The Delta: The sturgeon bite is picking up on the Sacramento River, but the hot bite is over in San Pablo Bay and Moth Ball Fleet using shrimp baits, pile worms, salmon roe and eel.
Striped bass fishermen are having luck from the Rio Vista Bridge down to Sherman Island on shad, mudsuckers and sardines.
On the San Joaquin River, the best areas for striper fishermen are the mouth of the Mokelumne down to Eddos, using shad, sardines and mudsuckers. Call ahead to the bait shops to reserve your shad.
Mokelumne River: The river opens up on New Year’s Day for steelhead. Salmon is off-limits and must be released immediately.
Note: Make sure you have your steelhead report card if you plan to fish, no matter what your age is. There is a one fish limit, and it must be a hatchery fish (it has the adipose fin clipped). Best baits for steelhead are roe, flies, nightcrawlers, spinners and Kastmasters.
Anglers are doing well by drifting minnows in the lower Mokelumne in the deeper holes and mouths of the sloughs.
Don Pedro: Trout and salmon fishermen are trolling in the dam area, Middle Bay and the Woods Creek arm. Trout are in the top 10-20 feet and salmon are from 40-80 feet. Fishermen are catching salmon kokanee style, using Apexes, Needlefish and X-Cels behind a dodger. This is the time of year for trolling with small shad and anchovies.
Lake Camanche: The southshore pond fishermen are catching their limits on PowerBait, Mice Tails, Trout Worms, Wooley Buggers and nightcrawlers, casting with Kastmasters, Rooster Tails and Magic Bullets.
Southshore fishermen are still catching at Chevron Point. Bank fishermen are continuing to do well on PowerBaits, Mice Tails and Trout Worms in light green and chartreuse colors, and garlic flavor is hot right now.
Trollers are using grubs with PowerEggs, Rapalas in Fire Tiger, orange and black and silver in F7’s and F9’s, from the narrows to the Big Hat, Little Hat and the dam area. They are doing best in the top 10-15 feet of water, running 150-200 feet behind the boat.
Bass fishermen are drop-shotting, dragging 4- to 6-inch rubber worms, and throwing swim baits and minnow-type ripbaits.
New Melones Lake: Limits of trout are being caught by the bank fishermen and trollers. The trollers are using X-Cels and Needlefish, Rapalas in silver and gold patterns, as well as Apexes in silver, pink and watermelon colors. If you can find small shad, use those trolling up the river. Fish the main body, Glory Hole Point to Angel’s Cove and the Carson Creek area to the Highway 49 bridge.
Bait fishermen are fishing Glory Hole Point, Angel’s Cove and Highway 49 Bridge areas, using Berkley PowerBait, trout worms and MiceTails.
Bass fishermen are jigging 4-to 6-inch rubber worms. Green pumpkin and light blue colors seem to be the favorites.
Lake Amador: Fishermen are still using Micetails, Trout Worms and PowerBait, catching limits on pinks, orange and chartreuse colors.
Bank fishermen are using PowerBait in garlic flavors and regular PowerBait in chartreuse and yellow corn.
The Delta Fly Fishers will hold a gathering on New Year’s Day below Camanche Dam at Van Assen Park.
Local fisherman Mike Faught is the owner of Fisherman’s Friend in Lodi. To view the Fisherman’s Friend website go to www.mrkokanee.com.