VOL . 41 • ISS . 19
December 9 , 2022
WHAT ’ S HOT continued from page 2
This 21 inch ‘ hold-over ’ rainbow trout was landed by Beckett Tilton on November 13 at Lake Camanche . The fish hit a Thomas Speedy Shiner spoon trolled at 2.6 miles-per-hour 100 feet behind a side-planer board . The offering was weighted down by a quarter-ounce bullet weight slid in front of a 48-inch long the ten-pound-test leader .
Photo Courtesy of Jack Naves
lake . The boys enjoyed donuts and the warmth of the heater as I began the process of setting up the gear . Thick fog had me disoriented , so I used my GPS map as a guide , and visual landmarks as a reality check . I weaved in and out of moored houseboats like a slalom skier navigating a downhill course . I had to veer suddenly left or right as each mass appeared out of a blanket of gloomy fog . With the houseboat obstacle course behind us , we trolled east into the Mokelumne River section of the lake . Ron and his son Beckett were new to the trolling game , so I wanted to explain how everything worked as we fished . I was demonstrating how the downrigger clips works when a fish literally ripped the line out of my hand . A bite on the surface right out of the gate ! Beckett grabbed the rod and did a great job of keeping the fish clear of
the other lines . I scooped the shiny eighteen-inch rainbow trout into the net and we celebrated our first fish of the morning . As I demonstrated how to bleed the fish and care for the meat , I didn ’ t notice that we had gotten way off course . The map screen was zoomed-in too far , and the thick fog obscured any visual landmarks . I
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Adam Naves ( center ) fights a hefty rainbow trout as a burst of sunlight illuminates the scene like a street lamp in the fog . Beckett Tilton ( left ) watches in anticipation , while the author lunges towards Adam ’ s fish with the net .
Photo Courtesy of Ron Tilton
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CALIFORNIA ’ S LONGEST RUNNING OUTDOOR TALK SHOW ! unknowingly had trolled us into a random dead-end cove near the south shore campground ! As the nose of the boat suddenly plugged into the muddy bank , I instructed everybody to reel in as I worked the bow-mounted trolling motor free of the muck . With my guests probably thinking that I was a captain operating under a suspended license , I quickly threw the main engine into reverse and we were back on course a few minutes later . An occasional glow from the sun appeared like a spotlight , brightly illuminating the hazy mist on the surface of the lake . Adam reeled in the next fish , a feisty rainbow that pushed twenty-inches and was over three pounds in weight . The boys were able to land a few more trout before the bite died around 9:30 am . After an hour of no strikes , I decided to pull lines and shoot westward to a different region of the lake . The fog had cleared , and a steady northerly breeze imparted a rolling chop onto the water ’ s surface . I explained to Ron that flat , glass-like water conditions will usually put trout off of the bite . Sometimes you have to chase wind and find chop that breaks up the lighting conditions underwater . This seems to get trout back on the bite , although it is not as pleasant in terms of enjoyable fishing weather . We employed downriggers at various
Adam Naves playfully hoists two quality rainbow trout during a breezy afternoon at Lake Camanche on November 13 . When the bite shuts down in protected waters , it can pay off to run out to the main lake to fish in choppy conditions . The surface chop breaks up underwater light , and seems to get the fish to be less likely to develop lockjaw .
Photo Courtesy of Ron Tilton
depths down to twenty feet deep , as well as two side-planer boards . The bites were mixed between the different offerings , but our next fish came at twelve feet deep on the downrigger . This was a hefty fish , and Beckett skillfully played the fish to the rear of the boat where I was poised with the net . After getting the fish into the boat , I held it up to the ruler . “ Twenty-one incher !” I exclaimed , and Beckett proudly reminded us that it was the biggest fish of the day . The boys jockeyed back and forth on a quest for the largest fish , with Ron and I getting in on the action as well . When all was said and done , we finished fishing around 2:00 pm with ten quality trout ranging between sixteen and twenty-one inches in length . It was quite a haul , with plenty of fresh fillets to go around . We found an even mix of fish between the main lake and the narrows . The fish hit a variety of lures that included Thomas Speedy Shiners , orange Arctic Fox flies tipped with night-crawlers behind WiggleFin ActionDiscs , and orange two-inch grubs . The surface water temperature hovered around 59 degrees , so I added quarter-ounce bullet weights in front of my leaders on the side-planer rods to get them deep enough . To entice additional strikes , I employed my Sunfran Smart Jigger rod holders on the side-planer rods . I maintained a trolling speed of 2.6 miles-per-hour all day . The downriggers hooked fish scattered between two and twelve feet deep , with no bites any deeper . Trout planting programs are currently in full-swing , so be sure to visit one of our many Northern California reservoirs this winter . Both boating and bank-fishing techniques can be effective , and it ’ s a great way to get kids into the action as well . Look for me on the water soon , crouched down by my double-burner heater on a cold winter ’ s day .