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Northern CA Freshwater

Santa Nella: San Luis stripers are showing some signs of life

By DAVE HURLEY/WON Staff WriterPublished: Feb 27, 2020

SANTA NELLA — San Luis Reservoir continues to drop precipitously, but the shoreline bite is starting to improve as the stripers are chasing shad into the coves. Trolling has been hit or miss, but the occasional trophy lineside has been landed. The O’Neill Forebay remains consistent for numbers of smaller stripers on either bait or ripbaits near the Highway 33 Bridge.

firetigertroutFIRETIGER TROUT — Arnold Padilla of Wilson shows off his 9-pound rainbow trout he caught at Lake Camanche while using a Firetiger Tazmanian Devil lure.

Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “San Luis has been really hot, and we have been selling a number of Duo Realis and Lucky Craft jerkbaits in the 110 and 120 size, as there have been some topwater boils. Pencil Poppers or the ima Big Stick have also been effective when the stripers are on the surface. Most fishermen are heading to a cove and setting up shop, but Dinosaur Point, the Romero Visitor Center, and Portuguese Cove have been the best locations. Trollers are working deep around the Trash Racks.”

Roger George of Roger’s Guide Service said, “The lake has fallen 5 feet in the last few days, throwing the bite into a slowing trend, but trollers are still picking up a few school fish working the Portuguese Cove and Quien Sabe Point areas with the standard minnow lures at 40 to 70 feet. The bite has fluctuated from day to day with anglers getting up to 8 school fish to 24 inches and then back down to 1 or 2 for the day. We believe there is some early spawning behaviors, like males milting, kicking in with the warm weather. The falling water is disappointing, but we’re hoping for a March rain miracle.

“My last trip about a week ago produced a 28.8-pound striper that I released, but the rest of the fish were all school fish. The minnow and bait bite have also been slow. The falling water isn’t helping the ripbait or topwater anglers either,” George said. The lake dropped from 74 to 71 percent.

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