Fish Sniffer On Demand Digital Edition Issue 3614 June 23- July 7 2017 | Page 18


16 June 23 - July 7 , 2017 VOL . 36 • ISS . 14
Lake Berryesssa , shown here at Markley Cove Resort , hosts rainbow trout , king salmon , kokanee salmon , smallmouth , spotted and largemouth bass , channel catfish , black crappie and bluegill for anglers to purse .
Photo by DAN BACHER , Fish Sniffer Staff .

Open Water Trout And Crappie At Berryessa

The line popped off the downrigger clip as Les Fernandes of Fish On Charters and I trolled in the morning light at Lake Berryessa . He shouted for me to grab the light trolling rod . I pulled it out of the rod holder and carefully reeled the feisty fish in .

The fish made a few more runs before he netted it and put it into the boat . It was a beautiful , silvery rainbow measuring 15 inches long that looked like a half pounder steelhead . It had perfectly formed tail and fins and was absolutely clean , with none of the copepod ( lernia ) parasites that have plagued the fish in some years .
The fish hit a Shasta Tackle Wiggle Hoochie behind a Sling Blade at 30 feet deep off Steele
Park . We didn ’ t hook any other fish , so Les decided to pull up the lines and move to the area off the Big Island .
We caught three more fish and lost one while using Wiggle Hoochies and Micro Hoochies at 30 feet deep .
After the trout stopped biting , we pulled our lines in . As I was bringing in the rod on the starboard side of the stern , I felt some weight .
“ I think I have a fish on here ,” I told Fernandes . But when I got the fish closer to the boat , I realized it was a fat crappie , not a trout . Les netted the 14-inch crappie and I put it in the ice chest .
On the other rod , Les brought in another crappie about 13-`1 / 2 inches long . I was stoked because I love crappie – and this was the first crappie that I had hooked at Berryessa in nearly 20 years . Amazingly , both fish hit in open water , away from any major structure , over 115 feet of water . We ended the day trolling in Markley Cove , but didn ’ t hook anything there .
The fishing wasn ’ t hot by any means , but all of the fish were robust and healthy . It was great to see both beautiful rainbow trout and crappie back in numbers at Lake Berryessa , now that the lake is full from the winter and spring storms .
When I first fished at Lake Berryessa in September of 1986 , Claude Davis of Esparto wrote fishing report for Markley Cove Resort . He reported at the time that anglers were catching limits of rainbow trout while trolling in the cove and near
Les Fernandez of Fish On Charters holds up a pretty rainbow caught while trolling at Berryessa on June 6 .
Photo by DAN BACHER , Fish Sniffer Staff . the dam . I decided to call him up and prod him for a little more information and maybe go fishing with him .
“ I hear the trout fishing is really good ,” I told him when he answered his phone . “ When did you get out fishing last ?”
“ Heck , I ’ m not fishing for trout now . Trout taste like garbage . I ’ m crappie fishing off the docks everyday . My friend Buster Hertzberg and I just caught a bunch of them today ,” he replaied .
He invited me up to fish off the docks a couple of days later and I had one of most fun days fishing of my life . Claude showed me where to fish on the docks and how to work the jigs for maximum success . We caught one crappie after another .
The fish ranged from small ones up to 14 inches . I caught over 100 , myself , keeping 50 crappie ranging from ¾ to 1-1 / 2 pounds on red / white mini-jigs .
I fished for crappie with Claude many times after that . Although he preferred to catch crappie more than any other fish , he ironically become most known well known for catching trout on downriggers until he passed away over 15 years ago . I only went trout fishing with him twice , but we landed limits both times .
Unfortunately , the crappie fishing declined after 1991 , although it shows signs of revival this year with the high water conditions .
Dan Bacher , Fish Sniffer Editor , landed these two rainbows and two others , along with two bonus crappie , on a trip to Berryessa with Les Fernandes of Fish On Charters .
At that time , rainbows were the only salmonid found in the lake , other than an occasional wild brown . The fishery was managed by the DFG as a “ put and grow ” one , but the fish rarely went over 2 pounds .
Starting in the late 1990s , the California Department of Fish and Wildlife introduced kokanee salmon and then king salmon to the lake , providing a trophy fishery for kokanee , kings and rainbows .
In the past few years , anglers have noticed a sharp decline in the salmon
16 June 23 - July 7, 2017 MAP FEATURE VOL.36 • ISS. 14 Lake Berryesssa, shown here at Markley Cove Resort, hosts rainbow trout, king salmon, kokanee salmon, smallmouth, spotted and largemouth bass, channel catfish, black crappie and bluegill for anglers to purse. Photo by DAN BACHER, Fish Sniffer Staff. T Open Water Trout And Crappie At Berryessa he line popped off the down- rigger clip as Les Fernandes of Fish On Charters and I trolled in the morning light at Lake Berryessa. He shouted for me to grab the light trolling rod. I pulled it out of the rod holder and carefully reeled the feisty fish in. The fish made a few more runs before he netted it and put it into the boat. It was a beautiful, silvery rain- bow measuring 1 R6W2rF@VBƖRbVFW"7FVVƆVBगBBW&fV7Fǒf&VBFBf0Bv2'6WFVǒ6VvFPbFR6WBW&&6FW2FBfPwVVBFRf66RV'2FRf6@67FF6PvvvR6P&VB6Ɩp&FRB3fVW@FVWf`7FVVP&vRFF( BFW"f66W2FV6FVBFVWFRƖW2@fRFFR&VfbFR&r6BvR6VvBF&VR&Rf6B7@RvRW6rvvvR6W2@֖7&6W2B3fVWBFVWgFW"FRG&WB7FVB&FrvPVVBW"ƖW22v2'&vpFR&BFR7F&&&B6FRbFP7FW&fVB6RvVvB( ĒFfRf6W&R( FBfW&FW2'WBvVvBFRf666W"FFR&B&VƗVBBv2fB7&RBG&WBW2WGFVBFPB֖67&RBWBBFR6P6W7BFRFW"&BW2'&VvBFW"7&R&WB2"6W0rv27FVB&V6W6RfR7&ЧR( 2BF2v2FRf'7B7&RF@BVBB&W''W76V&ǒ#V'2vǒ&Ff6BVvFW"vg&"7G'V7GW&RfW"RfVWBbvFW"vRVFVBFRFG&Ɩr&ЦW6fR'WBFF( BЧFrFW&RFRf6rv6( BB'V2'WBbFRf6vW&R&'W7BBVF@v2w&VBF6VR&F&VWFgV&&rG&WBB7&R&6V&W'2BR&W''W76rFBFRR2gVg&FPvFW"B7&r7F&2vVf'7Bf6VBBP&W''W766WFV&W"bb6VFRFf2bW7'Fw&FRf6Цr&W'Bf"&W6fR&W6'BआR&W'FVBBFRFRFBvW'0vW&R6F6rƖ֗G2b&&rG&W@vRG&ƖrFR6fRBV W2fW&FWbf66'FW'2G0W&WGG&&r6VvBvRG&ƖpB&W''W76VRbF'D$4U"f66ffW"7FfbFRFFV6FVBF6WB&Bf"ƗGFR&Rf&F@&Rvf6rvF( ĒV"FRG&WBf6Цr2&VǒvB( F@vVR7vW&VB0R( vVFBRvW@WBf6r7C( Ю( ĆV6( Bf6pf"G&WBrG&WBF7FPƖRv&&vR( 7&Pf6rfbFRF62WbЦW'Fגg&VB'W7FW W'G&W&rBW7B6Vv@'V6bFVFF( P&WVBआRfFVBRWFf6fbFRF626WR`F2FW"BBR`7BgVF2f6r`גƖfR6VFR6vVBPvW&RFf6FRF60BrFv&FRw0f"V7V66W72vP6VvBR7&RgFW FW"FRf6&vVBg&Ч6W2WFB6W2F&6W"f66ffW"VFF"FVBFW6RGv&&w0BGvFW'2rvFGv&W27&RG&F6VvBfW"ח6Vb&W''W76vFW2fW&FW2bf66'FW'2শVWrS7&R&vpF'U2dU$DUg& +F"VG2&VBvFR֖֦w2BFBFR&&w2vW&RFPf6VBf"7&RvF6VFPǒ6BfVBFRRFW FW2gFW"FBFVvPF666vB'&vFP&VfW'&VBF6F67&R&RFf6W'v2vVB'FRDdr2FW"f6R&6ǒ&V6P( WBBw&~( R'WBFRf6&&Vǐ7BvvVvf"6F6pvVBfW""VG2G&WBFv&vvW'2VFR76V@7F'FrFRFR2FR6ƒЦvfW"RV'2vǒvV@f&FW'FVBbf6BvFƖfPG&WBf6rvFGv6R'WBvPG&GV6VBVR6BFVFVBƖ֗G2&FFW2শr6FFRR&fFrVf'GVFVǒFR7&Rf6pG&f6W'f"VRw2@FV6ƖVBgFW"FVvB6w0&&w26v2b&WffF2V"vFFRvFR7BfWrV'2vW'2fPvFW"6FF2F6VB6'FV6ƖRFR6