Fishing Discovery Park by night

By: George deVilbiss
-A +A
Down near Discovery Park is not a place you want to be during the daylight hours. There are just a lot of swimmers and water recreationists out there roiling the waters. Once the sun goes down, now that’s a different story. The striper fishing in the lower American River can be downright outstanding this time of year. The best thing of all is you’ll probably be the only person on the water in the immediate vicinity. I usually launch my boat at Discovery Park’s boat ramp about midnight. A quick run around the corner to the American River only takes minutes. Anchor just upriver, and within casting distance from the I-5 Bridge, where the lights from the bridge are a natural attractant. Tie on a Rebel or a Rapala and above that, a leader line with a barrel swivel. I use an egg slider sinker above the swivel to cause the lure to sink. Cast well beyond the light, under the bridge. Allow the lure to sink and then start slowly retrieving it back. You can vary the retrieve by using jerks. Either way, you should get bit regularly. I’ve been bit on nearly every cast. There’s a caveat, of course. The majority of the stripers in the river are undersized shakers. From the time I drop anchor until I put the boat back on the trailer around the break of dawn, I’ve probably caught and released no less than 100 stripers. Of those, you’ll find keepers, and occasionally you’ll hook up with a 20-pounder, though most are only in the 5-8 pound range. Give it a try. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. Be sure to have the mosquito repellant along, as they can be pesky even out on the river. Lake Almanor: Finding big concentrations of famed trophy rainbows still remains a problem. For four or five days straight, we trolled the region from Big Cove to Rec 1, staying in about 50 feet of water, dropping the downrigger ball down 40 feet and letting out up to eight colors of lead core line. We get bit and we get bit a lot. In one day, we caught and released no less than two dozen fish, all salmon with the exception of two smaller rainbows. Nothing was over a pound and a half. Not exactly what we’re looking for. By 9-9:30, the action generally comes to a screeching halt. Day after day, same story. Finally we decided to try some different water and headed south towards the dam. Trolling in the deeper water, we finally got bit by a three-pound rainbow. Around Rocky Point near the PG&E Campgrounds, a couple of boats can be seen drifting or at anchor and getting bit, but generally the action is slow. From there, we headed towards Big Meadows and in just over 50 feet of water, the rig down 41 feet, the downrigger rod snapped and the fight was on. It took nearly 20 minutes to battle a 4 3/4 pound rainbow. A number of boats can be seen anchored around the mouth of Big Springs. With a chunk of anchovy suspended just off the bottom, the king salmon bite is decent but again, the fish tend to run small. A couple of boats can be seen at the head of Big Springs, right at the springs, but the action is not red hot. Folsom Lake: The lake is dropping but the good news is that there are no speed limit restrictions being re-considered yet. You can zoom to anyplace you want. While an occasional bass can be found in close, you won’t find the best action there. Watch your scope closely and when you find rock piles, common on Folsom Lake, start fishing. Dartheading or drop-shotting with plastics is the best way to go. Not a lot of triers for salmon or trout, but trollers working the deep water are catching one here and one there from the old river channel from Brown’s Ravine to the dam. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, contact George directly at GeorgesColumn@AOL.COM