Lake Don Pedo Big limits of bass were the rule during Saturday's Best Bass Tournament, and Randy Pringle, tournament director, reported the largest fish came on jigs, on the bottom or on spinnerbaits when the wind came up. There are already some fish on the beds, but the larger bass remain cruising the shorelines. Manny Basi of the Bait Barn in Waterford reported large and medium minnows continue to fly out of the shop. The top artificials are the Berserk Purple Hornet jigs at depths from 20 to 30 feet, the 8-inch Huddleston swimbaits in rainbow trout with a ROF of 12 or 16, or the Berserk Mad Shad swimbait in light holographic shad on Spinntrix swimbait head on the bottom with a slow roll. The key is to drag the baits on the bottom, releasing plenty of line and bouncing back slowly towards the boat like a jig. For trout, kokanee, and king salmon, Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing has been finding kokanee to 13-inches at depths from 40 to 60 feet with Excel spoons tipped with corn behind a Rocky Mountain Tackle dodger in the area around Big Oak Island, Raymus Creek, Jenkins Hill, and Copper Mountain. Threaded night crawlers behind a dodger or heavy spoons are working for rainbows from the surface to 40 feet. Danny Layne of Fishn' Dan's Guide Service confirmed the good rainbow action, and he has been producing limits from 14 to 16-inches trolling ExCel's Kokanee Killers, or Uncle Larry's spinners at depths from 15 to 45 feet in the open water near Fleming Bay. A trout plant will take place this week. The lake is currently at 772.17 feet in elevation and 68 percent of capacity. Call: Monte Smith (209) 581-4734; Danny Layne-Fishn' Dan (209) 586-2383; Gary Vella (209) 652-7550; Bait Barn (209) 874-3011
McClure Reservoir Diana Mello of A-1 Bait in Snelling reported continued great bass action on live minnows or crawdads. Limits have been taken on the live bait or with the 6-inch 082 Keeper worms. Manny Basi of the Bait Barn confirmed the excellent minnow bite, and he added Purple Hornet jigs, 8-inch Huddlestons in rainbow trout, or the Berserk Mad Shad light holographic shad swimbaits as good options when worked slowly on the bottom. Spinnerbaits have produced spots to 3-pounds in Horseshoe Bend. Sales of medium minnows continue to be high for crappie, and Mello has had to submit increased orders for the live bait. Trout and king salmon have been taken by trollers up the river arm near Bagby. The bass size limit dropped to 12-inches at McClure on Monday. The lake rose nearly a foot to 761.97 feet in elevation and 45 percent of capacity. Call: A-1 Bait (209) 563-6505; Bub Tosh (209) 404-0053
McSwain Reservoir Trollers continue to score limits with blade crawler combinations, in particular, hammered nickel baby cowbell dodgers in front of a threaded night crawler from the Floating Restrooms to the 2nd Fence Line at depths to 3 colors of lead core. Diana Mello of A-1 Bait in Snelling reported good action from the shoreline with rainbow Power Bait at the Brush Pile. Call: McSwain Marina (209) 378-2534Valley Rod & Gun 292-3474
New Melones Reservoir/Tulloch Big bass continue to be found with local fisherman John Martin scoring this week's edition of a hugs fish with a 10.07-pounder on a swimbait up the river arm. Rainbow trout to 16-inches are there for the taking, but they are scattered in the open waters of the lake. The bank trout action is improving, as the trout are cruising the shorelines and the surface in the early mornings and late afternoons. Crappie fishing has improved with the warmer water temperatures, and there are fish in 15 to 40 feet of water in the backs of creek channels near submerged wood. Live minnows or red worms under s slip-float are picking up a few slabsides. Catfishing is slow, but the whiskerfish should be moving into the shallows within the coming months. The annual Glory Hole Sporting Goods Seminar and Sale is Saturday, April 6. Call: Glory Hole Sports (209) 736-4333; Monte Smith (209) 581-4734; Danny Layne-Fishn'Dan (209) 586-2383; Sierra Sport Fishing(209) 599-2023
San Luis Reservoir and O'Neill Forebay Striper fishing has been improving for trollers who are able to identify a pattern, and Roger George of Roger's Guide Service has been putting his clients onto incredible numbers of schoolie stripers in the 19 to 24-inch range trolling, with 41 linesides released for local Nick Zinkin and two buddies on friday and an amazing 60 stripers landed and released on Saturday for John Heffron and Miguel Beltran-for 101 fish in two days. The fish were all school-sized. George said, "The water temperature is up to 57 degrees, and you have to change your patterns all the time with minnows and anchovies becoming less effective. It's not an easy bite at all to figure out, with most anglers I saw catching just a few small fish. Fly fishing guide Steve Santucci has also been scoring 20-30 school fish per day in 5-20 foot water." Richard Flores of Coyote Bait in Morgan Hill confirmed the improved troll bite along the face of the dam with P-Line Predators, broken-backed Rebels, and Lucky Craft 128's with a few fish taken on jumbo minnows. In the Forebay, top water lures, swimbaits, or white flukes are working from the banks, particularly at night for stripers ranging from undersized to 21-inches. Blood worms, pile worms, or anchovies are also good options for bait fishermen, particularly at check 12. Call: Coyote Bait and Tackle (408) 463-0711 Roger's Guide service (559) 905-2954 , Steve Santucci guide service (650) 333-4704
Delta/Stockton Sturgeon fishing was outstanding on Saturday with Captain James Smith of the California Dawn scoring legal diamondbacks at 42, 53, and 59-inches to go with oversized at 72 and 84-inches and shakers at 36 and 38-inches. Tony Lopez at Benicia Bait reported school-sized striped bass are thick along the shoreline with a number of linesides in the 20-inch range taken on grass shrimp. Mike Pipkins at Gotcha Bait in Antioch reported outstanding crappie fishing from the shorelines in Discovery Bay, Sandmound Slough, Whiskey Slough, and Eight-Mile Road with small minnows or wax worms. He said, "This is the best crappie fishing I have seen in 20 years." Sturgeon fishermen are catching all of the stripers they want, with one boat landing 14 stripers to 14-pounds with most of the fish in the 5 to 7-pound range. They were targeting sturgeon with grass shrimp, and they finally worked through the stripers to put in a legal sturgeon. Jay Lopes of Right Hook Sport Fishing has also been finding great striper action north of the Rio Vista Bridge. For largemouth bass, Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, reported averaging between 30 and 40 largemouths on recent guide trips with a variety of techniques. He has been focusing in the deeper water, flipping the Berkley Havoc 'Pit Boss' in black/blue on a Texas-rig, a Berkley Power Worm on a Zappu head on 8-pound test, or the Havoc Bottom Hopper in greenpumpkin or June Bug over the ledges. There is a good rip bait bite with the ima Flit, but the crankbait and Vibrating jig action has been slow. Call: Randy Pringle (209) 543-6260; Vella's Fishing Adventures (209) 521-0164;Mark Wilson Sport Fishing (916) 682-1630; Intimidator Sport Fishing (916) 806-3030.
MontereyChris Arcoleo of Chris's Landing in Monterey reported they put together limits for their customers on Friday and Saturday to go with 40 to 50 sand dab apiece. For the upcoming salmon season, there is 'quite a bit of krill in the area, but there is a lack of baitfish.' Striper fishing has been slow along the beaches with no topwater action reported. Chris's boats are filled for the April 6th salmon opener, but there is room on Sunday and subsequent days. The Santa Cruz boats are also gearing up for the salmon opener since the best action along the California coastline is generally found in Monterey Bay. The Moss Landing Public Launch Ramp will be the scene of a huge assortment of private boats during the opening weekend. Call: Chris' Landing (831) 375-5951; Bayside Marine (831) 475-2173; www.usafishing.com
San Francisco BayEmeryville Sport Fishing took their first halibut trolling trip of the year on Saturday, and the Tigerfish returned with one 8-pound halibut and a 12-pound striped bass for 16 anglers fishing in the south bay. There is plenty of room on the boats for the salmon opening weekend starting April 6. Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle said, "It was a little slower on the striper and sturgeon scene over the weekend, but the tides were less than optimal." Perch fishing has been best near Treasure Island, Point Richmond, and Point Molate while jack smelt schools are thick around Oyster Point Marina, the Alameda Rockwall, and Crab Cove in Alameda.