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