Don Pedro bite toughens
BY BUD NEVILLE/WON Staff Writer
LA GRANGE — Trolling at Lake Don Pedro was a little tougher, but the blame went to short term conditions. Guide Monte Smith of Gold Country Sportfishing said this lake is ready to go wide open with the fall trout bite.
“I fished Saturday with Pat Moran of El Dorado Hills,” said Smith. “We had a tough day; it took several hours to catch fish of any size.” A big population of fingerling king salmon made finding the bigger holdover rainbows hard. “These small fish were always on the lures,” he said.
Moran did end up with a nice limit of rainbows from 2 to 2.5 pounds. There has been a lot of pressure on the lake’s ’bows, and the cold front that passed on Saturday didn’t help the bite, said Smith.
Their top lures for the day were Vance’s Tackle Slim Fins and Excel Lures fished behind Sling Blade dodgers. Top depth zone was from 45 to 65 feet down. “The lake is in great shape, and loaded with shad. We should have a good year with lots of large fish, and next year will be a banner one for big king salmon!”
Catfish king at Los Vaqueros — plants perk up trout fishing
BY JIM JONES/WON Staff Writer
LIVERMORE — Anglers are starting to score a few more trout, especially in South Cove, and even more would be reported if there were more anglers trying, according to Jamie Cutts of Los Vaqueros Recreation Area.
She said most anglers have been ending up with one or two trout, but there have been a few limits caught, as well. Surface temperatures are now in the mid-60’s and should continue to perk up trout fishing.
Monster catfish have been making most of the waves lately, though, with 18 weighing over 12 pounds checked in over the past two weeks. One of the nicer ones caught last week was the 18.07 pounder caught by Charley Belo Santos on Catfish Nuggets. He came back later in the week and caught a 11.75-striped bass on an anchovy. Trolling Rapalas and Yo-Zuri’s have been working too.
Boat rentals for a half day are only $25 Monday through Thursday. The Recreation Area is now closing at 6 p.m.
Trout starting at Parkway Lake
BY JIM JONES/WON Staff Writer
SAN JUAN — It may still seem early for trout, but the first plants of the season have been made at Parkway Lake, and “trout are jumping all over the lake,” according to Becci Glines of Parkway Lake Recreation Area.
“We’ve planted 2,500 pounds so far,” she said, “and they’re taking white and chartreuse Power Eggs in the Back Cove and the west side of the Peninsula. Berkley Trout worms and nightcrawlers are good, too. It’s still an early morning bite, though.” Glines said that the trout have been averaging 1 3/4 pounds, and the most effective leader length is 18 to 24 inches long.
Anglers have a good chance for a twofer, too, by adding catfish to their trout stringer. Quite a few whiskerfish limits are being caught off the tip of the Peninsula in the cattails with nightcrawlers. Most are in the 2-pound class, but Daniel Lopez of Salinas caught a 13 pounder off the Peninsula using nightcrawlers.
Bonus fish plants at Eagle Lake just in time for the cooler weather
BY ROBIN WADE/WON Staff Writer
SPALDING TRACT — Last week volunteers from the California Inland Fisheries Foundation (CIFFI) and Project Eagle Lake Trout (PELT) lined the shores along Rocky Point at Eagle Lake as Department of Fish and Game (DFG) personnel prepared to plant over 10,000 pounds of “bonus fish” — a result of DFG hatchery employees continuing to rear and feed planter-size fish to a larger than normal planting size.
“Normally fish weighing one-half to one-pound each are planted in the spring and fall each year,” said CIFFI’s Executive Director, Sep Hendrickson. “One truck held 5,000 pounds of fish averaging two-plus pounds and the second truck had an additional 5,000 pounds of fish averaging three and a half pounds each. That’s a huge boost to the lake’s already strong population of trophy-sized rainbows,” Hendrickson said.
Each year DFG personnel plant “bonus fish” as part of their agreement with CIFFI and Project Eagle Lake Trout. “PELT pays all the added hatchery expenses, including personnel, food, transportation, medication and more, as their part of the PELT,” he said. Additionally PELT assists DFG in fish rescue efforts and any special needs required for this unique northern California fishery. Proud supporters as well as the public watched as all 10,000 pounds of trophy fish entered the water and swam off into their new surroundings.
“The cold weather is here, the water temperatures are cooling quickly, and the fish are moving in numbers into the shallower sections of the lake,” said P.E.L.T. volunteer and guide, Tim Noxon. “Fishing was great this past week except for Friday when the barometer dropped hard and shut things down for most anglers, including me.”
By the next day (Saturday) the fishing rebounded, though, with most anglers again taking limits of Eagle Lake trout. Some nice fish up to 4 pounds have been weighed in recently and the average size of the fish taken has begun to increase, Noxon said.
Sierra District’s trout clock ticking, but fall action heating up before Nov. 15 stream closure
BY ROBIN WADE/WON Staff Writer
BURNEY — The clock is ticking for some Sierra angling opportunities, as the season closes on Nov. 15 in the Fall River Valley, Hat Creek Basin other Sierra tributaries and streams but fear not there’s still time – some say the fall fishing is the best! A few tributaries, like those at Bucks Lake closed already on Sept. 30, so check the “Special Regulations” section of your DFG regulations book, and get fishing!
“Expect cooler temperatures this coming week, as it appears fall has finally arrived. We have gusty winds predicted for the next couple of days, but then the forecast shows pretty nice weather for Wednesday thru next Saturday, with lows in the 20s and 30s, and highs between 60 and the low 70s,” said Jan Vaughn of Vaughn’s Sporting Goods in Burney.
“On the Pit River we have been getting excellent reports from the Pit 4 and 5 reaches, and Pit 3 is fishing well, however the construction is making access difficult. Nymphing seems to be doing the best with a hare’s ears or birds nest, try a size 14 or larger,” Vaughn said.
“Here on Burney Creek with the cooler weather, watch for the October caddis to start hatching, fall fishing can be great here,” she said. On the “Wild section” of the Hat Creek the riffle has been slow but with the fall comes the caddis hatch. “Right now it’s best fished with pt’s, birds nest, or a hare’s ear but look for PMD’s, caddis, callibaetis.”
“This will be our last report for this season, just not receiving reports on areas other than the Upper Hat Creek,” said Jim Cimaglia from Rim Rock Ranch at Old Station. “Fishing on Hat Creek this past week was fair but the days this past week were cool and we have even had out first snow flurries. Fish and Game has discontinue plants in the Upper Hat Creek but October should still continue to produce some good fishing as the pressure is light and there’s a lot of hold over fish,” Cimaglia said.
“Fish plants this time of year tend to be brook trout, so use worms or lures to catch more fish. Large and mini nightcrawlers worked the best this past week in the holes, so go deep for more fish.” For the remaining of the season contact Rim Rock Ranch at (530) 335-7114 for the Hat Creek area or Vaughn’s Sporting Goods at (530) 335-2381 for the Burney area.
Lake Almanor rainbow trout the focus now as brown trout head for their spawning grounds
BY ROBIN WADE/WON Staff Writer
CHESTER — As the first snow flurries of the season came down today (Sunday) in the Chester area at Lake Almanor, the scene was set for fall fishing and the migration of the brown trout to their spawning grounds over springs and their colors to began to change as well as the shape of their jaw.
“The snow is not sticking, but it is coming down today. This will surely put the trout which have still in their summer mode, into the fall transition,” said Roger Keeling from Roger’s Guide Service. “Brown trout are moving to their spawning areas but there have also been a mix of old and new ones in Geritol Cove. The newly-planted ones are from 10 to 12 inches due to recent DFG plants, up to the big browns running from 3 to 7 pounds. We’re hoping anglers will release both the larger and smaller ones. The larger ones lose their ‘table fare’ when they get ready to spawn, as seen by their upturned jaws and bright colors. Their meat changes from red to white, so just take a photo, and put them back,” Keeling said.
A better bet will be the rainbow trout, averaging only 2 pounds now, but rainbow trout to 9 pounds have been caught recently and will be more abundant as they feed up for the winter. They are also scattered as they move from their summer to fall spots.
“Target them in the top 10 feet with leadcore outfits pulling 21⁄2 to 3 colors out with either a pearl pond smelt imitation Needlefish, a Speedy Shiner or a small red/gold Rapala,” he said. Trolling flies in a smelt imitation trolled at a slow lure speed worked but you must be in with the baitfish for this to be affective. “Look for where the water movement is or birds like grebes are.”
In some areas, if you are still marking fish deep, don’t be afraid to vertically jig or cast jig to fish. “Versatile anglers will not just be surface fishing during this transition, check your electronics.”