Valley Center angler scores on a 8-pound, 10½ rainbow from shore in the afternoon to top Bishop Creek’s 6-1 for the top spot opening day; 5-9 brown was second biggest from Bridgeport area
HEAVY WEIGHT HONORS for opening day go to Valley Center angler Miles Forsman who weighed in this 8-pound, 10½-ounce rainbow taken from Lower Twin Lake. Miles trophy went for a Mepps spinner, casting from shore. KEN’S SPRTING GOODS PHOTO
BRIDGEPORT — Heavyweight catches from Bridgeport area topped opening day big fish honors. And catches lacking poundage filled the void with quantity.
Taking the big fish honors by Saturday evening was Valley Center angler Miles Forsman who nailed down a 8-pound, 10½ ounce rainbow. The heavyweight went for a Mepps spinner Miles was throwing from shore.
Orange angler Jeff Tyson had taken the early heavyweight lead weighing in a 5-pound, 9-ounce Lower Twin Lake brown. The heavyweight took a liking to an early morning offering of a trolled Rapala.
From the standpoint of overall “better than average” size, Bridgeport Reservoir captured the title. By 11 a.m., a brisk north wind made for a good number of anglers heading for the docks at Bridgeport Reservoir Marina. It wasn’t a full stringer scenario for everyone but just about everybody scored fish and there were an impressive number of limits.
Catches of recently stocked DFG catchables were on the rare side. The majority of catches were holdover rainbows and browns running from around 1½ to 3 pounds, and in excellent condition.
“They began to hit shortly after 6 a.m.,” said Hanford angler Maury DeBenedetto. “We were using a mixture of Rapala patterns, they were hitting on the surface and going deeper with lead core.”
Maury and his fishing partners, Matt DeBenedetto and John Pariano from San Jose, posted mixed limits of browns and rainbows running up to the 3-pound mark.
Checking the shore anglers near the “bathtub,” action was on the slow side with a scattering of chunky rainbows making a showing. The majority of shore anglers said the bite was early morning and cut off by around 8 a.m.
Looking at Lower and Upper Twin Lake it was an opener for quantity. By around 8 a.m. the cleaning tables were elbow to elbow with limits of mainly DFG catchables running from around ½ to 1 pounds.
On Lower Twin Lake the “hot spot” for shore anglers was the east jetty with Power Bait and Thomas Buoyants top producers. Trollers scored early limits pulling Rapalas.
“We began real early trolling broken back Rapalas,” said Chico angler Gary Randle who was fishing with his father, Dale. “A one point we had three fish hooked up on three rods. They began hitting as soon as the lures hit the water, and at one point we had three hookups and three rods.”
Upper Twin Lake’s best results came with trolling as Rapalas, Kastmaster and gold and red Thomas Buoyants producing quick limits. Shore anglers found action on the slow side, with those exercising a little patience scoring decent numbers.
“We were using Kastmasers and Thomas Buoyants near the mouth of Robinson Creek,” said Bakersfield angler John Vidaurreta who posted an early limit with fellow Bakersfield angler John Gardiner. “They were really going to the lures, the guys still out there are catch and releasing on just about every cast.”
To the south, even with questionable ice conditions Virginia Lakes saw good numbers out on the frozen surface. Anglers focused mainly on holdover rainbows and wild brook trout with a good number of limits making a showing.
“We counted 45 anglers on big Virginia and 18 on Little Virginia around 9 a.m.” said John Webb at Virginia Lakes resort. “It was fantastic, just about everybody was coming off with limits. Pan-size up to around 2 pounds.”
Bells Sporting Goods in Lee Vining reported limit class action for anglers hitting Lundy Lake. Majority of catches were DFG catchables along with a scattering of small browns.
In making the reporting rounds in Northern Mono County, unlike some years, there was no whining — everybody I spoke to was pleased. The weather conditions were the best this reporter has seen for a few decades, and it was a nice change over the weekend and just in time, following last Thursday’s hurricane force winds that closed Hwy. 395
ORANGE ANGLER Jeff Tyson topped the opening day brown trout field with his 5-pound, 9-ounce catch from Lower Twin Lake. The brown took a liking to an early morning trolled Rapala. TWIN LAKES RESORT PHOTO
UPPER TWIN LAKE saw early limits of DFG catchables up to around 1 pound. Bakersfield anglers John Vidaurreta and John Gardiner filled their stringer throwing Kastmasters and Thomas Buoyants fishing off the mouth of Robinson Creek. WESTERN OUTDOOR NEWS PHOTO BY MARTIN STRELNECK
LOWER TWIN LAKE gave up this early morning limit for father/son team of Gary Randle, Chico and Dale Randle, Carson City, NV. trolling early morning Rapalas at Lower Twin Lake. WESTERN OUTDOOR NEWS PHOTO BY MARTIN STRELNECK
TRIPLE LIMITS of mixed Bridgeport Reservoir chunky rainbow and brown trout, running to close to 3 pounds, went to Fresno anglers Maury and Matt DeBennedetto and John Pariano, San Jose, trolling mixed Rapala patterns toplining and leadcore. WESTERN OUTDOOR NEWS PHOTO BY MARTIN STRELNECK
THROUGH THE ICE at Little Virginia Lake produced this 2-pound, 8-ounce rainbow for young Vista angler Brett Damon. VIRGINIA LAKE RESORT PHOTO