Fish Sniffer On Demand Digital Edition 3813 June 7-21 2019 - Page 7
June 7 - 21, 2019
VOL.38 • ISS. 13
Spotlight On Kayak Fishing...
in Citrus Heights, CA
Sugar Pine Reservoir: A Top Sierra
Destination For Kayakers!
By Cal Kellogg
It wasn’t long after I moved to Auburn, California back in 1995
that I discovered the outstanding trout and bass fishing that exists
at Sugar Pine Reservoir on the Foresthill Divide and I’ve been
targeting trout and bass at the lake ever since.
My most recent trip to the lake took place last week. I caught
over 40 trout to 16 inches during the two days I trolled the lake
from my Hobie Pro Angler 14. The trout were in the top 15 feet
of the water column and were snapping on Cripplures, Hum
Dingers, Flatfish and Wedding Rings.
If you haven’t visited Sugar Pine Reservoir it’s a great destina-
tion for kayakers and bank anglers. The reservoir lies about 15
miles beyond the town of Foresthill and is sets at an elevation of
3,500 feet. The lake’s primary tributary is Shirttail Creek. Construction of the
205 foot high 689 foot long earth and rock dam began in 1979 and the project
was completed in 1982. While the lake is part of the Central Valley Water
Project with the purpose of providing
water for irrigation, drinking and fire
prevention, the facility was opened
for public recreation in 1985.
Sugar Pine is relatively small in
size, boasting 6,921 acre feet of
water and a maximum surface area
of 165 acres. A foot and bike trial
runs all the way around the lake. A
boat ramp is located on the south
shoreline. The lake has a 10 mile
per hour speed limit, so angler
never have to be worried about
being hassled by water skiers or
recreational watercraft enthusiasts.
The lake has a pair of campgrounds
to serve the visiting angler. The
Shirttail Campground is located at
the lake’s northwest end, while the
Forbes Creek Campground sets on
the eastern shoreline.
Sugar Pine is a clear water lake
with a bottom composed mainly of
When the breeze came up at Sugar Pine
large and small rocks. The water near
and it was time to troll quickly, Cal broke
the face of the dam is over 100 feet
out his tried and true chrome and blue
deep and this represents the lake’s
Photo by CAL KELLOGG, Fish Sniffer Staff. deepest area. There are some trees in
Boaters Bag Kokanee Salmon
DOBBINS – Want a 10 fish limit of
scrappy kokanee salmon? Then head to
Bullards Bar Reservoir.
Boaters are hooking limits of kokanee
while trolling hoochies and Brad’s
Kokanee Cut Plugs, behind dodgers, at 10
to 60 feet deep, disclosed Craig Newton
at Willfish Bait and Tackle.
“The bigger fish are showing deeper,”
noted Newton. “The fish are spread all
over the lake – there are no tight schools
at this time.”
Rainbow trout are also available for
anglers trolling with nightcrawlers behind
dodgers or trolling with spoons and
spinners up the Yuba River arm in the top
20 feet of water.
Bullards Bar is holding 937,683 acre
acre feet of water, 97 percent of capacity
and 115 percent of average.
Englebright is holding 71,820 acre feet
of water, 102 percent of capacity and 106
percent of average.
- Dan Bacher
JC BASS FISHING GUIDE SERVICE
With Pro Bass Fisherman
Jason Cordiale CAMANCHE
ALL SKILL LEVELS WELCOME Trollers Target
Learn Progressive Techniques for Bass
On The Delta, Clear Lake & Berryessa
BURSON – Trout
plants at Lake
During the two days Fish Sniffer editor Cal Kellogg spent fishing Sugar Pine
Reservoir he caught upwards of 40 rainbow trout to about 16 inches.
Photo by CAL KELLOGG, Fish Sniffer Staff.
the water near the dam and stumps are a common feature throughout the lake.
While much of the bottom is relatively clean, weed beds do develop is certain
areas during the late spring and summer.
In terms of bass, the lake has a strong smallmouth population with fish
running up to 3 pounds. There is also a sleeper Florida strain largemouth popu-
lation that features fish up to and beyond the 10 pound mark. Few people target
these big trout eaters seriously.
The lake’s western shoreline drops off quickly and there is not much in the
way of points or other structural features, although there is a lot of overhanging
vegetation that provides shade. Bass anglers will find the eastern shoreline
much more interesting, since it provides a variety of flats, points and drop-offs.
The most intriguing area is located about midway down the eastside where
Forbes Creek flows into the lake.
The creek channel winds well out into a big bay. The bottom leading away
from the creek on the south side is fairly flat and punctuated with stumps, while
the bank falling into the creek on the north side is pretty steep and studded with
a handful of massive fallen pine trees. At the north end where Shirttail Creek
flows in there are a series of big gravel humps and gravel flats that are certainly
On the trout fishing front, Sugar Pine is primarily a put and take fishery that
receives aggressive plants from the DFW. Fishing pressure is generally fairly
light, so the planters tend to stick around for a while and some holdovers do
My biggest rainbow ever at the lake was 22 inches long and sported a clean
square tail. When the water is cool, you’ll encounter trout all around the lake,
but as things warm up they tend to hang out in the middle of the lake over the
main creek channels.
Camanche are finished until fall, but
trout fishing is very good for anglers
trolling near the dam. Robbie Dunham
of the Koke Machine Guide Service
has been finding rainbow trout success
while trolling Speedy Shiners at depths
to 40 feet from the main river channel to
the triangle between Big Hat, Little Hat
Island and the dam.
“What an awesome fun day at Lake
Camanche,” Dunham reported after
his last trip. “Michael and his grandson
Logan and I spent the day trolling. It
didn’t take too long and Logan boated
the first fish, a giant weighing 7 pounds,
2 ounces. “
“Then we just kept going towards the
dam and picked up 3 more. Then the
‘Kiss of Death,’ the wind, came up. So
we moved around for a while, picking
up a couple here and there.”
“We started to head back towards the
ramp and almost had a double. The
fish count was: 8 on the limit stick. We
had a couple come off near the boat
and another 3 grabs that didn’t stick.
Other fish included a 4.2 pounder and a
couple of 3 pounders.,” he explained.
“On a previous trip, Steve wanted to
learn how to use downriggers and catch
some Lassen rainbows,” noted Dunham.
“After doing some chatting, we lowered
our lures down. It wasn’t long and there
was fish on, but we. lost it. Then we had
four in the box.”
“I made a circle back to where we
were catching. Then it happened - the
33’ rod was crushed. I grabbed the rod
and knew it had some weight to it. I
slid the net under a 7 lb. brute with just
awesome colors and not one copepod,”
Camanche black bass are currently in
their post-spawn mode. Anglers should
employ finesse techniques from 10 to
15 feet deep for the bass. Expect an
improved reaction bite with the shad
The lake is now holding 331,930 acre
feet of water, 80 percent of capacity and
118 percent of average.
Continued on Pg 14