Fish Sniffer Magazine Volume 41 Issue 19 | Page 11

VOL . 41 • ISS . 19


December 9 , 2022

Collins Lake Map Facts

Location and Size : The recreation area , located at 1200 feet in elevation , covers about 1,600 acres when full and features 12.5 miles of shoreline . Collins Lake is about 1-1 / 4 hours northeast of Sacramento and about 30 minutes east of Marysville .
Season : The recreation area is open for day use 7 days a week year-round . Anglers fish for rainbow trout , brown trout , spotted bass , largemouth bass , smallmouth bass , channel catfish , black crappie , bluegill and redear sunfish .
Boating : The water ski season runs from May 15 through September 30 . Jet skis and small personal watercraft aren ’ t allowed on the lake . A double wide concrete launch ramp with a dock and a full-service marina with moorage and boat rentals are available .
Fishing Access : Collins Lake provides outstanding access for shore anglers and campers . Shore anglers find success while fishing along the dam , on the west shore and around the bridge on the river arm .
Camping : A safe and clean family campground includes hot showers and laundry , RV hookups and tent campsites . The campground is patrolled by security and emergency medical personnel are on call . Groups are welcome . Rates vary on time of year and amenities provided .
Other Facilities : Collins includes a 600-foot sand swimming beach , children ’ s playground , beach volleyball , picnic area , general store , laundry and hot showers . Check out their famous huge ice cream cones ! Three large group picnic areas located near the swimming beach and playground .
Information and Services : Collins Lake Recreation Area , 1-800-286-0576 or ( 530 ) 692-1600 , www . collinslake . com .
Guide Services : Cal Kellogg and Wes Ward of Fish Hunt Shoot offer guided fishing adventures for trout : fishhuntshoot . com .
Collins Lake
( Merle Collins Res .) Yuba County
Natural Tree & Brush Habitat Natural Rocky Habitat Steep Drop off Manmade Brush Habitat
To Loma Rica , Marysville & Hiway 20
Loma Rica Road
Stanfield Hill El . 1221
Dolan Harding Road
Willow Glen Road
Entry Station & General Store
To Brownsville
Open Camping Area

Collins Lake

Swimming Beach
Dry Creek
Lake of The Springs
Oregon House El . 1530
Peak El . 2099
Chaparral Hill El . 2099
• Rainbow Trout are the most popular species at Collins , since the lake management and DFW in a cooperative program plant big loads of rainbows into the reservoir in the spring and fall . While the DFW plants catchable trout , the concessionaire stocks lots of trophy trout in the lake . Trollers find success using nightcrawlers behind dodgers , Cripplures , Needlefish , Rapalas and a variety of spinners throughout the year , but the best fishing takes place in the spring and summer . Shore anglers also catch trout while fishing Power Bait , spoons and spinners in the camping areas , off the swim beach and in near the dam . Fishing can be very good off the docks at night during the summer .
• Spotted Bass are the predominant bass species in Collins , but the lake kicks out trophy Florida-strain Largemouth Bass every year . Smallmouth Bass used to be more abundant , but the spotted bass have largely replaced the bronzebacks in the catches . Collins is known for being a good drop shotting lake throughout the year , as well as being a great place to fish top water lures and plastic worms around structure . The lake management has put a lot of time and effort into habitat enhancement and Florida largemouth planting programs at the reservoir .
• Channel Catfish prowl the waters of Collins during the spring and summer when water temperatures are at their highest . The Dry Creek inlet also kicks out good numbers of catfish during winter storms when food washes into the lake . Use mackerel , chicken liver and other baits for the whiskerfish .
• Bluegill , Black Crappie and Redear Sunfish offer top-notch action during the spring and summer . Fish for the crappie with Mini Jigs and for the bluegill and redears with wax worms , redworms and golden grubs . Fish around the trees and brush on the east side of the lake and in the brush piles .
Conner Hansen of Grass Valley ( L ) won first place in the youth division of the NTAC Championship at Collins Lake by catching this 4.95-pound rainbow on Nov . 6 . His dad , Sean ( R ), landed a 3.65-pound lightning trout , placing seventh in the adult division .
Photo by Dan Bacher
Trout grow big and fat in Collins , feeding heavily on the lake ’ s abundant threadfin shad and other forage . Rich Moore set the lake rainbow record of 14 pounds , 3 ounces in May 2009 . The lake brown record , set in 1991 by Bill Clutter , is 9 pounds . Spotted and largemouth bass offer great fishing at Collins also . Dan Raub captured the lake largemouth bass record of 13 pounds , 4 ounces in June 1998 while fishing a live crawdad . James Everhart employed a trout swimbait to nail the lake
John Menteer shows off the 5.67 lb . and 5.95 pound rainbows caught by him and son , Jonathan , at Collins Lake on Nov . 6 . They took fourth and fifth place , respectively , in the adult division of the NTAC TOC .
Photo by Dan Bacher
spotted bass record of 9 pounds , 8-1 / 2 ounces in 2008 . “ Spotted bass are the most abundant bass in the reservoir ,” said Young . “ We see good numbers of 4 to 5 pounders and fish up to 7 pounds every year . Over the years , we ’ ve weighed in a dozen spotted bass over 8 pounds .” Channel catfish also offer an excellent fishery at the lake throughout the year , with the best action generally available during the summer and early fall months . The lake catfish record , set in 2008 , is 24 pounds . he kids division winners of the NTAC Tournament of Champions and Sheldon Bright of the Fish Sniffer magazine pose with their prizes .
Photo by Dan Bacher
To supplement the bass and panfish fishery , the lake management in the past has stocked the lake with Alabama spotted bass , black crappie , bluegill and redear sunfish . “ We planted the fish at the size that they can spawn that season ,” Young noted . The lake crappie record of 3 pounds , 4 ounces was set by Probhat Palma in October 2012 . In addition to replanting the reservoir with warm water fish , they also have conducted their own habitat enhancement project every 6 to 8 years to rebuild the lake ’ s food chain from the bottom up . “ A positive aspect of the 2014 to 2015 drought is that it exposed the shoreline and allowed brush to grow around the lake ,” said Young . “ When the lake filled after the drought with the rainwater , it inundated the brush , providing good habitat for juvenile bass and sunfish to feed and hide from predators .” Nestled in the beautiful Sierra Nevada foothills , just over an hour northeast of Sacramento between Marysville and Grass Valley , Collins is a 1600-acre lake and recreation area with 12 miles of shoreline . For more information , contact the Collins Lake Recreation Area at 530-692-1600 , www . collinslake . com . For information about fishing trips on Collins Lake and Fish Hunt Shoot , go to fishhuntshoot . com .