I live in Watsonville, and Pinto Lake is my home lake. The fishing at Pinto can be very good for bass. The lake tends to be a little hard to figure out, but once you do, you can be very successfull there. There is a lot of brush and tullies lining most of the lake. There is not very much deep stucture, but if you use your electronics, there is some sunken brush on the east side of the lake and a few small islands that tend to hold a lot of bass on the west side. Usually this time of year, there is a good buzzbait bite in the early morning and late afternoon. The rest of the time senkos and 4 to 6 inch texas rigged worms will do the trick. It is a very good flipping and pitching lake also. They start planting trout in late November and after a few plants, there is usually a decent swimbait bite. The bass are Northern strain, so don't expect a lot of lunkers, but there are fish up to 10lbs caught there every few years. The water tends to have a lot of algae, but that is usually only in the summer. They only charge a $2.00 parking fee, on weekend during the spring and summer. They do charge a $3 launch fee for boat, tubes, kayaks ect. But you can also buy a yearly pass for $25. I think that covers almost everything, but if you have any questions, all you have to do is ask.
Also if you decide to fish there ask for me, as I am well known there. Also you asked about El Estero. I is a little pond at the Dennis The Menace park. The water is full of duck and goose poop. It is a dirty little pond. They do plant trout there, but they are mostly caught right after the plant. Hope this helps.
The trout are dfg planters between usually 10" to 16" fish. They usually start planting the week before Thanskgiving. They will post the week of the plant on the dfg website. They plant every 2 weeks or so. The first few plants, the fish will school up and hug the shoreline for a few days, then they will move offshore.
Most bassfishermen will follow the schools in their boats, until the bass and cormorants start feeding on them and the schools break up, so it is best to target them within a few days of the plant. In the spring when the trout move back to the shore, then you can get them from the shore. As soon as the bass start trying to steal hooked trout, is a great time to target them from shore. The bass will come all the way in to water that is about a foot deep to try to take trout off your stringer. All the usual swimbaits work well there, but most of the more succesful angler use Hud's. I , myself love the A.C. wakebait fished slowly. When you are ready to give it a try, let me know, and I will try to meet you out there and show you around. I have a 12 aluminum boat and a couple of float tubes. I will be fishing the Motherlode (Camanche, Amador, Rancho Seco) area for the next 3 or 4 months, but will be back at Pinto in the early spring. Hope this helps.