Quail Point Hunting Club and Sporting Clays

March 01, 2018    Headlines

Foothill & Mountain Lakes


New Melones/Don Pedro/Lake McClure

Just when we thought that the bass bite was ready to bust wide open in the Mother Lode lakes, Mother Nature had other ideas by bringing in a week of freezing temperatures. Last week brought limits over 26 pounds to Don Pedro along with numerous quality spots at McClure and New Melones, but this week was another story in itself.

Mike Gomez of the Bait Barn in Waterford and Berserk Baits said, “All of the reservoirs shut down and the fish have backed off into deep water. They are still catching spotted bass at McClure, but you have to use a finesse technique in 40 to 60 feet of water as the reaction bite has died with the cold water. There are reports that the temperatures at Don Pedro dropped into the high 40’s after being in the 60’s a few weeks ago. The cold temperatures have really put a damper on what was a great bite at all three lakes. After putting in 50 fish last weekend at New Melones with all five of my fish for the second-place limit taken on the River2Sea Swaver, the reaction bite has slowed to a crawl with the cold. Once the temperatures improve as expected, the fish should return into shallower water and get active as they are wanting to go into pre-spawn mode. The largemouth bass are more affected by the cold than the spots, and as a result, McClure is producing more action than the other two lakes, but you have to go slow.”

Trout fishing has been slow at all three lakes and all but non-existent at McClure, but there are still big, quality rainbows to be had at both New Melones and Don Pedro. These fish are few and far between, but they are large. There are net pens holding rainbow trout at the Glory Hole Marina in New Melones, and they will be released into the lake within the next two months.

All lakes remain high with New Melones is at 81 percent, McClure at 66 percent, and Don Pedro at 83 percent.

Lake Camanche

Trout fishing is the top story at Lake Camanche, but the bass bite is starting to emerge despite the recent cold temperatures.


Beau Coutroul of the Camanche Recreation Company said, “We planted 1800 pounds of Mt. Lassen Hatchery rainbows at the South Shore Launch Ramp this week along with 1200 pounds at the North Shore and another 600 pounds at the South Shore Pond so there are plenty of fish in the lake. Due to truck troubles last week, the hatchery gave us a double-plant this week, and there will be another 1200 pounds arriving before next weekend. Trout fishing has been best for trollers up the river arm to the Lancha Plana Bridge, and I went trout fishing in the pond for a few hours on Saturday with my custom crankbaits or crappie jigs for a few hours, and I put in a limit of catchables. I use the crappie jigs on light line of 2 or 4-lb. test in order to get the jig out there, and then I work it back slowly to the shoreline. The trout pick it up on the movement.”

Some boaters are heading up the river arm and beaching into the banks in order to still fish with trout dough bait.

There were two small bass club tournaments on the lake over the weekend, and the action has slowed with the colder water temperatures. The bass have backed off to depths at 35 feet with the best action on finesse technique of plastics on a Ned rig or drop-shot. The next large bass tournament is the California Bass Federation on March 18, and the bass bite should improve with better weather conditions.


Lake Pardee

Lake Pardee moved into its second weekend with most anglers picking up limits of rainbow trout along with some quality kokanee and holdover rainbows due to heavy plants during the past year along with additional plants before the second weekend.

The Rocky Mountain Recreation Company started off by planting 13,000 pounds of rainbows with several in the 2- to 6-pound range prior to the opener on February 16, and they followed this up with another 1000 pounds of Calaveras Trout Farm rainbows in the - to 2-pound range before the second weekend.

The majority of planters are holding in the cove near the marina, but there are signs that the fish have turned the corner and are moving into the main lake. Beau Coutroul of the Camanche Recreation Company said, “Trolling seems to be doing well, and bank anglers are scoring near the marina.”

Alan Fong, manager of the Fishermen’s Warehouse in Sacramento, said, “Pardee has been the hottest lake around as one of my friends found kokanee to 16 inches toplining at the mouth of the river arm. The holdover trout are in the river arm, and the Rapala Scatter Raps which move from side to side on the surface have been the top lure up in the river. Big Al Ezell of Big Al’s Guide Service continues to find quick limits just outside the marina.

Tom Oliveira of Tulare made the trip north for the opener, and he returned with a limit of rainbow trout along with two kokanee to 16 inches.

Not everyone is scoring limits as there have been some reports of slow action by bank anglers, but experienced fishermen with a variety of baits and/or lures will normally find success with this many fish being planted into the lake.


Prior to their departure in November, the previous concessionaires, the Lake Pardee Recreation Company had stocked nearly 100,000 pounds of rainbows over 2 pounds into the lake, and even though their contract with East Bay Municipal Utilities was not renewed, they stocked several thousand pounds from the Calaveras Trout Farm at the conclusion of the season. These trout have moved into the river arm and in the main lake, and trollers found good action for holdovers on the opening weekend in the river arm.

The lake rose slightly to 91 percent. The Nor Cal Trout Angler’s Challenge will be at the lake this coming Saturday, March 3.

Lake Amador

The Lake Amador Resort released 4000 pounds of Mt. Lassen Hatchery rainbow trout this past week including 400 pounds of Lightening trout. The trout can be found at depths from 10 to 12 feet around 20 feet off of the shoreline. Still fishing from a boat in the back of the lake is working with nightcrawlers or trout dough bait while trollers using downriggers are starting to find some action. The rainbows are scattered throughout the lake with the best action near the shorelines.

The lake held at 18 feet from spilling. The Nor Cal Trout Anglers Challenge will arrive at the lake on April 28.


San Luis Reservoir

San Luis Reservoir striped bass fishing remains very strong for bank anglers, trollers, plug casters, and those drifting live jumbo minnows.

Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “The bite is red hot in the early mornings and evenings with jerk baits or Zoom Magnum flukes in white ice or smoky shad. Anglers are long-casting ripbaits off of boats towards the shorelines in coves near Dinosaur Point and in Portuguese Cove for solid action. The stripers are pushing shad towards the mouths of coves, but they aren’t pushing the bait fish into the shallows in the backs of coves. Trolling has been around the same with those with downriggers working from 40 to 60 feet while a few are working above 30 feet for a smaller grade of striped bass.”


Roger George of Roger George Guide Service said, “The front moving into the Valley on early in the week changed the bite and where the stripers are holding. We had our first Downrigger 101 class on Saturday morning with a full class of four guys, and we didn’t get out fishing till around 10:00 a.m. It was evident things had completely changed from a few days before and that the fish were in a prefrontal mode with lots of suspended fish showing up that weren’t biting. We fished in Portuguese Cove later in the day, as well as hitting a few other areas trying out different downrigging techniques. We still ended up releasing 12 fish to 24 inches using Lucky Craft 128s – even though learning, and not necessarily catching fish, was the main goal. The series of cold storms forecast for the next 10 days is going to change everything.”


Mickey Clements of Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill said, “Trollers are doing well running big flukes 3 or 4 feet off of the bottom around Basalt and Goosehead Point with downriggers. Most all trollers are using downriggers as the bait has dispersed, and anglers have to cover more water to find the fish. Bank fishing is also good in the same areas. The O’Neill Forebay has been slower with few fishermen due to the smaller grade of stripers, but we are selling plenty of blood worms and pile worms for the forebay around Check 12.”


The lake dropped to from 82 to 77 percent this week as a result of increased water releases down the California Aqueduct.


Pine Flat

Even despite the recent cold front, Pine Flat is holding up on the bass front with limits in the 14- to 15-pound range necessary to taken first during recent tournaments.


Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun said, “The bite remains very good although the cold front has slowed down the largemouth bass bite. Spotted bass in the 2- to 2.5-pound range have been common even though the water temperature dropped with snow flurries at lakeside and the daytime temperature at 31 degrees in the mornings. The spotted bass have been mobile, and they are holding around vertical rock walls or ledges in a pre-spawn mode. The fish are ready to slide up into the flats as they are holding in 15 to 30 feet of water. There is some action with deep crankbaits or Alabama rigs, but the best fishing is with Ned rigs, jigs, or plastics on the drop-shot. There hasn’t been as much bait in the main lake, leading some fishermen to spoon around the edges and the mouths of coves since the shad are holding in the creek channels and coves.”


Mark Corrente of Bass 101 said, “33 boats participated in last weekend’s open bass tournament, and Larry Vang took first with a limit at 14.58 pounds with Dusty Mart holding big fish honors at 5.57 pounds. We are back on Pine Flat on March 10.”

The crappie are holding in the river arm above Trimmer Marina, and Newman said, “We are selling a number of 1/16th oz. crappie jigs in Monkey Milk, Glimmer Blue, white, or white/chartreuse working in the trees and around structure. The water level has been stable for some time, and the slabs are starting to move into shallower water near structure.”

Trout fishing remains decent, and it was buoyed by a recent Department of Fish and Wildlife plant. Trollers are working Apex lures or Needlefish in Cop Car or similar shad patterns at depths from 20 to 25 feet from the Power Lines to the dam or around the mouth of Windy Gap. Newman said, “The fish are still shallow, and it is important to use a flashy dodger like in gold or chrome with some anglers also tipping their lures with corn.”  Pine Flat held at 52 percent.


Shaver Lake

Shaver Lake has heated up despite cold temperatures with several large rainbow and even brown trout landed within the past week.

Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters said, “Big trout action is back at Shaver Lake with several lunkers caught over the past week. Josh Verburg  of Fresno was bait fishing with worms and corn near the dam recently and caught a beautiful 9-pound,6-ounce, 30.5- inch brown trout. The big brown was weighed by Debby Dixon of Shaver Lake Sports on their official scale. Then on Thursday this past week, Ryan Bailey and Tom Allred, both of Fresno, picked up a limit each of big rainbows throwing blue and silver Kastmasters near the Sierra Marina, and each stringer of five trout weighed 24 pounds weighed in at Shaver Lake Sports by Dee Heirendt. This made for an average of 4.8 pounds per fish. Nichols said, "I think these two stringers are a from a possible recent plant of brooders the Department of Fish and Wildlife has made this past week, and I was aware that approximately 2500 pounds of brooders would be planted this year so this may have been the plant. The big fish are near the Sierra Marina and are hitting most anything thrown at them. . Couple in these big fish and the 15000 pounds of catchables the Department of Fish and Wildlife has allotted to Shaver, it could be a very good year here. Jared Romero of Clovis was trolling a Dick’s Trout Buster tipped with a nightcrawler at 10 feet near the marina over the weekend, and he landed a 6-pound rainbow trout.  The kokanee bite continues to be good with spinners and other kokanee tackle tipped with corn. Most of the kokes have been found in the upper column of the lake to 27 feet down from the island to Black Rock.”


Bob Bernier, planting chairman for the Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project, said this year’s plants of trophy sized trout will be increased to about 2,000 large trout. He plans to make two plants, one in the spring and one in the summer months.

Southern California Edison watershed manager, Andy McMillan, reported at the recent Herb Bauer's seminar that the lakes levels will reach an estimated 68 percent capacity in July and August with slightly lower levels in June. McMillan also reported that the new ramp at Sierra Marina will be open this year thanks to efforts from the Sandstrom family, owners of Sierra Marina.

Shaver Lake held at 44 percent.


Bass Lake:

The cold weather and snow fall in the area slowed down the number of anglers along with the difficulty of launching with the low ramp status and icy conditions. A few anglers are picking up small spotted bass by dragging plastic worms on the bottom. The bass action should take off once the water clears and warms, and Rat-L-Traps or spinnerbaits in bluegill patterns, crawdad-patterned jigs, or Neko rigs with 5- to 6-inch worms will be effective. The weed growth has dissipated with the cold water, and working the bottom is the way to go. Trout fishing has slowed a bit since the easy limits last week right after the recent plant. The lake held at 54 percent, but launching a large boat at the public ramp remains a challenge.

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