Collins Lake Status

Last Updated: January 26th, 2021 8:23pm

Campground: Open
Day Use: Open
Boat Launch: Open

What to expect

  • Masks are required in the store (Thanks for helping us stay open!)
  • Maximum of 2 vehicles per campsite (first one is included in price)
  • Maximum of 6 people per campsite, including children
  • All campsite occupants must be from the same household
  • No sharing space among different household groups, even if registered in different campsites

Please review the details in this PDF before you arrive.

Lots of a smiles; Too many fish to post!

What brings you happiness?  There’s lots of smiling faces up here at Collins Lake- lots of kids catching fish with grandparents, mom or dad.  There’s plenty of retired folks catching their trout limits with their spouse & their buddies.  Many familiar faces come to camp this time of year, often for a week at a time, and usually timed so they can be neighbors with other families who have enjoyed this lake year after year.  Giant Ice Creams is a decent gimmick but the main reason we scoop so much Ice Cream all year round is that dishing out happiness is a good reason to go to work each day!  Whether its here or anywhere, make time for happiness, for your own, for those who go before you & for those who follow you.

Cheryl, John & Charlie nail the bass with Rubber Worms & Live Minnows

It has been a solid consistent week for trout, with many people catching their limits and quite a few fish over five pounds being caught.  Trolling 20-30ft continues to be a good strategy with bright Rapalas still producing but we’re seeing fish come up on just about anything, including speedy shiners and flashers & worms.  

Many of these catches aren’t just one pound snacks, checkout out these limits:


– Bisham Bullock from Vallejo caught his limit of trout down in front of campsite #66
– Ed Ellsworth from Folsom with a 7 1/2 pound centerpiece caught on Peach Salmon PowerBait
–  Bruce Decker from Lincoln caught his Limit with a flasher/worm combo up on the North Fork

You’ll notice that PowerBait off the shore is back in action with Peach Salmon and Rainbow color doing well all along the western shoreline.  Jason Hubert from Auburn took my advise from the last report and hiked out on Hidden Spruce Trail but instead of the Kastmaster I suggested he dropped Orange PowerBait and caught a 6.75 pound trout.


As you can see Jason wasn’t the only one hitting big fish- in fact I haven’t even posted half of the picture we’ve gotten in the last couple weeks.  Left to right:

Bonnie Mudrick with a 6.5 pounder caught on Rainbow PowerBait near the dam
Linda & Barney LaRue 7.75lbs , 6.25lbs caught trolling Rapalas
Lee Howes of Grass Valley caught this 6+ pounder on green PowerBait near the bridge
Tom Brown of Loomis with a 7 1/4 pound trout trollins at 15ft with a “Gilhoolie”

I’m not sure what a “Gillhooie” is…?  I imagine it’s some kind of long-tailed lure with a bright stripe that was only available for three weeks in 1989, hand painted by a guy named John who lives in a cabin in the Northwestern Territories; 6-8 weeks for delivery.    If you know better than that drop me a line

Apart from good trout action I’ve seen a number of decent sized catfish and an 8.5 pound monster that Charlie Silver caught in a cove on a minnow.  Crappie have been snapping at trout rigs.  By far the best bet for panfish this time of year is red worms but, being territorial if you drop just about anything on their property they just might snap it up.  More than twice I’ve caught a bluegill on a bare hook!

In addition to the trout Ben caught with Papa Robbie, he was excited to add a dinner sized crappie fish!

Most of the bass on the brag board are young males, which is fine by me.  Convention states that bass gorge themselves until the spawn when for the most part they fast.  If you’re looking for a fight a well placed live crawdad can agitate even a fasting fish.  Keep your phone handy so you can send me a picture and throw ’em back to finish the spring spawn.  Not everyone beds down at the same time and some fish may have already left the beds.  When they do you’ll find bass all over the lake where minnows, rubberworms and topwater lures have a decent chance of calling them in.

As always this time of year I prefer midweek fishing with a boat although with the derbies mostly done and the waterski crowd not yet in, last weekend wasn’t too crowded.  If the weather doesn’t cooperate you can always grab a coffee & a Famous Collins Lake Giant Ice Cream!

Until next time,


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