With Collins Lake at low levels we typically don’t see until fall the bass and other warm water fish are having to fan out spawning beds in places other than their usual haunts. Particularly we’ve seen Redear Sunfish nesting along the shoreline in whatever rocky areas they can find. The Vance family caught a bucket full using redworms. Redworms or mealworms make good bait for these panfish- who, during spawning, are not so much interested in food as they are in keeping a clean nesting area. A larger wiggling nightcrawler is just as infuriating to these scouring shellcrackers however they will just pick it up and spit it outside their boundary. A smaller redworm or mealworm is more likely to produce a catch.
As we step firmly into summer weather we are starting to see more catfish- the largest catch to hit the bragboard was an 8 1/2 pound catfish caught by Nancy Lowe of Folsom using a night crawler along the main channel. It’s not usually where I would look for a catfish on this lake, but it’s not exactly a usual kind of year.
The beginning of May included quite a number of trout limits and some trophy trout. Mitch Franks from Loma Rica caught 8lb trout trolling Rapalas, along side a 6.5 pound, and 5 pound fish. Gary Haskins was also trolling, but using a brown grub, when he reeled in a 8lb 20z trophy trout. The largest trout in the last two weeks was caught by Nick Chiley of Sacramento who caught a 10 1/2lb trout way down at 30ft.
The depth of that catch should serve as an indicator that generally the trout are moving to cooler waters as the surface temperature hovers around 70F. For the same reason spring trout plants are done for the 2021 season. While trout catching has slowed in the last week we are still seeing a few limits; recently Danny Kimble of Brownsville caught a limit on PowerBait from the shore near the dam, including a 6.5 pound fish. Richard & Devin of Woodland did nearly as well with 9 trout caught with the same bait in the same area.
It’s a busy lake out there on the weekends. If you can, hit the water early Monday through Thursday. In the summer sun most of the bigger lakefish seem to take a siesta from 11am till about 3pm. If you’re still looking to catch a trout find a steep shoreline and cast into deeper water.