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Jim Pickens: Salmon season starts slow in the Delta, but bass still biting

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Posted: Thursday, July 17, 2014 12:00 am

Ocean: Salmon fishing from Bodega Bay north is wide open with fish in excess of 30 pounds taken daily. Winds and seas have calmed making the fishing more enjoyable.

Few salmon being reported outside the Gate, but the striped bass bite is hot in the bay. The rock and ling bite continues to be strong.

Salmon fishing continues to be slow in Monterey and Santa Cruz areas, but the bottom fishing continues to be strong. There were rumors last week of sea bass showing up in Monterey Bay following the squid.

Delta: Salmon season is here, but not many reports yet. Most early season salmon fishing is in the Freeport area and up. Largemouth bass fishing has picked up with fish averaging 1 to 3 pounds with some whoppers reaching double digits. Sturgeon bite in the Montezuma Slough is picking up and bait fishing for stripers has picked up, but they are on the small size. Bluegill fishing continues to be productive throughout the Delta with red worms being their favorite bait.

Sierra: Thunder showers this last week stained and rolled many streams in the Sierra, but they should clear within a few days of the end of the afternoon storms. High country lakes continue to produce trout and receive trout plants.

Lake Camanche: Catfish and bass are the top pick at the lake. Try chicken liver and sardines for catfish in the coves. Find deeper structure in the main lake for the bass. Some nice trout being caught in the deepest areas of the lake, with Apex’s working best.

Pardee Lake: Bank fishing took off last weekend with trout plants, but slowed by midweek. Powerbait and flies similar to Pistol Petes under bobbers working from shore. Kokanee are dropping deeper each week. Many limits still being caught, but you have to fish in the 60 to 90-foot range. Darker colors and copper flasher are the rule in the deeper water. Uncle Larry’s and Mag Tackle spinners and spinner hoochies working the best.

New Melones: Kokanee slowed last week for a few days, but if you find where they are schooled you need to stay on them and limits are the rule. Kokanee Power is holding its kokanee tournament this Friday and Saturday.

Local fisherman Jim Pickens is the owner of Fisherman’s Friend in Lodi. Visit the Fisherman’s Friend website at

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