Quail Point Hunting Club and Sporting Clays

September 18, 2017    Headlines

Foothill & Mountain Lakes

Lake McSwain
The extended drought has affected all northern California bodies of water, but Lake McSwain has been particularly hard hit by the effects of the drought with last year’s closure of the Calaveras Trout Farm in Snelling. This year’s high flows have allowed for the Calaveras Trout Farm to be back in the business of raising trout, and there have been two plants at McSwain with the past two weeks with 1500 pounds on August 31 and another 1500 pounds on September 8. The trout plants have spurred on the bite from the shoreline and for trollers working the river arm, and fishermen are returning to the lake in droves. The lake remained busy for campers and recreationists for the past several months, but the arrival of the planted trout were just what was necessary to bring back fishermen.
The 22nd Annual Lake McSwain Trout Derby hosted by the Merced Irrigation District will be held from Saturday, October 7 at 7:00 a.m. to Sunday, October 8 at noon with no registrations accepted after October 5. The entry fee is $15.00/individual and $35.00 for a family of 2 adults and 3 children, and it will be limited to the first 200 boats or 500 entrants. There will be 50 tagged fish released into the lake with prizes at $2000, $1000, and $500 with the remainder of tagged fish shared equally from a prize pool. A $200 prize will also be awarded for the heaviest fish by weight.
Registration is available at
Currently, the best action is in the normal locations of the Brush Pile, Handicapped Docks, or along the peninsula by the marina with trout dough bait, Power Eggs, Kastmasters, or inflated nightcrawlers. Trollers are pulling blade/’crawler combinations or Wedding Rings tipped with a nightcrawler behind a flasher from the Second to the First Fence Line.

Lake Camanche
Camanche remains outstanding for experienced trout trollers who know the routine for catching fish. The arrival of cooler weather has limited both the number of recreational anglers, but also the fishermen. However, anglers should have primary access to the lake in the coming months for bass, crappie, and planted and holdover rainbow trout.
Robbie Dunham of Galt, aka ‘The Koke Machine,’ continues to put on a weekly clinic for rainbow trout with quick limits by 10:00 a.m. on Saturday with his wife, Kim. Dunham said, “We had early limits, losing another five fish, running Speedy Shiners coated with Kokanee Feast at depths from 25 to 40 feet in the Little Hat Island River Channel. We had a double and even a triple hook up. We even released three bass and a crappie.” The trout are moving up in the water column as the temperatures are cooling down.
The deep channel has been the hot spot for trout with Kristy and Mike Carpentier for a total of nine rainbows from 14 to 19 inches along with three bass, releasing a small trout using Speedy Shiners in gold or purple/blue at depths from 28 to 38 feet at speeds to 3 mph.
Bass fishermen are starting to show more interest, and there is a topwater bite in the morning when the shad schools are located. Once the sun comes out, reaction baits such as jerkbaits, ripbaits, or crankbaits are all working along with working the bottom with Senkos or plastics on the drop-shot.
Recreational boating is starting to slow down after Labor Day, but the hot weather is keeping the lake busy during the weekends.
Camanche Recreation Area and East Bay Municipal Utilities District are once again holding the Great Sierra and Mokelumne River Cleanup, and participants will receive a free night of tent camping, lots of prizes, and a free BBQ for helping from 8:30 a.m. until noon on September 16.
Register at:…/vol…/2017-great-sierra-river-cleanup/

Camanche held at 84 percent. 

Lake Pardee
The Pardee Recreation Company continues to complete their commitment of planting rainbow trout before the resort closes in November, and another trout plant of 1500 pounds of 1- to 1.5-pound fish occurring on Friday, September 15 from the Calaveras Trout Farm.
Shore fishermen are starting to get in on the action off of the Stony Creek Landing with trout dough bait in various colors or inflated nightcrawlers within days of the plants before the rainbows move out into deeper water. The kokanee have gone deep, and they are starting their process of spawning. Trout trolling in the main lake is decent with shad-patterned lures or Rapalas, but the best is yet to come before the closure with the huge amount of rainbow trout planted in the lake this year along with the cooler water temperatures.
The Lake Pardee Recreation Company is closing up shop in November in response to the East Bay Municipal Utilities District changing concessionaires to the Rocky Mountain Recreation Company based out of southern California in Valencia. Rocky Mountain currently operates Del Valle, Shadow Cliffs, and San Pablo Dam Reservoirs in the Bay Area and Rancho Seco in Sacramento County.
Pardee Recreation Company is current selling assets that the new concessionaires do not desire, and these include: art work in the café, commercial metal warehouse shelving, miscellaneous office furniture and supplies, miscellaneous restaurant supplies, miscellaneous maintenance supplies, a 2-bedroom, 2-bath mobile home and a number of additional items.  Some items are available now and some will not be available till after November 5th. If you are interested or would like more information, please email us at
Pardee is at 94 percent.

Lake Amador:

Catfishing is solid for large whiskerfish with chicken livers, nightcrawlers, or cut baits in the coves with the best action in the evenings from dusk until the following morning. Trout plants should start by the middle of October once the water temperatures cool, and in addition to plants from additional sources, the Lake Amador Hatchery will be releasing some of their Donaldson trout.

New Melones:
There are still large rainbow trout in the deepest waters in the main lake, and the trout to 5 pounds can be landed by trollers working shad-patterned spoons from 40 to 75 feet. Bass fishing remains fair with reaction baits or finesse techniques. There are plenty of small bass in the lake with the high water conditions along with loads of shad and small bluegill. There is a brief window for topwater lures in the early mornings. Catfishing is good with cut baits or live minnows with Glory Hole Sports holding their annual month-long tournament from October 1 to November 1.

San Luis:

Striped bass remain an excellent option, and trollers are starting to get in on the action in the normal locations of the islands in front of the Trash Racks or at the mouth of Portuguese Cove. Bank fishing is also an option, and there have been some big stripers caught and released from the shoreline on lures. With the high water conditions, the action should only improve as the water continues to cool down.  
Jesus Reyes Silva of JKings Lures in Hollister is out doing work on the big lake on a regular basis, and he has been scoring schoolie stripers  with a variety of his rip baits. Topwater lures, flukes, or jerkbaits in shad patterns are working inside of the coves early in the mornings or late in the afternoons towards dusk.
Brandon Dean Jenkins caught and released a 15-pound striped bass casting from the shoreline on Saturday at the big lake.
Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “One of our customers, Ryan Bailey, has been at the lake on a regular basis, and he has been catching a good number of stripers running Alabama rigs or large plugs in the 7- to 8-inch range such as P-Line Predators at depths from 30 to 40 feet in the main lake along points or over island tops. The fish aren’t huge, but they are plentiful.”
Jumbo minnows have been absent on most bait shops so bait drifters are having to settle for extra-large minnows. As a result, trolling has been more productive within the past week.
San Luis has dropped to 88 percent.

Shaver Lake:
The Shaver Lake Kokanee Power Derby is normally one of the most challenging events of the year, and as it is traditionally held in September, the kokanee are normally in the process of hugging the bottom. This year was no exception for the big fish, but the largest limits in this event in years provided one of the highlights of the year for Kokanee Power and Shaver Lake. Gary Coe, president of Kokanee Power, along with his partner, John Lico, took first place at 86.0 ounces for three fish, followed closely by the team of Kenny MacDonald, John Zemen, and Mike Giovacchini at 85.1 ounces. Coe said, “It was an epic day as we landed 4 big mature healthy males at depths from 55 to 100 feet in depth. We didn’t go 150 yards at 55 feet in depth before hooking our first fish, but we saw big fish on the meter hugging the bottom, and we hooked fish while slowing down to fight a fish, so we said, ‘Wait a minute, there is another story to be told here.’ We specially targeted the deep fish, and we were able to get them to go as most anglers were working from 35 to 50 feet. We changed our tactics by going to the bottom and going as slow as 1.0 mph, and we also lost one large fish at 100 feet in depth. The Paulina Peak’s dodgers and lures were working for us, and these are the best new stuff I have seen on the market as there is an extra bend in the dodger that works very well as slow speeds.”
Since the derby, the kokanee action has been up and down with Todd Wittwer of Guide Service saying, “Monday’s thunderstorms shut down the bite, but it rebounded before slowing down again over the weekend. The boats scattered out into locations that haven’t been tried for a while, but a number of trollers continue to try for the deep fish in the trough out in front of the marina. Orange or chartreuse Apex lures, the Tasmanian Devil in Smashing Pumpkin, or Dick’s Koke Busters behind ball trolls are all working when the fish are willing to bite.
Shaver has dropped to 89 percent.

Courtright Reservoir continues to routinely kick out limits of rainbows with a few brown trout mixed in while Wishon is showing signs of life after slowing down for the past few weeks.

Chuck Crane of Wishon Village RV Park and Store said, “Courtright remains the top location for both bank fishermen and trollers, and the Trapper Springs Campground remains hot with trout dough bait in red or pink. Shore fishermen are picking up limits on a regular basis while trollers are pulling Rapalas on leadcore from 5 to 6 colors. There have been a lot of limits taken, and there are a number of brown trout mixed in with the rainbows.”

Wishon is starting to heat up for trout as the high county is getting colder, and Crane said, “Fishing is picking up with a few nice limits taken on Rapalas at 40 to 50 feet on the downrigger as well as on leadcore at 4 to 6 colors. The key is to go slow. Shore anglers are picking up a few more fish on trout dough bait in red or pink. Richard Joseph, the dock man at Wishon, was casting a Rapala off of the docks, and he landed a nice brown trout. This could have been a fluke, but I don’t know.” Maintenance on the power plant is taking place at both lakes over the next several weeks,

At Huntington Reservoir, Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun said, “Trolling has been very slow as the kokanee are turning towards the spawn, and the action that is taking place has been for bank fishermen around Rancheria Creek or the Auxiliary Dam with trout dough bait, Power Eggs, or inflated nightcrawlers.” Huntington is at 97 percent, Mammoth Pool at 57, Edison at 80, and Florence is only at 2 percent.

Bass Lake:
The Sheriff’s Motor Fee will remain in effect throughout the year now, and boaters are expected to pay the fee at the Sheriff’s Tower prior to launching. The fee had traditionally been administered from Memorial Day to Labor Day, but it will be enforced  year round. Bass fishing is best early in the morning with topwater lures before working the docks with plastics on the drop-shot or Senkos. Trout fishing remains very slow, but the bite should improve as the water cools. Webcams of the lake are available at The lake is releasing water, and it has dropped to 97 percent.

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