Hit or miss right now
By: Kirby Desha for The News Messenger
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The good news is that since school is back in session the pressure on local lakes has really dropped. The bad news is that the crazy heat is making it harder to spend a lot of time on the water – the key is to go early.

Salmon fishing remains slow in the rivers, but still pretty solid out on the salt. Anglers in the Sac-metro area report a few fish caught each day.

The mouth of the American is getting a lot of pressure and early birds are getting a few fish on spinners. Some are reporting a jig bite down around Freeport. Not much happening at Verona, just a few caught on anchor.

I’d heard the bass bite at Camp Far West was really poor, but I wanted to see for myself. I took a solo trip out there and did surprisingly well, with 22 fish by noon. All but one came on a drop shot rig and, as the morning went on, the bite got harder.

The lake has dropped a lot and some islands are now peninsulas. Despite the warm water, I had good luck in areas from 8-12-feet deep. Concentrate on long points and the steep banks.

I had a so-so outing at Bullards Bar and only managed four kokes, when I had been getting limits earlier this year.

I found a lot of fish starting to school up at Willow Creek, but just could not get them interested. The four fish I did catch were some of the largest I’ve seen there, so that made up for the lack of numbers.


I had a request to expand a little on what I wrote concerning our trip to Stampede Reservoir a few weeks back.

Normally I try to limit the more detailed technical side of my columns, since this stuff can be pretty boring to most non-anglers. Anyway, here are my tips for Stampede:

I start fishing as soon as I clear the ramp. We’ve previously caught fish within 50 yards of the ramp. The best depth on the last trip was 40 feet, in areas where the water column was 80-130 feet deep.

Of course, this varies depending on the time of year, as the water heats up the fish go deeper. Boat traffic will drive the fish down as well.

I usually go back and forth in front of the ramp and work my way out to deeper water. If I hook up, I turn around and go through the same area again and often I will get more fish. This is a common method for kokanee fishing.

For trolling speed I try to hit between 1.0 and 1.3 mph, although I believe I can still catch fish up to 1.5 mph. I make a zig zag pattern, so the outside lines are always speeding up and slowing down with the boat. This is a good way to activate a bite.

The best colors at Stampede this year were orange and pink. I like the smaller micro hootchies, such as the Radical Glow tubes. I experiment until I see what is working on a particular day.