Mother Lode Roundup
Written By: Dan Bacher, Garry Erck, September 5, 2013
Species: Trout, Catfish, Bass, Kokanee,
Location: Lake Amador, Pardee Reservoir, Camanche Reservoir, New Melones Reservoir, Don Pedro Reservoir, McSwain Reservoir, McClure Reservoir,
(Ione) Two anglers teamed up to land the largest catfish of the year – and the largest fish of any kind caught at Amador to date – during a recent fishing trip.
Nicole and Cassidy Wilson bagged a 32 lb. channel cat while fishing a nightcrawler at the end of the campground, revealed Debbie Grayson at Lake Amador.
That’s not the only big cat wrestled out of the lake lately. Robert of Ione landed a 10 lb. catfish while soaking chicken liver on the other side of the spillway.
“Bass fishing is picking up,” said Grayson. “The big fish in a recent club tournament was a 7.2 lb. largemouth.”
Amador is now 30 feet from maximum pool.
(Ione) You gotta go deep and they aren't oversize – but Pardee kokanee are there to please and if anglers want stupid easy action, Lake Pardee is the place to go for kokanee.
Citrus Heights angler Chris ‘Fish Chris’ Jimmerson hit the water at Lake Pardee and took home his five fish by 10 am. “We didn’t see any real flurry’s of fish – no doubles – but we picked up fish all morning long. We worked the river mouth up to the rock wall – marking fish from 80-100 feet deep. We pulled pink Uncle Larry’s or Radical Glow spinners and Sep’s dodgers.”
Fred Dorman at Lake Pardee Marina reported anglers tying off at Bernice or Ticket coves and finding nice trout action for their efforts. “Catfish are biting at the south-end from Mel’s Cove to Rattlesnake as well as up the River Arm - better baits have been PowerBait and chicken livers.” Says Fred.
Lake Pardee is currently sitting at 97% capacity.
(Burson) Air and water temperatures at Lake Camanche are starting to cool down - which means better fishing for catfish, bass and rainbow trout.
“Catfish are being caught all over right now and they seem to be biting all sorts of bait: night-crawlers, PowerBaits, and anything smelly like anchovies or chicken liver,” according to the Lake Camanche Recreation Company.
Mervin and Nate of Galt landed a 4.7 lb. catfish on the main lake while using PowerBait.. Randy McNab of Valley Springs, CA bagged pair of 4.19 lb. and 3.4 lb. catfish while using worms on the main lake.
Warm water temperatures have trout hanging out 45 to 50 feet deep out by the dam. Anglers looking to catch trout are having the best luck bringing them in by trolling with down riggers.
Angers are also hooking largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass while fishing Senkos, plastic worms, jigs and other offerings.
The Lake Camanche water level is 213.75 feet in elevation, 21.75 feet from full. The lake is holding 269,470 acre feet of water, 65 percent of capacity. Releases to the Mokelumne River below Camanche Dam are 275 cfs.
(Angels Camp) “Very good” catfish action is available now at New Melones. Anglers are catching plenty of nice cats averaging 4-8 pounds, reported Melanie Lewis at Glory Hole sports.
Most fish are in shallow water from 5-20 feet. Use live minnows, frozen shad, mackerel, or anchovies for best success. Also, chicken liver and night crawlers work well to.
Glory Hole Sports employee Gary Powell went fishing with wife Jessica, and son Shane. They caught a hefty cat near the Tuttletown boat launch that weighed over 9-pounds.
Big fish honors go to Michelle Powell Mayfield and her 2-year old grand daughter Aubrielle Hardnett. They landed a big 9-pound, 6-ounce catfish near the 49 bridge while fishing a wax worm midday in 20’ of water.
“The kokanee are working their way upriver for their annual spawn ,” said Lewis. “We have reports of a few fish being caught in the dam spillway area, but the majority of fish are being caught near the 49 bridge. The bite has been good and the fish are extremely feisty."
Try targeting fish from 70-100’ of water with hoochies, Vance’s Sockeye slammers, Cripplures, Uncle Larry’s spinners, Ex-Cels, Apex lures and other offerings, all tipped with white corn, behind dodgers.
The trout fishing is slow, with the fish holding in deeper/cooler water. “Night anglers are still successfully catching limits of 2-pound rainbows near the dam and the spillway. Night crawlers and Power Bait have been the two most productive baits to use at night. Also, try using a vertical jigging spoon under and around the light to simulate injured and dying shad,” Lewis tipped.
Trolling anglers have been catching a few fish while trolling for the kokanee.
“The nights have been cooler and the bass bite is starting to pick up,” reported Lewis. “Most fish are being caught on soft plastics fished in deep water. Natural crawdad and shad colored baits will produce fish. Try fishing long points, humps, and bluffs with deep/cooler water nearby.”
New Melones is currently holding 1,130,008 acre-feet of water. The lake level dropped two feet this week, and is currently at 960 ft. above sea level and 126 ft. from full. The average water temperature is a very warm 78-84 degrees.
(La Grange) “Don Pedro is putting out a phenomenal trout bite right now,” said Monte Smith of Gold Country Sportfishing.
“Troll at 35-65 feet deep with trolled spoons – smeared with Pro-Cure oils – and you will find limits of trout; the key is to work bait balls. Find the bait and you will find the fish. Bait is currently scattered all over the lake – so work a lot of water and there should be no problem getting into limits of trout,” he disclosed.
“With the water temperature on Don Pedro starting to cool (76.4 degrees), the lake is shaping up for one tremendous fall trout bite,” said Danny Layne of Fish’n Dan’s Guide Service. “We are already seeing numerous trout over three pounds and 20” long.”
Clients Jeff Sherwin and family from Martinez on Tuesday and Larry Wing and Brother Jim from Ripon on Thursday enjoyed the wonderful bite that Pedro is giving up.
“We found fish this past week holding in Graveyard Bay, off Copper Mtn and Big Oak Island at depths from 35’ to 60’,” said Layne. “The most productive methods have been long lining Ex-Cel shad and Vance’s Slim Fins in Nasty Boy or Cop Car colors - or just plan rolling shad cured in Pautzke’s Fire Brine.”
“When you find big balls of shad, continue to work that area because it is holding fish,” he advised. “The last few trips I have been noticing shad from 15’ to 60’ on my electronics.”
“Medium and large minnows are slaying bass and trout at Don Pedro,” said Manny Basi at The Bait Barn. “In addition, early morning top-water with Spooks or Pop-Rs will be productive on bass. There is also a pretty good wacky rig bite on five inch natural shad pattern Yamamato Senkos.”
Don Pedro is at 60% of capacity.
(Snelling) Bank anglers at Lake McSwain have been doing well on PowerBait, reported Terri Mello at A-1 Bait and Tackle. Chartreuse, yellow or green PowerBait or Power Eggs – scented with garlic has been accountable for most limits.
Anglers are finding the Handicap Dock and Brushpile productive. A few reports of success with floated nightcrawlers have also been seen.
“Lake McClure is offering up catfish and bass on live crawdads," said Mello. “Trout are hitting at the inlet area on PowerBait – but kokes and kings have been tough this past week, with no reports.”
Lake McClure stands at 39% of capacity.
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