Fishing report, May 29-June 4: Delta stripers and bass action good; Wishon and the New Melones Kokanee and bass are biting

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

Delta stripers and bass action good, Alan Fong reported. Wishon trout hitting, Kelly Brewer said. New Melones Kokanee and bass top billing bites, Kyle Wise reported. Don Pedro pumping out big king salmon, Monte Smith said. Eastman bass bite continues, Michael Crayne reported. McSwain plants kicks the rainbow action into gear, Dave Hurley said. Bass Lake trout biting, Mike Beighey reported. Shaver trophy trout plants exciting anglers, Dick Nichols said.

Westside waterways

Striper 2 Catfish 3

In the northern section of the California Aqueduct, Bill Sterling of Striperz Gone Wild reported an improved striped bass bite near the South Creek Road Bridge with bait. The water releases remain steady out of the south Delta. Their Clean Up Day last Saturday filled up a 6-foot by 12-foot U-Haul trailer working around the bridges of Canyon, Volta, South Creek, Pioneer, and Billy Wright Roads including several automobile tires and even a couch.

Their goal is to create stewards of the aqueduct to keep areas accessible, and they will conduct another cleanup of the area during September’s Coastal Clean Up Day. In the south aqueduct in Kern County, Cope’s Rod and Tackle in Bakersfield reported striped bass are taken on cut sardines on a Carolina-rig after the check gates, inside bends, or bridge pilons. In moving water, Flukes or small paddletailed swimbaits are working while topwater walking baits are effective in low light conditions. Largemouth bass are found with weightless Senkos or grubs on a ball head jig in the eddies or slower water. Catfishing is best at night with Triple S Dip Bait, cut bait, or chicken liver.

A map of the 16 designated fishing locations on the California Aqueduct can be accessed through this link:

Call: Valley Rod & Gun, Clovis 292-3474; Cope’s Tackle and Rod, Bakersfield – (661) 679-6351; Bob’s Bait Bucket, Bakersfield (661) 833-8657.

Eastman Lake/Hensley Lake

Bass 3 Trout 2 Bluegill 2 Catfish 2 Crappie 2

Michael Crayne of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis reported Eastman continues to kick out quality largemouths, but you must wade through a number of smaller bass. He said, “The big females have moved out from the banks to 10 to 10 feet, and most of the fish are post-spawn. There is a good bite with topwater lures, 4.8-inch Keitech swimbaits, big Senkos, or big plastic worms along with crankbaits or jerkbaits. The fish are holding over rockpiles or submerged island.” Hensley remains limited to carp, catfish, or bluegill as bass reports have been scarce. Water releases have started, and Eastman dropped slightly to 575.06 feet in elevation and 87% of capacity with Hensley dropping to 512.94 feet in elevation and 58% of capacity.

Call: Eastman Lake 689-3255; Valley Rod & Gun, Clovis 292-3474; 559 Fresno Bait and Tackle 515-6273. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Hensley Lake Hidden Dam 673-5151

Lake Don Pedro

Bass 2 Trout 2 Kokanee 2 King salmon 3 Crappie 2

Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing put Ben Denice of Gilroy onto a king salmon at 8 pounds this week, one of the largest inland king salmon reported this year. Smith said, “We lost another big fish that flew out of the water and spit the hook. Trips this week produced king salmon, rainbow trout, and even kokanee. The kokanee remain scattered, but there should be some larger fish in the lake.”

Smith has been running Pro-Troll E-Lures for the kings, and they have scored as many as eight king salmon in a single day. Kokanee Power’s Team Tournament is scheduled on the lake on July 13. The Modesto Ambassadors 51st Annual Night Team Classic is June 1-2 out of Fleming Meadows. Information and registration: (209) 324-2718. There is daily vehicle fee of $20 and with an additional $15 for boat launch. The lake rose 3 feet to 818.49 feet in elevation and 93% of capacity. Updates on the launch ramp are available at

The Blue Oaks launch ramp may close within the next few days with minimal to no notice due to the quickly rising lake elevation. Caution is advised when parking near the shoreline along with following all posted signage.

Call: Monte Smith, Gold Country Sport Fishing (209) 581-4734; Central Valley Bait and Tackle (209) 312-9417.

Lake Isabella/Bakersfield area

Bass 2 Trout 3 Crappie 3 Catfish 3 Bluegill 3

The lake rose 4 feet to 2588.17 feet in elevation and 68% as water releases are steady at 898 cfs at First Point. Cope’s Rod and Tackle in Bakersfield reported a continued outstanding crappie bite at depths from 5 to 25 feet with small Keitech swimbaits in chartreuse, yellow, or white along with minijigs. Small to medium minnows are also effective near the Cemetery or Paradise Cove. Finding schools around submerged structure is the key. For bass, the reaction bite is picking up with crankbaits or jerkbaits at depths from 5 to 10 feet, and a few double-digit largemouths have been reported. The trout bite has been excellent from the banks near the Auxiliary Dam with minijigs, garlic scented Power Bait, or spinners while trollers have scored rainbows to 5 pounds with Berkley’s Flicker Shad, Tasmanian Devil spoons, or Needlefish on lead core line. The catfish bite is also solid with Triple S Dip Bait, cut mackerel, or frozen shad.

In the upper Kern River, Cope’s reported the river was stocked by the CDFW in all three sections for the second consecutive week in Section 4, Powerhouse #3 to Riverside Park in Kernville; Section 5, Fairview Dam to Lazy River Lodge, and Section 6, Fairview Dam to Johnsondale Bridge. The 20-mile stretch is producing with salmon eggs on a split-shot, orange trout jigs, or spinners. In the lower Kern, the trout bite has been very good wherever there is easy access. Democrat has been producing good numbers of trout with salmon eggs, spinners and minijigs. The largemouth and smallmouth bass action has also been good in the canyon and along the stretch leading into Bakersfield. Bass have been found with jigs, worms, and small crankbaits. Catfish can be found with cut sardines or Triple S Dip Bait. The flows on upper Kern at Kernville held at 2620 cfs.

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 2 Trout 2 Catfish 3

The lake rose 10.5 feet to 712.56 feet in elevation and 97% with snowmelt from the Kaweah River watershed. Cope’s reported the water levels are stabilizing, and the bass bite should kick off in response. Finesse techniques of plastics on the drop-shot or shakey head along with spider jigs or Senkos are working for bass at depths from 5 to 25 feet. Crappie are holding on recently submerged brush or rock piles around 15 feet in depth with nightcrawlers, minnows, or minijigs. Catfish anglers used Triple S Dip Bait, cut anchovies, and garlic scented nightcrawlers for good action. The Kaweah River at Three Rivers are steady at 1535 cfs.

Lake Success

Bass 3 Crappie 2 Trout 2 Catfish 2

The lake rose just over a foot to 645.05 feet in elevation and 81% percent. Cope’s reported bass fishing remained good with finesse techniques of Senkos, jigs, small swimbaits, or plastics on a shakey head or Ned-rig. The best grade of largemouth is found on jigs near the trees. With the fish loading up on bluegill or crawdad, plastics on dark green, brown, or purple are working best. Crappie are holding over rocky structure with minijigs tipped with Crappie Nibbles while catfishing remains decent with cut baits or Triple S Dip Bait.

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

The bass bite continues to be very tough with the lake rising steadily. Small spotted bass remain the rule with plastics on a Neko-rig, Senkos or 2.8-inch Keitech swimbaits on an underspin remain the top techniques. Most of the bass have spawned, and they have moved off of the banks. The lake rose 3.75 feet to 857.49 feet in elevation and 94% of capacity.

Downstream Yosemite Lake on the UC Merced campus has reopend. The Merced River is high and dangerous, but it has dropped to 2057 cfs at Merced Falls downstream of Lake McSwain. The Sheriff’s Office has closed the rivers in Merced County due to rising water levels and swift undercurrents. Officials say the public should enjoy the water safely this summer by wearing personal floatation devices and limiting alcohol consumption if planning to be in the water.

Call: Central Valley Bait and Tackle (209) 312-9417.

Lake McSwain

Trout 3

Some 3,300 pounds of rainbow and Lightning trout were planted prior to the Memorial Day Weekend, and the bite was back on from the Brush Pile, Handicapped Docks, and the peninsula in front of the marina with nightcrawlers, Power Bait, spinners, or Kastmasters. This lake is heavily dependent upon being planted, but several limits of quality trout were landed over the weekend.

The opening day for the lake’s Splash and Dash is Saturday, June 1. Information - The lake is at 92% of capacity. McSwain Marina is now open weekends through May.

The Merced Irrigation District is inviting children between the ages of 6 and 12 to submit their best artwork for the Annual MID Water and Canal Safety Poster Contest. The contest is intended to promote awareness about the dangers of playing in and around open canals and other waterways. The four top winners will receive two season passes to the Splash-n-Dash Aqua Park at Lake McSwain. Five runner-up winners will receive overnight camping passes to Lakes McClure and McSwain. Participants will have their artwork displayed in the MID lobby, and the winners will additionally have their posters displayed on MID’s social media sites. Posters must be no larger than 11 by 17 inches and pertain to water and canal safety. All submissions are due to MID’s office by 3 p.m. on Friday, May 31. MID is located at 744 W. 20 St., Merced. The winners will be announced on Monday June 3. Name, address, phone number, school, and age should be printed on the back of the poster. For teachers and other educators, downloadable presentations can be found at

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

Michael Crayne of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis reported heavy recreational boat traffic over the weekend kept most anglers off the water, but there is a decent bite for small spotted bass with finesse techniques of Senkos on a wacky- or Neko-rig along with plastics on the drop-shot. Crappie have been taken from the banks above Finegold. There is only one two-day tournament scheduled through the end of June, and the lake is receiving minimal fishing pressure. The lake dropped slightly to 576.20 feet in elevation and 98% of capacity. Sycamore Island is open once daily from 6 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The flows in the San Joaquin River at Friant held at 353 cfs. Sycamore Island is open once daily from 6 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sycamore Island received a trout plant two weeks ago.

Sycamore Island is open once daily from 6 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The flows in the San Joaquin River at Friant have risen from 875 to 1,386 cfs.

Call: Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474; 559 Fresno Bait and Tackle 515-6273.

New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch

Bass 2 Crappie 2 Catfish 2 Trout 3 Kokanee 3

New Melones continues to kick out the largest kokanee in the state between 18 and 20 inches, and boat traffic will ramp up over the next two weeks in preparation for the Kokanee Power Team Tournament on June 8. Kyle Wise of Head Hunter Guide Service said, “The big fish are here, but you have to be on the bottom. I landed my deepest kokanee ever this week at 138 feet, and we have no idea why the kokanee have gone to the bottom. They are scattered throughout the lake from Carson Cove, the Spillway, the dam, and Rose Island, but to get the big fish, you must be prepared to lose some stick weights. I attach the stick weight to the cable with a zip tie so only the weight will break off instead of losing yards of cable.”

“There is the random submerged tree on the bottom, and they will swallow up your weight. This is a most unusual year since the big kokanee don’t head to the bottom until late August, but there are also rainbows holding out down there. I landed a 3-pound rainbow on a Kevorkian Apex lure at 128 feet this week, and we also landed a 3.5-pound rainbow on a topwater Berkley Choppo on the surface when the trout were pushing bait on the surface. The lake is filled with big shad in the 3- to 3.5-inch range. This is how healthy the lake is right now. I continue to troll the Skinny Platinum Flutter Bug or Apex lures for the deep kokanee.”

For bass, Clara Ricabal and Alex Niapas of Catching California Guide Service went out with a client to score spotted bass and crappie with conventional and fly fishing gear. “We caught them in the mornings and large afternoon in different locations as both species were in the backs of the coves. There were shad busting the surface, and 2.8-Keitech swimbaits in shad patterns were the ticket,” Ricabal said. There is a daily use fee of $8 with a boat launch of $10 (day use included). The lake rose a foot to 1,060.50 feet in elevation and 87% of capacity.

Call: John Liechty, Xperience Fishing Guide Service (209) 743-9932; Kyle Wise, Headhunter Guide Service (209) 531-3966; Alex Niapas, Catching California Guide Service (209) 728-4225; Monte Smith (209) 581-4734.

Pine Flat Reservoir/Kings River

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

Michael Crayne of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis reported a decent bass bite with the largemouths holding in the shallows in the main lake while spotted bass are found in the river arm above Trimmer.

“Jerkbaits are working at certain times of the day, but the most consistent bite has been with finesse techniques of plastics on the drop-shot, shakey head, or Ned-rig. Most of the bass have spawned, and they are feeding on bluegill, crawdads, and shad,” he said. “There is a limited bite for both topwater or spinnerbaits when the wind is blowing.” For trout and king salmon, fewer trollers are heading to the lake with the high-country lakes open, but there are crappie taken near the docks with minijigs or small swimbaits. The flows on the lower Kings at Trimmer remain very high, but they backed off slightly from 7053 to 6122 cfs. The lack of trout plants over the past several weeks has slowed trout action. The lake rose 5 feet to 946.21 feet in elevation and 97% of capacity.

Call: Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474; 559 Fresno Bait and Tackle 515-6273. Sequoia Fishing Co. 539-5626.

San Luis Reservoir and O’Neill Forebay

Striper 2 Catfish 2 Bass 2 Crappie 2

Josh Mesa of Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill reported bait fishing has been the best option with extra-large minnows, pile worms, or anchovies near Dinosaur Point.

Roger George of Roger George Guide Service reported that the bite for most anglers was slow in the falling water and post full moon period. “ I’ve had to scout like crazy to find active fish this past week, but after several hours of looking all over the lake with a guest, I finally found what I was looking for - trolling over points with Lucky Craft minnow lures in Shad colors . We released over 25 fish -many in the nice 21-24-inch range - with one 28-inch fish and a 32-inch, 10 ½ pound kicker. The fish are milting like crazy right now and many of the fish have been suspended after the full moon this last week. It’s a very tough bite right now unless you’re very experienced and tracking the bite closely. The falling water has caused the fish to move out to secondary points . “ George said.

The O’ Neill Forebay remains solid for largemouth bass with topwater walking baits in the mornings or evenings as the bas are pushing bait into the shoreline and along the weed lines.

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 3 Kokanee 0

Mike Beighey of Bass Lake Guide Service said, “The lake is crazy with boat traffic this time of year, and it is only going to get busier. Trout being caught from the top to 25 feet, and there are numbers of smaller fish to go through until you catch a bigger one. The water is 71 degrees, leaving the best place to fish is out in the shallow water in front of the Forks. There is lots of grass on the top right now from the lake rising so quickly. We have been scoring with Trophy Trout Busters tipped with crawlers or pink maggots, Dicks orange Mountain Tubes behind a Dicks Gold or Blue Fin Mountain Dodgers along with orange Apex lures behind Rocky Mountain Blue Ice Dodgers. There have been no kokanee yet, but they should be showing pretty soon if they’re out there “

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

Edison/Florence/Mammoth Pool

The gate to Kaiser Pass Road remains closed.

Edison rose to 50% of capacity, Florence at 65% of capacity, and Mammoth Pool at 99% of capacity.

Road conditions 297-0706.

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

Shaver Lake/Huntington Lake

Trout 3 Kokanee 2

Shaver Lake guide emeritus, Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters and Mountain Tackle said, “Boat traffic was intense over the holiday weekend, and the lake was packed. There have been some quality trout plants over the past two weeks, including the Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project’s plant of about 1800 Trophy sized rainbows to 10 pounds. Initially, the plants paid off with many picking up trophies and catchable rainbows along with a decent bite from the browns. The kokanee fishing has been on and off for some time. This past week, Wade Obermann and Jill Kovicich of Auberry picked up trophies to 5 pounds trolling a purple Apex behind a Dick’s Mountain Dodger. David Geil and his father David Sr. of Clovis, caught and released six trophies ranging from 4 to 6 pounds, a couple of kokes, and some planter trout using Dick’s Trout Busters in Hawaiian behind a Dick’s Mountain Dodger in orange scale. Todd Wittwer of Kokanee,net Guide Service put his group onto eight kokanee, four planter rainbows, and a brown last early last week. As the week developed, the fish counts dropped as Friday was a tough day for many trollers. On the busy Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend, Jay Irvine of Visalia, took his college roommate, Ralph Perry, out for two limits of trout with one being a trophy rainbow running Dick’s Trout Busters in Shaver and Brook behind a Bright Eyes Mountain Dodger. The kokanee bite remains hot and cold. The trophy and planter trout continue to keep action on the rods with most action from the Point to the dam, the island, and Black Rock areas at depths from 25 to 35 feet. Blackrock areas. Most of all, fish seem to be in the 25-to 35-feet in depth. Bank fishermen have caught their share of trophies and planters using Power Bait, inflated crawlers, or casting Panther Martin spinners.”

A webcam of the Shaver launch ramp is at and for Huntington at Shaver has risen to 64 with Huntington also rising to 97% of capacity. The ramp at Huntington is in the water and usable while half the dock is floating. Shaver rose to 74 with Huntington rising to 98% of capacity with snowmelt.

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


Trout 3

Kelly Brewer of the Wishon RV Park and Store reported a Department of Fish and Wildlife trout plant occurred early in the week, and the shoreline bite near the dam took off as a result with inflated nightcrawlers or Power Bait. Recently planted rainbow and holdover brown trout are taken by trollers near the dam or the creek inlet with.Dick’s Texas Tea’s Trout Buster tipped with a piece of nightcrawler behind a Mountain Dodger at depths from 15 to 18 feet. Access to Courtright is still restricted, and it may be until June 1st before access is available.

Call: Wishon RV Park 865-5361.


Half Moon Bay

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

Shallow water rockfishing remains excellent with Captain Chris Chang of the Ankeny Street with only four rockfish shy of limits for a combined 28 anglers on two trips last week along with 12 lingcod and a few cabezon working the shallows south of the harbor. The weather window remains closed for bluefin tuna, but there are many private boaters anxiously waiting for the right conditions to make the long run. Only hoops or snares are allowed for Dungeness crab until the season ends on June 30. The City of Pacifica Pier is open, and snares are the best option for crab.

Call: Captain Melynda Dodds, New Captain Pete (512) 825- 8225; 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 Halibut 2 Striper 3 White seabass 1 Sand dabs 3 Surf perch 3

Josh Mesa of Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill reported continued great action from the local beaches with striped bass starting to move north from Marina to Manresa, Sunset, Rio Del Mar, and New Brighton with jerkbaits such as Duo Realis 140 Tide Minnow Lance or Sprat in white/red head or Mazumi Sardine. “Halibut are also showing up from the Santa Cruz beaches with chartreuse paddletail swimbaits on a jig head or drop-shotting with a white Fluke. Perch fishing remains strong around Twin Lakes in Santa Cruz with 2-inch motor oil red Mekini Baitz paddletails. The perch are out deeper, holding in the troughs, and longer casts have been necessary for success,” said Mesa. Allen Bushnell of Santa Cruz Kayak and Surf Casting Guide Service said, “In Santa Cruz, most charter boats are heading north towards Ann Nuevo and Franklin Point for the best fishing. Up there it’s quicker limits and bigger fish. Most reported caught are blacks, gophers, and brown rockfish. Lingcod are biting well, but many are undersized. Rodney Armstrong from Santa Cruz Coastal Charters reported after a successful trip on the weekend saying.

“Today we fished Davenport for Rock fish and lingcod. We had limits of rock fish for six and we had three nice lingcod and a handful of shorts ones,” he said.

Rockfishing is limited to depths of 120 feet or less now, and will remain that way until October, when the deepwater opens back up again. Halibut fishing is getting a slow start this year. Fatties are being caught in the one’s and two’s from the usual early season locations. Deeper water seems to be more productive, so try the 50-to 70-foot depths. Bounce ball trolling for flatties is a good bet right now because you can cover more territory. Drifting live bait always remains a killer option, but you gotta find the fish first. Anglers launching from Moss Landing have reported good signs of bait above the deep sea canyons. Salmon are here, but sadly we can’t fish for them. Most Moss anglers are heading north or south for rockfish, or hitting the flat areas close by for halibut and really nice Dover sole. Reports indicate a good amount of scattered bait in the Monterey area including market squid, sardines and mackerel. Rockfish are on the bite from gravel beds off Del Monte Beach on around past Pacific Grove and Point Pinos. Fishing near Carmel and of course Big Sur, anglers find better quality fish and faster fishing. It’s a longer trip, though.

Chris’ Fishing Trips in Monterey Harbor remains consistent, posting full limits of rockfish for every trip aboard the Caroline and Check Mate, but only a couple ling cod for the week. Fishing from the beaches is good and getting better. Despite a muscular south swell this week, surfcasters around the bay found protected beaches or good inshore holes to hit for barred perch, walleyes, calicos and striped bass. Everyone’s talking stripers these days. Monterey Bay has quite a few bass on the munch. Most good schools are hanging closer to Monterey, but the Santa Cruz side of the bay has seen its share of bass. Most are schoolies in the 15-to 22-inch range. There are keepers in the mix as well, in the 28-to 32 -inch range. Using sand crabs on a Carolina rig is a great way to attract a bigger striped bass while catching multiple barred surf perch. Hedge your bets. If you don’t mind driving a way to take another long beach walk, then heading north might be a great idea these days. Overall, bigger fish than our Monterey Bay variety can be caught from Half Moon Bay up to Ocean Beach in San Francisco. Baker Beach near the Golden gate is not a bad bet either.”

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

Golden Gate/San Francisco Bay

Halibut 3 Striper 3 Rockfish 3 Leopard shark 2 Sturgeon 2

After a lengthy delay in the operation, live bait returned to the San Francisco Bay receiver on Sunday with sardines in the 6- to 10-inch range. The crew worked overnight on Sunday, and the pens were loaded with anchovies in the 4- to 5-pound range on Memorial Day. Live bait will allow the boats to work new water at greater depths, and even though sardines were available, most boats preferred to use the smaller anchovies with the larger tides. Captain Jerad Davis of the Salty Lady was out on one of his ‘Super Combination’ trips on Monday with 10 anglers for limits of both striped bass to 12 pounds and halibut to 20 pounds drifting live bait along with 25 rockfish and 2 lingcod to 10 pounds. Captain Ron Koyasako of Nautilus Excursions out of San Francisco’s Pier 45 said, “We dropped in with the sardines on Sunday morning, and we had limits of a solid grade of halibut within two drifts. We started out targeting striped bass on Monday, and we left them biting before heading to the south bay for halibut. There was too much boat traffic to seek out white sea bass, but once the tides back off, the sardines will be able to be fished for the ghosts.”

Captain Steve Mitchell of Hook’d Up Sport Fishing opted to continue trolling instead of loading up with sardines, and he averaged from limits to a fish and a half per rod over the weekend. He said, “I’m done trolling, and with the anchovies in the pens, I will be drifting live bait for the remainder of the season. People like live bait since the success or failure of landing the halibut or striper is in your hands. When you are trolling, it has been every effective, but we do most of the work while the customers reel in the fish. The series of minus tides over the past week really muddied up the bay, and it is just now starting to clear up.” The halibut scores were down to just over a fish per rod earlier in the week in response to the big tides and muddy water, but over the weekend, the bite turned out. Captains James Smith and Shaun Taylor of the California Dawns 1 and 2 out of Berkeley Marina returned to the harbor on Monday with a combined total of 75 halibut to 15 pounds and 20 striped bass for 39 customers. Captain Chris Smith of the Pacific Dream out of Berkeley put in 22 halibut and 5 striped bass on Monday during their first day of drifting live bait. Smith said, “We will get more dialed in on our next trip.”

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

Rockfishing remains the story with scores averaging around 2/3rd limits. Out of Patriot Sport Fishing in Port San Luis, two boats were out on Monday with a combined 37 anglers for a total of 236 rockfish consisting of 231 assorted rockfish, 4 vermilion, and a copper. Out of Virg’s Landing in Morro Bay, the Fiesta was out on Sunday on a three-quarter day trip with 32 anglers for half-limits of rockfish composed of 165 assorted rockfish, 5 vermilion, 2 cabezon, and a Petrale sole. Out of Morro Bay Landing, the Avenger, Starfire, and Endeavor were all out on Monday with a combined 65 passengers for a total of 549 rockfish consisting of 423 assorted rockfish, 79 vermilion, 35 Boccaccio, 10 Bolina, 2 copper rockfish, and a single lingcod.

Webcams of many of the coastal locations are available at

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



Bass 3 Striper 3 Sturgeon 2 Catfish 2 Bluegill 3

Striped bass are coming and going through both sides of the Delta, and there are still linesides coming out of San Francisco Bay. With the high water over the past two winters, the reservoirs nearly full, and snowmelt yet to be released, striped bass should remain active in the Delta throughout the summer. Jeff Soo Hoo of Soo Hoo’s Sport Fishing out of Lauritzen’s Yacht Harbor in Oakley found the stripers stacked up on the San Joaquin side on Memorial Day with doubles and triples over the schools drifting live bait. “We looked at several areas, and the amount of fish in the system is impressive. We ended up with mostly males on Monday, and there were a few still milting, going through 6 dozen minnows by 10:30 a.m. We will keep booking through the summer months if this keeps up,” said Soo Hoo. Largemouth bass fishing has been good for numbers, but the larger fish have been more challenging to locate. Dave King, director of Nor Cal Bass, was out on the east Delta out of Paradise Point several days this past week, and he said, “I caught three limits on Saturday throwing a black spinnerbait with gold blades, but I haven’t figured out how to get the big ones to go. We are consistently sacking limits averaging from 12 to 13 pounds, and I have seen the big ones following the spinnerbait. When the wind is blowing, and it has been blowing every day after 2:30 p.m., it is a good practice to toss a chatterbait, followed by a spinnerbait. The water is much murkier than you would anticipate, even in the east Delta. I have been tossing frogs and topwater, but the bite hasn’t been there for me. There were big limits over 25 pounds scored during the 40-plus boat Wednesday Night Shootout out of Ladd’s Marina with at least two fish over 8 pounds landed. Our next tournament is this coming Saturday out of Ladd’s Marina.”

Alan Fong of Alan Fong Outdoors continues to find good action for both striped and largemouth bass in the shallows of Liberty Island. The water temperatures are in the 70- to 72-degree range, and the largemouth bass are on all stages of the spawn. Most bass have spawned, but there are still a few on beds. The key to success for largemouth bass has been to cover water, moving with the tides, and to work areas with island berms or rock. With the bass feeding on bluegill and crawdads, plastics such as the Berkley General in green pumpkin has been productive worked on the outside weed line. Punching is another option as there are plenty of weed mats. With the number of mats in certain areas despite heavy herbicide spraying from the Department of Boating and Waterways, the frog bite should take off soon.

Few anglers are targeting sturgeon, but Kyle Wise of Head Hunter Guide Service was out with two novice anglers on Monday, and he said, “We found a phenomenal bite with 16 sturgeon hooked and 12 landed. The two clients had never been sturgeon fishing before, and I told them, ‘Don’t expect every day to be like this because this was exceptional.’ We had one slot fish at 42.75 inches with 8 oversized and a number of undersized sturgeon. We only fished the outgoing tide at depths from 22 to 30 feet, and it was a long minus tide. The tides will be backing off this week. The sturgeon are really swallowing the cured salmon roe with the warm water temperatures.” Martinez Bait and Tackle at the Martinez Marina has closed indefinitely.

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. Soo Hoo Sport Fishing (925) 899-4045.


Tournament results

May 18-19

Delta/Sugar Barge Marina – Sierra Bass Club

1st– Ron Orbaker/Glenn Yamaguchi – 23.69 pounds; 2nd –– Chris Flammang/Ryan Motter – 21.77; 3rd – Chris and Nathan Jones – 21.20. Big Fish – 4.88 – Randy Rowe.

May 25


1st– Lorenzo and Lily Rossetti– 25.19 pounds; 2nd ––Nick Cloutier/Joey Skym – 23.51; 3rd – Obedie Williams/Clint Groenwold – 22.69.

Upcoming tournaments (dates and locations subject to change)

June 5, 12, 19, 26

Delta/Ladd’s Marina – Wednesday Night Shootout

May 31, June 7, 14, 21, 28

Tulloch – Friday Night Shootout

June 1-2

Delta– Yak ‘A Bass

Don Pedro – Modesto Ambassadors 51st Annual Night Tournament

Santa Margarita – Orange County Bass Club

June 1

Delta/Ladd’s Marina – Nor Cal Bass

Delta/Russo’s Marina – Best Bass Tournament

Tulloch – Cal Tini Boat Nation

Don Pedro – 17/90 Bass Club

McClure – Kerman Bass Club

Kaweah – Cen Cal Elite Bass Tournaments

June 2

Delta/Ladd’s Marina – American Bass Association

June 5, 7–

Delta/Russo’s Marina – Major League Fishing

June 8-9

Delta/B and W Resort – Fresno Bass Club

Kaweah – Kings River Bass Club

June 8

Delta/Russo’s Marina – Major League Fishing

Camanche – Nor Cal Bass/Sonora Bass Anglers

Pardee – Manteca Bassin’ Buddies

New Melones – Central Valley Kayak Fishing

Don Pedro – Santa Clara Bass Busters

McClure – Sierra Bass Club

Shaver – Greg Mark’s Youth Derby

Success – Bakersfield Bass Club

June 9

Delta/Ladd’s Marina – Modesto Ambassadors

Delta/Russo’s Marina – The Bass Hole

Pardee – Riverbank Bass Anglers

Eastman – Kings VIII Bass Club

June 13-14

New Melones – California Bass Federation

June 15-16

Don Pedro – Valley Backlashers

June 15

Delta/Russo’s Marina – Future Bass Pro

Delta/Big Break – Bass N’ Tubes

New Melones – Yak ‘A Bass

Isabella – American Bass Association

Santa Margarita – San Luis Obispo Bass Ambushers

June 16

Millerton – Bass 101

June 22-23

Pine Flat – Bass 101

June 22

Delta/Russo’s Marina – Green Fish Nation

Lake Pardee – Central Valley Anglers Russ Faught Memorial Kokanee Team Tournament

Isabella – Kern County Bass Masters

Santa Margarita – Best Bass Tournaments

June 23

Delta/Russo’s Marina – Bass Anglers of Northern California

Success – Castaic Bass Club

June 29

Delta/B and W Resort – Bass Anglers of Northern California

Don Pedro – Best Bass Tournaments

June 30

Delta/B and W Resort – Best Bass Tournaments

Don Pedro – Best Bass Tournaments

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