Winter weather returns; what now for anglers?

Michael Condon
Staff Writer

Prior to this week’s unsettled weather, local waters were fishing quite well. Both trollers and bank anglers were having success at Almanor. Mild weather had allowed for good lake access and decent fishing. I say “decent” because the fish were somewhat scattered and cold water temperatures have the fish moving and biting more slowly than they would during warmer months. But still, the fishing was good.

Ice fishing was also good. The primary ice fishing destinations in Plumas County are Davis and Frenchman lakes. I also heard good reports from Bucks and Antelope lakes. But so much mild weather was making for some thin ice and even open water on parts of these lakes.

So what will recent weather changes do for the fishing? Well, the very cold weather is good news for ice fishers as the ice will be thicker and therefore safer. As more settled weather sets in, replacing the current storms, look for Lake Almanor to return to the conditions of a couple weeks ago. Water temperatures will be low so fish will still be moving and biting slowly.

Runoff may reduce water visibility. For trollers, this means consider adding a dodger to your trolling setup and troll slowly. The east shore is still your best bet. Visibility may be reduced near Hamilton Branch and Big Cove so I would concentrate on the east shore from Westwood Beach to the dam. The west side of the Peninsula will also be worth checking out.

For Almanor bank anglers, the usual techniques should still produce. Try some PowerBait or float a night crawler off the bottom. Geritol cove and the other coves along the west shore will probably be the best locations. Look for areas with springs.

So what can the angler do while waiting for more settled weather? This is a great time to give your fishing gear the annual tune-up. It’s time to clean and oil your reels. This is a good time to re-spool your reels with fresh line and check the hooks on your lures. They probably need new, or at least re-sharpened, hooks. I take inventory and see what gear I need to replace and what new items I want to try this coming season.

Fly tying or spinner/lure building is a great way to spend a snowy afternoon. Building your own fishing rods is also a very rewarding pastime. I made a couple fly rods several years ago and if time allows, I’d like to do it again. Next time I will go slower. Like so many other things, patience is rewarded when building fishing rods.

Another option is a visit to the Nor-Cal Boat, Sport and RV Show which is coming up March 4 – 6. It will be held at the Shasta District Fairgrounds in Anderson. I haven’t been to this show before. I have heard it described as a “mom and pop” version of the International Sportsmen’s Exposition with much more of a northern California focus. I am looking forward to attending this year.

Bryan Roccucci of Big Daddy’s Guide Service in Quincy (283-4103) will again be attending the show. Look for Big Daddy’s Guide Service in booth number 14 in the Shasta Hall. Bryan will have pictures and video from 2010 trips as well as some fresh ones from the last month at Almanor. Also look for Bryan’s seminars on fishing Bucks Lake and Eagle Lake. And be sure to check out his show specials.

If I don’t see you on the water, maybe I will see you at the show.


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