The weather has changed and so has fishing; the early bird gets the worm

Compiled by Mari Erin Roth

Lake Almanor

 

Water temp is increasing daily and currently sits at 73 degrees. Clarity is unchanged. Daytime highs are reaching into the low 90s for at least the next seven days with minimal wind.

The bite has been early and tough with action slowing further when the sun comes up. Bank fishing has also been tough with Hamilton Branch the best shot at catching fish from shore. From shore, the bite is also early morning or late evening. “Start your day in deep water sections of the lake, Rec #1 to the A-Frame, Big Cove into Auggie’s Ally, Big Springs and Dorado,” suggests John Crotty of Almanor Fishing Association. “Slow trolling is the preferred method, if the wind picks up switch to hardware.”

The 2022 Hex Hatch is over, and pond smelt will be the main food source on Almanor for the balance of the year. Bass fishermen with knowledge of the lake are catching quality smallies. Mark Pilgrim is a local guide and fishes on the Wild West Bass Tour. There are posts on his Facebook site of how he is managing the bass bite.

The Oak Fire created poor air quality in Plumas County on Sunday and the smoke/haze will be intermittent depending on winds.

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Please note: AFA’s annual Family Picnic is scheduled for Saturday, July 30, seating will be limited and tickets will NOT be sold or available at the door. Time is running out to purchase tickets. “This is our major fundraiser, if you would like to support AFA and help us fund our fish pen program and support our Veterans and youth fishing events, please come and enjoy a New York steak dinner with us at the beautiful Rec # 1 in the Lake Almanor Country Club,” said Crotty.

Antelope Lake

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.

 

Bucks Lake

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Four truckloads of planted fish are swimming in Bucks along with all the homegrown natives. Early mornings and late evenings are the most productive times for fishing. When the temperatures goes up, the fish go down into the cool deep. 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? It’s Rapalla, worms and powerbait for the most part.

Frenchman’s Lake

The fishing has been good in the morning and evenings with the bait of choice being worms. Goodwin’s General Store carries a good supply of fish snacks (worms) and people snacks too. The hot spot remains Turkey Point, but fishermen really need to get out before the sun comes up and the bite slows to a crawl.

Lake Davis

“Mornings have been best before the heat comes in,” said Jeanne at J&J General Store of the fishing at Lake Davis. Where have we heard that before? Eastern side of the lake, near Mallard Cove, has been good for Trout. “Eagle Point has been the hot spot for Bass,” said Jeannie. Boat fishermen need to drop in deep as the temps soar. Dillard’s is still producing when it is cool or trolling at depths where it doesn’t matter. Trollers are having good luck with Dick Nite Copper Redheads and Needlefish Red Dot Frog. On the bank, worms or PowerBait have been consistant. Fly fishermen are still excited because, “The blue dragonflies continue to be active in the mornings,” said Jeanne but that’s all she had time for. The store was really hopping with business mid-afternoon on a hot July 25, which lets us know there are plenty of good fishing days to be had this season at Davis. Nature lends a hand with hints for fishermen though. The blue lady dragonflies are what the fish are gorging on in the Jenkins area, which is a great help when choosing the day’s fly.

 

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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.

Only basic fishing equipment and knowledge is needed to get started fishing.

Fishing training videos available

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) offers introductory fishing videos people can watch leading up to July 2.

Tackle Box Basics: You’ll learn about the different types of tackle and how to match the “when, where and what species” of various types of tackle.

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How to Become a California Angler: You’ll hear about California’s diverse fish species and where and how to find them.

A Beginner’s Guide to Trout Fishing: You’ll gain an introduction to cold freshwater trout fishing, including differentiating species, spawning patterns and best catch techniques for California waters.

CDFW’s Fishing Guide can be a great resource for all anglers. Look for a new body of water to fish, review recent planting locations or even refresh your knowledge of fishing regulations. This useful tool can be accessed from your mobile phone while you are fishing!

California’s vastness, varied geography and rich biodiversity, provide anglers with a plethora of fishing locations and species to catch. Those interested in fishing in California’s lakes, streams and rivers can find information about inland fishing locations and species on the CDFW website. Information about ocean fishing, including spots along California beaches, is also available on the website. All fishing regulations, such as bag and size limits, gear restrictions, report card requirements, fishing hours and stream closures remain in effect on Free Fishing Days. Anglers must have the appropriate report card when fishing for steelhead or sturgeon anywhere in the state, and salmon in the Smith and Klamath-Trinity River systems. Anglers can review the sport fishing regulations online or use CDFW’s mobile website to view freshwater limits and regulations specific to a body of water.

 

“California anglers are incredibly fortunate to have such a wide variety of fish species and fishing opportunities to choose from on July 2,” said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham. “We ask anglers to pick their fishing destinations carefully given the drought conditions impacting our waters. Please try and avoid waters visibly suffering from the impacts of drought. Specifically, where warm and low water levels may be stressing fish populations.”

Anglers planning to fish inland waters through catch and release can help reduce fish stress levels and increase survival rates by voluntarily adopting the following practices:

Assess the water for extreme drought conditions before committing to fish there

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Fish before the day heats up

Handle fish as little as possible

Keep fish in the water when removing hooks

We hope you take advantage of California’s Free Fishing Days. If you get “hooked” on fishing, be sure to purchase an annual resident sport fishing license. The revenue generated from license sales help conserve our fish populations and habitats while supporting California’s longstanding angling opportunities for today and future generations. An annual resident sport fishing license in California currently costs $54, while a one-day fishing license costs $17.54.

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