LAKES



Quail Point Hunting Club and Sporting Clays
 

January 17, 2018    Headlines

Foothill & Mountain Lakes

Berryessa:

Lake Berryessa continues to be outstanding for big Eagle Lake-strain rainbow trout. Alan Fong’s seminar at the Fishermen’s Warehouse last Thursday was standing room only on Berryessa trolling, and he said, “These are big trout, averaging from 2 to 4 pounds, and a 7 pounder was landed by one of my friends on Saturday. Trolling fast from 3.5. to 4 mph is the key, and I am running 50 feet behind the boat on the downrigger or 120 feet on top with shad Raps.

 

New Melones

New Melones continues to kick out number of spotted bass for experienced anglers, and the action for big fish should be heating up within the next few weeks. Rainbow trout trollers have been hitting the lake for the chance at a trophy trout, and there are reports of big crappie taken near the docks.

John Liechty of Xperience Fishing Guide Service said, “We were out on Sunday in beautiful weather conditions, and we caught and released a number of quality spotted bass. Finesse techniques of drop-shotting or shakey head at depths from 30 to 50 feet was the way to go as the conditions were not right for tossing swimbaits. We tried near the shoreline with swimbaits, but the water in the main lake remains very clear – gin clear really. Dragging a Carolina-rig was also productive as the bass are focusing on sculpin, crawdad, or shad-patterns. The water temperatures are very warm for this time of year at 56 degrees, and it is hard to believe how warm it has been. This is the temperature range that we look for when we chase big fish in the spring, but it is hard to tell when the big fish will emerge. I anticipate that this will happen within a few weeks by mid-February.”

Trout trollers continue to roll shad or run shad patterned spoons for the opportunity for big rainbows and browns, but the fish are holding in open water and not working the surface in the warmer than normal water temperatures.

Luther Thompson of H and R Bait in Stockton said, “There have been photos of crappie in the 16-inch range brought into the shop from anglers who have purchased medium minnows, and they are fishing along the docks at Melones.”

The lake held at 83 percent despite releasing water down the Stanislaus River and into Tulloch Reservoir.

Lake Camanche

Lake Camanche Recreation Company is planting Mt. Lassen rainbows on a weekly basis, and the rainbows are moving out from the plant zone into the main lake either near the dam or in the Narrows. 1200 pounds was released off of the North Shore Marina this past week to add to the total from earlier in the season.

Kimball Lemaux of the Camanche Recreation Company said, “We have been selling out of white and orange grubs along with Speedy Shiners for trollers in the main lake along with Kastmasters and trout dough bait for the South Shore Pond.”

 

Robbie Dunham of Koke Machine Guide Service was on the lake twice in the past week, and as normal, limits were the rule. He said, “I knew there were trout in the Narrows, but I wanted to hit the open water with some faster stuff so we used our GPS to find Big Hat Island in the fog. We landed three trout out of six hookups around the dam using Speedy Shiners on planer boards before trolling from Big Hat to the Narrows. Once we got inside the Narrows, it was game on with 23 grabs using Rapala F-9’s or Kastmasters in firetiger, Purple Descent, Hot Steel, or Brook Trout at speeds from 2.4 to 2.7 mph for limits.”

 

Gabe and Alana Garcia of Sacramento trolled near the houseboats with Speedy Shiners for 8 quality rainbows, and Kim Smith of Sutter Creek and his brother Kriss of El Dorado scored limits on a recent trip trolling with shad patterned spoons.


Lake Amador

Lake Amador continues to plant rainbows from the Mt. Lassen Hatchery, and the action from the banks continues to be on the rise with trout dough bait, Power Eggs, white crappie jigs, or Kastmasters.  1600 pounds were released this past week, and the Lake Amador Resort is holding the rainbows in their hatchery and releasing a few hundred pounds at least three days per week through the month of May. The Donaldson trout are growing in the hatchery, and they are anticipated to be released in the fall of 2019.

 

Bank fishing around the launch cove, the spillway, and in the back of the lake have produced limits, and the lake remains relatively clear despite rising 4 feet in the past week. The back of the lake is stained, and this week’s rainstorms should continue to bring up the water levels.

 

Trolling is fair with bright color patterns of plugs or spoons, but the action normally improves into the spring months.

 

Their annual annual trout derby started on November 24 with a one-time fee of $7.00, and it will run until March 4 with over $5000 in cash and prizes from more than 300 tagged trout to be released. Tagged rainbows are released into the lake on a weekly basis, and over 100 tagged fish were released at the start of the derby. The Nor Cal Trout Anglers Challenge makes a stop at Amador on April 28, 2018.

 

Don Pedro

Trout trollers have been primarily absent from the lake over the past few weeks, but there are quality rainbows to be found with shad-patterned spoons around the shad schools. The bait has scattered and dropped in the water column. The lake is still clear despite last week’s rain, and more rain is necessary to improve the trout bite. The bass are following the shad into deeper water, and jigs, plastics on the drop-shot and swimbaits on a slow roll are the top techniques. The lake rose to 81 percent this week. 

 

Lake McClure

The Best Bass Tournaments held an event this past Saturday with 48 limits to over 13 pounds weighed in by 55 boats, the bite is best with finesse techniques at depths from 35 to 50 feet with plastics on the shakey head, drop-shot, or dart head along with Berserk’s Purple Hornet jig. Light line is a must with the finesse technique. A larger grade of bass can be found on reaction baits, but these fish are hard to locate. The lake held at 65 percent.

 

San Luis

San Luis Reservoir continues to be the location for big fish and consistent limits for Central California striped bass anglers, and fishermen are bypassing the aqueducts and the O’Neill Forebay to work the big lake with a variety of techniques.

 

Jesus Reyes Silva of Hollister continues his clinic on the lake with his weekly big fish caught and released on one of his custom JKings Lures with a 33-pound lineside landed on a shad-pattern 130 mm jerkbait with size 4 Trapper Treble hooks.

 

Reyes said, “I went out with Ivan Ramos at first light, and we went straight to the flats off of Basalt Recreation Area, and on my third cast around the trees, I caught and released a 44-inch, 33-pound stripers along with two other keepers on the topwater jerkbait. Once other boats showed up in the area, the bite slowed so we moved to the west side of the lake in order to keep casting. The bite was slow, but we did catch one here and there on the JKings topwater spooks. We talked to several boats at the ramp in the afternoon, and they reported a slow trolling bite.”

 

Roger George of Roger George Guide Service, “The bite earlier last week was good, but later in the week after a storm, the trolling bite slowed to mainly smaller fish overall. The fishing is a day-to-day thing with the recent weather moving through, but you have to hit the right window and you look good,. The fog, rain and low-pressure front have affected the fish and where they are in the water column. We released 10 fish the other day in the 40- to 70-foot range trolling various lures. Some guys have done well working the banks in the morning. I expect things to pick back up. Regular anglers are encouraging more catch and release, and they’re also seeing more floaters from anglers who are discarding deep-caught fish and never using a “fizz” needle to release the pressure. I have some mad folks who have followed other trolling anglers and seen numerous floaters that are dying they threw back! If you fish deep, you absolutely need to have a hollow ‘fizz’ needle you know how to use or a release tool like the Seaqualizer.”

 

Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “The big lake is still fishing well with ripbaits and large 7-inch flukes in low light conditions at dawn and dusk. Some anglers are throwing topwater lures into the boils while trollers are working deep from 70 to 100 feet with Alabama rigs or broken-backed lures. There is a smaller grade of fish between 18 and 25 inches in shallower water around 20 feet.”

 

Paul Jolley of Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill said, “The topwater bite has been good for the occasional big fish after this week’s storm, and we are selling plenty of jumbo minnows in the mornings for those drifting live bait. The O’Neill Forebay continues to be slow, but I would concentrate around Check 12 or the rockwall with underspins, small white swimbaits, or topwater lures when they are boiling. The fish have moved out of the grass.”

 

The lake has risen to 83 percent with increased pumping out of the south Delta.

 

Pine Flat/Eastman:

Eastman Reservoir remains the top location for big bass in the Central Valley, but Pine Flat is emerging as a close second for solid action in the region. The high water at both lakes has contributed to improved action in addition to the unseasonably warm water temperatures.

 

Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun said, “Pine Flat is picking up, and the 2.5- to 3-pound spotted bass are now readily available with rainbow-trout patterned swimbaits. The big bass in 4- to 7- pound aren’t really eating the baits, but they are following up the big swimbaits. However, around one out of every five followers are striking the swimbaits. The recent trout plants have definitely helped the bass bite with the larger baits. The fish are responding to the vertical walls and submerged treed with finesse techniques such as wacky-rigged Senkos or ned rigs. The warmer temperatures have contributed to more largemouth bass showing up.”

 

At Eastman, Newman reported quality bass over 4 pounds are taken on the bottom with rainbow-trout swimbaits on a slow roll, and he said, “The bigger fish have grouped up, and if you find them, stay on them, but if they are not biting, come back later to the same spots as they may go. It is a morning to evening bite, and River2Sea’s Swavers and Huddlestons are working at depths from 10 to 40 feet. There is also a good bite with plastics on the Texas-rig or ned rig in deep water above rockpiles as well as deep-diving crankbaits or Rat-L-Traps. The water is a big dinghy in the river arm so noise-creating baits are working best.”

 

Eastman held at 58 percent with Pine Flat rising slightly to 51 percent.

 

Shaver Lake

The majority of the Central Sierra trout reservoirs are inaccessible at the present time, but Shaver Lake remains a viable option for experienced trollers along with a few rainbows landed from the banks by hardy fishermen.

 

Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters said, “I got two reports on Saturday, and both reported beautiful weather conditions. Downriggers are a key to success right now, as the boat with the ability to get down to 40 feet was able to landed seven kokanee in the 12-inch range working between the Sierra Marina and the dam with red or pink spinners loaded with crayfish-scented corn behind a dodger. The other boat did not have downriggers, and they ended up with two rainbows and a brown to 15 inches using Needlefish or blade/’crawler combinations behind a Mountain Flasher at a setback of 100 feet. Kokanee fishermen with downriggers are finding fish that are concentrated in front of the Sierra Marina at depths from 30 to 40 feet. The main Sierra Marina ramp is out of the water, but the auxiliary ramp is good to launch despite the lack of a courtesy dock.”

 

Nichols and Todd Wittwer of Kokanee.net Guide Service are holding a free seminar at Herb Bauer’s Sporting Goods on Blackstone near Bullard in Fresno at 6 p.m. on February 8. A wide variety of information will be presented, including the expected water levels for Shaver from spring to fall and the trout plants forecast by both the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project. There will be snacks and bottled water along with a free raffle at the event.

 

Both Shaver and Huntington held at 41 and 60 percent respectively. No reports from Huntington. A webcam of the lake is available at sierramarina.com/camera.html updated every 20 minutes.

 

Bass Lake

Trout action is decent with blade/’crawler combinations at 4 to 6 colors of leadcore on a slow-troll, and shore anglers are finding a few trout near the Sheriff’s Tower with trout dough bait. Recent trout plants are propping up the action. Bass anglers continue to avoid the lake with the low water levels. The double-digit largemouth bass on swimbaits have been absent so far this year. The launch ramp out of the water for larger boats with no courtesy dock. The lake rose slightly to 51 percent. Webcams of the lake are available at http://basslakeca.com/.

 



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