Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Shad in the American

I haven't fished for shad in a gazillion years.I think the last time I went was 1976, but I did find the same place where I used to fish. For those interested, it's called Harrington Access. It's off American River Dr on Harrington Way. Between Watt Ave and Sunrise Blvd. Closer to Watt. It's a Parks and Recreation river access and costs $5.00 to park. The access is about 200 ft from the parking lot. I suspect this weekend the place will be packed.

So, to verify shad were in the river, I asked seven guys that were fishing when I got there, if they had caught anything. One guy said he caught one about 14" early this morning and nothing since. A report from one of the other guys was that the shad were as far as Sunrise Blvd, although no one had caught any today.

I tied on one of my 48 shad darts and started fishing. Now one would think, one could catch a shad with 48 shad darts. Nope. Not a shad to be found. 48 shad darts, only 4 colors. You can only buy them online by the dozen per color. I think it's just a little too early for that far up the river. As I recall the last time (a gazillion years ago) that I was there more toward mid-June. I guess I'll just have to make another trip down the hill when I get back from LA. After all, I have 48 brand new shad darts to try.

Till next time, remember: "A bad day fishing is better than any day at work" unless, as Zach J says, you are a professional fisherman.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Middle Bar Bridge

I needed to go into Jackson this morning to pick up some stuff at the supermarket. Important stuff like ice cream and chocolate. Oh yeh, a perscription. I took a side trip to Middle Bar Bridge. It's 4.5 miles south of Jackson on Highway 49 then 3 miles down Middle Bar Road to the bridge.

I ran into a worker for one of the tree trimming companies that told me about this place, so I had to check it out. I understand that this is one of the last bridges in California that you can fish off. I don't know, only what I was told. Interesting place. This is actually the Mokolumne River. The pictures below are up (left) and down(right) stream from the bridge. It's like a big lake with a current.

I took about 30 minutes and threw out several lures without any contact. One of the gentlemen in the bridge picture said that there are some big Browns there, in fact his Father hooked one the last time he was there, but the line broke. The three gentlemen fishing there were all fishing down stream with slip sinker rigs. I'm thinking, the next time I go there, I'm taking some of those big meal worms and some nightcrawlers to hook on a slip bobber rig and just let it float down from the bridge. See what happens. That won't be until I get back from LA this coming weekend. Shoreman is spending the Memorial Day Weekend with his Brother who lives in Long Beach. I'm trying to get him to do some fishing while I'm down there. I'll let you know what happens.
Tomorrow, I have to go to Sacamento for an early doctors appointment and then to the American River to try out my new Shad Darts. Fishermans Warehouse says the Shad are in the river. I'll report tomorrow afternoon.
Zach J Thanks for stopping by.
Till then, remember: "A bad day fishing is better than any day at work"

Monday, May 18, 2009

Cooking The Trout

Just a quick blurb about how we cooked the Brookies. Shoreman's Wife stuffed the trout with chopped onion and garlic mixed with dill. We only stuffed the two big ones because the "boys", you met them before (Smudge and Jasper), got the small one for dinner. Didn't think they'd like the garlic and onion. Once stuffed, we wrapped them in tin foil and cooked them on the BBQ for 10 minutes a side. With carrots with onion sauteed in butter and rice, it was a wonderful meal.

Till next time, remember: "A bad day fishing is better than any day at work".


Friday, May 15, 2009

The Shoreman Scores

A picture is worth a thousand words. Red Lake without ice.

Took a chance and drove up to Red Lake this morning. I won't be able to get out fishing for a couple of weeks, so it was today or two weeks from now. I got up there about 9:00am and set out a slip sinker rig with Berkley Gulp Trout Dough in Rainbow Candy. Set up my 7' Ugly Stik with silver Panther Martin and away I went. Well, seems the trout liked Power Bait this morning.

The little guy on the bottom liked the Rainbow Candy. The other two liked the old stand by Orange Pulp flavor. The one on top is 13", middle 14" and bottom is 11". Guess who's having trout for dinner tonight? OK, enough bragging. I threw out a bunch of lures and they didn't produce anything. Even Kastmasters in gold & silver, which usually work in this lake, bombed. But as you can see, the day was not wasted. Note the forked tail on the one on top. It's not cut, it looks like it grew that way. Odd.

Couple of scenery shots, left and right of where I was fishing. That's it for today. Till next time, "Yeh, Red Lake is ice free".


Monday, May 11, 2009

Jenkinson Lake

The day didn't begin as a fishing trip. The plan was to meet my Son in El Dorado Hills and see the new Star Trek movie. Somehow our wires got crossed, as sometimes wires do, and instead of the movie starting at 9:00am, it didn't start until 11:30am. Being the busy person he is, he couldn't stay until 11:30, so he went back to work and I went fishing. Believe me, he would rather gone fishing too.

So I took off up Highway 50 to Jenkinson Lake. Some call it Sly Park Lake and some Jenkinson. The official name is Jenkinson. I've always called it Sly Park Lake, but then I used to live up there and it is on Sly Park Road. Last report I read said they were catching Rainbows, Browns, and Mackinaw off the shore near the dam. They were catching them on Kastmasters in silver/blue. Well, I threw the usual array of lures out and didn't see a fish. Rainbow Power Bait on a slip sinker rig didn't produce anything either. I tried silver, gold, and silver/blue Kastmasters, silver and gold Panther Martins, bronze/burgandy and silver blue Little Cleo, all three colors of Sonic Rooster Tails, Tasmanian Devil, and even a jointed Rapala in German Brown color. Didn't get so much as a follow up.

So, since the fish were not biting, I decided to ply you with pictures. One regular and one closer. Here you go.

I wanted to get a picture of the "Glory Hole" but low and behold, it was gone. If you are not familiar with this term, it is a circular hole where the water drops down 20 feet or so and then runs out the spillway on the back of the dam. Now they've made it a spillway from the lake side under the road and out the back. When the lake was full, the Glory Hole was really cool. Too bad.
That's it for today. Till next time, remember: "A bad day fishing is better than any day at work".

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Monsterquest Part 2

If you have cable or dish TV, you might have seen this show. What caught my attention was episode 49 from 5/6/2009 talking about “killer” fish.

Yesterday I talked about the Goliath Grouper. Today I’d like to talk about Muskies (Muskellunge). I know a lot of you fish Muskies and probably know a lot more about it than I do. So for the record, I’m only passing along information from the show. The show started off with showing recreations of a boy, age about 10, being bitten in the foot by a “killer” Muskie. What caught my attention was that he was just a few feet off, shore wading in the lake. The other was a home video of a guy with a good size Muskie in his net. He was trying to get it out when it reared up and bit him on the wrist. He ended up with a scar about a foot long on his arm and approximately $10,000 in doctor bills. These two incidents describe to me a very nasty fish. “But Killer”?

Being a Wisconsin boy, I’ve fished and caught Northern Pike and Walleye in both Wisconsin and Minnesota. I visited my Brother in Duluth in the summer of 1967 and spent several days fishing. The one day I remember most was at a lake call Little Split Hand. Some of you might know it. Our intention was to fish Big Split Hand, but was too rough. Back then all we did was take the 12’ aluminum boat off the car and throw it into the lake. Not 50’ from the dock, we both hooked up with small (12”) Northern’s. We caught a dozen each that day. One that I hooked, was so big we “chased” it around the lake for a good half hour. I had 6 lb test on the rod and it finally broke the line.

Enough of me, back to Monsterquest. They set up “shop” on Mille Lacs Lake near Brainerd, Minnesota. Their guide was Lee Tauchen, a well known Muskie guide. After drilling a bunch of holes in the ice, by the way it was mid winter and sub-zero temperatures, they dropped a bunch of equipment in the water. Special lures, cameras, an ROV, you know stuff like that. Got to hand it to those guys. Temperatures like that and they didn’t even look like they were cold let alone freezing. Twenty five inches of ice on the lake. Safe enough even for Shoreman to wander out there. Not that I would. Any way, after all that and getting their $125,000 ROV stuck in the ice, all they found was schools of Smallmouth Bass. No “killer” Muskies.

Oh, one other thing. Even though Monsterquest didn’t find any, Lee Tauchen mentioned that Mille Lacs Lake could be the place to produce the next world record Muskie. But then, Monsterquest doesn’t usually find most of the “monsters” they pursue. Guess you all better get out there and prove Lee right.

That’s it for today. Thought this might be interesting. Till next time, remember: “A bad day fishing is better than having your foot in a Muskies mouth”.


Friday, May 8, 2009


If you have cable or dish TV, you might have seen this show. What caught my attention was episode 49 from 5/6/2009 talking about “killer” fish.

The first segment of the show was about the Goliath Grouper also know as Calcutta Jewfish. They started the show by talking to a man that got attacked by a Goliath Grouper he estimated to be in the 100 lb range. Thing bit him on the head. Said the bottom jaw was in his mouth and the top jaw was on the back of his head. Pretty big fish in my opinion. So, they focused their search off Jupiter Florida. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission the Goliath Grouper has a range from California down through Central America, the Gulf, and the Atlantic as far as Western Africa. The average size for the Grouper is 300 lbs and are believed to be as big as 800 lbs and 8 feet long. The New York Times references two groupers caught in 1895, one being about 1500 lbs and the other being 954 lbs. That’s a lot of fish.

Which brings us to Monsterquest’s search for the “killer” grouper. They didn’t find the really big one. They did find a couple of 300 pounders that they chased around the reef. Yours truly spent several years skin diving off the coast of South Florida and I’ve seen groupers, but nothing close to 100 lbs let alone anything bigger. Doesn’t mean they’re not out there. The one thing Monsterquest did find was a huge Moray Eel. They estimated it to be 6 to 8 feet. From my experience I’d have to agree with that size. Anyone that has run into a Moray also knows they have no sense of humor, especially if they are grabbed with a lobster hook. This I have from personal experience.

Researching the Goliath Grouper, I came across an article on a website called Live Science that said a new species has been discovered. The Goliath Grouper, Pacific Species, up to 6 feet long and 1000 lbs. Used to be the same as the Atlantic Species, but has separate and distinct genes. Was the same fish 3.5 Million years ago before the Atlantic and Pacific were separated by Central America. This is actually more than I wanted to get into, but I thought it interesting.

Monsterquest also mentioned that Grouper attacks are not unusual. I was not aware that this fish was this aggressive, so those of you diving, be careful out there. I know I wouldn’t like my head in some groupers mouth.

Next time I’m going to talk about Monsterquest part 2. Till then remember:” A bad day fishing is better than having your head in a groupers mouth”.


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Lake Margaret

One thing I failed to mention on yesterdays post is fishing in streams and rivers. I was going to take a stab at the American River this week, but with the rain we’ve had over the weekend and today, the river is running high and fast. So I’ll get to that one later. I’m still waiting for my chainsaw to get repaired so I can drive out to Angels Camp and hit Angels Creek. Maybe by the end of the week. Looks like it's going to be another couple of weeks. A part had to be ordered.

OK, This post is about Lake Margaret. Lake Margaret is one of those back in the mountain, hidden lakes that produce Brookies to those who want to take the hike. Back on January 27th I mentioned Lily Pad Lake (what we called it). Lake Margaret looks to be just like that lake. Don’t get all excited, it’ll be a while before anyone can get in there. The lake is at 7536’ elevation and is about 2 ½ mile off Highway 88. The trailhead is 2/10 of a mile West of the spillway at Caples Lake. One website I looked on said it was 2/10 of a mile West of the dam, but I checked it out Monday when I was up there.

People occasionally confuse the spillway and the dam at Caples. When going East up Highway 88, the spillway is the first one you go by and the dam is the one you drive over.

So here are some statistics on Lake Margaret.
1. Five mile round trip hike.
2. About 2 ½ hours to make the hike. That’s just in and out. Don’t forget to stop and enjoy the lake and fish.
3. The hike is listed as moderate to difficult.
4. Best time is Summer into Fall. July and August seem to be the favored months.
5. The trail is not well defined, so make sure you have extra time in case you get off the trail and have to back track.
6. Don’t forget your fishing rod, tackle, lures, and nightcrawlers. Nightcrawlers seem to work good in high mountain lakes for Brookies.
7. DON’T FORGET BUG SPRAY. Like most high mountain lakes, the mosquito’s will eat you alive.

If you want to take a look at a couple of pictures of the lake, here is a link I thought had some nice views.

Well, this one is for the young (younger than me) and strong and those that don’t mind hiking to a back country lake. Too far for Shoreman for health reasons, but if I could, I would. If anyone makes this trip, let me know how you liked it, via the blog, so we can pass it on to others.

Till next time, remember: “A bad day fishing is better than any day at work”.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Monday Morning

Yesterday we were between storms and I thought I’d take a run up Highway 88 and check out the lakes. Since the storms have been warm, I thought the higher lakes might be ice free by now. My hopes were dashed when I got to Silver Lake. There was about 15 feet of open water right at the dam and the rest of the lake was still frozen. Being the die hard I am, I continued up the hill toward Caples and Red Lakes. I did a little research on ice out at Caples and Red Lakes and the only article I found was dated 5/11/2004 where there was fishing at that time on the lakes.

Caples Lake had small areas of water and the rest was still frozen. Red Lake had some open water, but it was toward the middle of the lake and not accessible from the shore. So again, my hopes were dashed. I really hate having dashed hopes.

On the way back, I did some information checking for a lake called Lake Margaret. That will be in the next post. I also took a look at Kirkwood Lake and the road is still impassable.

On the way up the road I noticed that the closed sign was off for Bear River Resort at the turn off. Took a drive down the road (It’s about 3 miles) to the lake. I had hopes that the gate would be open. Again dashed hopes. The good thing is that the lake is really full. It’s risen about ten feet since I was there two weeks ago and is about ten to twelve feet from the top of the dam.

When I got to the water, I tried the usual Panther Martins and Kastmasters, but the real reason I walked all the way down is I wanted to try the Rapala Clackin’ Rap lures I bought a month ago. I put 12 lb test on my new reel and since I haven’t gotten my new rod yet, I put the reel on my 7’ Ugly Stik. I bought three colors of the Clackin’ Rap. Olive Green, Purpledescent, and Hot Steel. Actually these were the only three colors Fisherman’s Warehouse had at the time. I didn’t get any hits, but a couple of things to watch for. One, as I said before, they are really heavy (3 ½ oz) so they sink fast. Two, when you get near shore, pull up the tip of your rod to keep it from getting snagged on the bottom. I got one snagged, but managed to get it loose. Don’t want to lose a 9 buck lure. Since I wasn’t feeling in the pink of health, I called it early and came home.

I suspect it will be another two weeks before we can get to fish Silver, Caples, and Red Lakes. Remember. Caples is pretty much fish free since last Summer, so it will have to wait for the stocking program to start before any catching will begin. I’ll check again in a couple of weeks and let everybody know what they look like. Easy for me since I live “just down the road”. Next time I’ll talk about Lake Margaret.

Till then, remember: “A bad day fishing is better than any day at work”.