Fishing Report Lake Camanche – Linda Fazzio, a volunteer for A-PAL, landed this 5-pound, 2-ounce, 22-inch Rainbow out of the Mokelumne River on Oct. 1. Fazzio used a Panther Martin lure to bag the fish.
Lake conditions – Lake Camanche’s current elevation is 217.8 feet above sea level, a drop of .84 feet since last Sunday. The lake should continue to drop slowly this week. Water is currently flowing into Camanche at 260 c.f.s. and flowing out at a rate of 345 c.f.s. Surface water temperature at the dam is 71.85 degrees. The water is very clear, with a Secchi reading of 19 feet.
Gate hours for north and south shores are 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Trout – Now that the water temperatures are cooling off, the trout bite is starting to pick up quite a bit.
• Local fisherwoman, The Amador Dangler, reports that the overnight fishing near the dam is still excellent. She and her favorite fishing buddy anchored at Dike No. 3 on Thursday night and caught two limits of beautiful Rainbows in 45 feet of water. She swears by Power Eggs and likes a combination of one white egg and two yellow eggs.
Trollers report improved action from Little Hat Island to the dam, using flashers with a nightcrawler, or Needlefish in the “Cop Car” pattern. Fish are being caught between 35 and 45 feet deep. The Camanche Hypolimnetic Oxygenation System, trade named the “Speece cone”, has been in operation since Aug. 13. The H.O.S. distributes oxygen to the lower lake waters at the dam. The southern end of the dam will soon become the best place to try for trout as the oxygen-laden water provides ideal conditions within 30 feet of the surface. The “cone” usually operates until mid-to-late October to improve the waters released into the Mokelumne River fish hatchery.
Bass – The bass fishing has been very hot this week. One camper from Santa Cruz reported catching and releasing 12 two to three-pound bass, as well as many smaller fish on Tuesday. He was using deep diving crankbaits in chartreuse, fishing in the Causeway Cove. Camanche Jack’s worms and leeches in green, smoke, or purple have also been reported as doing well in Lancha Plana, The Narrows and off rocky points and structure. Drop shotting worms and plastics in 8 to 15 feet of water has been a very successful technique lately also.
Catfish – The catfish bite continues to be “super smokin’ hot” at Lake Camanche this week. Catfish are being caught in all areas of the lake, with mackerel, liver and anchovies as some of the favorite baits.
• Dean Wade, from Camanche, went out several times last week and had great success. Last Tuesday he came in with a 12-pound catfish, as well as two five-pounders. The next day he came in with an eight-pounder, a six-pounder, or a stringer weighing 28 pounds total. The next day he went out and caught another 5 fish stringer of catfish. Dean likes to fish in the bays up the river using mackerel and liver.
Panfish – The small bays in Causeway Cove and Camanche Arm and Campers Cove are all reported as giving up fish, with minnows and mini-jigs both working well. Look for submerged trees and brush to hold fish, as well as rocky points. There are still lots of blue gill in most coves also a light rod and line, with a small spinner or worm is all you need to catch these small, but fun fish.
On behalf of Camanche Recreation Company, please fish, boat and swim safely.
Water conditions – New Melones Lake is currently holding 1,934,200 acre-feet of water, at 80 percent capacity. The lake is full and beautiful. The lake elevation dropped slightly last week and is at 1,046 feet above sea level and only 42 feet from full capacity. Surface water temperatures are all over the place- anywhere from 67 to 73 degrees. This means the lake is close to turning over. Water is stained. There are huge numbers of shad in the main lake, as well as upriver.
Ramp update – All ramps are open.
Gate closure and new shorter winter hours – Gates at New Melones will open at4 a.m. and close at 10 p.m, every night through the month of October. BeginnIng in November, gates will open at 4 a.m. and close at 9 p.m.
Trout – Very good, with fat, healthy limits being the norm for both trollers and anglers who fish at night under lights. The lake is close to turning over. Bank fishing has not turned on yet but if this cooler weather keeps up, we should start seeing some nice fish taken from shore. In the meantime, the streams are still open. Trollers are having good luck during the day trolling for Rainbows anywhere from 35 to 60 feet deep in the main lake, as well as upriver. Shad-patterned lures seem to be the ticket. Try a Cop Car or Threadfin Shad Needlefish. Excel Lures have been really bringing in the limits – try a blue/silver or blue/pink, or a shad-pattern. Green Apex also produced some limits. Most trollers are not using dodgers or flashers. Many successful trollers are adding scent to their lures. ProCure shad would be a good choice.
• Christina Atkinson of Mariposa wins the Glory Hole Sports’ Big Fish of the Week Contest and a free deli lunch with a beautiful 4.9-pound Rainbow trout that she caught while trolling a Cop Car Needlefish 40 feet deep near the 49 Stevenot Bridge.
• Joe Hallett caught a 4.3-pounder.
• Other lucky anglers who caught fish in the 2 to 3-pound range included Frank Gault, Dave Eckermann, Richard Collins, Robert Thorne and William Parks.
Kokanee – Pretty much all done. Fish are moving up into creek arms and a few coves, where they will attempt to spawn and eventually complete their life cycle by dying. Dead Kokanee are stacked up at the small cement dam upriver by Camp Nine Road. Expect to see a few Kokanee caught by bank anglers in Angels Creek and Angels Cove. These fish are, for the most part, not good for eating since their flesh is no longer firm. Some people swear they are still tasty when prepared in a smoker, though.
Bass – Good, mostly for smaller fish. Calaveras Bass Anglers won a two-club “just for bragging rights” tournament this weekend on Melones. Members used drop-shotting, spinnerbaits, crankbaits and Rattletraps to catch their fish.
• The team of Dan Lewis Jr. and Sr. had the biggest weight and caught the biggest fish of the tournament, a 3.63-pound black bass, on a drop-shotted Roboworm Bold Bluegill worm, on a windblown point in the afternoon.
Bass are looking to fatten up for the winter and are feeding aggressively. Target steep banks upriver and the mouths of creek arms, 30 to 40 feet deep. When the wind comes up, fish the banks and points that the wind blows into. The fish will move shallow to chase the bait that the wind is blowing into the shore. Try drop-shotting shad or bluegill colored worms or grubs, or dragging a Carolina-rigged 4 or 6-inch worm on a long (3 foot) leader. Shad imitation crankbaits and Rattletraps, and shad-patterned spinnerbaits are working great, too. Dragging a jig along rocky points in the creek arms, as well as submerged island-tops near mouths of creeks, may catch you a larger bass. You may want to try a topwater bait in the early morning.
Catfish – We are still seeing a surprising number of nice ‘cats. Tuttletown, Angels Cove, Glory Hole Point, or under the 49 Stevenot Bridge are all good spots to try for big catfish. Use mackerel, anchovies, or sardines or a sliding sinker, leave your bail open and be sure your hooks are sharp. Night fishing is always best for catfish.
Crappie and bluegill – Slow. Try fishing live minnows or trying to entice them with jigs in red/white or purple/white. Best spots on the lake are the south side of the lake near Bear Cove, the back of Coyote Creek, Black Bart Cove and in cuts upriver near the Parrotts Ferry Bridge that have a lot of stand-up trees in them. Fish are moving deeper, so target 20 to 30 foot depths. As always, fish tight to structure.
Water conditions – The lake water level rose slightly this week and is now 3 to 4 feet below spill. Water temperatures remain the same as last report’s figures. Temperatures measured 76 degrees at the surface and 72 degrees at the 20-foot level. Water clarity remains good to 13 feet
Trolling – Continued ideal lake conditions despite some rain last weekend. Cool mornings, pleasant temperatures, water like glass and very few boats. Trolling is still the best right out in front of the dam and along the west side of the barrel line in the south end of the lake. While heading there try dropping a line in right outside the Narrows and landing of couple of those 3 to 5-pounders heading out to the lake proper. The fish are still stacking up at 25 to 30-foot depths where the cooler water begins. The most commonly used baits are big, fat, juicy night crawlers behind blades and flashers for the purists while others are sticking with smaller lures in fluorescent reds and greens, fire tiger, tire tire tracks and silver/blue 18 inches behind a dodger or sidekick.
Bank fishing – Another mid-week plant of Rainbows (to 3 pounds) is sure to keep things very interesting in and around the recreation area. Early morning or late afternoon is still the most productive. As a rule, the bite after the plant is early before the sun is hard on the water. Newly planted trout can’t resist silver/blue casting lures and black wooly flies. For the more experienced and smarter trout, use a sliding sinker rig with a night crawler or processed bait in Rainbow or chartreuse with sprinkles Cast out further and put your bait in the deeper channels 30 to 50 feet off shore.
Catfish – Cat fishing is still good in Rattlesnake Cove, the extreme south end and the back side of Deer island. Most popular baits are chicken livers, bratwurst and sardines or anchovies.
• Got some more info about that big old 45-pound catfish Lou Carsner caught last weekend. It’s the largest catfish on record at Lake Pardee, breaking the previous record of 23 pounds set by Steve Snortum in 1998. The ‘cat was 41 inches long and had a girth of 28 inches at the dorsal fin. If you get by the Marina there are pictures posted of Carsner and his catch – Lou is the better looking one.
As of Sept. 30 a total of 57,000 pounds of trout has been planted by Lake Pardee and the Department of Fish and Game.
Good luck- tight lines.
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