Compiled by Mari Erin Roth
Lake Level is dropping after reaching a season high of 4484.4 the end of May. Water temperatures are approaching 70 degrees and visibility ranges between 7-15 feet. The Hex Hatch has slowed the past week. There are still hatches going off, just not as frequent or numerous. Fish are beginning to target pond smelt that are appearing throughout the lake as the Hex Hatch slows.
Fish are migrating from shallow water into deeper cooler sections of the lake and springs as water temperatures rise. The areas surrounding Rec #1 to Big Cove, Rec #2 to the tip of the peninsula, and Dorado and Auggie’s Ally will all hold fish this time of year. Slow trolling crawlers and plastics remain the preferred method, targeting fish near the bottom. Boats on anchor over springs are catching fish with crickets or the cricket/meal worm combination suspended off the bottom are top options. There has been a top water bite for smallies the past week. Shore fishermen stand the best chance of catching quality fish at Hamilton Branch.
Road construction continues on all roads leading to Almanor and travelers can expect delays. “We are expecting temperatures into the low 90s the next two days, dropping back into the high 80s later in the week,” said John Crotty of Almanor Fishing Association. “As is typical, we will see afternoon winds and there are slight chances of thunderstorms the first part of the week. If you want to beat the valley heat and catch some quality fish, come to Almanor.”
AFA’s annual Family Picnic is scheduled for Saturday, July 30, and seating will be limited. Tickets will not be sold at the door. Please purchase tickets in advance to support Almanor Fishing Association and enjoy a family barbecue at beautiful Rec # 1. AFA volunteers staff the loyal feeding of trout twice a day at the hatchery through the winter (snowstorms, whiteouts, etc.) to enable a spring stocking of beautiful rainbows as well as host the annual Veteran’s Fishing Day each year. It would be hard to list all the benefits the community, visitors, and wildlife receive from the AFA’s continued existence these many years.
The General Store staff may have been too busy fishing and selling tackle to pick up the phone, but it is hard to beat the beauty and abundance of great fishing spots on Antelope Lake. If there were no fish, it would be worth the effort to get on the water, but there are plenty of fish and not many fishermen. This hidden gem has easy access boat launching and camping. It is also no tough task to find a little spot, a cove, or inlet, all to yourself to drop a line.
“Fishing has been really good,” said Jackson at Bucks Lake Marina. “We received four truckloads of planted fish here recently because the surrounding locations were not accepting fish.” All the inlets, Mill Creek, Haskins, and Buck Lake Creek are producing. Fishermen are catching Kokanee, Rainbows and Browns. What is selling the most at the tackle shop? “Rapalla, worms and powerbait,” said Jackson. There ya’ have it!
Jason at Goodwin’s General Store said, “Fishing has been good,” The hot spot seems to be Turkey Point and the most popular bait according to Jason has been “worms.”
The fishing is good at Lake Davis. “Mornings have been best before the heat comes in,” said Jeanne at J&J General Store. “Mallard has been a good spot for Trout, and Eagle Point has been the hot spot for Bass.” Trolling at Dillard’s has produced at 6-8 feet and around the lake and others have been catching at 12-18 feet. On the bank, worms or PowerBait have been the hot tip. Trollers are having good luck with Dick Nite Copper Redheads and Needlefish Red Dot Frog. Fly fishermen are getting pretty excited because, “The Damsels are coming off,” said Jeanne. The blue lady dragonflies are out in big numbers and the fish are gorging in the Jenkins area, which apparently makes for a fun day of fly fishing.
Free fishing days coming up!
The second California Free Fishing Day in 2022 is Saturday, Sept. 3. On that day, the public can fish throughout the Golden State without a fishing license. For those new to fishing, this is an opportunity to explore a rewarding and exciting new hobby. For licensed anglers, this is an opportunity to introduce or reintroduce someone else to the benefits of becoming an angler. The Free Fishing Day is also a time for people who used to fish to come back and reconnect to the activity.