touey/Louis Fernandez, 21.42 (Big Fish 7.41); 2, Brad Sheppard/Clark Endres, 17.41; 3, Graham Grove/Brandon Columbo, 16.63.

Best Bass Tournaments/Central Region: June 23 at Delta/Ladd’s Marina – 1, Scott Taylor/Mark Gomez, 18.47; 2, Larry and Nicholas Fraser, 17.30; 3, Doug Arlin/Rich Fonbuena, 16.47.

Cen Cal Elite Junior Bass Tournaments: June 23 at Kaweah – 1, Ian Van Vliet/Jerry Williams, 9.75; 2, Gage and David Coy, 9.02; 3, Ethan and Chris Coffman, 8.62.


June 29: Delta/Russo’s Marina – Best Bass Tournaments, Pine Flat – Cen Cal Elite Bass Tournaments, Santa Margarita – 805 Kayak Fishing

June 30: Don Pedro – Nor Cal High School Bass Fishing, Hensley – Central Valley Kayak Fishing

July 6-7: Delta/Russo’s Marina – American Bass Association

July 6: Eastman – RiverRat Bass Tournaments

July 12: Santa Margarita – 101 Bass

July 13-14: Don Pedro – Fresno Bass Club, Isabella – Kern County Bass Masters, Lopez – Golden Empire Bass Club

July 13: Delta/Russo’s Marina – New Jen Bass Tournaments, Delta/Ladd’s Marina – Bass N’ Tubes, Camanche – Gold Country Junior Bass Club, New Melones – Kokanee Power Team Kokanee Tournament, Don Pedro – Riverbank Bass Anglers, McClure – Merced Bass Club, Eastman – Kings River Bass Club, Pine Flat – Bakersfield Bass Club, Wishon – Kiwanis Division 5 Trout Derby, Santa Margarita – Best Bass Tournaments

July 14: Camanche – Gold Country Junior Bass Club, Success – New Jen Bass Tournaments

Trout plants

Week of by July 7 in Central California by California Department of Fish and Wildlife:

Tuolumne County: Lyons Canal (Columbia Ditch), Lyons Reservoir, Pinecrest Lake, Stanislaus River (middle, south and north forks)

Solunar table










































n = new moon > = peak activity