The Delta: The big news for the Delta is the upcoming salmon season which opens on July 16. The winds subsided for a few days, but the heat put a damper on fishing and the recreational boaters have taken over.
Catfish still being caught on chicken liver, mackerel and clams. Bluegill fishing has taken off throughout the Delta with red worms being the favorite bait. Only a couple of hard-core sturgeon anglers out there and their working the Montezuma Slough area, but shrimp baits are nearly impossible to find right now.
Black bass fishing is rated as good, with many smaller-sized fish being caught. Punching Hyacinth and senkos working as the larger bass go deep. Bass are feeding heavily on bluegill and crawdads.
Sierra: Great time to hit the streams, rivers and lakes in the high country. The Highway 4, 88 and 108 corridors have received plants for the holiday weekend. West and East Carson are in great shape as are the high country lakes. Salmon eggs, powerbait, nightcrawlers, small spinners and of course your fly fishing equipment are all working in the rivers and lakes.
Camanche: Catfish is the fish of choice at the lake. They can be found in the coves with liver being the bait of choice. Trolling for trout early before the recreational boaters hit the water can produce some nice trout. Start at 25 feet and work your way down. Spoons and Apex’s working well in watermelon and purple colors. Main lake is the best location for trout. Trout still being caught at night under a floating light in deep water.
Pardee: The lake is 90 percent full. Kokanee and trout being caught, with limits of kokanee. Boaters are about the only ones catching fish in the lake at this point. Orange is still the top color and copper dodgers and spinners are working well. Apex’s picking up the trout.
New Melones: Kokanee is good in the main lake, spillway and dam area, with 38 to 55 feet the favorite depths. The lake is down two lanes at the Glory Hole ramp, so arrive early and be patient. Lots of recreational boaters over the holiday weekend so fishing by boat will be over by 10 to 11 a.m.
Don Pedro: Kokanee and trout fishing rated good, start at 25 feet and work your way down. Fleming Meadows, Jenkins Hill and Blue Oaks are your kokanee and trout locations. Roll shad for kings in the early morning in the main lake; start at 40 feet and you may have to work your way down to 100-plus feet as the sun and other boaters come out.
Local fisherman Jim Pickens is the owner of Fisherman’s Friend in Lodi.