Bass Are Out to Play

Del Valle Lake - Livermore, CA (Alameda County)

Michael L. of Milpitas caught this seven-pound 10-ounce trout using a crankbait.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Del Valle Lake Staff

by East Bay Regional Park District

The lake temperature has been in the lower 60s for most of the day, finally bringing the smallmouth and largemouth bass out to play here at Lake Del Valle!


The trout bite is on! The favored bait by our anglers right now is the chartreuse and orange mice tails. From shore, many of our anglers are having success along the east and west beaches in the south end of the lake. If you have a boat, fishing the sandy beaches along the narrows would be a good bet. If you are trolling, you will want small spinners, or medium to smaller sized Rapalas. Powerbait is also usually a good bet. Right now, the fish seem to be very interested in corn yellow or the chartreuse colored.


The catfish bite is also starting to pick up. Many can be found along the points in Heron Bay casting either anchovies or nightcrawlers as bait. You can even use mackerel if you want to try for a larger catfish. Most of the catfish can be found either at the fallen trees around the lake or hanging out in the tule patches. If you see a carp roll over it is a good chance that a catfish is around too!


The smallmouth and largemouth bass have been very active as they begin to enter their spawning season. Some of the bass have even been caught with the telltale bleeding on their tails from making beds to spawn. Many of our anglers are nailing them along the tule patches that run along the lake. Our personal favorite is to flip nightcrawlers with as small a split-shot weight as possible. You can throw smaller Kastmasters or spinner baits, the bass will hit on the shad imitations. Square bill crankbaits also have been working well; the bass seem to prefer some sort of displacement. We also recommend fishing from the dock on the south end of the lake.

The striper fishing has been slow but will pick up later in May when the shad start to come up to the surface of the water and the striped bass begin to boil on the top of the water. If you are still determined to fish for striper, we recommend casting out anchovies for bait or working larger shad imitation lures. Many of the striped bass either run in the marina area or out by the dam during this time of year.

Good luck out there the bass fishing is intense right now! – Captain Jacob

We also have a fishing report from Dr. Al and Abbey:

“Well, in spite of enthusiastic intentions, Al Hurwitz of Saratoga and Abbey Lev of Sunnyvale only managed to capture a one-pound Largemouth Bass in spite of a day of vigorous trolling on 3/28/19. The bass was caught on a J-9 Rapala flat lining near the entrance of Swallow Bay. We always put scent on our lures. Regrettably, no other fish or strikes to report. The varying weather and atmospheric pressure systems along with staining of the water made trolling today difficult. However, the water clarity is definitely improving. Surface water temperature was 57-58 degrees and the lake is 100% full. On the optimistic side, the high lake level combined with the future settling of the particulate matter in the water and more stable weather conditions should all combine to make trolling (particularly onshore trolling) excellent in the Spring and Summer months ahead. Both Rainbow Trout and Smallmouth Bass fishing should become excellent in the very near future. As always thank you and the staff for your help in getting us on and off the water.”

All the best, Dr. Al Hurwitz

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