Saturday, December 13, 2008

CATCH AND KILL the future of fishing in California ?

It is the last month of the year. Time to look back at fishing and to look ahead to 2009. Over all the fishing was good. There were a few whoppers mixed in with many small trout. Most of the lakes in and near Santa Clara County had enough planted trout to give everyone a fair shot at a trout dinner.

In the South Bay we found trout in all the local ponds starting in December and ending in June. Cottonwood Lake was the star. If you paid attention to the Fish and Game stocking , you could almost be certain to catch fish if you were retired or unemployed. Because the fish were planted early in the week, most were gone by the weekend when working people had a chance to fish. Cottonwood Lake got a special plant of 2 to 3 pound fish for the Holidays last Dec. but that was the last big fish planted for the year there.

The Campbell Perk Ponds got the same fish plants as Cottonwood, with a special Kids Day plant in May. That was when thousands of pounds of trout from 6 inches to 16 pounds were put in for a weekend Kids Day. But starting that Monday, it was open to all. Hundreds of people decended on the Pond to catch fish. My grand son caught and missed countless trout on a large size 1/0 fly attached to a bubble. That next week I continued to catch many more on the same size or bigger fly or a pink trout worm. Good times for all but the poor kids whose fathers wanted to catch the fish more then their kids. Please stop yelling at your kids for missing a fish, and let the KID bring in the fish please. If I was a kid I would not go fishing again. Dads buy a license so you don't have to take your kids along to use them to fish free.

The only other place I regularly fished was Stevens Creek Dam. Small trout on small lures or bait no more then three feet under the surface. The fish were there most of April and May.

Moving on to the East Bay. Chabot had fish which were not always willing to bite. A year ago we caught 18 trout over ten pounds with a personal best of a 43.33 pound five fish limit,the smallest fish was 7 lbs. the largest was 16.43 pounds. This year The largest fish we caught was a 5lb. crappie!

Los Vaqueros, which has the best boats at the best prices, was also not as good as in the past. We had to work harder to catch fish. The fishing was better from shore. But I didn't care, I had the whole lake for myself.

I started to fish Del Valle from a boat this year instead of from shore. I got tired walking the shore line casting to very small fish. The DFG stock thousands of small trout near the boat ramp so your odds of a big trout is not too good. The boats are not mantained too good, leaks and motors stalling. Add to that the price increase for boat rentals, you may want to know why I bother? Well one word, BIG. The dam area has many large trout and strippers. You need a boat to get to them. unless you like a 6 mile hike. Trolling is great most of the time. It gets very congested , but most of the boats are regulars who know how to leave space so the lines are not cut off or tangled. Go to the Fishsniffer web sight to read about Del Valle trout fishing.

Now 2009. What is instore? I see less fishing because of the recent EIS which shut down the stocking of nonnative fish,ie. trout, in many places in our area. No longer will you be able to catch any trout in Cottonwood Lake, Coyote Res., Lexington Res., Stevens Cr. Res., Loch Lomond Res., Lafayette Res., Lake Refugio, And San Pablo Res.. This is only the local places. there are hundreds more throughout the state. This is just the beginning. More law suits are being filed so more places are to be shut down. Continue to support your local parks by buying those annual passes. And still buy those licenses, they support the fisheries.

For all of bass fisherpeople. who say," So What? trout suck any way." Be for warned. Japan start their own nonnative program in 2005. Now BASS are on the hit list. Bass are a nonnative fish in Japan, just like California. Now in Japan only a few lakes have a population of bass for catch and release. Most are now CATCH AND KILL. You catch a nonnative bass and it must be killed and disposed of in special trash boxes at the lake.You can not return it to the water! Fines are 300 US dollars! But that is not all. There are BASS BUSTER CLUBS in Japan which are sponsored by these nonnative groups who go out and kill bass. In the past 5 years, in one lake alone. they boast of killing over 5 TONS OF BASS.

The outlook is not very bright. The best days seem to be in the past. But we will not stop posting the REEL REPORT. There are still some fish out there, be they fewer, and smaller for you to catch and release or EAT. So continue to fish and read this blog to find the REEL REPORT on what is REELY going on the lakes in and near Santa Clara County.

Have a safe and sober Holiday season. May all your wish list fishing gear suddenly appear in your tackle box! Goodby and God Bless until the 2009 fishing license is legal.

Ferne and Michael

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Trout at the Campbell Perk Ponds The only place to catch fish in Santa Clara County for the next TWO YEARS!

The DFG has announced its stocking program for the next two years. That EIR which caused all trout and salmon stocking to be stopped has got some victims. The people of Santa Clara County are to be rewarded with less places to fish. Cottonwood Lake, Coyote Res., Lexington Res.,Stevens Creek Res., and Loch Lomond Res. all have had Trout stocking programs stopped. What we have left is Lake Cunningham, a not to safe place to fish, Sandy Wool lake, a mud hole for weeks after a rain, and the Campbell Perk Ponds, the only clear pond to fish.

I went to the Perk Ponds today to see how the fishing was. The DFG stocked it Wednesday. When I got there only three people were fishing. I walked to the water's edge and looked for some signs of trout. The trout were there! They had been chased into the shore weeds and were cruising in one foot of water, about ten feet out. I tried a fly and water bobber but the bobber spooked the fish. Next on was a small jig under a tiny clear bobber. I made ten casts had three hits and one fish on. The trout wanted something else. I put on a 1/32 oz. gold Panther Martin and cast out. The trout liked it for about ten minutes. I manager to catch five in that time before they stopped.

For the next hour I walked around the Pond looking for fish. I found some small schools and caught a few more. When I got to the pier on the back side I found the main school. There were hundreds of trout swimming on the surface. I got many hits and landed a few trout. This school was all smaller fish. They were about half the size of those on the other side. SoI left them and went back to the other side. I down sized my rig to not spook the fish. I tied on a 16 red bead head fly and put two bb split shots one foot above the fly. This is as small as I could cast out.

I went back to the place I started. No one was there. Only fifty or so nice trout swimming in one foot of water and weeds. For the next hour I caught a couple dozen trout up to 2lbs. All on flies and in shallow weedy water.

So get use to fishing the Perk Ponds. It will be the only real place to catch fish. Remember see trout swimming use lures. No trout swimming bait. But please use small lures these fish like small bait this time of year. AND REMEMBER NOOOO SNAGGING

Thank you DFG for putting a whole truck load of trout in.

Happy Thanksgiving to all, even the turkey. We ate pork. Michael @ Ferne

Thursday, November 20, 2008

EIS and the future of fishing in California

As you fisher people enjoy the fine fishing in places like Del Valle and Lake Chabot, there is a storm a brewing . From my reading and research two schools of thought are banging heads. The one school sees the value of planting non native trout in our lakes and streams to help the 2 billion dollar fishing industry in California. The DFG has been planting California lakes and streams with trout both nonnative and native trout for over 100 years. As of November 14, 2008 that has stopped. Due to a law suit filed , for lack of an EIS ( Environment Impact Study), all trout and salmon stocking from hatcheries in California are on hold. The DFG has dragged its feet due to under funding and man power and a judge in Sacramento issued the order.

There is out rage at the lakes and ponds. I was there yesterday and all I heard were many four letter words and anger. The web sights like Fish Sniffer has people giving their two cents worth. Discussion is good, but we fisher people need to take this serious . This law suit is not some environut acting alone. This suit is funded by groups who want our rivers an lakes to be restored to their original pristine state before man interfered with Nature. The extreme members want all non-native fish removed, leaving only native salmon, native steelhead, and white sturgeon, along the few native trout like our golden Trout. Any lakes which did not have any native fish need to be returned to that state.

Some of these people want this to happen so that the native plants and animals on the endangered species lists can be saved or become extinct slower. The introduction of non-natives has endangered species like the red-legged frog or long finned smelt, by eating or competing for their food.

Some are purists who want fishing for only native fish and zero catch limits in waters limited to the select few who can afford the fly fishing gear.

But not all of these people have these elitist demands. Some want the DFG to look seriously at their stocking practices of the last 100 years. We now have many extinct species. But to blame the DFG for them is not right. One just has to look at the salmon fishing band this year to see other causes are at work, like water management! The EIS is not going to fix any of the problems. You can not correct mistakes for 100 years with a total ban on fish planting.

This problem is not a California problem. Many states are being called on the carpet over fish stocking. Montana is poisoning lakes to get rid of nonnatives interbreeding with natives. But they have studied and found a solution. Plant sterile fish in limited numbers. They do not reduce the flora and fawna populations at all. Check the Montana EIS study on Google. There are solutions if people can work together.

But I fear that the average fisherperson does not care about issues and the future, just where are the fish biting now. That is what these groups who support this law suit are counting on. They are organized and have money and time. If this ban is just to help our lakes and streams provide the best for the environment and recreation and is temporary so the various groups and the DFG can come to an agreement to benefit all, Fine, But be real . As Rodney King said in L.A. "Can't we all get along?" My fear is that the few pictures throughout this post will go the way of the Dodo Bird.

God Bless Michael & Ferne

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Lewiston Lake Trinity River Fishing in the Fall

We just got back from a one week trip to Lewiston Lake. The weather was perfect, cool and clear. The fishing was not what was expected. Lewiston Lake is a river.It is the controlled flow of the Trinity River from Trinity Lake to the Lewiston Dam on the Trinity River. There is always a current moving and the water is in the 50's the year round. I have read about this being a fly fishing lake, and a trolling lake, so I brought all the trolling lures and poles. When I got on the lake I knew that trolling is not the answer. There is a constant flow of moss moving in the water. It is almost impossible to troll as the lure catches moss in an instant. So fly fishing was the answer. Unfortunately I did not bring the fly rods. What to do? Water bobber and fly.

We started out Sunday morning at 9:00 am. The tempature was 33degrees outside. Motored out about 300 yards and started seeing fish surfacing all over the lake. Cut the motor and cast out the bobber with a size 12 bead head nymph. The first cast and a big fat rainbow about 3lbs. hits the fly. This is going to be easy! It was for about 30minutes. We caught 4 nice fat trout. The smallest one is in the picture. Then the fish stopped biting. They stopped biting for four days.

During that time we went to the Upper Trinity River which was to low to fish. We hiked up to an Alpine lake, Lake Eleanor and tried for some Brook Trout. They were just as locked jawed as the rainbows.

We tried boats and shore casting all along the banks of the lake.We even went up to the dam outlet and found big fish jumpimg but not feeding. I talked to a local who was fishing from a boat. He said that during October and November the big trout stay up in the dam area and feed on the small Kokanee salmon which are sucked into the lake through the inlet at the dam. He said that two days ago he caught a 23incher anchoring and drifting a J7 rapala.

On the last day we drove to the public launch area one mile down the road. We had fished that area each evening and caught one trout each time. This time the Fish Gods were smiling. We cast out and drifted our bubble and size 16 bead head fly over some rocks . Wham! bam! a hit. Caught one fish than a few casts later another. This was at 3:00pm in the afternoon. That one fly kept getting bite. After 7 fish the fly looked like this................

We ended up with 12 rainbows caught all big fat and full of fight. They looked like natives we have caught in the moutain streams. We were going to eat one of them but they were so beatiful that all were released. In fact we did not see anyone keep a fish, they releasedthem all.

Lewiston Lake is a river and fishes like a river. FLIES RULE. Not much action on lures or trolling because of the moss. The fish seem to stay in the same area. They did not move much during our week stay. We caught all of the fish in the same spots.

If peace and quiet in a beautiful setting then Lewiston Lake is for you in the Fall. Just bring a boat because boats are expensive. The cost of a 4 hours rental is more than the cabin we rented for a night! A fly fishers paradise, as long as the fires are out.

One last thing, no where have I read this. All of the fish have round wounds on their bodies. They looked like the lamprey marks on the fish I use to catch in Lake Michigan. Well, they were lamprey wounds. We caught one rainbow with a 6in. lamprey attached. Proof positive. None of the locals like to talk about it, but they will become a problem just like it was in the Great Lakes. Fish and game do not address this issue. It is a problem. The fishing is not as great as it has been in recent years. There are many big fish in the lake but they are not being caught. Lampreys maybe?

If the weather ever gets cooler I will be out on the local lakes. Trolling, my arm hurts from casting. God Bless Ferne and Michael

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Only Way To Catch Early Season Trout At Quarry Lake

While the water cools off at Los Vaqueros and the algae disappears I want to let you know how to catch early season trout at Quarry Lake in Fremont. There have been many posts saying that Quarry Lake is a hard place to fish. This may be a fact in Spring and Summer but right now is the time to catch 2 t0 3lb. trout. For some reason the trout are near the surface in the warm water. In other lakes like Del Valle where you need a downrigger, Quarry Lake has trout swimming on the surface. People continue to fish for them with the standard power bait rig, or cast big spoons . These rigs catch a few but when you see 50 to 100 big fat trout swimming 10 feet from shore biting nothing and swimming back and forth teasing you people say fish do not bite at Quarry Lake. I have found that with the right lures and presentation along with many repeat casts you can get a 10 to 15 lb. limit of trout.

I caught a limit in four hours yesterday,when only a couple of fish were caught the entire day. This is the third time in a month that I have limited out. I am not trying to brag just trying to get other people to catch some fish.

The first thing is to down size your tackle. You need light lures and light line 1/8 to 1/6oz. lures on four pound line. These fish have been cast to 1000"s of times They will not hit a lure cast right on top of them. Pay attention to the direction that the fish are swimming. Cast your lure past the school and bring the lure back over the fish moving in the same direction as the school. If you cast the lure in the opposite direction ,the fish have no time to react to the lure before it passes over them. Wear a pair of polarized glasses because you need to see the fish mouth the bait. They do not hit the lure, instead they mouth it and spit it out in a half second. You almost never feel the strike. So watch the lure when it disappears,STRIKE. You will not get many fish hooked. I average 1 in10 fish to strikes. Keep casting and casting if no hits change lure colours or lures.

Now the lures; I like to start with panther martins. The small gold or silver usually works. I tie the line directly to the lure or use a small snap. No snap swivel please, the fish see it and do not attack. If that does not work I go to a black purple dressed hook panther martin totally different but it has caught half the fish. If nothing doing I put on other spinners and small spoons until I get a hit . When that fails to get a fish I will put a small crappie jig on below a tiny Thrill Bobber and cast to the fish. I will also attach a tiny #16 fly to the end of the jig,so I have a swimming jig followed 16inches by a fly. This usually does the trick. Just keep casting!

If you see the fish a little further out, you can also use a fly and bubble. You start with a water bobber. Open the bubble up and add some split shot into the bubble this makes it heavier so it will sink faster.Now you thread the line from your fishing reel through the bubble add a colour bead and then tie to a small snap swivel. Now take a 5 or 6 foot piece of flouocarbon leader tie to the other end of the swivel and attach a fly or a small trout rubber worm. I like flies this time of year. Yesterday a#12 beadhead gray and green fly caught the last three fish in fifteen minutes.Before that I tried 7 other kinds from buggers to flashy to plain flies. Try them for 20 casts and if you feel no tugs change. The key to catching these fish if to give them different things to see until one of them decides to hit it. Remember to fill the bobber with water at the lake before casting. It is not called a water bobber for nothing.

Where you fish is the most important part. You must see the fish to catch them. I fish in the same section of the lake. I am not going to tell you where just find the fish and you will catch them if you cast enough times. You might find me casting . I will be the one catching all the fish.

It is worth a try. All the fish come from Mt. Lassen. They are big and fat nothing under a pound. They fight and taste great. No fish and game sardines here. They are not stocked in Quarry Lake.

One last thing these fish frustrate people so much that many people snag the trout with their lures. A 1/2 oz. Cast Master has a large sharp treble hook. Yesterday I saw some one snag a 4lber. It gave a great fight being dragged backwards, having been snagged in the tail. It is not legal and there are some old timers out there that will call the ranger if they see you doing it.
So keep it legal and fun. I will be off to the Trinity next week for some trout and salmon fishing, The rains have arrived. Hope to have pictures of some great fish that Ferne will catch. that's why I bring her.

Until then good fishing and God Bless, Michael @Ferne

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Best Lures for Los Vaqueros

For the last four years we have been trolling Los Vaqueros, and seeing which lures catch the most fish. Now for the results: The number one lure by a large margin was the Cripp Lure from Shasta Tackle in the Silver Scale pattern. This metal spoon has caught Stripers, Trout, Bass, Sacramento Perch,and King Salmon. It is the go to lure for us.

Up until this year the number two lure was a J5 broken back rapala in gold. This lure was the best at catching King Salmon. With the Kings growing to 16+ inches, the time for the Rapala is near.

Another Rapala is our third choice, the J8 X-Rap also in gold. This lure can be top-lined or run out on lead -core. It almost always catches the biggest trout of the day.

This year we have been trying new lures. So far the best have been the Michigan Light Stinger Spoon in dark colours, The Apex 2inch lure in dark or shad colours, and the Tomic Lures in black or shad colours.

Many other lures have caught fish like Cast Masters in Silver or Gold, Lucky Live Pointers in Silver and a small no name caterpillar which just catches salmon.

All of these lures are run out on leadcore with a10 foot leader,to ten to twenty feet deep. We troll at about 2.5mph, and go to about 10 different spots in the lake. All of these spots are nearsunken road beds, humps and deep banks. We use a portable depth finder to locate depths and fish. I have even tried a down rigger to get to those salmon deep on the bottom.

This is what works for us. Let us know what works for you. God Bless.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Stripers,Jewlery, and the $50.00 Fish at Los Vaqueros

With no money for catfish for fish and game to put in the South Bay, I decided to go for the trout that the East Bay is beginning to put in their lakes. With the weather only in the low 100's, it seemed like the perfect time. The winds at Los Vaqueros were gentle for the first time in two months so at the crack of 10:30 We went out to troll Los Vaqueros. After stopping at a quilt store, got out on the lake for that cool afternoon bite. I wanted to try some of the Lake Shasta tackle to see if it was as productive down here. No downrigger as 95% of the fish are caught in 10 to 20 feet of water.That depth is easy to fish with lead core line.

I put on flashers, dodgers, spinners and all of those Canadian hand crafted lures. These were trolled around the lake for two hours with no luck. So off comes the jewlery and out go the lures with nothing but scent. It was all of five minutes when the shad coloured Tomic plug gets hammered. The fish is on for a few seconds then shakes off. But the damage is done , the fish has crossed two other lines and we now have a huge tangled mess with lead core and leaders and lures all together. So we set out to the deep water and start to untangle the mess. Finally were back in business. Soon a fish hits an apex in purple and dark pink, so I look in the box for a spoon that has those colours. I find a Michigan Lite Stinger Spoon in that colour pattern,( I have all kinds of colours in this spoon since it caught the12.44lb. rainbow at Del Valle,), I think that I now have the magic colour. Not long after the apex gets bite. As I am about to net the 2.5lb. trout, I notice a tag on it's back. So in the cooler it goes. What is the tag for? We will see later.

At 3:30 pm we are trolling along watching the birds when the little old antique pole starts to sing out. Ferne takes the pole and I turn the boat to the fish. The fish just keeps peeling out the drag. I start winding in the other lines so I can go after the fish. By this time the fish has taken out over 125 feet of lead core and is into the backing. I go after the fish before it spools us. The fish finally stops and we get some line back. The fish is now near the boat, than it turns and dives down toward the bottom 89 feet below. We still do not know what kind of fish it is. But we do know that it is BIG. Finally pumping the rod Ferne gets the fish to the surface. The fish sees the boat and goes bezerk. Another 10 minutes pass before the net closes in on a perfect 10.50lb striper. The fish had taken the Michigan Stinger spoon and would not let go. I opened it's jaws and found that the spoon was clamped to the jaws. The hook had not penetrated the jaw. It just fell out! We quickly snapped some photos. Ferne said that the striper was too beautiful to kill. I agreed. It fought to good to be killed so we put it back in the lake to fight another day.

After that it was trolling in, catching another trout on the way When we got in we found out that the tag was worth a 1\2 day boat rental worth up to $50.00. The striper on the digital camera was worth a whopper mug and a picture on the wall. So get a camera, and snap a picture of your trophy. You can then let it go to fight another day.

God Bless, Michael

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Lake Shasta "smoking" fishing report

The fires were burning but the fish didn't care. Thats because they could not get burned at 75 feet under the water. We took a trip to Lake Shasta to learn about downrigger fishing. Hired a guide, Ben Raimondi of Fish'in Comfort(530)238-9789, and took off at 6am in his 25 foot pontoon boat. It took all of five minutes before we got to the spot and set up. The fish were fifty to ninety feet down. Sent down the first downrigger to ninety feet with a ball flasher attached. That is a string of flasher blades run off the downrigger ball. The bait in this case Apex lures are run just above the flashers. The second downrigger was set at sixty feet with Shasta Tackle Sling Blades and Criplures in UV blue, and Sling Blades and Kokanuts in Pink. A second rod was sent down on a Shasta Tackle ShuttleHawk ten feet above the first rod. So we have lures at eighty,seventy,sixty, and fifty feet. Then Ben adds a slider to the top rod . A slider is a small lure attached to a short leader attached to a snap swivel. This is then snapped on the line and the lure travels down to the bow in the line half way between the other lure and the surface.

Now we wait. Not for long , the deep rod pops off the downrigger and the first fish of the day is on. Up comes a nice two pound rainbow. Minutes later a two pound salmon is netted. This action continues for the next few hours with mixed sizes of rainbows ,salmon and a kamloop trout,or native rainbow, brought to the boat to be added to the cooler or released.

I learned a lot about downrigger fishing from Ben. He was a wealth of information and really knows Lake Shasta. I even found some new lures Apex and Weetads which I got online to try in the lakes around here. Learned that the scents which I use are important for the lures and the attractors. They make a local scent called BassWax which all the local guides use. It worked better then the Pro Gel I use. If you want to try BassWax. you can order it online.

The next post will tell how well I learned the lessons of downrigger fishing when I take the Big Jon to the local lakes. So long for now and pray for rain. God Bless, Michael

Friday, July 4, 2008

CAGI Sonic Fish Attractor

I took a month off of blogging to test the CAGI Sonic Fish Attractor. I wanted to make sure that it was worth the price. Well, here are the results. You be the judge. I fished Los Vaqueros and Lake Del Valle. I got ten to one bites in Los Vaqueros with the CAGI. Went to Lake Del Valle twice and the results were amazing. I put a J7 broken back Rapala 24inches back of a green CAGI and let out 6 colours of lead core, about 32 feet deep ,right at the thermocline.I then put down various lures on the down rigger at the same depth. The lead core got so many bites that I took off the down rigger and put out another lead core pole with another CAGI attached.The final score, 43 confirmed hits on the CAGI and 5 hits on the down rigger. It appears that the fish hit the CAGI sometimes as I would get a solid hit and then nothing. So I say if you want to try one go to Cabela's, they have three colours to chose from, I am partial to green.

I also started to use a Big Jon downrigger. I like the idea of fishing at exact depths for those summer fish. It gets hot here in the Bay Area and the water gets catfish warm. I finally caught my first trout on the downrigger.It was a three pounder caught on a Fish with Gary spinner in an orange bead pattern 12inches behind a matching orange dodger. I found out that I need a special ultra light pole to get the proper load on the downrigger. That was why I missed all the fish. So new tackle is coming.

Catfishing is still slow. They are still on the spawning beds. Went out after trolling with a jar of Kokanee Corn and cast the rocks. It is just like bass fishing. You see a fish guarding a nest and cast your corn there. It gets attacked and you drag the catfish off the bed . Just like bass fishing you let the fish go to protect the nest. Soon it will be catfish season for those 2lb. fryers. Yum I can not wait! Until then I will continue eating those 12lb. trout patties. God Bless

Friday, May 30, 2008

Big Trout at Lake Del Valle

As stated before no pictures of small fish. So what happens? The fish gods smiled on us. It might be because we took no bananas for lunch. The hours finally paid off, or it was the superior skill of the crew; or a combo of them all. After two hours of trolling with one small fish caught and numerous hits, the back reel's drag started to scream. No big deal as I sometimes leave the drag very loose so I can pretend that any fish on seems like a monster. Ferne takes the rod and I control the boat. Since I think it is a small one, I leave the other rods in the water. After two minutes of not being able to gain any line , I suggest tightening the drag. It was tight. So guess what? We have a good fish on.By this time the other poles were going every which way. So I put the motor in neutral and the fight was on. It took five minutes of delicate fighting to get the fish to the net. All I heard from Ferne was,"SH-T THAT IS A HUGE FISH!" The fish was hooked by one hook in the very tip of the top jaw. Any slack and it would be gone. Good angling skill and a little luck The fish was brought to net. Only one line was caught in the motor and no other tangles. A good Job done!

The fish weighed 12 pounds and 4.44 ounces! It was caught at 1:30 in the afternoon on a Michigan Stinger light spoon in Alewife pattern. It is sort of a black shad colour. The spoon is ultra thin and light which kept the hook in the fish's jaw. A cast master would have pulled out the hook.

I have been using a new small plastic "fish caller." It was part of the rig that caught all the fish that day. I will show the item and name it when I think it is worth the $10.00 price tag it carries. So far it brings in more fish but not more strikes. I will use it more and give an update. I hate to suggest using a $1.00 product that costs $10.00, unless it does what it advertises to do, catch many more fish.

God Bless and Good Fishing for now.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Party's Over

The last plant of the spring came and went. Our wonderful fish and game peoples out did themselves this time. They found the smallest trout in the country and planted them in the south bay. These six to a pound trophies were snapping lines all over the place. But no matter the water is too hot now so the little trout will be food for the herons and the catfish. All in all a very unexcited planting season. Now it is waiting to see if we get some catfish planted. Maybe on the free fishing day in June.

The east bay is finishing up the derby next week. The fish are small and not easy to catch. I went out today in 100 degree heat and caught only two pounders. The leader of the derby a 14 pounder was caught by a bass fisherman fishing a rubber worm. Time is getting short and the weather is hot. Maybe I will switch to the salmon in Devalle. I just need to spend a few days searching for them. Anyway catfish are about to spawn. Then it will be fillet of catfish on the grill. Ican't wait. I promise not to post any pictures of any small fish just the lures which caught them like the sculpin fly which caught twenty trout during last weeks ' post kids day at the perk ponds.

These two to three inch flies swim like small fish and cause the trout to smash into them The only negative thing is that more then half of the hits are missed. But what is better a fish or two or
twenty hits with a few fish caught . I will take the latter.
Time to go get the catfish gear ready. God bless for now.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

More of the same ,many trout but small

I have been fishing and not posting any reports because the fish have been small to medium. You can only see so many pictures of little trout. I will start with the South Bay. Stevens Creek Dam got its usual 3000 lbs of tiny trout. I went there in the middle of April and caught twenty or so trout with a plastic gulp worm on a bubble rig. You get some of those plastic bubbles and put some nonlead split shot inside. Fill the bubble with water and put your line through the bubble and tie it to a swivel. Then tie on 6 feet of fluorocarbon and finally tie on a small light wire hook. Rig the worm and cast out . Somewhere between one and twenty seconds of sink time the fish will hit the bait.Keep track and fish that depth. You can also attach a fly instead of the worm and fish this rig. By now you can see that I do not like to still fish with powerbait. I will try anything.
Cottonwood Lake got plants every other week. Add a Kids Fishing Day and you have many fish to be caught. But they were all small. So small flies and small power worms were the way to go. The fish bit but 8 inches?
The Campbell Perk Ponds had their annual Kids Day, with 5000lbs of fish stocked. Some big ones mixed in. I took my grandson there on the 3rd. of May. He caught three trout on power eggs before he got bored with that. We switched to a bubble and worm and had fun hooking and loosing many trout from one to three pounds.

Now on to the East Bay. The derby is on the fish are there although not the size of trophies yet. Saw the plant at Chabot on the first. They put in 500lbs of medium size trout with a few large ones. I saw one ten pounder come out of the tube and saw it lay on the bottom. It might not make. About half of the trophy trout die shortly after planting. So find a floating giant trout and scoop it up and win the derby. It has happened before.This is another reason to not stock any fish over 15lbs. They just cant make it.
Los Vaquaris is in the derby but no trout over ten pounds is still swimming in the lake . They stock King Salmon fingerlings which carry a fatal disease when eaten by trout. Large trout eat small salmon and die. So the lake record is a freshly planted 10 plus pound trout. But the good news is that their are one to three pound salmon swimming around,ready to bite. They grow fast,till they die next year.
So I will try to catch those trophy trout and some of those salmon in the coming days I will also catch trout at the Perk Ponds using some flies from BigYFly Co. They are out of Oregon and have good quality and dirt cheap prices. I have been using their Rabbit Strip Divers. They really get the fish biting. But you miss many strikes because the small trout hit short. You only catch the big uns yea!.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Downsize your offering

In the last post I said that I caught my biggest trout on a small lure. well, This week proved that if you want to catch any size fish, you need to down size. The South Bay plants came on Monday. I got there Wednesday afternoon. the bite was slow and the fish were schooling ten feet from shore. People were throwing all sorts of large lures and fly and bubbles. These made a huge splash and scared the fish. I put on a small thrill bobber a non lead split shot and a no.14 beadhead fly . This small rig only casts 30 feet but enters the water with a tiny splash. This was perfect for these trout. In two hours of fishing I caught between 25 and 35 trout ranging from 6in. to 1lb.

The next day at Cottonwood Lake no one was catching anything. I had the lake to myself. You could see fish swimming about but not hitting . I threw out the bobber rig and soon had a fish on. The trout just bit the end of the fly and quickly spit it out. By watching the fish inhale the fly I was able to hook the fish. This went on for two hours until people showed up with large baits and noisy bobbers. The fish stopped and I went home with twenty-one fish landed and released. People please stop trying to catch little trout with big baits . They are not as dumb as they seem. This is the rig . Tie a thrill slip bobber to your line ad weight to cast and tie a small fly to your line any where from two to five feet below the bobber. This rig can be used as a fly rod and is a lot easier to use. Try It!

Friday, March 21, 2008


Between fish stocks in the south bay , I took a trip to Lake Chabot before the rains next week muddy up the water. I got a late start arriving at 11:30 am. Geared up the lead core and started to troll. No fish finder as there was a lot of suspended matter which mess up the screen. It took all of ten minutes before the first hook up. The fish hit a Kopper target shad. Ten minutes later another bite, this time a spinner and worm combo. What is strange is that this was the only hit on a worm. I changed to another trolling lure. Lake Chabot is a strange lake to troll in that the fish seem to hit lures which look like minnows. The spoons which work on other lakes do not work as well as minnow baits.

The fish continued to hit all day long as long as we stayed in the lower half of the lake. Nothing toward the dam just wind and sun and noisy geese. Ended up with nine fish caught . All released except a 2.5 lber to eat and unfortunately a 5.2lb whopper which swallowed a J9 broken back rapala in gold red. The fish was bleeding so badly that it would not survive, bummer. I try to snap a picture and release all trout over three pounds. They are spawned out breeders and do not taste as good as the smaller ones.

All the fish were caught on four lures. AJ5 gold broken back Rapala, a Kopper target shad, a shad rap in fire tiger and the biggest three caught on a J9 gold red broken back Rapala. I guess that the bigger the bait the bigger the fish worked this day. Although
My biggest trout a monster 14lber. was caught on a one and a half inch crank bait!