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Jim Pickens: Catfish still a catch at Camanche

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Posted: Thursday, August 7, 2014 12:22 am

Ocean: Salmon fishing continues to be solid from the Golden Gate up through Bodega Bay along the Marin coast. The Golden Gate continues to improve each week, most fish in the 20-pound range. Trolling anchovies, herring has taken a front seat to mooching this week as the squid boats worked the Bodega Bay area. The salmon are still on the bottom in the 80 to 100-foot depth. Rock and ling fishing continues to be outstanding up and down the coast, out to the Farallons and into the bay.

Delta: A few more salmon being taken each week, both trolling and jigging are landing them mostly on the Sacramento side of the Delta. The striper bite continues to produce fish, but they were on the smaller side this week. Trolling with shallow and deep-diving Angry Eyes and Yozuris is the ticket. Bait fishing for striper in the west Delta with shad was producing striper this week, with a few in the double digits. Decker Island, West Bank, The Dairy up through the deep water channel seems to be the most productive locations for trolling. The overcast cooler weather really turned on the largemouth bite.

The 2014 Rio Vista Bass Derby and Festival will be held Oct. 10-12 with tickets available at numerous locations, including The Fisherman’s Friend. More information at

Sierra: Upcountry lakes are still in good shape, but many of the streams and rivers have run-off from the recent thunder showers. If you get to your favorite stream or river and it’s rolled and/or muddy, bait will be the best bet. As the streams clear, the bite should turn on with the usual baits and lures.

Lake Camanche: A few kokanee caught this last week, but nothing over the two-pound mark. Local angler Steve Quintal of Kokanee Power landed a trout over 5 pounds while trolling for kokanee earlier this week. Kokanee are in the deepest, coolest water in the lake. Dark colors with hoochies and spinners, copper dodgers and Apex’s are the usual late summer lures. Catfish are still a good choice on chicken liver and sardines. Some trout being caught at night under a sunken light.

Pardee: The lake is almost full, but the kokanee bite has slowed some; they have dropped to the 70 to 90-foot range and below. Darker colors and copper flashers are the rule in the deeper water. Uncle Larry’s and Mag Tackle spinners and spinner hoochies working the best. Short leaders between the lure and dodgers is important as you drop deeper.

New Melones: The kokanee bite picked up a little this week, probably due to the weather. Most are schooled in the deepest parts of the lake and hanging out near structure. Some anglers are trolling below 100 feet. Dark colors are the rule in the deeper water. Uncle Larry’s spinners, MagTackle mirco hoochies with spinners and watermelon Apex’s are the lures of choice.

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