Northern CA Freshwater

Browns Valley: Another would-be lake record catfish caught at Collins Lake

BY PAUL LEBOWITZ/WON Staff WriterPublished: Oct 03, 2019

BROWNS VALLEY — For the third time this season, a would-be lake record catfish was caught at Collins Lake, but like the prior two, it was not weighed on the Recreation Area’s official scale.

BIG BELLY CATS — Charles Clemensen of Oregon House shows off a couple of Lake Collins catfish, the larger of which he said weighed 27 pounds. That would beat the lake record, but for an unknown reason it wasn’t weighed on the lake’s official scale.

The latest coulda, woulda, shoulda bit of lake lore was a big cat caught by Charles Clemensen of Oregon House somewhere on the lake – he wouldn’t say where--but it appears he was fishing from a boat. Collins Lake Recreation Area Fish Reporter Ed Palma said Clemensen reported it at 27 pounds, and judging by the huge belly of the fish, it very well could have been. The standing lake catfish record is 24 pounds.

Palma said Clemensen reportedly dedicated the catch to his mom and said, “Looking at the belly on that cat I think he just ate a duck.” It was caught on anchovies. Palma further said Clemensen was hoping for a lake record, but as it wasn’t weighed on the Recreation Area’s official 50-pound scale, he couldn’t make that call.

Other nice cats were caught, including a 10.5 pounder for Brian Bender of Elk Grove who tangled with his fish at the dam. He was fishing with worms.

The surface water temperature is improving for trout. Palma said it was down to 74 degrees and falling. The holdover stockers have yet to respond in a meaningful way. Only a few were caught, but one went to Leann Schofield of Concord, her first Collins Lake fish. Surprisingly, it hit at Elmer’s Cove where Schofield was offering orange Power Bait. The aforementioned Clemensen also captured a couple smaller trout on Tasmanian Devils.

Palma said bass activity seems to be down. “The weather has been sporadic with an inch of rain followed by a 100-degree day and now back into the 60s but it looks like it may be stabilizing in the 10-day forecast,” he said. “Hopefully the fishing will reflect that.”

The lake was 24 feet from full and the water was clear.

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