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View Full Version : Bavarian Melones 12-19-13



schatgun
12-19-2013, 08:28 PM
After getting off from working a 9 hour overtime detail last night I backed into the driveway & hitched up the boat to a brisk 530 am Manteca morning. I had prepped the boat the evening before & all I had left to do was throw in a few cold micro-brewskis & I was golden. Patrick (2 Fish) showed up a little bit later & we made our way up to the Mother Lode.

We had made a plan to focus on fish w/ the bright red gill plates and/or of Bavarian decent leaving the truck trout & crowds behind. As we rolled into Tuttletown there was quite a bit of surface activity along with a crowd of bankers bombarding the small area with everything they had.....saw a few hook ups while waiting for Patrick to park my rig.....I tossed a kastmaster out there to kill time & to get the blood pumping but only got 3 casts in before Patrick came sache'ing down the ramp.

We motored out of the 5 mph zone & hammered down towards the far reaches of lake. The lake level is disappointingly low & coincidentally, I heard on the radio on the way up to the lake they are putting together a panel to determine whether to officially declare a drought or not.....
If you are unfamiliar with the lake, be warned, if your head north of the 49 bridge there are tree tops above & slightly below the water level that aren't normally exposed.....some real hull gutters & prop busters.

We made our way way up north then trolled our way for a bit for nothing. We ended up putting the trolling gear away for awhile & I went to work with a chrome 1/4 oz kastmaster while Patrick tossed his fly rod.
After the 2nd or 3rd cast I saw a solid looking fish (maybe 6 or 7lbs) following my lure almost all the way to the boat before spooking. I never did get him but a few casts later I was rewarded with what we came for....red gill plates.
http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k500/Schatgun/20131219_101425_zps46bbce13.jpg (http://s1112.photobucket.com/user/Schatgun/media/20131219_101425_zps46bbce13.jpg.html)

We worked this area pretty well for a couple more bumps but no commitments so we pressed on. 2nd stop was dismal to say the least other than the Kick butt eagle that lets us get up close.
http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k500/Schatgun/20131219_115353_zps59dda530.jpg (http://s1112.photobucket.com/user/Schatgun/media/20131219_115353_zps59dda530.jpg.html)
http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k500/Schatgun/20131219_115409_zps8f79155c.jpg (http://s1112.photobucket.com/user/Schatgun/media/20131219_115409_zps8f79155c.jpg.html)

These guys were everywhere......

Someone had too much time on their hands back in the day.....but nice work
http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k500/Schatgun/20131219_124928_zps206c621f.jpg (http://s1112.photobucket.com/user/Schatgun/media/20131219_124928_zps206c621f.jpg.html)

3rd stop resulted in tons of bumps & followers but again no takers.....so we decided to troll our way out....
We picked off 4 or 5 fish on the way out all on an assortment of Rapalas.
Day was starting to get late so we started making our way back towards the ramp but not after hitting one last little area.....Good call because the fish, mainly those of Bavarian Decent (German Browns) were on the rampage.
I tossed a gold kastmaster (lost my chrome one) while Patrick stuck to the fly. I started picking them off about every 5 minutes or so.....with several bumps & short strikes in between.....scored a few truck trout in the mix too.
http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k500/Schatgun/20131219_162410_zps42c2d0b1.jpg (http://s1112.photobucket.com/user/Schatgun/media/20131219_162410_zps42c2d0b1.jpg.html)
The fish were hungry & angry and I was happy to serve them up some tasty gold kastmaster....
http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k500/Schatgun/20131219_155614_zps9bc7d3e3.jpg (http://s1112.photobucket.com/user/Schatgun/media/20131219_155614_zps9bc7d3e3.jpg.html)
After maybe 4 or 5 fish to the boat I had one grab a hold of my kastmaster & take me to town.....damn fun. But in the end the SOB got his freedom along with a gold kastmaster hanging from his lip....****...I'd say in the 4 to 5lb range. At this point I switched to a small Rapala with spinner on its nose. It worked well & I was able to score a few more.
http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k500/Schatgun/20131219_162426_zps62b3b39f.jpg (http://s1112.photobucket.com/user/Schatgun/media/20131219_162426_zps62b3b39f.jpg.html)
Well we ended up running out of daylight & had to call it quits. Patrick's fly got lots of attention but no sticks. I give him lots of credit though.....He had a plan to focus on his fly fishing & stuck with it.

The Skinny:
water.....low, clear & @ 54 degrees
weather.....sprinkles & overcast in the morning giving way to bright sunshine, cool temps (maybe mid to low 50s) with a 5 to 8 mph wind that randomly switched directions on us all day
Trolling gear......a vast variety of misc. Rapalas in different colors, sizes, & actions.
Casting gear....kastmasters, spinner Rapala, & firetiger Thomas Bouyant
Fly gear.....ask Patrick
where.....every corner of the lake & everywhere in between.

Another great day on the water....I hope it continues.

If you go have a great time but please beware of the trees....both above & below the surface....

redneckpunk
12-19-2013, 08:34 PM
As usual, a great report. Looks like a great day on the water

~RNP

NaughtyFlashLures
12-19-2013, 08:57 PM
Good job schatgun, thanks for the report and heads up on the lake.

Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk

RideNfish
12-19-2013, 09:01 PM
Way to go buddy! Glad you found some quality fish. I had to go after truck trout to get a tug. Next time I'm skipping the "fresh" fish. I want them holdovers. I need a fix bad!

Marv
12-19-2013, 10:08 PM
Glad you got into a better class of fish. Nice brown and love the eagle shot.

CAL916BEAR
12-19-2013, 11:19 PM
Great report, great pictures, great fish, and great hat! Like the detailed report, I wish I could catch a brown like that!

sollimes
12-20-2013, 06:15 AM
Right on Schat! Nice looking Melones bow and the brown.
Its seems like more browns are being caught this year.

Steve079
12-20-2013, 07:05 AM
Great report! the pic with the stacked rock? I know an area that has several places like that, from what I was told, it was a cart trail from way back in the day. There are also some canals, (ffor lack of a better word) that were dug up the hill and around, in that area as well. When the bike/hiking trails were built, they used the canals as part of the paths. Until they found out that during heavy rain, they still transported water. They knocked out the sides of them is a number of places.

Thanks for sharing.

schatgun
12-20-2013, 07:32 PM
the pic with the stacked rock? I know an area that has several places like that, from what I was told, it was a cart trail from way back in the day.

Yeah, lots of stacked rocks all over the lake....you just don't see them unless the lake is as low as it is....pretty impressive.....they are everywhere....creek channels, river channels, coves....lots of work & lots of rocks....pretty darn cool.

Line Stretcher
12-20-2013, 07:52 PM
Sounds like you guy's had a great day! Nice fish!..



If you go have a great time but please beware of the trees....both above & below the surface....

We have that problem at Lake Sonoma. I've got them pretty well mapped out now. Each year they loose a little more height courtesy of Yamaha, Merc, Evinrude and a few others. I used to try to warn people that were headed into them but that was fruitless. Now I just keep score. If it kills the engine its a definite "10".














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MrDwnRigger
12-21-2013, 10:23 AM
Nice report and pictures,

Melones will be a minefield this summer if you're downriggng with the lake so low. This year I lost two weights during the KP Derby if the lake doesn't come up it will be worse next year. I am going to design a breakaway system for next year, better just to lose the weight then the whole set up. Also going to use only stick weights.

If you're not running a stainless prop or a jet I would recommend carrying a spare with the tools to change it if you run up past Carson Creek. There will be a ton of wood in the lake this spring time when the lake hopefully comes up some. It just a matter of time before you hit something. If you run a stainless you will just be making toothpicks.

Here's a video I shot right after the CAST (10/9) event this year, I ran all the way up until where the river was coming in. These are the trees you can see lot more underwater.

MrD


http://youtu.be/k64ieGGPJXc

schatgun
12-21-2013, 03:43 PM
I am going to design a breakaway system for next year, better just to lose the weight then the whole set up. Also going to use only stick weights.

Here's a video I shot right after the CAST (10/9) event this year, I ran all the way up until where the river was coming in. These are the trees you can see lot more underwater.

MrD


http://youtu.be/k64ieGGPJXc


I took an old hyrolic ram we had lying around at the ranch & cut it into 18" lengths....welded a stainless steel ring to it & a small rudder to keep it from spinning.......they came out to just over 5lbs a peice & I had about $6 between the 6 of them that I made. I've lost 2 already but thats the price that comes with searching for th big fish. I use the Scotty DR snubbers when I get in tight to snaggy areas....

The video is pretty cool.....water is even a little lower now than it was then.

There is no substantial water/rain/snow predicted in the long term forcast.....things are gonna be dismal....