San Pablo Reservoir Fishing Report

San Pablo Reservoir - El Sobrante, CA (Contra Costa County)

by San Pablo Reservoir Staff
(510) 223-1661

Paul Clouse and I received some interesting comments from our fishing colleagues who were on the water on June 8th. A number of folks had trouble with a consistent bite that day (or even any bite at all). My observations as a troller are that shore fishermen using bait or PowerBait will often catch more numbers of fish (particularly Trout), while trollers catch fewer but somewhat larger sized fish. Obviously there are exceptions to that rule, but I think that adage is often the case.
James Stoker asked about our using dodgers or mini flashers on the troll. While I did use both dodgers and flashers in the past, I wasn't impressed that we were getting more bites with their use. It made the trolling gear heavier and more difficult to play the fish, so I abandoned their use. They seem to be of benefit in large clear open water (such as in Lake Michigan fishing for Salmon). I didn't find them of much help in most of our smaller California lakes. I also used in-line split shot or banana weights in the past, but found them cumbersome and to cause line twist. I started using the lead line after a guide at Lake Almanor clued me in to its use. It's simple, gets rid of in-line devices and weights, and gets the line down 5 feet for every 10 yards of 10-yard color put out. The 12 pound lead line can be attached to 40 feet of 8-10 pound pure fluorocarbon for line invisibility. It's definitely changed my trolling success. I did try downriggers briefly, but found the lead ball kept tangling with underwater structure.
Of course, there's no better fishing than flat-line trolling with "whippy" rods for surface feeders when the water is cold enough. Lastly, while totally unproven, we've become convinced that applying scents to trolled plugs and spinners does make a difference, perhaps keeping the fish on the hook a bit longer.
As regards Spotted Bass, we've enjoyed success with both Rooster Tails and Jointed Rapala lures (Shad Raps, Husky Jerks, Floating Rapalas), but the trick is to try to get these lures deep enough close to the bottom. Unfortunately, that approach necessitates a number of lost lures and expense, but the sacrifice is worth it if you can get into a 2-4 pound Spot!
All the best to you and fellow fishing enthusiasts!-Dr. Al Hurwitz

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