Although scattered schools of striped bass are found by trollers on the main stem Sacramento River from Sandy Beach Regional Park down to below Decker Island and points in between, major emphasis for fishermen continues to be focused on king salmon.
The fall salmon migration has reached Anderson with good action all the way south to Hamilton City. However, most of the coveted kings surge through the Old Sacramento River and northward because of high Delta water temperatures. Simply put, until local waters cool, the salmon won't stick around too long.
"There are fish out there but the water is so hot," Barry Canevaro of Fish Hookers Sportfishing in Isleton said. "I expect fishing will improve in another week because the night time temperatures are cool and have already lowered the water a degree or two."
He said four to six salmon are hooked daily, especially in the early morning from the mouth of the Old Sacramento River to Long Island by trollers pulling Silvertron Spinners, Wee Warts and Brad's Cut Plugs.
Nancy Adams at Wimpy's Marina in Thornton said just a couple salmon have been hooked in the Mokelumne River, where the occasional striped bass to 14 pounds is also claimed accidentally by trollers.
"I want to emphasize that only a couple salmon have been caught," she said. "We usually don't get a lot of salmon until September. There are stripers to be had."
Ron Halvorson at Thornton Road Bait in Stockton is commercially netting threadfin shad, so the popular baitfish is available to customers.
"They're using fresh shad to catch striped bass, 18-22 inches, on Santa Clara Shoals near the mouth of the Mokelumne River," Halvorson said.
Farther west at Frank's Tract, Big Break and Coney Island, anglers are scoring fairly good numbers of black bass, a few in the 2- to 3-pound class, with more weighing 1-pound or measuring less than 12 inches.
The word from Russo's Marina in Oakley calls for using weed less frogs, worked slowly over the tops of weeds, for the largest bass. Others toss 5- and 6-inch Senkos to hook more bass in smaller sizes. Recent minus tides stained the water, making visibility less than 3 feet, with plenty of grass to foul presentations.
Ocean - Over the weekend, albacore tuna moved to within 9 miles of Monterey, 13 miles of Santa Cruz and 20 miles of Fort Bragg. Schools were thick with fish weighing 20-35 pounds. Best bite on the entire coast is found at Shelter Cove, reported guide Barry Canevaro, who is moving his six-pack boat to Noyo Harbor through Aug. 29. Information: (916) 870-4225.
Salmon fishing is good on the Marin County coast, especially for trollers that run at Muir Beach and Duxbury Buoy. On Monday, three charters out of Sausalito sacked 58 salmon for 54 anglers. Top king weighed 25 pounds. Salmon fishing was slow over the weekend at Bodega Bay because of wind and clear water. However, ling cod and mixed rockfish action was wide open for the New Sea Angler.
At Monterey, salmon and halibut fishing limps along but nobody seems to care. Charters and private skiffs are focusing on albacore, just 10 miles outside Carmel Bay, and literally loading their boats with tuna.
San Pablo Bay - Anchovies have finally moved into the bay and guess what? A few striped bass are starting to show up. It's only the beginning. Halibut fishing is slow and salmon action is totally dependant on the tides at California City, where periodic limits are claimed.
American - Salmon are caught every morning at the mouth at Discovery Park but the pace isn't quick. Top producer is a Silvertron Spinner fished behind a three-way swivel and a one-ounce dropper weight. Kings to 22 pounds, averaging about 12 pounds. There is some action above and below the mouth on the Sacramento River.
Sacramento - Good salmon fishing at Hamilton City south of Chico, reports Dave Mierkey of Rip Their Lips Off Guide Service in Stockton. On Sunday, he produced two-fish limits for three clients, with the top king going 20 pounds. His method? Boon-doggling roe with 12-pound line. Farther north, Bill Quinn Jr. of Shingletown reports good salmon fishing from Balls Ferry to Bend Bridge mainly on Kwikfish with a sardine wrap and fresh roe. Gates at the Red Bluff Diversion Dam are permanently open, so the USFWS will not have fish counts.
Berryessa - State's largest kokanee, 18 1/2-20 inches, caught here by bouncing bottom with downrigger balls. Dodgers and spinners do the number, according to Joefish Guide Service.
Don Pedro - Trollers run 95-120 feet deep in Woods Creek for a mix of kokanee to 14 inches and king salmon as large as 5 1/2 pounds, reported guide Danny Layne of Twain Harte. Apex lures covered with corn scented in anise or garlic seem to work best. Some slow-roll herring or sardines for the kings.
New Melones - Kokanee are growing fat, measuring 11-14 inches, caught mainly at the dam-spillway or near Highway 49 bridge upriver. Rainbows to 3 1/3 pounds and the rare brown trout to 6 pounds hooked about 65 feet deep on nightcrawlers and Ex-Cel spoons and Needlefish. Seems like faster trolling with spoons, 2-2 1/2 mph attracts the larger fish. Spotted bass run 12 inches rated fair. Angling for channel catfish to 8 1/2 pounds is good with cut bait. Some beat the heat by anchoring at night and dunking bait next to a submersible light.
Pardee - More than 95 percent full. Bank fishing is practically nil. Trollers work hard on the upper end of the Mokelumne River arm, 60-100 feet deep, for mix of kokanee and trout.
Ottesen's picks: 1. Monterey (albacore). 2. Marin Coast (king salmon/ling cod). 3. Sacramento River at Hamilton City (king salmon).