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Fishing Report for week of Jan. 23: Shaver kokanee, Pine Flat bass and trout on tap

The Fresno Bee

By Roger George And Dave Hurley
Special to The Bee

January 23, 2018

Roosevelt High School Bass Fishing Club president Corrie Williams, left, and Bryce Her, right, hold forth the bass they caught midway through the April Extravaganza bass fishing tournament at Eastman Lake Sunday morning, April 14, 2013.

Roosevelt High School Bass Fishing Club president Corrie Williams, left, and Bryce Her, right, hold forth the bass they caught midway through the April Extravaganza bass fishing tournament at Eastman Lake Sunday morning, April 14, 2013. ERIC PAUL ZAMORA FRESNO BEE FILE

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

McClure bass active, Dave Hurley reported. San Luis stripers hitting and Pine Flat bass and trout on tap, Steve Newman said. New Melones trout bite improved, Monte Smith reported. San Francisco sturgeon bite on upswing, Trent Slate said. Delta sturgeon, bass and stripers moving, Randy Pringle reported. Shaver kokanee kick in, Dick Nichols said..


1-Try dynamite

2-Have to work hard

3-Limits possible

4-Fish jumpin’ in boat


Delta Mendota Canal

and Sloughs

Striper 2 Catfish 2

The interest in the aqueducts continues to be minimal with anglers bypassing the canals and heading north to the main San Luis Reservoir for the possibility of a trophy fish. There is water moving south throughout the system, and the bait is accumulating near the headgates when the water is being pumped. Despite the little interest in the aqueduct, a few fishermen are heading to the area near Mendota, Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun said. In the southern section of the aqueduct in Kern County, Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield noted a few striped bass and catfish were caught, “but it has been slow overall.” The popularity of the California Aqueduct has led to increased numbers of anglers, and in order to maintain the right to continue to fish along these public areas, fishermen are encouraged to take out all trash and debris when departing.

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

Eastman Lake

Bass 2 Trout 2 Catfish 2 Crappie 1

Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis reported the warm water temperatures along with high water conditions have kept the largemouth bass close to the surface at depths to 10 feet, but the big swimbait or topwater bite has been slow. The best technique has been with brown/purple jigs with a green pumpkin trailer at 10-25 feet. Plastics on the drop-shot are also working. There are bass holding on drop offs from 30 to 50 feet, but these fish have been less than willing to bite. A few planted trout remain a possibility from the banks around the launch ramps with trout dough bait or nightcrawlers. The lake rose slightly to 59 percent.

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

Hensley Lake

Bass 2 Trout 2 Catfish 2 Bluegill 2 Crappie 2

Finesse techniques are best with larger jigs or Senkos for numbers of small bass. Most anglers are bypassing Hensley and its low-water conditions to seek a larger grade of bass at nearby Eastman. Trout fishing from the banks has been slow. The lake rose slightly to 22 percent.

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

Trout fishing has been slow with few heading to the lake. The bait is very deep, and the occasional king salmon to 2.5 pounds or rainbow to 3 pounds is taken at depths to 110 feet. Bites are few and far between. Bass are also holding deep in the scattered bait schools, and finesse techniques continue to work best. There are several bass tournaments in the coming weeks with the Kerman Bass Club on Feb. 3, New Jen Tournaments on Feb. 10, Best Bass Tournaments on Feb. 17, River Rats on Feb. 24 and Wild West Bass Trails on March 2. The lake rose to 82 percent.

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

Lake Isabella/

Bakersfield area

Bass 2 Trout 2 Crappie 2 Catfish 1 Bluegill 1

Pete Cormier of Bob’s Bait in Bakersfield said, “We are getting a few reports of trout at Isabella along with catfish, but most fishermen are focusing on the local lakes or the lower Kern River. Pink Mice Tails, pink Sierra Slammers on a 1/32-ounce jig head, Power Bait in Chunky Cheese with garlic, rainbow garlic, or chartruese/garlic continue to be our top sellers for the local lake and the river. River Walk was planted on Monday, and it will be busy for the next couple of days. Once the small impoundments are planted, the action is good for a couple of days before slowing down.” The upper river is best in the deeper pools with salmon eggs, live crickets or nightcrawlers while the lower section is kicking out planted rainbows near the campgrounds. Lake Isabella held at 29 percent.

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

Lake Kaweah

Bass 2 Trout 2 Catfish 2 Crappie 2

Kaweah is the location for a number of upcoming bass tournaments including the New Jen Bass Tournaments on Feb. 4, Central Valley Kayak Fishing on Feb. 11 and Success Bass Club on Feb. 25. The lake has risen to 12 percent. The best action has been on the bottom with ice jigs or Silver Buddies, but plastics on the drop-shot or dart head are working as well as jigs. When the lake is this low, there are limited locations holding the best quality fish. The planted rainbows remaining are moving up the river arm.

Call: Sierra Sporting Goods 592-5212

Lake Success

Bass 2 Trout 3 Catfish 2 Crappie 2 Bluegill 2

Chuck Stokke of Sequoia Fishing Company in Springville said, “Trout fishing is the main interest in the lake with Power Bait, nightcrawlers and spinners. There have been some quality stocked trout landed this past week. The bass are hitting on plastics on a slow retrieve with Senkos working best.” The lake rose slightly to 16 percent. In the Tule River, Stokke said, “The Tule is at a perfect flow, but the native fish are very skittish and hunkered down. Nymphing with Prince or Pheasant Tail Bead Heads are the top techniques.”

Call: Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626,

McClure Reservoir

Bass 3 Trout 2 King salmon 1 Kokanee 1 Crappie 2 Catfish 2

The Best Bass Tournaments hosted 75 boats Saturday, and the top teams reported success with jigs, plastics on the drop-shot or Senkos. The top team of John Myers and Don Longton went “video game” fishing, targeting bass off of the bottom with a variety of lures including ned rigs, drop-shot, Alabama rigs, spoons and swimbaits. There are 10 bass tournaments scheduled on the lake coming up, including the Merced Bass Club on Jan. 27, New Jen Tournaments on Feb. 3, California Bass Federation on Feb. 4, Best Bass Tournaments and the Sonora Bass Club on Feb. 10, and the Fresno and Kings VIII Bass Clubs on Feb. 11. Limits to 13 pounds should take these tournaments as the bass are still holding in deeper water with finesse techniques. The lake rose slightly to 66 percent.

McSwain Reservoir

Trout 2

Anglers should check the marina for upcoming trout plants as 1,000 pounds of rainbow were released, including 250 pounds of trophy-sized trout. The bite from the shoreline at the Handicapped Docks, Brush Pile or peninsula around the marina has improved with trout dough bait in garlic or Power Eggs. Kastmasters are working on sunny days. The marina and café are open 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Fridasy, 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturdays and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday.

Call: McSwain Marina 209-378-2534

Millerton Lake/

San Joaquin River

Bass 3 Striper 1 Shad 1 Bluegill 2 Trout 1

Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun reported the bass bite is consistent with finesse techniques such as plastics on the drop-shot, dart head or ned rigs at 30-50 feet. Light jigs are also effective for the 1- to 1.5-pound spotted bass. “There are bass in the shallows around 10 feet, but the best grade is in deeper water. The majority of shad is located in the main lake,” he added. The lake rose to 70 percent. A trout plant is scheduled for Woodward Park in Fresno this week.

Call: Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474

New Melones


Bass 2 Crappie 2 Catfish 2 Trout 3 Kokanee 1

The trout bite from the shorelines has improved considerably with several quality rainbows taken from the banks off of Angels Cove and Glory Hole Point. In addition to the shore bite, trollers continue to pick up the occasional quality rainbow running shad-patterned spoons. Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing took out Joe Wells of Modesto on a recent trip, and Wells hooked a 3.5-pound rainbow with a hooked lower jaw and spectacularly bright colors on one of his custom shad-patterned spoons using leadcore line. The rainbows have moved up in the water column, accounting for the improved bank action. Gary Burns of Take It to the Limit Guide Service rolled shad for a 6-pound rainbow trout. “The bite has been quirky with some good fish,” he said. Gene Hildebrand of Glory Hole Sporting Goods confirmed the rainbows moving in closer, saying, “One of our customers landed a quality rainbow near the shoreline while trolling a chrome Speedy Shiner with garlic trout dough bait on the treble hook. He was running his line on a setback of 180 feet at a speed of 1.8 mph. He technically didn’t land this fish trolling as he left his line dangling in the water after reeling up, and the big fish hit the lure.” Shore fishing has clearly picked up with Bradley Begley of Sonora picking up an 8-pound, 3-ounce rainbow in Glory Hole Point using trout dough bait, and Peter Smelser of Fallbrook scoring rainbows at 4.7 and 4.1 pounds in Angels Cove on garlic trout dough bait. For bass, finesse techniques of plastics on the drop-shot or shakey head at 30-50 feet continue to work best in the clear waters of the main lake. The window for big bass on reaction baits will open once the water clouds up a bit. The lake held at 83 percent despite releasing water down the Stanislaus River and into Tulloch Reservoir.

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

Kokanee 3 Bass 3 Trout 1 King salmon 1 Catfish 2 Crappie 2

The bass bite at Pine Flat continues to improve, and a load of large rainbow trout in the 20- to 22-inch range was released into the lake, and the rainbows are cruising close to the surface. “The bigger class of bass are starting to eat, and jigs or ned-rigs have been effective for the best quality,” Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun said. “The swimbait bite has been feast or famine for the larger fish, but the big bass have been following up the swimbaits.” Most anglers in Saturday’s New Jen Tournaments event scored with jigs on the bottom, and the drop-shot and dart head action was also good along with ice jigs or spoons over the bait balls, Newman added. The warmer-than-normal temperatures have kept the fish up in the water column. “We expected a winning limit around 14 pounds for the New Jen Tournament, but the team of Tim Wells and Jeff D’Alessandro put up 16.15 pounds with a big fish at 4.76 pounds and the second-place team of Ray Grammer and George Rosales landed the first big fish at 6.06 pounds,” Newman said. For trout, Newman noted there is a big school of 20- to 22-inch rainbows in the shallows from Deer Creek to the dam as some larger fish must have been put into the lake. Anglers are working the banks, and the bass fishermen tossing swimbaits are also staying close to the banks. Trollers are working four to five colors of lead core around 20-25 feet with Wedding Rings in orange or red tipped with a nightcrawler or Apex lures in Cop Car or similar shad patterns. The best trout bite has been in the main lake as the river arm above Trimmer has been slower. Pine Flat held at 51 percent.

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 1

San Luis Reservoir remains the go-to location for striped bass in the central San Joaquin Valley, and anglers are using a variety of techniques for the linesides. Jesus Reyes Silva of Hollister and JKings Lures said, “We were casting jerkbaits and topwater lures for quality stripers boiling around Lone Oak Bay, and we hooked a big striper – but it broke off when my drag seized .” Roger George of Roger George Guide Service said, “There have been a moderate number of bigger stripers taken out so far this year, but the big question since the fall has been – ‘Where did all the small, but fat, 12- to 16-inch stripers suddenly come from?’ Whatever the reason, having a full spectrum of striper size classes from small to huge bodes well for the future of the big lake. The water temperatures remain warm for this time of year, near the 59-degree range, and with the high water, the major changes have led to a big impact on the bait fish and shrimp. The stripers are acting more like a late-fall pattern than in the middle of winter. Fish are hitting topwater lures and staying shallow more than the usual trend of moving into deeper water and becoming more sluggish. I scouted alone, trolling for half a day last week and released 18 fish to 24 inches on shad lures like Lucky Craft 128s in 50 to 90 feet of water. The fish didn’t come up that day.” In addition to straight fishing trips, George is personally teaching a new 5- to 6-hour on-the-water, hands-on course called Downrigging for Stripers 101 at San Luis. The course includes the critical basics of downrigging, sonar, fishing setups, lures, how to get up and fishing quickly, as well as some actual fishing time for groups of three to four anglers. “I have so many anglers asking me about learning downrigging I decided to do the special classes,” George said. Schedules of limited classes and first-come signups will be offered through Sportsmans Warehouse in the next week too. Info: Roger George 559-905-2954. Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “Ripbaits and Zoom Magnum Flukes in white or white ice on a half-ounce jig head are working for both boaters and bank anglers who are casting and ripping. The Storm WildEye swimbait in white or shad is also working along main lake points in the mornings or evenings. The best action is at low light.” In the O’Neill Forebay, small striped bass are still available with reaction baits in low-light conditions near the rockwall or Check 12. Underspins, topwater lures or small shad-patterned swimbaits are best for the mostly-undersized linesides. Finding moving water is a key. A legal limit is possible, but several fish must be released before a limit is achieved. There is a bait bite with pile worms, blood worms, or anchovies for the small stripers. The lake has risen to 84 percent with increased pumping out of the south Delta.

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

High Sierra

Bass Lake

Bass 2 Trout 3 Kokanee 1

Trout plants in mid-December and early January have improved action for rainbows with blade/’crawler combinations at four to six colors of leadcore on a slow troll. Shore fishermen are putting in a few trout near the Sheriff’s Tower with trout dough bait. Bass fishing remains slow with few anglers trying. The launch ramp is out of the water for larger boats with no courtesy dock. The lake held at 51 percent. A trout plant is scheduled for this week..

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


Mammoth Pool

Brown trout xx Trout xx

Kaiser Pass Road closed Dec. 1, and access to the area is limited to snowmobile. Edison is at 34 percent capacity, Florence remains at 2 and Mammoth Pool is at 12 percent.

Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake 259-4000

Shaver Lake/

Huntington Lake

Kokanee 3 Trout 2

Snow fell on Shaver Lake over the weekend, and the cold and winter storm kept all anglers off of the lake on Saturday, but when the weather cooperates, kokanee action has been good for those boats willing to brave the colder weather. Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters said, “The area around the Sierra Marina has been the top location, and a couple landed two easy limits within an hour at a depth of 27 feet with red spinners behind a dodger. They reported that the fish were everywhere in big schools, and the kokanee are all in the 12-inch range. The best depths for the kokanee are between 27 and 40 feet. Trout fishing remains slow with a few fish here or there in the upper 12 feet.” The Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project will be releasing the first of their plants of quality rainbows in the spring, and all proceeds for the rainbows are raised by either donation or the Annual Sportsmen’s Dinner at the Shaver Lake Community Center in August. A wide variety of information will be presented on Shaver Lake fishing during a free seminar at Herb Bauer’s Sporting Goods on Blackstone Avenue near Bullard in Fresno at 6 p.m. Feb. 8 hosted by Nichols and Todd Wittwer of Guide Service. They will be discussing the expected water levels for Shaver from spring to fall, trout plants forecast by both the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project, and techniques for both rainbows and kokanee success. There will be snacks and bottled water along with a free raffle at the event. The main Sierra Marina ramp is out of the water, but the auxiliary ramp is good to launch despite the lack of a courtesy dock. Shaver rose slightly to 42 percent.

Call: Dick Nichols, Dick’s Fishing Charters 281-6948; 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


The Central Sierra trout season is now limited to the lower elevation lakes of Bass and Shaver as the road to Courtright and Wishon closed Dec. 1 at Dinkey Creek.

Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361


Half Moon Bay

Striper 2 Crabs 2

The first attempt at holding the Maverick’s Big Surf Contest off of Pillar Point was postponed due to the anticipated southerly winds arriving in the area on Jan. 15-16. The contest has been a boon for local party boats who take out spectators to observe the surfers at close range. The contest may be held anytime through the end of February if the conditions are right. Captain Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat said, “The weather has been calm when it was predicted to be rough, and it has been rough when it has been predicted to be calm so we canceled our crab/sand dab combination trips on Friday and Saturday. It hasn’t been calm enough to try for petrale sole, but we are hoping the conditions develop in the coming weeks. There is no depth restriction for the sole. The commercial crabbers have been moving on to more productive areas or stacking out for the year, and the crab counts have been improving. We ended up with seven Dungeness and a few rock crab on our most recent trip.” All party boats in the area will be running whale watching and nature trips during the winter months, and the Salty Lady, captained by Jerad Davis, will make its annual pilgrimage to Pillar Point for whale watching. Further north at the Pacifica Pier, crabbing continues to be fair with snares from the pier, and more striped bass have been moving up and down the coastline.

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

Monterey/Santa Cruz

Striper 2 Crabs 2

Bad news out of Monterey with a major sewage leak out of Marina, and several beaches have been closed. Out of Chris’s Fishing Trips in Monterey, the Caroline was able to head out to deep water for plenty of sand dabs, but only 16 Dungeness crab for nine anglers on Sunday. The leak was caused by an equipment failure at the wastewater treatment facility in Marina, and the beach coastline between Marina State Beach and Stillwater Cove in Monterey are closed as a result. These beaches include: Carmel Beach at Ocean Avenue, Monterey Municipal Beach, Lover’s Point, the Beach at Monterey State Beach, San Carlos Beach, the beach at Sunset Drive at Asilomar, the beach at Spanish Bay and Stillwater Cove. All other beaches are open without restriction. The beach will remain closed until samples indicate that the water is again safe for contact according to state guidelines. The Monterey County Health Department warns that contact with contaminated water may cause gastroenteritis and other water borne illnesses. The annual Sand Crab Classic Surf Perch Contest is on March 10. The contest is limited to the first 300 entries with proceeds from the event going to the Monterey Bay Salmon and Trout Project. Information:

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

San Francisco Bay

Halibut 2 Striper 2 Leopard shark 2 Sturgeon 3 Crabs 2

San Pablo Bay was on fire earlier with Captain Trent Slate of Bite Me Charters out of Loch Lomond landing multiple sturgeon, but the slower tides starting on Thursday led to fewer fish. He canceled a weekend trip in order to give his clients a better opportunity for success this coming weekend with more moving water. He has plenty of mud shrimp stored up, and he is looking forward to the coming week. Jeff Caramella, however, was out last weekend and found sturgeon in shallow water near the Corregidor on herring/mud shrimp combinations. The sturgeon are focusing on either herring or mud shrimp in San Pablo Bay. Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle said, “The tides have been terrible this week, but they get good once again starting on Thursday, and I expect the sturgeon bite to be terrific once again. Things look like a go for live mud shrimp once again in the shop by this coming weekend as the conditions are good in the Pacific Northwest starting on Wednesday.” Fraser also has live Dungeness crab on the shop for sale. The recent rains should spur on the sturgeon bite in the south bay out of Alviso and in the surrounding sloughs.

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

The San Luis Obispo harbors will be running whale watching and nature trips until the rockfish opener in April. Patriot Sport Fishing out of Port San Luis is also running crab/sand dab trips into March. With the rockfish season closed, the majority of fishing action is from the shoreline with Berkley Sand Worms or Camo Worms along with blood worms and lug worms when they are available.

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



Bass 3 Striper 2 Sturgeon 3 Catfish 2 Bluegill 2

The recent fresh water push and warmer water temperature may account for fresh striped bass moving into lower Suisun Bay and the return of the sturgeon bite after a few weeks of very slow action. The first of the major sturgeon derbies is the coming weekend with the Diamond Classic Catch and Release derby on Saturday out of Martinez Marina. Captain Steve Talmadge of Flash Sport Fishing out of Martinez is the originator and director of the Diamond Classic, and he has been finding much better action for huge striped bass as opposed to sturgeon fishing east of the Benicia/Martinez Bridge on Sunday. “We had two rods out with herring fillets for striped bass, and we ended up with stripers at 33, 17, and 10 pounds with two of the fish in 45 feet of water near the bridge with the other large bass above the Fleet in 35 feet,” he said. “The stripers have bit on both tides, and this is the second weekend in a row where the fillets have produced double-digit linesides with two at 23 and 27 pounds last Sunday. I have been spending the majority of my time getting ready for the derby, and we have a killer raffle arranged with a couple of Phenix rods, two Accurate Reels, five custom rods, a Yeti cooler and several charter trips. We will be giving away six rod/reel combinations and tackle boxes for children fishing from the pier, with a raffle held every hour. If a child catches and releases a fish, they will be entered into the larger raffle for the big prizes.” Adult registration is $25 with 100% payback in cash prizes from first place through seventh. Information is available at with the official registration location of Martinez Bait. A pre-derby seminar at La Tapatia Restaurant on Main Street in Martinez will be held 6-9 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 26. Participating captains are Bill Clapp of Bill’s Sport Fishing, Mike Andrews of Predator Sport Fishing, Don Franklin of Soleman Sport Fishing, Steve Mitchell of Hook’d Up Sport Fishing and Zack Medinas of Gatecrashers Sport Fishing. John Badger of Barbarian Sport Fishing out of Martinez continues to stay on the sturgeon with second captain Shawn Taylor on the Barbarian II loaded up with six limits of sturgeon on Saturday to bring their total to 103 legal sturgeon since they started targeting the diamondbacks in the fall. Salmon roe has been the top bait once again, and they have been focusing in shallow water near Roe/Ryer Island. Captain Steve Mitchell of Hook’d Up Sport Fishing out of Pittsburg finished a productive weekend at his booth at the International Sportsmen’s Exposition, and he is looking forward to getting back on the water this coming weekend. Closer to Sacramento in the north Delta, Johnny Tran of New Romeo’s Bait and Tackle in Freeport said, “The Sacramento River is both low and muddy, but sturgeon are heading up the river to spawn. A number of sturgeon have been landed at Freeport, Courtland and Clarksburg with grass shrimp, ghost shrimp, eel/nightcrawler, and eel/pile worm combinations. It is important not to take an oversized sturgeon out of the water to measure the fish since there have been citations issued for bank anglers pulling up the oversized fish onto the shoreline. Keep the fish in the water. Stripers are coming up the river near the levee break at Liberty Island with live shiners or mudsuckers along with sardines coated with garlic spray, pile worms, or blood worms in the Sacramento Deep Water Channel.” Clyde Wands, shallow trolling expert, was feeling pretty good after landing stripers to 7 pounds on the troll in Broad Slough early in the week. “We launched out of Sherman Island in order to get closer to Broad Slough with the fog, and we caught them both trolling and drifting live mudsuckers,” he said. “I think things are looking up for trolling, and these are new fish that are bright and pretty.” Craig Kamikawa of the Fishermen’s Warehouse in Sacramento said, “A good fresh push of stripers has entered the Delta from San Pablo Bay, but they haven’t gone farther than Broad Slough or the top of Honker Bay. Live mudsuckers, shad or sardines have been the top baits for the linesides.” Benicia Bait reported plenty of schoolie stripers are coming from the shorelines with a variety of baits including pile worms, blood worms, and anchovies. After this weekend’s Diamond Classic Catch and Release Derby, the Foundation Sportsmen’s Club, aka Original Sturgeon Derby, will follow on Feb. 3-4. Information and registration at The Addathon Ironman Derby out of Pittsburg Marina is March 3-4. In the San Joaquin Delta, the warming water temperatures are keeping the largemouth bite going, and a few schoolie stripers are trickling in the system. A slow presentation is best for largemouth bass with bait working best for the linesides. Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, said, “The ima Flit 120 in shad patterns or Rock N’Vibe Suspend remain our top lures, and the key is to stay close to weeds that are waving at you. The largemouth don’t want to chase very far right now, so you have to put the bait in their face. They are feeding on shad near moving water, but they are holding off of the main current. We have been finding great success with the new General Max Scent weightless worm since it has heavy scent that attracts fish in the stained water.” Captain Stan Koenigsberger of Quetzal Adventures out of Bethel Harbor went to False River on Saturday to soak frozen shad for an hour, and he released two striped bass to 21 inches from the two bites that occurred. Luther Thompson of H and R Bait in Stockton said, “There hasn’t been much going on in our section of the river with few reports this past week. Live bait has been difficult to obtain, but we have bagged up plenty of frozen shad for the winter months as fresh shad is over for the season.” Johnny Tran of New Romeo’s Bait and Tackle in Freeport touted the bluegill and crappie bite off of Eight Mile Road west of Stockton with live minnows or minijigs for the slabs and red worms on a drop-shot rig for the panfish.

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 2 White bass 2 Striper 2 Catfish 2 Crappie 2

At Nacimiento, the Best Bass Tournament held a tournament on Saturday with 39 boats, and the quality of spotted bass was outstanding with a big fish of 4.75 pounds from the winning limit landed by the team of Matt Clausen and Bryce Martin at 14.81 pounds. Jigs, Senkos, and plastics on the drop-shot were the top techniques for the winning teams. The spotted bass are starting to school up, and the best action has been in the warmer waters in the afternoon hours. The lake held at 42 percent. A webcam of the lake is available at At Lopez, bass fishing is fair at best with the best action with mid-sized plastics on a drop-shot or shakey head in relatively deep water between 25 and 40 feet. With the fish holding in deeper water, jigs and spoons are also effective. Panfishing has been slow, but a few crappie are found on minijigs near structure. A webcam of the lake is available at At San Antonio, striped bass fishing is extremely slow with largemouth and smallmouth bass action slightly better with jigs or plastics on the drop-shot. Catfish are the top species with prepared dough baits or cut bait. The South Shore Marina is back on their regular winter schedule after the holidays, and it is open on weekends only from Friday morning through Sunday evenings. At Santa Margarita, the bass bite continues to be slow with the best action taking place with spoons along with large plastic worms. Larger profile lures are working best and big jigs or Brush Hogs are finding the best quality of bass. The crappie bite is fair with minijigs tipped with a prepared crappie bait. Reminder: consuming white bass, black bass, crappie, catfish, or carp are subject to safe eating guidelines due to excessive mercury. Quagga mussel inspections are now 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



    • Best Bass Tournaments at McClure on Jan. 20: 1, John Myers/Don Longton, 14.34 pounds; 2, Charles and Jimmy Welch Jr., 13.66; 3, Scott Parsons/Doug Naruo, 8.55 (Big Fish, 6.20).
    • Sierra Bass Club at McClure on Jan. 20: 1, Michael T. Murphy, 10.41 pounds; 2, Brian Herman, 8.72; 3, Edmund B. Armbrister, 8.55. Big Fish, Danny Lopez, 3.07.
    • New Jen Bass Tournaments at Pine Flat on Jan. 20: 1, Tim Wells/Jeff D’Alessandro, 16.15 pounds (Second Big Fish, 4.76); 2, Ray Grammer/George Rosales, 13.62 (Big Fish, 6.06); 3, Garrett and Dale Wells, 13.51.
    • Best Bass Tournamens at Nacimiento on Jan. 20: 1, Matt Clausen/Bryce Martin, 14.81 pounds(Big Fish, 4.75); 2, Dustin Selck/Suzanne Musson, 13.99; 3, Graham Grove/Brandon Columbo, 13.35.
  • Hook, Line and Singer at Delta/Russo’s Marina on Jan. 21: 1, Garrett Bradshaw/Josh Gonzalez, 17.68 pounds; 2, Beau and Logan Jourdrey, 17.46; 3, Travis Williams/Anthony Macaluso, 16.94.



    • Feb. 8: Herb Bauer’s Sporting Goods, 6 p.m., Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters and Todd Wittwer of Guide Service – Shaver Lake trout and kokanee techniques
  • March 10: Sand Crab Classic Surf Perch Derby in Santa Cruz. Entries begin in January, event limited to first 300 entrants.


    • Jan. 27: Martinez Marina –Diamond Classic “Catch and Release” Sturgeon Derby,; Pine Flat – Bass 101; Nacimiento – Bakersfield Bass Club
    • Feb. 3: Delta/Ladd’s Marina – Delta Bass Busters; Delta/Russo’s Marina – American Bass Association; New Melones – California Team Trail; Tulloch – Manteca Bassin’ Buddies; Don Pedro – Kerman Bass Club; McClure – New Jen Bass Tournaments; Lopez – American Bass Association
    • Feb. 4: McClure – California Bass Federation; Pine Flat – Bass 101; Kaweah – New Jen Bass Tournaments
    • Feb. 10: Delta/Tracy Oasis – Tracy Oasis; Delta/Ladd’s Marina – Angler’s Press; Delta/Russo’s Marina – Delta Bass Club; New Melones – California Bass Federation; Don Pedro – New Jen Bass Tournaments; McClure – Best Bass Tournaments/Sonora Bass Club; Millerton – Kern County Bassmasters; Nacimiento – Best Bass Tournaments
    • Feb. 11: McClure – Fresno Bass Club/Kings VIII Bass Club; Millerton – American Bass Association; Kaweah – Central Valley Kayak Fishing
    • Feb. 17: Delta/Big Break – Dan’s Delta Outdoors; New Melones – Angler’s Press Don Pedro – Best Bass Tournaments/Merced Bass Club; McClure – Kerman Bass Club/Christian Bass League; Pine Flat – Sierra Bass Club/Bakersfield Bass Club
    • Feb. 18: New Melones – Riverbank Bass Anglers; Pine Flat – Bass 101
    • Feb. 24: Delta/Russo’s Marina – New Jen Bass Tournament; Delta/Tracy Oasis – Tracy Oasis; New Melones – Contra Costa Bass Club; Don Pedro – River Rats/Gilroy Bass Club; Pine Flat – Golden Empire Bass Club/Cen Cal Bass Elite Tournaments; Lopez – San Luis Obispo County Bass Ambushers
  • Feb. 25: Delta/B and W Resort – California Bass Federation; McClure – Kings River Bass Club; Pine Flat – American Bass Association; Kaweah – Success Bass Club

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