Fishing report, June 2-8: Docks in the water at Huntington, Courtright reservoirs – Fresno Bee


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Christi Avakian borrowed her father’s fishing pole and scored her first catch, a 6.6-pound rainbow trout at Shaver Lake.

Special to The Bee

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 sturgeon bites good, Vince Borges said. New Melones kokanee and bass action on tap, Kyle Wise reported. McClure bass numbers good, Ryan Cook said. Don Pedro kicking out kokanee and bass, Monte Smith reported. Wishon and Courtright keeping trout anglers busy, Kelly Brewer said. Shaver continues to pump out kokanee limits, Dick Nichols reported. Valley West-side waterways Striper 2 Catfish 2 Josh Mesa at Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill reported a solid jerkbait bite with Duo Realis 120s or topwater lures such as Zara Spooks in the early mornings or late afternoons. A number of fishermen are starting to throw big 8-inch Huddleston or Mega Bass Mega Draft swimbaits along with River2Sea Swavers. During the daylight hours, anglers are working the bottom with heavy lures such as flukes on a 3/4- to 1-ounce jigs head along with heavier Rat-L-Traps. Senkos are working for largemouth bass when the flows have slowed. In the southern section of the aqueduct in Kern County, Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield said, “We have a number of fishermen picking up number of catfish on live crickets while cut baits, chicken livers, and dip baits are also effective for the whiskerfish. Striper bass are found on cut baits, blood worms, or lug worms along with throwing jerkbaits or topwater lures in low-light conditions.” Call: Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis 292-3474; Bob’s Bait Bucket in Bakersfield (661) 833-8657 Eastman Lake Bass 1 Trout 0 Bluegill 2 Catfish 2 Crappie 2 Minimal change with the only fishermen heading to the lake targeting catfish with cut baits, chicken livers, or nightcrawlers. The lake remains a “mud puddle” at 11% with green algae forming. Call: Eastman Lake 689-3255 Hensley Lake Bass 1 Trout 0 Catfish 2 Bluegill 2 Crappie 2 Similar to Eastman, fishing is at an all-time low for bass while catfish are the top species with cut baits or chicken livers from the shorelines The lake held at 23%. 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 3 Kokanee 3 King salmon 2 Crappie 1 Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing has been targeting his home lake of Don Pedro, and he said, “The kokanee have moved due to all of the pressure from trollers prefishing for the derby, and you have to go find them. In addition, the lake is receding, and the dropping water will cause the kokanee to move around. We have been scoring with J-Pex lures at depths from 35 to 60 feet for kokanee, but I had a trip this week where they wanted to try for king salmon and rainbows. We fast-trolled my heavy spoons for king salmon to 3 pounds along with three kokanee and several quality rainbows working the points, eddies, and coves in the lake. Bud Willett of Modesto landed the big king, and we had another big one on that came unbuttoned. With the holiday weekend, I made it a point to stay off of the lake, but I will be back out towards the end of the coming week.” Kokanee plants for 2021 were announced with Don Pedro receiving 20,034 fingerlings. Kokanee fishermen are requested to diligently complete the kokanee/king salmon survey every trip at For bass, Ryan Cook of Ryan Cook’s Fishing said, “There is an early morning topwater bite with the Berkley El Choppo or Whopper Plopper when the wind is up before switching to ½-ounce G-Money Jigs or 4/5-inch Hula Grubs on a ½-ounce jig head.” The lake dropped slightly to 66%. 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 1 Crappie 2 Catfish 3 Bluegill 1 At Lake Isabella, Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield reported good action for trollers for the planted rainbows with a bonus of crappie taken on the lures intended for trout. Crappie are found near structure in the North Fork around Tillie Creek with live minnows or minijigs while minnows are also picking up rainbow trout. Catfish remain a stable with frozen shad, Triple S Dip Bait, chicken livers, or nightcrawlers. Largemouth bass remain in the shallows with squarebilled crankbaits, plastics on the drop-shot, or spinnerbaits. The annual Lake Isabella Kern Valley Chamber of Commerce Trout Derby started on April 24 and it will run through Sept. 6. A total of 500 tagged trout valued from $20 to $500, and the organizers are 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 at 17%. At Buena Vista, a few crappie are taken at night while catfish are another option, but there haven’t been any more of the huge whiskerfish landed recently. The upper Kern River is running slow, and the planted rainbows are holding in the deeper pools. Live crickets, Power Bait, nightcrawlers, or salmon eggs with as little weight as possible are working in the deeper holes. The lower river is low and warming, and the bass and catfish are getting active. Call: Bob’s Bait Bucket in Bakersfield (661) 833-8657; North Fork Marina (760) 376-1812; Golden Trout Pack Station (559) 542-2816 Lake Kaweah Bass 2 Crappie 2 Trout 0 Catfish 2 The lake rose only slightly to 34% this week, but water releases are expected to begin shortly. The best action for largemouth bass is with Senkos or jerkbaits as the fish are suspending into deeper water in post-spawn mode. Crappie are found near submerged rock or bush around Horse Creek with live minnows or minijigs. Lake Success Bass 2 Crappie 2 Trout 0 Catfish 2 Success is kicking out quality largemouth bass, but recreational boating took center stage over the holiday weekend. With the triple-digit heat this week, recreational boating will remain heavy. The best bass fishing is with Senkos, jigs, or flukes in the shallows. The lake held at 23%. Call: Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626, McClure Reservoir Bass 3 Trout 1 King salmon 0 Kokanee 0 Crappie 2 Catfish 3 Ryan Cook of Ryan Cook’s Fishing said, “The bass bite remains relatively unchanged with excellent action for numbers, but the size is limited. There is a topwater or fluke bite in the mornings before working the bottom with jigs or tubes around main lake points or cuts from mid-lake to the river arm are holding the majority of the bass. The bass are loading up on shad as the baitfish continue to spawn.” Crappie fishing is decent 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 Rainbows holding over from the recent derby are found from the banks with trout dough bait, nightcrawlers, or Kastmasters from the Brush Pile, Handicapped Docks, or peninsula near the Marina in the early mornings 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 2 Striped Bass 1 Shad 1 Bluegill 2 Crappie 1 Michael Crayne of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis reported small spotted bass are taken on plastics in shad patterns such as Robo Worms Prism Shad, Pro Gold, or Hologram Shad along with Merritt Gilbert’s custom Casper on the drop-shot. The bass are suspending and holding around large rock in the main lake or up the river arm. are in post-spawn. The striped bass population has plummeted with many hours necessary for the opportunity at a single large lineside. The smaller fish remain absent. The lake held at 50%. Call: Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474 New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch Bass 3 Crappie 2 Catfish 3 Trout 2 Kokanee 2 There is an excellent topwater bite early in the morning with Poppers or Whopper Ploppers worked against the shorelines. 40 to 60 fish topwater days have been reported by John Liechty of Xperience Fishing Guide Service with largemouths to 6.85 pounds and a handful of spotted bass to 3.5 pounds. Kyle Wise of HeadHunter Guide Service put young Anthony Accarbo of Alamo onto a limit of kokanee with the two largest at 2.2 and 2.3 pounds as part of a total of 13 kokanee with his father and grandfather. Wise said, “They wanted to call it a day at 9 a.m. as they had more than enough action. Anthony was able to reel in the big fish without losing many as I have switched the hooks up to a size 2 from size 4 to get a better hookset on the larger fish. J-Pex lures in pink and orange worked early along with blues and purples later in the morning along with the 1.5-inch UV Apex lure behind a 5.5-inch gold Mag Tackle dodger at depths to 73 feet. We were marking fish at 40 feet, but these were smaller kokanee from 8 to 10 inches. With the tournament on the horizon at Don Pedro, I will be focusing upon Melones for the time being. A number of fishermen are working the river channel from the dam to Rose Island in open water, but the bigger fish are starting to orient to structure. Jeff Geizler of Lodi landed a 2.5-pound kokanee earlier in the week, and I was hoping to match him, but we came up a bit short, at least on this day.” Kokanee plants for 2021 were announced with New Melones receiving 50,094 fingerlings.Kokanee fishermen are requested to diligently complete the kokanee/king salmon survey every trip at The middle ramps at Glory Hole Point and Tuttletown are open along with one ramp at Angels Cove. The lake dropped to 57%, and there are numerous unmarked hazards throughout the lake. Boaters have to be extremely cautious. 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 0 Catfish 3 Crappie 2 Michael Crayne of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “The spotted bass bite is showing signs of life off of main lake points with topwater lures, jerkbaits, crankbaits, and jigs. Zoom Trick Worms on a shakey head is another option with the best action around Sycamore and Big Creeks for small spots. Crappie fishing remains slow, but trout trolling is picking up due to the recent plants in the main lake from the Power Lines to the dam with shad-patterned Needlefish such as Cop Car or similar spoons.” The lake rose to 41%. In the lower Kings River, trout plants are over for the near future, but there are holdovers from the heavy planting schedule throughout the spring. 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 1 Catfish 2 Bass 2 Crappie 1 The combination of the full moon and dropping water levels have slowed down the troll and the minnow bite, but there is still action coming off of the banks in the early mornings or late evenings with cut baits to topwater lures. There have been reports of big striped bass caught and kept, but these are few and far between. Similar to Millerton, the removal of large striped bass will impact the future of the fishery. With the warm weather coming, algae blooms are right around the corner. The lake dropped to 44%. In the O’Neill Forebay, there have been reports of several striped bass in excess of 20 pounds caught and kept from the forebay over the past few weeks on anchovies, topwater lures, or jerkbaits. The majority of striped bass remain undersized with fishermen having to cull through many shakers for a legal limit. cut baits, pile worms, or blood worms are the best option. 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 (559) 905-2954 High Sierra Bass Lake Bass 2 Trout 2 Kokanee 1 Memorial Day weekend brings out heavy recreational boating, and it kicks off the recreational boating season at this heavily-used reservoir. The only fishing taking place was trout trolling near the dam before the 8 a.m. start of recreational boating. There are 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, but most trollers were waiting until the weekend is over. The Sheriff’s Motor Fee remains in effect. The lake held at 70%. 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 The first 5.6 miles of Kaiser Pass Road have been opened, and the second 14.5 miles was to open over the holiday weekend. Edison dropped slightly to 18% with Florence rising to 58%. Mammoth Pool went from 91% to 94% 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 At Shaver Lake, Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters said, “The full moon was out at the beginning of the week, but we were able to put multiple limits in the boat all week leading into Memorial Day Weekend. The early morning bite last week changed to an 8 a.m. bite this week, and in some cases, we needed to stay out until noon. Thursday’s trip was a little quicker with two limits by 10 a.m. On Friday, Donavon and Bryan Van Der Paardt of Fresno took their dad, Rob, out for a birthday trip and were able to go home with multiple limits of fat kokanee for his birthday dinner. I have been running Koke Busters in purple or Dick’s Mountain Hoochies in pink and purple tipped with scented corn behind Mountain Dodgers in pink/purple or gold/orange at depths from 35 to 52 feet. Wade Obermann and Jill Kovacich, of Auberry were out in their boat on Friday and picked up a couple limits using Hot Pink Mountain Hoochies at the same depths. The boat traffic over the weekend was a deterrent for trollers, but weekend guide, Tom Oliveira of Mag Tackle put in 15 kokanee for his clients by 8: 30 a.m. on Saturday morning running his Mag Tackle spinners in pink, orange, or purple behind Mag Tackle dodgers.” Shaver is scheduled to receive 26,600 kokanee fingerlings this year. Anglers are requested to diligently complete the kokanee/king salmon survey every trip at to provide accurate information to the Department of Fish and Wildlife. Jay Irvine, his wife, Delinda, and brother-in-law, Barry Francolino went to Huntington on Sunday, and with the docks now in the water, they were able to launch, scoring three limits of kokanee using a TNK salmon spinner hoochie or orange/green spinner behind a Panther Martin High Lake Troll at 20 to 25 feet on a 60-foot setback. The lake has risen to 85%. Planted rainbows are taken from the mouth of Rancheria Creek on Power Bait or nightcrawlers. Brown trout are caught and released on crankbaits from the shorelines. 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 3 At high-elevation Courtright Reservoir, Jay Irvine and his 92-year-old father along with his wife, Delinda, and brother-in-law, Barry Francolino landed four limits of trout, keeping three on Saturday morning running streamer trolling flies in olive, red, or brown behind a Wiggle Disc at a setback ranging from 150 to 175 feet. Kelly Brewer of the Wishon Store and RV Park said, “Both Wishon and Courtright were planted last week, and fishing is great on both lakes for bank fishermen and trollers. Limits have been taken off of the shorelines with Power Bait or nightcrawlers, and the docks are in at Courtright while Wishon remains very low.” Kelly Brewer of the Wishon Village RV Park and Store said, “Courtright is kicking out large trout from the banks on nightcrawlers, and Wishon is hot for both bank anglers and boaters pretty much on everything thrown at them. Wishon is on the dirt ramp, and Courtright is low, but the water is over the ramp. The RV Park and store will be opened last Friday.” Both Wishon and Courtright are accessible, and boaters are launching off of the dirt road at Wishon and the docks are in the water at Courtright. Trolling action is solid at both lakes along with shore fishing with Power Bait or inflated nightcrawlers. The best bank action at Wishon is in the upper part of the lake near the river inlet. Courtright is kicking out easy limits of brown or rainbow trout with trolling flies near the surface in the early mornings. Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361 Ocean Half Moon Bay Salmon 3 Rockfish 4 Striper 1 White sea bass 0 Crab 2 Sand dabs 2 Surf perch 2 The salmon scores remained respectable when the larger boats were able to make the 18-mile trek to the open line below Pigeon Point while rockfishing on the local reefs is solid for limits along with the occasional ling cod. There was a weather window over the weekend, and the Huli Cat came up big on Memorial Day with 15 salmon to 27 pounds for 8 anglers trolling straight bait. They were also the highliner on Saturday with 9 limits of salmon to 16 pounds while the New Captain Pete came through with a fish per rod with 15 salmon for 15 anglers. The Queen of Hearts out of Half Moon Bay Sport Fishing returned with 10 salmon to 12 pounds for 14 anglers on Saturday, but they went rockfishing for 12 limits and 2 lings on Sunday. Captain Dennis Baxter of the New Captain Pete said, “We had a decent score on Sunday with 11 salmon for 7 anglers, but it wasn’t the big response that we had expected with the excellent conditions down south.” First mate and son, Braden Baxter, added, “The conditions looked really good with a bunch of whales putting on shows, hundreds of feet of bait on the sonar, birds along with a few albatross, and the salmon are plugged with both krill or anchovies. We had a lot of short bites, however, and the shakers and silvers are a nuisance so a few extra weights have to be expended.” Captain Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat confirmed the slower bite on Sunday, saying, “They bit late in the afternoon on Saturday, and although the weather conditions were similar on both days, we didn’t receive the type of action we had expected. The weather was such that we could only troll in one direction on both days. Monday’s weather is the best it has been in some time, but surprisingly, there wasn’t much interest to make the run. We put in limits of both rockfish and crab along with 7 lingcod to 9 pounds earlier in the week with the bottom fish found in 130 feet of water off of San Gregorio.” The local salmon season begins on June 26, and the first of the net pen releases occurred this past week with another pen filled and ready to get set free. Call: Captain Dennis Baxter – New Captain Pete (650) 576-3844; Captain Tom Mattusch – Huli Cat (650) 619-0459 Monterey/Santa Cruz Salmon 2 Rockfish 4 Striper 1 White sea bass 0 Crab 2 Sand dabs 3 Surf perch 3 Allen Bushnell of Santa Cruz Kayak and Surfcasting Guide Service said, “Persistent south winds and a steep swell made fishing days ‘hit or miss’ in Monterey Bay this week. Most mornings were fishable, and conditions are expected to improve as we move into the coming week. Big charter boats are landing about a fish per rod while mooching for salmon. The smaller, six-pack boats are doing a bit better, averaging a fish and a half per rod on the days they make it to the fishing grounds. The salmon are big, weighing in up to twenty pounds and over, but there are quite a few silvers in the mix. Most salmon are still being caught in the upper part of the water column, by trollers and moochers fishing 50 to 90 feet down, and most salmon fishing this week centered on the Soquel or Pajaro Hole areas. Chris’s Fishing and Whale Watching from Monterey netted five king salmon for six anglers on the Check Mate Thursday. On Friday, the count went way down as they caught only two salmon for 18 anglers aboard the Caroline. The big boats Chris’s continue to report full limits of rockfish for all their trips this week with up to 240 rockfish for 24 anglers with an occasional ling cod as bonus. With Captain Brian Cutting at the helm, the Kahuna from Moss Landing had a good day mooching on Saturday. Owner Carol Jones provided a brief report saying, “Fifteen anglers landed 12 king salmon, lost nine, and released two Coho.” Launching from Santa Cruz, Captain JT Thomas brought the beautiful Miss Beth to the right spot on Saturday as Beth Norton from Go Fish Charters reported, “JT and Greg took the clients to fish at the Big Canyon today. They caught seven king salmon, lost three, and released three silvers. The whales and dolphins put on a show for everyone.” Another premier “four pack” charter company, Fish On Sportfishing, did just as well on Friday. Owner Tom Joseph on the Sara Bella was happy to report “Today our 4 anglers boated 6 salmon to 24 pounds and released 2 silvers.” On the Mega Bite out of Santa Cruz, skipper Tom Dolan has been concentrating on rockfish during this week of difficult weather. On Friday he reported, “Off to the Jurassic fishing grounds, but the wind was not our friend today. We fished hard for hours and managed a few lingcod and a couple dozen rockcod.” Saturday’s trip was more productive even with the winds and choppy waters. Dolan said, “Local potluck today and again the winds were a challenge. Fortunately for our group of six the fish were biting… big time! We hammered out limits of brown, olive, blue, canary, and vermilion. Ken Stagnaro of Stagnaro’s on the Santa Cruz Wharf said, “Rockfishing is going well for anglers aboard our charter boats. Half-day rock cod fishing on the Velocity has been yielding half-limits for the morning anglers composed of yellows, blues, vermilion, and a few lingcod in the mix.” Surfcasting is getting better all-around Monterey Bay. The high winds don’t help much and catching the high tide at dawn or dusk rotated away from us as the week progressed. Still, we are seeing increasing reports of striped bass, mostly ‘mini-models.’ If you hit the right beach at the right time, smaller barred surf perch can be hooked on almost every cast. Also, a good number of hungry gravid female perch are lurking close to the beach. First-time surfcaster Laurence Bedford discovered how hard these big mamas can hit while on a guide trip with Santa Cruz Kayak Fishing and Surfcasting Guide Service at Rio Del Mar in Aptos. Bedford, from Santa Cruz, landed a beautiful 15-inch barred surf perch on Monday morning. He got a great fight, a great picture and released her without her losing any babies. That’s the way to do it!” Call: Chris’ Landing (831) 375-5951; Allen Bushnell – Santa Cruz Kayak and Surf Casting (831) 251-9732 San Francisco Bay Salmon 0 Albacore 0 Halibut 2 Striper 2 Rockfish 4 Leopard shark 3 Sturgeon 0 Crab 2 The combination of high winds and huge king tides muddied up San Francisco and San Pablo Bays, and the halibut bite was challenging to say the least over the past week. Regular party boats who were out on a daily basis landed as few as four halibut for a day’s work during the periods of the largest tides and high winds in the middle of the week, but the winds backed off over the weekend, and the scores showed significant improvement. The striped bass have yet to return in droves, but they should be holding on the rockpiles soon while the ocean salmon season can’t get here fast enough for the remaining halibut in the bays. The halibut in the bay have been facing tremendous pressure with all of the new six-pack operators coming out of the woodwork on the weekends along with the normal salmon boats fishing inside the bay. June 26th can’t get here fast enough to alleviate pressure inside of the bay. The week started with the Captain Jonathon Smith of the Happy Hooker out of Berkeley running a very successful Phenix Rods charter on Monday for 41 halibut and 2 striped bass for 18 anglers, but then the tides happened. The big tides didn’t seem to affect the halibut last year, but this is a different year. The boats struggled for a fish per rod throughout the remainder of the week, but father, Chris Smith of the Pacific Dream out of Berkeley posted 12 halibut to 12 pounds along with 3 striped bass to 6 pounds, releasing another 60 undersized halibut on Saturday. Captain Steve Mitchell of Hook’d Up Sport Fishing out of Berkeley has been averaging around a halibut per rod or slightly better throughout the week, and he said, “It has been tough out there with the big tides, and the only action has been coming at the start of the incoming tide before the current gets running too fast. The water is dirty due to the wind and the king tides. The tides are much better next week, and I expected some great action.” Captain Ron Koyasako of Nautilus Excursions out of San Francisco went looking for clean water from Red Rock in San Pablo Bay to Bay Farm Island in the south bay, only finding slightly-clearer water off of the Berkeley Flats on Saturday’s half-day trip. Koyasako said, “We started out with a few bites this morning, landing our only bass for the trip and losing a very large halibut. Hoping this didn’t turn out to be a harbinger of things to come, we made a move and found the bite to be a better in the new location. We started to land some fish and hooked up, landing our largest fish at 28 pounds by Brad Kurtz of Pleasanton on the last drift which triggered an overtime drift to add one more to the box. We ended up with 9 halibut and a striped bass for 7 anglers.” Captain Jerad Davis of the Salty Lady was out on Friday in the big tides, and he said, “It was a struggle and we had to work hard, but we ended up with 7 halibut for 7 anglers along with a couple of striped bass and a handle of brown rockfish working from the end of the pier to Paradise and near Point Belvedere. We are normally a salmon boat, and we have already received a number of reservations for the upcoming salmon season.” Captain Trent Slate of Bite Me Charters out of Loch Lomond plans on starting his salmon season on the 26th by mooching as he is one of the only captains in the Bay Area that will mooch for salmon. He said, “We are expecting a solid season, and if the fish are grouped up, we will get them.” Ed Chin of Bay Tackle said, “The shoreline has been blown out, and it is hard to throw lures, and with the big tides, there is no water in the afternoon.” 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 0 Surf perch 3 The San Luis Obispo party boats continue to concentrate solely on bottomfish, and out of Virg’s Landing in Morro Bay, the Black Pearl, Fiesta and Rita G were out on Sunday with 57 passengers for near-limits of rockfish composed of 399 assorted rockfish, 143 vermilion, 17 Boccaccio, 1 cabezon, 15 ocean whitefish, and 4 ling cod. The Avenger, Endeavor, and Starfire out of Morro Bay Landing were out on Sunday on up to 12-hour trips, and 63 anglers scoring limits of rockfish with 170 vermilion, 70 copper, 30 Boccaccio, 259 assorted, 100 kelp rockfish, one 10-pound sheephead, and 3 ling cod for limits. The Patriot, Flying Fish, and Phenix out of Patriot Sport Fishing at Port San Luis were out on local reefs on ½- or ¾-day trips Sunday with 70 anglers for 61 vermilion, 21 copper, 210 assorted rockfish, 22 Boccaccio, 53 Bolina, one treefish, and 8 ling cod to 10 pounds. 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 3 Bluegill 3 Salmon 0 The Memorial Day Weekend is the traditional start of summer, and right on key, triple-digit temperatures arriving on Monday followed by 90’s for the remainder of the week. The winds that have plagued the Delta for weeks have stopped, allowing the temperatures to spike on the final day of May. The Delta is quickly transitioning from a prime fishing location to a prime recreational boat location. In addition to the winds, king tides were the story of the past week, leading to a challenging bite for the remaining striped bass anglers. James Netzel of Tight Lines Guide Service finished up his Delta stint on Wednesday, and he said, “I cancelled my last three trips of the week due to the poor striped bass action, big tides, and high winds. There really isn’t much you can do with 5-foot tides and the wind unless there is a lot of fish in the system, and this hasn’t been the case for the spring run. We had had some great days during the spring, but the numbers of stripers were limited.” Chris Ditter of HeadRush Guide Service is another guide who has left the Delta striped bass scene for greener pastures, and he will be running mackinaw and trout trips from the North Shore at Lake Tahoe for the summer. Jeff Soo Hoo of Soo Hoo’s Sport Fishing out of Lauritzen’s Yacht Harbor in Oakley has been drifting minnows for success, and he said, “It has been tough out there, but we are chasing the tides and working the slower and cleaner water to work for limits of stripers. The water has been dirty, and it is even dirty on the outgoing tide. We have been searching for clear water, and even when you find the scattered schools of stripers, they may not bite. I went up as far as Potato Slough this week looking for clear water, and it was dirty up there. Fortunately, we have been able to scratch out limits on the live bait.” There are still sturgeon to be taken in the Sacramento River system, and Tony Lopez of Benicia Bait reported good action from the shoreline in Montezuma Slough at the pier by the Red Barn with grass shrimp. Lopez said, ‘Few anglers have been targeting sturgeon, but the fishing is good, and there are stripers coming from the shoreline, but the majority are undersized.” Alan Fong, manager of the Fishermen’s Warehouse in Sacramento, went bass fishing in the north Delta, and he said, “We fought the wind, but we picked one up here and there on chatterbaits or Senkos. The big tides made for tough fishing overall.” The San Joaquin-Delta was littered with waterskiers, jetskiers, and wakeboarders over the holiday weekend, and with triple-digits on the horizon, recreational boating will continue to dominate the Delta. Vince Borges of Vince Borges Outdoors said, “In spite of the winds, the bass bite has been really great whether punching the weeds or casting swimbaits. We are still scoring with the Reaction Innovation’s Skinny Dipper paddletails, and we have had a lot of followers on the swimbait. The key to getting bit is to work it erratically by popping the handle back. When you work it with a straight retrieve, you will get followers, but the erratic presentation will entice a strike from the larger fish in the 5/6-pound range. We are working the swimbait over the flats while punching the healthy, green grass as the bigger fish are under the healthy grass. The hyacinth has not been nearly as productive. The bass are loading up on crawdads, and we are seeing crawdads in varying colors from browns to deep reds crawling on the grass. Reaction Innovation’s Sweet Beavers in crawdad colors of brownish or reds are working. The frog bite is starting to pick up with the bass in post-spawn, and the warming water will continue to bring out the frog bite. When you land a bass on a frog right now, it’s usually a decent fish. I took out 14 year-old Logan and his father Martin on a recent trip, and Logan put in 24 pounds by himself including a huge 9.2-pound largemouth in spite of 30 mph winds.” A 51-boat tournament was held on the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend out of Big Break Marina, and the winning limit was nearly 25 pounds with a big fish at 9.01 pounds. There haven’t been many big striped bass landed in the San Joaquin system over the past few weeks, but George Wight of Antioch, a charter member of the California Striped Bass Association, caught and released a 37-inch/20-pound lineside on a live bluegill near West Island. In the south Delta, Omega Nguyen of Mega Bait and Tackle in Lathrop reported numerous undersized striped bass in the San Joaquin River below the Mossdale Bridge at Interstate 5. He said, “I went out to Sturgeon Bend to try out different baits, and pile worms and sardines produced both shaker stripers and catfish. There have been some larger stripers to 7 pounds taken closer to Mossdale on bait. Sturgeon are moving out of the lower river as there were none reported this week. Most of our anglers are targeting the banks off of Whiskey Slough or in the San Joaquin for striped bass, catfish, or bluegill with waxworms or red worms. We should have fresh shad in the shop this coming week as the shadders are starting to find a greater concentration of shad.” 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 2 White bass 2 Striper 0 Catfish 3 Crappie 2 Bluegill 3 Trout 2 At Nacimiento, the water level continues to drop, and the boat pressure was intense over the holiday weekend. Numbers of spotted bass are possible, but anglers will have to work a number of locations with finesse techniques of plastics on the drop-shot or dart head. Trollers are picking up a few of the white bass on small white Kastmasters, Roostertails, or small Keitech swimbaits. Crappie are holding near structure in shallow water, and minijigs have been the best option. The lake dropped from 30 to 29 percent. A webcam of the lake is available at At Lopez, the planted rainbows continue to be landed by trollers pulling small Needlefish or crankbaits such as Flicker Shad, but the banks are slow due to the rainbows moving out into deeper water. A few trout are found from the shorelines with Power Bait or nightcrawlers in areas with deep water access. Bass fishing is fair at best with somewhat of a reaction bite on spinnerbaits, topwater lures, or crankbaits in the mornings. By mid-morning, plastics on the drop-shot or Senkos work best. The panfish bite should improve with red worms or wax worms with the warming water conditions. A webcam of the lake is available at At Santa Margarita, the reintroduction of rainbow trout continues to attract trollers who are picking up the planters with small crankbaits like Flicker Shads or spoons, but the planters have also ramped up the swimbait bite with a 9-pound largemouth reported on a rainbow trout swimbait. The most consistent bass technique has been with plastics on the drop-shot or dart head, but there is a window in the morning for crankbaits. The crappie are holding around certain submerged trees or brush, but trollers are picking up some slabs while targeting the planted rainbows. At San Antonio, water releases have dropped the lake to 15%. Catfish are biting cut baits soaked in garlic along with dip baits, nightcrawlers, or chicken livers fished with as little weight as possible. Bass fishing remains slow with an occasional smallmouth or largemouth on plastics. vents Tournament results Delta–Sierra Bass Club – May 22/23: 1st –– Chris Flammang/Ryan Motter – 32.00 pounds; 2nd – Dan and Mike Rippertella – 29.51 (Big Fish – Dan Rippertella – 7.53); 3rd – Joe and Drake Phlorez– 24.50. Delta/Big Break Marina–May 29: 1st –– Josh Reublin/Beau Joudrey – 24.81 pounds; 2nd – Edgar and Armando Luzuriaga – 23.64; 3rd – Vincent Bernal/Hunter Schandler – 21.87. Upcoming tournaments (subject to change) June 5-6 Delta/Ladd’s Marina – Anglers Press Outdoors Delta/Riverside Marina – Dan Mathisen Outdoors Don Pedro – Modesto Ambassadors June 5 Delta/Tiki Lagun – Bass N’ Tubes Delta/B and W Resort – California Bass Federation Lake Pardee – Sonora Bass Anglers McClure – Kerman Bass Club Pine Flat – Cen Cal Elite Bass Tournaments Success – Golden Empire Bass Club Isabella – American Bass Association June 12 Delta/Ladd’s Marina – NorCal Bass Club Lake Camanche – Contra Costa Bass Club Lake Pardee – 17/90 Bass Club New Melones – Contra Costa Bass Club Don Pedro – Kokanee Power Phil Johnson Memorial Team Tournament Don Pedro – Santa Clara Bass Busters McClure – Merced Bass Club Pine Flat – Kings River Bass Club Kaweah – Cen Cal Elite Bass Tournaments Success – Kern County Bassmasters Nacimiento – Best Bass Tournaments Santa Margarita – Bakersfield Bass Club June 13 Lake Pardee – Gold Country Bass Trail/Riverbank Bass Anglers Lake Amador – NorCal High School Bass New Melones – Modesto Ambassadors Don Pedro – Wild West Bass Trails Hensley – Kings VIII Bass Club Pine Flat – Fresno Bass Club June 19-20 Delta/Ladd’s Marina – Best Bass Tournaments June 19 New Melones – Yak-A-Bass Tulloch – River Rat Millerton – Bass 101 Eastman – Xtreme Bass Club Hensley – Sierra Bass Club Nacimiento – San Luis Obispo Bass Ambushers June 22 McClure – River Rat June 25 Tulloch – Stanislaus County Sheriff’s June 26 Delta/Russo’s Marina – Best Bass Tournaments McClure – Merced Bass Club Pine Flat – Bass 101 Solunar tableAMPMMinorMajorMinorMajorq-Wednesday12: 036: 1412: 256: 36Thursday12: 456: 561: 067: 17Friday1: 247: 341: 447: 54Saturday1: 598: 092: 198: 29Sunday2: 348: 452: 559: 05Monday3: 119: 223: 329: 43>Tuesday3: 5010: 014: 1310: 24q = quarter moon > = peak activity
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