By LEN ACKERMAN
For The Union Democrat
A recent study by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF) indicates that fishing remains the most popular recreational activity in the country.
The key finding on fishing participation was that in 2011, 46.2 million Americans participated in fishing, an increase from 45.4 million in 2010.
Females and youths, ages 6-to-12, added the most participants, and adults 18-and-over with children in their homes participate in fishing at higher levels than adults without children.
Fishing among youth peaks between the ages of 6 and 12 and then shows signs of decreasing during the adolescent years.
As I mentioned in last week’s column, a contributing factor in this could be the sudden cost of an adult license upon reaching the age of 16.
This writer is still a believer in having a reduced-fee license for a time after turning 16. This might decrease the number of dropouts due to the cost.
As water levels continue to drop at New Melones Reservoir, fishing still goes on and as the summer heat continues, fish will go deeper and night fishing becomes more popular. Some nice rainbows are being caught by using submersible lights in areas such as the Spillway or Dam.
Successful anglers have been anchoring in 35-to-50 feet of water and dropping their light 15-to-20 feet down and then lowering the bait, usually nightcrawlers, Power Eggs, or minnows.
The light first attracts small baitfish and will soon attract trout or even catfish.
The Chris Limas family, experts at catching catfish, turned in a 3-pound rainbow trout to win the Big Fish contest at Glory Hole Sports.
They also caught some catfish the same day but declined to weigh them in. Kokanee limits are still the rule at Melones for guides and private boaters, most averaging 12-to-13 inches, with an occassional larger one.
As expected, they are going deeper, 45-to-50 feet early mornings and then down to as far as 90 feet later in the day.
Guide Danny Layne is still finding limits of kokes at Lake Don Pedro, but at deeper levels (80-to-90 feet). King salmon are also at those depths or deeper and taking rolled shad or anchovies, as well as larger Apex lures. Guide Bruce Hamby is still finding larger kokanee at Lake McClure.
Trout plants in the main streams along Highways 108 and 4 have been cut back due to lowering water levels, but the main recreational lakes continue to receive trout.
Pinecrest Lake was planted on Thursday and fishing has been good. Most of the fish average two to the pound but there are reports of an occassional rainbow up to 16.5 inches.
For information call Pinecrest Sport Shop at 965-3637.
Last Friday I took my daughter Karen Olson, of Twain Harte, to Beardsley Lake and found the water level near the bottom of the launch ramp and the dock no longer floating. This makes launching a little difficult but not impossible.
We found the bite a little slow but managed five rainbows.
They are going deeper now and we found fish at 40-to-50 feet using a downrigger and flasher/worm combos as well as trolling mono line with added weight.
At the Antique Fishing Gear Exhibit at Ironstone Vineyards, Bert Kronnick will be there again on Aug. 4 to give free evaluations of your old fishing gear.
Weekly Arts and entertainment guide for Calaveras and Tuolumne counties