Fly fishing rod

The weather has changed and so has the fishing; the world belongs to those who get up early

Compiled by Mari Erin Roth

Lake Almanor

The water temperature is increasing daily and currently sits at 73 degrees. Clarity is unchanged. Daytime highs reach the 90s for at least the next seven days with minimal wind.

The bite was early and hard, with the action slowing further when the sun comes up. Shore fishing was also difficult with Hamilton Branch being the best way to catch fish from the shore. From the shore, the bite is also done early in the morning or late in the evening. “Start your day in the deep water sections of the lake, Rec #1 to A-Frame, Big Cove to Auggie’s Ally, Big Springs and Dorado,” suggests John Crotty of the Almanor Fishing Association. “Slow trolling is the preferred method, if the wind picks up, switch to tackle.”

The 2022 Hex Hatch is over and Basin Smelt will be the primary food source on Almanor for the rest of the year. Bass fishermen who know the lake catch small quality fish. Mark Pilgrim is a local guide and fisherman on the Wild West Bass Tour. There are posts on his Facebook site about how he handles bass bite.

The Oak Fire created poor air quality in Plumas County on Sunday and the smoke/haze will be intermittent depending on the winds.

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Please note: The annual AFA Family Picnic is scheduled for Saturday July 30th, seating will be limited and tickets will NOT be sold or available at the door. Time is running out to buy tickets. “This is our main fundraiser, if you would like to support the AFA and help us fund our fish enclosure program and support our veteran and youth fishing events, please come enjoy a New York steak dinner with us at beautiful Rec #1 in the Lake Almanor Country Club,” Crotty said.

Antelope Lake

The general store staff may have been too busy fishing and selling gear to pick up the phone, but it’s hard to top the beauty and abundance of the great fishing spots on Lake Antelope. If there were no fish it would be worth getting in the water, but there are plenty of fish and few anglers. This hidden gem offers easy access to boat launching and camping. It’s also not a difficult task to find a little nook, cove or cove, all by yourself to cast a line.

Bucks Lake

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Four truckloads of planted fish swim in Bucks with all the homegrown natives. Early morning and late evening are the most productive times for fishing. When the temperatures rise, the fish descend into the cool depths. All inlets, Mill Creek, Haskins and Buck Lake Creek produce. Anglers catch Kokanee, Rainbows and Browns. What sells the most at the tackle store? It’s Rapalla, worms and powerbait for the most part.

French Lake

Fishing was good in the morning and evening, the bait of choice being worms. Goodwin’s general store also has a good supply of fish snacks (worms) and snacks for people. The hot spot remains Turkey Point, but anglers really need to get out before the sun comes up and the bite slows down.

Davis Lake

“Mornings were better before the heat hit,” Jeanne told the J&J General Store of Davis Lake Fishing. Where have we heard this before? The east side of the lake near Mallard Cove has been good for trout. “Eagle Point was the hot spot for Bass,” Jeannie said. Boat anglers need to dive deep as temperatures rise. Dillard’s keeps producing when it’s cool or lagging at depths where it doesn’t matter. Trollers are in luck with Dick Nite Copper Redheads and Needlefish Red Dot Frog. On the bank, the worms or PowerBait have been consistent. Fly fishermen are always excited because “the blue dragonflies continue to be active in the morning,” says Jeanne, but that’s all she had time for. The store was really packed with business mid-afternoon on a hot July 25th, which lets us know there are plenty of great days to fish this season in Davis. Nature, however, gives advice to anglers. Blue dragonflies are what the fish are gorging on in the Jenkins area, which is a big help in picking the fly of the day.

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Free fishing days ahead!

The second day of free fishing in California in 2022 is Saturday, September 3. On this day, the public can fish throughout the Golden State without a fishing license. For those new to fishing, this is an opportunity to explore a rewarding and exciting new hobby. For licensed anglers, this is an opportunity to introduce or re-introduce someone else to the benefits of becoming an angler. Free Fishing Day is also an opportunity for former fishermen to come back and reconnect with the activity.

Only basic fishing equipment and knowledge is needed to start fishing.

Fishing training videos available

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has introductory fishing videos that people can watch through July 2.

Tackle Box Basics: You will learn about the different types of tackle and how to match “when, where and what species” of different types of tackle.

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How to Become a Fisherman in California: You’ll hear about California’s various fish species and where and how to find them.

Beginner’s Guide to Trout Fishing: You’ll learn about cold freshwater trout fishing, including species differentiation, spawning patterns, and the best catching techniques for California waters.

The CDFW Fishing Guide can be a great resource for all anglers. Search for a new body of water to fish, review recent planting locations, or even brush up on your knowledge of fishing regulations. This useful tool is accessible from your mobile phone while you fish!

California’s vastness, varied geography and rich biodiversity offer anglers a plethora of fishing spots and species to catch. Those interested in fishing California’s lakes, streams, and rivers can find information about inland fishing locations and species on the CDFW website. Sea fishing information, including spots along California beaches, is also available on the website. All fishing regulations, such as catch and size limits, gear restrictions, bulletin requirements, fishing hours and stream closures remain in effect on free fishing days. Anglers must have the proper bulletin when fishing for rainbow trout or sturgeon anywhere in the state, and salmon in the Smith and Klamath-Trinity River systems. Anglers can view sport fishing regulations online or use the CDFW mobile website to view freshwater limits and body-specific regulations.

“California anglers are incredibly fortunate to have such a wide variety of fish species and fishing opportunities to choose from on July 2,” said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham. “We are asking anglers to choose their fishing destinations carefully given the drought conditions affecting our waters. Try to avoid waters visibly affected by the effects of drought. Specifically, where warm, low water levels can stress fish populations.

Anglers considering inland catch-and-release fishing can help reduce fish stress levels and increase survival rates by voluntarily adopting the following practices:

Assess the water for extreme drought conditions before you commit to fishing there

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Fish before the day heats up

Handle the fish as little as possible

Keep fish in water when removing hooks

We hope you take advantage of California’s free fishing days. If you get “addicted” to fishing, be sure to purchase an Annual Resident Sport Fishing License. Revenue generated from license sales helps conserve our fish populations and habitats while supporting California’s long-standing angling opportunities for current and future generations. An annual California resident sport fishing license currently costs $54, while a one-day fishing license costs $17.54.

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