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Trout, kokanee flourish as weather warms

For The Union Democrat

Warming weather has turned up the bite for trout and kokanee in local lakes. 

At Lake Don Pedro, local fishing guide Danny Layne reported near limits of rainbows, 14-to-16 inches in the Flemming Bay area. 

They are found at depths from 15 to 45 feet using ExCel lures, Kokanee Killers and Uncle Larry’s spinners.

A few kokanee are showing at the 20-foot depth. And for New Melones Reservoir, Layne reports it’s time for fishermen to get their kokanee gear ready as more are beginning to show near the dam and spillway at depths from 20 to 40 feet. 

Some standard gear is Glitterbug Hootchies, Sockeye Slammers and Uncle Larry’s spinners tipped with scented shoepeg corn and trolled behind a dodger or slingblade. Early season good scents are garlic and anise. 

Gary Burns, another local fishing guide, concurs with Layne on the beginning of the kokanee bite. During his last outing, Burns found kokanee near the dam, spillway and main lake, releasing several and keeping those 13 to 14 inches. 

Burns commented that the sizes are pretty good for so early in the season and expects to see them getting even larger as the season progresses. 

Burns was out last Monday trolling shad upriver with Don Theile where they had a double on browns — one weighed 4 pounds, 13 ounces, the other 6 pounds, 10 ounces.

On the bass scene, local angler John Martin caught a 10-pound, 7-ounce largemouth while fishing upriver with a swim bait. 

Down at Lake Camanche’s South Pond, local fly fishing angler, Dick Anderson had a good day last week, hooking and releasing 20-plus rainbows. 

This area is stocked with rainbows from a private hatchery. 

This writer tested the waters of Beardsley Lake last Monday after hearing that launching was possible despite the low water level. 

Four-wheel drive is a must due to a steep ravine leading to the lake, which opens into a wide beach area. 

I was on the water at 9 a.m. and had my five-fish limit by 10 a.m., trolling flasher/worm combos.  All were nice rainbows averaging 14 inches. 

Launching availability will change as the lake’s water level rises, but it has a long way to go before ever reaching the paved ramp. 

Results of the second week of the 49er League at the Angels Gun Club: Bob Slater Jr., of Sonora, led the men with a perfect score, 50 out of 50, followed closely behind by Bill Ladd, Dave Womack and Kevin Raggio, who all had 49 out of 50. 

Mindy Morales, of Jamestown, led the women’s division with 44 out of 50.  

The team event again saw the “Viagra Vigilantes” leading the way with a score of 239 out of 250. 

There will be no trap shooting at the Mother Lode Gun Club on Saturday due to a designated work day.

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