Ice fishing is slow at Davis Lake, Calif.
By Don Quilici
LAKE ALMANOR, CALIF: Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association (530-365-7500): As of Jan. 29: The lake was hit by snow, which has frozen most of the lake and kept plows and shovels busy. When access to the ramps and a little water open back up, the bite will be great!
BLUE LAKES AREA, CALIF: Dave Kirby of the Woodfords Station (530-694-2930): It was 10 degrees here at the store this morning (Tuesday). The road was closed a number of times over the weekend.
DAVIS LAKE, CALIF: Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association (530-365-7500): As of Jan. 29: Sled dog races were held at the lake last weekend, and other activities like cross-country skiing and snowshoe trekking are under way. Ice fishing has gotten off to a slow start, with many anglers unaware of the lake’s opening due to the low-key announcement that it was now fishable. Ice thickness reported up to 2 feet thick in some parts of the lake, but some rise in the level of the roughly half-full lake has degraded ice conditions around the edges. So be careful out there, and don’t fish alone.
FEATHER RIVER, CALIF: Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association (530-365-7500): As of Jan. 29: Fishing was rather slow, but a few Steelhead were reported in the Low Flow Section, and above Gridley, where a client of guide J. D. Richey caught an 11-pound Steelhead on a back-trolled plug. There were also reports of a few striped bass being caught at the mouth of the Bear River on topwater plugs.
FRENCHMAN RESERVOIR, CALIF: Wiggin’s Trading Post at Chilcoot, Calif. (530-993-4683): We have had many good reports on the fishing this week. You can not get around the lake without a snowmobile, so most everyone is fishing at the dam. Catching limits of nice sized rainbows through the ice at the dam, using Crystal Bullets and a piece of nightcrawler.
FRENCHMAN RESERVOIR, CALIF: Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association (530-365-7500): As of Jan. 29: Ice fishing here has been spotty at times and weather conditions have been less than inviting. Reports indicate most anglers have been fishing at the dam where the ice is reported to be about a foot thick. Late morning has been the most productive fishing time and nightcrawlers or Woolly Worms have been working.
FT. CHURCHILL COOLING PONDS (on the Mason Valley Wildlife Management Area): Opens Feb. 9.
HINKSON SLOUGH, NEV: Opens Feb. 9.
MASON VALLEY WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA, NEV: Opens Feb. 9.
NORTH POND (on the Mason Valley Wildlife Management Area): Opens Feb. 9.
OROVILLE LAKE, CALIF: Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association (530-365-7500): As of Jan. 29: Bass fishing has picked up this past week with slowly rising lake levels. The fish will hit jigs and plastic worms at 10-40 feet and can be caught with plastic worms, tube baits and jigs.
PYRAMID LAKE, NEV: George and Carla Molino of the Pyramid Lake Store at (775) 476-0555: We have sun (Tuesday morning) and that is a plus! The boat fishermen have been pretty consistent with about a half dozen fish caught and released per boat. One shore fisherman had been fishing unsuccessfully at Blockhouse for about three hours when the wind kicked up. Then, he caught a 24-incher, on the next cast he caught a 25-incher and several casts later, a 30-incher.
PYRAMID LAKE, NEV: Chris and Jeri Grellman of Sparks of Hog Charters (358-5199): We did not go out, because of the Super Bowl weekend.
PYRAMID LAKE, NEV: Jim Hartfiel of Just Rite Fishing at Pyramid Lake at (775) 575-7850 (home) or (775) 813-3411 (Cell): I didn’t go out, but I had a report of two 10-pounders from shore at Blockhouse on Saturday and two 8-pounders from boats at Spider Point on Sunday. The boats were trolling frog-colored Flatfish lures.
RED LAKE, CALIF: Dave Kirby reported that Russ Wickwire, an avid ice fisherman from Woodfords, tried to fish on Monday. He said that the parking area has not been plowed, there was about 12 feet of snow, he could not get to the lake, and he returned home.
SHASTA LAKE, CALIF: Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association (530-365-7500): As of Jan. 29: The waters are muddy but anglers are finding a few brown trout averaging 3-5 pounds in the McCloud Arm from the inflows down to Holiday Harbor and from the surface down to 35 feet. Run large Sling Blades with Kazi Minnows at about 3 mph to get their attention as it rips back and forth, larger Hum Dingers should also do the job. Pro Cure’s Shad Gel is a standard here as is Trophy Trout. A jig or dart-headed 6-inch worm in crawdad colors, slowly worked on points from the bank out to 30 feet should find a few bass. Swimbaits found fewer bass, but they were larger.
SMITH RIVER, CALIF: Dave Jacobs of Professional Guide Services (800) 355-3113: Steelhead fishing has been slow this past week with catch rates for the most part low for most anglers. Rain, sleet and heavy snow hit the coast this past week with a good water rise on Thursday and Saturday, making fishing very tough due to high water. There are some good signs of Steelhead starting to show from these high flows from angler’s plunking in high water from the boats and bank. There is more rain forecasted this week, off and on, so Steelheading should be good this week if flows are favorable. Adult Steelhead that are being caught this past week have been side drifting roe and a Quickie puffball in lower flows and plunking Spin and Glo’s and roe the go to technique in high flows. Back trolling Hot Shots and wiggle warts in various color combos have also produced some nice Steelhead at times this past week as well. Steelhead have averaged 8-12 pounds with Steelhead in the high teens and low twenty pound class a real possibility on this river. Daily scores reported on the Smith this week have averaged one to two fish per trip. Catch rates could really improve this coming week from the high flows this weekend.
LAKE TAHOE – North Shore: Gene St. Denis of Blue Ribbon Charters and Tahoe Trophy Trout at South Lake Tahoe, Calif. (530-544-6552): The fishing has been slow to good. We have been trolling 60-180 feet deep. We locate the fish on the fish finder and then troll Dodgers and a live minnow in a “Figure Eight” pattern, bouncing the bottom. Also using rainbow-pattern, broken-back lures. I’ve been fishing at Cal-Nevada Point, Dollar Point and Sugar Pine Point. Our largest was an 11-pound Mackinaw at 100 feet deep at Dollar Point. Most Mackinaw are 2-6 pounds.
LAKE TAHOE – South Shore: Gene St. Denis: I top-lined at the Tahoe Keys, and caught and released a 34-inch Mack and a 31-inch Mack on a Bomber Long “A,” rainbow-pattern lure.
LAKE TAHOE – East Shore: Gene St. Denis: The Cave Rock Ramp has been plowed but strongly recommend a 4WD vehicle for launching your boat. Shore fishing has been slow. We top-lined, Tuesday, and caught and released a 33-inch Mackinaw and a 3-pound brown by the Zephyr Cove buoy.
TOPAZ LAKE: Chuck and Linda Fields at the Topaz Lake Marina (775-266-3550): We had a group of 21 fishermen from Auburn, Calif. on Saturday and Sunday, and they caught fish. They were in 8 boats, trolling Rapala lures. The biggest fish were 2-pounds, 10-ounces, 2-pounds, 8-ounces and 2-pounds, 6-ounces. The water level is still low, but it is coming up, slow but sure.
WILDHORSE RESERVOIR, NEV: Dennis Dunn, Jerry, Fred, Ron and Debbie at the Wild Horse Resort (775) 758-6472: No fishermen in this part of the country. It is -7 degrees this morning (Tuesday). This is the heaviest snowfall that we have had in 10 years and there are big drifts on the road between here and Owyhee.