LAKES



Quail Point Hunting Club and Sporting Clays
 

January 03, 2017    Headlines

Foothill & Mountain Lakes


New Melones:
New Melones continues to pump out some quality rainbows, and the time for truly trophy bass is coming quickly within the next two months. The lake is coming up steadily from the recent rainstorms, and the water clarity is good throughout the majority of the lake.
Gary Burns of ‘Take It To The Limit’ Guide Service said, “We trolled twice this week, and we did very well above the Highway 49 Bridge and into the main lake around the dam. Although the rainbows were only up to 14 inches, there were plenty of them to catch. Toplining Rapalas, Needlefish, and Excel spoons was the trick, and fishing this way is just a kick when you see the rod go down like it does. All different colors of lures worked at 2.8 mph, and we put limits in the boat and released quite a few more rainbows. At one point, we went into the main lake in search of larger trout, but we landed similarly sized rainbows along with spotted bass around the shad schools at a depth of 80 feet.” As the lake has turned over, shore fishing with light line and hooks using trout dough bait in various colors along with nightcrawlers are producing rainbows from the bank areas.
For bass, John Liechty of Glory Hole Sports in Angels Camp said, “
The winter bite is in full swing, and most anglers are catching some really nice spotted and largemouth bass as the fish are relatively active and willing to bite. Most of the fish are holding at depths from 30 to 50 feet, but some fish  are moving shallow to feed and can be caught near the shoreline.  The shad and trout have moved into creek channels and pockets off of the main lake, and the bass will follow the bait.  A great deep water technique that will work during the cold winter months is a vertical jigging spoon.  Some anglers are catching big largemouths on trout patterned swimbaits
Glory Hole Sports is holding their Big Bass Bass on January 28th with 100% payback with a two fish limit of one spotted bass and one largemouth bass with a team fee of $165.00|
Catfishing continues to be slow during the winter months, but the occasional large whiskerfish is taken at this time of year with nightcrawlers or trout dough bait intended for rainbow trout.
The recent rains have brought the lake up 3 more feet to 883.15 feet in elevation and 26 per cent.

Don Pedro trout report:

After a slow rainbow trout and king salmon season during the fall months of 2015 and into the spring of 2016, the final weeks of the year have finally brought out the rainbow trout at Don Pedro.
Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing trolled the lake twice in the past week with outstanding results. He said, “It was really slow last year at this time, but I think we have turned the corner and are back onto good times at Don Pedro. I went out on Wednesday to scout the lake, and we trolled four to five locations, finding willing biters in all but one location. This trip ended up with 17 rainbows caught and released before I took out my first clients on Friday. During Friday’s trip, the first two locations we tried were unproductive, so I went to one spot, and we never had to change lures, keeping 8 rainbows to 2 pounds along with releasing another 4 to 5 fish and several other hits. Everything is in the top 15 feet, and I am fast-trolling heavy spoons on leadcore so there is no need to use a downrigger. Dead end coves and the shorelines are the productive areas, but you have to hunt them down. The water clarity is clear despite the recent inflow, but there is some grass in the water. There was another boat working the shoreline, and they trolled Rebels for 4 trout to 3 pounds and 6 spotted bass. The rainbows are in the 12- to 14-inch range with the occasional 17 incher.”
A few king salmon can be found up the Tuolumne River arm, but trollers have to be cautious of the submerged trees grabbing their gear.

Lakes McClure and Don Pedro bass:

With several bass tournaments in the upcoming months, Lakes McClure and Don Pedro are rounding into shape just in time.
Mike Gomez of the Bait Barn in Waterford said, “Don Pedro is on fire with the occasional largemouth bass over 8 pounds taken on Huddleston swimbaits in rainbow trout, but you have to throw the big lure all day long for the chance at a single big bite. The most consistent technique is to work at depths from 10 to 30 feet Pro Worms in 124p or 300 along with the Berserk Purple Hornet or Brown/Purple jig. There are some quality spotted bass in the 2- to 4-pound range to be taken, and it will be interesting to see what Saturday’s storm has affected the bite.”
At McClure, Gomez said, “It is still a good bite with the same techniques as Don Pedro, and I found good action this week using the 6-inch Pro Worm 124p on a shakey head at depths from 25 to 40 feet. The lake has come up, and locations I was fishing a few weeks ago in 25 feet of water are now at 40 feet of water. The water clarity is still very good despite the inflow.
At Lake Camanche, the bass bite remains outstanding with anglers reporting five-fish limits in excess of 20 pounds using Alabama rigs or jigs. Vince Borges of Vince Borges Outdoors and Phenix Rods found great action in 15 to 30 feet of water using football jigs on 15-lb. fluorocarbon leaders. Ty Coutroul of Lake Camanche caught and released a 6.13-pound spotted bass using a Senko over a submerged island top.
At McClure, the launch ramps at McClure Point and Barrett Cove South are open, but the Horseshoe Bend launch ramp and Barrett Cove North ramps are closed at the present time.  All launch ramps are open including Moccasin are open at Don Pedro.

Lake Amador:
1200 pounds of Mount Lassen Hatchery rainbow trout were released into the lake this week, and trollers are starting to get in on the action with Rapalas or spinners near the surface. Boaters are also bait fishing in the coves and the shorelines in the Jackson Creek and Mountain Spring arms. Shore fishermen are scoring with Kastmasters.  Micetails, trout dough bait, and white Power Eggs. The fish are fairly shallow and close to shore, with most casting out from  5 to 10 feet from the banks.  The lake is 6 feet from spilling. The annual Tagged Trout Derby continues until March 19, 2017.

Lake Camanche:

2250 pounds of Mt. Lassen Hatchery rainbows were released into the lake during the final week of the year split between the North Shore, South Shore, and South Ponds. Crappie fishing remains outstanding with trout trollers picking up the slabsides using grubs at depths from 15 to 30 feet near Big Hat Island or in the Narrows. Bass fishing is outstanding with a spotted bass at 6.13 pounds landed on a Senko over a submerged island this week. Football head jigs or Alabama rigs along steep walls and over island tops are solid techniques. The café is open at North Shore, and there is also gasoline available on the water at the docks. The lake held at 70 percent.

Lake McSwain:
Calaveras Trout Farm is back in operation, and there is hope for biweekly plants at the lake in the upcoming months. The last trout plant was October 14th, and fishing is limited to a few planters taken from the peninsula near the Marina, the Handicapped Docks, or the Brush Pile with garlic trout dough bait, Power Eggs, or nightcrawlers. The marina will not be installing bait tanks for live minnows, but live crawdads are still a possibility in the future.

Millerton and Pine Flat:
Both Millerton and Pine Flat continue to rise with inflow from the San Joaquin and Kings River watershed, and the abundant spotted bass along with upcoming tournaments are drawing anglers to both lakes.
Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “I pre-fished this week for the Bass 101 tournament coming on New Year’s Day, and we released 13 spotted bass with 7 being dinks but there were 6 good fish to 2.5 pounds. Everything was taken on the drop-shot with the best action at 30 to 45 feet in the main lake. I ran up the river arm to check things out, but we only found small fish. There were only a few boats on the lake, and they were all in the main lake. The water in the main lake was quite a bit warmer at temperatures between 52 and 54 degrees. The key is to use a deadstick presentation where you let it sit for 10 to 15 seconds before moving it slowly. The spotted bass became active once the water warmed up a bit in the afternoon.”
At Pine Flat, Gilbert reported a good spoon bite, but the overall action is not as good as it was a few weeks ago. He said, “There are limits in the 8- to 10-pound range taken, and there is more of a jig bite at the lake along with tubes at depths from 30 to 50 feet. Spoons remain a good technique, but the bite has tapered off a bit over the past few weeks.”
Trout fishing is limited to one or two fish per rod, but the quality of rainbow is decent at 15 to 18 inches using Apex lures, Needlefish, or Wedding Rings tipped with a nightcrawler from the surface to 20 feet in depth.
Both lakes are coming up with Millerton at 71 percent and Pine Flat at 28 percent.

San Luis Reservoir, O’Neill Forebay:
The main San Luis Reservoir continues to rise with the lake rising another 5 percent this past week to 61 percent as the pumping out of the South Delta continues. The rising water has created challenging conditions, but experienced fishermen are finding striper success.
Roger George of Roger’s Guide Service is a regular on the lake, and he trolled minnow plugs at depths from 50 to 80 feet for 14 striped bass to 10 pounds. George released all of the striped bass. He said, “It was a tough bite with most trollers only finding one or two fish, and the minnow bite was also slow.”
Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “I haven’t heard anything out of either the Forebay or the main lake during the past week with most of our striper fishermen heading instead to the California Aqueduct.”
Coyote Bait reported the bass have gone deep in the main lake at depths from 60 to 90 feet near the Trash Racks or the mouth of Portuguese Cove, and a few striped bass are taken on jumbo minnows with the best action in the warmer water of the afternoons. Vertically jigging spoons such as Duh! Spoons in 1.75 ounces or Rapala Ice Jigs is another option for some success. Shaker striped bass are the mainstay in the O’Neill Forebay with both boaters and shore fishermen catching and releasing undersized fish on jumbo minnows, pile worms, or blood worms.

California Aqueduct:
A few anglers are tossing Duo Realis or Lucky Craft jerkbaits for striped bass to 22 inches. The flows are high and cold. In addition to cold water, freezing temperatures make for dangerous conditions on the concrete with ice along the concrete in the morning hours. Vehicles have also been stuck in the mud after the heavy rains prior to the weekend. To avoid a tragedy, fishermen are advised to be prepared with life jackets and a throwing device while targeting striped bass in the aqueduct. There are safety ladders located every 1000 feet along the concrete walls of the aqueducts in the unfortunate event of a person falling into the water.


Clear Lake:
Don Paganelli of Paganelli’s Bass Fishing Experience just returned from his annual minnow drifting trip on Clear Lake, and they put in over 30 fish on Thursday. He said, “This was really a slow day based upon past year’s experience with the water in the 47/48 degree range. The amount of bait in the water was incredible, and there were places in which you couldn’t see the bottom on the meter since there was so much bait. Since the lake has little deep water, the shad are also dying on the surface, and the lake is swarming with sea gulls feeding on the dead shad. Although the bait balls were huge, not all of the balls held bass, and we had to find the bass by trying different areas. Most of our action came in Django Bay, and the fish were just picking it up and dropping the minnow, actually picking it up several times. The water warmed slightly in the afternoons, but the bite didn’t improve as we had expected. There is so much feed in the lake, but I don’t think that this affected the action. Once the water warms up in a few weeks, the minnow bite should be outstanding.”

Berryessa:
Paganelli reported an excellent bass and crappie bite at the lake with ‘The best crappie bite in many years.” The bass, crappie, and catfish are holding around the big bait balls at depths from 25 to 40 feet, and plastics on the drop-shot, small spoons, or small swimbaits are all working.  He said, “Berryessa never ceases to amaze me as it keeps getting better and better for bass.” The crappie can be found around the docks in Markley Cove or in various coves in the lake, and the bass will be found around the crappie since they are all feeding on the bait fish schools.

Folsom Lake:
Folsom is one of Paganelli’s go-to lakes, and he said, “The bass like the rising water, but it takes them a while to adjust to the conditions. You have to watch the flows since the bass don’t like the falling water levels. If the reservoir is releasing water, you have to focus on the deep fish since they will be less affected by the falling water than the bass in the shallows. Fishing offshore structure is the key.”

 

Berryessa Study: From the CIFF

A study over the past 18 months has been conducted on Lake Berryessa.   It is hoped that we could determine why the kokanee fishery has declined there.  By using water quality samples from late 2015 and through 2016, it was discovered that the dissolved oxygen content of Lake Berryessa is at a level of 2, a level of 5 is needed for kokanee to thrive.  Given the watershed of Lake Berryessa (all rain and no snow) water entering the lake is warmer than lakes that receive their water from snow melt.  This is a unique dynamic that Berryessa has that those lakes with snow melt-rivers don’t experience.  Speculation is when Berryessa drops somewhere below 60% capacity, the hypolimnium is so small and this has depleted oxygen causing the kokanee to die off.  When Berryessa fills, the layer is thicker and the greater oxygen there is available.  More work is to be done, but this is good work and is fact based.  Kyle is looking at some ways we might change the plant process of kokanee fingerlings, to see if we can improve survival; this includes a barge drop of the fish in deeper water.  Final plans are still being determined.



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