NEW MELONES RESERVOIR — Melanie Lewis of Glory Hole Sporting Goods said trolling remains the best option and bank fishing has been slow. Rainbows averaging 2.5 pounds have been landed on minnows under a bobber or by trolling bright-colored or shad- patterned spoons such as Apex, Needlefish, ExCels or Kastmasters at 5-25 feet in the mouths of coves or major creek arms. Glory Hole Cove, Mormon Creek, Carson Creek and the steep walls near the dam or spillway are best for trollers, who have landed a few kokanee around 1.5 pounds. Brown trout are in the same areas, but are deeper and closer to structure and hitting Countdown Rapalas or Trophy Sticks in rainbow trout or shad-patterns. Bass bite remains fair to slow, with best action for smaller spots upriver and along steep banks near the dam with Texas-rigged plastics or jigs with larger fish taken on swimbaits. Catfishing has been slow, as the fish are in deeper water. Anchovies, mackerel, sardines, chicken livers or night crawlers are still the best baits. Crappie and bluegill fishing is fair at night under submersible lights near Bear, Mormon or Carson creeks with small or medium minnows or crappie jigs in red/white, black/chartreuse or purple/white at 25-40 feet near structure. Call: 736-4333; Monte Smith 581-4734; Danny Layne 586 2383; Sierra Sport Fishing 599-2023.
SAN LUIS RESERVOIR / O'NEILL FOREBAY — Ly Tu of Ly's Fishing Goods reported striper fishing remains slow in the main lake, which has risen to near capacity. The forebay is best for 20- to 24-inch fish on anchovies or white Fish Traps. A few trollers are working the lake with broken-backed Rebels or the new P-Line Angry Eye Predators despite the muddy water. A few catfish had been taken on frozen clams near check 12. Mark Pineda of Coyote Bait and Tackle said stripers to 7 pounds have been biting anchovies or minnows at check 12 or the bridge in the forebay. Call: Wind conditions (800 805-4805; Ly's Fishing Goods (408) 629-9644; Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711.
McSWAIN RESERVOIR — The banks at the handicapped docks or the brush pile are the top locations for planted trout with various colors of Power Bait or Power Eggs, particularly Bubble Gum and Sunrise. Trollers are working from the chimney to the second fence line with Wedding Rings tipped with a crawler or minnow imitation plugs. The lake is scheduled to be planted by the end of this month. Call: 378-2534.
McCLURE RESERVOIR — Manny Basi of the Bait Barn in Waterford said the numbers of bass are not a problem, but their size is. He recommended the ½- or ›-ounce Berserk Purple Hornet jig or drop-shotting with the Pro Gold redflake color 300 at 40-50 feet deep. Live minnows have been hot from the banks. There have been few reports of trout, but regular trollers are making plans to start working the lake, which is a sure sign of the potential for action. No catfish or crappie reports. The lake came up 5 feet to 777.35 in elevation and 51 percent capacity. Call: A-1 Bait 563-6505; Bub Tosh 404-0053.
LAKE DON PEDRO — Manny Basi of the Bait Barn said smallmouth bass have moved into the shallows, and anglers are targeting them with RatLTraps, jigs or crankbaits close to the banks. A 12-pound bass was landed by John Meyers of Merced on the Berserk jig in Purple Hornet during Saturday's American Bass Tournament. The most consistent fishing continues to be on the bottom at 40-50 feet with the Pro Worm in ProGold small redflake. Live minnows are hot for bank anglers. Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing said king salmon are scattered from the dam upriver in the Tuolumne River near Rough and Ready Island. He recommended rolling shad for the larger fish, and he thought the high water upriver would allow trollers to work above the submerged trees near Rough and Ready Island. There are large numbers of small kings in the 12- to 13-inch range, and Smith advised gently releasing the salmon to allow these fish to grow to trophy size. Trout trolling has been slow with the best action on red Apex lures trolled at around 3 mph. The lake rose 3 feet to 792.53 feet in elevation and 78 percent capacity. Call: Monte Smith 581-4734; Danny Layne 586-2383; Bait Barn 874-3011.
CAMANCHE RESERVOIR — Trollers and bank fishermen were both catching lots of trout. Jim Streif, of Petaluma, caught one that weighed in at 8.34 pounds and 32 inches, trolling with a Krocodile lure in gold/rainbow color. Don Swim, from Camanche, caught three trout up to 2½ pounds fishing using Power Bait. Eric Evans and Kim Vell, from Turlock, caught fine limits at the South Shore Pond on Monday using Power Worms. John Walton won a bass tourney over the weekend, with five fish totaling 19 pounds. Chris Bartling caught the big fish at 4.2 pounds using Carolina rigged plastic worms, and brown/purple jigs with a Hula Grub. Lew Williams of Lodi caught five nice crappie in the main lake Thursday using a white crappie jig.
STOCKTON — Tony Lopez at Benicia Bait said he had a hard time keeping up with demand for bait over the weekend. Legal sturgeon were weighed in by David Law at 54 inches to go with a 24-inch striper in Montezuma on grass shrimp/eel; and a 50-inch sturgeon by John Hutchinson on pile worms. Dockside Bait in Pittsburg reported weighing in a few sturgeon in the 50-inch range to go with six stripers in the 15- to 20-pound range with one at 30 pounds. Bullheads have been the thing for the bass with ghost, grass or eel working for the diamondbacks. The top locations have been the PG&E plant, Chain Island or Honker Bay. Mark Wilson is back trolling again, and he found the cleanest water near the Port of Sacramento for stripers to 8 pounds in the past week. He thought the bite would take off within a week to 10 days once the water clears. In the Port of Sacramento, some schoolie stripers have been found on deep-diving Yozuris in the new Banana color, red/white or rainbow trout. Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, said the cold fronts have pushed the bass back to the bottom, with the best bite with finesse techniques of the Berkley 10-inch Power Worm on a Zappu Head, jigs in green pumpkin or black/blue with a Chigger Craw Crazy Leg trailer dragged slowly on the bottom. With the cold water, the reaction bite is slow. The delta around Stockton is loaded with pro anglers fishing the first event of the Bassmasters Elite Series, with prefishing starting Monday and the first tournament day Thursday. Call: Randy Pringle 543-6260; Mark Wilson (916) 682-1630, Fin Addict Sport Fishing 367-4665, Jolly Jay's Guide Service 478-6645.
SAN FRANCISCO BAY — Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait in San Rafael weighed in five sturgeon Sunday. Small Dungeness crab are everywhere in San Pablo and even in the central bay to Berkeley, suggesting to Fraser on the amount of fresh water moving through the bay. In past years, storms would have pushed the crabs out of San Pablo Bay, but they are still there, forcing anglers to relocate. The least concentration is in the shallows. He said there has been increased interest in halibut drifting with live shiners for the occasional fish. Trolling the shorelines was limited over the weekend by the timing of the high tides in the early morning or late afternoons. Stripers are moving into both the Petaluma and Napa Rivers, and some anglers are targeting the larger fish with splittail. In the central bay, Emeryville Sport Fishing reported there hasn't been much interest in sturgeon since the middle of February, but they will start trolling for halibut Saturday. John Akina of Oyster Point Bait, Tackle and Deli in South San Francisco said most boats were drifting or trolling for halibut or bass instead of targeting sturgeon. One 60-inch sturgeon brought back from the Dunbarton Bridge area on Sunday. Perch are still biting pile worms from the pier, and locals are waiting for jack smelt to appear. Don Franklin on the Soleman out of Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco reported continued good action with 15 sharks landed on a half-day trip Monday. They kept a 30-pound leopard shark as well as two seven-gills.A few boats have been heading between the two bridges in the south bay for the occasional sturgeon.
HALF MOON BAY — Private boaters were able to reach their pots for the first time in weeks, and all of the boats reported excellent crabbing with 8 to 10 hard-shelled commercial-grade males per pot in 150 feet of water off the towers. Limits also have been located in deeper water of 180 feet off the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve. Sheryl Jimno at the Rusty Hook in Pacifica said the surf is still on the high side, but the pier is loaded with crabbers, primarily working snares. The majority of anglers are targeting perch with blood or pile worms, but a few stripers are starting to show up on bait at Rockaway Beach and Linda Mar.. Call: Happy Hooker (510) 223-5388; Huck Finn Sport Fishing Center (650) 726-7133, Emeryville Sport Fishing (510) 654-6040, Don Franklin, Soleman (510) 703-4148.
MONTEREY — Sonny Arcaleo of Chris' Landing at the Old Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey said squidding is falling off. His passengers wanted blue mackerel and sand dabs Sunday, and they haven't been able to pull the crab pots with the ripping north current burying the buoys under the surface. Arcaleo said there has been a "horde of dog sharks" that are stripping the squid from the gangions on their way up to the surface. Halibut fishing continues to be decent with most skiffs reporting a fish or two per trip drifting along the beaches. White sea bass action has slowed in the past couple of days, but the better fishermen are still landing a few fish. Call: Chris' Landing (831) 375-5951, Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173, usafishing.com