Quail Point Hunting Club and Sporting Clays

August 14, 2017    Headlines

Foothill & Mountain Lakes

New Melones
The bass bite has been challenging with dropping water levels at New Melones, but numbers are abundant on finesse techniques. Quality rainbow trout are still a possibility with rainbows to 4 pounds the norm for trollers working the main lake.  
John Liechty of Xperience Bass Fishing Guide Service said, “The bass have spread out into tight groupings as the water continues to drop in the lake. Where these fish were in the creek channels and coves, once the lake has started to recede, they are school up along main lake points and island tops. I took a full-day trip on Friday following by a half-day evening trip, and my clients landed between 60 and 70 fish up to 4 pounds, but there are a lot of small fish in the 8- to 12-inch range. You can go through a long stretch of bank without action before locating one spot with 10 to 20 bass. With all of the bait in the lake including bluegill, sunfish, shad, and baby bass, I expect a phenomenal fishery for big bass within two years. The reaction bite has been slow with the fish more reluctant to chase with the warm surface temperatures in the 80 to 84 degree range, but there is so much food in the lake, they don’t have to search for food. I did land a 4-pound bass on a frog this week, but the topwater bite has been slow. We are also throwing crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and small swimbaits on occasion, but our best fishing is on the bottom with plastics on the drop-shot.”
Trout fishing remains good for big fish with limited numbers of quality rainbows to 4 pounds taken in the main lake at depths from 60 to 80 feet with kokanee gear. The larger shad in the 3- to 4-inch range are in deeper water, but few trollers are using larger spoons to match the hatch, instead hoping for the one big kokanee. The kokanee are extremely scarce and landing one is a rarity.
The lake has dropped 2.5 feet to 1063.31 feet in elevation and 89 percent.

Don Pedro
Largemouth bass and rainbow trout action has been tremendous at the nearly-full Don Pedro Reservoir, and with the arrival of cooler weather in the fall, king salmon may also get into the act.  
Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing said, “I was on the lake three times this week, and we brought home limits or near-limits each day. Monday brought two quick limits for first-time angler Brayden Davis along with his grandfather Mike Davis, and Brayden was back out on the lake on Thursday, this time with his grandmother, Lori, for another 9 trout, losing another five hookups. Friday’s action was hot with two quick limits by 9:10 a.m. for Dan Vasquez and Mike Abourezk. The rainbows are found at depths from 35 to 65 feet, and I have been coating my custom shad-patterned spoons with Pro Cure’s Tuna Super Sauce. Our Phenix rods have been getting a workout this week with the largest rainbow running 4 pounds.”
Mike Gomez of the Bait Barn in Waterford reported a ‘phenomenal’ bass bite with a chance for a trophy largemouth in the early mornings with wakebaits for those who know where and how to throw them along with topwater lures such as River2 Sea’s Rovers or Zara Spooks, The Pro Worm’s 124p and 300 worms on the drop-shot are also working as well as Berserk jigs in brown/purple. He said, “The winning weight at a recent tournament was in excess of 20 pounds as one of my friends came in 5th with a 15-pound limit.”
Recreational boating remains heavy both during the week and particularly on weekends, and it will remain so until after Labor Day.
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Don Pedro is releasing water, and it has dropped to 95 percent.

New Hogan
New Hogan is famous for its amazing striped bass boils throughout the lake, and the stripers have been chasing bait for the past few weeks. Local fishermen have figured out how to work the boils by not charging directly into the feeding frenzies.
Dominic Bechtold of Lodi has been heading to Hogan in the afternoons through the past week, and he has been tossing topwater lures or flukes into the boils for stripers to 5 pounds. He had consistent action throughout the week with the exception of Friday night which produced only 5 stripers to 3 pounds.
Beau Coutroul of the Camanche Recreation Company has been on the lake throughout the past few weeks, and he said, “The stripers are going nuts at Hogan, and we have been using topwater lures or swimming flukes for linesides in the 17- to 24-inch range. The boils started off up the river arm a few weeks ago, but now they are throughout the lake, and the fish are staying up for 3 to 4 hours at a time. Just when one boil goes down, another school will pop up nearby, and the fish will stay up for a long time. We have been catching and releasing up to 40 stripers in the early morning before getting off the lake before it gets really hot outside. The recreational boating during the week hasn’t been too bad like it is at other local lakes. The good thing is the boaters have figured out not to run fast and directly into the boiling fish since this is what puts them down. The cooperation of other boats holding along the edge of the boils and moving in slowly has made for much better catching.” There is no size limit for striped bass at New Hogan with a bag limit of 10 fish. Using live bluegill for bait is not allowed at the lake. Water releases have started, and the lake is at 69 percent.

Lake Amador
Bass fishing has been solid with jigs or plastics for largemouth bass to 9 pounds. 17 boats participated in the Moonlight Classic a few weeks back with a winning weight of 34.32 pounds with a big fish at 9.36 pounds. Crappie can be found along the shorelines with live minnows or minijigs while catfishing is good with nightcrawlers or cut baits. Trout have vamoosed to the deeper part of the lake, but they will emerge once the water cools in the fall.

Lake Camanche
The trout bite continues to be solid for those willing to put up with the recreational boating, and the triangle from Big Hat, Little Hat, and the dam along with upriver near Lancha Plana are the top areas. The rainbows can be found at depths from 35 to 35 feet with Speedy Shiners in purple/nickel or copper/red coated with scent. Bass fishing is best with Senkos or brown/purple jigs at depths from 12 to 15 feet along with medium-diving crankbaits in shad patterns. Bouncing the crankbaits off of the rocks is the best technique. Catfishing has been slow. Recreational boating is heavy during weekends and even on weekdays with the triple-digit weather. The lake dropped slightly to 88 percent.

Lake McClure
Mike Gomez of the Bait Barn in Waterford said,Bass action is solid with wakebaits in the early mornings before switching to brown/purple jigs or plastics on the drop-shot at depths to 50 feet. Using light line along with light weights is a key to getting to the deeper zone for bass, and with the dropping water, the fish are schooling up and suspending.” The lake has dropped to 91 percent.

Lake Pardee
Bimonthly trout plants from the Calaveras Trout Farm are scheduled for the next two months with one additional plant in October. Planted rainbows can be found in the south end of the lake and up the river arm along with the occasional big kokanee. Fewer anglers are targeting kokanee, but the trout bite should remain consistent until the lake closes for the season in November. Bass fishing is best up the river arm with jigs, Senkos, or plastics on the drop-shot. The lake dropped to 95percent.

 Millerton and Pine Flat Reservoirs

After reaching high water levels not experienced in several years at all of the Central California low elevation reservoirs, Pine Flat, Millerton, Eastman, and Hensley are all releasing water, leading to a much-tougher bass bite than in the past few months.

Pine Flat continues to have the most interest due to upcoming tournaments, but the bass bite has slowed with most fish suspending due to the dropping water levels. Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “The bite has slowed within the past week as the water is dropping at least a foot per day, and there is an abundant food source in the lake. The food is coming to the fish, and they are not chasing reaction baits or moving lures. The fish are suspending, and you have to drop your lures right on top of the fish to get bit. The best action is in the main lake along vertical walls or banks with gravel and sand, and the best cut of fish is coming from 20 to 40 feet with ned-rigs, jigs, or plastics on the drop-shot. In the river arm, boaters will still need to be careful due to floating debris and submerged trees. There are still a few bass and crappie from Trimmer and above, but most fishermen are in the main lake.”

Trout fishing is best at 30 to 40 feet with Apex lures in pink, orange, or red along with Wedding Rings tipped with a nightcrawler from the Power Lines to the dam, but trollers will need to locate the fish as they are dropping deeper.

At Millerton, releasing water has led to a similar bite to Pine Flat, and Newman said, “There is so much food in the lake, and you can go down one bank and the 1- to 2-pound bass are spitting up shad while on the next bank, they are spitting up crawdads. You really have to work at catching fish, and the best action has been along vertical walls with finesse techniques such as spy rigs along with plastics on the darth head or jigs. The spy rigs are a specialized technique which works well when the fish are reluctant to bite.”

American shad are still up the river arm, but the log jam is thick about Temperance, limiting boating access to the area. With the dropping water, wood is starting to pile up on the shorelines, but there are still big logs submerged below the surface.
Pine Flat dropped to 82 percent with Millerton receding to 90 percent.

Shaver Lake
After a week of tremendous action for planted trout along with a few kokanee, the trout bite has slowed with the rainbows switching their preferences from day to day before rebounding closer to the weekend. The big news at Shaver was the tremendous success of the 7th Annual Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project’s Sportsmen’s Dinner on Saturday night. Proceeds from the event will be dedicated to trophy trout plants in 2018.
Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters said, “
Well, it has been an interesting week. After a great week following the Department of Fish and Wildlife plant, fishing at Shaver Lake slowed down going into mid-week, but beginning Thursday, we located a trout bite and have been collecting from 2 to 3 limits for the rest of the week. The big fish on our boat was a 19-inch kokanee landed by Clovis North sophomore Hunter Atkinson in 27 feet of water near the Sierra Marina on a pink Koke Buster behind a Captain Jack's C.J. Dodger. This is the largest kokanee that have ever been taken on my boat, and the largest reported this year at Shaver.  After mid week, we moved away from the Sierra Marina and fishing the island, Black Rock and Eagle point for mixed limits of kokanee and trout with the best depth at 27 feet. Jeff and Steve Renna, brothers from Clovis, took their father Russell out for three limits in the Black Rock area on Friday. The Tunnel Creek area of the lake continues to kick out trophy-sized fish for those fishing on the anchor with trout dough bait. The trout have scattered throughout the lake, and I think it will be so-so for the remainder of the season with some good days and some less than good.”
Todd Wittwer of Guide Service reported the trout bite has started to slow with the fish scattering, but his clients ended up with 14 fish on Sunday composed of 10 rainbows at 4 kokanee to 14 inches. He said, “The Rocky Mountain green Signature Squid behind a Moonshine spinner has been hot most days, and we are also scoring with the Assassin Spinner in chartreuse/blue or pink/blue behind a Tsunami dodger at depths from 27 to 40 feet. The trout have been down as deep as 50 feet, and Rich Christensen landed a 17-inch kokanee on a pink wiggle hoochie at 53 feet. The kokanee are scarce, but we have been averaging around 4 per trip with some solid two-year old fish to 14 inches.”
Todd Wittwer of Guide Service confirmed the up-and-down action with the fish here one day and moving to a new location the next day. He said, “One day, everything is coming on one lure such as a Dick’s Koke Busters while the following day, all the hits will be on Rocky Mountain Tackle’s spinners. It changes from day to day, and you can find the second-year kokanee to 14 inches one day, and they are gone the next. There have been few truly huge kokanee in the past week, and it will be interesting to see how this hold up before next month’s kokanee derby.”
Kokanee Power will be holding their final derby of the season at Shaver Lake on September 9th with a three-fish weigh in for teams, and a one-fish weigh in for juniors. Registration is $45.00 for members and $55.00 for non-members, and the event is open to everyone. Information and registration – Frank Bernard – (559) 871-3270.
Shaver continues to rise, and it is currently at 94 percent.

Wishon and Courtright
The trout bite at both high elevation lakes on the Kings River watershed has improved for both bank fishermen and trollers alike. The action has been up-and-down at both lakes since the road was opened, but it seems like both lakes are finally on the upswing due to recent trout plants.
Chuck Crane of Wishon Village RV Park and Store said, “Both lakes are really doing well, and Courtight has picked up considerably. There have been a number of fishermen up at Courtright, and the lake remains full. Trollers are scoring with blade/’crawler combinations or with Speedy Shiners and Needlefish in various colors. The fish are all deep from 6 to 7 colors. Bank fishermen are picking up limits with trout dough bait or inflated nightcrawlers around the dock or off of the dam.
At Wishon, Ellen Winslow of Kerman landed a big, beautiful brown trout at 28 inches and 6 pounds using a nightcrawler being a small flasher at a few colors of leadcore line. There have been a number of brown trout in the 16- to 18-inch range landed this week, and limits have been the norm. Bank fishermen are still heading up to the upper end of the lake with inflated nightcrawlers or trout dough bait. The mouth of Short Hair Creek and the river arm are also good options.  Tagged fish #1006 remains in Wishon, and this fish is worth $1000 if landed by a derby participant by the end of August.
Wishon is releasing water for power generation, and it is steadily dropping in elevation.

San Luis Reservoir/O’Neill Forebay
Striped bass fishing has been up and down from the banks off of Dinosaur Point as the schools are moving throughout the lake. Jumbo minnows are back in area bait shops, and boaters are starting to mooch minnows near the Trash Racks or at the mouth of Portuguese Cove. The bank bite is best in the early morning from 3:00 a.m. to sunrise. Trollers are running umbrella rigs over the island tops for schoolie stripers. The lake held at 93 percent. Small striped bass are plentiful, and the forebay is a good location to take a child fishing with the abundant striped bass hitting anchovies, chicken livers, pile worms, or sardines near Check 12. Catching 20 to 30 fish is no problem but putting together a limit of keeper-sized stripers is a challenge. There is a topwater and ripbait bite in the early mornings or evenings.

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