Annual Baby Striper O’Neill Forebay Nov 2008

20081125 san luis flies 011b    20081112_san_luis_baby_striper_tim_smith_003a

What: Baby Striper fishing.

When: November 28, 2008. Friday morning. Half day outing.
The striper bite is very early. Plan to be ready at 6:30am and launch at 6:49am that means be rigged and ready in advance. After about 8:30am the bite shuts off. There can be a good bite in the late afternoon.

Where: O’Neill Forebay the Medeiros Campground area off Hwy 33.

Wind Info: (800) 805-4805. If the wind is more than 12-15 mph consistently cancel fishout. Call as you leave the house. Little wind or no rain is predicted the day of the fishout.

Rod: 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‚Äôt have an 8 wt outfit use anything from 5-10 wt that is close to 8 wt. If you don‚Äôt 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‚Äôt 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 ‚Äì strip ‚Äì pause ‚Äì strip ‚Äì pause. Change it up. The most important is the pause. A striper will follow the fly and when it pauses will eat it. Your next strip will be a strip-set.

 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. The last few weeks‚Äô 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 approx ¼ 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 $6.00 by leaving an envelope in the metal tube and the tab on your dash. Bring exact change and a pen to fill out the license number and amount. No one is in attendance. Look at the board inside the booth window that tells current legal sunrise and sunset. Remember these times.

After passing the booth turn left at the ‚ÄúT‚Äù intersection, in a short way turn right and follow the gravel road to and along the water. We will be down about ¬? mile.

$6.00 day use parking fee per vehicle. Float tubes, pontoon, rafts etc. Cash only.
$12.00 regular launch boat and parking fee. Cash only.
$1.00 minus for Senior (62 and older).
Campground over night fees posted and on campground brochure. See below web site.

November 28, 2008
Sunrise: 6:49 am legal time to be on water.
Sunset: 4:49 pm legal time to be off water.
Many expensive tickets to fishermen that push the time limit. Don’t get caught on the water before or after legal start / stop time.

Anyone can wade and fish from shore day or night but not from a craft. The craft can‚Äôt even touch the water after hours. The rangers make good money issuing tickets.

Meet / be ready to launch at 6:30 am.

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. See map above.

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‚Äôt spook the schools. If no birds then cast around until find the stripers.

Lunch: at 12:30pm:
$15 approx – cash only
Wool Growers Restaurant
609 H St
Los Banos, CA 93635
(209) 826-4593
Looks like a dive.
Restaurant is the dark color door to left of bar silver door.

San Luis State Park main web site: Brochures:
Campground map: San Luis State Park main web site:

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 from $15-25 / night and near the boat launch on the north west side of the forebay. See above Campground map for info.

Primitive camping by the east side of the forebay at the Medeiros area is $10 / night. I will do a simple camp for the night so I 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: Last week they mowed the submerged weeds. That changes the fishing and put the bite off. This week the fish have settled down and are biting again. The minnows will hang around the shore for protection and the predator fish will follow then go to deep water during the day.

The state won‚Äôt 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 that bites and leaves a rash.