O'Neil Forebay

Hello All,
I didn't want to start another thread but couldn't find one to post the info. For those who are new to float tubing/tooning and want to catch fish....for sure, the O'Neil Forebay is starting to heat up. Granted winter fishing requires you to be more prepared for the weather but the water is very productive in the AM at first light and in the evening.

The striped bass are small, 14-17" range but there are a lot of them to be caught. The water has been like glass in the morning. Fished the evening bite Friday from 4pm until sunset at 6:30. Fish were jumping all over the place close to shore. I beached the toon and waded out in thigh deep water and caught more even in the dark.

Spent the night and fished this morning from 7:00 til 9:30. Fish jumping and birds flying. Fish were jumping along the shore where i launched. Caught 5 fish before I was able to launch the toon. I used all topwater. Doesn't matter what type as long as it floats and makes a wake..

I launch from the waters edge at the Madeiros camp ground off of the 33 side. The fishing is only going to get better. There definitely is a "quantity" of fish over "quality" at the Forebay.

PS: I was the only one on the water this morning on the Madeiros side. Oh ya, 50+ shakers caught and released.
Check the wind conditions the night before and even before you leave so you're not wasting your time. The wind at the forebay can be very unforgiving. It can pop up out of nowhere without warning. Wear you PFD!!!!!!!


50+ who cares if they're shakers YOU are the man lol I've been caught in those winds in my tube and you're right you go nowhere real fast. Thanks for the post.
You da man is right!!!!!!!!!!!!
Nice report looks like a fantastic time congrats i got get out ;(
Thanks guys. There is a lot of bait fish hanging around the shoreline. The stripers go nuts chasing the bait in the AM. The only time I've seen this happen is now when the temps start to cool and into the winter. There are a lot of small fish but as you all know where there's small fish there are big fish too!

When I left today, there were a couple of guys in toons near the bridge. Not sure if they were catching. I've only fished the flats off the Madeiros campgrounds. I guess I favor that area because I know the fish frequent the flats and no boaters are ever there. I've been there where there were 5 or so toons in the flats. They were fly guys and there was enough room for all of us. Has anyone had any luck in a tube or tune near ther power lines or closer to the bridge? Never fsihed those areas.

Daylight savings means we can get on the water about 0630. I'm heading out for one more shot tomorrow. Black F-250 with blue toon. Hopefully the bite will be on again. It lasted for over an hour this morning. Maybe I'll see you there.
Me and my dad were also out there for 4 hrs and got about 10. Most were shakers but our 4 limit fish were 21-24". It was the best action me and my dad have seen all year for the Forebay.The power lines are actually one of our best spots and we probably have caught the most fish there than any were else.
Thanks for the info dmun!!!!! I've always fished the flats because of the number of fish you can catch there. Now it's time to concentrate on quality stripers. I'll give the power lines a try next time out. There is a good spot to launch the toon very close to the power lines.

Went out this morning. The good news is...The bite was on!!!!! The bad news is......It only lasted for about 30 minutes. 17 fish total. All C&R. The two biggest were 20". The rest were in the 16-17" range. Still a lot of fun!

Next report from will be from the power lines. Sounds like dmun and his dad are regulars out there. Keep the info coming!!!!!!!
Dmun and Glenn
Was all the action on top water?
What else is working when the top water isnt?
Im gonna try here shortly and get out there as well.
For the past 2 weeks I have been working in Turlock, So I have been driving past the area and seeing all the fishermen. I did see one pull in a shaker too at the 33 bridge from shore..
Was gonna go on wednesday but gotta go and get my from Vallejo. Are they locking the gates to the launches at sundown?

Thanks for the info you guys have provided as well...

Hey Mike,
The area I fish in is the flats where there are sporadic weed beds. The water depth is anywhere from 2' to 10' with most of the flats a consistent 5'. I throw all topwater in that area. I see a lot of fly fishermen out there and they don't seem to get hung up but I don't know enough about that type of fishing to tell what type of fly or depth its running.
The weeds are about 1 -2 feet below the surface. In the summer I'll fish the holes in the weeds for LMB...they're out there. dmun may know more about the waters by the dams and around the the power lines. I believe that area is a lot deeper as is the area by the main boat launch off the highway.

speaking of boat launch, Madeiros camp grounds has a boat launch but it is blocked off so you would have to launch from the main park off the highway. They do not close any gate on the Madeiros camp ground side.

Guys always remind me not to launch by toon before sunrise and to be sure you're off the water at sunset. They post the times on a board at the pay shack. I guess they are real strict about enforcing that rule.

I'm waiting for dmun to help us all out with more info. Hope this helps Mike!
Well Mike I only got one on topwater but the most were on the 5" big hammers. Most of the Topwater fish I catch are because I see fish busting in the area. If there not busting then throw any white swimbait.The gates are Solar Powered so I would guess that they close when the sun goes down. Went out there to San Luis today and the bite was off, no fish busting or bird activity.
Great info guys...
Dmun ,the hammer heads you were throwing.... what weight jigheads were you using with them... thanks for all the info again....
1/2 oz for 10+fow and anything shallower 3/8oz.
Forebay is awesome right now! Went around 2 weeks ago got our limit in like first hr and half the most. We caught total around 15 fish between 7am to 11am. I lost a good one, had it on for awhile, it was pulling drag hard, but I never get to see the fish. We missed lot of blow ups on top water too, pretty much when I see fish chasing the bait, toss the top water near by its like almost guarantee to get blow up. The biggest I got that day was around 22 inch. Good luck guys
Thanks TBR! I just fish the flats at the Forebay. Is there a better place to catch bigger fish? I fish out of a toon so I'm restricted to distance. Thanks for any info.
I think we are going to hit it up Thursday Morning from a boat.
Post a report and some pictures....Good Luck!!!!! It's hard to miss them first thing in the AM!
Hit the flats at the Forebay this morning. No birds and no fish boiling!!!!!!! Managed to catch 3 small ones on top water along the weedline. They were all the same size, 10 inches.

Paddled all around but couldn't find the fish. They're out there somewhere....just got to find them.

There out deeper Glenn just got to search for them. Hasn't been much of topwater bite lately.
I was there Sunday.... Had one HUGE (I MEAN HUGE) blow up on top water but didn't sink it. Other than that two 4 pounders, not sure how long (not good at guess length).
Hello....new guy here...
I was out there last Sunday too, early morning. I had one about 18" striper on a teaser hook made by and oldman from the East Coast. I also had a good pull on my white/ ed head spook (topwater plug) but didn't hook em. Was nice being out there for a couple of hours test swimming some plugs.

BTW, Jimmy G got me on here. Good guy. Where you at Jimmy!...lol