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michaelnel
01-01-2017, 01:13 PM
I really don't want to topline at Melones any more. Right now folks are catching 30-50 dinks (mostly on barbed treble hooks I bet) and shaking all but a limit off back into the water. That is HURTING the little guys, barbs tearing big holes in their mouth, and I'm sure many don't survive the experience.

I don't mind fishing for larger fish and keeping them, but all this barbed catch & release just doesn't appeal to me any more.

I am going to start crimping down the barbs on my hooks. I am gonna stop toplining where all the dinks are because I know what will happen. Heck, last time I was out I didn't even feel like landing any of those fish, I let my fishing buddy do it, and I just drove the boat.

So I am going to try to figure out what it takes to get the holdovers... maybe drifting and casting early morning in the shallows, but 200' drop back toplining with barbed hooks is off my menu for now.

burninfuel
01-01-2017, 02:06 PM
try 3-4 colors of lead and fish 15-25 ft down

michaelnel
01-01-2017, 02:36 PM
Thanks, but I have downriggers, I don't use leadcore.

panther
01-01-2017, 05:23 PM
This year I took the treble hooks off of all my lures and replaced them with single Siwash hooks. I didn't notice any difference in "hookability", and it sure makes releasing any fish (large or small) much easier and more gentle on the fish.

michaelnel
01-01-2017, 05:25 PM
This year I took the treble hooks off of all my lures and replaced them with single Siwash hooks. I didn't notice any difference in "hookability", and it sure makes releasing any fish (large or small) much easier and more gentle on the fish.

Yep.

That's my project for this coming week. Just gotta figure out what size siwash for all the lures and go get some and sit down and change them. I will be crimping the barbs, too.

panther
01-01-2017, 05:33 PM
Michaelnel,

I replaced the trebles on most of my 1/4 ounce with lures with size 4 Siwash and most of the trebles on my 1/8 ounce lures with size 6 Siwash. I keep a selection of size 4, 6, and 8 Siwash. When I take the treble off, its size helps me determine which Siwash to use.

michaelnel
01-01-2017, 05:41 PM
Headed to Fisherman's Warehouse in the morning. Thanks for the sizing tips.

michaelnel
01-02-2017, 02:35 PM
Got the hooks. Let the bleeding and cussin' begin!

flyer5
01-02-2017, 04:04 PM
I read a study a long time ago, showed barbed vs barbless makes zero difference in fish mortality, at least with trout. Treble vs single hook is probably another story of course. Data was good with large sample size.

Also people that just rip the hook out of the poor fish's mouth, that would cause a difference no doubt. Get some hemostats and clamp them to your vest, push in, out, then back thru the hole, sorry for restating the obvious I guess.

There are many other factors besides that little barb, like people just tossing the fish back in smack on the water after taking too long to take a photo or whatever.

Cal fisheries are in such bad shape, as much as I like trout I think ALL SIZES should be released, but the barb thing gravels my butt, ever try to fight a trout on a barbless size 18 fly? You have to reel them in 90 miles an hour like the crazy bass people.

michaelnel
01-02-2017, 04:11 PM
Regardless of catch & release and barbless vs barbed and treble vs single hooks, I just don't enjoy catching 30 rubber trout that will bite anything they see. I don't find it sporting, challenging, or entertaining, so I am not going to do it any more.

dpetrini
01-03-2017, 10:38 PM
Catching too many fish... I'd love to have that problem! ;-)

flyer5
01-04-2017, 06:13 PM
Anyone know the water temp at melones around now? I fished the fork of Stanislaus that runs into it late august this year, and I was surprised how cold that water was so late in the year , around 54 degrees I think, even below trout optimum temp.

Kinda off-topic but I'm sure that lake has to be a great place for trout to grow old and big, since the inflow water seems so much cooler than many of cal's rivers.

I haven't fished there since the late 90s, when I caught a nice 16 inch rainbow from the shore on a spoon.

I should give it a try again, but I always tend to shy away from lower lakes for trout, the bass are ruthless killers.

Jfitalia
01-04-2017, 10:53 PM
Anyone know the water temp at melones around now? I fished the fork of Stanislaus that runs into it late august this year, and I was surprised how cold that water was so late in the year , around 54 degrees I think, even below trout optimum temp.

Kinda off-topic but I'm sure that lake has to be a great place for trout to grow old and big, since the inflow water seems so much cooler than many of cal's rivers.

I haven't fished there since the late 90s, when I caught a nice 16 inch rainbow from the shore on a spoon.

I should give it a try again, but I always tend to shy away from lower lakes for trout, the bass are ruthless killers.


Well camanche was 52.5 last week, so I'd assume melones is colder

Steve079
01-05-2017, 12:12 AM
Sunday, we were out molesting the dinks, and I'm thinking the surface temp was 56, but this was on a friends FF. We each took 5 home for dinner, they may be small, but oh so tasty.
Hoping to go back Friday and pester them some more, and if the temp is significantly different, I'll let you know.

michaelnel
01-05-2017, 05:16 AM
Anyone know the water temp at melones around now?

It varies with where you are in the lake. Last time I was there it was about 54F most places, but if you are in the shallows mid-day it might be a little higher, in the shade a little cooler. It is pretty much prime rainbow temps everywhere though, since the lake has turned over.