LAKE DON PEDRO Manny Basi of the Bait Barn in Waterford reported a good trout bite for trollers pulling blue/chrome Kastmasters. Guide Monte Smith had a similar report to last week, with trout trollers needing to be on the lookout for birds working the surface over bait schools. Trollers can find good action with heavy spoons at 4 to 6 colors of lead core, but they will have to work to find the fish. "There is a lot of dead water out there," said Smith. "You can't shake the worm since the fish have become lethargic." Trout plants at Don Pedro start next week with plants at nearby Turlock Reservoir this week. Call: Monte Smith (209) 581-4734; Danny Layne (209) 586-2383; Gary Vella (209) 652-7550; Bait Barn (209) 874-3011
McCLURE RESERVOIR Jay Graham of the Fresno Bass Club said drop-shotting was the trick at Sunday's club tournament, using a Carolina rigging, or jigs in a variety of color at 25 to 45 feet. Only large fish are going down to 60 feet or below. A few spinnerbait fish were landed in the mornings. Jason Mello of A-1 Bait reported good action for keeper bass on Robo Worms in Warmouth or Purple Punisher at 20 to 40 feet. Crappie have been found at night in Barrett's Cove with live minnows or minijigs, and Mello said one angler got 20 slabsides. Catfish action is good off the banks, with fish to 7 pounds caught on live crawdads in Cottonwood, McClure Point and Barrett's Cove. The heavy trout plants have contributed to bank anglers scoring with chrome Kastmasters, or orange/white Power Eggs. Manny Basi confirmed the good bank action, but said trollers are scoring with night crawlers behind a dodger or blue/chrome Speedy Shiners. Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505; Bub Tosh (209) 404-0053
McSWAIN RESERVOIR Stephanie Powell at the marina said shore action had moved to the brush pile on Power Bait in corn yellow or salmon peach. Last week they were biting at the handicapped docks. A few limits were taken by those fishing in the mornings. A 5-pound rainbow was landed on corn yellow Power Bait. Roostertails in yellow have also been effective. Trollers have been pulling Ruby Red Wedding Rings tipped with a night crawler behind gold Ford Fender flashers up the river arm near the Chimney this week at 25 feet. Jason Mello of A-1 Bait in Snelling reported one troller caught and released 40 rainbows. The DFG planted last week and Calaveras Trout Farm is expected to plant this week. Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534
NEW MELONES RESERVOIR/TULLOCH The fish pens at New Melones Marina will be stocked Tuesday with 1-pound rainbows and brown trout. The browns are the last that California will plant anywhere in the state due to a lawsuit against the Department of Fish and Game requiring sterile, triploid trout to be planted in all waters leading into rivers with native populations of Chinook salmon, coho salmon and steelhead. "From now on, it is vitally important to practice catch-and-release of brown trout, so they can spawn and thrive in the lake," said Melanie Lewis of Glory Hole Sporting Goods in Angels Camp. Bass and catfish are biting, but trout fishing is starting to show signs of life. Lewis said bass fishing is good as large schools of spotted bass are chasing balls of bait fish. She suggested using ½ to ¾-ounce spoons in major creek channels or drop-shotting with small plastic worms or leeches. Brown/purple, brown/brown and green pumpkin are all good choices. Catfishing is good in the shallows, where they're feeding in the flats near deep water. Matt Seldon and Dennis Kavie of Sonora landed four catfish to nearly 10 pounds on chicken livers from the banks near the Highway 49 bridge. Trollers are starting to pick up a few rainbows at 5 to 35 feet, as the fish transition toward shallow water near the banks. Call: Glory Hole Sports (209) 736-4333; Monte Smith (209) 581-4734; Danny Layne (209) 586-2383; Sierra Sport Fishing (209) 599-2023
DELTA Sturgeon and striper fishing is outstanding with some of the best fishing in years lower Suisun Bay to above Rio Vista. Tony Lopez of Benicia Bait said demand for live bait has been high. Striped-bass fishing has been very good with live bullheads. Sturgeon fishing has also been very good in the shallows of Honker Bay and in the deep water near the Pittsburg PG&E Plant. Guide Mark Delnero reported an excellent striped bass bite with fresh shad in deep water in the Pittsburg area. Further into the Delta, Alan Fong of the Fishermen's Warehouse in Sacramento said the stripers are biting in Liberty Slough with Fish Traps, spoons, or big swimbaits in the 7- to 8-inch range. He has been using his Al-E-Baby in white for the larger fish. Sturgeon fishing is taking off in Cache Slough with salmon roe. Guide Randy Pringle reported striped bass have been landed in the Antioch area with top water lures such as the ima Big Stick in Red Head. Call: Randy Pringle (209) 543-6260; Vella's Fishing Adventures (209) 521-0164; Mark Wilson (916) 682-1630; Intimidator Sport Fishing (916) 806-3030.
SAN LUIS RESERVOIR / O'NEILL FOREBAY Mickey Clements of Coyote Bait in Morgan Hill said the Forebay is better than the main lake as anglers are lining up shoulder to shoulder at Check 12, particularly when the water is flowing. He called it "combat fishing" and advised anglers to arrive early to get a spot. Most of fish are undersized, but there are stripers to 24-inches biting on blood worms, broken-backed Rebels or Lucky Craft LV 78s in American Shad, MS Gunmetal Shad or MS Crack. In the main lake, trollers are working around the bait schools near the trash racks and trolling with Lucky Craft Pointer 128s in Gunmetal Shad, broken backed Rebels or P-Line Predators. Call: Ly's Fishing Goods (408) 629-9644; Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711 Roger George (559) 905-2954
HALF MOON BAY Dennis Baxter of the New Captain Pete got 30 limits Sunday morning then another 29 limits in the afternoon. Crabbing has been steady. Capt. Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat went on a Humboldt squid/crab combination trip Sunday, and removed a dozen of the biomass-destroying Humboldts 14 miles southwest of the harbor before pulling the pots for 19 limits of Dungeness. Call: Happy Hooker (510) 223-5388; Roger Thomas, Salty Lady (415) 760-9362, Bait and Switch Sport Fishing Center (650) 726-7133 726-7133; Emeryville Sport Fishing (510) 654-6040; Don Franklin, Soleman (510) 703-4148
MONTEREY/SANTA CRUZ Chris Arcoleo of Chris's Landing in Monterey said the crab and rockfish scores have been great when the storms let them out to pull the pots. Call: Chris' Landing (831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173;usafishing.com
SAN FRANCISCO BAY Capt. Jim Smith of the Happy Hooker put in 41 limits of rockfish and Dungeness on Saturday with 9 ling cod. Sturgeon regulations are slated to change to a single, barbless hook with no use of snares or lifting an oversized sturgeon from the water starting January 1, 2013.
Reservoirs and lakes that will be planted with trout during the week of Nov. 25:
Tuolumne New Melones Reservoir; Don Pedro Reservoir.
Merced Yosemite Lake
Mariposa McClure Reservoir; McSwain Reservoir.
Calaveras New Melones Reservoir.
Madera San Joaquin River below Friant Dam.
Fresno Avocado Lake; Kings River below the Pine Flat Reservoir; Pine Flat Lake; San Joaquin River below Friant Dam; Woodward Park Lake.