Northern CA Freshwater

San Luis Reservoir remains solid for striped bass

By DAVE HURLEY/WON Staff WriterPublished: Mar 15, 2017

SANTA NELLA — San Luis remains the top striper option in the Central Valley, with the California Aqueduct running high and dirty along with a smaller grade of striped bass in the O’Neill Forebay.

The lake is holding at 99 percent, and there are locations along the shorelines that haven’t been flooded in years. The picture perfect weather over the past weekend brought out numbers of anglers to the shorelines at the main lake.

FULL LAKE FISH — San Luis reservoir is almost full after years of drawdown, and the striper fishing is good. Jeremy Souza of Los Banos caught this nice San Luis Reservoir striped bass trolling an umbrella rig.

Alex Tran of Coyote Bait in Morgan Hill said, “There have been a lot of fishermen from the San Jose area heading over to the main lake to fish the shoreline at Basalt or Dinosaur Point, and we are selling lots of jumbo minnows along with pile worms and blood worms. Boaters are drifting jumbo minnows over the submerged islands, and the fishing has been pretty good in the main lake. In the O’Neill Forebay, shaker stripers are the rule with ripbaits, Rat-L-Traps, or with bait such as jumbo minnows, pile worms, or blood worms. Most of the stripers in the forebay are undersized, but there is the occasional keeper as the water is starting to clear up.”

Trolling has been a bit slower, as Meng Xyong of Fresno picked up a few small striped bass running his custom C-Rigs on Sunday. With the high water, the stripers have moved higher in the water column, sometimes as shallow as 10 feet. The back or mouth of Portuguese Cove along with the opening at Dinosaur Point have been productive locations for trollers.

The first annual How to Fish Striper Derby will be held at the Basalt Launch Ramp on March 19 from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Event organizer Jesus Reyes Silva of JKingslures said, “The entry fee is $35, and the payout will be the top three places.”

* * *

We hope you enjoyed this article on our no-charge website Of course, this site contains only a small fraction of the stories that Western Outdoor Publications produces each week in its two northern and southern editions and its special weekly supplements. You can subscribe to the print issue that is mailed weekly and includes the easy flip-page full-color digital issues, or you can purchase a digital only subscription. Click here to see the choice.

The Longfin Tackle Shop
The Longfin Tackle Shop