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9885 posts
December 28, 2007
Water: 51
Clarity: 3-15 feet
Level: 748.50
Wind: 0-8 mph
San Antonio Largemouth
Mr. SWMB8R was up in town for the holidays so we decided to mount a striper mission to San Antonio. The forecast was for light rain, and the day turned out to be great fishing weather, with a threatening overcast all day and light winds from the south, switching to the north at the end of the day. Water temps were 51 on the surface.

The clarity on the west end of the lake was algae with 2-3 feet vis. By the dam however it was blue and super clear, 12-15 foot vis. We checked the entire lake for stripers casting and trolling Big Hammers. We tried Triple Trout, spoons, rattle traps, and Lunker Punker. We started 20 minutes before sunrise and fished until sunset.

On the first spot of the day, Mark had a 5lb striper chase the Lunker Punker. There may have been some fishing busting here but they could have been carp also. Thousands of carp in that lake. The boils were small and sharp like striper boils but it was impossible to tell.

After that initial striper sighting, the rest of the day was brutal tough. There was sign of fish on the meter on the river end of the lake, but they would not bite. Around 2pm we gave up on the stripers and drug some worms around for bass. Mark caught a 2lber on a random break way out in the lake that we saw on the meter.

Finally, around 4pm we hit our last spot of the day. I picked up another fish drop shotting a good old fashioned 5" green pumpkin worm. We turned around on the spot and had a double hookup. Go figure? I was a bit surprised to get 3 fish almost in a row after a brutal day.

The next 30 minutes though, the fishing went stupid on drop shot. We caught 12 more largemouth, most of which were around 2lbs. I had almost left the spinning rods at home but it turned out a good thing in the end. As soon as the sun went over the hill, the bite ended. We hit the window for the entire day, and were fortunate to be on a spot with a lot of fish. Funny day in that regard.

The fish were in 15-18 feet of water. I think they were triggered in to biting during the warmest part of the day. The water down deep has to be super cold there right now because my lures felt frozen when I put them in my hand. I think the shad have moved to the deeps, and are perhaps dying now with the cold.

Lots of these

Sunset on the water

9885 posts
December 21, 2007
Water: 60
Clarity: 10-12
Wind: 0-15 knts
Casitas - lake lockjaw
The plan was to go to Silverwood. The forecast was for 25 degrees and 40mph winds. We said funk all that, woke up at 4am and went to Casitas.

Casitas was post front but nice weather. Only 37 in the morning, and not much wind at all. They planted 2900lbs of trout a few days earlier. The quagga mussel inspection was much more relaxed here. The guy at the gate pretty much told us that the other gate guys were jerks and he was going to let us through even though the boat was wet - which I hinted was because of the RAIN. But hey...

Water temps were 60 degrees. Water was the clearest I have seen at Casitas overall. It was a good 10-12 feet on most of the lake. Fishing was the worst of the entire trip. We did a lot of regular fishing even. We never saw a bass up shallow and never had a single follower. We cast and trolled and c-rigged and drop shotted. It was laughably bad.

In the marina there were shad under the docks. The water there was green, which explained the shad. Guys on the docks were netting shad and catching bass. Saw 3 fish caught including a 7lber.

I caught a ROF12 hudd and a 9" stocker trout while trolling. Nico caught a sweet push button reel combo casting. We got skunked as far as catching actual live bass went, so we packed up and drove to Atascadero.

lake lockjaw

9885 posts
December 20, 2007
Water: 58-59
Clarity: 3-4 feet
Level: 1711.74
Wind: 0-10 knts
DVL Striper
We should have woken up earlier this day. We had to go to the parking lot at Perris because I lost the clevis pin that holds the transom saver on the boat. Luckily we found it. Then we drove through beautiful eastern LA, and the endless stoplights of Hemet, CA. Then the grocery store to get something to eat.

We wind up at Diamond Valley some time after 9am and are subjected to a thorough quagga mussel inspection, by a guy who was a nice guy - but very thorough. Next to us in inspection land is none other than Allan Cole and his buddy Mark. We chatted for a bit.

They relayed to us that the trout stock had been first thing in the morning and they had seen 20 chasers from bass and stripers. Dammittalllallallllallallllal. We got our sorry asses on the water (which was 58-59 degrees with 4-6 foot clarity and stained) and pounded the marina trolling swimbaits and casting. Not a damn thing, no chasers, nothing. We watched some guy catch an 8lber on a live trout, and watched another guy slow troll live trout around the marina. Welcome to So-cal.

We learned that if you are using live trout while fishing from shore and you don't want to be seen casting it, you should throw small rocks at the trout by your feet to make it swim away from shore. What a bunch of clowns fishing at DVL in the marina.

After a few hours we went to the other side of the lake, which took forever. We tried by the dams, mainly trolling. Nothing. Then we jumped every point from the west dam to the main dam. On the last major point before the smaller marina points the meter lit up good. We fished it, then turned the boat to cast more. I tossed a 5.5" rainbow trout colored big hammer and got hit. Hooray a fish! It turned out to be a 12.26lb striper.

We fished out the day then put the boat on the trailer and fished from shore in the shore fishing only area. No sign of life.

We left the lake at 4:27pm and headed for Silverwood, which is about 65 miles from Diamond Valley. It started raining. Traffic turned to crap city. We passed a Bass Pro Shops sign. It was getting on 2 hours of driving and we had to be to Silverwood by 7pm or not get in the gate.

SWMB8R bailed or butts out big time. He lives 4 miles from Bass Pro and on the way to Silverwood. We stayed there again. But first we went to Bass Pro, with a dead striper in the back of the boat, in the rain.

Bass Pro was a bit of a let down. They had the 12" BPS worms which was sweet, but the people in the fishing department didn't know what an ice jig was. It was somewhat likely that they also did not know the difference between a largemouth bass and a trout. The aquarium had nice fish. Mark bought Uncle Bucks beer batter for the striper which was YUMMY.

Mark filleted our fish for us and we had beer batter striper for dinner at like 9pm. Delicious.

Big Hamster Striper


9885 posts
December 19, 2007
Water: 57-59
Clarity: 3-5 feet
Wind: 0-5 knts
Perris report
Got a late start this morning. It was cloudy again. Great condition. Perris was 57-59 degrees and stained. In some places it seemed like you could see down 5 feet, other places 3. There are about 20,000 seagulls on Perris right now, most of which seem to be spending their days eating mayflies on the surface of the lake - which is odd.

We focused on rocky areas, fishing obvious stuff. We stayed pretty shallow all day. Nico got in to the carp pretty good with a rattletrap at one point, which was exciting until we realized they were carp. He hooked several but they kept coming off. They were big suckers lol. Bass fishing was slow...

I caught one nearly dead, blind in both eyes bass that probably weighed a pound and a half on a 5/8oz black/red Assalt jig. Nico scared the crap out of me when he got a 4lber on the BBZ-1. The fish ate the lure at the tip of his rod and when I heard the splash and turned, the fish was already in the boat He snagged the fish right in the eye, poor thing. We thought that might bode well but the rest of the day resulted in nothing.

We camped at the lake, charged our batteries in the bathroom and got hassled by the cops (who entertained themselves by driving 50mph through the campground for a few laps before and after). Really they were just checking in to see what kind of lunatics would be camping at the lake in December. That would be us.

I specialize in catching blind bass


The lake

9885 posts
December 17, 2007
Water: 57
Clarity: 4-6 feet
Wind: 0-5 knts
winter bassing, castaic lagoon
The water at the lagoon was low, with moderate clarity of around 4-6 feet. I forget the temp, around 57 I think. We were the only boat on the lake.

Fishing was slow. We threw swimbaits of course. No nibbles or follows for the first few hours. About 10am I looked across the lake and saw seagulls getting frisky, then noticed the trout stocking truck. Merry Christmas to us from the Department of Fish and Game. he he. We headed to the ramp and watched the trouts adjust to their new surroundings.

No sign of momma bass here. We fished all over by the ramp. Butch showed up after a while. I wanted to talk to him but never got a chance. We felt less stupid about not catching anything when he headed straight to the spot we had spent most of the morning on.

After another lap or so around the lake I finally connected with a 4lb bass on the triple trout. Nico may have been bit the cast before that to the same spot. The fish I caught hit twice, or there were multiple fish on it. At sunset, we went back to that spot again, circled upwind, dropped the anchor and let some scope back. Nico lined up the cast with the 12" MS Slammer, wagged it along about 30 feet and got attacked on the surface by a 6.35lber That was cool.

After dark we parked the truck and the boat and shore fished until I think around 8pm. In the first 20 minutes I made a parallel cast with the 9" Slammer and got exploded on. A very sharp, hard hit. I got about 3 cranks on the fish and it seemed to point its head straight at me and it pulled off. I was pretty annoyed, the fish looked to be over 8lbs, perhaps bigger. We had no more bites after that despite fishing all the way to the buoy line and back.

195 posts
December 17, 2007
Casitas report
Lots of bait in marina and deadhorse cove. Bass are feeding underneath shad. They are taking the dying bait as it falls out of the school.

Sacto John
1105 posts
December 17, 2007
Folsom 12/15/07
Went out to the mud puddle formally known as Folsom on Saturday the 15 of December for a swimbait only trip. It is unreal how low the lake is, it is a great time to GPS rockpiles. Got on the water around 9:30, third cast with a Hudd caught a 4 pound spot. Worked the the rock piles along the same section of bank and got railed three more times but they would not load up the rod, most likely smaller spots. Threw smaller swimbaits around the same area and did not get touched. Threw the Hudd again and hooked up almost right away but the fish came off, again a smaller model of spotted bas was the culprit. After the fast action in the morning I hopped around and did not get another bite. It seemed liked the fish only wanted the Hudd, but were not committing to it enough or were too small to eat it all the way. I can not wait for the smaller Hudds to become available, or a faster sink rate on the ABTs or Baitsmiths. As it is now I need a new 8 incher, the teeth on those spots can really tear up a bait.

93 posts
November 30, 2007
Lings and boscos
Went out on the 3/4 day for the last day of lingcod season. I was hoping for my first legal lingcod but I got no love from the lings. Everyone around me were catching em. I did get some decent boscos. I didnt get my limit this day but I caught enough small rockfish and sand dabs to fill an aquarium. I probably caught 15 fish with only 6 keepers, at 300' that is a workout. Had a great time with Sal and Raffa. The burgers were awesome. Hopefully I'll make it out there one more time before the rockfish season closes.
Oh ya I think there was a record set. I watched the guy next tome pull up 4 rocks throughout the day. The biggest rock took two deckhands to handline from 300' just because he wanted his jig back. Talk about service.

9885 posts
November 25, 2007
Water: 54
Clarity: 10
Wind: 0-5
Santa Rosa Rockfish
I took the 3/4 day trip Sunday on the Stardust with 32 passengers. The trip leaves at 7am, and we headed across the channel to the "potato patch" and the front side of Santa Rosa. Weather was beautiful, chilly, but flat seas with just the slightest bump.

We live boated, moving around quite a bit and picking up a nice mix of rockfish on each spot. Over the rails came vermillions, chucklehead, bluebass, gopher cod, treefish, sheepshead, ling cod, sand dabs, and starries. The fish were a nice grade, not huge, but plenty of 2-4lb fish.

I went with two tackle setups for this trip. A CTE300 with 50lb Triple Fish braid and 25lb fluorocarbon leader for bait and Big Hammers and an Induron 400 with 80lb braid and 30 leader for metal jigs. With the light braided line I was able to use 6oz sinkers and stay down no problem in the 150-180' depths.

The fish ate bait well in the morning, and at the end of the day the bite on iron turned on big time. Capt. Jason had recommended a 4oz red/copper colored jig they had for sale in the landing, and that jig worked amazingly well. I don't have the name handy, but it was one of the cheapest jigs they sold. I caught a few on Big Hammers but it was hard to make bottom with a 2oz head. Need some heavier heads for future.

I finished the day with a beautiful bag of reds and chucklehead. Luke and Dane filleted them perfectly like always. No lings or sheeps for me, but there were 4 legal lings to about 8lbs and two big sheepshead about 9lbs apiece. The boat finished up with limits and we were back to the dock at 4:30pm. Just another relaxing trip on the Stardust, catching cod and enjoying the hamburgers :)

My sack of cod

9885 posts
November 11, 2007
Water: 63
Clarity: 3-8
Level: 760.50
Wind: 0-20
San Antonio Striper Action
Took a trip up to San Antonio this morning. Arrived around 6:15am. Conditions were beautiful, just a slight ripple with ominous skies.

I rigged for bass and stripers for this trip. A ways up the lake I see some birds far off. As I get closer it looks like a bird work you'd see on the ocean. Is this good when birds do this?

Tried a rattle trap through the birds for about 15 minutes and nothing. Kind of discouraging with so much bait and birds around. Decided to switch to a 6" all white Big Hammer on a 1oz head on 25lb test. A few casts later I got bumped. Next cast I stuck one. Schoolie striper in the boat :) After that it was pretty fast action for about 30 minutes. You had to really chase the birds fast and cast far, but I put 3 more in the boat and missed at least a half dozen more bites. Pretty exciting fishing, although not very sport on 25lb test :)

These were my captives after the flurry ended. They were all 5lber type stripers

I decided to go back to the marina for ice to keep the fish good. I don't keep fish too often but when I do I like to do it right.

Ran back up the lake after getting the ice and the birds had died down. One of those deals where the minute the sun came out it was over. I fished around for an hour or two with no luck until I located some shad pushed back in a little cut. I missed 3 bites, then hung another striper on the Big Hammer. A few casts later I get the weird bite and of course it's a ... catfish. Catfish love me.

I put Mr. catfish in the cooler to take his picture, I hate when they slime my boat. Then I tossed him back.

Updated captives photo

I thought the limit was 5 stripers (it's actually 10 with no size limit) so I made a move and tried for bass for an hour or two. Bass fishing was nill. I just fished reaction. I did pick up another schoolie striper on a triple trout. That's what I get for using a white lure. Stripers get happy when they see white lures...

This is what worked today, 6" Big Hammer. I got off the water around 1pm to white caps and post front conditions.

Can't wait to cook some fresh striper for dinner.

Copyright © Robert Belloni 1997-2012. All Rights Reserved.
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