J.D. Richey of Richey’s Sport Fishing is enjoying his move to South Lake Tahoe, and he reports continued good action for mackinaw trout by jigging. He said, “The kokanee are small, but plentiful, and they are moving towards the south and west of the lake as they will be moving into Taylor Creek and other inlets soon.” Richey will be working the Sacramento River for salmon by the end of August when the run starts in earnest.
Alan Fong of the Fishermen’s Warehouse in Sacramento was out on the lake this week, and he found kokanee in the 15 to 19-inch range trolling his custom Apex-type lures along the chartreuse spinners at depths from 62 to 80 feet. He also reported goodbass action with topwater lures such as the Berkley El Choppo on a fast, fast retrieve.
The prediction for a huge kokanee coming out of New Melones has been talked about for several weeks since the bite broke out, and within the week, several massive kokanee over 3 pounds have been landed.
Kyle Wise of Head Hunter Sport Fishing said, “We have landed big kokanee at 3.2, 3.3, and 3.8 pounds this past week, and client Rick Hansen of Wilton picked up the new lake record kokanee on a pink JPex lure behind a Paulina Peak dodger. Wise said, “We are working from 55 to 70 feet with a combination of Paulina Peak and MAG tackle on the Phenix Reaper rod. The big kokanee are found on the bottom, and they are still bright and full of scales. I have been taking a number of afternoon trips as well, and when I fish in the afternoons, I will work from 90 to 110 feet. In addition to kokanee, I also have been targeting crappie with Capela’s or Berkley one-inch grubs in the trees, and we have been catching up to 6 limits of slabs on a single trip.”
Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing is working a bit higher in the water column from 40 to 65 feet, and he put in three limits by 8:30 a.m. this week, also using a JPex lure from the Fishermen’s Friend in Lodi behind one of their custom dodgers along with Sling Blades. He said, “The kokanee fishing has just been incredible, and these are some of the largest fish I have seen. We had three fish that weighed nearly or up to 7 pounds, and this would have taken first-place in the derby a few weeks ago.”
The kokanee are starting to hold tighter to structure and making their move towards the south end of the lake and the river arm.
The lake has dropped to 90 percent.
After the massive trout plant at Lake McClure a few weeks ago, the amount of traffic at the lake has more than doubled. The trout are now moving off of the shoreline area towards the colder waters in the river arm.
Steve Marquette of the Lake McClure/McSwain Recreation Company was out trolling to see where the schools had moved, and he said, “There are still lots of trout in the lake, and the big ones are heading up the river towards the Horseshoe. We must have released 40 rainbows from 1 to 4 pounds working nightcrawlers behind Ford Fender dodgers or silver/blue Kastmasters at 35 to 40 feet. The rainbows were from Barrett’s Cove to the dam earlier in the week, but they are moving upriver. Fishermen have been coming from all over the state to fish the lake, and it has been amazing the number of anglers that have arrived to take advantage of the huge plant. The shoreline bite has slowed down considerably as the rainbows have moved out into colder water. There have been a number of big fish over 8 pounds taken by trollers, and the Department of Fish and Wildlife has been on scene, issuing citations for any violation of fish and game regulations.”
For bass, Ryan Cook of Ryan Cook’s Fishing said, “The action has been similar to last week, but we are picking up a few more on topwater as more bass are moving into the shallows. Right now, I would target steep vertical rock walls or bridge pilings with jigs or swimbaits on a underspin.”
The lake dropped from 98 to 96 percent.
With the amazing kokanee action at New Melones, few, if any kokanee anglers have targeted Don Pedro within the past several weeks, but there are quality fish to be had. Bass fishing is decent, but the bass are scattered from the shallows to over 40 feet in depth.
WON Field Reporter, Andre Fontenot, took his latest vessel acquisition to the lake after over a month of renovations, and he said, “I went through growing pains breaking in the new kicker and a larger motor, and I never did completely figure out the fishfinder, but I plugged away for a limit of kokanee to 16.5 inches along with a few rainbow trout. I was using some custom Wedding Rings with purple/pink Radical Glow beads and the new UV Smile Blade along with a custom mini- pink/chartreuse Wedding Ring at depths from 45 to 60 feet in Middle Bay at a speed from 1.1 to 1.5 mph. The best depth was at the upper end of this range, and the new 4 Fin downrigger weights were outstanding.”
For bass, Ryan Cook of Ryan Cook’s Fishing reported a number of bass were found in the shallows less than 5 feet during the Nolan Cox Benefit tournament over the weekend, but there is also a bite off of main lake points from 25 to 40 feet with large jigs in the 3/4th to 1-ounce football head, deep-diving crankbaits such as Norman’s DD 22’s or KVD’s along with plastics on the shakey head or drop-shot.
Don Pedro held at 98 percent despite water releases.
The water temperature is warm, but there have been some quality largemouth bass in the 2- to 5-pound range with Senkos or Robo Worms in the shallows and catfish to 8 pounds on nightcrawlers at depths from 10- to 12-feet. Bluegill are thick throughout the lake, and there are a few crappie, but those targeting the slabs are keeping quiet. The water levels remained high at 8 feet from full, and this is a good sign for the upcoming trout plants starting in October.
Recreational boating remains heavy on the weekends, and most fishermen are heading up the river arm in the 20-MPH zone in the early mornings to avoid the flotilla of jet skiers, water skiers, and wakeboarders. A huge catfish over 26 pounds was caught in the South Pond on nightcrawlers, and a few large catfish have also been taken in the main lake. Trout plants have ceased for the year, and the rainbows are congregating in the deepest waters of the lake from the main river channel to the dam. Speedy Shiners or similar heavy spoons are finding limits of holdover rainbows in the main river channel near the dam as deep as 90 feet. The lake dropped slightly to 93 percent.
The lack of recent trout plants coupled with the action at nearby McClure has limited fishing interest in the colder afterbay of McClure, but a few planted rainbows continue to be taken on trout dough bait or nightcrawlers from the Brush Pile, the Handicapped Docks, or the peninsula near the Marina in the early morning or late afternoon hours. The lake has dropped 5 or 6 feet from its apex, but it is still higher than normal.
1000 pounds of Mt. Lassen Hatchery rainbow trout ranging from 1 to 3 pounds were released into the lake, bringing the season’s total to 34,000 pounds since February. Robbie Dunham of Koke Machine Guide Service continues to find limits of planters even above the river arm in the north part of the lake with Speedy Shiners at depths to 40 feet. Kokanee to 14 inches are found on occasion, but most kokanee anglers are opting for nearby New Melones. Bass fishing remains best in the river arm with plastics or jigs along with small swimbaits. The lake rose to 99 percent.
There is more interest in striped bass fishing, and trollers are starting to hit the lake as the number of boils has increased with the triple-digit temperatures. Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing will be out on the lake this week for his first foray for the linesides with rolled shad, sardines, or anchovies. The lake is at 58 percent.
It’s been all about kokanee for the past few months at Shaver Lake, but the heavy plants from the Department of Fish and Wildlife along with the trophy plants from the Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project, the rainbows have been thicker than the kokanee.
Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters said, “The trout bite was so heavy on Sunday near the Point that we had to move out towards kokanee country. Peter and Mobile Castanos and their son, Wyland, of Fresno caught 35 combined kokanee and rainbow trout, and they released everything but three limits of kokanee within 1.5 hours. The trout are stacked from Sierra Marina to the Point.”
Todd Wittwer of Kokanee.net Guide Service confirmed the multitude of rainbow trout in the lake, saying, “It must have been a big plant as the trout have spread out towards the middle of the lake, and they are in the 10- to 13-inch range. We have been targeting kokanee at 27 to 33 feet with Rocky Mountain Tackle’s Radical Glow Tubes in pink, orange, or pink/orange behind either a Tsunami or Moonshine dodger. The trout are found from 23 to 27 feet, and we are primarily trolling from the Island to the middle of the lake to Camp Edison. Limits of kokanee continue to be the rule.”
The Annual Kokanee Power Shaver Lake Team Derby is scheduled for September 7 with information at www:kokaneepower.org.
Shaver rose from 86 to 91 percent.
Pine Flat and Millerton
Both Millerton and Pine Flat Reservoirs have toughened up for bass fishermen with small spotted bass being the primary story in the high water conditions along with triple-digit heat.
At Millerton, Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “The lake has been good for numbers, but finding anything of size is tough. Small walking baits like Spooks or Poppers are effective in shadowed areas in the early mornings or late afternoons along main lake point, but once the sun hits the water, the topwater bite is over. We were on the lake this week, and we found bass to 1.25 pounds up the river arm with 6-inch plastics on a Neko-rig or 5-inch Senkos in crawdad patterns as the bass are spitting up crawdads. Green pumpkin, watermelon, or something with an orange streak are all working on a slow-fall finesse presentation at depths from 30 to 35 feet. You have to leave it in their face and move it slow. The water temperature is in the 78 to 81-degree range, and with the water level so high, the bass are dropping in the water column. There are also a plethora of big carp in the 10 to 15 foot range, and they force the bass down as well. Upriver to the pumphouse to the Deep Gorge, there is a lot of big logs and debris on and just under the surface so boaters have to use caution.”
At Pine Flat, Newman reported a toughening bite, saying, “We are in the dog days right now with the heat, and you have to get on the lake early or late. Tyler from our shop was out by the houseboats in the Deer Creek area, and he found a number of spotted bass and crappie holding under the shade of the boats. Working 4- to 6-inch plastics on wacky-rig with a slow fall presentation at depth from 30 to 40 feet is the most productive technique as the water is very clear. There is a topwater bite in the early mornings or evenings with small Poppers and a subsurface bite with spinnerbaits or underspins. Trout fishing is null and void after a start a few weeks ago, and crappie are holding in the docks, trees, or houseboats around Deer Creek.”
Millerton is at 96 percent with Pine Flat dropping to 90 percent.
Hensley Reservoir continues to be the best option for the biggest grade of largemouth bass in the Fresno-area while Eastman remains a grind.
Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “Hensley remains good as the lake is paying dividends from the high water conditions this past year. It is fishing better than it has in years, and there is a good bite with Senkos, jigs, or lizards in deep water on a slow-fall presentation. Multiple bass can be taken this way, but it is definitely a finesse bite over the rockpiles or submerged islands.”
Deep-diving crankbaits such as Norman’s in fire tiger or Strike King’s KVD’s in powder blue or chartreuse are also working over the submerged islands or rockpiles.
Water releases have started, but with the limited flows coming into the lake along with triple-digit temperatures, a toxic blue-green algae bloom is found in certain locations within the lake. Adult, children, and pets are advised to avoid these areas as consumption of water affected by the blooms can harm pets if ingested.
At Eastman, Newman said, “It is a grind right now with the heat, and the best action is at night. Once the sun comes up, the action slows to a crawl. The best action is in the early mornings or late evening with larger reaction baits or topwater lures. There is a wake bait bite along with large jigs or creature baits. Topwater Spooks work early, but the lake is very slow from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.”
Catfish around 4 to 5 pounds have been taken more regularly with chicken livers at both lakes.
Hensley dropped from 65 to 61 percent with Eastman also dropping from 75 to 71 percent.
San Luis Reservoir
The combination of wind and heat have limited boaters on the lake, but there have been some huge striped bass caught and released by trollers working deep water. Roger George of Roger’s Guide Service put John Turner of Fresno on a 30-pound striper that was caught and released on a Lucky Craft Pointer. George said, “We managed to catch and released 20 school-sized stripers as well with the best action in Portuguese Cove or the Romero Visitor Center at depths to 70 feet. The stripers are bunched up, and you have to find them. Trolling has been decent for experienced anglers with the water temperatures up to 80 degrees.”Shore fishermen are soaking blood worms or pile worms, primarily from dusk throughout the evening, and there have been some huge striped bass reported. During periods of wind, launching at Dinosaur Point is advised for safety. A 4XD is advised for launching at the Basalt Ramp due to slick conditions. A toxic blue-algae warming has been issued for the main lake. The lake dropped from 72 to 70 percent despite water releases with increased pumping out of the south Delta.