Category Archives: Editor’s Blog

Jennings Lake Update

Photo courtesy of the Lake Jennings Facebook page


Here’s an update on San Diego’s Lake Jennings from the Helix Water District:


The trout fishing was fair this past week. Anglers reported catching trout primarily from the shoreline. Anglers were soaking PowerBait and nightcrawlers. We will be stocking 1,200 pounds of Tailwalkers this week. Stop by the bait and tackle shop for up to date fishing techniques and information.


The bass bite was fair to good this past week. Anglers have been targeting bass in Half Moon Cove. Pitching plastics and drop shot have beenthe best method to landing the largemouth. Bass have been seen cruising the shoreline in 5 to  8 feet of water.Shoreline fishing is available from the campground everyday to 5 p.m.

Contact info:

(619) 443-2510

Three Abalone Divers Drown

Our abalone report from last year reported on the dangers and risks of abalone diving. Tragedy again struck the sport when three Northern California divers drowned.

Here’s Reuters’ report:

Three men drowned as they dived for abalone off the rocky coast of Northern California’s Mendocino County after becoming trapped by pounding surf in a narrow channel, authorities said on Monday.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office said the accident happened after five men entered Caspar Anchorage Bay on Sunday afternoon to dive for red abalone, a large, edible mollusk hunted for sport along the coast north of San Francisco Bay.

Witnesses said rough waves made for poor diving conditions, with swells 7 to 8 feet tall, Sergeant Joseph Comer of the sheriff’s office, said in a statement.

A fisherman alerted rescuers, who arrived by boat and helicopter and pulled two of the victims onto Caspar Beach, police said. Despite life-saving efforts, both were pronounced dead at the scene, Comer said. Four hours later, the body of the third victim was found floating in a nearby cove.

 Our thoughts are with the families of the victims.

Lake Isabella’s Big Buck$ Derby Winner

David Agular with this very valuable Lake Isabella trout.

David Aguilar with his very valuable Lake Isabella trout.

From George Stahl of the Kern River Valley Chamber of Commerce:

David Aguilar of Bakersfield caught a 23 1/2-inch trout which won the longest trout award at last weekend’s Lake Isabella Fishing Derby  David was wearing an official 2015 Derby T-shirt when he caught the fish, so his first-place, $5,000
prize doubled to land him a cool $10,000!

There are still plenty of the 10,000 pounds of 1- pound to 13-pound  trout – with some as big as 16 pounds – left in Isabella Lake. Even though there is no money attached to any of them now, they are still worth the trip to the Kern River Valley for a great day
of fishing and fun!

CDFW Emergency Meeting Tonight







The drought conditions in California don’t seem to be getting better anytime soon and things could worse before they get better. So it’s not surprising that officials are concerned about the Sacramento River’s king salmon prospects this summer:

Here’s the California Department of Fish and Wildlife release on the possibility of closing a portion of the Sac’s run of early kings:

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is holding a public meeting to solicit comments on a proposed closure of 5.5 miles of the Sacramento River above the Highway 44 Bridge in Redding to Keswick Dam. CDFW has determined this closure is necessary to protect endangered winter-run chinook salmon. The anticipated dates of closure are April 27-July 31.

“At the department, it pains us to propose this action for the state,” said Stafford Lehr, CDFW Fisheries Branch Chief. “But we are in unchartered territory here, and we believe this is the right thing to do if we want to help winter run and be able to fish for big rainbows in the long-run.”

The meeting will be held Tuesday, April 7, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the Redding Public Library,1100 Parkview Ave. in Redding (96001).

CDFW is proposing a complete fishing closure in this critical holding and spawning area to ensure added protection for the federal and state endangered winter-run chinook, which face high risk of extinction. Given the gravity of the current situation, it is imperative that each and every adult fish be given maximum protection. Current regulations do not allow fishing for chinook salmon, but incidental catch by anglers targeting trout could occur.

An estimated 98 percent of the in-river spawning is occurring in the 5.5 mile stretch under consideration for closure. This reach is the principle spawning area in these extraordinary drought year conditions. This section represents only 10 percent of the waters currently open to fishing upstream of the Red Bluff Diversion Dam.

In 2014, approximately 95 percent of eggs and young winter-run chinook were lost due to elevated river temperatures. Given current drought conditions, it is likely the 2015-year eggs and young salmon will again be subject to extremely trying conditions.

CDFW is tasked by the Governor to work with the California Fish and Game Commission to determine whether fishing restrictions in certain areas are necessary and prudent as drought conditions persist. The proposed closure is also in accordance with the state and federal Endangered Species Acts.

Governor Brown has called on all Californians to reduce their water use by 25 percent. Visit to find out how everyone can do their part, and visit to learn more about how California is dealing with the effects of the drought.


Sea Lion Makes Its Own Fishing Memory

Photo courtesy of California Department of Fish and Wildlife 

Note to fishermen: when you’re on a boat admiring your catch, you’re suscepitble to a hungry sea lion.

In San Diego, a man got quite a jolt when simply holding up his fish in seemingly safe waters, until a visitor provided quite the photo bomb:

From Fox 5 San Diego:

The 62-year-old victim, who was not identified, was holding a fish posing for a picture near the Hyatt Mission Bay Marina at 2:40 p.m. being taken by a friend when the marine mammal attacked.

“The man was bitten by a sea lion and pulled into the water,” San Diego Fire-Rescue spokesman Lee Swanson said.

A 300-pound sea lion grabbed the fish and pulled the man over the side into the water and dragged him 20 feet through the water.

“We estimated that he was in the water for 15 to 20 seconds. At that point, the sea lion let go and he was able to jump back into his boat,” said San Diego lifeguard Lt. John Sandmeyer.

The man sustained puncture wounds and lacerations to his leg, and was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Mono County Priming For Trout Opener

Fishing at Convict Lake is one of Mono County's most popular destinations. (MONO COUNTY)

Fishing at Convict Lake is one of Mono County’s most popular destinations. (MONO COUNTY)

A message from Mono County:

Spring has been springing up for weeks now and anglers are itching to hit the Eastern Sierra lakes, rivers, reservoirs and streams. The official fishing season opens Sat., April 25, and despite serious concerns about water throughout California, Mono County is fortunate to be blessed with abundant natural-flow lakes that are sustaining their water levels – positive news for fishing enthusiasts once again this year.

“Mono County’s high elevation, snowpack, and numerous natural-flow lakes mean that lake levels, while definitely lower than in non-drought years, remain in good shape for this year’s fishing season,” said James Erdman, California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Gary Jones, long-time owner of Silver Lake Resort in June Lake concurs. “Silver Lake is down only about 11 inches this year,” he said. “We are looking forward to a great opener and fishing season, as always.”

The reservoirs with flow controls, some creeks and rivers are facing the most challenges this season.

“If you love fishing the Bridgeport Reservoir, Grant Lake Marina or the West Walker, come early this year,” advises Jeff Simpson, economic development manager and staff member for the Mono County Fisheries Commission. “We are stocking these locations heavily in the early part of the season, so the best time to fish will be during the opener and in May, June and July.”

With an annual stocking budget of approximately $125,000, Mono County is set to plant 21 lakes, creeks and rivers with 26,800 pounds of both trophy and catchable trout. The Town of Mammoth Lakes contributes about 15,000 pounds in the Mammoth Lakes Basin and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife will also be doing its part to stock fish in the area.

It is interesting to note that winter fishing has been consistently excellent in areas like the Upper Owens River where catch-and-release fishing is available after the regular fishing season closes Nov. 15 every year (special regulations apply).  According to Sierra Drifters Guide Service’s weekly fishing reports, the year-round fishing has been exceptional. Another bonus of the mild winter is that high alpine lakes will be thawed in time for the opener and most roads and campgrounds will be open and accessible.

The season kicks off April 25 with the annual Fishmas Day Celebration at Tom’s Place, the Monster Fish Contest at June Lake Loop, and the Mono Village Fishing Opener Derby at Upper Twin Lakes in Bridgeport. The Round-Up at the Lake Spring Fishing Derby at Convict Lake takes place April 26 through June 12.  See 2015 Mono County fishing events on the Mono County website:

-Jenny Kendrick, East River PR (530-214-8790;


Striper Action Heating Up

A couple reports from Northern California guides Manual Saldana Jr. of MSJ Guide Service and Scott Feist of Feisty Fish.

From Manuel:


“I had Cousin’s Tackle Pro-Staffer Mark Fong and ian Rigler aboard to chase down some striper’s on the Sacrament river. They each hooked and landed these nice chunky 5-pound stripers. Good job guys!!


(530) 301-7455
And now here’s Scott Feist:
It’s almost striper time! I wanted to remind you that our striper (striped bass) season is just around the corner. For those of you that have fished stripers with me before, you know what to expect, they are a feisty fish!
I like to say April 5 through May 15 is the prime season on the rivers. If you have any questions, and/or would like to learn more, please give me a call or shoot me an email back. I look forward to fishing with many of you again this spring and making plenty of new memories.Your guide,

 Capt. Scott Feist
Feisty Fish Guide Service
(530) 822-6314
(530) 923-2634

Nevada Big Game Hunting Tag Application Open

(Bighorn sheep photo courtesy of the Nevada Department of Wildlife) 

As we’ve chronicled several times in past issues with our hunting scribes like Al Quackenbush and Tim Hovey, many California hunters have taken advantage of opportunities in other Western states to obtain tags to chase big game in states like Wyoming and Colorado. Nevada’s rather easy access from from both ends of the Golden State seems like a nautral destination to hunt out of state.

Here is some info from the Nevada Department of Wildlife on applying for the upcoming season’s big game tags. The deadline is April 20:

If you’re interested in hunting big game in Nevada this year, the Nevada Department of Wildlife wants to remind everyone that the big game application process is now open.
Nevada offers a good variety of big game opportunities for deer, elk, bear, pronghorn antelope, mountain goat and bighorn sheep. The Silver State is one of just a few states to possess three sub-species of bighorn sheep (desert, rocky mountain and California). Deer, elk and antelope offer additional options for weapon type (rifle, archery, and muzzleloader), sex (male or female) and season dates.
Again this year, NDOW is offering some combination hunt options that allow sportsmen hunting in predetermined areas the chance of hunting a cow elk simultaneous to hunting a mule deer, and one that allows sportsmen the chance to hunt a cow elk while also hunting bull elk.
The deadline is Monday, April 20. Online applicants have until 11 p.m. Sportsmen looking to apply for the hunt online can visit Hunters that choose to use the traditional paper application must use the U.S. Postal Service to submit their applications, which must be received by the Wildlife Administrative Services Office by 5 p.m. to qualify.
To help hunters understand the application process and make informed choices, the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) provides a vast amount of information. Hunter’s can find population reports, draw odds and harvest statistics, maps, Hunter Information Sheets and much more on the agency’s website at
The 2015 quotas will be set by the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners at their May 15 and 16 meeting in Reno.
The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) protects, restores and manages fish and wildlife, and promotes fishing, hunting, and boating safety. NDOW’s wildlife and habitat conservation efforts are primarily funded by sportsmen’s license and conservation fees and a federal surcharge on hunting and fishing gear. Support wildlife and habitat conservation in Nevada by purchasing a hunting, fishing, or combination license. Find us on Facebook, Twitter or visit us at



Isabella Derby Update

From our man George Stahl with the Kern River Valley Chamber of Commerce:


10-year-old Joseph Gutierrez of Bakersfield with the first “tagged” trout of the Derby; his $100 Bobber Bowl winnings are sponsored by
Royal Oaks Mobile Home Park.



Martin Lang of Granada Hills, CA brought in a 19-inch trout he caught taking the No. 1 spot for the longest fish award as of 11:45am.

A few of the others who are in the running as of noon were: Lynne Sandlin of Kernville, 17 1/2 inches; Bakersfield’s Martin Giuntoli at 17 3/4 inches; James Jones of Palmdale, 18 1/2 inches; and Harry Smith of Lake Isabella weighing in at 17 3/4 inches.

There is still plenty of time however, for someone to come in with a longer trout! Lang was the third fisherman to claim the coveted spot this morning!
Any one of the 1,732 entrants is in play for this year’s Longest Trout Contest!

The Lake Isabella Fishing Derby continues through Monday.

Sac River Striper Update

Our friend at MSJ Guide Service, Marysville Capt. Manuel Saldana Jr., had this update on the Sacramento River action:


(Friday) I fished out of the Tisdale area.
Carolyn and Ron, both of Sacramento and Rob from Canada had a blast hooking and landing their limits of stripers by 10:40 am!!
Carolyn had big fish honors with a 33-inch,  10.2-pound male and her husband came close with his 29-inch, 9-pound male. Rob hooked a good striper earlier in the day that could have gave a run for her money for big fish of the day but it popped off, That’s the way it goes some times. Overall, good job on the water today everyone.


I still have some open dates, so give me a call (530) 301-7455 if you want to get in on this great striper action.

Capt. Manuel