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2012 O'Neill Forebay Outing

Date: November 10th
Time: 7:00am

Marty Kjelson

Location: O'Neill Forebay, Santa Nella
See Map (Access fee required)
O'Neill Forebay and San Luis Reservoir form the San Luis Joint Use Complex for the State Water Project and the Federal Central Valley Project. They are an integral part of the system of canals that export water from the delta to the south state.

Directions: Drive 66 miles south on I-5 from central Stockton. Exit at Hwy 33 west. Continue for three miles south on Hwy 33 and then turn west onto Hwy. 152. Drive west for three miles on Hwy 152 to the entrance to O'Neill Forebay on the right side of the road. Continue past the control booth to the club rendezvous location approximately one mile past the booth on the water side. (The circled P on the accompanying map.)

Click on image for larger map
Details: O'Neill Forebay is part of the CVP and the SWP canal system, originating in the delta and supplying water to the south state. The system has been in place since the early 70's. Twelve huge pumps feed the system from Clifton Court Forebay in the south delta. These pumps move as much as 6 million acre feet of delta water annually. In the pumping process, eggs and larva of many delta species are carried into the canal system and because of that, a somewhat healthy striped bass fishery exists in the various impoundments and canals along the way. At one point, the fish exported into the system and those spawned in the system were supplemented with hatchery raised striped bass. This stocking no longer occurs but a sizable resident population of stripers remain in the two reservoirs. In fact, the state record for striped bass came from O'Neill Forebay, a 67˝ pound fish, caught by Hank Ferguson in O'Neill Forebay on May 7, 1992.

While O'Neill is known for high winds in spring, summer and early fall, late fall brings on ideal weather for fishing, cool calm days and cold nights. Because the forebay is not great in size, float tubers, pontoon boats, and other small craft can be used successfully. Additional information including camping and fishing regulations can be found in the California State Parks San Luis State Recreation Area brochure.

 Record Freshwater Striped Bass
Hank Ferguson at O'Neill Forebay on May 7, 1992 with his 67.5 pound state record striped bass
Camping: Camping is available both at the forebay at the San Luis Creek Campground (see brochure, call for reservations and fees) and at the Santa Nella RV Park 13023 State Hwy 33, Gustine, CA 95322 (209) 826-3105 (888) 826-3105 FREE (888) 826-3105 $31.00 including cable, 10% discount AAA and Good Sam membership.

Club Lunch: Considerations are being made for a Saturday club lunch. Check back prior to the outing for an update. If you are attending the outing and would like to take on the duties of assisting in a club lunch, please contact President Marty, outing fishmiester!

California Fishing license
Float tube, pontoon boat, pram, kayak, canoe, boat
Life jacket
Waders, fins if necessary
Warm clothing
Sun glasses
Sun block
7 to 9 weight rod
Reel with drag preferred
Sinking line, type IV through lead core or T-14
20# leader, 4-6 feet, no taper necessary
Striper flies; clousers, deceivers, whistlers, etc

WARNING: Any floating device, pontoon boat, float tube, boat, must  be clean and dry and subject to inspection. Any sign that the device may be contaminated with invasive species such as mud snails, zebra or quagga mussels will be cause to disallow the use of the device.

It REALLY helps the fishmiester in his planning if he knows how many people are coming to the outing. PLEASE either e-mail Marty and let him know you plan to attend, or, even easier, just follow this link and click on the "Join" box in the upper right corner of the club's Facebook event section.

The club's November Fly Tying Session scheduled for November 7th will feature Jerry's Simple Clouser in two sizes and colors, perfect for the O'Neill outing.

Want to stay for dinner? Bob and Jean Fujimura offer this suggestion!
If you are a fan of Central California’s Basque family style restaurants, you will love the Wool Growers Restaurant in downtown Los Banos. The restaurant is 120 years old and one of the last family owned Basque restaurants.

Diner reviews sites like Yelp and Chowhound give this restaurant its highest ratings and we try to eat there whenever we are in this area or traveling on I-5. Dinners are fixed price at $20 (cash only) and choice of steak, tri-tip, pork chops, lamb chops, chicken, or fish and includes wine, soup, salad, beans, French bread, minor hot courses like chicken with rice or lamb stew, French fries, and dessert. Huge portions, good home style food, great service, and very popular with locals and travelers.

Dinner is served from 4:30 to 8:30 pm; lunch is from 11:30 to 2:00 pm. It is located on 609 H Street, Los Banos. Come hungry, share your dinner with the local community, and leave happy.

If enough members plan to go, perhaps a volunteer could coordinate the event so that members could sit at a group table.



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