Quail Point Hunting Club and Sporting Clays

June 19, 2017    Headlines

Foothill & Mountain Lakes

New Melones
New Melones remains a top location for multiple species, but the unpredictable weather has made for a wide variance in fishing success. Last Sunday was highlighted with a massive thunder and hailstorm while at the end of the week the temperatures rose in exc\ess of 100 degrees.
Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, went to Melones mid-week in order to avoid slow action on the Delta, but he arrived during a day of an extremely tough bite. Pringle threw a variety of lures including the topwater ima Popper and Little Stick in the morning before switching to the new General Max Power Scent work on weedless presentation and finally with a shad-patterned Bottom Hopper on a dart head. He said, “For some reason, the bass bite was off with no topwater action and numerous short bites from small spotted bass. John Hennecke Jr. caught and released the big fish of the day with a 2.75-pound largemouth bass on a Bottom Hopper in the river arm, and despite observing schools of shad on the meter, the bass were reluctant to commit. Every boat we spoke with reported very tough fishing.”
John Liechty of Xperience Fishing Guide Service said, “With the high water, the fish are very spread out. Covering water seems to be the best approach. In very likely areas a soft plastic presentation will catch the fish that are not willing to chase. When choosing a lure color or soft plastic color, keep in mind the sunfish, shad and baby bass are their primary forage for the next month or so. Various shades of green will be a good selection along with some shad patterns. If you find an area that the bait is holding you can be sure there are bass nearby. Once the conditions stabilize the fish will become predictable and will be easier to locate. The summer months are a great time to get out and do some early morning fishing or fish late afternoon and evening.”
Trout trollers are focusing between the two bridges up the river arm at depths to 70 feet while those targeting kokanee are hanging around near the spillway and dam.  Trout are far more abundant than kokanee, but the few kokanee landed are large.
Catfishing is best in the evenings with cut baits or balls of nightcrawlers coated with scent as the whiskerfish are moving closer to the shorelines with moving water in the evenings. Crappie fishing is best near the abundant timber submerged along the shorelines. There is still floating logs in the main lake, and boaters have to be alert. Recreational boating is ramping up on the weekends and also during weekdays with the summer closures of local schools. Those fishing under submersible lights at night are scoring a variety of crappie, rainbow trout, and catfish.
All launch ramps are open, and the lake has risen to 89 percent.

Lake Pardee
Lake Pardee is still spilling, and the water temperatures remain in the 60’s from the cold water rushing down the Mokelumne River into the reservoir. Kokanee fishing remains fair, but there are quality land-locked salmon to be had by dedicated trollers. Over 65,000 pounds of rainbow trout have been released into the lake since the lake’s opening in February, and there are plans for monthly plants within the coming months.
Alan Fong, manager of the Fishermen’s Warehouse in Sacramento, said, “I was on the lake in the middle of the week, and we had trouble landing the kokanee since my partner had a short net on his boat. We hooked 16 kokanee but only landed 4 as they ‘went crazy’ went they got to the boat. These fish were just ripping line when they were hooked, and without a long net, it was nearly impossible to get them to the boat. We were fishing at depths from 18 to 22 feet with my custom AFS Apex-type lures or microhoochies, and the fish we did bring to the net were large at 17 inches. The south end of the lake has been the best location with slow action in the river arm. We marked fish at 40 to 50 feet in the river arm, but we couldn’t get them to go. They will start moving up into the river arm in small groupings. We also landed some rainbow trout, and they are all healthy without any copepods, and the meat is solid and thick.”
Caitlin McCroskey of Pardee Lake Recreation Company said, “The kokanee bite has been on and off as the fish have good deeper with the hot weather. Ticket Cove, which is the first small cove on the north side of the river arm, has been the best area for bank fishermen this week. The river arm remains cold as we haven’t hit the peak of the snowmelt yet. Bank fishing in the marina area to the Narrows has been slow, but we have had an increased number of kayakers this year with the lake limited only to fishing boats.”

Lake Amador:
Trout fishing has slowed considerably with the planted rainbows heading to the deepest part of the lake. Few anglers were out during the recent heat wave, and bluegill are the top species. With the hot weather, night fishing from the docks is the best bet, but fishermen have to arrived before 10:00 p.m. in order to access the lake. A 17.5-pound catfish was taken out of Cat Cove on a jig by a bass fisherman this week.

Don Pedro:
Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing said, “Trout fishing continues to be solid with custom spoons at depths from 30 to 50 feet.” Copepods are starting to show up on the rainbows. Kokanee fishing is limited to the occasional large fish to 17 inches, but numbers of the landlocked salmon are absent. The Phil Johnson Memorial Team Kokanee Tournament will be held this coming weekend, and it will be interesting to review the results. The bass bite has slowed with the absence of a topwater bite as the fish are hugging the bottom at depths to 45 feet.  Information on the kokanee tournament is available at The lake has risen to 95 percent. 

Pinecrest Reservoir:
Trout fishing from both the banks and boats has been excellent for quality planted rainbow trout to 3 pounds. The banks were lined with fishermen soaking trout dough bait in chartreuse over the weekend while trollers are running blade/’crawler combinations as deep as 80 feet. The triple-digit temperatures will continue to drive the trout deeper and deeper.

Millerton Reservoir is loaded with numbers of small spotted bass, and anglers will have to run through several fish before boating a keeper. The lake is dropping a foot per day with heavy flows running down both the Friant-Kern Canal and the San Joaquin River. Recreational boating has exploded on the weekends with the triple-digit heat wave arriving in the Central Valley.
Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “I will be fishing the Bass 101 Father’s Day Open with my youngest son, and the reports this week have been plenty of small spots but locating the better fish is tough. You have to go through 8 to 10 undersized spots to find a keeper, and the best cut has been taken on ripbaits, spinnerbaits, or plastics on the drop-shot or dart head. The topwater bite has slowed down this week, but even with the water dropping so much, the fish are still biting. The upstream reservoirs are running water out as fast as possible, and the lower San Joquin is full to the brim as well as the canal. The best fishing has been in the main lake with heavy floating logs and debris starting 3/4th of a mile below Temperance.” Gilbert was below Temperance last week, and he reported having to patiently move through the floating logs with at least 10 feet of timber lining the banks. The dropping water levels will lead to more timber collecting along the banks. Striped bass may be found in the upper part of the lake, but boats will have to take a long time to make it through all of the debris.
A few crappie are still found at Winchell, Squaw, and Little Squaw Coves.
Recreational boating traffic has become increasing heavy with the triple-digit temperatures gripping the region, and Millerton has dropped to 79 percent.

San Luis Reservoir:
San Luis Reservoir is still the top location for a larger grade of striped bass for Central Valley anglers while numbers of small stripers are abundant in the O’Neill Forebay.
The wind has been a limiting factor for trollers and bait drifters working the main lake, but the winds have slowed down during the recent triple-digit heat wave. The temperatures have limited the number of boats and bank anglers out during the daytime, but Jesus Reyes Silva and Travis Porter of Hollister have been finding success with JKings Lures 130mm ripbait in purple/chartreuse for schoolie stripers to 8 pounds. KC Wilson of Hollister landed a quality lineside while fishing with Porter using the ripbait as shallow as 20 feet with a long set back behind the boat.
Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “With the hot weather, there have been fewer fishermen at the main lake, but there are still a few anglers out walking the banks in the evenings with Magnum Flukes in white or white ice.”
Paul Jolley of Coyote Bait in Morgan Hill reported trollers are working deeper and deeper as the lake temperatures are heating up. He said, “Trollers are running between 80 and 90 feet for striped bass as the shad has dropped in the water column during the daytime hours. The American shad are also in the main lake, and the stripers are feeding on the larger shad.”
Jesus Reyes Silva of Hollister of “How to Fish’ said, “Most of the stripers are hanging in front of the dam. We have been scoring with either jerkbaits, umbrella rigs, or spoons at depths from 10 to 50 feet for striped bass with American shad right on the surface. We have scored a number of quality stripers this week.”
In the Forebay, Jolley said,”Anchovies are still the best option for stripers off of Check 12, and more fishermen are hunkering down under the Highway 152 Bridge with the hot weather. Largemouth bass can be found with jigs near the pylons in the early morning hours.”
The water in the main lake has risen again to 96 percent.

Shaver Lake:
Shaver Lake has been consistent for mixed limits of kokanee and rainbow trout for experienced trollers. The bite has been ‘up and down’ so far this season with some periods of excellent action, but the stable weather pattern has contributed to exceptional action.
Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters said, “The bite is much improved from the mid-week slowdown following the weekend storm. The rainbows are loaded with insects, and there are still feasting with bugs coming off of the shorelines as the water continues to rise. We should even see a better trout bite once the water crests from the snowmelt. Pat Fitzpatrick and Nina Nagel picked up their limits on Friday with 6 kokanee and 4 rainbows, and we put in three limits by 8:15 a.m.  The Department of Fish and Wildlife planted 2000 pounds of catchables before the weekend, and this amounts to around 4000 rainbows. With the water rising and the insects, the bite should be good through the next few months. We have been running Trout Busters 100 feet behind the boat on the downrigger at 20 feet for rainbows and Koke Busters behind a CJ Dodger for kokanee.”
Steve Santoro of Fish Box Charters took out Reagan and Riley Ball along with their father Darin and grandfathers Don Ball and Ron Dressier of Clovis for a pair of 16-inch kokanee along with a number of rainbow trout running pink Apex lures or white hoochies tipped with corn in the 20 to 30 foot depth on the downrigger. He said, “We also scored with blade/’crawler combinations at 4 colors of leadcore.”
Both marinas are open at Shaver, and ramp conditions can be viewed Shaver is currently at 84 percent.
Upstream reservoir Huntington Lake is producing small kokanee in the 9- to 10-inch range with small spoons or Wedding Rings tipped with a piece of nightcrawler while bank anglers are picking up a few rainbows at the mouth of Rancheria Creek. Huntington is near capacity at 99 percent.

Bullard’s Bar:
Alan Fong, Manager of the Fishermen’s Warehouse in Sacramento, took his young grandson out to Bullard’s for kokanee fishing, and he reported great action for small kokanee in the 10 to 12-inch range. He said, “There are tons of fish, and we hooked over 50 kokanee using micro-hoochies and my AFF Apex-type lures at 10 to 25 feet in depth. There was a lot of stuff on the surface so boaters have to be careful. It would be good for fishermen to target this lake and remove some of the kokanee since they are stunted the high population.

Don Paganelli of Paganelli’s Bass Fishing Experience reported good action Monday 6-12 for largemouth and spotted bass for bass to 3.5 pounds using tubes or Robo Worms on a drop-shot or spinnerbaits.  He said, “Most of the bass are spawned out already, but some are still guarding beds in the shallows. We found areas where the fish were actively feeding, and we picked up some quality smallmouth as well.” For Eagle Lake-strain rainbow trout, Troy Barr of T-Roy’s Guide Service took out a father and daughter for limits of trout along with 9 crappie running Rocky Mountain Tackle’s Serpent Spoons, Brad’s Kokanee cut plugs, or Apex spoons tipped with Pautzke’s Red Fire Corn at depths from 17 to 41 feet.

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