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Jim Pickens: Fishing in Sierra streams, lakes still productive

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Posted: Wednesday, August 27, 2014 6:33 pm

Ocean: Salmon fishing continues to be very productive from Bodega Bay down along the Marin coast to the Gate. The average is still near one salmon per rod with many fish in the 20 — pound range. With the warm water along the Marin coast, most success for salmon has been on the bottom. Trolling and mooching are both producing.

Outstanding rock and ling cod fishing continues up and down the coast with anglers catching their salmon then getting their limits of rocks. On top the great salmon and rock bite, the white sea Bass have moved up following the squid. A 45-pound sea bass was taken off Bodega Bay last week. Best bite for sea bass is in the Monterey Bay area on live Squid.

The Delta: More salmon reportedly being taken each week on the Sacramento side. A few have been caught by striper anglers who were trolling. Local expert striper angler, Clyde Wand, caught and released another salmon on the San Joaquin side while trolling for stripers. He reports good success with a few breaking the double digits.

Lots of salmon being marked in the Sacramento and Mokeumne rivers, but not a lot are being caught. Just a couple caught trolling this week.

Black Bass are plentiful, but on the small size. Senkos, Flippin’ and punching heavy cover in the afternoon all producing. The San Joaquin side of the Delta has been best for black bass. Local bass fishing angler Rick Long reports a good bite, but it’s tough to find anything over 3 pounds.

The Fisherman’s Friend wishes to thank Captain Mike Gravert of Intimidator Sportfishing for a fantastic seminar on salmon fishing the Delta last Friday. Over 90 attended the event with other seminars to be scheduled soon.

Sierra: They have begun to draw down some of the upcountry lakes. With the opening of archery deer season the upcountry fishing reports have dwindled, but fishing the streams and lakes should continue to be productive. I made a trip Sunday up and over Highway 88 and found the water conditions in the lakes and rivers to be in great shape.

The West and East Carson were low, clear and very fishable. Everything was green and the weather was outstanding. Labor Day weekend should be a great end to summer fishing in the high country.

Camanche: No reports of kokanee last week, but local angler Robbie Dunham had no problem catching two limits of trout to 2.7 pounds in the deepest and coolest parts of the lake on spoons. Catfish on liver, nightcrawlers and sardines. Some fishing under a light near the buoy line at night.

Pardee: The lake is full of kokanee, with some schools in deep water around structure in the 70 to 90-foot range and below. Darker colors and copper flashers are the rule in the deeper water. Most of the kokanee are on the small size.

New Melones: The Kokanee and trout bite has been fair. The lake is down to 24 percent of capacity. Kokanee are deep and schooled in the deepest, coolest areas of the main lake, near the dam and Highway 49 Bridge.

Trout aren’t as deep, but are in the same locations. This time of year, spoons and Apex’s usually produce the best results. Kokanee hitting on dark colors are the rule in the deeper water. Spinners, mirco-hootchies with spinners and silver/gold or gold Apex’s are the lures of choice. Loss of scales and some hook jaws being reported with the kokanee.

Bass are in deeper water and drop-shot, crankbaits and spoons will get to them. Glory Hole boat ramp is in a transition stage to the next boat ramp down. You’ll need patience as the transition progresses.

Local fisherman Jim Pickens is the owner of Fisherman’s Friend in Lodi. Visit the Fisherman’s Friend website at

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