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Northern CA Freshwater

Freshwater Reports
Western Outdoor NewsPublished: Jun 07, 2017
Hit Pine Flat or Millerton for numbers of spotted bass
WON Staff Writer
PIEDRA — Bass fishing is holding up well at Pine Flat and at Millerton lakes, but the grade of bass is much better at Pine Flat, although you’ll be kept real busy with the smaller fish at Millerton.
The trout and crappie bite at Pine Flat has slowed down over the past week, but the bass bite is holding up with the emergence of a reaction bite. The river arm is starting to perk up from Windy Gap on up for spots to 2 pounds.
Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “There is a reaction bite with ripbaits and crankbaits in shad-patterns along with plastics on the drop-shot. One of my friends went into the river arm, and he landed 9 bass from 1 to 2.5 pounds. The cut of fish is better than at nearby Millerton.”
Walt Lee of the Kerman Bass Club reported only 3 limits were weighed in out of 10 teams during Saturday’s club tournament, but the winning limit came in at 12.05 pounds with a big fish at 3.23 pounds by the team of Ron Orbacker and Dave Musick. All three teams weighed in limits that were in excess of 10.5 pounds.
Trout trolling has slowed to only 1 or 2 fish per rod in the main lake, and the recreational boating has become very heavy on the weekends. Debris is moving into the main lake from the river arm, and the section above Trimmer is still loaded with floating wood.
At Millerton, Gilbert said, “There are tons of small fish, and you can pick up a limit in the 9- to 10.5-pound range, but you will have to go through a lot of fish for a limit. Everyone is catching fish from the banks to 20 feet in the main lake, but there have been few reports from the river arm. There is lots of debris coming out of the river arm with the snowmelt, so few boats are heading upriver. Shad-patterned ripbaits, chatterbaits, or topwater lures are working best as there haven’t been many reports on dark worms or jigs.”
Recreational boating traffic is heavy on both lakes, particularly on the weekends.

Pyramid cutt bite picking up again
WON Staff Writer
SUTTCLIFFE — Cutthroat trout at Pyramid Lake in Nevada have moved off-shore and boaters are now getting most of the fish.
Two big fish last week were caught by trollers. A 23-pound, 33-inch cutt was landed by John Beebe of Somerset who was trolling a Lymann Frog in 30 feet of water in Anderson Bay. Norm Barlow of Diamond Springs was trolling off Pelican Point and caught a 14-pound cutthroat.
Only two cutthroat caught this season are larger than Beebe’s catch. The largest caught this season was a 24-pound, 8-ounce cut caught by Brendand Best of Reno. No. 2 was a 23-pound, 12-ounce trout caught by Bob Holley of Sparks.
Guide George Molino trolls with his clients and he reported good action off Pelican Point. “We fished Warrior, Monument and were catching fish, but nothing that great. The better fishing was off Pelican,” he said.
Saturday’s trip resulted in 20 fish with a lot in the keeper slot (17 to 20 inches). The largest was 22 inches long, Molino said. He was trolling 30 to 40 feet deep.
“I think the fish are finally making the transition to feeding from spawning,” Molino said. “The surface temperature is 67 degrees in the morning so everything is starting to come into play. The water is colored up, but the fish are hitting. It’s not bad right now.”
The trout season at Pyramid runs until June 30.

Lake Amador trout plants over for season, but trout still biting
WON Staff Writer
IONE — The last trout plant of the season for Lake Amador occurred before Memorial Day, but anglers are still cashing in on rainbows and lightning trout.
With the water temperatures becoming too warm for future plants during the summer months, the rainbows and Lightning trout have dropped in the water column. The rainbows will be holding in the deepest portions of the full lake from now on until the water cools once again around the month of October.

Robbie Dunham of Galt, aka The Koke Machine, made his first trip to the lake in several years on Saturday, and he said, “Since this was my first trip in years, I had to put my brain to use with no reports or info to go off of. I remembered that Mt. Lassen trout love grubs, so we trolled four grubs for grab and no-stick. As this happened way too often, we switched over to our techniques that are successful at Camanche, and Speedy Shiners coated with Kokanee Feast at a fast-troll between 2.7 and 2.9 mph on the GPS started to put fish in the box. We ended up boxing 10 Mt. Lassen rainbows including three Lightning trout at depths from 15 to 30 feet from the spillway to the dam at a setback between 50 and 110 feet.
The Lake Amador Hatchery is back in operation on a limited basis, and there are cutbow alevins swimming around, and they will be stockers next winter as it takes 18 months to achieve catchable size. A jumpstart of 5000 Donaldson trout smolts will reach 2 pounds by November.

Warming weather slows Del Valle trout action, striper action decent
WON Staff Writer
LIVERMORE — Trout are still being caught at Lake Del Valle, but warming water temperatures have made the fish more difficult to find.
“The surface temperature is sitting at 74 degrees, making it a little more difficult to catch trout, even with our plant of 750 pounds on May 26,” said Cody McGarry of Lake Del Valle Marina. “Trout have slowed down a little this week with anglers having to work pretty hard to find them. The majority of the trout are being caught in colder water out by the dam or in the upper Narrows.”
McGarry said trout are mainly being caught on Power Bait and Mice Tails, although Kastmasters and smaller jerk baits also will work.
Steve Vonkon of San Jose caught three trout at the dam for a stringer weight of 8.22 pounds. Mike White of San Francisco caught a 6.17-pound rainbow near the dam.
Fishing for stripers continues to be decent. David Cook and Min Wang of Pleasant Hill caught three stripers in the Narrows for a stringer weight of 9.8 pounds. “Stripers are still steady with anglers catching them in the lower and upper Narrows,” McGarry said. “Most anglers are catching them on either anchovies, sardines or nightcrawlers. I would also recommend using jigs, either Hair Raisers or chatterbaits.”
Fishing for catfish continues to be slow. “Catfish are still very slow this week with no reports of any being caught,” McGarry said. “If you want to try and catch one, your best bet would be to fish by fallen trees, tule patches and weed beds. Best baits would be anchovies, nightcrawlers or sardines.”

Trout augment bass at Rollins Lake
WON Staff Writer
COLFAX — Trout that were planted in Rollins Lake by the DFW on May 2 started showing in fishermen’s creels this week, and topwater bass are available.
There were questions whether the trout were actually planted as posted, because anglers were having little success. A DFW spokesperson confirmed the plant however, and this week anglers near the Peninsula Launch Area started catching rainbows using nightcrawlers as bait.
The arrival of trout adds to the continued excellent bass bite. The active bass and clear conditions have attracted a lot of angling traffic.
“We are getting a lot of people coming up from Folsom because Rollins has so little debris and Folsom is full of it,” said Nevada Irrigation District supervisor Ryan Drake. “Plus, the spots are going crazy.”
Drake said bass can now be caught on topwater lures like Zara Spooks, Zara Spook Juniors and Pop-Rs. Grubs and Senkos and spinnerbaits with yellow or chartreuse also work well. He said two or three bass to 6 pounds have been reported caught-and-released, but most of the bass are 12 to 18 inches.
When the fish aren’t biting, a resident pair of bald eagles has been putting on a show gliding over the lake.

French Meadows worth a drive for browns and rainbows
WON Staff Writer
FORESTHILL — Anglers making the long drive to French Meadows Reservoir are getting rewarded with brown and rainbow trout.
Mosquito Ridge Road is open, but there are two 1-lane closures, so there can be delays. It’s a 2-hour run from Auburn to the lake when there aren’t any delays.
All ramps and campgrounds are open, however.
“Trolling has been good going right down the middle of the lake and into the inlet using nightcrawlers or Rapalas,” said Mike Cunningham of Will Fish Tackle in Auburn. “Shore fishermen or doing best in the inlet using nightcrawlers or Power Bait. There are no problems getting limits.”
Fish have been in the 12- to 16-inch class although larger fish were reported caught from the inlet a few weeks ago.

Kokanee bite slows again at Whiskeytown
WON Staff Writer
WHISKEYTOWN –– This week fishing slowed again for kokanee salmon anglers on Whiskeytown Lake, said Keith Kerrigan of KK Guide Service.
“Most anglers have been putting about 5 kokanee in the box. There are a lot of next year’s fish being caught right now. These kokanee are on the small side at 12 inches. The bigger kokanee are running 15 inches. The kokes are down at 30 to 50 feet right now. I feel the bite is much better in the early a.m. from 5 to 7:30,” said Kerrigan.
“After that, it gets real slow,” he said. “In the morning, I am running glow Slingblades with Glo-Bugs in pink and green. I have been fishing in coves and on the edge of the deep water. Water temp was in the upper 60s to the low 70s,” said Kerrigan.
Matt Plymouth at Phil’s Propeller and Fishing Tackle in Redding said he been catching bass up to 5 pounds at Whiskeytown on Senkos and pumpkin-colored crank plugs.
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