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Oroville at 44 percent and dropping; bass bite solid

WON Staff Writer
Published: Sep 14, 2017
OROVILLE — Water from Lake Oroville continues to be dumped to the Feather River to lower the lake level for repairs and also provides cold water to draw the fall-run salmon toward the Feather River Hatchery, where fishing has been outstanding at the Outlet Hole.

The lake is dropping a foot per day and is now at 44 percent of capacity. If the lake continues to drop at the current pace, the Lime Saddle Marina will go high and dry by early October.



FEATHER DUO — High, cold water flows coming out of Lake Oroville have the salmon making a right-hand turn into the Feather from the Sacramento right now, and action has been good! Lesley and Kyle O’Neil from Yuba City fished there with Capt. James Stone of Elite Sportsmen Guide Service for some bright kings.


The shrinking lake hasn’t had a negative impact on the fishing, said bass guide Ron Gandolfi. His clients have continued to stick bass in the morning with Whopper Ploppers and then transition to deeper water with lipless crankbaits and soft plastics.

“After the topwater bite is over we have been working down in the water column and using lipless crankbaits,” Gandolfi said. “The bass have been smacking them like crazy, especially off the points.” He said despite the success of the crankbaits, the best offerings are the Whopper Ploppers on the top and ZMan worms on the bottom.

Bass are present all over the lake, but a trip up the arms to find cooler water didn’t work well. Gandolfi said so much silt came in with winter rains that sand bars are blocking access. Plus, because the streams are now shallow, the water coming in is warm and even warmer after running over the silt. Temperatures on the lake last week were a steady 80 degrees, Gandolfi said. Despite the warm water, Gandolfi’s clients were able to score 40 fish with spots weighing 1 to 1½ pounds.

“There are a lot of small fish but you never know,” Gandolfi said. “The larger fish will start coming up when the water cools.

Cooler weather will bring down water temperatures but the fall bite is still weeks away. “There is some coolness in the air in the morning but we need those overnight temperatures to get lower. Then the fall bite will start kicking in,” Gandolfi said. “I think that probably won’t come until mid-October.”


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