We are headed into some excellent fall fishing at Los Vaqueros Reservoir

Los Vaqueros Reservoir - Livermore, CA (Contra Costa County)

by Los Vaqueros Staff
(925) 371-2628

Late September and October are often a special time of the year at Los Vaqueros reservoir. The winds begin to lighten up and with one or two rains the hills will begin to turn green. As the water cools the fishing can become really outstanding. Trout, Striped Bass, Catfish and Largemouth Bass will all be active. We hope to see some 3 year old Salmon this fall. The water level is now 132,000 acre feet. We anticipate the water level to continue to rise slightly for the rest of September then to remain stable for much of October. Our water temperature is 68-70 degrees depending on the day, depth of the water, wind conditions and air temperature. Our water temperature should continue to drop as we head into October.

Rattlesnakes continue to be out and active so caution is advised. Watch where you are walking, stay out of high grass and stay out of rocky areas. Never try to pick one up or kill one.

We are now seeing tarantula's walking around. Please leave them alone and they will leave you alone. They are pretty amazing to watch.

We are still in the fire season so extreme caution with any fire sources is required. We do close barbeques on extreme fire danger days.

Fishing at the North End of the reservoir is now more easily accessible. A 15 minute hike (depends on what kind of shape you are in) will get you to an area with about 300 yards of open shoreline. Caution on the trail is advised. We also suggest (as always) being snake aware. This area is accessed by a short hike from the Dam. The fishing platform is now available to anglers. The Interpretive Center is open from 9:00am to 4:00pm on Saturdays and Sundays. September hours are 7:00am to 7:00pm with boats due back by 5:30pm. Beginning October 1st we will close at 6:00pm and boats will be due in by 4:30pm.

Fish Plants
We planted 515 lbs of catfish on August 9.

2000 lbs of trout went into the reservoir on Wednesday. These fish averaged about 1.5 lbs and ranged up to 7 lbs. We will be planting another 1000 lbs of trout early next week.

We are still giving out Whopper mugs. Our program has changed some so check with us at the marina. It takes a 5 lb trout to earn a mug, 12 lb striper, 12 lb catfish or a released 5 lb largemouth bass.

We have 2013 State of California Fishing Licenses for sale at the marina. Fish and Game has been checking fishing licenses so make such you have one for everyone 16 and over. We suggest taking advantage of the second rod stamp that is available.

Fishing for trout has been fair depending on your skill and luck level. Trout average a pound and a half but range up to 5 lbs. Limits have been difficult to come by but we still see a few limits. This should all change with the beginning of trout plants this week. Fishing from shore should be good from the south cove, near the rock wall and off of points in cowboy cove. Garlic power bait in rainbow, chartreuse power bait, orange mice tails and nightcrawlers are all good choices. A few anglers have been fishing nightcrawlers under slip bobbers and having success. Garlic scent on any bait seems to help. It is important to use 3- 4 feet of leader. Using light line also helps; 4 to 6 lb test is plenty. There is no need for heavy weights. Vary your casting length; most of the time shorter casts are better than longer ones.

Trolling for trout should improve quickly. Anglers trolling a variety of lures off of points and in the mouths of major coves should begin to catch trout. Vary your depths until you start catching fish. Look for areas that have the best water visibility and are free of algae. Anglers trolling will catch trout on a variety of lures including kastmasters, roostertails, rebels, rapala's and Thomas Buoyant. Trout fishing will continue to improve as the water cools and regular trout plants continue. We anticipate some great fishing to start in coming weeks. Save some dates now and don't miss what could be some really fun fishing. Once we start trout plants we anticipate very frequent trout plants through the fall and winter.

We continued to see some largemouth bass last week. Fish were caught on a variety of lures including spinner baits, crank baits and plastics. Top bass for the week went 4 lbs. and was caught on a senko in the back of cowboy cove. This beautiful fish was released to fight another day. Please release any big largemouth bass you might catch. They are the future of largemouth bass fishing in the reservoir. The reservoir is now full of excellent habitat for the bass so we anticipate this fishery to improve over the coming years.

Stripers are chasing schools of bait fish all over the reservoir and trolling for stripers is now rated very good to excellent. Many anglers reported catching limits of small stripers trolling in cowboy and Peninsula coves. These anglers were using shad raps, rattletraps and other lures with shad patterns. 2 anglers reported catching and releasing nearly 40 stripers on Saturday.

Currently fishing for stripers with bait is an up and down affair with some anglers catching limits of 18 to 23 inch fish. Cut anchovies or shad will do the trick when bait fishing. Stripers need to be 18 inches or more. We continue to see a tremendous number of under size fish being caught and released. Sometimes anglers catch dozens of small fish from 8 to 17 inches. Please release the small fish as quickly and carefully as possible. They are the future of our striped bass fishery. Fishing from the pier below the marina has been a good bet.

Anglers continued to catch catfish last week. Anchovies, liver, mackerel and nightcrawlers all caught catfish. The back of cowboy cove, peninsula cove and the south cove are good bets. We encourage and appreciate the release of any monster catfish (15 lbs plus). Fish are being caught in both shallow and deep water.

Open seven days a week 7:00am - 7:00pm
Boats are due in by 5:30pm.

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