Len Ackerman

Kudos go to the Moccasin Creek Hatchery for planting bigger trout in Pinecrest Lake.

When a few big rainbows turn up, people get more excited about fishing and it’s a boost to the economy of the area.

It also might pick up the sale of fishing licenses which have been in decline over the past several years.

This hatchery’s goal is to plant fewer but larger trout in local waters.

Last Thursday, my son Bob, daughter Karen Olson, and I were on the water at Pinecrest by 6 a.m. to beat the heat and the crowds.

We didn’t have our lines out for five minutes when Bob hooked a big one, which turned out to weigh 3 pounds. The lure that this fish hit was a “Pop Geer Wildcat,” an old lure found in a tackle box dating back to the 1940s.

When we finished the morning we had five keeper size and released three others.

Karen, who was fishing on a one-day license, caught four. Even I, who was designated the guide, managed a 2.5-pound rainbow.

On Saturday, another son, Ed, of Watsonville, was up for the Fourth of July and thought he would try to top Bob’s fish. He, Bob, and my grandson Tyler put in a couple of hours on the lake, with only two bites, one of which turned out to be a 3-pound rainbow for Ed.

Longtime local angler, Gino “the barber” Hernandez caught two rainbows, 2.5 and 3 pounds last week.

At New Melones Reservoir, the hot weather is driving the trout deeper with some being found between the two bridges and near the dam and off Rose Island at depths of 50 to 70 feet.

Bass are still active early mornings with topwater lures and then go deeper by mid-day where soft plastics or jigs may produce strikes.

At Lake Don Pedro, anglers should be alert for floating debris up the Tuolumne River arm, as well as heavy speedboat traffic.

The Blue Oaks launch ramp is open but no overnight parking is allowed there. Trout have been found from 30 to 50 feet deep with spoon type lures, along with an occasional kokanee.

The Moccasin Creek Hatchery has planted rainbow trout in the following waters this week: Power House Stream; Lyons Canal; South and Middle Forks Stanislaus; North Fork Tuolumne; Beaver Creek and North Fork Stanislaus. Pinecrest will not be planted this week so anglers will have to try to outwit those holdover big ones that survived the holiday weekend.

The Mother Lode Gun Club in Jamestown will hold a 5-stand shoot Saturday on Jamestown Road. It will be open to the public as well as all club members.