Northern CA Freshwater

Don Pedro sporting a solid trout bite for quality rainbows

By DAVE HURLEY/WON Staff WriterPublished: Aug 10, 2017

MOCCASIN — Quality rainbow trout loaded with fresh shad have been the story at Don Pedro, and experienced guides are finding solid action for their clients using shad-patterned spoons.

Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing was on the lake twice during the past week, and he reported good action on both outings. He said, “After finding quick action on Tuesday, the bite slowed down on Thursday morning and we struggled during the first hour of trolling without a fish. The bite turned on after an hour, and within short order, we had 9 fish in the box before the bite slowed down once again before heating up for a final count of three limits.

happydayatpedroHAPPY DAY AT PEDRO — Janie and Jake Chapin of Ripon caught these rainbows while fishing with Monte Smith of Gold Country Sportfishing at Don Pedro on Tuesday, Aug. 1, using Phenix rods, and custom made spoons with Pro Cures tuna super sauce.

“We have been running my custom shad-patterned heavy spoons at depths at 35 and 50 feet, and one of our rods didn’t get hit all day long, so we moved it up to 30 feet,” Smith said. “Once it was raised in the water column, it started to pick up fish. I have been targeting areas that I know traditionally hold fish. There are some big bait balls in the lake, and you can see the trout and possibly king salmon below the bait balls. The trout are loading up on the shad, and they are healthy.”

The surface temperature has heated up to 80 degrees as the outflow has dropped within the past week. For bass, there is a topwater bite with wake baits or the River2Sea Rover, but anglers will have to drop to as deep as 50 feet with plastics on light line by mid-morning.

Recreational boating remains heavy both during the week and particularly on weekends, and it will remain so until after Labor Day.

At Don Pedro, anglers can access current weather conditions at with a live webcam at .

Don Pedro has held at 98 percent.

* * *

We hope you enjoyed this article on our no-charge website Of course, this site contains only a small fraction of the stories that Western Outdoor Publications produces each week in its two northern and southern editions and its special weekly supplements. You can subscribe to the print issue that is mailed weekly and includes the easy flip-page full-color digital issues, or you can purchase a digital only subscription. Click here to see the choice.