Fishing

General Info

  • Hours: September hours are 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM with boats due in by 5:00 PM.
  • Annual Parking Passes for 2018 are available at the Marina, the North Gate and the Watershed Office.
  • Fishing Licenses for 2018 are available for purchase at the Marina. 
  • The Interpretive Center is open from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Directions to Los Vaqueros
  • Watershed Map (PDF)

Location Details

The Marina on the reservoir's south side near Livermore offers fishing licenses, bait, snacks, and electric boat rentals. There are three fishing piers along the shore of the reservoir. The pier near the Marina is ADA-accessible.

On the north side of the reservoir near Brentwood, anglers can park at the John Muir Interpretive Center and hike about a half-mile to fishing areas near the dam and in Peninsula Cove. We have frozen bait available for purchase at the North Entrance gate (near Brentwood) on the weekends. We have anchovies, chicken liver, and shad.

Conditions as of September 4, 2018

Fishing is good with trout and striped bass being the main fish caught. We are still seeing catfish turning up here and there. The water level is currently at about 151,000 acre feet. Filling has stopped for the summer. With the cooler days and windy weather the water temperature is floating between 67 and 70 degrees depending on the time of day. Water clarity has been mostly clear. If you are looking to rent a boat, contact the Marina ahead of time to check current wind conditions at (925) 371-2628 or check the weather conditions. We continue to see occasional high winds, which prevents us from renting boats due to safety reasons.

Recent Catch: Nico from San Jose caught a 20-pound Striper on August 5, 2018.

20-pound Striper

Trout

Trout are currently the most caught fish. South Cove continues to be the most active area for anglers and fish. Fishing past the Rock Wall is also popular with a consistent number of fish being caught. From boats, when the winds allow, bait fishing in the back of Cowboy Cove and trolling near its North shore has been popular. Shore anglers are having the most success using garlic scented powerbaits followed by night crawlers and some casting of lures. Trout have been averaging around a pound and a half but there are a number of fish in the 3+ pound range being caught. Light tackle is important for catching trout. 4-6 pound test is plenty. When boats are rentable trout are being caught in Howden Cove and Cowboy Cove. Even with the warmer water temperatures trout are still being caught in decent numbers. We hope to resume trout plants in the coming weeks.

Largemouth Bass

Most anglers were focused on stripers or trout. Keep in mind that largemouth need to be 12 inches to be kept. Please release any big largemouth bass you might catch, they are the future of largemouth bass fishing in the reservoir. If you catch any undersized fish please release them gently and allow them to grow up.

Stripers

Striper fishing is mixed with both shakers and legal sized fish being caught from around the reservoir. Cut anchovies or shad is the bait of choice, either from shore or a boat. Just a reminder, stripers need to be 18 inches or more to be legal. Please release the small fish as quickly and carefully as possible. They are the future of our striped bass fishery.

Catfish

Catfish are still being caught here and there even with the cooler water and mixed weather. For those wishing to target catfish, chicken liver and anchovies are the best choices of bait. There was a 2,000-pound catfish plant from Tsai Enterprise on August 30, 2018. A 5-pound catfish was caught in South Cove using, oldly enough, powerbait.

2000-pound Tsai Catfish planted on August 2, 2018!

Whopper Mug Rules

Trout must be 8 pounds to receive a mug, Striped Bass need to be at least 10 pounds and Catfish is at 12 pounds or more. Largemouth Bass remains at 5 pounds and must be released. Please note: ONLY a photo with a scale or a measuring tape showing the fish being at least 18” will count.