Fishing report, May 19-25: Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project release this week – Fresno Bee


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April 2012 action at Shaver Lake. Show off your success! Share your fish photos with Bee readers. Include “Fishing Report” in the subject line and email to [email protected]


Fresno Bee file

Compiled by Dave Hurley and edited by Roger George, a former Olympic-class decathlete at Fresno State (he still holds the school record). George guides in the greater Fresno area and holds the striper record at Millerton Lake. Telephone numbers are in 559 calling area unless noted. Photo gallery Show off your success! Share your fish photos and videos with Bee readers. Please share only jpeg images and Mp4 video files. Include “Fishing Report” in the subject line and a full caption and email to [email protected] Best bets Delta bass and shad bites good, Alan Fong reported. Don Pedro kokanee and bass action keeping anglers happy, Monte Smith said. Lake Success bass on the hunt, Chuck Stokke reported. Shaver kokanee bite continues, Dick Nichols said. New Melones bass bite excellent, Randy Pringle reported. Valley West-side waterways Striper 3 Catfish 3 Mickey Clements at Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill reported many local fishermen are heading to the California Aqueduct for both striped bass and largemouth bass, and he said, “There are a number of quality largemouth bass in the aqueduct, and when the water slows down enough, Senkos are very effective. Striper fishermen continue to bounce the bottom with heavy lures such as flukes on a 3/4- to 1-ounce jig head along with heavier Rat-L-Traps. Staying near the bottom has been the key.” In the southern section of the aqueduct in Kern County, Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield said, “Striped bass have been a highlight down here as most of our fishermen have been heading to the aqueduct. Small swimbaits or jerkbaits in white or pearl are working along with minnows, blood worms, lug worms, anchovies, sardines, or mackerel. Catfish are taken on cut baits, frozen shad, or chicken livers.” Call: Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis 292-3474; Bob’s Bait Bucket in Bakersfield (661) 833-8657 Eastman Lake Bass 2 Trout 2 Bluegill 2 Catfish 2 Crappie 2 Minimal change here with few local fishermen heading to the lake which remains a “mud puddle” with green algae forming. Catfishing is the best option near the launch ramp in the evenings with cut baits, chicken livers, or nightcrawlers while the bass bite remains slow with only one or two bass being a possibility. The lake held at 12%. Call: Eastman Lake 689-3255 Hensley Lake Bass 2 Trout 1 Catfish 2 Bluegill 2 Crappie 2 Fishing interest is also low with the low water levels and algae forming. Small crappie are attracting a few anglers to the lake with minijigs around structure, but most area crappie fishermen are heading south to Isabella or Kaweah. Call: Valley Rod Gun, Clovis 292-3474; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Hensley Lake Hidden Dam 673-5151 Lake Don Pedro Bass 3 Trout 2 Kokanee 3 King salmon 2 Crappie 2 Northern California’s dedicated kokanee trollers have descended upon Don Pedro in response to great action for fat, healthy kokanee. The Kokanee Power Don Pedro Phil Johnson Memorial Team Derby is still a few weeks away on Saturday, June 12, but pre-fishing is taking place in force. Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing was out with clients three times this week, and he said, “Kokanee fishing has been good with limits to 1.75 pounds every day, and we could have been done on Friday by 9 a.m., but we stayed out a little longer to put in my limit. We are scoring with Uncle Larry’s spinners, Rocky Mountain Tackle’s hoochies, or J-Pex lures in orange or pink behind a Mack’s Sling Blade at 40 to 60 feet. We are also picking up a few rainbows as well on the kokanee gear. The orange or pinks are working best, but if you are out there long enough, chartreuse is also a good color.” Kyle Wise of HeadHunter Guide Service has migrated from New Melones to Don Pedro in the past weeks, and he will be out all week long. He said, “We are having to work hard for limits at New Melones, but it has been easy limits by 9: 45 a.m. every day at Pedro. The kokanee are averaging around 15.5 inches, but we found a big one at 17.25 inches on Sunday morning. There are some big fish in there, and we have been using the new Paulina Peak Tahoe Spinner in purple/pink or orange/pink behind a 5.5 gold dodger from Mag Tackle or Paulina Peak at 40 to 65 feet in open water. There has been more boat pressure on the lake in the past weeks, and I found a new area holding fish on Sunday.” For bass, Ryan Cook of Ryan Cook’s Fishing had a great day on Saturday with a 17-pound limit working topwater lures in the early morning with River2Sea Rovers or Reaction Innovation’s Vixens in the coves or cuts before switching over to a jig bite. Cook said, “The jig bite was on fire at depths from 5 to 25 feet on main lake or secondary points with the G-Money jigs. We picked up a few on a Ned- or Neko-rig along with ripbaits, but the jigs were the most productive. The bass are all post-spawn right now, and they are hungry.” The Fresno Bass Club tournament on Saturday was very competitive with the top three places within 0.10 of a pound. Call: Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing (209) 581-4734; Kyle Wise – Head Hunter Guide Service – (209) 531- 3966; Ryan Cook – Ryan Cook’s Fishing - 691-7008 Lake Isabella/Bakersfield area Bass 2 Trout 2 Crappie 3 Catfish 3 Bluegill 2 At Lake Isabella, Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield says crappie remain the top species with minnows or minijigs for those locating the submerged tree, rock, or bush holding the slabs. There hasn’t been much on the trout scene since the plants a few weeks ago. Largemouth bass have moved into the shallows, and spinnerbaits, plastics, or crankbaits are picking up a few bass. Catfishing remains solid from the banks with frozen shad, Triple S Dip Bait, chicken livers, or nightcrawlers. The annual Lake Isabella Kern Valley Chamber of Commerce Trout Derby started on April 24 and runs through Sept. 6. A total of 500 tagged trout valued from $20 to $500, and the organizers designed a virtual format for the event. Information is available at The French Gulch Marina hosts the only launch ramp with the low lake level. The lake held rose slightly to 17%. At Buena Vista, Cormier reported good action for crappie or catfish, particularly at night. The lower Kern River is kicking out smallmouth bass and catfish while the recent plants in the upper river have paid dividends for trout fishermen working salmon eggs, nightcrawlers, live crickets. Another plant in the upper river is scheduled for this week. Call: Bob’s Bait Bucket in Bakersfield (661) 833-8657; North Fork Marina (760) 376-1812; Golden Trout Pack Station 542-2816 Lake Kaweah Bass 2 Crappie 3 Trout 3 Catfish 2 The lake is rising, and it came up from 25% to 32% this week. Bass are taken on jerkbaits or Senkos in the shallows while crappie are also found in the shallows holding on submerged structure. Minijigs or small swimbaits such as a Keitech are picking up a few slabs. Lake Success/Tule River Bass 3 Crappie 2 Trout 3 Catfish 2 Chuck Stokke of the Sequoia Fishing Company said, “The bass are still biting well on plastics, crankbaits, or swimbaits, but the fish have become wiser in the past week, and fishermen need to change it up to hook the larger fish.” The lake held at 23%. In the Tule, Stokke said, “I fished the Tule on Saturday and Sunday, and with the low water levels, the trout are spooky. They are still hitting dry flies, especially caddis, black streamers, and stimulator patterns. Spin casters are doing very well with spinners due to the recent plants, and the larger holes are producing browns or rainbow trout from 14 to 16 inches.” Trout plants are scheduled for several branches of the Middle Fork on the week of May 16. Call: Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626, McClure Reservoir Bass 3 Trout 2 King salmon 1 Kokanee 1 Crappie 3 Catfish 2 Ryan Cook of Ryan Cook’s Fishing said, “Numbers of small post-spawn bass are all along the banks with plastics on a drop-shot or tubes along with topwater lures in the early morning. Main lake points or cuts from mid-lake to the river arm are holding the majority of the bass. In the mornings, a fast presentation is desired while you have to slow down in the afternoons. A 9-pound limit is a good weight.” Crappie fishing has improved considerably with minijigs or small minnows in the shallows. Barrett’s Cove, Bagby, Horseshoe Bend, and McClure Point North launch ramps are closed due to water levels. The lake held at 44%. Call: Ryan Cook – Ryan Cook’s Guide Service - 691-7008 McSwain Reservoir Trout 2 The annual Merced Irrigation Derby was held this past Saturday, and bank fishing is best with trout dough bait, nightcrawlers, or Kastmasters from the Brush Pile, Handicapped Docks, or peninsula near the Marina while trollers are working blade/’crawler combinations, Wedding Rings, or Rapalas up the river arm. Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534 Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River Bass 3 Striped bass 1 Shad 1 Bluegill 2 Crappie 2 Michael Crayne of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “The spotted bass are completing their spawn, and they are feeding along the banks on shad-patterned plastics on the drop-shot or dart head with the best action from Finegold into the river arm. There is a reaction bite in the main lake around Sky Harbor to Winchell’s Cove along with the dam.” The lake rose to 48%. Call: Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474 New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch Bass 3 Crappie 2 Catfish 2 Trout 2 Kokanee 2 Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, said, “The bass bite is excellent with a variety of baits along the banks including the ima Little Stick topwater lure in shad pattern or the ima Finesse Popper in low-light conditions while a Flat Nose Minnow with Max Scent on a drop-shot or dart head are working along steep walls with rock. The bass are grouped up along particular stretches of banks.” Kenji Nakagawa of Phenix Rods was out on Sunday fishing with Chapin Fowler of Lodi, and he said, “We started off the day with wake baits along main lake points and steep bluff walls for largemouths to 3.5 pounds before the sun rose. We made a move and worked sloping banks with walking baits and a Whopper Plopper, and I connected with a 7.5-pound largemouth on the Plopper. The topwater started to fade around 8 a.m., and we went to work with plastics on a shaky head or umbrella rigs, catching fish all over the lake. Around 11 a.m., the topwater bite turned back on, and we began to cull fish. The River2Sea Rover and the Evergreen Showerblow topwater lures were crushing the spotted bass. We finished the day working mudlines and main lake points with topwater lures and glidebaits for a handful of bass, ending with a five-fish limit weighing 17.5 pounds.” Kyle Wise of Head Hunter Guide Service has migrated to Don Pedro from Melones, but he said, “The kokanee are there for the taking in the main river channel in front of the dam, but you have to work hard for limits of quality fish with a variety of gear from 40 to 60 feet.” The middle ramps at Glory Hole Point and Tuttletown are open along with one ramp at Angels Cove. The Bureau of Reclamation administration office and visitors center is now open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., weekends only, and annual passes for the lake are available there. The lake dropped to 59%. 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 2 Trout 2 Kokanee 0 King salmon 1 Catfish 2 Crappie 2 Crayne said, “The spotted bass bite has been slow with less interest here, but as they have finished up the spawn, the small spots are aggressively striking topwater lures, jerkbaits, crankbaits, and jigs around Sycamore and Big Creeks. Crappie fishing has slowed down near the Deer Creek and Trimmer Marina with anglers heading further south for the slabs. The recent trout plant has picked up the troll bite for trout in the upper part of the lake. The bluegill are spawning in the shallows.” The lake rose to 39%. In the lower Kings River, trout plants are scheduled again this week, and shore fishermen are scoring with salmon eggs, nightcrawlers, or trout dough bait along with spinners such as Panther Martins or Mepp’s near moving water adjacent to an eddy of slower water. The harvest zone is between the dam and Alta (Cobbles) Weir, and between Alta Weir and Highway 180 is a catch-and-release zone with a zero limit. 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 Roger George of Roger George Guide Service reported a fairly slow bite for reaction anglers, trollers and bait soakers in the slowly falling 63-degree water. “ Finding the fish has become more difficult lately, and I spent the first hour last Wednesday just trying to find some areas with a few fish. Once I did, then I began working flats in the 60-foot range with Rapalas and Lucky Crafts for over 20 schoolies to 26 inches for two guests. I happened to hit it right, but most everyone else left by noon. The algae is getting thicker as it warms up, but the real problem is hitting a day where the wind doesn’t blow you off. May can be the worst month for wind closures at the big lake. “ Mickey Clements of Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill reported the striped bass bite remains extremely slow for trollers and those drifting minnows. The wind has limited access to the lake, but there are a few anglers heading out in the mornings along the Highway 152 side to toss topwater lures in the protected coves. The algae bloom is set to take off with warmer days ahead. The lake dropped to 47%. In the O’Neill Forebay, Clements said the winds have affected action at the forebay, but when the wind is down, anglers are finding solid action for small striped bass along the Highway 33 side with topwater poppers or Spooks along with flukes in white ice or pearl on an underspin. When the wind is blowing, the Check 12 side becomes crowded as it is less affected by the wind. At San Luis, there are three wind warning and lake closure lights near the Basalt Entrance Station, Quien Sabe Point, and the Romero Visitor Center. At the O’Neill Forebay, the lights are located near the old Medeiros boat ramp and above the South Beach Area. Amber lights signify caution conditions for winds or other concerns while red lights indicate the lake is closed to boating and all vessels must immediately vacate the lake. Call: Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711, Roger George of 905-2954 High Sierra The Sierra National Forest has extended closures for select recreational sites, roads, and trails until May 26. Updated information is available at Bass Lake Bass 2 Trout 2 Kokanee 3 The reaction bite for bass with swimbaits has improved with the recent plants prior to the early May derby. Mike Beighey of Bass Lake Fishing has been finding good action for kokanee to 16 inches along with a few rainbows or much slower action, but the key is to get on the lake well before sunrise. The holdover rainbow trout from the plants before the derby along with a few large kokanee are found at depths to 30 feet with hoochies or spinners behind a Mag Tackle dodger. The Sheriff’s Motor Fee remains in effect. The lake rose to 69%. With the lake being held so low for an extended period of time, there is concern about the survival of the lake’s kokanee population. Edison/Florence/Mammoth Pool Kaiser Pass remains closed, but it is expected to open in May. Edison rose to 19% and Florence hit 50%. Mammoth Pool is at 95% but is closed until June 15 for the annual deer migration. Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000 Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake Kokanee 3 Trout 2 The first of two trophy trout plants from the Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project were released into the lake this week, and although the rainbow action has been slow, the kokanee bite is picking up the slack. The trophy plants spurred on action from the banks, and Kevin Brown of Oakhurst landed several of the trophies on a recent trip, and as a result, he will be making a major contribution to the SLTTP. Todd Wittwer of Guide Service took out Mike Markley of Clovis, and he put Markley onto an epic day with a 7-pound trophy rainbow along with the largest kokanee of the season at 17.75 inches. Wittwer said, “It is a very early bite, and you can put eight or 10 in the boat early, but it dies by 7: 30 a.m. We are finding the fish at 40 feet with Rocky Mountain Tackle’s spinners in orange in the morning and blue, purple, or pink later in n the morning. The fish clearly want spinners.” Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters, past-president and charter member of the SLTTP, said, “It is a very early bite as Tom Frudden of Clovis was out with me on Monday morning, and he caught and released five quality kokanee by 6: 20. It has been great early action before slowing and then rebounding. On Saturday, Auberry residents Wade Obermann and Jill Kovacich picked up 10 plump kokanee by 10 a.m. on 16 hookups on Dick’s Koke Busters in blue, purple, orange and pink behind Dick’s Mountain Dodgers in gold and orange, pink/blue, and watermelon at depths from 35 to 40 feet in the early mornings before dropping to between 54 to 65 feet after 9 a.m. I saw a number of boats netting fish, including some trophy rainbows to 6 pounds. The Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project, under the direction of long-time planting chairman Bob Bernier, were planted recently, and Bernier reported that Calaveras Fish Farms had an abundance of beautiful rainbows over 5 pounds. He took advantage of the opportunity to purchase the trout some going 7 pounds. The Department of Fish and Wildlife will be stocking the lake with catchables during the week of May 23 to spur on the Memorial Day weekend bite, but currently the rainbow trout action is slow with only one to two brown trout per trip the norm.” Nichols added that Obermann took out Dennis Hulse of Sacramento on Sunday morning, and they limited out by 7: 30 a.m. using the same tackle as with Nichols on the previous day. At Huntington, few anglers are targeting this lake as the launch ramp remains out of the water. A plant is scheduled for this week, and this should pick things up as the last trout plant occurred over a month ago. A few planters are taken from the shorelines near the mouth of Rancheria Creek with trout dough bait or nightcrawlers. The lake rose to 73%, getting closer to the level when boats can be launched. Call: Dick Nichols – Dick’s Fishing Charters at Shaver Lake Sports 841-2740; Todd Wittwer – Guide Service 288-8100; Dinkey Creek Inn 841-3435 Wishon/Courtright Trout 2 Chuck Crane of the Wishon Village RV Park and Store said, “Wishon is on the concrete ramp, but the docks are out of the water. Trollers are working from the surface to 10 feet while shore anglers are soaking trout dough bait or inflated nightcrawlers. Launching off of the dirt road is another option. The RV Park and store will be open on May 21, but nearly all of the campsites are already reserved. Higher-elevation Courtright opened this week, and the water is well up on the ramp, but the docks may or may not be in yet.” Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361 Ocean Half Moon Bay Salmon 2 Rockfish 3 Striper 2 Sand dabs 2 Surf perch 2 Half Moon Bay boats continue to make the 18-mile trek south below the harbor below Pigeon Point, but the action has ranged from fair to slow during the week. The good news has been the size of the fish as salmon to 35 pounds have been landed on party boats and over 40 pounds on commercial boats. In addition, there have been a number of undersized salmon showing up as well. Rockfish limits remain the rule for those working the Deep Reef when weather allows along with the local reefs south of the harbor. On Sunday, the Queen of Hearts out of Half Moon Bay Sport Fishing posted a decent score with 9 salmon to 19 pounds for 14 anglers, but this is an indication of the slower bite over the weekend. Second captain Michael Cabanas of the Huli Cat reported slow action on Sunday with only three salmon to 12 pounds. He said, “There was plenty of whales, bait, and several hundred sea lions in the area, but there wasn’t much action. Earlier in the week, the Huli Cat returned with 9 salmon for 9 anglers. Captain Tom Mattusch said, “There was quite a bit of good sign with whales feeding in the bait schools. There were a number of big fish, and we lost as many the previous day as we landed as we had 17 salmon for 11 anglers on Wednesday. In addition to the fish lost, we released another 50/60 shakers which is a very good sign. One of the commercial boats brought in a 40-pound salmon dressed, and some of the commercial boats had between 100 to 150 fish. Rockfishing has been best on the bottom as the water temperature has been cold. We are seeing tons of school fish on the meter, but they aren’t biting. The majority of our rockfish limits have been Bolinas cod within the reefs.” Captain Dennis Baxter of the New Captain Pete took his first salmon trip of the year on Sunday, and they ended up with 5 keepers to 16 pounds for 9 anglers. Booking is available at, or via telephone at 650-576-3844. Both the Ankeny Street and the Queen of Hearts were rockfishing earlier in the weekend for a combined 28 limits of rockfish and 3 ling cod. The Coastside Fishing Club net pen salmon project will occur on May 23, May 29, and June 5 with smolts arriving from the Mokelumne River Hatchery. After the release from the pens, the salmon should return to the harbor in three years. Call: Captain Dennis Baxter – New Captain Pete (650) 576-3844; Captain Tom Mattusch – Huli Cat (650) 619-0459 Monterey/Santa Cruz Salmon 3 Rockfish 3 Striper 2 Sand Dabs 2 Surf Perch 3 Allen Bushnell of Santa Cruz Kayak and Surfcasting Guide Service said, “Carol Jones from Kahuna Sportfishing had good news on Sunday May 16. “It was dead slow yesterday, but we went for salmon today. And, we got some fantastic action this afternoon! We landed eight nice fish with a lot of missed opportunities. We were fishing near the Pajaro Hole. The salmon have been high in the water column all season. Right now, they are all up and down the weight scale, with a few shakers here and there as well as some big fish in the mix. Thursday’s big salmon weighed 23 pounds dressed!” Down at Chris’s Fishing and Whale Watching in Monterey, owner Chris Arcoleo weighed in a 30-pounder this week. On Sunday, Arcoleo reported, “The skiffs are getting some limits. Today we caught three and had to release about seven or eight silvers.” This week’s weather was cooperative enough for Arcoleo to send the Check Mate down to Big Sur for big rockfish returns. “We’ve been at Point Sur the last few days and it’s been fabulous. The last four days we got limits with a lotta olives, coppers and vermillion but not too many ling cod,” Arcoleo reported. We received similar reports from boats launching from Santa Cruz. Tom Joseph from Fish On Sportfishing reported salmon fishing for three days in a row this week saying, “Our party of four boated four salmon to 10 pounds and released 12 shakers and one silver, but we had plenty of chances for limits. Saturday was another great day. Three anglers caught six salmon with the largest at18 and 20 pounds. We released five shakers. On Sunday Joseph reported, “Today our three anglers boated three salmon to 15 pounds and released two shakers. Go Fish Santa Cruz caught salmon on Thursday, then went north for rockfish on the weekend. Anglers aboard the beautiful Miss Beth enjoyed limit-style fishing from Davenport up to Franklin Point. Beth Norton reported for Go Fish, saying, “The clients caught a variety of rock fish including BIG vermillion, coppers, canaries, browns, olives and blues.” There are still tons of anchovies in Monterey Bay as well as blooms of market squid here and there. The water temperatures remain low due to the wind-generated upwelling from our deep submarine canyons. As the water warms within the bay, we will see halibut fishing pick up in the shallower waters and from the beaches and piers. Right now, a few halibut have been reported caught by surfcasters in ultra-protected portions of the bay. And, plenty of bigger flatties are laying out in the 50 to 75-foot depths, just waiting for bait to swim by. Striped bass catches are few and far between so far this season. A few bass have been caught from scattered locations. They are mostly undersized and skinny. As the anchovy schools move in closer to the beaches, we hope to see more and bigger striped bass in the near future. Perch fishing is significantly improving for the surfcasters, however. This week we received numerous reports of surfcasters enjoying non-stop catching from the bigger broad beaches near the center of the bay. Tom Niccum from Coyote Bait and Tackle reported on Thursday night saying, “Best evening of perch fishing ever! Caught and released 17 fish! Eight over 13 inches. Biggest was 15.5 inches.” Niccum was using the special Lucky 13 grubs available at Coyote Bait. Many of these perch are small, but enough of them are big inshore bruisers to keep things interesting. On Friday, Santa Cruzan Johnny Poff caught and released around a dozen barred surf perch using GULP! two-inch camo worms. The highlight of the evening was a hog 14.25-incher that tore line from his drag and challenged his favorite Lamiglas X-11 perch rod. “I thought it was a striper!” Poff said. “Then I thought it was a halibut as it came in through the surfline flattened out. This thing was huge!” Poff said. Call: Chris’ Landing (831) 375-5951; Allen Bushnell – Santa Cruz Kayak and Surf Casting (831) 251-9732 San Francisco Bay Halibut 3 Striper 2 Rockfish 3 Leopard shark 2 Sturgeon 1 Halibut fever remains solidly entrenched in San Francisco Bay despite high winds most of the week. Private boats, six-packs, and party boats are returning to the docks with scores ranging from one to three-flatfish limits and the majority of the action has migrated into the central bay. The party and private boats that normally would be targeting salmon or rockfish have been staying in the bay with the local salmon season closed until June 26th along with the winds making the run to the Farallons chancy. Captain Steve Mitchell of Hook’d Up Sport Fishing found a spot of halibut in the Red Rock area on Sunday, and he put in 10 halibut and 2 striped bass for 5 anglers. He said, “I started in the south bay below the Bay Bridge before moving over to the barges by Treasure Island for a couple of halibut. My last move was the most productive as we went into the north bay for the remainder of the fish. I found a spot and worked it over and over, returning with over 2 fish per rod. We put 15 halibut and a striped bass for 6 anglers this week with Kenny Jones of Yuba City picking up a limit of halibut.” Ron Koyasako of Nautilus Excursions out of San Francisco had two half-day trips on Sunday, and he said, “We put in 5 limits of halibut with a number of quality fish to 13 pounds on Saturday, but the wind kept us hiding behind Treasure Island in the afternoon on Sunday. We had three fish with five minutes to go on the morning trip on Sunday, but we through in a quad with four halibut on the hook at trip’s end, resulting in a total of 7 halibut. We also had a 20-pound halibut free-swimming on the surface chasing up an 8-pound halibut that was on the hook. We see this quite often in the Berkeley Flats and also outside the Gate.” Captain Trent Slate of Bite Me Charters out of Loch Lomond also found his own water in San Pablo Bay earlier in the week for 9 quality halibut for his crew. He said, “We just worked one spot over and over as it was important to get away from the heavy boat traffic that swarmed Red Rock, and Bud Chaddock of SquidMe Baits ended up with a limit of quality halibut.” Captain Jerad Davis of the Salty Lady has been taking intermittent live bait trips inside the bay until the salmon season opens, and he took out 6 anglers for 12 halibut and 5 striped bass working the central bay near Treasure Island. He said, “We also hit the Berkeley Pier and Southhampton Shoals before finishing off hiding from the wind at Paradise at the end of the day. We have already received a number of reservations for the season starting on June 26th.” Captain Joey Gamez of Golden State Sport Fishing put Ocsanna Seropyan, formerly of Valley Rod and Gun and now current manager of the Fishermen’s Warehouse in Manteca, onto a California halibut in excess of 20 pounds on Sunday. The father/son team of Chris and Jonathon Smith on the Pacific Dream and the Happy Hooker out of Berkeley found solid halibut and bass action on Sunday, throwing in a combined 44 halibut to 14 pounds and 7 striped bass to 8 pounds. Earlier in the weekend, Larry, aka ‘The Legend,’ Nelson of Oakland contributed to boat limits with four halibut on the Happy Hooker, also taking the jackpot with a 13-pound flattie. One of the boats regularly targeting rockfish is the Sea Wolf out of Emeryville Sport Fishing, and they were able to make it to the Farallons on Saturday and Sunday for a combined 42 limits of rockfish and 5 ling cod to 14 pounds. Call: Captain Trent Slate Bite Me Charters (415) 307-8582; Captain Jerad Davis, Salty Lady (415) 760-9362; Captain Steve Mitchell of Hook’d Up Sport Fishing (707) 655-6736; Happy Hooker (510) 223-5388 San Luis Obispo Rockfish 3 Salmon 2 Surf perch 3 The San Luis Obispo party boats continue to concentrate solely on bottomfish. Out of Virg’s Landing in Morro Bay, the Black Pearl, Fiesta and Rita G were out on Sunday with 62 passengers for 360 assorted rockfish, 160 vermilion, 45 copper, 30 Boccaccio, 1 cabezon, and 1 ocean whitefish for just shy of rockcod limits. The Avenger, Endeavor, and Starfire out of Morro Bay Landing were out on Sunday with 62 anglers for 180 vermilion, 30 copper, 340 assorted, 70 Boccaccio, and 4 ling cod to 11 pounds for limits. The Patriot, Flying Fish, and Phenix out of Patriot Sport Fishing at Port San Luis were out on local reefs on Sunday with 50 anglers for 104 vermilion, 21 copper, 269 assorted rockfish, 34 Boccaccio, 68 Bolina, 2 ocean whitefish, 2 canary rockfish, and 2 treefish for limits of rockfish along with a single ling cod and 2 halibut to 25 pounds. The ling cod continue to be scarce along the local reefs. The new sub-limit is 5 vermilion as part of a 10-rockfish limit this season. Private boaters continue to troll for salmon with mixed results as a number of fish have been moving north. Call: Virg’s Landing (800) 762-5263; Patriot Sport Fishing (805) 595-4100; Morro Bay Landing Others Delta/Stockton Bass 3 Striper 2 Sturgeon 2 Catfish 2 Bluegill 3 Shad 3 High winds continued to be the story during the week on the Sacramento-Delta, leading to most striped bass trollers heading to the slightly-calmer waters of the San Joaquin. American shad remain on fire in the north Delta with as many as 40 boats crowding around the Firing Line near Freeport. Sturgeon are still available, but anglers have to anchor in the sloughs to get out of the high winds that have been blowing through Suisun Bay with a vengeance. The summer doldrums are a few weeks off as the six-pack operators trolling for striped bass in the Delta will be moving onto greener pastures, leaving the Delta to jet skiers, sail boaters, or bass fishermen. Dave Houston of Livermore said, “I took out Clyde Wands and Rob Turner on Thursday. Things haven’t changed much since last week. the Sacramento still is not producing many fish and the bite on the San Joaquin is fair but not as good as it should be. Most of our fish were caught between 3 Mile Slough and Old River Flats. Wind, grass and stained water made for tough conditions but we’re able to get our limits and get off the water by 12: 00. We did keep a few of our larger fish at six, seven and eight pounds. This has been the worst spring run in many years, let’s hope we get a lot of water next year.” Chris Ditter of HeadRush Sport Fishing had a similar report, but he is putting in limits drifting live bait. He had a group that wanted to learn to troll on Thursday, and they bucked 4-foot rollers along the West Bank for a few stripers on deep divers. The minnow bite has been much better as you can work the depths to 30 feet. The schools of striped bass remain very isolated and difficult to find. Ditter cancelled his trips in the high winds over the weekend. Alan Fong, manager of the Fishermen’s Warehouse in Sacramento, found good bass fishing action in the north Delta out of Arrowhead Marina, and he said, “We were out for a few hours, and the action is good for largemouth bass to 4 pounds with spinnerbaits in the wind along with Senkos. There are a few stripers around, but the shad are all over. I was driving back along the levee, and there were at least 40 boats on the anchor at the Firing Line near Freeport.” Johnny Tran of New Romeo’s Bait and Tackle in Freeport had a similar report, saying, “The shad are everywhere from Freeport north, and the striped bass are still around with pile worms, blood worms, or sardines coated with garlic spray. Bluegill are thick in the sloughs with red worms or jumbo red worms under a drop-shot rig or on a float.” Few sturgeon fishermen are out there, but Joey Gamez Jr. of Golden State Sport Fishing took his fiancée and future father-in-law out to Montezuma Slough to get out of the wind, and they caught and released 7 diamondbacks with oversized, slot-limit, and undersized sturgeon in the mix on salmon roe. Dennis Palmer of Pinole was also in Montezuma this week to release a 7-foot sturgeon. Steve Mitchell of Hook’d Up Sport Fishing said, “The months of May and June are very good for sturgeon, but everyone seems to want halibut right now.” The wind put a major damper on the ability to sit on the anchor for sturgeon, and the only areas where one could anchor were in the sloughs on the north side of the river such as Suisun or Montezuma. Few anglers are targeting sturgeon at this time, but that doesn’t mean that the diamondbacks have left the system. High winds continue to plague the San Joaquin-Delta, but a great story emerged out of the three-day FLW Toyota Series event out of Russo’s Marina with the Huntze brothers of Discovery Bay taking first with 21-year old Logan taking the pro division with 19-year old Colby holding up his end of the bargain in the amateur division. Striped bass trollers or live bait drifters have been focusing on this side of the Delta to get out of as much wind as possible. Logan Huntze weighed in a total of 64 pounds, 12 ounces during the three-day tournament, coming from behind last year’s winner, Ish Monroe, on the final day after leading on the opening day with a 27-plus pound limit for a winning total of $24,293. His brother, Colby, lead the amateur division from the start for a three-day total of 45 pounds, 13 ounces for a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat. Logan put in his limits primarily by punching the weeds or throwing a frog on the mats, keying on locations under the grass with deep enough water to hold bass. Colby was also punching, but he also found some action with chatterbaits or plastic worms on a finesse presentation. Colby came in third last year in the same event as an 18-year old. Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, said, “The bass bite has been a roller coaster with good action one day followed by 6 or 7 fish the following day. We have been scoring with the ima Finesse Popper in shad patterns around the weeds on a slow retrieve with lots of pauses. It is a similar retrieve with the ima Rock N’Vibe Suspend in crawdad patterns, and you have to use a sporadic tempo. Throwing the General heavy worm with Max Scent weightless is a good option, but you have to let it fall and let the scent permeate. When it is windy, I put it on a Zappu Head, and it is important to just lift it slightly to keep it in the strike zone. There haven’t been too many giants around, but we have been finding bass to 3 pounds.” Jeff Soo Hoo of Soo Hoo’s Sport Fishing out of Laurtizen’s Yacht Harbor in Oakley has been drifting live bait in the wind, and he said, “When the current starts to move, the fish will bite, but you have to run the tide to keep up with the bite. The stripers are in small clusters, and they aren’t sticking around for long once the tide dies. We are putting together limits despite the wind, and I will running trips until the second week of June. During the summer, I will be operating a summer fishing camp for children called Fishing 101.” In the south Delta below Mossdale, law enforcement personnel continue to cite fishermen for violations ranging from oversized sturgeon to no license in possession. Call: Randy Pringle (209) 543-6260; Captain Steve Mitchell – Hook’d Up Sport Fishing – (707) 655-6736; Chris Ditter – HeadRush Sport Fishing – (916) 284-9236; Vince Borges – Vince Borges Outdoors (209) 918-0828 Lake Nacimiento/San Antonio/Santa Margarita/Lopez Bass 3 White bass 2 Striper 0 Catfish 2 Crappie 2 Bluegill 3 At Nacimiento, spotted bass are abundant from the banks to 20 feet with plastics on the drop-shot being the best offering along bluff walls or ledges. The white bass are scattered and moving rapidly, but when they are found in the river arms or coves, they are hitting white Kastmasters, Roostertails, or small Keitech swimbaits. Crappie are also holding along the steeper walls and ledges off shore, and minijigs or small Keitechs are picking up a few slabs. Water releases have ramped up, and the lake dropped from 34 to 31%. A webcam of the lake is available at At Lopez, the bass are either spawning or in post-spawn, and the majority of fish biting have been of the post-spawn variety with a reaction bite in the mornings before switching over to plastics by mid-morning. Trollers still have the upper hand on the trout action, but the bite is nothing to get too excited about as a few rainbows are taken on Kastmasters or plugs. Catfish are found on occasion on cut baits while red worms or jumbo red worms are picking up the suspended bluegill or red ear perch. A webcam of the lake is available at At Santa Margarita, bass fishing is fair for small largemouths less than 4 pounds with the larger fish taken on jigs or crankbaits. Topwater lures are starting to make an impact, but numbers are found on Senkos or plastics on a Texas-rig or drop-shot. Trout from the recent plants have migrated to the coolest water in the lake, and shore fishermen are only picking up a few on Power Bait in areas with deep water access. Bluegill have moved into the shallows of the protected coves, and red worms or jumbo red worms are picking up a few of the panfish. At San Antonio, water releases have dropped the lake to 16%. Catfish remain the top species, but the bite has slowed. Mackerel soaked in garlic scent, chicken livers, or shrimp are the best option while the bass bite is fair at best with tubes or small swimbaits on an underspin. Events Tournament results Delta/Russo’s Marina –FLW Toyota Series Pro Division (Three Limits)- May 13-15: 1st –Logan Huntze – 64.12 pounds; 2nd – Phillip Dutra – 63.06; 3rd –Mark Lassagne – 58.06. Delta/Russo’s Marina –FLW Toyota Series Amateur Division (Three Limits)- May 13-15: 1st –Colby Huntze – 45.13 pounds; 2nd –Aaron Agner – 42.14; 3rd – Mike Walsh – 42.06. Don Pedro – Best Bass Tournaments/Mother Lode – May 15: 1st –– Hayden Lee/Mitchell Menzes – 17.62 pounds; 2nd – Shane and Trey Hawkins – 13.37; 3rd –Mark Andrews/Jimmy Welch Jr.– 13.04. Don Pedro – Fresno Bass Club – May 15: 1st –– Bill Kunz – 10.59 pounds; 2nd – Seth Rowe – 10.57; 3rd –Matt Mendes– 10.49. Pine Flat – Xtreme Bass Club – May 15: 1st –– Tim Wells/Jeff D’Alessandro – 12.56 pounds; 2nd – Sergio Mendoza/Michael McLaughlin – 10.62; 3rd –Dusty Mart/Jason Horn – 8.73. Clear Lake – Best Bass Tournaments/Delta/Wine – May 15: 1st –– Tim and TJ Sharpe – 23.80 pounds; 2nd – Zach Richard/Bill Talley – 23.44; 3rd – Carson Leber/Korey Hall – 23.05 (Big Fish 7.47). Upcoming tournaments (subject to change) May 22-23 Success – Cen Cal Elite Bass Tournaments May 22 Delta/B and W Resort – Bass Anglers of Northern California Delta/Contra Costa – Sierra Bass Club Delta/Ladd’s Marina – Yak-A-Bass/17-90 Bass Club Nacimiento – San Luis Obispo Bass Ambushers Lopez – Bakersfield Bass Club May 23 Delta/B and W Resort – California Bass Federation Don Pedro – California Bass Federation May 30 Don Pedro – California Bass Federation Solunar tableAMPMMinorMajorMinorMajorq-Wednesday—5: 5212: 046: 17Thursday12: 296: 4112: 547: 06Friday1: 157: 271: 407: 52Saturday1: 598: 112: 248: 36Sunday2: 428: 553: 089: 21>Monday3: 289: 413: 5510: 08>Tuesday4: 1810: 334: 4711: 02q = quarter moon > = peak activity
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