Bel Lange

The Outdoorsman: Macs at Jenkinson Lake

Drop in a load of planters and the Mackinaw are smiling and feasting on the small trout. The little ‘bows are in the 8- to 10-inch range with some up to 12 inches. The lake level is still high at near 80 percent. Lake Amador is still producing limits of trout. Plants of 1,000 pounds […]

The Outdoorsman: Crab pots fill easily

It appears to be another excellent Dungeness crab year based on how charter boats scored for their clints on opening day. “Pots filled quickly,” one captain said. “In fact, we made two trips per day when the weather held.” Some boats switched to rockfish after the pots were filled with crab for all aboard. It’s […]

The Outdoorsman: Upland game bird time

Tomorrow is the big day for upland bird chasers as several seasons open: pheasant, wild turkey and the doves’ second season, which is never as productive as the earlier one in September. Ringneck trompers should find quick limits of two roosters if they can find land on which to hunt. Good bird dogs are the key […]

The Outdoorsman: Ducks, geese flying high

The birds’ high-flying will change tomorrow when the state and federal refuges open to waterfowl hunters. The weather has not cooperated for the first week of the season. It’s been “bluebird” skies with no wind and no storms. Tomorrow will be different for shot-gunners in the Central Valley who will have their first opportunity to […]

The Outdoorsman: Waterfowlers anxious

Tomorrow is the big day. The waterfowl season opens in the “balance of the state,” but success may be limited with our “bluebird” weather. There will be an abundance of ducks in refuges and on some ponds but with the high skies they’ll scatter quickly. Wind and storms are needed to entice ducks to work […]

The Outdoorsman: Santa Cruz for tuna

If you enjoy 30-mile boat rides out of Santa Cruz you can count on going home with lots of albacore. Monterey boats are finding the albies within 20 miles. Some boats are landing up to 30 fish. Charter boats along the coast were scoring on rockfish and some halibut. Salmon is the story inland. The kings […]

The Outdoorsman: Fishing better in cooler water

Fishing is perking up. Waters are growing cooler with some lakes beginning to turn over as cooler water rises to the top. More salmon are moving in and up the rivers. Many of the kings are small and many of them are jacks. But the action is good at Benicia where a large population of […]

October 07, 2011 | Posted in Sports | Tagged | 3 Replies

The Outdoorsman: Rockfish and lings are easy

Both charter boats and private boats are finding rockfish an easy take these days as well as a good batch of lings and some halibut. The “rockies” come in yellow, blue, copper and red colors. Most are normal size with a couple of halibut above 30 pounds. The lings were running about 8 to 10 […]

The Outdoorsman: Striped bass record

The new record for a striped bass was not achieved in California — that record is still 66 pounds. But Greg Myerson of Connecticut landed an 81.88-pounder Aug. 4 for a new world record. The previous record was a 78.5-pound bass caught in the ocean out of Atlantic City, N.J. The record is not officially […]

The Outdoorsman: Kokanee still biting

Boat traffic is slowing down after the Labor Day holiday and the skiers and boarders are slowly disappearing from the waterways, so anglers are finding less rock-and-roll from passing water recreationists. That means fishing has improved with several lakes providing fair to intermittent kokanee action. Lake Berryessa east of Napa continues to provide limits of kokes. […]

The Outdoorsman: Dove opener

The dove season is open and predicted to be the best in years up and down the valley, in the foothills and the Delta — and even some higher elevations. The limit of 10 was easy for many hunting with shotguns. Dove hatches this year were exceptional … with a third hatch still possible. The […]

The Outdoorsman: Be flexible at Donner

No action? Then switch to another dock at Donner Lake. That’s the story there. If you’re not successful at one dock, move to one at the west end of the lake. When you find the right dock you will probably go home with a limit of trout. It’s strange but true. Why trout frequent the water under […]

The Outdoorsman: Loon has good action

Loon Lake above Ice House and Union Valley in the lakes basin is triggering good action for trollers all over the lake. The rainbows range from 10 to 13 inches and will take nightcrawlers behind flashers, and will also slap at small lures behind flashers. Occasionally, a brown trout will be caught. If you are looking […]

The Outdoorsman: The bite is on

Our area rivers and lakes are producing … there is no sign of the usual late summer dog days just yet. The summer salmon run is on from the mouth of the American River at Discovery Park, south to Rio Vista and all the way beyond Antioch and Pittsburg. Fishing folks are everywhere. The boat […]

The Outdoorsman: Basin bonanza

You might make a cast and hook up but you won’t know what it is. Could be a salmon, a striper or a shad. It’s possible it could be a late arriving steelhead. What am I referring to? There is plenty of activity and often shoulder-to-shoulder anglers at the Nimbus Basin above the Sunrise Bridge on […]

The Outdoorsman: Kokanee limits

You’ll find easy limits of kokanee if you are on the water early — that’s the story at Union Valley Reservoir off Highway 50 above Placerville, according to Julie Siebert at the Ice House store. “The action at Ice House Reservoir is also still good,” noted Julie. “Small rainbows are the ticket there — but […]

The Outdoorsman: San Joaquin for stripers

That’s where the stripers can be found … on the San Joaquin side of the Delta. There has suddenly been a big concentration of the linesides because of the cooler water. The Mokelumne has been producing many stripers, most weighing around 8 to 10 pounds. Some boats were coming in with their limits within a […]

The Outdoorsman: Fish go deep in hot weather

Down they go. The hot days click the air conditioners on for humans while fish head for deeper water and better temperatures. It’s called the thermocline where cool water reigns. Where the bite had been in the top 15- to 20-foot depths, now it’s 40 to 60 feet where kokanee and trout are more comfortable. […]

The Outdoorsman: Ice House and Union Valley ready

Ice House and Union Valley lakes are producing. Julie Siebert at the Ice House store told me, “Ice House is producing well on rainbows and some browns. The lake is up to 70 percent full and the campgrounds and launch ramp are open.” Although unconfirmed, Julie added, “I heard there was a big brown in […]

The Outdoorsman: Salmon are back

The reports are in from Eureka south to Monterey, “The kings are back.” Boats out of Eureka found easy limits with most kings running from 8 to 15 pounds. Some boats netted their limits in just a couple of hours. It was hit and miss out of Shelter Cove but the kings were bigger … […]

The Outdoorsman: Eagle Lake is the ticket

Eagle Lake — it’s a long drive but well worth the effort for fisher folks. There are easy pickings right now at Eagle Lake, which is located near Susanville in Lassen County. Anglers are calling the action “hot,” with many catching their two-fish limits after just a couple of hours of trolling. Almost everything is […]

The Outdoorsman: Stripers hit and miss

Some areas along the Sacramento River produced a good striper bite … fishing in other areas was slowed by murky water following the intermittent rains and wind. While 6-pounders were common around Freeport, not many exceeded that size. Pile worms and anchovies were the best bait to use. The bite for trollers was much better […]

The Outdoorsman: Kokanee lakes producing

The New Melones Reservoir near Angels Camp is one of the hot spots for kokanee. Limits are common there along with a good rainbow and brown trout bite. The kokes are feeding from 30 to 40 feet where the schools have congregated. Attach an Apex lure, a glitterbug or spinners behind a dodger and you […]

The Outdoorsman: Fish are active

Lakes, streams, rivers, ocean … fish are on the bite. Even anglers at the higher altitude lakes are enjoying good action. Stampede Reservoir near Truckee is producing limits of 13- to 15-inch kokanee with a couple reaching close to 16. Some anglers are hooking Mackinaws and browns but they’re catching more kokanee. Lake Davis near […]

The Outdoorsman: Shad are showing

They aren’t yet here in big numbers but the shad are showing in various areas around Sacramento in the American and Sacramento rivers. Large populations will arrive soon, especially in late May through June. As the water warms in the American and flows drop, shad fishing will take off. The striper bite is also on […]

The Outdoorsman: Record trout

A brown trout weighing 15 pounds, 15 ounces is a new record at Lake Tahoe. What a lunker — it took a Rapala lure near the surface. The guide was Mike Nielsen of Tahoe Topliners and his client who battled the lunker was Marvin Child. Nielsen scored in 2005 with a record 13 pound, 13 ounce brown […]

The Outdoorsman: Folsom bass are active

They may not be big, but there are plenty of  bass all over Folsom Lake foraging in water-covered brush as well as shallows. They’ll strike almost anything that passes by. It’s spawning time so they are looking for beds to begin their annual ritual of dropping eggs. What will they strike? Almost anything — crank […]

The Outdoorsman: Inland salmon season

Fish and Game did it — made a decision a few days ago to open a salmon fishing season on inland rivers. The opening date is July 16 and the season will run through December. It’s the first season in four years due to a short run of kings in 2008. Guides and salmon devotees […]

The Outdoorsman: Ocean salmon are biting

From Shelter Cove south to Monterey, the salmon are king. When the boats can get out, it’s usually limits for everyone aboard. The fish range from 6 to 12 pounds with an occasional lunker. One fish out of Shelter Cove weighed in at 31 pounds. Meanwhile, the first big brown trout of the season was caught […]

The Outdoorsman: Ocean salmon aplenty

It was a good opening weekend for ocean salmon season — especially in the Santa Cruz and Monterey areas. It was a blowout on the north coast so the boats didn’t get out. The only deterrent was the number of shakers — salmon who measured below the 24-inch minimum. The Monterey boats did better than […]

The Outdoorsman: More stripers showing

Despite murky waters in the Sacramento River from recent storms and the continued run off, more striped bass are moving upriver. There is good striper action along the Benicia shoreline and further upriver at Cache and Lisbon sloughs the bite has been fair. Some schools of linesides were concentrated in the Yuba City area. Pile […]

The Outdoorsman: High fives … a salmon season

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus in April — at least for ocean salmon seekers. The season opens April 2 from Horse Mountain south to the Mexican border. A second season will open in May from Horse Mountain north. Two kings per day is the limit with a minimum of 24 inches in length. […]

The Outdoorsman: Sturgeon prowling

From Martinez upriver past Rio Vista, Sacramento and all the way to Verona, the hornbacks are searching for food. They don’t care about muddy river waters. Their keen sense of smell leads them to the prize. Ghost shrimp, pile worms and whole sardines all work to entice the sturgeon to feed. Numerous 65-pounders have been […]

The Outdoorsman: Pardee and New Melones

It’s Lake Pardee for trout and New Melones for spotted bass for those looking for a good spot to fish right now. Another 8,000 pounds of trout were dropped into Lake Pardee before last weekend which made shore anglers smile. Most everyone took home easy limits according to Dan at the marina … some weighing as much […]

The Outdoorsman: Bass hit and miss

Before the heavy rains there was a pretty good bass bite at Lake Amador near Ione. Now the bass are in hiding. Over the past weekend one or two showed up so maybe the action will start again. Meanwhile, trouting is superb — especially for shore anglers. Most are stringing 2- to 4-pounders. The best […]

The Outdoorsman: Pardee opener great

In spite of the storm that hampered opening day last Friday, dozens of fisher folks showed up to Lake Pardee and had great success. The success rate was helped by the more than 13,000 pounds of trout released into the lake for opening weekend. For many it was easy catching a limit of five. Scott […]

The Outdoorsman: American River steelies

The steelhead are here in big numbers in the American River. Trollers are doing well in the main river primarily around Sailer Bar and the Nimbus crowd is also doing well tossing spinners and crawlers. Many of the steelies range from 4 to 10 pounds with a 2-pound limit. It appears this is just the start […]

The Outdoorsman: Sanddabs by the hundreds

One boat, 18 passengers, nearly 800 sanddabs for the half day trip out of Santa Cruz, almost 50 “dabs” per person — that’s how good the dab fishing is right now. It’s not a long boat ride either … about 9 miles. The ocean depth is about 250 feet, but the dabs were feeding at […]

The Outdoorsman: Rivers producing steelhead

The flows are down, the clarity is much improved and the steelhead are available. The American River and Feather are both in fishing condition. It’s not perfect but a big plus from what the conditions were a week or so ago. Also, more anglers are showing in both locales with 2 and 3 pound steelies […]

The Outdoorsman: Ice fishing

Grab an ice augur and make tracks for your favorite ice-fishing lake. The ice in many Sierra lakes is sufficiently deep to walk on. Caples, Red and Silver lakes off Highway 88 are ready with depths ranging from 6 inches to 2 feet. Boca Lake near Truckee off 80 is ready along with Davis and […]

The Outdoorsman: Port for stripers

Water clarity is good right now and the striped bass are there at the Port of Sacramento. The bass aren’t big but if you hit the right day they seem to be plentiful and are ranging from 5 to 10 pounds. Large minnows work and so do deep diving plugs. You may hook as many […]

The Outdoorsman: Sports shows coming

The big sports shows are just around the corner. The first one to arrive is the International Sportsmen’s Exposition Thursday through Saturday, Jan. 20-23, at Cal Expo in Sacramento. Everything in the sports world that any outdoor lover would want to see will be on display along with “how to” demonstrations such as how to […]

The Outdoorsman: Lakes filling

With all the rain and recent snow the runoff into our valley and foothill lakes is most gratifying. Certainly with more moisture anticipated in the weeks ahead we hope to have most lake levels near the brim when late spring arrives. Sandy at Amador Marina near Ione told me, “The lake is spilling at a […]

The Outdoorsman: Camanche’s pond productive

Trolling the main lake at Camanche has been productive for trout anglers working the area between the south and north shores. Trout up to 4 pounds were netted recently with most of the successful trollers pulling a variety of lures like Needlefish and Speedy Shiners. But the hot spot at Lake Camanche was the south […]

The Outdoorsman: Year of the ‘D’

Charter boat captains and private boaters are still smiling and reiterating, “This is the year of the ‘D,’” referring to the prized and tasty Dungeness crab. “Best crab in years” and “best I’ve ever seen,” are the remarks from crabbers up and down the coast. From Eureka south all the way to Monterey, one hears the same […]

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