Mother Lode Roundup

posted in: Lakes, Reports | 0


Kevin Smith headed down to New Melones Reservoir hoping to find big kokanee and he got several trout and salmon including this impressive 17.25 inch kokanee.
Kevin Smith headed down to New Melones Reservoir hoping to find big kokanee and he got several trout and salmon including this impressive 17.25 inch kokanee.


(Ione) Shore anglers are hooking good numbers of channel catfish in the 2 to 5 lb. range while fishing chicken liver, mackerel, anchovies and other cut baits in the coves on Lake Amador.

“The best fishing is available near the old launch ramp in the dry camp area,” said Lee Lockhart of Lake Amador Resort. “We planted the lake last with 500 pounds of channel cats on June 24.”

Bass fishing has been tough for most, but one savvy angler reported great action on a recent trip to the reservoir.

“He reported landing 30 fish while fishing a Big Swim swimbait on black dart head in the middle of the coves,” said Lockhart. “He targeted bass that were chasing schools of shad. He reported catching a 6 pounder, along with two 4 pounders.”

Bluegill and redear sunfish are showing in good numbers around trees, brush and structure. “My daughter caught a bunch of hand-size bluegill while fishing redworms around the blue docks,” he said. “Other guys have reported landing redear sunfish averaging a half pound and going up to 1 pound while bait fishing with worms on the north side of the spillway.”

The lake level is only 4 feet from full and the boat launching facilities are in full operation.



(Ione) As usual this time of year, the kokanee salmon are doing great at Lake Pardee. Boaters are catching limits of landlocked sockeyes averaging 13 to 14 inches and going up to 16 inches by as early as 10 a.m, reported Robert of Pardee Lake Recreation.

“If you are out early in the morning you will find them a little closer to the surface, 25-35 feet down,” according to the report. “As the day warms up, you want to look for them as deep at 60-70′. Hoochies, spinners, spoons are working really well in the main body of the lake and up the river arm.”

Fishing for trout has been tough. They tend to go deep when the weather warms up, so you will want to look in places you can find deep, cool water. If you are fishing from the bank, you may want to look for them off Blue Heron Point, Stony Creek Landing, and Woodpile. If you are out on a boat, you want to try the mouth of the river and up the river arm.

“Bass fishing is going strong in the river arm and Woodpile Gulch,” said Robert. “Senkos and Robo Worms  are working best right now.”

Both largemouths and smallmouths are hitting. Jerry Wynhoff of Galt caught a 5+ lb largemouth while using a Senko.

Big channel catfish are on the bite. Stoney Creek spillway and Blue Heron have been the best places recently. Anglers are using nightcrawlers and cut baits.

The water temperature is 78 degrees at the Marina. The lake is 95 percent of capacity.



(Burson) The most exciting news from Lake Camanche is the capture of a 16.55 lb. rainbow trout, the biggest of the year to date. Frank Mitchum landed the huge fish while trolling at 35 to 40 feet near Little Hat Island, according to Cheng Seechan of the Lake Camanche Recreation Company.

Mitchum is now at the top of the Monster Fish Leader Board for the 2016 Monster Fish Contest. If this is the largest trout for 2016, Frank will win a 2017 Lake Camanche Annual Pass after the end of the year.

Mitchum is not the only person who has caught trout lately. Robbie Dunham of Galt reported great action on rainbows while trolling in the main river channel in front of Little Hat Island on his latest trip.

He trolled Speedy Shiners at 25 to 35 feet deep. He reported catching two fish over 4 pounds with the remaining rainbows over 2 pounds. The fish are feeding heavily on shad ranging from  ¾ to 1.5 inches long.

“The bass are in the shallows from 7 to 11 feet in depth,” said Seechan. “I had a great trip during the week, landing several largemouth bass using Senkos or Brush Hogs in watermelon seed.”

“We also put in 50 crappie between four rods working drop-offs, submerged stumps, and rocky points with red/white mini jigs, Kastmasters, or red worms. Bluegill action is also hot with red worms or wax worms,” he tipped.

For channel catfish, anglers and boaters should soak mackerel, chicken livers, anchovies and other baits at night or in the early morning hours in the coves.


New Melones

Rachel Smith rounded up this quality rainbow trout while fishing New Melones Reservoir with her dad Kevin on June 26.
Rachel Smith rounded up this quality rainbow trout while fishing New Melones Reservoir with her dad Kevin on June 26.

(Angels Camp) Kokanee salmon action has improved over the past two weeks, drawing a number of downrigger trollers to fish the lake.

“The kokanee in New Melones are extremely fat and healthy this year,” said John Liechty of Glory Hole Sporting Goods. “We have measured fish up to 17 inches, weighing close to 2 pounds. We anticipate seeing some in the 19-inch range by the end of the season.”

He said the best fishing is in the main river channel and in the creek channels leading into the main body of the lake as the fish have moved down further in the water column from 30 to 60 feet of water.

Several different presentations have been effective, and hoochies or Super Squids behind a leader measuring from 8 to 12 inches are working.

“Teardrop dodgers with micro hoochies, Plankton, mini kokanee flies or Kokanee Bites will coax bites from finicky fish. Gold, watermelon, blue and pink are good color choices for blades while pink, purple and blue have been good color choices for lures. Garlic and Garlic Bloody Tuna have been two of the most productive scents,” he tipped.

Gary Burns of Take It to the Limit Guide Service reported boating 2 limits of kokanee weighing a total of 16 pounds, 3 ounces, on a recent trip. He caught the ish middle of the lake from the dam to the spillway and back from 42 to 52 feet He has been using pink hoochies, Uncle Larry’s spinners or Wedding Rings in pink behind 6-inch dodgers in an array of colors.

“Trout action remains fair, but the few rainbows landed are loading up with shad,” said Liechty. “The shad are in deeper water, and the rainbows can be found around the shad schools in the main river channel and the intersection of creeks into the main lake.”

Night fishing under lights continues to improve in 40 to 80 feet of water with live minnows, Gulp! Minnows, or spoons for a variety of catfish, bass, crappie or trout, he noted.

“Bass fishing is fair as the lake continues to drop in elevation and the water temperatures rise,” he said. “”The fish are in the shallows in the mornings before heading out into deeper water,” he stated. “A few quality fish have been taken on topwater lures. Casey Strom of Livermore caught and released largemouth bass using a walk-the-dog top water lure and also on a Senko.”

Liechty said catfishing remains very good at depths from 5 to 20 feet along main lake points and sloping muddy banks with sardines, frozen shad, or anchovies.

“Crappie action is fair at best with the slabsides holding in a few selected submerged trees. Small minnows, mini jigs, or Beetle spins are producing a few slabsides,” he tipped.

The Bureau of Reclamation is releasing water from the reservoir and despite inflow from the upper Stanislaus River, the lake dropped 1.5 feet to 883.18 feet in elevation and 26% of capacity.

Glory Hole remains the only launch available on the lake with two lanes and a courtesy dock.