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

Written By: Victor Woolworth, Headwaters Fishing Team, August 4, 2014
Species: Trout
Location: Berryessa Reservoir,

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

The weather was forecasted to be in the seventies, so I decided it was a great day to go fishing at Lake Berryessa. I got to Lupine Shores at 7:45 and was on the water by 8 a.m.

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. 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 that I had gotten bites from on an earlier trip, 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 were biting at the spinner.

At this point I saw 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 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 and hoped to get a bite. Not very long after I saw that I was getting some good bites, but nothing was sticking. This was the most action I had experienced all day, so I kept trolling. 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 was 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 trolled all ofthe way to the shore and began to circle around to repeat the same thing.

As I was going back on my route, I realized that there was a boat coming straight at me and I decided to just keep trolling and I would be able to pass them and get my lines out of the way. They were about 15 feet behind me when I heard one of my rods just let loose, so I went to pick it up and start reeling.

The boater yelled out, "Don't worry, you don't have to move your line," not realizing that I had a fish on. Then all of a sudden as I was reeling in the line, the other rod hooked up. The fish on the first rod ends up snapping the line, but it was still ok. I still had the other rod to work with.

 This time I was able to land the trout. It was my first kayak trout. It felt good to finally get one on the boat. At this point I felt confident in my setup and it was working great. I quickly rigged up both rods to keep on trolling. 

It was already 1 in the afternoon 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 the line goes again and it’s “Fish On!” This time I was able to get the fish in the net fairly easy and it ended up being bigger then the first one and measured in at 15.5".

Even though I could have kept fishing, I was already late and 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 a recent “Fish and Chill “ event 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. The one downside of Lupine Shores is they have no potable water, so make sure to bring some. They do have portable bathrooms

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