Fishing report, July 7-13: Holiday revelers slow anglers; kokanee derby coming up – Fresno Bee


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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 Don Pedro kokanee and bass action good, Monte Smith reported. Millerton spotted bass on a tear, Aaron Loucks said. New Melones kokanee and bass biting, Kyle Wise reported. McClure bass bite producing numbers, Ryan Cook said. Wishon and Courtright keep pumping out rainbows, Kelly Brewer reported. San Francisco salmon hitting, Steve Mitchell said. Delta bass and stripers on tap, Randy Pringle reported. Valley West-side waterways Striper 3 Catfish 2 The California Aqueduct continues to be one of the best locations for striped bass with slow action at San Luis Reservoir and the abundance of shakers in the O’Neill Forebay. Water releases have been heavy, and the aqueduct has been running near capacity on occasion. There is a reaction bite with Magnum Flukes or 4.8-inch Keitech swimbaits on a ½- to 3/4-ounce jig head are working along with big jerkbaits such as Duo Realis Beachwalkers. After the early reaction bite, anglers are working the deep water near the bottom with deep-diving crank baits. Catfish are also taken on chicken livers, cut baits, or minnows. In the southern aqueduct in Kern County, fishermen are out in the early mornings or late evenings due to the heat, and the best bets for striped bass have been flukes or topwater lures in low-light conditions along with cut baits, blood worms, or large minnows along with flukes or topwater lures. Largemouth bass are taken on plastics on the drop-shot. Call: Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis 292-3474; Bob’s Bait Bucket in Bakersfield (661) 833-8657 Eastman Lake Bass 2 Trout 1 Bluegill 2 Catfish 2 Crappie 2 Not much change here, with fisherman avoiding the low and stagnant lake which dropped even further to 9%. Catfishing is the only show in town with cut baits or chicken livers at night from the banks near the launch ramp. Call: Eastman Lake 689-3255 Hensley Lake Bass 2 Trout 1 Catfish 2 Bluegill 2 Crappie 2 Similar to nearby Eastman, fishermen are finding other alternatives to this low, stagnant body of water with catfish being the best option with chicken livers, nightcrawlers, or cut baits working best at night around the launch ramp. The lake dropped from 20% to 17%. 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 1 Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing has been scoring a mixed bag of kokanee, rainbow trout, and the occasional king salmon with Apex or J-Pex lures, saying, “The fish are wanting bigger stuff right now. It was a morning bite this week, and we just caught the tail end of it before the bite died from 9: 30 to 11 a.m. After 11: 40, the bite picked up again with six more kokanee by 1: 30 p.m. using Pro-Troll’s Kokanee Killers in orange at 50 feet. The kokanee are coming up later in the day to feed higher in the water column in the plankton schools. The kokanee are holding on the edges of the plankton schools, and it is a matter of finding the clouds of plankton and working them.” 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 a good topwater lures in the mornings along with plastics on the drop-shot at depths from either the banks to 10 feet or from 25 to 50 feet on main lake points and over submerged island tops with 4.5-inch Robo Worms in Hologram Shad along with 3.5-inch Dry Creek tubes.” The lake dropped from 62% to 61%. 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 2 Catfish 3 Bluegill 1 The lake experienced heavy recreational boating over the holiday weekend. Prior to the holiday, the bass bite was decent with a variety of techniques including topwater lures and buzzbaits in low-light conditions before working deep-diving crankbaits, 10-inch Power Worms, or small shad-patterned swimbaits such as Keitechs along main lake points or submerged islands at depths to 15 feet. Crappie fishing has been fair, but if you are able to find the correct submerged tree or bush, the slabs can be taken with minijigs, small swimbaits, or live minnows. Catfish are a good bet with Triple S Dip Bait in Blood Formula along with frozen shad. Trout are even being taken from the shoreline with Power Bait, Mice Tails, or Power Eggs with deep water access. Information on the annual Lake Isabella Kern Valley Chamber of Commerce Trout Derby is available at The virtual derby will run through Sept. 6. The French Gulch Marina is only launch ramp with the low lake level, holding at 13%. At Buena Vista, a catfish plant is expected within the next week, and the action has been slow for both catfish or crappie. The upper Kern River has had several recent trout plants, but with the low water levels, the holdovers are in the deeper pools. The water is clear, and stealth is necessary with live crickets. Power Bait, nightcrawlers, or salmon eggs fished with as light a weight as possible. The lower Kern River is kicking out catfish, bass, and even holdover rainbow trout with the bass on Senkos, jigs, or plastics with catfish on cut baits or dip baits. 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 2 Trout 1 Catfish 2 The lake dropped from 31% to 27% this week as water releases have begun. Once the water releases start, the bass move out into open water, and there is a window for topwater in the early mornings before finesse techniques with Senkos or plastic work best. Recreational boating was heavy over the holiday weekend. Lake Success Bass 2 Crappie 2 Trout 1 Catfish 2 Recreational boating was heavy over the holiday weekend, and with the hot temperatures in the Valley, boating will remain high throughout the summer months. The bass bite is tough with the best action on plastics on the drop-shot or Texas-rig early or late. The lake held at 20%. Call: Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626, McClure Reservoir Bass 3 Trout 2 King salmon 0 Kokanee 0 Crappie 2 Catfish 2 Not much change as abundant small bass are the rule with plastics on the drop-shot, jigs or Senkos in the river arm at depths to 30 feet. Barrett’s Cove is a good location to practice your finesse techniques for numbers of spotted and the occasional largemouth bass. Boat traffic remains very heavy, particularly on the weekends. Bagby, Horseshoe Bend, and McClure Point North launch ramps are closed due to water levels. The lake dropped to 38%. Call: Ryan Cook – Ryan Cook’s Guide Service - 691-7008 McSwain Reservoir Trout 2 Bank fishing is fair at best with Power 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 3 Striped bass 1 Shad 1 Bluegill 2 Crappie 1 Aaron Loucks of the Sportsmen’s Warehouse in Fresno said, “Millerton is the best possibility for bass in the Fresno region with spinnerbaits or jigs. Topwater lures such as Whopper Ploppers or Spooks are also working.” Recreational boating was intense over the holiday weekend. In the San Joaquin River below Friant Dam at the Broken Bridge, the water is low and hot, but Loucks touted a frog or crankbait bite for largemouth bass. The lake is releasing water, and it dropped from 49 to 46%. Sycamore Island will be open Fridays through Sundays and State holidays through November 11. Seasonal hours of operation are 6: 00 a.m. to 5: 30 p.m. January, February, March, October, and November; 6: 00 am to 7: 00 pm April and September, and 6: 00 a.m. to 8: 30 p.m. May through August. Entry fees are $9.00 per vehicle and $5.00 per trailer. Annual passes are available for $85. Call: Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474 New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch Bass 3 Crappie 2 Catfish 2 Trout 2 Kokanee 3 New Melones will be the center of the Northern California kokanee universe for the next few weeks in anticipation of the upcoming Kokanee Power Team Tournament on July 17. Pre-fishing for the event has been limited so far, but the boats will be out there in force prior to the derby. Hopefully, the intense pressure from pre-fishing will not put the kokanee off of the bite as was the case during last month’s derby at Don Pedro. Kyle Wise of HeadHunter Guide Service was done with limits of kokanee from 15 to 19 inches by 9: 30 a.m. working Apex or J-Pex lures behind a 5.5-inch gold Mag Tackle or Paulina Peak’s dodger at 50 to 65 feet with Shark weights on the downriggers in the main lake. He said, “The fish are all out in open water, and there is nothing holding on structure as of yet. We ended up outside of Rose Island in the southern part of the lake to fill out our limits. Young Alejandro Torres of Bellflower landed the big fish of the week at 2.1 pounds and 19 inches. It is interesting that the kokanee are still relatively high despite the hot weather and rising surface temperature.” Anglers are requested to complete the kokanee survey at upon the completion of every trip to provide accurate information to the Department of Fish and Wildlife. Ryan Cook of Ryan Cook’s Fishing has been at New Melones throughout the past week, and he said, “It’s been a really fun bite, and depending on what my clients want to do, you can catch bass a variety of ways. If you want quality with fewer opportunities, we have been scoring with the Berkeley Choppo 130 or the River2 Sea Rover along with a Strike King ½-ounce KVD Finesse spinnerbait in as shallow as 2 feet of water while numbers can be taken on plastics in green pumpkin or browns, 3.5-inch Dry Creek tubes, or small Keitech swimbaits on an underspin at depths from 10 to 30 feet over main lake points or submerged island tops. We landed four bass over 5 pounds this week with a total of 10 over 4 pounds including a couple in the 6-pound range. These would have been 6- to 9-pound bass, but since they are all post-spawn, they are much lighter, but they have the frame of a larger bass.” Both the Glory Hole and Tuttletown launch ramps at New Melones are on the middle ramp with a long walk back to the parking lot. Angels Creek is closed. The lake dropped to 50%. 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 2 Crappie 2 Aaron Loucks of the Sportsmen’s Warehouse in Fresno said, “Recreational boating was high over the holiday weekend, and fishermen were scarce.” The lake is releasing water at a rapid clip, dropping from 36% to 28% within the past 10 days. In the lower Kings River, the flows are high with the recent heavy water releases, but trout plants are scheduled for this week and also on the week of July 18. 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. The river is flowing at 368 cfs, near Trimmer. 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 1 The lake has dropped from 37% to 32% over the past 10 days, and Roger George of Roger’s Guide Service reported the lake is falling nearly a foot per day. The winds have kept boats off the lake most days, and the falling water is driving the striped bass deeper than normal and also away from structure. Shore anglers are also struggling with the fish moving away from the banks. Boaters need to be cautious with unmarked submerged islands popping up near the surface. The northwest wind has been coming on quickly in the afternoons, and the rollers from the wind make it nearly impossible to load a boat at the Basalt Ramp. The Dinosaur Point launch ramp on the north end is the best bet. In the forebay, there hasn’t been much change with grass forming along the shorelines in response to the hot daytime temperatures. Small striped bass remain the rule with pile worms, anchovies, or sardines. Fishermen continue to cull through many shakers for a legal limit. 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 Bass Lake Bass 2 Trout 2 Kokanee 1 The annual fireworks display on July 4 took over the lake, and the Independence Day weekend is the apex of summer recreational boating. Few trollers were out on the lake prior to the holiday weekend, and the action has been very slow for an occasional hookup of a kokanee or holdover rainbow between the 5 MPH Buoys and the dam. Few bass fishermen braved the holiday rush. The Sheriff’s Motor Fee remains in effect. The lake held at 70%. Edison/Florence/Mammoth Pool The road to Edison and Florence is open, but Edison is very low at 19% with Florence at 60%. Mammoth Pool dropped to 84%. Hume Lake will be planted this week with a plant at Ward Lake and Portal Forebay next week. Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000 Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake Kokanee 2 Trout 2 Boat pressure took over the lake during the Independence Day weekend highlighted by a fireworks show on Saturday night. The lake was crowded with recreational boaters, and the kokanee bite slowed down prior to the holiday. There are loads of kokanee in the lake, but a weather change may have been the reason for the slower action going into Friday as thunderstorms accompanied by lightning arrived in the central Sierra. Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters said, “After a great week of early morning kokanee fishing, Shaver Lake’s kokanee bite slowed going into mid-week. A good population of kokanee were hanging in the Point area but with a weather change with overcast skies and a few thunderstorms they went north to Sierra Marina and the dam. Fishing at a median depth of 43 feet with Dick’s Koke Busters and Mountain Hoochies tipped with scented corn behind a Mountain Dodger, we were able to pick up some nice kokes, but not the action we had before. The upper column with Trout Busters tipped with corn behind weighted Mountain Flashers at a setback of 135 feet is producing fish each trip on the side poles. Trout action has improved in the tunnel creek area with Trout Busters with a tip of crawler behind weighted Mountain Flashers with a 100-foot setback. A limit or two of trout is possible back there. The heavy Fourth of July weekend all three guides took off with the heavy boat action.” Todd Wittwer of Guide Service confirmed the slowdown on Friday after landing 14 kokanee to 17.5 inches on Thursday. He said, “There was nothing you could do to get the fish to go, and I don’t know if it was the thunderstorms and change of weather that shut the fish off. We are still doing best with Rocky Mountain Tackle’s pearl squid hoochies behind a pearl dodger or the double glow orange squid behind a orange Crush Moonshine dodger at 50 feet.” Jim Travis of Affordable Tackle was on the lake with four of his Pro-Staffers early in the week, and he said, “Terry and Rod Brown landed eight kokanee to 16.5 inches with pink, orange, or blue/white micro-hooches behind a 4.4-inch Affordable Tackle’s Sierra Flasher at depths from 40 to 70 feet at a speed around 1.4 mph. Rick Childs took granddaughter Samantha and her mother, Heidi, on their first kokanee trip for kokanee to 16 inches using Affordable Tackle’s Raven Dodgers and Raven-X spinning lures. Dean Uhrig landed kokanee to 16 inches using a Pink Wiggle Hoochie and Affordable Tackles Starburst Sierra flasher.” The lake dropped slightly to 77%. Anglers are requested to complete the kokanee survey at upon the completion of every trip to provide accurate information to the Department of Fish and Wildlife. At Huntington, a trout plant is scheduled for the week of July 11, but rainbow or brown trout are taken on Power Bait in fluorescent orange or rainbow with garlic near the mouth of Rancheria Creek. The lake is at 97%, and the docks are in the water at the launch ramp. Most fishermen are heading to Shaver for larger kokanee, but limits of small kokanee are taken on hoochies or spinners behind a flasher or dodger at depths from 20 to 25 feet. The High Sierra Regatta sailors will take over the lake during the weekends of July 10-11 and July 17-18. 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 Kelly Brewer of the Wishon Village RV Park and Store said, “The daytime temperatures have been hotter, even at 7,000 feet, and the holdover rainbows have dropped in the water column. Blade/’crawler combinations, Thomas Buoyants, Speedy Shiners, or Rapalas are effective for trollers at both lakes at depths to 30 feet. Bank fishermen working either side of the dam at Courtright or in the inlet on the far side of the lake at Wishon are scoring with garlic Power Bait.” The ramp at Wishon is at the bottom, but with the fluctuating water levels for power generation, the ramp could be either above or below. There will be no docks installed at Wishon in the low water. A trout plant is scheduled for Courtright this week. Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361 Ocean Half Moon Bay Salmon 3 Rockfish 3 Striper 2 Sand dabs 2 Surf perch 2 The salmon decided to make a showing north of Half Moon Bay from Egg Rock to Pedro Point, and the six-packs and private boaters have been making the run north for decent action while the larger party boats have to head further north to post a score based upon the number of anglers on board. Captain Dennis Baxter of the New Captain Pete went north to just south of Shipping Buoy 1 for 13 limits of salmon on Sunday after posting 17 salmon for 14 anglers on Saturday. He said, “We found overall good action for a quality grade of salmon as most of the party boats were in the same area. The south side near Pedro Point is loaded with sublegal 19.5-inch salmon, but there are a few larger ones in the mix. There were 9 seiners off of Montara on Sunday so the squid is happening as there is some squid activity up the coast. We almost scooped in a squid ball just outside the harbor this week. With the squid in the area, it is time to make some drifts on the beach for halibut after putting in your rockfish limits.” Captain Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat was on a private boat this weekend that started off drifting for halibut before trolling straight bait for salmon off of Pedro Point for three quality salmon. The Huli Cat went rockfishing on both Saturday and Sunday south at San Gregorio in 150 feet of water for a combined 19 limits along with a few ling cod. Joseph Furtado from Santa Clara landed a 5-pound lingcod on a hex bar.” The Queen of Hearts out of Half Moon Bay Sport Fishing was also rockfishing on Sunday for 10 limits south of the harbor. The Dungeness crab season ended on June 30, but anglers can keep rock crab from the Pacifica Pier or the Half Moon Bay jetty with snares nares loaded with squid, anchovies, or sardines. Call: Captain Dennis Baxter – New Captain Pete (650) 576-3844; Captain Tom Mattusch – Huli Cat (650) 619-0459 Monterey/Santa Cruz Salmon 2 Rockfish 3 Striper 2 Sand dabs 3 Surf perch 3 Allen Bushnell of Santa Cruz Kayak Fishing and Surf Casting Guide Service reported, “Despite windy conditions and choppy seas, Monterey Bay anglers were able to find success with a number of different species this week. The salmon seekers are finding it particularly tough. There are still king salmon to be caught in the bay. Most boats are heading to the Soquel Hole area, though Pajaro Hole and Mulligan’s Hill areas also produced some fish. Most anglers are trolling with downriggers, right on the bottom or “in the mud.” Chris Arcoleo of Chris’s Fishing and Whale Watching in Monterey said, “We haven’t been salmon fishing for some time, but the commercial boats did well near Fort Ord, and with the lowered price of salmon, they are selling their fish off of the docks which is a bonus for the consumer as well as the fisherman. Rockfishing at Point Sur has been lights out as we had two trips south on Thursday with a combined 44 limits of rockfish along with some quality ling cod.” Charter operations have concentrated on rockfish for the most part this week. Fishing the rocky reef areas near Monterey and Pacific Grove or Capitola up to Ano Nuevo Island, most skippers report limits of fish when the weather allowed them to stay on the water. From Monterey, The Kahuna out of Moss Landing fielded similar reports, counting 180 rockies for 18 anglers on Saturday. Skipper Chris Victorino reported, “We’ve been fishing the usual spots out front near Monterey and bringing home limits of fish. We’re looking forward to conditions improving so we can get back down to Big Sur. This week was just too windy.” Ken Stagnaro from Stagnaro’s Sportfishing in Santa Cruz gave his overview for the week saying, “Our seven-hour rockcod trips have been getting limits. Twilight and half-day rockcod trips have been around 3/4 limits. Ed Burrell at Capitola Boat and Bait says the halibut are still biting well in his area. The best spot is still out at 60 feet of water near the Mile Reef. Burrell notes an increase of finfish bait just offshore and added that pier anglers are getting some good catches lately. He said, “We saw our first Pacific mackerel off the pier on Tuesday. There was a nice little mackerel bite in the evening at the end of the pier. Also, two short halibut and one short white sea bass were hooked up in the shallow water near base of wharf. Anchovy schools are out in deeper water, and the big squid spawns have moved to the area north of Lighthouse Point.” Surfcasters are seeing more and more striped bass caught from New Brighton Beach down to Sand City, though most of the stripers caught in Monterey Bay are still of the smaller variety. For more consistent large stripers, one might also take a quick trip north on Highway One to the cliffside beaches near Half Moon Bay. Rumor has it some there are some “large variety” stripers in that area right now.” Call: Chris’ Landing (831) 375-5951; Allen Bushnell – Santa Cruz Kayak and Surf Casting (831) 251-9732 San Francisco Bay Salmon 3 Halibut 3 Striper 2 Rockfish 3 Leopard shark 3 Salmon fishing continues to be ‘lights out’ outside the Golden Gate with early limits the rule. However, the fish are moving, and staying on top of the schools will require some communication with others in the fleet. The action was hot and heavy off of Duxbury earlier in the week, but by Sunday, the schools had migrated south of the Gate or outside to the Channel Buoys. Captain Trent Slate of Bite Me Charters out of Loch Lomond posted 6 limits of salmon to 18 pounds, and he said, “Most everyone went south, but I started up north for a few fish right off of bat before the bite slowed. I got a call from Captain Ron Koyasako of Nautilus Excursions, and we ran down two miles and dropped them in for a quad hook up to finish out the limits. The fish were a mixed-grade with some smaller fish along with some in the teens.” Earlier in the week, Slate found limits of a smaller grade of salmon off of Duxbury. Koyasako was able to post 9 limits of salmon to 20 pounds in quick order on Sunday morning with as many as four on at one time, and they finished off the day with a few halibut inside the bay near Alcatraz Island. Captain Jerad Davis of the Salty Lady out of Sausalito put in limits every day since the opener with the exception of Saturday with a solid score of over a fish per rod with 27 salmon to 14 pounds. He said, “It was slow on the Marin Coast where we’ve been fishing on Saturday morning, and with only a few fish to show for almost 3 hours of trolling, the fleet set off in different directions to go searching. We headed south to the San Mateo coast and found some good action, but it was the first day of the season that we didn’t accomplish limits. The other half of the fleet went north with good results and a larger average size, and it looks like we have options. There are a lot of salmon in the ocean this year, and near-term bookings are hard to come by as bookings have to be made far in advance.” Davis put his group onto the largest salmon so far this season with Kenny Carter of Santa Rosa taking the honors at 45 pounds. Captain Steve Mitchell of Hook’d Up Sport Fishing posted limits three consecutive days at the start of the week before taking a salmon/shark combination trip on Friday for five salmon to 20 pounds and a number of big leopard sharks. Mitchell said, “We have been dropping some big fish as the salmon are just doubling over the rods on the strike, and we have had the same mistake of pointing the rod at the fish. With the circle hooks, it is easy to lose a big fish if you don’t keep constant pressure on them.” They went halibut fishing on Saturday, but the scores action was slow. Halibut fishing has been best outside the Gate on the North or South Bars, and Captain Chris Smith on the Pacific Dream out of Berkeley had a stellar day on Sunday on the South Bar with 32 halibut for 13 anglers for over 2.5-fish/rod. Ross Peterson of Marin County landed a huge bonus white seabass estimated at 65 pounds while drifting for halibut on Saturday. A 40-pound white seabass was landed the night before. Few boats are rockfishing with the great salmon and halibut action, but the Sea Wolf out of Emeryville has consistently worked the reefs off of the Farallon Islands. They posted 21 ling cod to 16 pounds along with 20 limits of rockfish on Sunday. Inside San Francisco Bay, halibut fishing has slowed as most boats are heading out to the bars, but there are some flatfish to be had near Alcatraz and Angel Island. The striped bass have not piled up on the rockpiles in great numbers as expected so far this season. With the supply of six-pack boats growing exponentially in both San Francisco Bay and in the Delta, you are advised to book with a registered, bonded, and insured captain for safety as well as a quality trip. 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, and out of Virg’s Landing in Morro Bay, the Black Pearl, Fiesta and Rita G were out on Sunday with trips ranging from ½- to ¾-day, and their 67 passengers for near-limits of rockfish composed of 454 assorted rockfish, 91 vermilion, 42 copper, 26 Boccaccio, a cabezon, and one ling cod. The Avenger was out on two ½-day trips with the Starfire on a 3/4th-day trout out of Morro Bay Landing on Sunday for limits of rockfish for 66 anglers composed of 47 vermilion, 5 Boccaccio, and 588 assorted rockfish. The Patriot, Phenix, and the Flying Fish out of Patriot Sport Fishing at Port San Luis were out on Sunday with trips from ½- to ¾-day, and their 56 anglers returned with 68 vermilion, 13 copper, 19 Boccaccio, 313 assorted rockfish, three ocean whitefish, 2 cabezon, and 10 ling cod to 13 pounds. Ling cod continue to be scarce along the local reefs. The new sub-limit is 5 vermilions as part of a 10-rockfish limit this season. Call: Virg’s Landing (800) 762-5263; Patriot Sport Fishing (805) 595-4100; Morro Bay Landing Others Delta/Stockton Bass 3 Striper 3 Sturgeon 2 Catfish 3 Bluegill 3 The Sacramento-Delta has been battered by winds over the past week, making trolling for striped bass difficult along with anchoring in the main river channel for sturgeon or striped bass on the outgoing tide. The north Delta remains most productive for largemouth and smallmouth bass along with bluegill and catfish while Montezuma Slough remains your best bet for sturgeon. The river salmon season starts in a week on Saturday, July 17, but there is minimal optimism for the opener despite excellent action in the ocean. As normal, the majority of the salmon will not arrive until late September into October, and who knows what the river flows and temperatures will be like at this time. In the north Delta, Johnny Tran of New Romeo’s Bait and Tackle in Freeport said, “There are still a few shad out there, but not many. It is possible to pick up a half-dozen in an evening from the Freeport shoreline on shad grubs. There are a ton of shaker striped bass in the river, and you have to bring a lot of bait if you are targeting the linesides as you will be releasing a number of undersized fish to fill out your limit. Sardines or anchovies coated with garlic spray continue to work well. Smallmouth bass are thick in all of the sloughs with rocky banks, and plastics on the drop-shot, large minnows, or Senkos are working for the smallies. Bluegill are all over the back sloughs as well, and red worms or wax worms on a drop-shot rig or floater are equally effective. Crappie are around, but you have to hunt them down. Catfishing is best in Lisbon Slough and around West Sacramento with frozen shad or nightcrawlers.” Alan Fong, manager of the Fishermen’s Warehouse in Sacramento, took out Denise Loo again this week as she is now hooked after landing her first big largemouth last week. He said, “Working the current is key as the bass are sitting in the current, and we found great action once again with the red Z-Man’s Jackhammer chatterbaits or chartreuse spinnerbaits in the grass. I tried to go to Liberty Island for striped bass, but the winds were too heavy, but one boat was able to make it in there on Saturday for 70 striped bass to 8 pounds caught and released on chatterbaits or ripbaits.” Tony Lopez of Benicia Bait said, “It has been very slow in our area as we are selling trays and trays of anchovies and herring for salmon fishermen, and everyone wants anchovy oil. The parking lot at McAvoy’s Boat Harbor in Bay Point along with 1st Street in Benicia has been empty which is a clear sign of slow fishing. Once salmon season starts on the 16th, the shoreline should be busy for a few days depending upon if there are any fish landed.” Sturgeon fishermen have been absent for the most part, but there are still diamondbacks to be had, and the protected waters of Montezuma Slough have been the best location with salmon roe, grass shrimp, or eel. Largemouth bass remain the top species in the San Joaquin-Delta, but a surprise showing of striped bass took place from the Antioch Bridge up to Prisoner’s Point. With the high winds on the Sacramento side of the Delta, striped bass trollers found good action with deep-diving lures for the first time in weeks. Craig Newton of Will Fish Bait and Tackle in Auburn was out on the San Joaquin with Ron Retzlaff of Orangevale early this week, and he said, “It was blowing 20 mph at 6: 00 a.m. so we opted for the San Joaquin. We ran into fish and marked a number of stripers, ending up with three keepers to 8 pounds with deep-diving Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnows. Retzlaff was out the following day from the Antioch Bridge to Prisoner’s Point, and he ended up with 15 keepers and 10 shakers with most of the stripers found near the Antioch Bridge.” For largemouth bass, Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, reported good action during last week’s 106-boat Delta/Wine Division event with the winning limit approaching 28 pounds. He said, “These are half-day tournaments right now, and it is really important to keep your fish cool in the live well as the hot water temperatures really put stress on the fish. There is a good topwater bite with the ima Finesse Popper in shad patterns when it is casted alongside the rocks. The key is to let the lure sit as the bass are acting like a cat, waiting to pounce on the bait. The longer it sits there, they will pounce, and it is a matter of pop, pop and then let it sit. You have to adjust your tempo and don’t be predictable with the same retrieve. Mix it up for the best results. The ima Rock N’Vibe Suspend in crawdad patterns is another effective lure, and it is a matter of ticking the tops of the weeds, and once again pausing the lure. It works best on the high tide from the mid- to the top of the tide into the first part of the outgo. The 4-inch Berkley General in Green Pumpkin Candy tight to the shoreline is another good option, and I am rigging this heavy worm weedless with a 2/0 Diachi offset hook. I rig the offset hook in the middle of the small worm with around one inch wiggling on either end. Rigging the plastic this way allows for the worm to not drop straight down nose-first into the weeds, and it gives the bass are more attractive target with more action as it falls perpendicular to the structure. It also doesn’t get hung up as it falls. When you see your line moving, set the hook. There are numbers of largemouth bass in the 2- to 4-pound range lined up along the shorelines.” Pringle is gearing up for the upcoming Snag Proof Open frog tournament out of Russo’s Marina on August 7/8th. This tournament will be preceded by the open frog competition known as the Ultimate Frog Challenge, also out of Russo’s, on July 31st/August 1st. Vince Borges of Vince Borges Outdoors has a great day on Wednesday on his guide trip with his clients landing largemouth bass on chatterbaits all day before participating in the Wednesday Night Shootout at Ladd’s Marina in Stockton where he and his partner, Alex Sanchez, took 2nd out of 78 boats highlighted by Sanchez’s 8.21-pound kicker. Borges said, “I smoked them on Reaction Innovation’s Skinny Dippers.” Ocsanna Seropyan, manager of the Fishermen’s Warehouse in Manteca, said, “It’s been pretty much the same out of the Delta with anglers either punching the weeds with Reaction Innnovation’s Sweet Beavers or tossing topwater lures along with Z-Man’s Jackhammer chatterbaits. Frogs have also been popular, and we are selling a number of Spro or Fat Daddy Frogs.” Dan Mathisen of Dan Mathisen Outdoors was out with the flotilla of boats off of Mandeville Island for the annual Hilton’s Firework show on the Delta, and he is holding his next tournament this coming Saturday, July 10th out of Holland Riverside Marina. In the south Delta, Omega Nguyen of Mega Bait and Tackle in Lathrop reported extremely slow fishing below Mossdale on the San Joaquin River with catfish dominating action. Mackerel, anchovies, or nightcrawlers are working best for the whiskerfish from Dos Reis Park to Mossdale while nearly all of the striped bass are undersized. The shad schools are small at 1.5 to 2 inches, and the shadders are holding off for the remainder of the summer until the fall season.” Johnny Wang, manager of Turner’s Outdoors in Stockton, largemouth bass are still spawning off of Eight Mile Road east of Stockton, saying, “They will spawn all summer long if the water temperature is right. Striped bass are found in the south Delta at Discovery Bay, Union Point, the Old River, and Frank’s Tract near the ferry on live bluegill. One of our customers reported landing twenty stripers to 12 pounds on 20 bluegill.” A temporary emergency drought barrier has been placed in False River to slow the movement of saltwater into the central Delta and prevent the contamination of water supplies. The work began in early June, and the temporary barrier will be removed by November 30, 2021. 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 1 At Nacimiento, recreational boating took over the lake on the holiday weekend, but in the early morning hours, spotted bass are found on topwater lures before the sun hits the water. After the sun hits the water, there is a small window with jigs or plastics on the drop-shot before recreational boats take over the lake. Most fishermen are avoiding the lake during the middle of the day with the very hot temperatures. There are a few boils of white bass in the Narrows, but boat traffic is keeping the majority of boils down. The lake dropped from 22 to 21%. A webcam of the lake is available at At Lopez, the lake continues to drop, and the launch ramp may be inaccessible within the coming months. It is quality or quantity now with the opportunity for a quality largemouth on topwater lures or spinnerbaits, but numbers are taken on finesse techniques of Senkos, jigs, or plastics on the drop-shot. Bluegill and red ear perch are taken on mealworms, red worms, or jumbo red worms. A webcam of the lake is available at At Santa Margarita, similar to Lopez, it is quality over quantity with an early reaction bite with topwater lures. Once the topwater bite dies with a brief window, heading to the bottom with Senkos, plastics on the drop-shot or Texas-rig are your best bet. Catfish are found on mackerel soaked in garlic scent while bluegill or red ear perch are taken on meal worms, red worms, or jumbo red worms. At San Antonio, the lake is very low at 11%. Despite the low water levels, fishing is actually as good as it has been all year long with catfish taken on Triple S Dip Bait along with mackerel, sardines, or anchovies. Bass are taken on plastics on a drop-shot rig while carp are found in the shallows with dough baits. Reminder: consuming white bass, black bass, crappie, catfish, or carp are subject to safe eating guidelines due to excessive mercury. Events Tournament results Delta/Russo’s Marina - Best Bass Tournaments Delta/Wine Division – June 26th: 1st ––Cameron Ewing/Blake Temby – 27.94 pounds (Big Fish – 8.92); 2nd – Duke Kanaya/Brandon Gee– 20.46; 3rd – Austin Phillips/Kyle Santos – 20.38. Delta/Ladd’s Marina -– June 26th: 1st ––Kevin Flynt/Kyle Manes– 20.41 pounds (Big Fish – 10.); 2nd –Mark Casey/Ed Christo – 19.20 (Big Fish – 6.60); 3rd –Thaxter Arterberry/Tony Vaughn – 18.81. Upcoming tournaments (subject to change) July 9/11 Camanche – Wild West Bass Trails Apex Tournament July 10/11 Delta/Big Break Marina – Bass N’Tubes Santa Margarita – Kern County Bassmasters July 10/12 Delta/Contra Costa County – Wild West Bass Trails July 10 Delta/Holland Riverside Marina – Dan Mathisen Outdoors Delta/Ladd’s Marina – Manteca Bassin’ Buddies Delta/Big Break Marina – CA Bass Nation Kayak Eastman – Kings River Bass Club Lopez – Bakersfield Bass Club July 17 Delta/Russo’s Marina – American Bass Club Delta/Ladd’s Marina – Nor Cal Bass New Melones – Kokanee Power Team Tournament New Melones – Riverbank Bass Anglers McClure – Gold Country Bass Tour Pine Flat – Sierra Bass Club Success – Xtreme Bass Club Isabella – Golden Empire Bass Club July 23/24 Success – Cen Cal Elite Bass Tournament July 24 Tulloch – 17/90 Bass Club McClure – Yak-A-Bass Isabella – Fresno Bass Club Nacimiento – San Luis Obispo Bass Ambushers July 25 McClure – Nor Call High School Bass July 31/August 1 Delta/Russo’s Marina – Angler’s Press Ultimate Frog Challenge August 7/8 Delta/Russo’s Marina – Snag Proof Open Solunar tableAMPMMinorMajorMinorMajorWednesday3: 219: 343: 469: 58>Thursday4: 0710: 204: 3310: 45n-Friday4: 5611: 095: 2211: 35>Saturday5: 4811: 316: 1512: 01>Sunday6: 4312: 307: 0812: 55>Monday7: 381: 258: 031: 50Tuesday8: 322: 208: 562: 44n = new moon > = peak activity
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