Don McConnell, of Quincy, caught this German brown trout Jan. 9 at Bucks Lake. Fishing partner Jerry Hobbs, also of Quincy, holds the fish. Photo by Don McConnell
Back in 1989 I fulfilled a long-time dream by moving to Alaska. I spent eight years in a true fishing and hunting paradise. The fishing was beyond compare, from May through September.
It was in the wintertime that I realized how much I missed Plumas County. Never mind the remoteness, very short daylight hours and really nasty winter weather in Alaska. It was the fishing I missed!
We have something Alaska doesn’t have: year-round fishing. Whether it’s ice fishing, trolling or sitting next to a warming fire while bank fishing at your favorite lake, there are many opportunities to get out and enjoy our beautiful outdoors and some great fishing.
Fishing is great at Frenchman, according to the folks at Wiggin’s Trading Post. There is some ice around the edges, especially early in the morning and at the dam. There is open water beyond the ice. The open water is to the left, at Ship’s Cove, and to the right, just past the turn near the island, just out from the dam.
Last week, Gary Palmer, Chad Musulin and Pete DeSantis, of Susanville, caught their limits near Big Cove, using night crawlers and marshmallows. The rainbow trout were all between 15 and 18 inches in length.
The east side of the lake offers the most fishing opportunity, with ice in many of the west side coves.
All the roads around the lake are passable, although there is some ice on the road in the early morning.
Call Wiggin’s Trading Post at 993-4683 for current conditions.
Fishing has been good both through the ice and on the open water.
The lake is opening back up. The ice depth at the dam is down to about 4 inches as of last week.
There are still a few brave souls who are ice fishing, but most of the locals are saying it is not safe.
The ice fishing derby is scheduled for Feb. 4. It will go on with or without the ice. For the latest on the derby visit the Grizzly Store website at grizzlystore.portola-ca.com/icefishing_2012.
The road into Camp 5 is open and clear of snow and ice. Smaller boats can easily be launched from there and the north and west portions of the lake are ice free. The fish are very active in the open water areas on the surface right now. It is a kayakers’ paradise.
The fishing pressure at Almanor has been light. Spring-like conditions have a few anglers fishing along the bank with bait, and trollers working the top water. According to Doug Neal, of Almanor Fishing Adventures, the fish are scattered all over the lake chasing smelt.
The most active feeding is during the afternoon in the top 20 feet of water.
The feeding trout and salmon are chasing the schools of pond smelt all over the lake. One area may fish very well one day, but the fish may have moved by the next day.
The west shore of the lake typically has less wind exposure and the near shore areas are shaded in the morning. As a result, there is more ice along the west shore.
The open water and better fishing action has been in the east lobe of the lake. Hamilton Branch, the A-Frame and Big Springs are all providing reports of big fish using baits close to the bottom.
The one-sixth-ounce nickel Speedy Shiner with hammer finish, and the red and gold Speedy Shiner have been top producers for trollers.
Doug recommends adding a healthy application of Pro-Cure “Trophy Trout Super Gel” to your lure.
International Sportsmen’s Exposition
The International Sportsmen’s Exposition is coming to the Cal Expo in Sacramento on the 19th through 22nd of this month.
This huge four-day show will have over 600 exhibitors showcasing everything outdoors.
For the angler and hunter there is no better was to find the latest and greatest gear. What I enjoy the most are dozens of educational seminars.
Take the kids to the popular Western Outdoor News “Youth Fair” and enter the drawing for a guided trip for four people, provided by Almanor Fishing Adventures.
Check it all out at sportsexpos.com.
Don’t forget to purchase your 2012 license before heading to the lake.
I bought mine online at dfg.ca.gov/licensing. It is very easy to get your license in the comfort of your own home and you can print out a temporary copy while you wait for the official version to arrive in the mail a few days later.
Stay warm, be careful on the ice and have a happy and fish-filled new year.