KFFC Annual Baby Striper
O’Neill ForeBay Nov 26-28, 2021
What: Baby Striper fishing San Luis ForeBay.
Contact: Mark Cave for more info: 559-623-5338.
When: November 26-28, 2021, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Some of us are driving to the ForeBay Thursday evening after Thanksgiving dinner. You can join us for 1 day or all 3 days.
Where: O’Neill ForeBay the Medeiros Campground area off Hwy 33 if you are camping. (209) 826-1197. https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=558
The best striper bite is very early, lunch time, and just before sundown. Plan to be ready at 5:30am and launch at 5:59am that means be rigged and ready in advance. After about 8:30am the bite slows. There can be a good bite anytime during the day. Otherwise roam around looking for schools of stripers, they are active somewhere.
Wind Info: (800) 805-4805. If the wind is more than 12-15 mph consistently cancel fishout. Call as you leave the house. Stable weather and little wind or no rain is predicted the days of the fishout.
Rod: 6-8 wt rod
Reel: Any type, nothing special for baby stripers. Bigger stripers use a reel with a good drag.
Line: Intermediate slow sink for shallow water 1-6 ft deep, fast sink for deeper water 5-30 ft deep, floater for surface.
Comment: If you don’t have an 8 wt outfit use anything from 5-10 wt that is close to 8 wt. If you don’t have a sink line use a floating line and a longer leader to let your minnow pattern sink down. Most fishing is in water 1-9 ft deep.
Flies: minnow patterns, buggers, sub-surface. Poppers, divers & gurglers may work this time of year. Your best bet is to use a lightly weighted minnow pattern on an intermediate slow sink line which can be fished like a floating fly when necessary.
Leader: Any piece of 10-15 lb straight line for sub surface 3-6 ft long. I pull 3-6 ft of line off my spin reel. Don’t use a trout leader as you will break off. If you are using a floating line only then just lengthen your leader to allow your fly to sink down.
Retrieve: Entice the stripers with strip, strip, pause, strip, pause. Change it up. The most important part of the retrieve is the pause. A striper will follow the fly and when it pauses will eat it. Your next strip will be a strip-set.
Directions: It takes 2 hours from Visalia (1 hr from Fresno) to drive to the ForeBay at freeway speeds. From Visalia either go Hwy 99 to west on Hwy 152 or Hwy 198 to north on Hwy 5 to west on Hwy 152. Both routes take about the same time. Sometimes thick patchy morning fog in some areas make for slow driving, usually on the east (Hwy 99) side of the valley. West (Hwy 5) side of valley had less fog.
From Hwy 152 turn right on Hwy 33 go approximately 1 mile and turn left into the Medeiros Campground area.
Once inside the Medeiros turnoff from Hwy 33 go to the self pay booth and pay your fee and get your water craft inspected by the employee. Look at the board inside the booth window that tells current legal sunrise and sunset. Remember these times.
Boat: If in a boat go to the launch ramp at Los Banos Creek Campground on the West side of the ForeBay.
Fee: Can be paid by credit card.
Anyone can wade and fish from shore day or night but not from a watercraft. The craft can’t even touch the water after hours. The rangers make good money issuing tickets.
Float tubes: Medeiros camping / picnic area just south of the Medeiros boat ramp (non-functioning).
Boats: Launch at the San Luis Creek boat launch off Hwy 152, not Medeiros. Go across ForeBay to Medeiros area or island to start.
Fish the east section of the ForeBay called Medeiros Campground area. Look for the birds working the bait schools. Quietly move to the edge. Don’t spook the schools. If no birds then cast around until find the stripers. Try the 2 islands and down the center of the ForeBay across from the boat launch.
Dinner: Friday or Saturday night 7:30pm
Wool Growers Restaurant
609 H St
Los Banos, CA 93635
Looks like a dive but the food is good.
Restaurant is the dark color door to left of bar silver door.
$32 + tax for typical Basque multi course dinner.
Mornings are cold so bring layers of clothes to stay warm.
Camping: is possible and easy. Several campgrounds are available. The ground is basically flat. The nicer campground with nice hookup facilities are near the boat launch on the north west side of the ForeBay.
Primitive camping: at the ForeBay at the Medeiros area. It’s a good idea to do a simple camp for the night so you can get a very early start in the morning and not risk driving in fog the next morning. It is not too cold overnight for a sleeping bag.
Water Conditions: Can change and put the bite off. Eventually they will cut or treat the weeds that will float around until they rot. The minnows will hang around the shore for protection and the predator fish will follow then go to deeper water during the day.
The state won’t move the water much until the mowed weeds rot which will put off the striper bite. Moving water turns on the striper bite.
Wear waders and no wet wading as the water is cold and they have the little cootie, duck mites, that bites and leaves a rash.
San Luis State Park main web site: http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=558
Campground map: San Luis State Park main web site: http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=558