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Best Bites: Nov. 29 through Dec. 5  

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The first big rain of the fall season doesn’t mean you have to sit home and watch the gutters fill. Especially Bay Area anglers who have access to a couple of lakes that won’t get muddy and are full of trout. The parade of wet storms sets the stage for the arrival of steelhead on North Coast rivers. All will be blown out this weekend but the Smith will round back into shape by early next week. So there are options for anglers and here they are in this week’s Best Bites:

LAKE CAMANCHE trout: Mt. Lassen Hatchery delivered 600 pounds of trout to the South shore pond and 600 pounds to the South shore ramp last Wednesday. DFG delivered 1,500 pounds to the north shore this week so there is no shortage of available rainbows. Most anglers fishing the main lake are getting action just offshore.  Planter fish tend to stay closer to the surface and near the shorelines while holdover fish (from last year) are still in deeper water (about 40 feet-plus).   Jordan Bozeman, a North shore Camanche resident, last week caught a 9.80 pound trout from upriver. (209) 763-5915, (209) 763-5166

EAGLE LAKE trout: Guide Rick Kennedy of Tight Lines Guide Service was part of an 18-person armada that fished last weekend. All 18 limited. Most of the time was spent between Wildcat and Shrimp Island fishing in the top 5 feet of water. The hot ticket for all three boats was the Orange Arctic Fox Trolling Fly and an orange Sep’s Grub and Pro Cure Trophy Trout scent. The average size was around two and a half pounds with a handful going over three pounds.  There’s only one month left before Eagle Lake closes.

LOS VAQUEROS striped bass/trout: This lake is producing good, not great fishing. But Los Vaqueros won’t muddy up so that’s a plus. Shorelines will be muddy but if you rent a boat that problem is solved.  A plant of 1,000 pounds of trout went in Tuesday. Trollers get 18 to 21 inch striped bass. (925) 371-2628

QUARRY LAKES trout:  Water in this former rock quarry doesn’t get muddy.  Four trout larger than eight pounds were caught last week and limits are being caught, too. Best spot is the backside of Horseshoe Lake. Power Bait or spoons take trout. Catfish will take shrimp. (510) 544-3133

SHADOW CLIFFS trout: Another rock-lined ex-quarry that will have clear water. Plant of 1,125 pounds of trout went in last week and another 1,000 pounds went in this week. A good bet during breaks in the rain. (510) 544-3230

LOWER DELTA sturgeon: Collinsville is a hot spot for sturgeon and striped bass. One striper caught over the weekend was 28 pounds. Broad Slough is also good for both. Sturgeon are being caught from the River View Bridge. A handful of keeper sturgeon also have been caught from the Antioch Pier. A pair of anglers last weekend caught and released 30 undersized sturgeon in two days so there is action available. Gotcha Bait & Tackle (925) 706-7400 

DERBY ALERT: Pittsburg Marina and Dockside Bait & Tackle will hold a sturgeon and striped bass derby December 14 through 16. Entry fee is $35 and includes lunch. All proceeds go to prizes. Tell them you read about it at Dockside Bait (925) 252-0151.


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