The trout bite from the shorelines has improved considerably with several quality rainbows taken from the banks off of Angels Cove and Glory Hole Point. In addition to the shore bite, trollers continue to pick up the occasional quality rainbow running shad-patterned spoons.
Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing took out Joe Wells of Modesto on a recent trip, and Wells hooked a 3.5-pound rainbow with a hooked lower jaw and spectacularly-bright colors on one of his custom shad-patterned spoons using leadcore line. The rainbows have moved up in the water column, accounting for the improved bank action. Smith said, “The wind came up in the morning, and we were in a part of the lake that was receiving the wind like a funnel so we had to move although I knew there were more fish there.”
Gary Burns of ‘Take It to the Limit’ Guide Service rolled shad for a 6-pound rainbow trout. He said, “The bite has been quirky with some good
Gene Hildebrand of Glory Hole Sporting Goods confirmed the rainbows moving in closer, saying, “One of our customers landed a quality rainbow near the shoreline while trolling a chrome Speedy Shiner with garlic trout dough bait on the treble hook. He was running his line on a setback of 180 feet at a speed of 1.8 mile per hour. He technically didn’t land this fish trolling as he left his line dangling in the water after reeling up, and the big fish hit the lure. Shore fishing has clearly picked up with Bradley Begley of Sonora picking up an 8-lb., 3-oz. rainbow in Glory Hole Point using trout dough bait, and Peter Smelser of Fallbrook scoring rainbows at 4.7 and 4.1 pounds in Angeles Cove on garlic trout dough bait.”
For bass, finesse techniques of plastics on the drop-shot or shakey head at depths from 30 to 50 feet continue to be the top technique in the clear waters of the main lake. The window for big bass on reaction baits will open once the water clouds up a bit.
The lake held at 83 percent despite releasing water down the Stanislaus River and into Tulloch Reservoir.
Lake Camanche Recreation Company continues to pump Mt. Lassen rainbows into the South Shore Pond and the main lake, and the pond has been crowded with anglers during the past weekend featuring sunshine and warm weather conditions. 1200 pounds was released into the pond with another 600 pounds dumped off of the South Shore Marina.
.Beau Coutroul of the Camanche Recreation Company said, “It has been packed at the pond over the weekend with anglers finding some success with Kastmasters or trout dough bait in rainbow or chartreuse.”
Trollers continue to work the Narrows for planted rainbows with white or orange 3-inch grubs, but the best quality of rainbows remain between Big Hat Island, Little Hat Island, and the dam with F-9 Rapalas in various colors along with Speedy Shiners at a faster troll.
Bass fishing is showing signs of life with Coutroul saying, “The best bite has been in deep water from 40 to 50 feet with shad-patterned plastics on the drop-shot.” The reaction bite should improve as the water continue to warm.
The lake will host several bass tournaments in the coming months including the Sacramento Bass Trackers on January 27, Kayak Bass Fishing on February 17, the Sacramento Bass Wranglers on February 24, and the California Bass Federation on March 18.
The lake rose slightly to 76 percent.
Trout plants continue at Lake Amador, and the concessionaires have added to their normal release site in the Launch Ramp Cove by building a slide in order to release the rainbows off of the spillway. There have been concerns about anglers fishing in the launch cove immediately after the plants, and anglers are to stay 200 feet outside the ‘No Fishing’ signs in the cove. There are 12 more professionaly-made signs to be installed in the area to warn anglers.
1500 pounds of Mt. Lassen Hatchery rainbows were released into the lake this week over three days with two of the plants in the launch cove and the first plant off of the spillway. The last of the tagged rainbows for the annual derby were released on Frida with 100 fish carrying tags put in quietly during a plant of 700 pounds in the launch cove. In all, a total of 300 tagged fish have been released into the lake for the derby. The derby began on November 24 with a one-time fee of $7.00, and it will run until March 4 with over $5000 in cash and prizes.
Amador is one lake in which bank fishermen have the upper hand for the majority of the season, and the best fishing remains from the shorelines near the dam, spillway, and in the back part of the lake with nightcrawlers, trout dough bait, or Power Eggs. Anglers are advised to move along the shoreline to find the fish as they are constantly on the move. Staying in one spot will not produce as well as searching out the fish. The lake has risen to 19 feet from spilling during the recent rains, and it is slightly stained from the inflow. The lake is expected to rise more from the coming storm.
Trolling remains best with bright-colored plugs or spoons in the stained waters. The Nor Cal Trout Anglers Challenge makes a stop at Amador on April 28, 2018.
Trout fishing has been slow with few anglers heading to the lake at the present time. The bait is very deep, and the occasional king salmon to 2.5 pounds or rainbow to 3 pounds is taken at depths to 110 feet. Bites are few and far between. Bass are also holding deep in the scattered bait schools, and finesse techniques continue to work best. There are several bass tournaments in the coming weeks with the Kerman Bass Club on February 3, New Jen Tournaments on February 10, Best Bass Tournaments on February 17, River Rats on February 24, and Wild West Bass Trails on March 2. The lake rose to 82 percent this week.
There are 10 bass tournaments scheduled on the lake during the month of February including the Merced Bass Club on January 27, New Jen Tournaments on February 3, California Bass Federation on February 4, Best Bass Tournaments and the Sonora Bass Club on February 10, and the Fresno and Kings VIII Bass Clubs on February 11. Limits in the 12- to 13-pounds should take these tournaments as the bass are still holding in deeper water with finesse techniques. The lake rose slightly to 66 percent.
San Luis Reservoir
San Luis Reservoir remains the go-to location for striped bass in the Central Valley, and anglers are using a variety of techniques for the linesides.
Jesus Reyes Silva of Hollister and JKings Lures was on the lake on Sunday, and he said, “We were casting jerkbaits and topwater lures for quality stripers. There were stripers boiling around Lone Oak Bay, and six boats in the area were all catching fish. We hooked a big striper estimated between 20 and 25 pounds on a 130 mm JKL Shad, and after fighting this for a minute, the fish broke off due to the bait casting reel seizing up. I marked fish in most locations on the bottom from 55 to 70 feet, and they were feeding.”
Roger George of Roger George Guide Service said, “There have been a number of moderate number of bigger stripers taken out so far this year, but the big question since the fall has been – ‘Where did all the small, but fat, 12-to 16-inch stripers suddenly come from?’ Whatever the reason, having a full spectrum of striper size classes from small to huge bodes well for the future of the big lake. The water temperatures remain warm for this time of year near the 60-degree range, and with the high water, the major changes have led to a big impact on the bait fish and shrimp. The stripers are acting more like a late-fall pattern than in the middle of winter. Fish are hitting topwater lures and staying shallow more than the usual trend of moving into deeper water and becoming more sluggish. The linesides are feeding on active bait balls due to the mild conditions. Fishermen are trolling, casting the shorelines, or using bait for school-size fish in the 20- to 26-inch range, but it is important to realize that you have to hit the right bite window or it may be a long day. I find that the fish can completely change their bite pattern from one day to the next.”
In addition to straight fishing trips, George is offering a 5 to 6 hour on-the-water, hands-on course on the critical basics of downrigging for stripers and on how to get up and fish quickly.
Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “Ripbaits and Zoom Magnum Flukes in white or white ice on a ½-ounce jig head are working for both boaters and bank anglers who are casting and ripping. The Storm WildEye swimbait in white or shad is also working along main lake points in the mornings or evenings. The best action is at low light, and some of our fishermen are leaving Fresno at 2:00 a.m. in order to get to the lake before first light, and conversely, they are also leaving at 2:00 p.m. to get there at dusk. A few fishermen are soaking anchovies or minnows.”
The lake has risen to 84 percent with increased pumping out of the south Delta.
The bass bite at Pine Flat continues to improve, and a load of large rainbow trout in the 20- to 22-inch range was released into the lake, and the rainbows are cruising close to the surface.
Steve Newman of Valley Rod and Gun said, “The bigger class of bass are starting to eat, and jigs or ned-rigs have been effective for the best quality. The swimbait bite has been feast or famine for the larger fish, but the big bass have been following up the swimbaits. Most anglers in Saturday’s New Jen Tournaments event scored with jigs on the bottom, and the drop-shot and dart head action is also good along with ice jigs or spoons over the bait balls. The warmer-than-normal temperatures have kept the fish up in the water column. We expected a winning limit around 14 pounds for the New Jen Tournament, but the team of Tim Wells and Jeff D’Alessandro put up 16.15 pounds with a big fish at 4.76 pounds and the second-place team of Ray Grammer and George Rosales landed the first big fish at 6.06 pounds.”
For trout, Newman said, “There is a big school of 20- to 22-inch rainbows in the shallows from Deer Creek to the dam as some larger fish must have been put into the lake. Anglers are working the banks, and the bass fishermen tossing swimbaits are also staying close to the banks. Trollers are working 4 to 5 colors of lead core around 20 to 25 feet with Wedding Rings in orange or red tipped with a nightcrawler or Apex lures in Cop Car or similar shad patterns. The best trout bite has been in the main lake as the river arm above Trimmer has been slower this week.”
Snow fell on Shaver Lake over the weekend, and the cold and winter storm kept all anglers off of the lake on Saturday, but when the weather cooperates, kokanee action has been good for those boats willing to brave the colder weather.
Dick Nichols of Dick’s Fishing Charters said, “The area around the Sierra Marina has been the top location, and a couple landed two easy limits within an hour at a depth of 27 feet with red spinners behind a dodger. They reported that the fish were everywhere in big schools, and the kokanee are all in the 12-inch range. The best depths for the kokanee are between 27 and 40 feet. Trout fishing remains slow with a few fish here or there in the upper 12 feet.”
The Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project will be releasing the first of their plants of quality rainbows in the upcoming spring months, and all proceeds for the rainbows are raised by either donation or the Annual Sportsmen’s Dinner at the Shaver Lake Community Center in August.
A wide variety of information will be presented on Shaver Lake fishing during a free seminar at Herb Bauer’s Sporting Goods on Blackstone near Bullard in Fresno at 6 p.m. on February 8 held at a Nichols and Todd Wittwer of Kokanee.net Guide Service. They will be discussing the expected water levels for Shaver from spring to fall, trout plants forecast by both the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project, and techniques for both rainbows and kokanee success. There will be snacks and bottled water along with a free raffle at the event.
The main Sierra Marina ramp is out of the water, but the auxiliary ramp is good to launch despite the lack of a courtesy dock.” A webcam of the lake is available at sierramarina.com/camera.html updated every 20 minutes. Shaver rose slightly to 42 percent.
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