Striped bass spawning begins to slow, but there are many fish that have not yet performed reproductive rites. The best bite seems to be on the San Joaquin River side.
A stiff wind curbed the action for three days, but stripers in the 5- to 12-pound class still were logged by bait dunkers who found spots to avoid rough water. Threadfin shad is the ticket in Georgianna Slough, San Andreas and Santa Clara shoals, Old River Flats and the Sounding Board, as well as Lights 33 to 38 near Eddo's.
Some chuck Clouser minnow flies, while others use top water baits and reaction baits near tule berms. It still is possible to enjoy a 40-fish day.
Trollers seem to do best with deep-diving lures, worked in 14 to 16 feet of water. Expert troller Mark Wilson said he graphs fish, then works them. They aren't always in a biting mood on the troll, but they'll usually wake up some time during the change of tide.
The better action on the Sacramento River side is found from the Old Dairy to Walnut Grove by trollers who stick and move until a school is found.
"Top water and swim baits are doing well, in Georgianna Slough and the mouth of the Mokelumne by Korth's," said Rick Frisk at The Fisherman's Friend in Lodi. "It's still going and some of the fish have green eggs, so things will keep on happening for while."
The top fish of the week was a 29 3/4-incher by Clyde Wands that won the California Striped Bass Association's derby out of Isleton. Anglers wanting solid advice on catching striped bass might consider attending the 7 p.m. meeting today of the CSBA Isleton Chapter at St. Theresa's Church. Free admission. Information:(916) 777-6498.
Largemouth bass are active, too, with most weighing 2 to 4 pounds and claimed on Senkos, jigs and plastics. Reaction baits also work during the post-spawn. Bass have moved a bit deeper at Frank's Tract, Mildred Island and Fourteen Mile Slough.
Catfish and a variety of sun fish await levee anglers that toss worms and small grubs.
Ocean - Bodega Bay charters find king salmon in limit and near-limit numbers to 29 pounds working quite a ways offshore in 63 fathoms. Some days the New Sea Angler posts limits of kings and Dungeness crabs. There are scattered reports of salmon south of the Farallon Islands and Point Reyes, but very spotty action in Monterey Bay. Boats from Fishermen's Wharf run south for quick limits of ling cod. Rock fishing season opens north of Pigeon Point on June 1.
San Francisco Bay - Good halibut fishing in the South Bay at Candlestick and Oyster points, with a sprinkling of big striped bass as a bonus. Drifting with live shiners or trolling with dead anchovies is the ticket. There's an excellent bite in San Pablo Bay for bass and halibut, especially at Paradise, Angel Island, Red Rock and South Hampton Shoals. "This is the best spring fishing we've seen in many, many years," said Keith Fraser at Loch Lomond Live Bait. Halibut run 8 to 16 pounds, occasionally into the 20s, while bass go 18 inches to 7 pounds, rarely into the teens.
American - Shad have moved from the mouth to Hoffman Park. Striped bass are holed up in the dredger holes by Cal Expo.
Feather - Shad fishing is good from the mouth at Verona to Shanghai Riffle. The run is building daily. Striped bass get after live minnows in the lower stretches, but mainly from Tisdale to Grimes in the Sacramento River, where line sides 8 to 18 pounds are claimed.
Sacramento - Shad is the talk among anglers at Freeport, where boaters and bank anglers are thick. A few striped bass are caught, too, with so many green or orange grubs being cast.
Amador - Trout, including some in double digits, will be released this week as water temperatures climb. Florida strain largemouth and crappie are getting going, and some of the season's first channel catfish have been taken.
Camanche - Pretty fair trolling from Hat Island to the dam and across to Little Hat, about 30 to 35 feet deep, with single spoons. Rainbows go 16 to 18 inches, with shoppers to 5 pounds. Black bass have gone deeper following the spawn, but are willing to hit green/pumpkin plastics and Senkos.
Don Pedro - A good bite for spotted bass on drop-shot worms and some crank baits. The occasional whopper largemouth is in the take, but not many. Trolling for trout is a mystery.
Los Vaqueros - The wind has limited anglers but kept the water temperature just right, so trout plants continue this week. The bite is good from shore or from an anchored boat. An 11.53-pounder was weighed this week, along with a handful of 8s. More 18- to 24-inch striper bass are showing, including some limits for trollers who pull Rapalas or shoreline anglers who toss cut bait.
New Melones - Kokanee action improves with more 13- to 14-inch fish in the take. Trollers are running 35 to 45 feet deep, but they must pay attention to very low water or the risk of losing trolling balls. Trout fishing is slow. The Russ Faught Memorial Fishing Derby is June 21 with tickets available at The Fisherman's Friend in Lodi and Glory Hole Sports in Angels Camp. Spotted bass fishing is good 18 to 30 feet deep with shad-imitations. Trout fishing is slow, except at night on the anchor with submersible lights.
Pardee - Good for kokanee, 9 to 12 inches, near the river mouth. The best results are found with pink or purple hoochies slathered with scent, down 35 to 45 feet. Trout fishing is pokey.