“The fish are plenty and the fish are big,” is what Rebecca Guereque up at Bucks Lake Lodge had to say about conditions today. Good and plenty, those are sweet words for the fisherman’s ear. She was busy at the store and the roads are clear. With prime weather for spring, fish limits are being caught in pristine conditions.
“There are a ton of people up at the lake but I don’t know if or what anyone is catching,” said a Goodwin’s Store employee May 2. The store was and has been very, very busy. Warm spring weather and a lifting of health restrictions is attracting an abundance of people to the lake regardless of whether the fish are biting or not, but Frenchman is a great place to drop a line and enjoy the view.
Jeanne Graham at J&J Grizzly Store said the water temperature is 57 degrees and the lake level is 63 and dropping. “Honkers dock is in, so there are a lot of boats getting on the water,” said Graham. “Boat fishermen trolling at 5-20’ are catching. Fly fishermen are still doing well with midges and bank fishermen are catching using PowerBait and worms.”
Saturday, June 19, is set for the Father’s Day Fishing Derby. The long-awaited event is on the calendar and permitting is in the works.
What a difference a week makes in the mountains. Last Sunday we had fresh snow on the ground at lake level, today it was seventy degrees. Water temps are reaching into the high 50s and visibility has increased to 10-14 feet. With the warming ambient and water temps our insect hatches have been off the charts and the fish are gorging themselves on bugs. Throw in the full moon and the bite was extremely tough this past week.
“The midge hatch has been the largest I have seen in several years and just yesterday I started seeing large pods of flying ants on the water,” said Almanor Fishing Association representative and local fishing guide John Crotty. When the fish key in on the insects they are almost impossible to catch.
“Today I slow trolled crawlers, pulled flies and grubs at 1.5-1.7 mph and sped up to 3 mph with hardware for five bites,” said Crotty. “There were rising fish all around and we were marking fish they are content with an insect diet and aren’t interested in any of my offerings.” This past week was much of the same, the only positive takeaway is, the fish caught were hot and healthy.
These conditions will change and the bite will only improve, staying the course and being persistent will net results when it turns. “Choose your preferred fishing method, target the usual spots and stay on fish when you find them,” advised Crotty. The peninsula to Big Cove, Big Springs, the East Shore and the flats between Prattville and the Peninsula are all good starting points.
The bank fishermen are also struggling to catch fish; Hamilton Branch or the causeway is the best shot from shore. Canyon Dam remains the only public boat ramp and it was a zoo May 1 with the overflow parking lot full and trucks parked along the roadway coming into Canyon Dam. Local resorts are opening up and most have private ramps for guests.
Related to Almanor fishing
The Lake Almanor Area Chamber of Commerce is holding Town Hall meetings at Memorial Hall in Chester, beginning Monday, May 10, and continuing the first Monday of each month from 5:30-6:30 p.m. May 10 the Town Hall meeting will focus on Lake Almanor, an update on PG&E’s re-licensing effort, and a discussion of actions to be taken to protect the cold waters of the lake.