The fishing line

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Feb 14, 2009
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• CAPLES LAKE – The Department of Fish and Game planted 140,000 fingerling rainbow trout, and the macks are gorging on them. Trevor Wentz and Sam Huff from Gardnerville both caught nice macks, 3 to 4 pounds, trolling rainbow-pattern Trophy Stick lures. The El Dorado Irrigation District has scheduled a planting of 9,000 pounds of 4- to 15-pound trophy rainbows this week. Shore anglers were doing well at the dam and spillway on Super Dupers, Power Bait, salmon eggs and worms.

• NEW MELONES RESERVOIR – Kokanee continued to be the big draw and well worth the trip, with limits even when the weather conditions weren't great. Guide Monte Smith of Gold Country Sportfishing reported two trips with limit action.

• AMERICAN RIVER – Dropping flows continued to throw shad – and fishermen – off their game last week, but there were still plenty of fish around. The trick was to find them, because their favored holding slots have been changing frequently. In addition, since shad traditionally bite best in the evening, the odds are better if you wait until after 6:30 or so.


• SACRAMENTO RIVER side – Smaller tides should be much better for stripers. A few more spawners were reported from Decker Island to Isleton (including the West Bank,) the Old Dairy, Old Sac and lower Steamboat Slough. Try Yo-Zuri's Crystal Minnows in 7 to 10 feet of water. Next week should see anglers working the morning incoming tides for sturgeon. Ghost, grass and anise for scent will still be your best bets.


• AMADOR LAKE – Trout were deeper, and trollers were doing the best using downriggers with bead spinners, grubs or nightcrawlers. Catfish were trickling in, with a couple from the dam area by the spillway and more from Jackson Creek. Top baits were chicken livers and mackerel. Bass fishing was consistent with fish to 5 pounds weighed, mostly caught on plastic worms.

• CAMANCHE LAKE – Changes in weather are coming, but the cool trend kept the trout bite going, with trollers catching fish to 8 pounds. Bass fishing rated good for the skilled, with one pro catching 25 to 30 fish (estimated) on Senkos and jerk baits. Catfish efforts were well rewarded with fish to 11 pounds weighed, and stringers of big ones possible. Top baits were anchovies and mackerel or chicken liver.


• FEATHER RIVER – Small steelhead were caught on nymphs and nightcrawlers in the Low Flow Section, while shad fishing was still OK but not great below the rapids at Shanghai Bend. The story on stripers was the same as on the Sacramento River: lots of bait-stealing shakers for each keeper.

• FOLSOM LAKE — It's hard to pinpoint why, but bass fishing was tough last week, with no particular pattern to the few fish caught by most anglers. It might be the windy, cool conditions, or perhaps the fact that the lake is so full that fish can spread out to just about anywhere. Whatever the reason, the few fish being caught, mostly small spots, might as likely be in the back of a cove where a trickle of water is still coming in, or off a rocky point. While cranks might score a few, the best bet day in day out is still to drop-shot or darthead a plastic worm like a Robo-Worm in Aaron's Magic or Morning Dawn. A few trout were caught on the main body in front of the dam and by the buoys at Brown's Ravine from 30 to 40 feet deep.

• SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento – If you want lots of action but don't care about size or going through a lot of bait, striper fishing is for you. Just scale down your gear and use small baits. You will have no trouble catching lots of shaker stripers and maybe a catfish or two. There were a few keeper stripers reported from the port by trolling and jigging. Shad fishing was good at the mouth of the American River and Verona, but it wasn't nearly as good as a couple of weeks ago. Still lots better than the last couple of years, though.

– Western Outdoor News


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