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Fishing Report for Nov. 14: Triple action in the Delta

By Roger George And Dave Hurley
Special to The Bee

November 14, 2017

Compiled by Dave Hurley and edited by Roger George, a former Olympic-class decathlete at Fresno State and striper record-holder at Millerton Lake and who now guides in the greater Fresno area. Telephone numbers are in 559 calling area unless noted. Have a photo of a recent catch to share? Email it to with “fish photo” in the subject line.

Best bets

Delta striper, sturgeon and bass action good, Alan Fong reported. Eastman kicking out big bass and northern aqueduct heats up for stripers, Dave Hurley said. San Luis stripers keep hitting, Madison Borgia reported. Courtright trout best bet, Merritt Gilbert said. San Francisco stripers move in; crab counts good, Trent Slate reported.


1-Try dynamite

2-Have to work hard

3-Limits possible

4-Fish jumpin’ in boat


Delta Mendota Canal and Sloughs

Stripers 3; Catfish 3

The northern section of the California Aqueduct is heating up, with striped bass to 40 inches taken by Fresno-area anglers tossing Duo Realis jerkbaits on a planer board. As the water cools, action is picking up and more and more fishermen are starting to target the aqueduct. In the southern aqueduct in Kern County, some quality catfish in excess of 10 pounds have been landed on frozen clams, jumbo minnows or blood worms. Bait fishing continues to be best for striper bass with jumbo minnows, blood worms or sardines. The popularity of the aqueduct has led to increased numbers of anglers. In order to retain full access, fishermen are encouraged to take out all trash and other debris when departing.

Call: Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis 292-3474; Bob’s Bait Bucket in Bakersfield 661-833-8657

Eastman Lake

Bass 3; Trout 1; Bluegill 2; Catfish 2; Crappie 2

Eastman typically produces the largest bass in the region as it is California’s first trophy largemouth reservoir with a limit of one fish in excess of 22 inches. The Sierra Bass Club tournament Saturday saw a winning limit that was double that of Millerton. Nick Sanches and Wade Veneman scored four fish totaling 18.34 pounds. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun said, “The banks are loaded with 12- to 13.5-inch bass, but the better grade of fish from 1.75-4 pounds are found in deeper water. Good electronics are necessary to find the bass in the 30- to 50-foot depth, and you may land only six or seven fish, but they are much larger than those on the banks. Big worms or lizards along with Neko rigs are working. The Neko rig is a head-weighted plastic lure with a hook somewhere up the body of the bait. When fished properly, it will wiggle much like a wacky-rigged lure while standing upright on the bottom instead of drifting horizontal towards the bottom.” The lake held at 57 percent capacity.

Call: Six Star Tackle Box 673-5688; Eastman Lake 689-3255

Hensley Lake

Bass 2; Trout 1; Catfish 2; Bluegill 2; Crappie 2

No good bass reports, even though the lake remained stable at 17 percent capacity. Catfish remain the top species on anchovies, nightcrawlers or chicken livers in the evenings.

Call: Valley Rod Gun, Clovis 292-3474; Six Star Tackle Box 673-5688; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Hensley Lake Hidden Dam 673-5151

Lake Don Pedro

Bass 2; Trout 2; Kokanee 1; King salmon 2; Crappie 2

The Sonora Bass Club held a club tournament with 23 boats out of Moccasin on Saturday, experiencing a tough bite with only 11 teams weighing in limits with an average bass at 1.76 pounds and an average of 3.35 keepers per boat. The first-place team was Jason and Riley Wood with 13.27 pounds followed by Josh Parris and Jeremiah Payne at 10.12. Warmer than normal water may be the reason for the slower bass action. Trout fishing should improve once the lake turns over, and Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing will return in December in search of big rainbow trout. Don Pedro has dropped to 78 percent capacity.

Call: Monte Smith 209-581-4734; Gary Vella 209-652-7550

Lake Isabella/Bakersfield area

Bass 2; Trout 2; Crappie 2; Catfish 2; Bluegill 2

Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield said, “The upper river has slowed down considerably for trout, most likely from the lack of plants, but the lower river is kicking out smallmouth bass and catfish in good numbers. Everyone around here is looking forward to the planting of Buena Vista Lake this week before Saturday’s annual Taft Chamber of Commerce Trout Derby. We passed out a number of registrations for the event this week. There is also a possibility that the local lakes will be planted with trout this week, and there will be more lakes planted this year than just River Walk and Ming. Sales of Power Bait and Power Eggs have increased this week in anticipation of the derby.” Lake Isabella continues to be slow with the exception of catfish with frozen shad, chicken livers, nightcrawlers and cut baits. Few fishermen are heading up the hill to the lake, with those who are making the drive targeting catfish. The lake held at 29 percent capacity.

Call: Bob’s Bait Bucket in Bakersfield 661-833-8657; North Fork Marina 760-376-1812

Lake Kaweah

Bass 2; Crappie 2; Trout 1; Catfish 2

Kaweah remains up and down, with some anglers finding good action while others are struggling. The lake has basically been stable for the past couple of weeks, and the shad schools are concentrating in deeper water with the colder temperatures. The lake is still far warmer than normal, and the bass are oriented to structure which is holding bait in deeper water. Deep-diving crankbaits, plastics on the drop-shot or jigs are working after a brief early-morning window for topwater lures. Bluegill can be found with red worms, meal worms or wax worms. The lake rose slightly to 597.89 feet in elevation and 10 percent capacity.

Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212

Lake Success

Bass 3; Trout 1; Catfish 2; Crappie

Bass fishing remains good with crankbaits, plastics, jigs or topwater lures with the lake levels stable. The bass are holding around rocky piles or main lake points, feeding heavily on shad. The lake came up slightly to 589.95 feet in elevation and 9 percent capacity.

Call: Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626,

McClure Reservoir

Bass 2; Trout 2; King salmon 1; Kokanee 1; Crappie 2; Catfish 2

The Mother Lode lakes of Don Pedro and McClure remain a puzzle for Northern California bass fishermen with small limits the rule over the past several weeks. Mike Gomez of Berserk Baits fished Saturday’s New Jenn tournament out of McClure, and he said, “The lake continues to be tough with a 13.79-pound limit winning the tournament, and I lost two good fish on an Alabama-rig that probably would have put us in first place. I hooked a good one right off of the bat, and it came unbuttoned for some reason, and around 1:30 p.m., I hooked another large fish, and after fighting her for a few minutes, the clasp on the A-rig straightened out. We couldn’t put a good fish in the boat. Most of the action is taking place at 35-45 feet with our Berserk’s Purple Hornet jig, and after we had a limit with our smallest fish at 1.6 pounds, I went back to the A-rig to try and get on the one big fish that would put us over the top. We did find a few aggressive shallower fish, but there are a few areas with bass as deep as 100 feet. These bass are loading up on shad, and it is hard to catch these suspended fish. The water temperature is 64 degrees, and it should be in the mid-50s at this time of year.” The lake dropped slightly to 64 percent capacity.

McSwain Reservoir

Trout 2

Not much change, but future trout plants are anticipated from the Calaveras Trout Farm in Snelling. Power bait, Mice Tails, Power Eggs or Kastmasters are working from the shoreline at the brush pile, handicapped docks or peninsula near the marina for the occasional planted rainbow. Trollers are working up the river arm with Wedding Rings tipped with a nightcrawler behind a dodger or blade/’crawler combinations at depths to 20 feet.

Call: McSwain Marina 209-378-2534

Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River

Bass 3; Striper 1; Shad 1; Bluegill 2; Trout 2

Millerton Reservoir continues to be the top location for numbers of spotted bass to 1.75 pounds. The California Tournament Trail held an event Nov. 11 at Millerton and the limits were as expected with Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun saying, “There have been a lot of 7.5- to 8.5-pound limits.” The tournament produced a winning limit of 9.27 pounds by the team of Rod and Scott Burns – the only limit in excess of 9 pounds landed from the 10 boats in the event. Gilbert said, “The fish are scattered at depths from 7-55 feet, and most of the bass are found on the bottom with brass n’glass, jigs or plastics on the drop-shot. Senkos have been slow. The bite for numbers is better than at Pine Flat, and both the main lake and the river arm seem to be producing.” Millerton held at 60 percent capacity.

Call: Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474

New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch

Bass 2; Crappie 2; Catfish 2; Trout 2; Kokanee 1

New Melones has developed a reputation for big spotted and largemouth bass in the winter months. So from November through February, there should be some giants posted from the lake. The lake has yet to turn over with the unseasonably warm fall temperatures. The rainbow trout will follow suit and follow the colder water to the surface while the bass will head toward the depths. Gene Hildebrand of Glory Hole Sports in Angels Camp said, “The action is challenging at this time of year with the lake yet to turn over, and we have had a wide range of reports from bank fishermen bringing in rainbows using Rapalas while trollers are hooking up at depths from 20-60 feet. The number of limits has dropped off, but when someone hooks up, the rainbows are quality to over 7 pounds.” For bass, Hildebrand said, “There were two different bass events this month, and I’d have to say that guys fishing these events are pretty much on their own as the big has been a challenge. There has been mild success with Johnny C jigs in sculpin while plastics on the drop-shot are also producing strikes.” The monthlong Glory Hole Sports Catfish Tournament started Nov.1, with 45 entered contestants and the largest fish so far at 9.85 pounds on nightcrawlers. Crappie are holding in the marina and around Angels Cove near structure at 20 feet with pearl tube jigs or Mepps spinners with a paddle-tail minnow. The lake has dropped to 82 percent capacity.

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 3; King salmon 1; Catfish 2; Crappie 3

The bass bite remains sporadic with no viable pattern, but a crappie bite has emerged around the Deer Creek Marina and up the river arm within the past week. Minijigs or minnows are producing 15-20 small crappie per fishermen. Bass action is limited to a few fish with shad-patterned plastics on the drop-shot from 25-50 feet while small spoons over the bait schools also are working. There is a small window for topwater lures in the early mornings. In the lower Kings River below the dam, trout fishing remains solid with salmon egg, meal worms or grubs on a light split shot rig in the fast-moving water. The lake is at 46 percent capacity. Tournament action continues in the Central Valley reservoirs, with the annual Clovis Police Department event at Deer Creek Marina at Pine Flat on Saturday, Nov. 18.

Call: Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474; Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626

San Luis Reservoir and O’Neill Forebay

Striper 3; Catfish 2; Bass 2; Crappie 2

San Luis Reservoir remains the top location for striped bass in the San Joaquin Valley, but the California Aqueduct is starting to get more play from local fishermen. The main lake continues to release water, and as the water drops, the striped bass will start holding in their traditional locations. Madison Borgia of Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill said, “There is an early morning topwater bite before the sun comes up, and bank fishermen are soaking frozen shad or live jumbo minnows for good action.” Travis Porter and KC Wilson of Hollister caught and released 26 striped bass trolling JKings 130 or Lucky Craft 127 SP at a depth of 50 feet, and Wilson caught and released her personal best at 12.5 pounds and 32 inches on a JKings.” Roger George of Roger George Guide Service took out two anglers from Hollister last Friday for 20-plus fish they released to 26 inches on trolled shad colored lures. “On Saturday I fished with Jerry Brown and Owen Hunter of Fresno and we hit the right pattern and a better bite than Friday for a great day-just managing to hit the 50 fish mark with a lot of schoolies to 23 inches in the mix. The fish are hanging in the 20- to 60-foot range, but I’ve had a few guys getting fish on bait as deep as 100 feet plus too. Guys fishing deeper need to get the Seaqualizer release tool to put the fish back down, or learn how to use a Bender Mender hollow needle properly to vent the fish,” George said. “There is some action for guys working the banks early with plugs. There was also a huge fish caught and kept by a bank angler on bait right off Fishermans Point on the Basalt side that the rangers told me went 40 pounds. The guy wanted to mount it – and I can’t blame him – but taking a good picture and a few measurements could have been used to do a good mount, too.” Trollers are running Alabama rigs in deep water for schoolie stripers as the fish seem to be holding in deeper water right now as the water temperatures are still on the warm side. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “The main lake is still getting play, and we are selling lots of Duo Realis 120 jerkbaits as Lucky Crafts continue to be hard to obtain. The California Aqueduct is starting to perk up, and there has been a group using Duo’s on side planers for striped bass to 40 inches within the past week.” In O’Neill Forebay, small fish remain the rule with a variety of techniques, and there is a small window for topwater in the early morning before switching over to blood worms, pile worms, grass shrimp, or jumbo minnows. As is the standard practice, a limit of legal stripers can be obtained by going through a number of small fish. San Luis dropped to 70 percent capacity.

Call: Coyote Bait and Tackle 408-463-0711, Roger George of, 905-2954

High Sierra

Bass Lake

Bass 2; Trout 2; Kokanee 1

The lake continues to drop, and launching a boat on the concrete public ramp is getting more challenging with the lake at 62 percent capacity. The water temperature is much warmer than normal, and the weed growth is still high. A few spotted and largemouth bass are taken outside the weed lines with plastics on the drop-shot. The water is expected to drop below the ramp level by Nov. 15. There still are no trout reports. Webcams of the lake are available

Call: Todd Wittwer 288-8100; Mike Beighey 642-3748

Edison/Florence/Mammoth Pool

Brown trout 2; Trout 2

Lake Edison continues to produce rainbows and browns from the banks with trout dough bait. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun said, “One couple landed seven trout to 14 inches within three hours.” Vermilion Valley Resort at Lake Edison has closed for the season. Edison is at 46 percent capacity, Florence at 2 percent and Mammoth Pool at 7 percent.

Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000

Shaver Lake/

Huntington Lake

Kokanee 2; Trout 2

Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters said, “It has been slow overall at Shaver Lake, and it seems that a couple of rainbow trout is the norm per boat. The third-year kokanee have disappeared since there have been no reports on them this week, but there is the occasional second-year kokanee. I received a report from a Shaver Lake regular who put four trout in the boat two days in a row, and he saw two trout on another boat. They are fishing four colors of leadcore at around 20 feet with nightcrawlers behind a Mountain Flasher from the island to Stevenson Bay.” Shaver dropped to 61 percent capacity. There were no reports from Huntington.

Call: Todd Wittwer Guide Service 288-8100; Dinkey Creek Inn 841-3435; Rancheria Marina 893-3234; Shaver Lake Sports Inc. 841-2740; Steve Santoro Fish Box Charters 871-3937


Trout 3

At Courtright and Wishon, the Wishon RV Store and Campground is closed for the season, so anglers will need to come prepared with supplies. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “The bite at both reservoirs is decent for trout, but Courtright remains the best option as both the banks and boats are producing.” At Courtright, trollers are using blade/’crawler combinations at 3-5 colors while shore fishermen continue to work the area near the Trapper Springs Campground with trout dough bait or inflated nightcrawlers. Wishon is improving, but the action is less stellar than at Courtright, and the best action has been from the banks at the headwaters with Power Worms or trout dough bait in pink or red. Wishon and Courtright will remain open until the road closes upon the arrival of a significant amount of snow. With the hot weather continuing into November, the lakes may stay open for the next month..

Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361


Half Moon Bay

Rockfish 3; Striper 2; Crabs 3

The arrival of the 2017-18 recreational Dungeness crab season did not disappoint local fishermen as loaded pots were the rule for those working deeper water. Captain Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat is the only large party boat running crab/rockfish combination trips out of Half Moon Bay. He said, “Crabbing has been outstanding with loaded pots of Dungeness. We will be running crab-only and crab/rockfish combination trips until the rockfish closure on Dec. 31. We have strings at several different depths to keep on top of the action.” Second captain Mike Cabanas of the Huli Cat took a combination trip Saturday, Nov. 11, and they ended up with limits of Dungeness crab with Eric Choy landing a 20-pound halibut on a swimbait, an 11-pound ling cod, and a couple of vermilion rockfish to 6 pounds. Tony Chow of San Francisco put in an 18-pound ling on a hitchhiker while Ron Lee of San Francisco scored a 12-pound ling on a bar. Cabanas said, “The ocean conditions were flat with a slight breeze.” Out of Half Moon Bay Sport Fishing, rockfish trips were on the agenda, and the Queen of Hearts worked the reefs south of the harbor on Labor Day weekend. Shore anglers have been tossing snares from the rockwall off of the jetty. The Ankeny Street also found big lings Saturday with 6 ling cod to 20 pounds, 175 rockfish and 85 Dungeness crab, but it was a slow pick for the quality bottom-dwelling rockfish. FArther north in Pacifica, Rob Chaney of the Rusty Hook in Pacifica said, “We have seen many more hard-shelled male crabs showing up within the past week as the first couple of days of the opener produced a number of females with eggs. The ratio of males to females has flipped the past few days, and we encourage fishermen to release the females for breeding purposes. Sales of snares have been high with over 350 sold since the opener of the custom snares with the weight built into the cage.”

Call: Captain Dennis Baxter, New Captain Pete, 650-576-3844; Captain Tom Mattusch, Huli Cat, 619-0459.

Monterey/Santa Cruz

Rockfish 3; Striper 2; Crabs 2

Chris Arcoleo of Chris’ Landing in Monterey said, “We had a much better day crabbing on Saturday with around 4 per angler, but the crab counts dropped off on Saturday with only a few crab per person. The biomass of crab doesn’t seem to be in our area. The Check Mate took out 21 fishermen on Saturday for limits of rockfish, four lings and 82 Dungeness with the Caroline pulling in 60 crab for 23 anglers to go with limits of rockfish and two lings. Sunday was a much different story with the Check Mate posting 49 crab, limits of rockfish, and 13 lings for 17 fishermen while the Caroline had 19 crab to go with limits of rockfish and five lings for 11 passengers.” Chris’ has room on the combination trips during the week, but Thanksgiving Week is already heavily booked.

Call: Chris’ Landing 831-375-5951; Allen Bushnell, Santa Cruz Kayak and Surf Casting, 831-251-9732

San Francisco Bay

Halibut 1; Striper 3; Rockfish 3; Leopard shark 3; Sturgeon 2; Crabs 3

Limits of crab and rockfish have been the rule for the Brothers Smith on the Happy Hooker and the California Dawn out of Berkeley, with full limits of rockfish and Dungeness along with a few quality lings on Sunday on the Happy Hooker. Captain Chris Smith said, “This is some of the best grade of crab that I have seen in recent years.” The California Dawn had two days of good action with a combined 54 limits of rockfish and crab Saturday and Sunday to go with 27 lings at the Farallon Islands. Out of Fish Emeryville, it has been the same story on the crab combos with the New Salmon Queen, New Huck Finn and Sea Wolf all returning with limits of rockfish and Dungeness crab over the weekend. Inside the bay, Captain Trent Slate of Bite Me Charters out of Loch Lomond Marina has been running striped bass/crab combinations, and they had an incredible Friday with more than 150 striped bass caught and released at various locations in the north bay. He said, “The weather was a bit rough in the morning so we waited until the tide was right to head outside of the Gate to pull the crab pots. We started off plugging at Red Rock, and all six rods hooked up at the same time. It was the same story at Angel Island as well as some new spots I have tried, and we took off for crab at 10:30 for eight limits of crab before returning to the bay for another 50 stripers, keeping eight limits and releasing all others including another dozen keeper-sized fish.” Saturday’s action was more of the same, but they went outside the Gate for 10 ling cod to 15 pounds and 40 rockfish before pulling the pots for 50 crab, and they quit since these were all the crab and rockfish the passengers wanted. After coming back from the ocean, they hit Angel Island for another 50 striped bass caught and released. After a year of returning to his hometown from 10 years building an incredible business out of Shelter Cove, Slate again is picking up momentum. Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle confirmed the incredible number of small striped bass in the bay, but he said, “Soleman landed an 18- and 25-pounder on Loch Lomond mudsuckers at buoy 7 this week so there are some larger fish in the mix. There are minus tides this weekend, and it’s that time of year. I get a number of calls every day for mud shrimp, but this is still awhile off. We have plenty of grass shrimp, bullheads, pile worms, and live mudsuckers with a big supply of ghost shrimp arriving for the weekend of minus tides.”

Call: Captain Trent Slate Bite Me Charters 415-307-8582; Happy Hooker 510-223-5388; Captain Jerad Davis, Salty Lady 415-760-9362; Captain Steve Mitchell 707-655-6736.

San Luis Obispo

Rockfish 3

There were limits taken on the two boats out of Morro Bay Landing on Sunday to go with a very healthy ling count, as the Endeavor and Avenger took out a combined 61 anglers for 160 vermilions, 110 coppers, 42 Boccaccio and 248 assorted to go with 122 ling cod to 21 pounds. Virg’s Landing had two boats out Monday with 24 fishermen for near limits of rockfish consisting of 56 vermilion and 158 assorted rockfish to go with 35 ling cod to 22.5 pounds. The Patriot and Flying Fish out of Patriot Sport Fishing at Port San Luis had 60 fishermen on Sunday for two-third limits consisting of 274 assorted rockfish, 15 coppers, 45 vermilions, 138 Bolina, two cabezon and an ocean whitefish to go with 19 lings to 9 pounds. All landings are taking a variety of trips ranging from half day to long range in the coming weeks with the season ending Dec. 31.

Call: Virg’s Landing 800-762-5263; Patriot Sport Fishing 805-595-4100



Bass 3; Striper 3; Sturgeon 3; Catfish 2; Bluegill 3; Salmon 2

Striped bass and sturgeon are coming full bore to the forefront in the Sacramento-Delta, but there are salmon to be had for the few fishermen still targeting the species. Live bait has been the ticket in the north Delta, and Jay Lopes of Right Hook Fishing has been drifting live mudsuckers for linesides to 23 pounds in deep water near Liberty Island. He said, “The water temperature is warmer than normal at this time of year, and I think the stripers are holding in deeper water which is colder. The bite on the incoming tide has been nil so we have been waiting to work the outgoing tide specifically. This resulted in starting at 11 a.m. Saturday to focus on the outgoing tide in depths from 15 feet and deeper. Live mudsuckers have been the trick.” Alan Fong, manager of the Fishermen’s Warehouse in Sacramento, said, “The water temperature has dropped from 64 to 57 degrees within the past two weeks, but the water is gin-clear in the north Delta so we need some rain to get the fish more active. My last trip to Liberty Island produced a number of small striped bass, and there have been a number of stripers that have congregated upriver in the Port of Sacramento.” Johnny Tran at New Romeo’s Bait and Tackle in Freeport said, “There are still chrome salmon coming through the Sacramento River, and although there are fewer fishermen trying since the stripers have moved in, bank fishermen are scoring bright salmon from 8 to over 20 pounds with Flying C’s. Striped bass are picking up quite a bit with live mudsuckers or frozen shad or sardines in Steamboat Slough, Liberty Island, or the Sacramento Deep Water Channel. Sturgeon are showing up with grass shrimp or eel/pile worm combinations, and there were three landed out of Hood this week.” Sturgeon fishing has been outstanding with the Barbarian Sport Fishing out of Martinez producing four keepers Thursday. Captain Jay Lopes of Right Hook Sport Fishing, currently out of Pittsburg Marina, had a great day Sunday with four sturgeon anglers picking up their first-ever legal sturgeon with four limits within a few hours in the deep water in front of the harbor. Captain Steve Mitchell of Hook’d Up Sport Fishing, also out of Pittsburg, is also working the deep water from 40 feet and below with the smaller tides this week. He said, “I think this is going to be an incredible year for sturgeon fishing as the early returns have been outstanding, and we are marking loads of fish.” Clyde Wands, shallow trolling expert, had a good day midweek trolling for striped bass in the Delta with 12 keepers to 12 pounds, releasing all but two 5-pounders for the table. He said, “There had been good action around Decker Island, but I found the best action down south in Broad Slough at the turn of the tide. However, our trip later in the week was far less productive with only five keepers to 21 inches for our efforts. It looks like a bunch of small fish moved in..” Tony Lopez at Benicia Bait and Tackle said, “Sturgeon fishing has been outstanding with Captain John Badger of Barbarian Sport Fishing and Captain Hayden of Dragon Sport Fishing ‘tearing them up’ near the Mothball Fleet. Striped bass fishing remains good from the shoreline, and we are going through at least 15 dozen bullheads every day due to demand. The bullheads are large and most fishermen are taking out at least ten of the live bait. We must have been the only shop with bullheads on Sunday since we were swamped with customers wanting bullheads all day.” With the warmer than normal temperatures, striped bass fishing remains far better on the Sacramento side of the Delta. Largemouth bass remain the top species, but there are some crappie starting to show up in the south Delta. Vince Borges of Vince Borges Outdoors reported the water temperatures on the San Joaquin River have cooled to 56 degrees, and the bass that they were finding on the flats have moved out to the edge of the flats and are feeding in a fall transition pattern. Bobby Barrack of Oakley took the Simms Pro Delta Day tournament on Sunday with his partner B. Hite with a limit at 26.5 pounds and a 6.40-pound big fish. Captain Mike Gravert of Intimidator Sport Fishing out of Korth’s Pirates Lair said, “Limits have been the rule every day for our clients as we have been fishing every day with no days off in the near future. The water temperatures have finally dropped below 50 degrees, and our Phenix rods are finally starting to just ‘Wham!,’ fold over in the Scotty rod holders. We still think the run is three weeks to a month behind, and we look for big things to happen in December.” Steve Santucci of Steve Santucci’s Fly Fishing Guide Service said, “Fishing was tough for a couple of days last week, but it has rebounded this week. The water temperatures have dropped into the high 50s, and the fish are inhaling the four inch Clousers Minnows.” Discovery Bay has been producing unlimited numbers of schoolie striped bass to 25 inches with a variety of trolled lures. The fish are as shallow as 7 feet.

Call: Randy Pringle 209-543-6260; Captain Mike Gravert, Intimidator Sport Fishing 916-806-3030; Vince Borges – Vince Borges Outdoors 209-918-0828; J.D. Richey, Richey’s Sport Fishing, 916-952-1554

Lake Nacimiento/San Antonio/Santa Margarita/Lopez

Bass 3; White bass 2; Striper 1; Catfish 3; Crappie 3

Lake Nacimiento is sporting a topwater bite in the early morning before switching to plastics on the drop-shot, spoons or spinnerbaits. The numbers of small bass are phenomenal, but the size is limited. White bass are found in certain areas of the lake with white Roostertails or Kastmasters. A webcam of the lake is available at Panfishing at Lopez Lake remains solid with meal worms or red worms around structure. Largemouth bass can be taken on reaction baits or topwater lures in the early mornings before working the bottom with jigs or plastics on the drop-shot. A webcam of the lake is available at At San Antonio, the north shore marina and services are now closed, and the south shore may close in the coming weeks. Anglers who desire to keep the south shore open are requested to contact the Monterey County Board of Supervisors at Reminder that consuming white bass, black bass, crappie, catfish, or carp is subject to safe eating guidelines due to excessive mercury. Quagga mussel inspections are required before boat launching is allowed.

Call: Lake Nacimiento 805-238-1056, ext. 3; Lake San Antonio Marina 805-472-2818; Central Coast Bass 805-466-6557



  • Christian Bass League on Nov. 11 at Lake Don Pedro (20 boats, 40 anglers, 79 fish, 146.74 pounds total): 1, Christian Ostrander & Jerry Johnson 16.80 (big fish 6.72); 2, Jim & Chad Oliver 11.70; 3, Jeff Sorensen & Howard Mori 11.50
  • Sonora Bass Club on Nov. 11 at Don Pedro: 1, Jason and Riley Wood 13.27 pounds; 2, Josh Parris/Jeremiah Payne 10.12; 3, Mike Taylor/Rob Vann -10.11 (Big Fish – 4.74)
  • River Rats Tournaments on November 4 at Eastman: 1, Nick Sanches/Wade Veneman 18.34; 2, Sharif Zagsaw/Jay Xiong 17.54; 3, Mike Goodman/Josh Gomez 16.31 (big fist 5.37 pounds)
  • New Jenn Bass Tournaments on Nov. 11 at McClure: 1, Bub Tosh/Bryan Coy 13.79 pounds; 2, Rod Cree/Matt Silveira 12.43; 3, Lonnie Owens/Scott Stevens 11.77
  • Sierra Bass Club on Nov. 11: 1, Ryan Reynolds 13.52 pounds (big fish 5.07); 2, Ben DeLaFuentes 9.65; 3, Chris Framming 8.29; big fish, Steve Smith 5.88
  • California Tournament Trail on Nov. 11 at Millerton: 1, Rod and Scott Burns 9.27 pounds; 2, Jeff D’Allessandro/Tim Wells 8.59; 3, Eslick/Ed Horton 8.54 (big fish 2.27)
  • Hook, Line, and Sinker on Nov. 12 at Delta/Russo’s Marina: 1, Mike and Michael Andrews 20.10 pounds; 2, Ed Ortman/Nick Price 19.07; 3,–Neil Sterud/Jon Rodgers 18.12 (big fish 10.53)


  • Nov. 18: Delta/Russo’s Marina, Tri Valley Bassmasters; Pine Flat, New Jen Bass Club; Nacimiento, Taft Bass Club/Golden Empire Bass Club
  • Nov. 18-19: Delta/Russo’s Marina, California Tournament Trail
  • Nov. 19: Delta/Ladd’s Marina, TriValley Bass Masters; Delta/Tracy Oasis, Tracy Oasis Marina; McClure, Fresno Bass Club; Kaweah, Central Valley Kayak Fishing

Trout plants

  • Madera County: Bass Lake
  • Merced County: Los Banos Reservoir; Merced River
  • Stanislaus County: Modesto Reservoir; Turlock Reservoir; Woodward Reservoir
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