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From left: Rod McKinney of Sierraville holds the first place trophy in the adult category at the 2017 John Pato Ice Fishing Derby, Max Breedlove of Graeagle holds second and Paul Stoner of Sierraville came in third place. Breedlove can’t contain his excitement and hoists his trophy high. Photo submitted

Fish bits for the week of 1/17/18

Antelope Lake

Anyone fishing at Antelope Lake is encouraged to contact the Sports Desk 283-0800, ext. 26, or [email protected]. It would be great to post current fishing information for Antelope. It’s a big lake, plenty of space and fish to share.

Bucks Lake

“Haven’t seen any fishermen,” said Rebecca Guereque at Buck’s Lake Lodge. “I don’t think they know they can get in. But the roads are clear and if someone wants to fish, this would be a great time.”

The lake is not iced over and the forecast is for mild weather: 54 degree high today and a high of 45 degree tomorrow, Jan. 18. That leaves a fishing window before predicted snow Friday, Saturday and Sunday, when temperatures are predicted to drop to 20 degrees.

Frenchman Lake

For starters, the lake is not frozen. There is a little ice around the edges, mostly by the dam, but you can drive around the lake.

The fisherman’s notebook at Goodwin’s General Store (formerly Wiggins) reports that Powerbait is what is working for the most part, cheese and garlic. Worms are always good, night crawlers for the most part.

The creeks are not open; they are only open from the last Saturday in April through to Nov. 15.

Gold Lake

Mark Tieslau at Blairsden Hardware Store said, “It’s mostly open water again, you can drive all the way down to the boat ramp.”

Tieslau said his friend took a mini van down to the ramp. “He caught one on a Castmaster (lure) down on the point past the boat ramp,” said Tieslau. “That’s about all. You can drive into Salmon Lake and Bassets, there’s still lots of open water out there.” Tieslau added, “It’s amazing that the road is still open. I’ve never seen it open this late in the season.”

Lake Almanor

Almanor Fishing Association provides the following fishing information as of Jan. 14.

Mild weather continues to be the theme here on Almanor. All of what little snow we had at lake level is gone; the past storm that dropped over 3 inches of rain in the Valley had negligible impact up here. We’re expecting snow later this week. As nice as it’s been to fish in 45 to 50 degree weather we need a change and more importantly snow.

“I fished two days this past week fishing with my son, granddaughter and friend, Robert Harvey, on Friday and we hooked five fish, getting four to the net. One nice brown, one good bow and two smaller bows,” said John Crotty. “We caught our fish fast trolling speedy shiners along the east shore from the dam up to Dorado.” Crotty said, “Tried to replicate our limited success on Saturday and had one grab in six hours of fishing.”

On Saturday, they fished the East Shore, the Peninsula to Big Cove and Rec No. 2 all the way up past Bailey Creek. While it was a beautiful calm day on the water, Crotty said, “It was very frustrating. Our screen was void of bait and fish for most of the day.” Water temps continues to hover around the 42-degree mark; the ice that was starting to form on the north end of the lake is gone.

Bank and fly fishermen are still catching planters in the coves. State Fish and Wildlife planted catchable browns and rainbows over the past few months and they continue to hang out around Canyon Dam. Both are fat healthy fish and eager to eat. “They are getting lots of pressure and while they make for easy limits, they are fresh from the hatchery and don’t make for good table faire,” said Crotty. “They are the future of our fishery.”

Roads are clear, boat pressure is light. However, weather may be an issue this week.

Lake Davis

“The lake has no safe ice on it,” said Jeanne Graham at J & J Grizzly Store. Fishermen can fish from the bank, boats or float tube according to Graham. Lightening and Old Camp Five are open, but Honker cove closed.

Saturday, Feb. 3, is the John Pato Ice Fishing Derby at Lake Davis. Fishing folk can pre-register at J & J Grizzly Store, KS Market, Graeagle Mill Works, via Internet at 420incfishing.com or the day of the event. Check-in is from 7 to 9 a.m. and fishing begins at 8 a.m. All proceeds from the event go to the American Cancer Society nonprofit organization.

Competitors need a valid California Fishing License to enter the tournament. Licenses will be available for purchase the day of the event at the Grizzly Store. The entry fee is $20 per person. For more information, call John at 832-9659.

“We really should change the name of the tournament to ‘John Pato Winter Fishing Tournament,’” said Graham, “since the tournament takes place whether there is ice on the lake or not.” If not, the fishing competition will take place from the banks.

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