Mother Lode Roundup

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(Ione) Lake Amador has come up 3 feet so far from the latest storm – and another storm had arrived at press time. The lake is currently 44 feet from full – and rising as you read this.

Trout plants are in full swing. “We planted 3500 pounds of rainbows on October 22, 3500 pounds on November 5 and 1200 pounds on November 12,” said Debbie Grayson at the Lake Amador Resort.

Bank anglers and float tubers are experiencing the best action while tossing out PowerBait, Power Worms, nightcrawlers and Kastmasters now; the trollers haven’t showed in force yet. The dam, spillway and docks are the hot spots.

Jim English of Cameron Park bagged a limit of rainbows averaging 2 pounds each while fishing pink and green Power Worms from the docks. Another angler reported catching a 3-1/2 lb. rainbow, according to Grayson.

“One girl showed me a photo of an 8 lb. largemouth, her largest ever, that she caught and released on the lake,” added Grayson.



(Burson) The long awaited rainbow trout plants have finally arrived at Lake Camanche!

“A whopping 4,500 lbs. of Mt. Lassen Trout have been planted, including 2,000 lbs in the pond and 1,250 lbs in the lake on each shore,” according to Terry Willard at the Camanche Recreation Company.

Bank anglers should employ PowerBait, Power Eggs, Pautzke salmon eggs, nightcrawlers, jigs, spoons and spinners in the South Trout Pond and off the North and South Shores. Boaters should troll with spoons, spinners and worms behind dodgers and flashers.

Dustin Peck of Manteca caught the biggest catfish of the year to date – and the largest fish of any kind this year at Camanche – when he landed a monster 26.39 lb.catfish from the trout pond using chicken liver on October 30.

“This big cat puts Dustin on top of the leaderboard in the Monster Fish Contest. If this weight holds until 12/31/15, Dustin will receive a FREE 2016 Annual Pass,” said Willard.


New Melones

(Angels Camp) Great fall black bass fishing highlights the fishing options available now at New Melones Reservoir.  

‘Many anglers are catching a bunch of fish on each outing, and most fish are in the 1 to 3-pound range,” reported John Liechty of Glory Hole Sporting Goods. “They are filling their bellies in preparation for the colder winter months, and the fish are schooling up and feeding on balls of schooled shad. Once you find the bait, the bass will be nearby.”

Small swimbaits, spoons, drop-slot rigs or Texas-rigged plastics are all producing good numbers of suspended bass.

“Small swim baits are a good choice,” he noted. “You will be able to count the swim bait down to the desired depth and then retrieve slowly through the school of fish. “

 “Try fishing many different locations until you find an actively feeding school, as they can be there one day and gone the next with most of the fish suspended off of the bottom,” he tipped.

Catfishing has also been good from the bank as the fish are moving into shallow water during both the day and night in search of “easy meals” washing off of the banks. Whole mackerel or sardines are working for the larger catfish with a double-hook rig on a weightless presentation.

Big fish honors go to Craig Smith of Orangevale, who landed a 13 lb. 11 oz. catfish on chicken livers in the main lake.

Trout action remains slow, but the fish are moving up in the water column as the lake continues to cool. The rainbows are also working the suspended schools of threadfin shad, and the bite will improve as the lake turns over. Expect the lake to turn over soon as water temperatures cool down.

Crappie fishing is tough, said Liechty, but a few savvy anglers are hooking quality slabsides while drifting live minnows under slip floats.

Glory Hole Point boat launch is a one lane dirt and gravel road leading off the end of the point.  There is not a courtesy dock and it is best to launch with a 4-wheel drive vehicle.

The lake level has dropped 2 feet to 797.58 feet in elevation and 11% of capacity. Lake Tulloch rose to 499.48 feet in elevation and 82% of capacity, due to releases from New Melones



Don Pedro

(La Grange) “Drop shotting, throwing chatterbaits and tossing out spinnerbaits are all tactics we will be using at Don Pedro,” said Jim at Fisherman’s Friend in Lodi.  “Colors will range from peanut butter and jelly to pumpkin with red flake; the darker the better.”

The bass have moved off to shore points and edge structure after this last set of storms, so anglers will have to look away from the coves that have been producing lately.

“The rain was welcome, but not enough to really get the shoreline food chain going for rainbow trout and king salmon just yet,” said Monte Smith of Gold Country Sportfishing. “A few more storms will get run-off generated and once that happens, work sideplaned lures, with long setbacks across the shorelines and points for a decent shot at some nice fish. If working the deeper water off the shorelines, the top twenty feet will start producing if we continue to get these cold temperatures.”

Don Pedro is at 32% of capacity.



(Snelling) Catfish continue to provide the most noteworthy fishing at both McClure and McSwain.

We had a solid soaking of rain last week, but little run-off; so action hasn’t changed too much at McClure or McSwain,” said Teri Mello at A-1 Bait and Tackle. “Catfish have been the best bet at both lakes with live crawdads and cut anchovies doing the deed at both lakes.  Bass have also been hitting on minnows too.”

“Rumors of crappie hitting medium minnows are rampant, but no anglers are ‘fessing up to it – seems like they are trying to keep that a secret.” “Both lakes are finding bank action best – McClure, because it’s so low and McSwain due to the warmer water hanging in those zones. Trout action at McSwain remains dismal,” Mello concluded.

Lake McClure is at 7% of capacity.