NEW MELONES RESERVOIR
Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing found easy limits of fat, healthy kokanee 11-13 inches at 27-40 feet deep near the Spillway with pink hootchies behind a Shasta Tackle Sling Blade. He tried spinners, but the fish only wanted the pink hootchies. He anticipated these fish will grow to 16 inches by the end of the season. There are distinct groups of kokanee in the lake with at least one 17-inch fish landed this year. Bank trout fishing is slow, but trolling is improving at 20-30 feet with shad or rainbow trout Countdown Rapalas, Trophy Sticks or Shasta Tackle Kazi Minnows. Rick Muzrue landed a 7.5-pound brown at 50 feet under the Highway 49 Bridge on a rolled shad with Ed Burlarley of Sierra Guide Service. Peter Hernandez caught a 6.1-pound brown on a rainbow trout-patterned Trophy Stick at 60 feet near the Spillway. Bass fishing is good with fish in the pre-spawn or spawning. Carolina-rigged 6-inch worms, spinnerbaits, Zoom Baby Brush Hawgs, or creature baits are all working. Dennis Lee caught and released a 13.1-pound largemouth on a greenpumpkin creature bait up the river arm. Catfishing is improving with anchovies, sardines or mackerel. Crappie fishing is still best at night under lights around submerged trees at depths from 10 to 30 feet with either small or medium minnows or crappie jigs in Bear, Mormon or Carson Creeks. Glory Hole Sporting Good's next weekly seminar is scheduled on Sunday, April 26 at 3 p.m. with Bruce Hamby of Sierra Sport Fishing on king salmon and kokanee. The lake dropped to 53 percent capacity. Call: 736-4333, Monte Smith 581-4734, Danny Layne — Fishn' Dan (209) 586 2383, Sierra Sport Fishing 599-2023
SAN LUIS RESERVOIR AND O'NEILL FOREBAY
Chang Yang of Fresno caught a 49-pound striper in the Forebay on a 5-inch white Fluke. Other than that, it's been slow. Ly Tu at Ly's Fishing Goods in San Jose said there were several anglers under the bridge in the Forebay over the weekend with pile worms or grass shrimp reported very slow action as the water is not moving. In the main lake, the fish have dropped in the water column with the hot weather. The lake rose 5 feet to 454.89 due to increased Delta pumping. At nearby Los Banos Creek Reservoir, Bob Scharton of Herb Bauer's reported high angler interest but a slow bass bite. Call: Wind conditions (800) 805-4805, Ly's Fishing Goods (408) 629-9644, Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711
Terry Peterson of McSwain Marina reported high angler interest over the weekend with the annual Merced Irrigation District Derby. The winning fish was 2.75 pounds with several fish 1.5 to 2 pounds. The $3,000 tagged fish was not landed, and it is worth $500 until July 1 for all anglers registered in the derby. Chunky Cheese Power Bait or night crawlers continue to work from the banks at the Brush Pile or Handicapped Docks. Trollers continue to work from the surface to 15 feet with blade/crawler combinations or Wedding Rings tipped with a crawler behind a dodger from Floating Restrooms to the Dam. Call: 378-2534
DELTA MENDOTA CANAL AND SLOUGHS
Merritt Gilbert said Lucky Craft sales have slowed after nearly two months. Now, pearl or white Flukes are flying off the shelves. In the south aqueduct, Pete Cormier of Bob's Bait Bucket in Bakersfield said stripers 3-5 pounds and catfish to 6 pounds have been taken on anchovies near Taft. There have been reports of large striper boils in the aqueduct.
Striped bass continue to move through on the way to the spawning grounds up the Sacramento River, but the numbers are far less than anticipated. The Department of Fish and Game is conducting weekly tagging trips in the Delta and up the Sacramento River with only 110 legal bass taken in the traps, as opposed to a norm of 1,000 in a single trap at this time of year. Benicia Bait said the shoreline striper bite has slowed considerably with the majority of stripers 12-14 inches. There are still flounder coming from the banks, which attests to the amount of salt water still moving up the river system. Kevin Yost of Lucky Strike Fishing was out over the weekend with donated trips for the winners of the Youth Outdoor Faire at the International Sportsmen's Expositions from January. They were able to put in legal sturgeon of 46 and 48 inches both days on combinations of grass and ghost shrimp. He said the majority of sturgeon are located from the Pittsburg PG&E Plant upriver to Sherman Island. Dockside Bait in Pittsburg said several sturgeon and two large stripers of 24 and 29 pounds were landed over the weekend. Bait fishing in the Rio Vista area has slowed with quality fresh shad nearly impossible to locate. The hot weather should improve the take of shad. Jack Kelly of Viera's Riverside Bait in Isleton reported good striper action further up river in the Old Sacramento and Deep Water Channel for trollers pulling Yozuris. Mark Wilson confirmed the good bite with up to 16 fish a trip to 12-pounds on shallow-running Yozuris in chartreuse, red/white head or clown. The intense boat pressure on Saturday may have slowed the bite down, but things improved Sunday and Monday. Mike Gravert of Intimidator Sport Fishing is drifting jumbo minnows in the upper Delta for a mix of stripers with larger females to 34 pounds caught and released in the past week. Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, said the extreme weather fluctuations have put the bass into a funk, but a few days of consistent weather should break the bite wide open. Call: Happy Hooker (510) 223-5388, Randy Pringle (209) 543-6260, Kevin Yost-Lucky Strike Fishing (707) 301-8050, Mark Wilson Sport Fishing (916) 682-1630, Fin Addict Sport Fishing (209) 367-4665
LAKE ISABELLA / BAKERSFIELD AREA
Jean Cordell of Big Ed's Bait and Tackle said trout fishing continues to be good throughout the lake with Chunky Cheese or Garlic Power Bait. The lake was stocked again this week. Catfishing is showing signs of life with clams or frozen shad. Bass fishing continues to be problematic in the cooler water with fish still suspended. There is a warning for increased runoff from many mountain streams and rivers due to the unseasonably warm temperatures. It was 97 degrees at the lake Sunday. The highest flows are expected between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. Pete Cormier of Bob's Bait Bucket in Bakersfield said crappie fishing is very good with small minnows in the shallows in Jochim Cove. They went through all of their minnows over the weekend.The lake rose a foot to 28 percent capacity. In the Bakersfield area, carp fishing is still the rage with nearly 400 packages of Powder Bait sold in the past two weeks. Hart Park, Truxton and Ming are the top carp spots. Buena Vista continues to kick out bass, catfish and crappie can still found near the inlet with small minnows under lighted bobbers or lights under water after dusk. Call: Big Ed's Bait and Tackle (760) 379-4170, Bob's Bait (661) 833-8657, North Fork Marina (760) 376-1812
MILLERTON LAKE / SAN JOAQUIN RIVER
Bob Scharton reported a good bass bite for small spots with Keeper worms in 082R or 1048b or RoboWorms in the new Texas shad color. Merritt Gilbert said the bite is the best in the area for 7.5- to 8-pounders, with over 10 pounds necessary to win a tournament. Dropshotting can locate all of the 11- to 12-inch bass you desire. The better quality fish are found on Senkos, rip baits or spinner baits. Striper fishing has been slow with a few fish found from Finegold upriver by drifting jumbo minnows. The lake rose 3 feet to 81 percent capacity. The same offerings of yellow Power Bait, Kastmasters,and Roostertails all continue to work for the planted trout at Broken Bridge and Lost Lake. Angler interest has slowed a bit on the San Joaquin. Call: (559) 225-1838, (559) 292-3474
Manny Basi of the Bait Barn in Waterford reported an excellent bite for small fish, particularly with live minnows or crawdads. The larger fish are in deeper water with numbers found between 15 and 20 feet. Dart-heading with quarter-ounce on a ProWorm in color 300 or Senkos in 330-green pumpkin/purple copper flake are the top artificials. Trout fishing continues to be good from the shoreline with rainbow-glitter Power Bait or chrome Kastmasters. Brook and rainbow trout bite a variety of lures long-lined a minimum of 100 feet at speeds from 1.5 to 1.85 mph up the river canyon. King salmon action continues to be inconsistent with rolled shad or lures. Crappie fishing is hit or miss with the best action with small or medium minnows or salt/pepper minijigs in Piney or Temperance Creeks and near Horseshoe Bend at depths to 40 feet. Catfishing continues to be slow. The lake rose to 43% capacity. Call: A-1 Bait 563-6505, Fishwrangler's Guide Service 604-8222, Bub Tosh 404-0053
LAKE DON PEDRO
Manny Basi reported the larger bass are on the beds with action set to explode after the hot weather. Trout or kokanee-patterned swimbaits, brown/purple or watermelon/red jigs are working as well as live minnows. The Bait Barn went through 210 dozen minnows over the weekend. Trout, kokanee and king salmon fishing has been relatively slow with most hard-core Northern California kokanee anglers heading to Lake Berryessa for fish to 17 inches. The lake has risen to 69 percent capacity. Call: Monte Smith 581-4734, Danny Layne--Fishn' Dan 586-2383, Bait Barn 874-301
Todd Wittwer of www.Kokanee.net reported things are pretty much the same as last week with trollers hitting 10- to 12-inch rainbows at the Sheriff's Tower, Fawn Point, Willow Cove, Indian Cove and the island near the Dam. He has been scoring rainbows from 10 to 13 inches with at least one fish per trip from 16.5 to 18 inches with kokanee to just above 14 inches. Threaded night crawlers behind a Vance's dodger in bronze or green, Rocky Mountain Tackle Pink Ice or Tiger with blue/pink, pink or green/chartreuse UV Assassin spinners, watermelon dodgers and watermelon Apex, and RMT shad-patterned or Mai Tai Serpent spoons are all working. A few kokanee are taken on UV pink splatter hootchies behind a UV or Father Murphy's pink/purple bugs behind a Vance's gold dodger. Merritt Gilbert said bass fishing is hit or miss. The lake has risen to 74 percent capacity. Call: (559) 642-3141, Todd Wittwer (559) 288-8100, (559) 642-3633.
Halibut fishing has slowed despite small tides ideal for the flatfish. The winds of the previous week combined with intense boat pressure on Saturday, may have been the culprits. Jay Lopes of Right Hook Sport Fishing was high boat on Sunday with 9 halibut to 9 pounds in the Berkeley Flats and the South Bay. He was trolling frozen anchovies behind a Sep's chartreuse or white dodger. He thought the fish would rebound during the week with less boats running over the fish in shallow water. Jim Smith of the Happy Hooker was drifting live shiners and dead anchovies both weekend days for a fish a rod on Saturday for the three anglers on board, and seven more halibut on Sunday. He tried drifting the Brothers for bass but found nobody home. Emeryville Sport Fishing had both the Tigerfish and the New Huck Finn on Saturday with 35 anglers for a combined 30 halibut to 14 pounds and pair of bass to 9 pounds. Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait said there were a surprisingly large number of sturgeon from shaker size in the 40s to the 50-inch range near the Pumphouse area and Buoys 7 and 9 despite the small tides. This bodes well for this weekend's large, minus tides. School-sized stripers provide fair action in San Pablo Bay.
HALF MOON BAY
Rockfish season opens below Pigeon Point on May 1. Surf perch, crab and the occasional striped bass are keeping fishermen busy from the Pacifica Pier or beaches north and south of Half Moon Bay. A 20-pound striper was taken from Mori's Point. Call: Roger Thomas (415) 674-3474, Huck Finn Sport Fishing Center (650) 726-7133, California Dawn (510) 773-5511,
Todd Arcaleo of Chris' Landing said sand dab/mackerel combinations continue on the weekends. Kingfish are also a strong bite on these trips. Ly Tu said barred perch to 1.5 pounds and small rainbow perch have been found at the Santa Cruz Lighthouse with pile worms. Call: Chris' Landing (831) 375-5951, Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173.