I lived in Monterey for +20 years. Friends would take binocs and start glassing from the beach in late April...watching for flocks of gulls diving....which can indicate a school of stripers beating up on a pod of baitfish.
I also had a couple of friends that fished the California Aquaduct from Los Gatos north. Also try the canals of the Delta.
Most of these guys would use some sort of cut bait for fishing...but if you can find a school near the surface, I wouldn't hesitate to try a big spoon like a Krocodile...or a large Rat-L-Trap....or a large striper-size Road Runner.
You can get a free 14 day membership at www.trails.com and get some decent 1600 x 1200 topo maps of the various inland areas.
Life Member David BB Linkmeister
US Army '78-'85 West Central Wisconsin