Plants Continue as We Pray for Rain

Collins Lake - Browns Valley, CA (Yuba County)

The end of February produced some great catches like Emily, Olivia, Summer, Braden & Kylah who reeled in more than a brag board could hold fishing worms and PowerBait down near the dam.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Collins Lake

by Collins Lake Staff

We’re not quite half way through March and we’ve already completed six trout plants for 2021. Conditions permitting, weekly plants will continue though mid-May. DFW plants are done for the spring so the rest of the schedule will be filled out with private plants and net pen releases.

Matthew Chiono of Marysville (above, left) was all smiles with his beautiful 7 1/4 pound rainbow trout caught trolling a Rapala mid-lake. The word on the water is that fish have headed below 10ft, so your springtime surface strategy may need to move more into the 10 to 20ft range. Surface temperatures remain around 50°F but 15ft down it isn’t much cooler so expect a spread. Rusty from Oroville (above, right) caught his 4.5lb trout on Mousetails at the South end by the dam.

The biggest fish trout in recent weeks was Derek Finley of Marysville (above) who finished February with a 9 POUND trout caught down by the dam on rainbow PowerBait. Great catch Derek!

I also want to mention that there have been a few nice bass hooked in the second half of February, not the least of which was the one Tanner Donnelly of Durham California caught. “Had a little wind fishing main lake points with a Brown Bass Union 1/2 oz jig and a grub trailer. Dobyns 734C with a Lews reel loaded with 10lb test. Jig fishing is my favorite way to catch a number of quality fish. I always have one tied on.” Donnelly reports, and he didn’t let us down:

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Pray for Rain

As April approaches we are acutely aware the Collins Lake surface level is much lower than we are used to. As of today we are still more than 36ft from full. Rainfall totals since October are well under half of average for our area. Lots of fish in a small barrel. While we’d rather have, and are still hoping for, a bigger, deeper barrel we are still planning on planting over 30,000 pounds of trout this spring regardless of the lake level.

Many of the normal spring bass & crappie beds are out of the water and if they remain so it will be an interesting new challenge to locate and lure these species. It’s potentially a good time to check out the shorelines and shallows from a kayak.

The low lake brings other challenges. During summer months I always push for weekday fishing and that has never been more true than this year. But hey, the lake is open, the campground is open and these sunny days make a great excuse to get on the lake earlier in the year than we’re used to!

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