California Trout Fishing at Pinecrest Lake Serves up a Surprise
Posted by detroitsportsandmore on June 12, 2009
For better or worse, for richer or poorer. I think fishermen should know these vows, married or not.
I was fortunate enough to take a vacation last week and visited my wife’s side of the family out in California. We were there for a wedding, congratulations Shannon and Javier, and my future brother-in-law planned to rent a pontoon and take everyone out for a day on the lake.
The weather was better than it had been but was too cold to go swimming. I found myself getting chilled when the sun ducked behind the clouds. We headed across the lake near where the river fed the lake. Evidently rented boats don’t utilize anchors so we drifted the pontoon to shore and climbed out onto the rocks to try our luck for a few rainbows.
Drew described the lake as a decent fishery but not spectacular. Fish and Game regularly stocked the lake and had just stocked it the week before. This meant that there should be 800 more 9″-11″ fish swimming around and that was what he was used to catching.
I shipped some of my fishing gear the week prior but had not planned on trout fishing much. Instead, I was set up to tackle bass on New Melones Reservoir.
I looked through my hard bait selection and came up with one decent option. A Bass Pro Shops brand spoon that is no longer in production to my knowledge. It’s a simple shad type pattern, black top, silver side, red throat, and a silver backside. It was a bit over-sized but it was the best I had in my box, so naturally I decided to give it a try.
I climbed out on the rocks and looked for a spot. The wind was creating some mild waves and I tucked into a small bay surrounded by massive boulders. I began throwing my spoon and almost instantly I had a hit. No hook-up though so I slowed my retrieve. Another bump and another bump. The slow retrieve was getting attention but no hook-ups.
“Maybe the fish are too small for this larger spoon offering”, I thought to myself.
I decided to stick with it and I sped up my retrieve to a medium speed and threw in a few erratic jerks immediately after it hit the water. Steady medium speed, all the way in. Bam. Hook-up!
The braid was more than strong enough to handle the 14″ rainbow and I pulled it into a shallow pool in the cracks of the rock. I went and showed Drew what I had found. “That’s pretty good for here”, he remarked. Not from a recent stocking it seemed.
We placed it on the stringer and I went back to my spot, hoping that it would turn into more than just a lucky catch.
A few casts later I knew I had it right. A big hit and fun fight yielded an 18″ rainbow. It was such a beautiful, healthy fish my wife wanted to take a picture. I hadn’t held a trout in my hands for about two years and forgot just how strong and feisty they can be. The trout jerked right through my hands, bounced once, and was gone.
At least it was a catch.
I was a little disappointed but my adrenaline was pumping and there were more fish to be caught, so I climbed up to the next rock and went back to it. A few short minutes later I landed a 15″ fish, then a 17″ fish, then another 14″ fish.
Everyone was excited. My two younger sisters, Breena and Miriam, were standing behind me, when they weren’t fishing, for many of the catches. I went on to catch several more trout including another nice 18″ fish.
In total we took home 7 fish in under 2 hours of fishing. Not bad for a lake that is only OK.
I look forward to getting back there and finding some more trout, whether in the lakes or streams, California has a remarkable trout fishery.
I encourage everyone that loves fishing to try it out if the opportunity presents itself.