The Fish Sniffer - East Bay Lakes Roundup
East Bay Lakes Roundup

Written By: Dan Bacher, August 4, 2014
Species: Bass Catfish Landlocked Stripers Trout
Location: Contra Loma Reservoir, Los Vaqueros Reservoir, Lafayette Reservoir, San Pablo Reservoir, Shadow Cliffs Lake, Del Valle Reservoir, Quarry Lakes,

Los Vaqueros

(Byron) There are some huge catfish lurking in Los Vaqueros Reservoir. Just ask Aaron Saephan of Oakland, who landed a 17.86 lb. channel cat while soaking anchovies in the South Cove on July 23. 

While it was a catfish that topped the recent catches, it’s the trout and striped bass that are providing the most consistent. Action. ishing at Los Vaqueros got another boost with a plant of 1,000 pounds of rainbows by Mount Lassen on July 23.

 “The trout average 2 to 3 pounds and go up to 7 pounds,” said Paul Contreras at the Los Vaqueros Marina. “The fish are hitting rainbow garlic Power Bait in the South Cove and around the marina. There haven’t been many trollers out lately, since it’s been windy.”

 “The stripers are more active with the warm weather, but fishermen are making their way through a lot of undersized fish,” said Contreras. “Most of the stripers measure 15 to 19 inches long, although fish to 24 inches are being caught. The pier near Marina is producing the most consistent action for anglers using cut anchovies. I saw an angler hook a 22 inch striper from the pier today.”

The water level is around 126,900 acre feet and is dropping about a foot every 10 days. The water surface temperature has risen to 69 degrees. 


Contra Loma

(Antioch) Catfish continue to offer the top action at Contra Loma Reservoir, but a couple of anglers got a big surprise on a recent whiskerfish adventure.

While soaking chicken liver for catfish, Anthony and Oscar Martinez caught a 13.13 lb. striper on the lake’s east side near the rocks.

In addition to chicken livers, nightcrawlers, anchovies and shrimp are good baits to use for the cats. Fish at Channel Point or near the Swim Lagoon, advised Joe Sullivan of the East Bay Regional Park District.

Crappie and bluegill continue to bite jigs or worms at Loma Island or Channel Point area. Trout fishing remains slow, due to warm water temperatures.


San Pablo

(El Sobrante) “Trout are still being caught this summer,” reported Daniel Perez of the Rocky Mountain Recreation Company. “Most bites are coming from the Main Rec Dock and Pines.”

The colder mornings and evenings are the best times to come out. Trolling by the Dam and around Sandy point with Broken-Back Fire-Tiger Rapala, and Kastmasters. Rainbow or Garlic Power-Bait is the top trout bait. If the bite slows, try using inflated nightcrawlers to catch trout, catfish and bass

For black bass, fishing the boat launch and the preserve would be the best bets for some bass. Drop shot or throw a shad colored crank bait around. 

“We planted 800 pounds of catfish last week,” said Perez. “With this being the second catfish plant of the season, we are starting to see a lot of big catfish being brought in. Fishing for catfish at the Main Rec. Area has been good for anglers using chicken liver, nightcrawlers or anchovies.”

Crappie and bluegill are being caught at the boat launch and in the coves on mini jigs, Atomic Teasers or floating red worms on bobbers. 

The lake level is 308ft and the surface water temperature is 72 degrees. 

The latest trout plant of 800 pounds by Mt. Lassen went into the lake on July 16.

Big fish honors go to Paul Roskoff from Berkeley, who caught an 8 lb. catfish while using PowerBait at the Main Rec Dock.



(Lafayette) Lafayette Reservoir has been “okay” for fishing this week. “It seems the larger bass are more difficult to catch because of all the small bluegill available this year, yet there are still a lot of fish out there to catch,” said Soehl KnKade at Lafayette Reservoir.

“We also had a lightning trout sighting this week, so there also must be a good amount of trout still out there,” KnKade noted.

The temperatures were 56.6 degrees Fahrenheit at 30 feet and 74.4 degrees at 6 feet with no fluctuations, so hopefully the water will remain fairly settled for a while

“Worms have been the main bait lately, since we have so many bass. They also work well with catfish and in getting the interest of trout,” KnKade said.


Shadow Cliffs

(Pleasanton) Catfish plants are occurring on a weekly basis and reports of catfish caught from the shoreline are starting to come in. Trout fishing from the shore is slow, as they have retreated to deeper waters, according to Joe Sullivan of the East Bay Regional Park District.

Anglers on boats, on the other hand, have had better luck and still report catching their limits in trout. The surface water temperature is approximately 75 degrees. 

“One angler reported 53 (Yes, 53!) catfish were caught and released between 11am – 9pm to the right of the 2nd dock on a recent trip,” said Sullivan. “The largest weighed in at a whopping 19.12 lbs. Anchovies were the bait of choice,”

The Marina reported an angler caught many rainbow trout from the pan handle. He switched to Power Bait because they kept biting. The average size was 3-4lbs.

Another angler reported catching and releasing 8 bass while float tubing on the Island Pond.


Del Valle

(Livermore) Josalin Coulter of the Rocky Mountain Recreation Company summed up the fishing at lake Del Valle: “There wasn’t much activity and the bite didn’t do too well this week.”

Yet one angler, Ashley Villavicencio of San Pablo, had a very good day when she caught an 11.4 lb. catfish on chicken Liver at the East Beach.

Al Hurwitz of Saratoga and Abbey Lev of Sunnyvale also had an excellent day in terms of fish numbers.

“Trolling Panther Martins along the western shore opposite Heron and Swallow Bays, we caught 16 fish, including 14 smallmouth bass and two striped bass,” said Hurwitz “Most of the fish caught were small. The fish are 15-20 feet below the surface in a 25-40 foot water column. The best trolling speeds was around 2 mph.” 

Catfish are hitting best in the Lower Narrows area and the East Beach on chicken liver or anchovies, noted Coulter.

“Stripers are the same with their locations mainly at the Dam and the Lower Narrows on Anchovies,” Coulter said. “Anglers have reported shakers and keepers, but no whoppers over the past two weeks.”

There was a plant of 1,080 lbs. of catfish at the docks and 1,000 lbs. of trout at the Dam over the past week. 

The water temperature is 77 degrees at the end of the docks with a surface temperature of 79 degrees. There is still four to ten foot visibility, depending on the location. 


Quarry Lakes

(Fremont) Fishing has generally been slow the past couple of week at Quarry Lakes Recreation Area. “Anglers shouldn’t be discouraged, however, as we guarantee plenty of fish in the water,” said Joe Sullivan.

“Due to the warm temperatures and a reduction in regular plants, trout fishing has been very slow,” the district reported. “Anglers looking to reel in some catfish will have much better luck. The best spot for catfish is on either side of the peninsula. The most popular types of bait used are nightcrawlers, shrimp, and chicken livers.”

Anthony Vu of Hayward landed four catfish on shrimp at the backside of the peninsula. The fish weighed 6lbs-8oz, 6lbs, 3lbs-13oz, and 3lbs-4oz.

J.R. Mull of Fremont landed one catfish weighing approximately 18 lbs on nightcrawlers at the front side of the peninsula. He landed the fish around 9pm.

Anthony Vu of Hayward caught his limit of catfish totaling 33lbs-10oz on the back side of the peninsula using shrimp.

Tom Fiester of Fremont fooled a 2lb-8oz smallmouth bass on the front of Horseshoe Lake while fishing from a boat.


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