Jesus Reyes Silva of Hollister of How to Fish and JKingslures said, “I was out on Thursday morning, and I was waiting for Jose Hernandez and his cousin to go trolling. While waiting, I decided to go casting around Dinosaur Point, and on my first cast, I caught and released a 44-inch, 34-pound striper on a topwater JKings lures. After they arrived, we ran up to Portuguese Cove to troll from 7 to 11 a.m., but the fish were picky, and they didn’t bite until after noon. I went out during Saturday’s windstorm for a few small fish on topwater lures before the red lights came on, and we got off the lake as the wind was blowing around 30 mph.”
Roger George of Roger George Guide Service said, “I took out Charles Barber of Caruthers and Larry Kragh of Fresno for seven released fish in the 23- to 25 1/2-inch range. The bite was tougher than usual, but we finally found some fish that would bite. We were using a variety of shad patterned lures from 40 to 70 feet. The fish are beginning to act more like normal. It’s funny, but the smaller fish aren’t in the mix as much as they have been the last month. The topwater bite is sporadic and seems to be early most of the time. I’ve had a lot of guys telling me they are releasing more fish than in past years because they are concerned about targeted overfishing by some groups working the lake. That’s encouraging.”
Mickey Clements of Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill said, “There is a decent bite at the big lake, and anglers should have no trouble getting a limit. Drifting jumbo minnows near the mouth of Portuguese Cove or by the Trash Racks is a good option, and trolling has also been solid. I showed a fisherman who had never trolled before with downriggers how to set up his rigs, and he ended up with a limit. Guys that know how to troll are having no problem at all. The area to the left of Dinosaur Point has slowed down, as the schools have moved towards Portuguese Cove. Goosehead Point is another good location. In the Forebay, there is a smaller class of stripers, including a number of 6- to 10-inch fish, and most everyone is going to the main lake for a larger grade of striped bass. The forebay is a good place to take a child fishing with anchovies or chicken livers as you will get a lot of action.”
Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “I haven’t heard very much about the big lake this week, but we are selling lots of Duo Realis jerkbaits. Most anglers are going to the main lake instead of the forebay or the aqueducts.”
The lake has risen to 79 percent with increased pumping out of the south Delta despite starting to release water.