Brisk Fall Fishing

Los Vaqueros Reservoir - Livermore, CA (Contra Costa County)

by Los Vaqueros Staff
(925) 371-2628

Brisk fall fishing continues with good trout, catfish and striped bass fishing. Trout and striped bass are both active. The water level is currently at 89,100 acre feet. The water level is dropping slowly due to use.  The water temperature has also dropped to 65 degrees.  Our water clarity is good.  A fair number of trout, catfish and stripers continue to be caught both from shore and from boats.

With the recent rains, the shoreline is slippery – please be careful and watch your footing.

Cowboy Cove gave up an 8.49 pound cat along with seven more weighing an additional 36 pounds.  All were caught on a dozen nightcrawlers. A nice 5+ pound largemouth bass was released from a boat and a great photo was shared with us at the Marina.

Night fishing is back every Saturday during November.  Every Saturday this month we will be staying open until 8 p.m. for night fishing.

This Saturday morning, we will host a “Fishing for Beginners” workshop for boys and girls aged 5 to 10 years old.  It will be led by John Mottashed and starts at the Marina at 9 a.m. We’ll have loaner rods available.  If you need one, get there a little early to make sure you can get one.

The Interpretive Center is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
Winter hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. with boats due in by 3 p.m.


Fishing for trout continues to be fair with the mixed weather we have had lately. They are being caught in South Cove and Oak Point as well as around the lake.  The baits of choice for shore anglers is garlic-scented PowerBaits, nightcrawlers or Kastmasters.  Trout average a pound and a half but range to over 5 lbs.  Light tackle is important for catching trout with 4-6 pound test being plenty.  There was a 2,000 pound plant on Monday, Nov. 2.   Both Lassen and DF&G will be planting this week.  With the plants, trout fishing is better with more limits being caught and a continued uptick in trout.

Trolling is popular with anglers using Rapalas and other lures in the coves.  A number of limits came out of Howden Cove this week.   From the shore the most popular bait has been nightcrawlers followed by garlic-scented PowerBaits and Kastmasters.  There is no need for line heavier than 6 lb test. 

Fish are still coming out of the South Cove and from around Oak Point.  More action is being reported north of the Rock Wall.  With boats, we have been seeing fish coming in from all of the major coves, especially in the mornings. 


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 of undersized fish please release them gently and allow them to grow up.  A nice 5+ largemouth was released from a boat and a great picture was shared with us at the Marina.


Shakers are still the main action with striped bass.  We are still seeing 15-20 undersized fish being caught for every keeper.  There have been more boils reported in Cowboy and Howden coves as well as Peninsula Cove, but anglers are having difficulties enticing the fish to bite.  From shore, cut anchovies or shad are the bait of choice.  Just a reminder, stripers need to be 18 inches or more to be legal.  Anglers are returning to their kinder, gentler ways and once again are not yanking hooks out of the mouths of undersized fish and then hurling them back into the lake.  Please release the small fish as quickly and carefully as possible.  We know they eat your bait, but it is some action.  They are also the future of our striped bass fishery.


Catfish continue to be caught here and there. Cowboy Cove gave up an 8.49 pound cat along with 7 more weighing in at an addition 36 pounds.  All were caught on a dozen nightcrawlers.  For those wishing to target catfish, anchovy continues to be the best choice of bait with chicken liver being your second best bet, though a case can be made for nightcrawelrs!  We encourage and appreciate the release of any monster catfish (15 lbs plus). 

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