Compiled by Mari Erin Roth
Ninety degree temps are on the menu again this week as water temps are reaching into the high 70s. Water level is at 4482’ approximately three feet below last year on the same date; clarity fluctuates between 10-18’. Both USFS public ramps are open and useable; expect delays when returning from fishing as boat traffic is heavy.
Fish have migrated deeper in search of cooler water; trollers are fishing in 40-50 foot of water, fishing 30-45 on the wire. Slow trolling (one mph) crawlers and grubs remain the best shot at catching fish. The bite is good early and slows as the sun comes up; A-Frame, Big Cove, Dorado, Big Springs and the East Shore are all holding fish.
While the Hex Hatch is slowing, fishermen can still get in on some late season action targeting fish along the West Shore from Canyon Dam to Almanor West. Pond Smelt are showing up in larger numbers along the rocky shorelines.
Bank fishermen are catching smaller fish around Canyon Dam using Power Bait and crawlers. Hamilton Branch remains the best shot at catching a quality fish.
Expect minimal delays on roadways leading to Plumas County and all Almanor campgrounds and businesses are open.
“A friendly reminder to all fishermen, the warm temps put additional stress on these fish especially the larger guys,” said John Crotty of Almanor Fishing Association. “I am a big advocate for catch and release and encourage the release of all trophy fish.” If you catch a once-in-a-lifetime fish and choose to release it please take extra precautions when handling, don’t get your fingers close to the gills, keep the fish in the water for a quick picture and release ASAP. Return the fish gently to the water via your coated net, if it struggles, grab it firmly by the tail belly down and get water passing through the gills. “I like to use my electric trolling motor and hold the fish by the tail heading the same direction as the boat,” said Crotty. “Lastly I have a net on my boat that has a scale built into the handle and allows us to weigh fish harmlessly. Quite often I see pictures of fish that are going to be released hanging on a scale by the mouth; these scales harm the trout and should be avoided if you are releasing.”
The Almanor Fishing Association Veterans Fishing Day was a huge success with 50-plus boats taking more than 100 veterans fishing. Approximately 250 people were served at the barbecue at LACC Rec #1. “Special thanks to LACC, Chester Elks Lodge, Matt Goodrich, PG&E, California Fish & Wildlife, Captains and all the volunteers that made this event possible,” said Crotty.