For those who have been willing to brave the cold weather and get out fishing, the rewards have been good.
Frenchman Lake has iced over and the ice, at least in some places, is thick enough for ice fishing. There are reports of at least 6 inches of ice at the dam. Anglers using Powerbait and night crawlers have been catching limits of fish running from 12 to 20 inches.
Be sure to check ice conditions carefully as they change quickly.
For current conditions at Frenchman Lake, call Wiggin's Trading Post at 993-4683.
If you are heading up to the lake, stop by the Trading Post and check it out. I am amazed at how much interesting merchandise they have packed into small place. Much of it is great gear for the outdoor enthusiast.
Ice fishing is now in full swing at Lake Davis. A twent six inch rainbow was caught through the ice last week in fron of the dam.
Ice in front if the dam was reported to be 6 inches deep and will probably be thicker than that by the time you read this. Still, conditions do change so call the folks at J & J's Grizzly Store and Resort (530 832-0270) before making the trip to find out what the current conditions are.
There may be some ice in the wind-sheltered coves of Lake Almanor, but the action is good on the open water.
Geritol Cove, the lake in front of the dam and the east shore are producing the best results. Bailey Springs and the north side of the peninsula are also good, although fishing pressure is so light that there are few reports.
Try Speedy Shiners 20 to 30 feet deep. There is no need to be on the water before sunup. The best bite seems to be late morning to early afternoon.
Doug Neal of Almanor Fishing Adventures (258-3790) reports that Hamilton Branch has been running off color resulting in reduced visibility where it enters Lake Almanor. The poor visibility extends past Big Springs and along the peninsula. Doug says that while the bite is slower in these areas, fish are still being caught. He recommends using flashers or dodgers to make your bait more visible.
If you are boating, check for ice on the ramp before launching and be on the lookout for floating debris and submerged obstacles. Boating is more hazardous this time of year and you certainly don't want to wind up in the icy water.
2011 Fishing Licenses
You have probably heard by now that California Department of Fish and Game is implementing a new automated system for fishing and hunting licenses. Over time this system should be a big improvement for both the department and the hunters and anglers.
Licenses are available through the new system at J & J's Grizzly Store and Camping Resort at Lake Davis (open Friday - Sunday), Fuel Star in Quincy and The Sports Nut in Chester. Wiggin's Trading Post in Chilcoot hopes to have their system up and running by Jan. 20.
Another nice feature is that the new system makes it possible to buy your license online. I bought my license from the comfort of my own home. I found the system to be very user-friendly. It takes approximately two weeks for the official license to arrive in the mail, but I was able to download and print a temporary license immediately.
International Sportsmens Exposition
If you have never been to the Sportsmens Exposition before, I highly recommend it. The Sportsmens Expo is coming to Cal Expo in Sacramento Jan. 20 - 23. It is a bit like Disneyland for the outdoor
I have tickets for the ISE ($15 value). The first 10 people who e-mail me at Internet@PlumasNews.com will recieve a free ticket. (Only 1 per e-mail address).
There will be hundreds of exhibitors that cover the entire range of outdoor products and destinations, including guides and resorts from all over the country and beyond. There will be dozens of demonstrations, competitions and seminars.
Several of our local guides will be there including Bryan Roccucci of Big Daddy's Guide Service, Tom Maumoynier of Lake Almanor Fly Fishing Company and Doug Neal of Almanor Adventures. Doug will be presenting a seminar on "Trolling and stillfishing techniques for Lake Almanor and beyond." The seminar will be in the California Sportsmens' Theater on both Thursday and Friday. I am not going to miss that one. I am also looking forward to several of the seminars in the Fly Fishing Theater.
For complete information including event schedules, visit the show's website at sportsexpos.com.