Extreme weather events such as forest fires or floods force anglers to rethink their plans. They may redirect their vacation destinations to alternate lake or river locations. But this year's severe drought conditions throughout California have become the great equalizer - making many fishermen hang up their rods. Or if they are fortunate to live near the coast, concentrate their efforts fishing California's bays and ocean.
There are still water oasis' - such as Whiskeytown Lake and Del Valle Reservoir -that are reporting near-capacity levels. But they are few and far between. To check out reservoir capacities on a regular basis consult: Major reservoir current conditions.
The fishing reports at some lakes and reservoirs are still favorable. However many of the boat ramps are now inaccessible, making these places the domain of bank fishermen trying their luck by plying the shorelines.
Anglers who opt for pier fishing will find that there are some new piers built on the West Coast in the last couple of years. In downtown San Francisco there's Pier 14 , only a block away from the Ferry Terminal and practically a stone's throw from ATT Park (baseball). But much older piers can offer excitement too. East Bay piers garner less headlines but places like Dunbarton Pier are still drawing folks eager to catch the Bay's bounty of sharks, perch and striped bass. While it's much less fun, it may be a good time for boat owners to haul out and check their hulls and gear. A time for patience and hope. Which is what fishing, after all, is all about.