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Jim Pickens: Trout season openers set for Saturday

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Posted: Thursday, April 24, 2014 12:00 am

The Ocean: Bad weather last week slowed salmon fishing from Bodega Bay down through Santa Cruz and Monterey Bay and more bad weather to come this weekend. Boats leaving the harbor are averaging a couple salmon per boat.

The Delta: Trollers are working the Dairy, West Bank, Clyde Shoals the mouth of the Old Sacramento up to Walnut Grove on the Sacramento River.

Some trolling all the way up to the Sacramento shipping channel. Many large stripers were reportedly caught this last week. Deep divers becoming more productive than shallow divers. Angry Eye Predators, Bombers and Yo-zuri working well. Bait fishermen having success from Rio Vista Bridge down through Decker Island, Sherman Island to Broad Slough using shad and sardines.

Sturgeon being caught from Cache Slough down, with a good bite reported in Montezuma Slough this last week on eel. Ghost Shrimp is the best bait as you get down into more salty water.

Stripers being caught at the Sounding Board, Eddo’s area. San Andreas and Santa Clara Shoals still producing as is the mouth of the Mokelumne at the San Joaquin. Mokelumne up through B&W and Georgiana Slough. Both deep and shallow divers working well. Bottom of the out-going tide has been the most productive. Evening and night trolling has been the most productive. Red, white and chartreuse continue to be the colors of choice.

Central Valley Anglers will hold a striped bass derby on April 26 at Sandy Beach Regional Park near Rio Vista. Information and applications are available at The Fisherman’s Friend.

Mother Lode: The general trout opener in many counties throughout California will commence on April 26, one hour before sunrise.

Because of the popularity of this annual event with the angling public, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is making every effort to stock trout in all accessible waters approved for planting prior to the season opener. Lingering winter conditions and this year’s unprecedented drought could play a major role in how many rivers, creeks, lakes and reservoirs can be stocked before Saturday.

Most lakes, rivers and streams have a limit of five trout per day and 10 in possession. However, regulations differ on season opening and closing dates, bag limits, minimum and maximum size limits and gear restrictions.

Anglers are advised to check specific area regulations and opening dates in the California Freshwater Sport Fishing Regulation booklet.

Lake Camanche: Fishing in the main lake still producing large Mt. Lassen trout. Local fisherman Robbie Dunham caught several trout with the largest weighing in at 9 pounds. Trolling with spoons and Rapalas between 25 and 35 feet produced the largest fish. The lake and south shore pond continue to receive trout plants. Mice Tails, Power Baits under a bobber and large Kastmaster working from shore. Black bass being taken using drop-shots, Carolina rig or Texas rigged Senkos.

Pardee: The trout bite rated fair, with bank fishing better than boat. Kokanee fishing is the best bet. Up-river from the Orange buoy from 35 to 48 feet using Uncle Larry’s Pink spinners, Rocky Mountain Tackle, pink and orange hoochies with spinners.

New Melones: Bass fishing is good with bass still in their transition to shallow water, but with the lake dropping so quickly it makes the bass spooky. Best luck with reaction bite using crank or jerk baits. Kokanee schooling in deeper parts of the main lake. Pink, orange and green spinners, hoochies and Apex all working. Don’t forget to tip your hook with white shoepeg corn in your favorite scent.

Don Pedro: Trolling for trout in 25-50 feet using ExCel’s and Needlefish with a dab of scent. Kings being taken by rolling shad. Fleming Meadows, Big Oak Island and Jenkins Hill are popular locations

Kokanee fishing is here, Brush up on your trolling techniques or if you’re new to kokanee fishing. The Fisherman’s Friend will be holding a free seminar on kokanee fishing techniques on Friday from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Presenting will be Captain Joe Aksamit of JoeFish Guide Service. Jared Johnson of Rocky Mountain Tackle will be at the seminar with his new product line and will be answering questions. Come and enjoy an informative evening.

Local fisherman Jim Pickens is the new owner of Fisherman’s Friend in Lodi.