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Let’s go fishing! Modoc County offers diverse opportunity for anglers

By Lorissa “Reece” Soriano

The fishing has been a little slow in Modoc so far this year, primarily due to the diverse weather conditions we’ve been subjected to for the last seven months. In fact, it still feels like winter here. To “Modocer’s” this is normal; typically we go right from winter to summer, rarely experiencing any spring. With Memorial weekend just around the corner we are hopeful that the weather conditions will change and warm up. Then the fishing should start to pick up.

Fishing in unpredictable weather is customary for the locals, you just have to dress for the occasion. For most comfort when fishing in Modoc, the following dress code should be adhered to, “layered clothing”, starting with a tee shirt and shorts, covered with a long sleeve shirt and pants and last, coveralls, a down jacket, gloves and a wool hat. Meeting any and all possible weather conditions encountered in one day is the goal. Now that you’re dressed for the occasion, let’s go fishing!

Last week, my fishing partner and I traveled around Modoc checking out the various lakes and reservoirs in the area. We were trying to decide where the best place to fish and camp during Memorial weekend would be. We found many possibilities. Most of the lakes around the county are now thawed out and accessible.

Water levels in most of the lakes on the Devils Garden plateau are full up, with the exception of C and F Reservoirs. C and F are two of the more popular areas to fish and camp at during Memorial weekend. Unfortunately the drought we experienced last summer dropped the water levels in these reservoirs to an extreme low and this past winter didn’t provide much water to bring levels up. These two reservoirs hold eagle lake trout, browns and largemouth bass.

Last weekend, we fished both of these reservoirs, the water temperatures were cold, ranging between 40° to the mid 50’s. The water was murky and unclear. These conditions aren’t exactly conducive when fishing for bass, which was what we were fishing for, however we did manage to catch a few. Depending on the temperature, clarity of the water and type of fish you are after, just like the Modoc dress code you have to prepare your tackle for whatever conditions you may encounter. Trolling spinners, casting swim or top water baits and bank fishing with worms have been used with success here. If you do plan to fish either C or F, take caution when launching your boat, the low water situation could cause damage to your boat and/or motor.

Located in the beautiful South Warner Mountain wilderness area, Blue Lake offers fishermen a chance to catch trophy size rainbow and brown trout. Because this lake is so deep trolling is your best option. Some fishermen have had success trolling flashers with trailing lures, while others have had success trolling flies such as Bailey Bugs or woolly buggers. This time of year fishing from the bank with night crawlers can also produce nice trout as well, but as soon as the weather warms up, the water becomes weedy and more difficult to bank fish.

BlueLakeis a very popular place to camp now and throughout the summer. There are 48 camp units available here all of which fill up rather quickly on Memorial Day weekend. Unlike other campgrounds in Modoc, this campground provides more facilities; there is a boat launch, picnic tables, piped water, vault toilets and fire pits. In addition to fishing, Blue Lake offers an array of recreational opportunities for the outdoor enthusiast to enjoy.

If you don’t plan to join the masses for the annual Memorial Day trek and you just want to go fishing for the day, Lily and Cave Lakes located in the north Warner Mountain area and Rainbow and Brown ponds located in the Cal Pines area, are wonderful places to take your kids for a day outing. There are plenty of catch-able trout in these lakes and they are easily accessible to everyone.

Dorris Reservoir just outside of Alturas has had a great success rate for fish. Dorris Reservoir produces decent sized trout, 12-14 inch crappie, largemouth bass, channel and bullhead catfish. There is a “No Wake” zone observed on this lake so watch your speed. The gates at Dorris Reservoir are open to vehicles from sunrise to sunset daily.

Although the fishing has been slow recently, some folks have been fortunate to limit out on decent size trout and largemouth bass.

So deck yourself out until you look like the Pillsbury dough boy, grab your pole, bait and tackle and head out. Let’s go fishing!

Just remember, when you’re out enjoying the outdoors always, respect the land, wildlife our lakes, reservoirs and streams.

Don’t leave trash lying around, you pack it in, you pack it out. Keep campsites and fishing areas clean and campfires out when you leave. See you on the lake.


Fishing Reports

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Clay Crandal holding a pair of king salmon, photo by Wind Rose
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Man fishing in creek, by CDFW
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Lake Tahoe, courtesy of Big daddy's guide service
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Man holding large Salmon chinook, photo courtesy of Gary Blasi
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Grandma B and her girls (Anna, Aubrey, Alyssa, & Daniella) holding up fish, Collins Lake
By Kathy Hess, Collins Lake Reporter
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Eureka Still the Place to be for Kings
Kevin Jameson scored this nice king while trolling along the north jetty inside of Humboldt Bay, courtesy of Kevin James
Fishing the North Coast by Kenny Priest   
06/23/16 -- Abalone season is coming to a close. The salmon may not be flying over the rails in quantities of years past, but Eureka is once again the place to be for king salmon. And unlike last year when the fish were congregated...Full Story
Whiskeytown Summer Kokanee
Jaynie Goodwin with a nice Whiskeytown Lake Kokanee salmon she caught with a G.Loomis E6X 1012C Kokanee down rigger rod. Photo courtesy of Jeff Goodwin
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06/22/16 -- Its been a few weeks since my last report simply because not much has changed on the waters I'm fishing these days. There has been a bit of water fluctuation in the Sacramento River, and also at Whiskeytown Lake...Full Story
Channel Islands rock crab fisheries open
Channel Island, courtesy of CDFW
06/04/16 -- State waters around the Channel Islands are now open to both the recreational and commercial rock crab fisheries. Today, the director of the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), after...Full Story
Surf Smelt on Memorial Day Weekend
Jerry Back holding super perch, by Jerry Back
Article and photos by Jerry Back 
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State offers $200,000 in Habitat Grants
Habitate enhancement, photo courtesy of CDFW
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Pacific Halibut Fishery Opens May 1 04/27/16 -- California’s recreational Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis) fishery season will open May 1. This year the fishery will be held to a federally established quota of 29,640 pounds. The open season dates...Full Story
CDFW: Dungeness, Rock Crab schedule
Crab in pot, photo courtesy of CDFW
 04/23/16 -- Commercial and recreational rock crab fisheries are open along the mainland coast south of 36° 58.72′ N Latitude at Sand Hill Bluff, Santa Cruz County (approximately 9 miles north of Santa Cruz Harbor entrance) to...Full Story
Tagged Empire Lakes trout worth reporting
This tagged rainbow trout will be released into Empire Lakes, helping biologists understand harvest data. ODFW photo.
04/20/16 -- Empire Lakes anglers have a chance of taking home a $50 VISA gift card if they land a specially tagged rainbow trout. Empire Lakes is a popular coastal rainbow trout fishery, and ODFW biologists need anglers...Full Story
Nor Cal Kokanee Power Tournaments set By Gary Heffley
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Brownie’s Choice
Art work by Isabella Langaman
By Don Webster
Disregard the story’s title. I don’t really have a “first” name. If I did, it would probably be something like Leviathan or Behemoth or maybe Lunker. Officially, I’m a trout. A brown trout. A giant, brown trout. Possibly the biggest, fattest...Full Story
Keddie Ridge
Scouting Deerheart Lake, photo by Phil Akers
Article and photos by Phil “Flip” Akers
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Let’s check out the Upper Sac
Lake Siskiyou with Mt. Shasta standing sentinel. photo by Phil Akers
Article and photos by Phil "Flip" Akers
09/06/15 -- The Upper Sacramento River – The Upper Sac – begins at Lake Siskiyou’s Box Canyon Dam and continues ~37 miles downstream to Lake Shasta. It is a classic freestone river born from the Mt. Shasta and Mt. Eddy... Full Story
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Bluegill, photo by FISHBIO
By Erin Loury
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Agencies halt commercial sardine fishing
Commercial fishing boats dragging their fishing nets, CADFW
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 Brian Buckingham with one of the larger fish from this section. This trout, estimated at 2 lbs., was caught near the BLM campground on the west shore six miles down the JC Boyle Dam on the Klamath River in Southern Oregon. Photo by author
By Trouteagle
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Jim Broshears, author badge, myoutdoorbuddy.com
By Jim Broshears
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german brown trout in Modoc creek. MyOutdoorBuddy.com
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Indian Paintbrush is a favorite wildflower that carpets wilderness landscapes. Phil Flip Akers, myoutdoorbuddy.com
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Woodley Island Marina, Humboldt Bay, Eureka, California
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green sturgeon
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO
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California Golden Trout, California Heritage Trout Challenge, Not Just Any Fish, Phil
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