The fishing’s heating up with the weather

By: J.D. Richey Journal Outdoors Columnist
-A +A
Well, our first week of hot weather has kicked the snowmelt into overdrive and that’s really turned some fishing spots on… while making others a little tougher. Here’s a quick look at some assorted waters around the region: Checking in with John Wadden at WillFish Tackle in Auburn (530-887-0839), it looks like Stampede Reservoir is a really good bet at the moment. He suggested that you start the day dragging No. 7-9 Rapalas in the early a.m. 100 feet behind the boat and then switch to macks and kokes. To catch a lake trout, troll 4-inch Lyman lures in the frog paint scheme in 60 feet of water off the dam. Kokanee are moving around but the area between the launch and the island is a good place to begin. The little sockeye are 20 to 30 feet down and white hootchies have been deadly when fished behind a dodger. Wadden also noted that there have been some brown trout coming from the Bear River arm of Rollins Lake very early in the mornings on trolled No. 7-9 Rapalas in the “vampire” pattern. There are some stocker ‘bows around, but the DFG truck seems to be coming only every other week. AMERICAN RIVER: The shad fishing can be quite good if you can find the fish, which are spread out in all the high water. Some of the boat ramps in the upper river are closed due to the big flows, so you are probably best off fishing from the bank. Be really, really careful out there — the water is cold (around 50 degrees) and raging. Sac Metro Fire Department made 28 river rescues in 24 hours last weekend alone! BERRYESSA LAKE: The kokanee bite here is still trying to ramp back up to its brisk pace earlier in the spring. There are some fish scattered around… with scattered being the operative word here. While the fish would typically be bunching up more this time of year (at least looking at the calendar), the big groups just haven’t formed up yet. So, you are going to have to cover some ground and do your work. When you find ‘em, the rewards can be great, as fish to over 19 inches have already been caught. An assortment of stuff will work: Mad River squid, spinners and bugs in pink, white and chartreuse. Try trolling slow with a Sep’s Watermelon dodger or bump up the speed and drag a Rocky Mountain Hyper-Plaid or Bahama Mama dodger. The fish have been scattered from 20 feet in the mornings, down to 55 feet later on. BULLARDS BAR: Bullard’s has been pumping out plenty of kokanee… too bad they’re all snack-sized dinks in the 10- to 12-inch range. Trollers aren’t too stoked, but the spotted bass guys are loving it! Drop shot, shaky head and darter head worms are working for the spotts, as are kokanee colored swimbaits. J.D. Richey’s column runs Fridays in the Journal.