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OUTDOORS

KIRBY’S KATCH

Area fishing update
By: Kirby Desha for The News Messenger
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It looks like we are settling into the usual summer pattern these days with the valley heat coming on and the local waterways getting congested with recreational enthusiasts. Plenty of good fishing happening right now, but one needs to plan accordingly, i.e., fish early in the day and avoid the weekends, if possible.

Bass fishing is going strong at Lake Oroville. Last weekend’s tournament was a family affair with the winners Troy Davenport and son taking top prize with a bag weighing 12.25 pounds, including the biggest fish of the tournament, a 7.68-pound spot. Father and son took home more than $2,000 in prize money.

Oroville is known for numbers, not size, so this a good sign.

Big fish are getting wacked at Bullards Bar too. Berryessa, Rollins, and Camanche lakes have all had good reports. Now that the spawn is done, these fish are hungry and chasing just about anything: grubs, swimbaits, jigs, senkos, etc.

Trout are moving deeper. On a recent trip to Collins, we found fish at 20-30 feet, and marked some as deep as 40 feet. We landed several, including one very nice beast that topped the 4-pound mark. We also picked up a few bass on the troll.

After a busy weekend, trout can be easily spooked and finding them in a small lake such as Collins can be a challenge, but they are there. An early start is crucial for success, as the mid heat can shut down the bite.

Personally, I dislike the traditional slow troll with a dodger at this time of year. The water is clear and the fish will react to a fast-moving spoon or stick bait.

Kokanee bite is on fire in some areas. I’ve seen some very nice fish coming out of Stampede lately. For the last couple of years, this has been the go-to spot for big kokes. All the usual offerings will work; pink and orange hootchies and dodgers.

I’ve been continuing with the remarkable year up at Bullards, hooking up to 20 fish on every outing. Of course, there are the usual Bullards’ dinks, but there have been a few bigger ones mixed in that go up to 14 inches. The 10-fish limit there makes for some really fun days.

King salmon are back at Lake Oroville; the secret is out, the kings are back!

I’ve been fishing up there off and on since early April and the bite has been consistently good. Now the reports are getting published in several online forums, so I would expect it to get a little tougher what with all the pressure.

On my last outing, I managed to land two beautiful holdovers that each passed the 20 inch-mark. Those fish were big enough to be from 2016. 

The usual areas are producing: the Green Bridge, Bidwell point, and the river arms.

White or purple hootchies behind a sling blade are my best weapons. Tip the hooks with a small piece of anchovy. Troll at around 2.5 mph and at depths between 25-40 feet.