Denis Peirce: Bass bite wide open at Rollins |

Denis Peirce: Bass bite wide open at Rollins

This past weekend was the second to have rain and a third rainy weekend is currently in the forecast. Some anglers prefer to stay in and watch football games but others look for angling opportunities.

Rollins Lake

Mike Pumphery chose fishing and it turned out to be a good choice. Saturday started out with rain which prompted Mike to get a late start which put him on the water at 11 a.m. The sky was dark but there was little rain between then and 1:30 p.m. The lake level had risen 6 feet since his trip the previous week with no sign of muddy water.

The water temp had dropped 5 degrees to 62 during the same time frame. He noticed bait fish being chased by bass and took the cue to fish pond smelt imitations. He caught his first few fish on the drop off of the sand bar near the mouth of Greenhorn Creek.

Through noon, the air was still and the surface of the lake was glassy. This made it easy to spot fish feeding at the surface. The bass hit everything that Mike through at them. He took fish on top water Zara Spooks, rip bait minnows, soft plastic minnows and even some on plastic worms. His primary technique was to cruise down the shoreline with his electric motor casting parallel to the bank.

During the course of the day he landed three types of bass from all types of shoreline structure and even hooked and lost a brown trout. The rain returned by 2 p.m. and continued through 5 p.m., when he went back to the launch ramp. The air was not cold and with good rain gear he was comfortable all day.

Mike expects to continue fishing Rollins until it gets muddy. Once the water turns brown he will turn his efforts to Scotts Flat, which remains green into the winter.

Eagle Lake

Ed Fisk (Fish Tales Guide Service) has been at Eagle Lake this past week. During the blue bird weather a week ago he had to work hard to put fish in the boat for his clients. The water temps were 58-59 degrees and the fish were caught 15 feet below the surface over deep water in the south basin of the lake. When the cloud cover came in on Saturday the catching picked up and the fish moved up in the water column.

Sunday was a day to be off the water with rain and wind. By far his best day was Monday. The water temp had dropped to 56 with overcast skies, a light surface chop and no rain. The fish moved up in the water column and the bite was on. His clients brought 24 fish to the boat which proved to be one of Ed’s best days ever on Eagle.

The best lures were brown or orange grubs fished from the surface down to 8 feet.

Davis Lake

Bob Lambertus and a group from Lake Wildwood spent a couple of days up at Davis Lake last week. The water conditions made trolling difficult with algae suspended throughout the lake. There was a good trout bite in the top 10 feet of the water column on “Wee Dick Nite’ spoons in copper redhead. This has been the top producing trolling lure on Davis for decades.

Constant checking and clearing the line and lures was necessary to effectively fish through the gunk in the water. The majority of the fish were in the 12-inch range with the largest fish of the trip measuring 16 inches.

There was a guide working the lake who fished the deepest holes in the lake and was catching larger fish. He was using a small crawdad plug and his trout had crawdads in their stomachs.

Lower Yuba

Prior to the storm last weekend the Lower Yuba was rated fair by Tony at the Nevada City Angler. The trout and steelhead were on an egg bite. Since the storm no reports have come in. On the Feather, Craig Bentley reports a lot of salmon spawning in the “Low Flow” reaches.

Many anglers give up after losing half dozen rigs to the salmon while steelhead fishing. There seems to be an unusually high number of squaw fish in the high flow in the recent past. More species than just steelhead are wanting to get in on the egg bite.

Lake Oroville

Lake Oroville rose 1.31 feet on Sunday and the water temp dropped to 63 degrees at the surface. There were 250,000 juvenile coho salmon planted last week. This will make angling for other fish difficult.

These coho are very aggressive and it is hard to get past them to find bass or larger coho. The DF&G planted them in October to save on the food bill at the hatchery. I hope they are too big and fast for the spotted bass to catch.


At the mouth of the Klamath the water flows rose from 3,000 cubic feet per second to more than 30,000 cfs with this storm event. It is currently dropping rapidly.

This should move a lot of fish around in the Klamath/Trinity system.

Denis Peirce writes a weekly fishing column for The Union and is host of “The KNCO Fishing & Outdoor Report,” which airs 6-7 p.m. Fridays and 5-6 a.m. Saturdays on 830-AM radio. Contact him via e-mail at

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