Fishing report, Aug. 23-Aug. 29: Don Pedro trout on a good bite, kaweah crappie and catfish headline the action.

Bruce Farris/Fresno Bee archive

Compiled by California Outdoors Hall of Fame member Dave Hurley and edited by Roger George, who guides in the greater Fresno area and holds the striper record at Millerton Lake.

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Best bets

Don Pedro trout on a good bite, Monte Smith reported. Kaweah crappie and catfish headline the action, Dave Hurley said. New Melones catfish and trout top species, Kyle Wise reported. San Luis stripers on a solid bite, Michael Crayne said. Delta sturgeon and stripers top bets, Dave Hurley reported. Half Moon Bay Bluefin tuna madness hits, Justin Young reported.


Westside waterways

Striper 2 Catfish 3

Hot weather has affected the bite, Bill Sterling of Striperz Gone Wild reported, “Fishing the aqueduct has slowed, but a few stripers here and there are being caught on lures along with ‘bait and wait’. The water flow is still very fast. We are still seeing good-sized catfish being taken in the aqueduct and in the Delta Mendota.”

Striperz Gone Wild’s Three-Year Anniversary ‘Fall Classic’ Striper Derby is 5 a.m.- 2 p.m. Oct. 7 at the Hilldale Bridge with a BBQ, 50/50 raffle, and prizes in the adult and youth divisions. They are also helping with the upcoming City of Gustine Kid’s Derby at the Schmidt Duck Pond on September 30th.

In the south aqueduct in Kern County, striped bass action has been best on bait, particularly pile worms or nightcrawlers along with anchovies or jerkbait. Catfishing is best with anchovies, sardines, mackerel, or Triple S Dip Bait. Largemouth bass are active around the floating mats with plastics or topwater lures.

Call: Valley Rod & Gun, Clovis (559) 292-3474; Bob’s Bait Bucket, Bakersfield (661) 833-8657.

Eastman Lake/Hensley Lake

Bass 2 Trout 2 Bluegill 2 Catfish 2 Crappie 2

Michael Crayne of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “Catfish, bluegill, and crappie are the top options at both Eastman and Hensley as the bass bite has slowed to a crawl. The best action for bass remains over submerged islands with big plastics.” Eastman dropped a foot to 552.24 feet in elevation and 63% with Hensley also dropping four feet to 501.75 feet in elevation and 44% as water releases continue.

Call: Eastman Lake (559) 89-3255; Valley Rod & Gun, Clovis (559) 292-3474; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Hensley Lake Hidden Dam 673-5151

Lake Don Pedro

Bass 2 Trout 3 Kokanee 2 King salmon 2 Crappie 2

Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing reported a solid bite for rainbow trout in the 2- to 4-pound range, but the fish have dropped down in the water column to 65 to 85 feet. putting his clients onto kings to 5 pounds on kokanee gear. He said, “The rainbows have dropped in the water column as we were previously catching them around 55 feetin depth. The surface temperature remains warm at 80 degrees. Kokanee should be winding down, but there were still some clean fish on my last trip. King salmon action should be outstanding as the fall approaches.” For bass, John Liechty of Xperience Fishing Guide Service said, “Don Pedro offers the best bass bite in the Mother Lode right now, but it is still a grind. We are finding our best action along steep bluff walls with small swimbaits or plastics on the drop-shot. It is a matter of searching around and finding willing fish.” The Tuolumne River arm is open, giving boaters access to the entire lake. There is still some floating driftwood in the upper river, and there are no services as of yet at Mocassin. The Blue Oaks ramp is open once again. The lake dropped nearly 5 feet to 817.01 feet in elevation and 92%. Updates on the launch ramp are available at

Call: Monte Smith, Gold Country Sport Fishing (209) 581-4734; Kyle Wise, Head Hunter Guide Service (209) 531-3966; Ryan Cook, Ryan Cook’s Fishing (559) 691-7008

Lake Isabella/Bakersfield area

Bass 2 Trout 2 Crappie 2 Catfish 3 Bluegill 3

The lake dropped 2 feet to 2,598.67 feet in elevation and 87%. Catfish are the top option with Triple S Dip Bait, shrimp, or cut baits. Both bass and crappie are focusing upon shad, and shad-imitation plastics, jerkbaits, or crankbaits are working best. The bass bite has been slow overall with crappie providing slightly better action on certain submerged brush or rock. Trout fishing is also fair for trollers pulling shad-patterned spoons or plugs in the deep water in the cooler North Fork. At Buena Vista, bluegill and catfish are the top options as the panfish are taken on red worms or meal worms near structure while cut baits or dip baits are best for the whiskerfish. Bass fishing is fair with the best action with Brush Hawgs, plastics on the drop-shot, or tubes. The Kern River at Kernville dropped from 78 to 44 cfs while water releases out of the dam have also dropped from 3102 to 2735 cfs at First Point. With the high flows out of the lake, the lower Kern is challenging, but in the long run, the flows will pay dividends in both the upper and lower Kern. Trout plants are scheduled in the upper Kern River on Sections 4,5, and 6 this week.

Call: Cope’s Tackle and Rod (661) 679-6351; Bob’s Bait Bucket, Bakersfield (661) 833-8657; North Fork Marina (760) 376-1812; Golden Trout Pack Station (559) 542-2816.

Lake Kaweah

Bass 2 Crappie 3 Trout 2 Catfish 3

The lake continues to drop, and it came down 12 feet to 677.63 feet in elevation and from 72 to 61%. Crappie remain a solid bet with small 1..5-inch plastic minnows on a light 1/32nd or 1/16th jig head over submerged brush or rock, particularly in the Horse Creek area. Finesse techniques remain best for bass, but there is an early or late topwater bite. Plastics on the drop-shot or Ned-rig are the most consistent producers. Catfish remain a solid option with Triple S Dip Bait or chicken livers. The lake will be dropping water rapidly within the next few months. The Kaweah River at Three Rivers is dropping, and it came down from 588 to 454 cfs this week.

Lake Success

Bass 2 Crappie 2 Trout 2 Catfish 2

The lake dropped two feet to 642.57 feet in elevation and 75%. Slightly cooler temperatures have attracted more anglers, and there is a reaction bite for bass with chatterbaits, crankbaits, or spinnerbaits early in the day before heading to the bottom with plastics. There is a small window for topwater in lowlight conditions. Bluegill are another option with red worms, meal worms, or jumbo red worms. Catfishing is also a solid option with Triple S Dip Bait or cut anchovies.

Call: Cope’s Tackle and Rod (661) 679-6351; Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626,

McClure Reservoir

Bass 2 Trout 2 King salmon 0 Kokanee 0 Crappie 2 Catfish 2

There hasn’t been much change here although there are a few bass tournaments upcoming during the month of September. The best bass bite remains up the river arm with a small window for topwater in the mornings before heading to mid-range with shad patterned crankbaits or spinnerbaits. By mid-morning, working the bottom with plastics on the drop-shot has been productive for small spotted bass. There haven’t been many trout trollers, but holdover rainbows are found in the deep water near the dam with shad-patterned spoons such as Kastmasters in black/silver, blue/silver, or Cop Car as the rainbows are feeding heavily on the shad schools. Catfishing remains solid at night along sloping banks with chicken livers, nightcrawlers, or cut baits. The lake dropped nearly 7 feet to 843.94 feet in elevation and 85 percent.

Call: Ryan Cook, Ryan Cook’s Guide Service (559) 691-7008.

McSwain Reservoir

Trout 2

The lake dropped from 93 to 86%. The Department of Fish and Wildlife planted 1500 pounds of catchable rainbows on August 16th, and bank anglers had a field day from the normal locations of the Brush Pile, Handicapped Docks, and the peninsula by the marina with silver/blue or gold Kastmasters, garlic Power Bait, or nightcrawlers. Bass fishing is another option as both largemouth and spotted bass came over the top of the Exchequer Dam with the high water, but the bass are few and far between. Trout plants will continue throughout the fall months prior to the October Merced Irrigation District Trout Derby.

Call: Angler’s Edge Market (209) 226-4416; McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534.

Millerton Lake/San Joaquin River

Bass 2 Striped bass 1 Shad 1 Bluegill 3 Crappie 2

Bill Kunz of St. Croix Rods placed first during Fresno Bass Club’s Night Tournament over the weekend with a 10-fish limit at 19.66 pounds. He said, “I caught all of my fish on crankbaits on a St. Croix Legend Tournament Bass Carbon Cranker on 12-pound P-Line Tactical Fluorocarbon.” Michael Crayne of Valley Rod & Gun in Clovis said, “The water has been stained, and I found my best action for bass to 2 pounds on a recent trip on either a black jig, a dark plastic worm on a Texas-rig, or a jerkbait. There is some algae showing up, and I found everything on either main lake or secondary points as the bass are not holding in the coves.”

At Sycamore Island, The River Parkway Trust is hosting two fishing clinics this weekend with Park Host, Pengsue Vang holding a Youth and Family Fishing Clinic on Saturday, August 26, to learn the basics of fishing. Sunday’s clinic will focus on tips and tricks specific to Sycamore Island. Rods and tackle will be provided, but participants are welcome to bring their own gear. A fishing license is required for all anglers 16 and older. Water releases down the San Joaquin have dropped from 525 to 366 cfs at Friant. The San Joaquin River from Friant Dam to the Merced County line is open for recreational use. Sycamore Park is open seven days per week. The lake is receding rapidly, dropping 13 feet this week to 551.75 feet in elevation and 77 percent. Trout plants are scheduled on the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River for the next two weeks.

Call: Valley Rod & Gun (559) 292-3474.

New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch

Bass 2 Crappie 2 Catfish 3 Trout 3 Kokanee 2

The kokanee bite is slowing down as the fish are in the process of gearing up for their attempt to spawn, but there are still some huge kokanee over three pounds landed by working the bottom at depths from 60 to 80 feet. Kyle Wise of Head Hunter Guide Service said, “There are plenty of 3-pound kokanee being caught, but the fish are turning quickly and the numbers are down. A two to four fish day is possible running Apex lures in Kevorkian or gold behind a 5.5-inch gold hammered dodger on the bottom. Trout fishing under lights has been incredible, and I am working with my clients to switch over to trout trips as the bite is ‘off the hook.’ The lights attract huge schools of shad, and we are using either nightcrawlers or minnows for the rainbows. We haven’t landed any crappie or bass under the lights as we are anchoring in deep water from 80 to 100 feet. I have been running trout/catfish combination trips as the catfish bite remains outstanding with cut baits.” For bass, John Liechty of Xperience Fishing Guide Service remains puzzled over the lack of action for big fish at the lake. He said, “It is really a grind right now, and I don’t know why. The fish are here somewhere, but they are not along the shorelines. Working the bottom with plastics has been the top technique as the reaction bite remains slow. It takes going through a number of fish to land one at 2 pounds, and several more fish to find some in the 3- to 4-pound range. The only thing I can think of is the decaying vegatation throughout the lake has contributed to the slow action. In any case, it has been puzzling.”

Water releases have started, and the lake has dropped three feet to 1049 feet in elevation and 82%.

Call: John Liechty, Xperience Fishing Guide Service (209) 743-9932; Ryan Cook, Ryan Cook’s Guide Service (559) 691-7008; Kyle Wise, Headhunter Guide Service (209) 531-3966; Monte Smith (209) 581-4734.

Pine Flat Reservoir/Kings River

Bass 2 Trout 2 Kokanee 0 King salmon 0 Catfish 2 Crappie 2

The lake continues to release water heavily, dropping eight feet in the past week to 928.58 feet in elevation and 87 percent. Michael Crayne of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “The bass bite has been decent, but it is not as good as Millerton right now. A variety of techniques are working for small spotted bass including small Keitech swimbaits, umbrella rigs, or crankbaits.” Trout fishing is best near Trimmer or Windy Gap for trollers concentrating on the shad schools with Cop Car or similar shad patterned spoons. Crappie are just now starting to show up around submerged structure. The flows on the lower Kings at Trimmer have dropped slightly from 2662 to 2355 cfs, and there have been some holdover trout taken in the slower water near the shorelines along with a healthy population of spotted bass that have pushed over from the lake’s spillway. A trout plant is scheduled on the lower Kings River below the dam this week.

Call: Valley Rod & Gun 2559) 292-3474; Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626.

San Luis Reservoir and O’Neill Forebay

Striper 3 Catfish 2 Bass 2 Crappie 2

Michael Crayne of Valley Rod and Gun said, “The striped bass bite has been going crazy in the main lake with jerkbaits, topwater lures, or spoons. We sold over 80 of the Duo Realis 120 or 130 jerkbaits in Neo Pearl within the past week with one customer purchasing an entire case. Big fish continue to be taken from the banks. Bill Sterling of Striperz Gone Wild reported, “San Luis Reservoir is still the hot spot for stripers as there were at least three more 25-pound plus stripers caught this week on glide baits, top water lures, or and 5-inch Keitech swimbaits from the shore. The forebay is starting to get hotter as well with a number of school-sized stripers being caught there.”

Roger George of Roger George Guide Service said that the overall bite has been good- especially for shore anglers working very early - or at night with reaction baits. “ The troll bite for experienced anglers has been good using any of the regular minnow baits from near the top down to 50 feet. There are a few fish to 36 inches that have shown up and I’m told they are putting the brood fish back in most cases.”

Josh Mesa of Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill added, “Bank anglers are scoring with anchovies as we didn’t have blood or pile worms until Friday evening, Trollers are doing well for stripers to 28 inches with P-Line’s Predator Minnows, but umbrella rigs haven’t been as effective. The troll bite is best when the pumps are moving. There is a topwater bite with the new Spro Walking Bait along with Heddon Spooks.” In the O’Neill Forebay, Mesa reported a good largemouth bass bite with topwater lures or jerkbaits around the weed lines. There is an algae bloom in the forebay.” The forebay has dropped from 88 to 84 percent with water releases into the California Aqueduct. The main lake has dropped to 87%.

To check the wind conditions on the lake use

Call: Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711, Roger George, (559) 905-2954.

High Sierra

Bass Lake

Bass 2 Trout 2 Kokanee 1

Mike Beighey of Bass Lake Fishing said, “I don’t know what to say as everything has come to a close. Even the trout bite has been tough as you have to find them at depths from the surface to 28 feet with my best action on Dick’s Mountain Tubes or Mountain Hoochies behind Rocky Mountain or Dick’s Mountain Dodgers. There have been no kokanee, but I will head out to the dam area again this week in search of the elusive kokanee.For bass, Michael Crayne of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “There is a small window for topwater lures at sunset, but the weather change has affected the action as the temperature dropped drastically.” A webcam of the launch ramp is available at

Call: Mike Beighey, Bass Lake Fishing (559) 676-8133.

Edison/Florence/Mammoth Pool

The Kaiser Pass lakes are rising, and trout fishing remains solid at both Edison and Florence Lake. Edison has is kicking out multiple browns and rainbows for trollers with the high water level. All the lakes are nearly filled with Edison at 96, Florence at 88, and Mammoth Pool at 98%. Road conditions (559) 297-0706.

Call: Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake (559) 259-4000.

Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake

Kokanee 2 Trout 2

Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters, Shaver’s Guide Emeritus, said, “Guide Tom Oliveira of Mag Tackle put in two limits of kokanee and five trout on Saturday for clients, Craig Haley and his grandson, Caleb, in front of Sierra marina and along the houses with orange Mag Tackle hoochies and some custom spoons at depths from 20 to 56 feet. Oliveira reported some nice groups along the island. Sunday’s trip produced 12 kokanee for the Bedwell family before heavy rains drove them off of the lake. Kirk and Jerilyn Emge from Vacaville picked up two quick limits with one being a 2.2-pound kokanee.”

There are plenty of two-year-old kokanee in the lake, but most anglers are releasing next year’s fish. There is still some floating debris on the lake. Nichols added, “The 12th annual Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project’s fundraising dinner and auction was a tremendous success last Saturday night. The event was held at the Camp Chawanakee multipurpose building on the shore of Shaver Lake with approximately 250 people. Long-time dinner chairperson, Caroline Thomson, produces the finest of fundraiser dinners, but she out did herself preparing this one. I have never seen so many silent auctions, raffle and ‘tackle box’ gifts as this year. Under the direction of silent auction captain, Shelly Etcheverry, the quality of gifts was unbelievable ranging from full-sized Weber gas barbecues to great merchandise baskets, and many attendees went home with great purchases.

The live auction under the direction of founding director, David Dungy, was top quality with a variety of quality gifts from Alaskan and Shaver Lake Fishing trips, gourmet dinners, professional hunting trips to a deer hunting rifle. The excellent dinner, featuring Harris Ranch rib eye steaks and trimmings, prepared from the Kingsburg volunteers, followed a beautifully prepared and delicious hors d’oeuvres table. All was served eloquently served by students from Sierra High School. The event supports annual projects such as the Greg Mark’s Youth Derby, the Trout in the Classroom program which was the brainchild locally of director David Dungy.

Other programs are the high school scholarships awarded to graduates entering college in outdoor majors. Of course, the group does what its name represents, planting of quality high bred rainbow trout from 3 to 9 pounds into Shaver Lake. Founding member Bob Bernier has headed the plant from day one. The new project of the SLTTP is the special needs and youth fishing dock that is the result of founding director Tim Young’s efforts and in co-operation of Southern California Edison. More information will be available later, but it is a huge development of both the SLTTP and SCE. The SLTTP is led by President Mark Etcheverry.”o Kokanee.

Huntington remains slow with small kokanee and rainbow trout the rule for trollers. A webcam of the Shaver launch ramp is at and for Huntington at Shaver is at 96% and Huntington at 97%.

Call: Todd Wittwer, Guide Service (559) 288-8100; Jerad Romero, Jrods Guide Service (559) 392-6994; Tom Oliveira, Tom Oliveira Fishing (559) 802-8072.


Trout 2

Courtright has been the more productive lake for trollers running speeds from 1.25 to 1.5 mph for rainbows or browns to 14 inches from the dam to the eastern shoreline at depths from 15 to 30 feet with various spinners or spoons in purple or pink. Michael Crayne of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis confirmed the better action of the two at Courtright with the best action for trollers working deep water on the far side of the lake. Without recent trout plants and heavy pressure, Wishon has been challenging for both trollers and particularly, bank anglers.

Call: Wishon RV Park (559) 865-5361.


Half Moon Bay

Rockfish 3 Striper 2 Bluefin tuna 3 Halibut 2 White seabass 1 Sand dabs 3 Surf perch 3

Bluefin tuna as the rage over the weekend as over 30 bluefin were hooked by private boaters along with six-pack operators fast-trolling Nomad Design’s Madmacs. Captain Justin Young of the Codfather out of Alameda scored the largest bluefin of the year at 250 pounds while private boater Ryan Jones loaded up with two huge bluefin at 231 pounds on his 17-foot Boston Whaler. Most of the action has been near the Guide or the Half Moon Bay Weather Buoy. A handful of albacore were landed during the week, but the big numbers are found farther north off of Fort Bragg. For those working the local reefs, limits of coastal rockfish remain the rule. Captain Michael Cabanas of the New Captain Pete ran his final California Collaborative Fisheries Research Program trip to the Marine Protected Area cells within Ano Nuevo on Thursday for 391 fish from 12 species. The program documents and tags various species of rockfish. Rockfishing is open at any depth until December 31. Rockfishing is open at any depth until December 31.

Call: Captain Michael Cabanas, New Captain Pete (510) 677-7054; Captain Chris Chang, Ankeny Street (650) 279-8819; Captain Bill Smith, Riptide (650) 728-8433; Half Moon Bay Sport Fishing, Queen of Hearts (510) 581-2628

Monterey/Santa Cruz

Rockfish 3 Bluefin tuna 3 Halibut 2 Striper 3 White seabass 1 Sand dabs 3 Surf perch Bluefin and albacore mania struck the region and the majority of action took place off of Point Sur or further north at either Pioneer Canyon or the Guide.

Chris’s Fishing and Whale Watching Trips in Monterey continues to load up on limits of rockfish and huge lingcod on their trips south to Point Reyes as the rockfish bite remains spectacular. Josh Mesa of Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill reported an outstanding striped bass and surf perch bite from the area beaches with a number of linesides over 20 pounds being caught and released. Lucky Craft Pointer 120’s or Duo Realis 120’s have been the top lures.

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

Golden Gate/San Francisco Bay

Halibut 3Striper 3 Rockfish 3 Leopard shark 2 Sturgeon 2

Fishing both inside and outside of San Francisco Bay has been incredible all season, but many of the party boats report losing as much as 60% of their business this summer, most likely due to the salmon closure. One boat that has been consistently running is the California Dawn 2, and Captain James Smith has been taking advantage of the incredible weather to head out to Rittenburg Bank for limits of ling cod to 27 pounds along with limits of huge rockfish. The decks are lined with lings daily, and anglers are walking off the boat with 50- to 60-pound sacks before filleting, As long as the weather holds, the deep water more than 50 fathoms is the place to be. Several boats headed out as far south as the Half Moon Bay Weahter Buoy for albacore, but the scores were mixed as the bulk of the fish are up north off of the Mendocino coastline. The recent hurricane should push more tuna north, and local anglers are licking their chops. Inside the bay, Captain Ron Koyasako of Nautilus Excursions put in 8 limits of striped bass and 8 limits of halibut on Saturday, and they were done with the halibut by 9:45 a.m. before looking for white sea bass to no avail. Limits of halibut have been the rule, and after coming up a few fish short of 11 limits of rockfish on a coastal trip, Captain Jonathon Smith of the Happy Hooker out of Berkeley returned to the bay for 11 limits of halibut. It’s been that good.

Smith will host Western Outdoor News coastal combination trip on Oct. 13 on the California Dawn 2 with a Diawa giveaway packed with hooks, leader, and Costa swag along with assorted jackpot prizes. To sign up -

Coastal combination trips will continue through October depending upon weather and the diminishing presence of halibut, but another combination window opens on the first Saturday in November with the arrival of recreational Dungeness crab season for crab/rockfish combinations.

Call: Captain Ron Koyasako, Nautilus Excursions (916) 704-4169; Captain Jerad Davis, Salty Lady (415) 760-9362; Captain Steve Mitchell, Hook’d Up Sport Fishing (707) 655-6736; Happy Hooker (510) 223-5388

San Luis Obispo

Rockfish 3 Surf perch 3

The Black Pearl out of Virg’s Landing in Morro Bay was on a full day trip on Saturday with 25 anglers for sub-limits of 100 vermilion, 100 assorted, 50 Boccaccio, and 42 ocean whitefish for limits of rockfish. The Fiesta was on a 3/4th -day on Saturday with 30 anglers for 230 assorted, 6 Boccaccio, 24 vermilion, and 6 lingcod. Out of Morro Bay Landing, the Endeavor was on a full day trip on Sunday with 25 passengers for limits of rockfish composed of 100 vermilion rockfish for sub-limits, 60 Boccaccio, 90 assorted rockfish, and two lingcod. The Avenger took two 1/2-day trips while the Starfire also was on a ½-day trip on Sunday with a combined 57 anglers for 26 vermilion, 327 assorted, 5 Boccaccio, and a lingcod. Out of Patriot Sport Fishing in Port San Luis, the Flying Fish, and Phenix were out on Sunday on trips ranging from ½- to full day with 28 passengers for 48 vermilion, 12 Bolina, 211 assorted rockfish, 4 canary rockfish, a lingcod, and a Petrale sole. Webcams of many of the coastal locations are available at Rockfish season is open all depths through September 30.

Call: Virg’s Landing (800) 762-5263; Patriot Sport Fishing (805) 595-4100; Morro Bay Landing.



Bass 2 Striper 3 Sturgeon 3 Catfish 2 Bluegill 2

The largemouth bass bite on the California Delta continues to improve slowly, but it is far from what is expected at this time of year. Vince Borges of Vince Borges Outdoors reported the best quality remains up north working the flats with chatterbaits or spinnerbaits for quality bass to 4 pounds. He said, “You can put together a solid limit when you are finding 4-pound fish, and the chatterbaits or spinnerbaits are the best thing going.”

Borges will be fishing with Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, during the upcoming weekend Bass Cat Open, and Pringle said, “I will be tying on an ima squarebill crankbait along with punching the weeds with the Berkeley Pit Boss in crawdad patterns. The key will be working around pockets with shade. I will also have Furbet the Frog at the ready along with the Little Stick topwater lure in the event the topwater bite is happening. The key is keeping the bait in the strike zone as long as possible.”

Dave King and Danny Bebuena of Nor Cal Bass were out on Sunday in the east Delta finding plenty of small fish but locating anything over 2 pounds was a challenge. They were scoring with frogs, Senkos, or spinnerbaits, and King said, “Black frogs or plastics in cinnamon/red flake coatd with Bait Fuel are working best for us. Juan Acosta and Mark Gomez took Saturday’s 30-boat Nor Cal tournament out of Ladd’s Marina in Stockton with a limit over 19 pounds, but the bite was much more difficult for them during a tournament on Sunday.

Striped bass trollers are finding very good action along the West Bank from Rio Vista to Collinsville with P-Line’s Predator Minnows or Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnows on either a deep or shallow troll. This bite will only get better and better as we move into the fall.

Sturgeon anglers are starting to return to Suisun Bay, and for those trying, the action has been solid with cured salmon roe as the top bait. The Department of Fish and Wildlife has completed the Sturgeon Survey, and the next opportunity for public input on soon-to-be proposed regulation changes will be during the Wildlife Resources Committee Meeting on Tuesday, September 19 at the San Jose Scottish Rite Center. The agenda will be posted just prior to the meeting at Instructions to join the meeting either in person or by Zoom are also shared on this website. The next meeting where regulations changes may be formally proposed will be the Fish and Game Commission on Oct. 11 . Regulation changes for white sturgeon in 2024 include the possibility of catch-and-release only for the calendar year until new regulations can be adopted for 2025 reflecting a harvest rate of 4 percent.

Call: Randy Pringle (209) 543-6260; Captain Steve Mitchell, Hook’d Up Sport Fishing (707) 655-6736; Vince Borges, Vince Borges Outdoors (209) 918-0828

Lake Nacimiento/San Antonio/Santa Margarita/Lopez

Bass 3 White bass 2 Striper 0 Catfish 3 Crappie 2 Bluegill 2 Trout 1

At Nacimiento, water releases have started, and the lake continues its drop to 73%. The best action bass action remains in the early mornings with Keitech swimbaits, plastics on the drop-shot or Ned-rig along with grubs and tubes. White bass continue to boil on occasion, and white Kastmasters or white grubs are the key for the whites. Catfishing is best with Triple S Dip Bait, anchovies, or fresh shrimp. A webcam of the lake is available at Lopez Lake dropped slightly to 98.1%, but it is basically still full. Finesse presenations remains best with plastics on the drop-shot, Ned-rig, dart head, or split-shot along with Brush Hawgs on a slow presentation. Tournament action will start soon at all of the coastal lakes. Anglers can view a live webcam of the lake at At Santa Margarita, flooded vegetation remains the key with jerkbaits, chatterbaits, or topwater lures. The lake is releasing water, and it dropped slightly to 93.0%. A webcam of the lake is available at At San Antonio, the lake held at 68%. With the high water, the bass are spread out throughout the lake, but a pattern can be developed with search baits such as jerkbaits or underspins. Catfishing remains best with chicken liver, mackerel soaked in garlic scent, or Triple S Dip Baits.

Reminder: consuming white bass, black bass, crappie, catfish, or carp are subject to safe eating guidelines due to excessive mercury.


Sept. 9

Roosevelt High School Bass Fishing Club Swap Meet on Huntington’s Mile Long Block Sale on the corner of Huntington Boulevard and 6th Street, 7 a.m.- to 2 p.m. Come out and support the Bass Fishers!

Sept. 30

City of Gustine Kid’s Fishing Derby at the Duck Pond

Striperz Gone Wild Three-Year Anniversary ‘Fall Classic’ Striper Derby - 5 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 7 at the Hilldale Bridge with a BBQ, 50/50 raffle, and prizes in the adult and youth divisions.

Tournament results

Aug. 18-19

Delta – West Coast Kayak Championships –

1st – Pae Yang–187.50 inches; 2nd – Anthony Garcia – 173.00 inches; 3rd – Alex Cox – 172.75 inches. (Big Fish – 17.00)

Millerton – Fresno Bass Club Night Tournament– August 19/20th: 1st –Bill Kunz – 19.66 pounds; 2nd – Matthew M.–– 17.76; 3rd – Kyle Reynold – 15.42 (Big Fish – 5.24).

Upcoming tournaments (dates and locations subject to change)

Aug. 23

Delta/Ladd’s Bertolli Disposal Wednesday Night Shoot Out

Aug. 26

Delta/Big Break – Bass N’ Tubes

Santa Margarita – 805 Bass Addicts

Aug. 26-27

Millerton – Bass 101

Aug. 27

New Melones – Riverbank Bass Anglers

Aug. 30

Delta/Ladd’s Bertolli Disposal Wednesday Night Shoot Out

Sept. 9-10

Santa Margarita – Orange County Bass Club

Sept. 10

Delta/Ladd’s Marina – Kings River Bass Club

Tulloch – Kings VIII Bass Club

Don Pedro – Best Bass Tournaments

Sept. 16-17

Delta/B and W Resort – Cen Cal Elite Bass Tournaments

New Melones – Bass Anglers of Northern California

Sept. 16

Delta/Ladd’s Marina – Nor Cal Bass Club

Delta/Contra Costa – Sierra Bass Club

Amador – American Bass Association

New Hogan – Manteca Bassin’ Buddies

New Melones – Sonora Bass Club

Kaweah – Golden Empire Bass Club

Nacimiento – San Luis Obispo Bass Ambushers/Bakersfield Bass Club

Santa Margarita – Central Valley Kayak Fishing

Pyramid Lake – Kern County Bassmasters

Sept. 17

Delta/Ladd’s Marina – Riverbank Bass Anglers

Tulloch – Stanislaus County Sheriff

Santa Margarita - American Bass Association

Sept. 23

New Melones – El Dorado Bass

Don Pedro – Nor Cal Bass

McClure – Christian Bass League

Isabella – American Bass Association

Sept. 24

Delta/Russo’s Marina – Hook, Line, and Sinker

Lake Camanche – Gold Country Bass Tour

New Melones – Fresno Bass Club

Sept. 30

Don Pedro – 17/90 Bass Club

Nacimiento – Cope’s Bait and Tackle

Oct. 1

Delta/Contra County – East County Student Anglers

Delta/Ladd’s Marina – 17/90 Bass Club

For more go to