Lake Pardee reopens to fishing

By: George deVilbiss, Special to Gold Country News Service
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The annual re-opening of Lake Pardee to all available recreational, boating and fishing activities is a sure sign spring is right around the corner. And it’s an opening that is highly anticipated by many, especially anglers. They come from points near and far regardless of the weather. Campgrounds are expected to be full and since the fish have not had any pressure from the angling public since late last fall, the fishing should be at its best. In order to enhance the fishery, there have already been a number of off-season trout plants, some 7,000 pounds of rainbows by the DFG alone. In addition, lake management has added 6,000 pounds and will put in another 4,000 pounds on opening day. That makes for a pretty large number of available, hungry trout to chomp down on your offering, not only the recent planters, but plenty of holdover trout as well. To make things even more fun, a number of fish will be roaming the water with tags. Catch one of these fish and you’ll win a designated prize for that fish. The gates will open at 5 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 5. That gives you plenty of time to set up camp and have a relaxing day, and get to bed early. Fishing starts officially on Friday and it’s not uncommon for the real early birds to find their way to the shoreline by lantern light. Despite a lack of rainfall, the lake is in pretty good shape, down about 15 feet below the spill. The water is cold and clear and there are shallow spots along the shoreline and islands that usually don’t appear this early in the season. But, with little rains washing down the river, there is also little debris to dodge on the water. The biggest crowds will be lining the shoreline around the most accessible areas of the Rec Area Cove, Rainbow Point, and Stoney Landing. Power Bait will be the prime getter but maggots are another good bet. Just be sure to put it off an egg-sliding sinker. If you have a two-rod stamp, set the bottom rig in the holder and cast-retrieve a small, flashy lure until you get bit on the bait. No problem launching at Lake Pardee. Some will troll right in the Rec Area while others will head to the Narrows, face of the dam or the river mouth. Lead core line or downriggers will get you down 10 to 25 feet. Lures or a threaded-on night crawler should get you bit in short order. All services at the lake will be in full operation, except the swimming pool. The café is expected to be busy as will be the marina, which will have all the baits and lures you forgot to bring. Just take the rain gear. The fish are already wet so they don’t care if it’s raining or not. Stay dry and load up on a stringerload of nice trout. CURRENT FISHING Lake Camanche: You can beat the crowds at Lake Pardee and head for nearby Camanche. Less traffic and the fishing for ‘bows up to 10 pounds is downright good with limits more the rule than the exception. Troll in the North Shore day use area or around Hat Island. Upper part of the lake has been good to trollers, east of the Narrows. Camp Far West: Good news is that the concrete ramp may soon be in the water allowing launching of any boat. Would be a good bet to call first at 408-5037. The water is cold and the fish are in their usual lethargic stage, so you’ve got to work them slow. Worms and jigs will get you a limit, however. Scotts Flat: Water level is rising and launching can still be done on both sides of the lake. Head to the upper reaches of the lake and troll a Rapala. Some nice browns, close to 10 pounders, have been nailed. Suisun Bay: Slow tides last week meant a slow bite but tides improve considerably this week. The sturgeon bite has been decent around the Mothball Fleet and at points further east, Big Cut and Garnet Point. Some big stripers are also taking runs with the soaking sturgeon baits. Any questions, comments or concerns, contact George directly at GeorgesColumn@AOL.COM.