The Fish Sniffer - Kayaking For Berryessa Trout
Kayaking For Berryessa Trout

Written By: Victor Woolworth, Headwaters Fishing Team, January 22, 2014
Species: Trout Kokanee Landlocked Salmon
Location: Berryessa Reservoir,

Kayaking For Berryessa Trout
Kayaking For Berryessa Trout Kayaking For Berryessa Trout

With the weather forecasted to be in the 70s, I decided it was a great day to go fishing yesterday. I got to Lupine Shores at 7:45 and was on the water by 8. 

I started off trolling with a dodger and a rubber worm. As I turned the point I ran into Ken Jan an NCKA member who had been on the water for a while now. I asked him how he was doing and he said that he caught one right when he launched but wasn't having any more luck. We went on our own ways and said we would meet up later. I hit all the spots where I got bites on the Presidents day weekend, but had no luck.

So I decided to go back to the launch and see if I could get any bites there. I decided to put a spinner on one of the rods to see if that even had a fighting chance. There were fish jumping, but none of them hit the spinner.

At this point I see Ken Jan getting back into his boat from the launch and heading toward me. I asked him if he wanted to go further out and he said sure. So we headed out into the main body of water.

Ken Jan paddled in front of me while I made a change in bait. This time I decided it was time to have a night crawler behind the dodger on at least one of the rods. During the time I switched baits, Ken Jan had hooked another fish. He was killing it in his sit-inside kayak. 

When we turned the point, there were fish jumping everywhere. So I started to troll. Not very long after I saw that I was getting some good bites, but nothing was sticking. This was the most action I had all day, so I kept trolling, and then Bam, fish on. As I brought the fish to the boat, I grabbed my net. As I was about to net it, the fish got loose;it was so close it even touched the kayak. It was my bad on the netting skills. 

So at this point I am thinking this whole basic setup of the Dodger and the night crawler is working great, and I need to set up both rods the same. I troll all the way to the shore and begin to circle around to repeat the same thing. As I am going back on my route, I realized that there is boat coming straight at me and I decided to just keep trolling and I will be able to pass them and get my lines out of the way.

They are about 15 feet behind me when I heard one of my rods just let loose, so I picked it up and started reeling. The boater yells out, "Don't worry, you don't have to move your line" -I didn’t realize that I had a fish on. Then all of a sudden as I wasreeling in the line, the other rod started tapping and there was a fish on.

The fish on the first rod ended up snapping the line, but I still had the other rod to work with. This time I was able to land the rainbow, my first kayak trout. It felt good to finally get one on the boat. At this point I felt confident in my setup. I quickly rigged up both rods to keep on trolling. 

It was already 1 pm and I was supposed to leave at 12 to let my dog Melo out, so I decided it was time to head back to the launch, but I would still troll on the way in. Right as I was about to turn the corner, I had another fish on.

This time I was able to get the fish in the net fairly easily. It was larger tha the first one, measuring in at 15.5". Even though I could have kept fishing, I was already late and I decided to just pull all the lines out of the water and paddle in. 

The whole day was awesome and it was great to be able to paddle with Ken Jan ,who lives in New York and visits California part of the year. I had met him at the "fish and chill" this past weekend and it was great to fish with him again.  He got his limit by the time we got off the water.

Lupine Shores is a great spot to launch a kayak from. They don't have a boat launch fee, just a day use fee of $3.15 per person or per dog. The one downside of Lupine Shores is they have no potable water, so make sure to bring some . They do have portable bathrooms. 

When I got home Melo was so excited to see me and ran to the door before I could even ask him if he wanted to go out. 

For more information about kayaks and kayak fishing, visit the Headwaters Kayak website at 


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