handling-bass1Spent last evening with Ben Ewing and crew of the DFG (including volunteers) to help with the spring electro survey of Lake Elsinore. After a breezy sundowner, the lake laid down nicely and we were able to hit a variety of sectors–including the south end where I’ve been whacking them pretty good.

Conclusion? My fish must just use that area in the mornings because there were a lot of carp on the dike, plus a mix of catfish and bluegill, but only a very few bass.

But I also was reminded, no matter how many casts you make and how many $18 crankbaits you own, nothing fishes quite like a gazillion volts. If the fish are there, you get ’em. If they are not, you see nothing.

I can’t say I learned any new areas, but the good news is the bass were in many more locations than my previous surveys with the DFG. (more…)

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You could probably make a number of educated guesses as to what direction Classic winner Skeet Reese went when he suddenly left Lamiglas, as noted on bassfan.com recently. But I bet you never would have guessed Eagle Claw. But it’s true.

In the entire history of the bass fishing, (more…)

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murphys-rock3He was three years on the job part-time before the full-time ranger program commenced here. He took a full-time position in 1977 and has staunchly supported his historic lake, answered the phone and delivered fishing reports from his post and witnessed legendary anglers and remarkable bass catches over the the span of his career. But 2009 will be his last, (more…)

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mike-folkestad-blogEverybody saw the number, but apparently nobody saw it coming.

After back-to-back fields of 148 boats, only 109 were on hand for the FLW Stren Series event at Lake Oroville this past week. Given Oroville is arguably California’s best “limit lake,” something borne out in that all but seven pro anglers failed to weigh limits each of the first two days, it probably wasn’t the fishing that kept people away.

I asked Mike Folkestad (check here) about the situation and he said, “I was shocked by the turn-out.” (more…)

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tami-mug1It wasn’t quite the storybook ending some were looking for, but on a tough day for everyone in the top 10 (pros and co’s), Tami Jennings Curtis (Tami on Tour) put enough in the boat for a seventh place finish in the Stren Series event on Lake Oroville.

After three days on the water, Tami totaled 23-03 pounds after weighing 5-15 today, and earned a check for $1271. Perhaps even better than that, the St. George, Utah angler (check this) moved up to third place overall in the co-angler standings for 2009.

Although she and pro partner Duane Dunstone both caught limits on their first stop in the morning, her Swimming Senko on a dart head did not produce as it had the two previous days. “Things changed,” she told me. (more…)

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Tami Jennings Curtis (Tami on Tour) didn’t flinch on her second day at Lake Oroville, weighing in 9 pounds, 5 ounces today to earn a tie for fifth spot among co-anglers with 17 pounds, 4 ounces.

Shaking off the loss of a big fish Thursday, she moved onto the finals in the Stren Series western division, where the top 10 pros and top 10 co-anglers are paired.

On the phone she told me, “We just came back from the pre-tournament meeting for the finals. It’s so exciting, it’s my first time!” (more…)

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dart-head-dinkThe NorCal, clear water crowd is very familiar with the dart head jig (sometimes called darter head) and use it widely for spotted bass, often in 1/4- or even 3/8-ounce sizes. But I’ve found the lighter, 1/8-ounce size is much more practical for water less than 20 feet deep (less than 10 feet is even better)–but always on hard bottom.

The secret of any method, of course, is control. The great benefit: lots of bites and with the exposed hook, you just catch more of those bites.

Right away I see the wheels turning. “You show me a small keeper and want me to go spend money I don’t want to spend.”

But that’s not true. I’m selling “bites” and in fact, my personal best 11-12 came from the Rockpile at Lower Otay in San Diego–on 8-pound test (more…)

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Tami Curtis (Tami on Tour) got her five bass as a co-angler in the FLW Stren Series event at Lake Oroville, but hopes this tournament won’t be a story of what could have been.

“I’m thrilled with the weight (7-pounds, 15 ounces)” she said this evening when I called before FLW posted the first day scores. “And Chris (Ricci) is excited too,” she added. His 9 pounds, 1 ounce put him in second place among co-anglers, and that puts him in excellent position to make the final top 10 fishing on Saturday.

But Tami’s tournament may have been settled on her first cast of the day. When she set the hook, her circle hook was true, but the fish barely moved on her 6-pound–then suddenly, the line parted. “I must have had the drag too tight, or maybe there was a nick in the line,” she said.

But worse than merely losing a fish, (she caught 20 on the day) was the size of this one in this oh-so-tight competition. “I saw it roll,” she said. “I saw the white (of its underside). The white part was as big as a football!”

In decent position on the day (tied for 18th, see Tami “Jennings”), we’ll see how she fares tomorrow.

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morning-pocketI’m posting a little late this morning. I guess my three-lake/three county swing wore me out.

Yesterday’s stop at Irvine lake was the complete opposite of the previous day, where bass bites had been scarce. Instead, the old Orange County reservoir was pretty much non-stop action, despite the fact the lake is definitely in post-spawn mode.

Rusty Brown, tournament angler and fishing guide (check this) from Tustin– (more…)

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Just getting back briefly to matching spots with Southland waters (May 11): those who responded in the comments were pretty much on top of things. The only one that really jumped off the hook was the “Bobcat” or “Jaguar Tree.”

Formerly located in the southeast corner of the Santiago Flats (though the trunk has long since died and decayed) the tree was part of Irvine Lake lore–probably long before I arrived there around 1960.

And in fact, there is overlap on a couple of other spots/lakes. (more…)

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