Camanche Trout And How To Catch Them
Written By: Cal Kellogg, March 7, 2013
Location: Camanche Reservoir,
An average of 80,000 pounds of rainbow trout are planted in Camanche Reservoir every year between the months of October and June. As of press time the most recent plants at the lake occurred on February 4 and 5. On the 4th 600 pounds of trout were dropped near the South Shore Ramp, while 1,000 pounds were released at the North Ramp the following day.
All of the trout planted at Camanche are over a pound in weight and some of them are massive weighing in at over 10 pounds!
With so many trout up for grabs, it’s not surprising those anglers catching them using a variety of different methods. Boaters hook a lot of rainbows while trolling, bass anglers catch them by accident on Senkos, spoons and ripbaits and you might even see a fly angler or two tossing streamers.
I’ve spend a fair amount of time trolling Lake Camanche and I’ve done well on orange Cripplures, grubs and Rapalas, but I’d have to say that my most enjoyable and productive trips to Camanche have all been bank fishing adventures.
Generally Camanche isn’t at full capacity meaning that plenty of the lake’s unique structure in the form of rock piles, bluffs, shelves and channels will be exposed. This combined with the fact that the facility boasts a great network of access roads, means that the shore angler has a seeming endless array of unique easily accessible spots to try.
If you’re more adventurous and don’t mind hiking a bit, leave your vehicle behind and invest some shoe leather in finding a spot that is seldom hit by the bank fishing crowd. An investment in hiking can pay sweet dividends when you find a pod of husky rainbows holding near structure that hasn’t been worked by bait soakers recently.
Woolly buggers teamed with water bobbers, mini-jigs and small plastic worms rigged beneath slip bobbers, spoons, spinners, inflated worms, salmon eggs and floating dough baits have all produced Lake Camanche rainbows for me while bank fishing, but if I were limited to one bait and one bait only it would be floating dough bait in the form of Berkley PowerBait and Pautzke Fire Bait.
While I’ve caught Camanche trout on several offerings at one time or another, it’s dough bait that seems to work day in day out across a wide range of conditions. I’ve had memorable dough bait action at the lake on beautiful sunny spring days and I’ve had some outstanding days during the middle of winter with the water stained from runoff and the sky overcast and spitting rain.
Camanche’s trout can be as fickle as trout anywhere else in terms of the color bait they prefer. My dough bait arsenal includes jars of orange, chartreuse, yellow, white, pink, red, green and rainbow. And of course I carry Pautzke salmon eggs, Fire Corn and night crawlers with me too, because there are times when the fish really go for dough bait combined with a salmon egg or other bait.
All in all I’d say orange and chartreuse have provided me with the most consistent results at Camanche over time.
When it comes to bank fishing for trout, I’m a hiker. I like to stay on the move sampling spots for 30 to 45 minutes, before moving on if I don’t encounter good action. At times I’ve done well at Camanche while working shallow flats, but most of the time I seek out areas that feature a quickly dropping shoreline. This means the fish can come very close to the bank, while still having immediate access to the security of deep water.
If you can position yourself at the edge of one of the many “channels” that crisscross the lake bottom, you’re likely working at hotspot because as I mentioned earlier the lake’s gamefish use these channels as travel corridors.
If you’re one of those guys that pass up Camanche as you drive in search of greener pastures, make it a point to stop and give the lake a try this winter or spring. When you reel in your first husky Camanche rainbow, you’ll understand what you’ve been missing out on…Just don’t forget your dough!Back To Reports