Fishing Report for the week of 4/13/2011

Fishing Report
Michael Condon

I don’t know about you, but I am chomping at the bit to get out and do some fishing.  But as I look out my window while I write this……it is snowing….again.  Hopefully, and according to the weather forecasters, that won’t be the case by the time you read this.  Enough is enough.  By this time of year, we still have a few spring storms ahead of us.  But they should be more like warm showers than heavy snow storms.

Access to our favorite fishing waters is still limited but getting better.  Ice fishing is done for the year. Road access is iffy and most boat ramps are still plugged with snow.   Even snowmobile access is in decline as the deep snow begins to deteriorate and become too soft for safe snowmobile travel.

But all is not lost.  Plumas County offers as many quality fishing opportunities as any county in the state and that still the case right now.  Let’s start our review in the south end of the county and work our way north.

Frenchman Lake
Night-crawlers have been the bait of choice for bank anglers in pursuit of rainbow trout.  Some anglers have been successful using flies and others using Powerbait.  Most trout have ranged from 15 to 18 inches long, weighing between 1 and 2 pounds.

The best area to fish is near the dam. Some anglers have been successful walking to Ship's Cove.  Across the dam, fishermen have been walking in about a mile and catching their limits.

For the most current information call Wiggin’s Trading Post at 993-4683.

Lake Davis
According to the folks at J&J’s Grizzly Store and Campground (832-0270) on the south shore of the lake, fishing has been slow, but nice fish are being caught.  Mepps spinners at Honker Cove, and Chartruse Power Bait at Coot's Bay are the hot producers.  A nice 3 pounder was caught at Coot's Bay on April 3rd.  Lake level is 73% and rising.  There is ice still in the dam area, but it is NOT safe to go on.  You will have to walk through snow to get to the lake.  There is vehicle access, but only on the East side of the lake where the road is clear up to mallard Cove access road.
Bucks Lake
Bucks Lake is still snowed in.  But keep your eye on this one.

Bucks Lake has some monster lake trout.  During the warm summer weather these fish hold in the deepest parts of the lake.  In the spring, these monster trout cruise the shallow water along the shorelines in search of their favorite food, the Kokanee Salmon that are so abundant at Bucks.  Big browns and rainbows are in the shallow water at the same time.  Once the boat ramps are accessible, this is the place to be to search for real trophy trout on light gear.

Antelope Lake
I have to confess that I haven’t fished Antelope Lake very often.  That is not a knock on the lake by any means.  It is more about the incredible number of options we have here in Plumas County.  I do plan on fishing Antelope Lake more this year.   Antelope Lake is not known for huge fish, but it is known for having lots of fish.  In the summer time it is a great place to take kids who may not have the patience for lakes that take more time to produce results.

I think the lake itself is beautiful.  The lake is full of small coves and tiny islands.  The forest that surrounds the lake has been burned in a couple of large and high intensity fires in the past few years.  I suggest looking beyond the scarred forest and focusing instead on a forest that is being re-born.  New vegetation and wildlife abound.  This is literally a living laboratory of forest ecology.  The fishing isn’t too shabby either.

The road to the dam had been plowed giving shore anglers some opportunity.  Access to the boat ramp is still a ways off.  Recent snows may have limited access to the dam but that should not be a proble for long.

Lake Almanor
The season total snowfall at Lake Almanor was 318.5 inches at the end of March (more than 26 feet), which is 252% of average for the year.  Lake Almanor will be full this year and is coming up fast.

Seasonal creeks and streams are flowing. The west basin has the Feather River as its main tributary, and it is running fast and clear. Water clarity in the west basin of the lake is very good, about 8 to 9 feet and there have been bait fish holding all along the peninsula's west side from Bunell Point to Bailey Creek.

The morning trolling has been a little slow but it picks up by late morning, and has been best later in the day.  Speedy Shiners and Needlefish have received the most effective baits.

The east basin is a different story according to Doug Neal of Almanor Fishing Adventures (258-6732).

The Hamilton Branch is the main tributary to the east basin and it has been flowing fast and muddy. Water clarity in the east basin has been reduced to 2.5 to 4 feet.

There is much hazardous debris floating in the lake, especially in the east basin.  Boaters need to be very careful.  Much of the debris is partially submerged and especially hard to see when the wind is blowing.

Insect activity is starting to­­ increase but pond smelt are still providing most of the feed. Smelt begin their spawn activity when temperatures push 42 to 44 degrees and will be moving closer to the shoreline and structure.  Fishing white trolling flies or other smelt patterns is most likely to produce fish.


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