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San Luis Reservoir and O’Neill Forebay April 2019 Fishing Report

San Luis Reservoir and O’Neill Forebay San Luis Reservoir is at near capacity with best bites at Portuguese Cove and Dinosaur Point. usi...

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

O'Neill and San Luis Fishing Map, Fishing Report, Hunting Clubs, 2018 private fishing nearby

San Luis Reservoir and O'Neil Forebay Fishing Map and 2019 fishing Report, How to fish this area, and info on Hunting Clubs nearby


San Luis Reservoir Fishing Reports (for a detailed fish map and report on O'Neill Forebay click here )

Summer 2018 Trollers and drifters hook striped bass up to 24 inches by working 80-100 foot depths with trolling lures and live minnows. Others toss minnows from the dam, especially near the trash racks. 

Fishing Map of San Luis Reservoir and O'Neill Forebay


k> how to fish san luis reservoir, fishing maps california and oregon


About San Luis Reservoir and O'Neill Forebay- the biggest striped bass in the state

Latest fishing report

San Luis Reservoir and O'Neill Forebay




Californians like their lakes. They also like their striped bass. The bigger the lake, the better the fishing and the heavier the fish, the happier the angler. The Merced County impoundment is the best striped bass lake in the state as far as big fish go. Last year, a Madera angler caught a 55- pounder trolling a Rebel.
DFG deserves absolutely no credit for the fishery , the fish simply  get sucked into the Forebay San Luis Reservoir was built in  the late 1960s by the Bureau of Reclamation and  state Water Re-  sources. Water from the Sacramento and San  Joaquin rivers are  pumped into the  O'Neill Forebay  and San Luis Reservoir during the  winter and spring.  With it comes thousands of fingerling (baby) striped bass which get sucked into the pumps and tossed into the lake.
Some miraculously manage to make it through alive and those fish provide anglers with some good recreational sport fishing. It’s a Catch-22 situation, and a sad one when you consider the fact that striped bass runs are the worst ever  in the Delta system. Pumps like the ones at San Luis and Pittsburg are largely to blame, among other things like pollution and poaching. 
Nonetheless, let's focus on the available bass fishery and  leave the bureaucratic water wars alone for the time being.  First, a few words about the fish. All the stripers in San  Luis and O’Neill Forebay come from the Sacramento and San  Joaquin rivers, so you know you‘rc catching Delta fish. As  most of us know, Delta stripers are voracious feeders, tough  fighters and good eaters. That’s why we love hooking, battling  and eating them.
Because these bass eat just about everything  that moves, they grow rapidly. The state record striped bass  came out of the San Joaquin River in 1951. It weighed 65  pounds. The new record could be lurking in San Luis or  O’Neill Forebay. Who knows‘! Tales are told about stripers up  to 100 punds that have been netted by commercial Sacramento black fish anglers in the main lake.
We do know that  trophy-class stripers are available in both impoundments and  that’s evident by all the 40-pounders caught every year.  lt can happen, but you’ve got to be lucky. Instead, plan on  catching lots of bass in the 5- to 10-pound class because there  are certainly plenty of those linesides in the lakes. Fish in the  10- to 20-pound class are common, and targeted by the  anglers who fish it most frequently.  Limits are liberal at San Luis.

Typically, smaller fish can be caught from the surface  down to 25 feet, while the big fish lurk in 80 feet of water or  more. Local experts agree that bigger fish come out of the  main lake, while O’Neill Forebay has, perhaps, more but  smaller fish.

How do you catch ‘em? Trolling is the way to go, and  plugs like Rebels or Rapalas are the most effective bass  catchers. Trolling a yellow Hair Raiser on  one side and a broken-back, blue 7-inch Rebel on the other on a spreader. 

Besides Rebels, large silver Kastmasters are productive  because they imitate the lake’s natural food source — thread-  fin shad. Krocodiles and 2- to 3 ounce yellow or white Hair  Raisers should be included in your tackle box before heading  to San Luis.

 Rods should be short with a heavy butt for extra fighting  power. Rig up with at least 14-pound test line. Some go with  25 in case they hook that monster. Boaters equipped with fish  finders have the added, and necessary, advantage over those  who don’t . Boaters rigged with fish finders can save a lot of time if  they locate fish, then set their downriggers, leadcore line and  lures at the proper depth. It’s not uncommon to troll Rebels in  80 feet of water or more.
No fish finder? The technique is to troll at various depths until you  find a school of fish. Thenl concentrate on that spot until  you are sure the bass have stopped feeding or have moved.

Where to catch ‘em  San Luis Reservoir 
The east shoreline of Portuguese Creek and Lone  Oak Bay for trolling.  Willow Spring Bay in the south end for boaters  and bank fishermen.  The Dinosaur and Basalt launching ramp areas  for bank fishing.  The Romero Outlook.  O'Neill Forebay  Under the powerlines, on the approach to Highway 152 from the bank or a boat.  Along the deep canal just inside the levee for  trollers. Skirt the buoy line, make a U-turn and come  back along the face of the dam. 

San Luis Reservoir is a huge piece of water that features 65  miles of shoreline with 12,700_surface acres. O’Neill Forebay  is no slouch with its 12 miles of shoreline and 2,700 surface  acres  Stripers are schooling fish so where you find one, you’ll  undoubtedly find two or more.  

(for a detailed fish map and report on O'Neill Forebay click here )

 Location: San Luis Reservoir is  located between Los Banos and  Gilroy off Highway 152 which  runs perpendicular to Highway  99 and Interstate 5. The lake is  15 miles from Los Banos and 40  miles from Gilroy.  Size: The main reservoir features  65 miles of shoreline and has  12,700 surface acres when full.  O'Neill Forebay has 12 miles at  shoreline and 2,700 surface  acres of water.  Species: Striped bass, catfish,  some black bass.

Facilities: Boaters will find two  ramps on the main reservoir,  one at Dinosaur Point and the  other at Basalt. At O'Neill Forebay, there are launch ramps on  the west and south shores.

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If you want a more specific, county by county description of Oregon and California Hunting Clubs, Ranches and public areas to hunt and fish, you need to see:

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