Northern CA Freshwater

Lake Almanor level high, trout tough to catch

By BILL RICE/WON Staff WriterPublished: May 10, 2018

CHESTER –– Lake Almanor’s level remains high and water temps are rising, said John Crotty, owner/guide of Quail Lodge at Canyon Dam, but right now, the trout bite is tough.

carsynminughofCARSYN MINUGH OF Chico caught this 3.5-pound smallie while fishing with her dad, Stuart, using a green pumpkin tube on 8-pound P-line at Lake Almanor this past weekend.

“Insects are hatching, and the fish are gorging on bugs,” said Crotty. “With all the natural feed in the water, trout have been selective and difficult to catch. What works one day might not work the next. Anglers have to throw the entire bag at them to get any action going. Switching from fast trolling speedy shiners at 3 mph to slow trolling ‘crawlers at 1 mph and everything in between. When you find something that works stick with it.”

The recent warm weather has the water surface temps fluctuating between the lows 50’s to 60 degrees. The weather will be perfect the next seven days with highs in the mid seventies and overnight lows in the 40s.

Most boats are targeting trout on the North end of the lake between Almanor West and Bayley Creek in water up to 35 feet deep, which is typical for this time of year.

“Bass fishermen are targeting fish throughout the lake with reports of smallies up to 5 pounds being caught,” Crotty said. “The females are in their spawning mode with full bellies and should be returned to sustain our bass fishery.”

There is not much shore fishing happening right now with Hamilton Branch being the best shot of picking up a fish or two from shore. Fly fishing activity has been slow as well.

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