Fishermen likely have the lake all to themselves due to evacuation for the Walker fire, fortunately now 100 percent contained, and seasonal closing of the campgrounds, store and docks. Weather is definitely cooling off and improving the bite but the absence of snow keeps Antelope high on the list of fine destinations, especially for locals. Lake access is permitted all year, weather challenges aside, and the fish of course are there all winter.
During an inquiry call Sept. 26th, “The fishing is doing great,” said Rebecca Guereque up at Bucks Lake Lodge, “and it’s going to do even better after this weekend because it’s going to get cold.”
We got lucky this week and had a little chat with Barbeque Bob (Bob Perry) up at Frenchman. “I limited out with a worm and a bobber,” said Bob. Not all location details were forthcoming but he said he was close to shore from about 5:30 p.m. until dark, “in the shallows.” Bob said he used a two and a half foot leader.
“There were some nice ones in there, one about 3 1/2 pounds,” said Bob. “These fish have personality, they are pretty much all natives.”
The campgrounds are all closed as of Sept. 30 except the main launch remains open through hunting season, “or until the snow flies, maybe in late October” said BBQ Bob.
John Crotty of Almanor Fishing Association reported on Sept. 29 that water level is dropping as are the temps, “I fished today and saw a one and a half degree drop in water surface temps from yesterday. I would expect to see our surface temps drop into the high 50s within the next week. Last night we experienced our first hard freeze of the season and our daytime temp didn’t reach 50. Unsettled weather accompanied by wind made for both a tough bite and tougher fishing conditions.
“I have been switching from slow to fast depending on water conditions and time of day. Hardware, crawlers, plastics and flies all managed to catch a fish or two this past week, we just couldn’t get a consistent bite anywhere on the lake. Pond smelt remain scattered throughout the lake and we are marking fish, they are just tough to catch right now.
“Our weather is going to stabilize this week and fishing should improve. I would recommend fast trolling in the popular areas of the lake in deeper water until you find some bait and fish and stay on them mixing up baits, speeds & depths until you find some pattern. Rec #1 to Big Cove, Big Springs to Hamilton Branch, East Shore and the Peninsula to Rec #2 are all great places to start.
“Bank fishing pressure is picking up with a few float tubers targeting fish in the coves around the dam. There is not much going on at Hamilton Branch.”
“We just got 4,000 lbs. of fertile 1 pound rainbows planted Monday, Sept. 23,” said Jeanne Graham up at J&J Grizzly Store, “and another plant Tuesday of 2,000 pounds, about 4,600 fish.” Trollers are doing well using baby Simons in chartreuse, blue or new red and copper. “Fly fishing is picking up too,” said Graham. “It’s like the fall bite is ON!”
Is it too early to mark your calendar? Snow was in the weather forecast this week so perhaps not. The first Saturday in February is the Pato Ice (or no ice) Fishing Derby at Lake Davis.
Bryan Roccucci of Big Daddy Fishing said, “Eagle Lake is shaping up to have some pretty exciting fall fishing this year. It doesn’t get any better than battling the hot rainbows in the shallows.”
Coming soon, lots of good stories brewing; read my next report.
Middle Fork Feather River
No power, no problem but all this wind sure is making the fishing tough. Pine needles falling into the river, you got stiff competition in the form of multicolored leaves that double for insects and the water is a little off color right after rains, that’s a good time to pull some streamers. You notice all the dragonflies above the water after 2 p.m. when the sun finally reaches through the canyon walls and sheds some light on the subject.
Before then, the dark shadows that remain have some trout cruising for black crystal buggers size 8. Use a slim line in the MF Feather because it’s so shallow in most places; you’d be surprised how shallow of water you can hook a trout. Also use crystal buggers in green & pearl that imitates frogs and minnows, which the river is full of right now. Evenings are good for brown trout action; it’s fall anything can happen if you’re willing to walk and hike for it.
North Fork Yuba River
Gone Fishing Be Back With a Report.
On other fishing news and views, let us know how you are doing out there. We would love to see your pictures and here how the fishing is doing in your neck of the Plumas woods and waterways. Before you know it, ice-fishing season will be here! Send your pictures and details to [email protected]