Northern CA Freshwater

La Grange: Don Pedro solid for both bass and kokanee

By DAVE HURLEY/WON Staff Writer Published: May 23, 2019

LA GRANGE — The topwater bass bite at Don Pedro has been perking up, and there was a single heavy limit taken during this past weekend’s Best Bass Tournaments event. Kokanee are another solid option, and the landlocked salmon are in as good of shape as in memory.

magnumkokesMAGNUM KOKES — Some big kokanee are already coming out of Lake Don Pedro in the foothills, where Mike Abourezk of Farmington and Dan Vasquez of Antioch show off a pair of the kokanee they caught while fishing with pro guide Monte Smith of Gold Country Sportfishing. They used micro hoochies behind Macks Slingblade dodgers tipped with shoe peg corn soaked in various Pro Cure bait scents.

Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing was out in inclement weather this week, and they found good action for quality kokanee despite the impending storms and a full moon. He said, “We must have missed our first four pulldowns, since once we got the rods out two of them went off, but we found a good bite and ended up with 11 kokanee and 2 rainbow trout. The key was staying away from the other boats and finding our own water.

Micro-hoochies and Uncle Larry’s spinners behind either a Slingblade or Vance’s Dodger at 33 to 55 feet have been working, but the deeper rods have not been as busy as those higher in the water column. One of the kokanee was a male at 16 inches and 1.15 pounds, and it already had teeth on its top and bottom jaw. These are the cleanest and brightest kokanee that I have ever seen at Don Pedro, with no parasites and dime-bright, but I am scared that the action is going to turn off sooner than later with the kokanee already starting to show signs of turning. The water temperature dropped from 70 degrees earlier in the week to 66 degrees after the storms.”

The Best Bass Tournaments held an event at the lake on Saturday with 41 boats, and tournament director Kevin Cheek said, “We have had inclement weather at every tournament this spring, and we would have had over 60 anglers if the weather was clear. Christian Ostrander and Ronnie Heil took first place by over 11 pounds at 27.13 pounds with a big fish at 7.69, but they didn’t reveal their winning technique. We heard of good action on topwater Spooks along with jigs, and there are a number of suspended fish.”

Ryan Cook of Ryan Cook’s Fishing confirmed the topwater bite along with underspins and jigs. He said, “I mostly have been throwing the River2 Sea Rover or Reaction Innovation’s Vixen, and I gear up with both every day since the bass prefer one over the other on differing days.”

The lake has risen to 90 percent.

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