Northern CA Freshwater

Don Pedro trout consistent

By DAVE HURLEY/WON Staff Writer Published: Sep 13, 2018

King salmon are a possibility

LA GRANGE — As the kokanee action winds down at Don Pedro, rainbow trout are a solid possibility, along with hope for king salmon.

The lake has produced salmon to 10 pounds in past years, but the larger salmon have been primarily absent for the past few years. The fall season is always the best for salmon, as the shad schools move deeper in the water column as the lake cools. Right now, the water temperatures remain high with the recent hot spell, and rainbow trout are found in deeper water than expected.

APEX PREDATOR — Mike Williams Jr. of Modesto caught this 3½-pound rainbow trout on Aug. 27 while fishing with pro guide Monte Smith of Gold Country Sportfishing at Lake Don Pedro. The big fish hit an Apex lure at 90 feet.

Trout trollers are pulling a variety of UV lures at depths from 55 to 90 feet for rainbows, and the quality of the fish remains good despite the warm water temperatures. As the water cools, rolling shad is a good option, and the shad or anchovies are the top baits for king salmon. Normally, the river arm has been the best location for king salmon, and with the lake still over 70 percent, the river arm has plenty of deep water.

Kokanee have slowed, but there still are landlocked sockeyes in the lake, but they are rapidly turning into their spawning colors. As they turn, fewer fishermen target the kokanee and instead opt for the rainbows. The upcoming fall season is expected to be strong for rainbows, based upon the outstanding action throughout the summer months as the fish got settled in the water column.

Recreation boat traffic has diminished, and fishermen will have the lake to themselves within the coming months.

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