For early Spring fishing, New Melones seems to still hold the spotlight for good trout action.
The lake level has remained steady at 39 feet from full. The surface temperatures are between 51 and 53 degrees and the water is crystal clear.
Bill Lease of Angels Camp caught a nice limit of rainbows last week with a couple running in the 2-plus pound class.
It’s a great time to take a kid fishing from shore in the areas of easy access, such as Angel’s Cove. Glory Hole Cove, under the Stevenot Bridge, Tuttletown Ramp area, and off Glory Hole Point. One “kid” who caught his first ever fish, 4-year-old Joshua Fernandez, brought in a 3-pound, 10-ounce rainbow that won the weekly Big Fish contest at Glory Hole Sports.
He was fishing with his father, Jose, off Glory Hole Point.
Other successful young anglers catching trout were Tony and Kyle Giono, William Lum, Kyle Hamilton, and Kyle Swanson.
Shore anglers are having the most success using the floating Power Baits and marshmallow, nightcrawler combos.
For those who have a second-rod stamp, the advantage is to set up a bait rig in a rod holder and then use the second rod to cast lures.
W.O.N. Bass held a tournament last Saturday and most of the teams caught over 10 pounds (five fish).
Alex Niapas and Garrett Anderson won the event with a total of 18.53 pounds, including a big fish of 9.53 pounds.
The second biggest bass was caught by Dennis Tarrap, a 9.27-pounder. The best bite was on jigs and soft plastics.
At Lake Don Pedro, boaters are finding trout in the main lake by trolling lures or frozen shad from the surface to 15-to-20 feet deep and about 2 mph.
The King salmon, usually much deeper, may be found from 45 to 65 feet.
In the private lakes near Valley Springs, Amador is giving up Cuttbows (a cross between cutthroat and rainbow trout) from 2 to 4 lbs. for shore anglers using Power Baits and float tubers using Wooly Bugger flies. Camanche Lake has been good for trollers working from Hat Island to the dam and the South Shore pond has been planted with some trophy size rainbows.
I have had no reports from Beardsley Lake but due to the low water level, boat launching would require some manuevering with 4-wheel drive. Stream trout season won't open until the last Saturday in April.
Bear Facts: The California black bear population has gone from an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 animals in 1982 to double the number at near 30,000, and they continue on an upward trend (population numbers are based on surveys by the Dept.of Fish and Game(DFG).
Ongoing bear problems are based on the increased number of bears, not from urbanization of their habitat.
The Tahoe Basin has'nt seen any significant increase in building, and yet bear problems continue to escalate. A similar situation exists in Yosemite Park as well as other areas.
Hunters are allowed to harvest 1,700 bears each season. The DFG wanted to increase that number this year but were met by opposition from anti-hunting groups.