Category Archives: Editor’s Blog

Lake Del Valle fish report

Lake Del Valle Fishing Report


October 18, 2013


The water temperature is 68 degrees at the end of the dock. Fishing hasn’t changed very much from this week to last week; with weather still cooling off. Striper bite has slowed down best thing to throw out is Anchovies, Sardines, Worms, or Jigs. Topwater lures, Crank-baits, and Jerk-baits still haven’t really been getting their attention as much. Hetch Hetchy and the Lower Narrows are the best places to fish for Stripers. The Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass bite has slowed down even more this week, you need to really go looking for them using Rat-L-Traps and Lipless Crank-baits out at Swallow and Heron Bay are best places to try for Bass. When fishing for Catfish try using Chicken Livers or Anchovies in the Lower Narrows and South End near the down trees. Trout bite still picking up and they are surfacing in the mornings and evenings; best thing to throw out are Crank-baits and other steady retrieving lures, Power-bait, and Night Crawlers. Brighter colored Powerbait such as rainbow or chartreuse is what works the best right now is the East beach. There has also been luck down the dog run trail near the lower narrows for those who don’t mind a little bit of a walk.

James Roberecht

Photo Courtesy of Lake Del Valle



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Sac River Salmon Still Biting

Northern California salmon anglers can still fish until Dec. 15. And while the bite will really slow down if much-needed rains fall, guide Rick Kennedy of Tight Lines Guide Service (888-975-0990; continues finding big kings in the Sacramento River. Here’s Rick’s report:


We spent the last two days fishing the Sacramento River in the Sacramento Metro area. It didn’t take long to remind myself how this area can be either on of off. Monday we fished hard for several hours for nothing more than a slight grab. As a guide days like this keep you up all night thinking what could I have done different and what will I change tomorrow. Well, today we launched at the same time,  started in the same place with the same lures and within an hour and a half we had five nice salmon up to 35 pounds in the boat. We got our first five fish quickly and needed one more for full limits for our clients. We had that number six fish on four times but couldn’t seem to get him to the boat. All our fish were caught trolling down river on the outgoing tide.


Brothers Brandon, Brogon and Brett Abril with their salmon. Brandon is from Vacaville, Brogon and Brett from Pittsburg. 


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Birdman Of Castaic Lake



Photo courtesy of the Ojai Angler

By Chris Cocoles on Oct. 15

Castaic Lake, located just off I-5 north of Santa Clarita, covers 350,000 acres, so it can be a daunting body of water for anglers to attack. But veteran bass  guide Marc Mitrany of the Ojai Angler (805-640-8491; said looking for fall bass that are feeding on shad around the surface starts with the birds. Mitrany, who will be featured in November’s print edition of California Sportsman for a Castaic Lake update, channels his inner Alfred Hitchcock/Tippi Hedren -of The Birds (not the birds) fame-  when he fishes the lake.

“I’m watching the birds, they’ll tell me where to be from a long ways away,” Mitrany says. “I don’t use electronics that much over there. It’s mostly a visual.”

Mitrany is counting on where the birds are feeding on the threadfin shad that swim in Castaic. The birds and bass are both in search of the food supply near the surface. Plenty of green and blue heron gather at Castaic on a regular basis.

“The birds are there 24 hours a day.  I’ve almost never been let down by that,” Mitrany said. “If I see those green and blue heron are there, there is going to be bait there and there are usually going to be fish there. If there are no fish around, there is definitely going to be bait there.”

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What California’s Historic Lead Bullet Ban Means For Condors

National Geographic weighs in on California Governor Jerry Brown’s decision to ban lead bullets for hunters. The state’s iconic California condor seems to be at the center of this controversial decision made by the state.

Here’s an excerpt from the story:


Lead poses a danger to wildlife. This danger has been known for a long time,” the governor said in a signing statement. “Since 2007, California has prohibited it in the eight counties within the condor range. In fact, at least thirty other states regulate lead ammunition in some manner.”

The California Fish and Game Commission will have until July 1, 2019, to fully implement the new law.

“The regulation is smart, it’s a move in the right direction,” said Vernon Thomas, a researcher at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, who has worked on the effects of lead toxicity on wildlife for more than 20 years.

Studies have shown that lead is extremely toxic to birds and mammals, including humans. It’s harmful to almost every organ in the human body and is particularly toxic to the nervous system and the brain.

This is likely not going to make a lot of hunters very happy.


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Hunter, 72, Found Alive In Mendocino

This is a remarkable story of perseverance. Gene Penaflor, 72, was hunting in the rugged Mendocino National Forest, broke away  from his hunting partner, fell and hit his head, and after waking up from an unconscious state disoriented and confused, spent 18 days in the wilderness. He was found by other hunters after an official search was abandoned.

From the NBC Bay Area report:

After some time spent walking around the area, Penaflor was unable to determine which direction to travel and stopped moving.

He started a fire to keep warm and on days it snowed or rained, he took shelter under a log. He remained in one spot due to a nearby water source.

Temperatures fluctuated between 25 and 70 degrees during the nearly three weeks Penaflor spent alone. He fed himself by killing and eating squirrels in the area.

It’s good to see Gene reunited with his family in San Francisco.

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Show Us Your Hunting Or Fishing Rig

By Chris Cocoles on Oct. 11. 

With Christmas approaching, it’s all about toys. And not just the latest Wii, or whatever “hot toys” are driving parents mad with stress if they can find that new Timmy’s got to have it item. Yes, there is an electronic dog, “The Gross Electronic Pup-Pet,” that’s part of the Uggly’s series. No lie.

But we’re interested in your hunting or fishing toys, specifically that custom-made or tricked-out vehicle you can’t hunt or fish without. We’re hoping to compile a photo spread around the holidays with the most unique, decorated and bad ass cars, trucks, bikes and anything else California sportsmen (and women) are proudly using to get outside.

So email me a photo, your name, hometown and a brief description and/or backstory of your ride and I hope to run it in a future California Sportsman issue.

The holidays are fast approaching. Want an easy gift for your favorite hunter or angler? Give him or her a subscription to California Sportsman and get one year for just $19.95 for all your local hunting and fishing news in the Golden State.

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Government Lock Down Affects Anglers And Campers Near Fresno

By Chris Cocoles on Oct. 9
I know Fresno pretty well, having attended and graduated from Fresno State and worked in the area for two more years. And we Fresnans knew October provided an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors in between the oppressive heat that baked the San Joaquin Valley all summer, and the colder than Californians winter with that nasty tule fog giving Fresno a Hound of the Baskervilles eerie look to it. So it’s got to be frustrating for Valley residents as the government shutdown is now well into week two.

The Fresno Bee reports about how local fishing and camping spots are being affected by the closures of government facilities.

From the story:

The good news: Lakes owned by utility companies — Bass, Shaver and Huntington, for example — and those run by the state — Millerton, San Luis — remain open.

But there are far more closures. Pine Flat Lake, Eastman Lake and Hensley Lake in Madera County and Lake Kaweah and Success Lake in Tulare County — all will be closed as of Sunday. Campers in the parks will have to leave campgrounds no later than 2 p.m.

And 102 camping reservations will need to be canceled in the Corps’ Sacramento region.

Yep, enjoy the great outdoors, folks. Until the gate locks you out.

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Read more here:

Caples Lake Opens Launch Ramp

Here’s a report from Caples Lake ( regarding boat launches and the ongoing government shutdown:

Caples Lake Resort Launch Ramp is Open as of  10-5-2013!

The Caples and Silver Lake public/ EID launch ramps have been closed due to the Federal shutdown:)

We have therefore opened the Caples Lake Resort gravel launch ramp for small fishing boat on trailer launching-$20, and kayak beach launching $10.

The store and marina are open 8 to 5, weather permitting.

WE are open for cabin rentals thru October and our guest dock is still in.

Here’s the launch ramp, and a nice stringer full of Caples rainbows caught by Jeff Bovero from El Granada last weekend.

Photos by John Voss;

IMG_2144 IMG_2145

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How The U.S. Government Turned Tourist-Trap Yosemite Into Ghost Town


Want to know how avoid crowds at usually congested Yosemite National Park? Wait for the United States government to shut down, wait for the park to close and dream about having Half Dome, Yosemite Falls and the winding waters of the Merced River to yourself.The Associated Press had a report from a writer who happened to be one of the few “lucky” tourists who were in Yosemite when it was about to have her gates locked.  From AP writer Tammy Webber:

By Tuesday morning, everyone awoke to learn that the government, indeed, had shut down. But the park hadn’t quite yet. Those with reservations in the park, like us, would have 48 hours to get out. We decided to make the most of it and drive to Glacier Point and do a long hike. But too late: The road to Glacier Point already was closed. Cars pulled in and stopped. People got out and started talking to each other.

A couple from Belgium were on the last stop of a three-week tour of the American West. They’d seen Bryce Canyon, the Grand Canyon and now they wanted to see Yosemite. A young girl from South Korea told me she’d come with her mother and aunt, getting up at 5 a.m. and driving all the way from San Francisco Tuesday morning. She wasn’t supposed to get into the park, but she said nobody stopped them at the entrance. They made a short loop around the valley floor, then were heading back out — bitterly disappointed.

Read more here:

Bitterly disappointed sums up a lot of our opinions on this mess we’ve gotten ourselves into.

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California DFW checkpoints

By Chris Cocoles on Oct. 2, 2013

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife set up checkpoints on the first day of deer season in the Eastern Sierras last month. Here are some of the results of the operation:

Approximately 2,000 vehicles were contacted. Of those, 262 vehicles submitted to an inspection. A total of four violations were found, including three deer tagging violations, and one angler was found to have an overlimit of trout (32 trout). Several hunters were warned for not fully filling out their Deer Harvest Report Cards.

Average screening took less than 20 seconds per vehicle and the average inspection took about two minutes and 30 seconds per vehicle. If violations were found, the occupants were detained and issued citations.

I think the idea brings arguments for and against. Of course, like sobriety checkpoints to try and catch drunk drivers, it’s good to know that those hunters and anglers who committed violations were caught and properly punished. But I’m sure many of those who always do everything by the book don’t like being subject to an inquiry. But frankly, it’s something that sober drivers must deal with on those Saturday night checkpoints, so hunters and anglers who have done nothing wrong just need to show some patience and then move on. And I do applaud Fish and Wildlife officers for being proactive.

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