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Central CA Freshwater

Eastman still top largemouth bass lake in the Central Valley

By DAVE HURLEY/WON Staff Writer Published: Jan 11, 2018

MADERA — Bass anglers seeking a trophy fish in the Central Valley are heading to Eastman, as the lake has woken up from an extended period of slumber. Anglers may keep only one bass with a minimum length of 22 inches, as Eastman Lake is a designated trophy bass fishery.

TWO PORKERS — Aaron Peratt of Clovis took advantage of the good winter bite going on now at Eastman Lake above Fresno and caught these two lunker largemouth.

Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun said, “There has been a number of 4- and 5-pound bass landed recently, and during the January 1River Rats Open, Sharif Zagsaw and Her Xiong took first with a four-fish limit of 18.95 pounds with a big fish of 5.37. The fish bit both in the morning and the afternoon hours, but the key was finding bass willing to bite.

One team found fish holding in one area, and they wouldn’t bite in the morning. However, when they went back in the afternoon to the same spot, the fish were filling to bite. You have to present the bait in their face, as they aren’t chasing very far, and the best quality of bass has been found from 30 to 50 feet with swimbaits or Ned rigs on a slow presentation. There are fish from the surface to 30 feet, but the large bass are in deep water.”

At nearby Hensley, most bass fishermen are avoiding the lake and heading to Eastman, but there is some catfish action along with planted rainbow trout with trout dough bait, Kastmasters, or inflated nightcrawler from the banks.

Eastman held at 58 percent with Hensley also holding at 20 percent.

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