Calm and 36 degrees at the state park, at 7 AM launch time. We launched behind the bridge and the water temp was 45 degrees. Still cool.
TubeBabe agreed to let me have a couple of casts at my favorite pike penthouse before she got in the water. My fire tiger crankbait hit the water, dove a few feet and started back toward me in the still dark morning. THUMP...SURGE...CHUG CHUG. Pike? Nope. Just a nasty male rainbow with milt dripping from its vent and anchor worms on it's sides. Still, it made me forget my headache for a minute.
Second cast. Repeat. Same thing. Only this fish was a half n half. The front part was a dark color and the back half looked like it had been bleached. Wierd fish.
I tried a few more casts with the crankbait, to see if there were any pike that wanted to play. Nopeski. Did get a skinny perch on the crankbait while it was still almost dark though.
We moved out to the rocks on each side of the bridge. TubeBabe went east and I headed along the dam. Neither of us were seeing anything on sonar and there were no fish cruising the rocks. We guessed that the storm had scattered them or turned them off.
I worked spinners, swimbaits and crankbaits clear along the dam and around the exposed rock structure along the south side. I had a few light bumps and did hook a female rainbow on the fire tiger crankbait. Poor baby was spilling ripe eggs and was also infested with anchor worms. Skinny too, compared to the bigguns of a couple of years ago. The trout in Yuba do not look good.
Talked to a couple of guys in a boat who said that the lake was full of fish before the storm but they couldn't see anything on their sonar this morning. Just as I told them to be patient, that the fish were scattered but they would get one...they got one. another funky little rainbow.
Talked to TubeBabe on the radio and we decided to work our way back and maybe try around Painted Rocks. She had kept one small female bow and had released one perch. At least no skunk.
As I moved back out in front of the dam, I looked at my sonar screen and saw a large mass of fish from the bottom to about five feet up, in 14 feet of water. I guessed perch and dropped a double jig rig straight down. I quickly brought it straight back up with with two porky perch on it.
I hung around to play with the perchies for about a half hour. I caught perch on just about every drop and caught many doubles. I actually experimented with several kinds of jigs. Made no difference. If it showed up in their living room, it was food. The smallest I got was maybe 8 inches. I got several around 13 inches and many 11-12 inchers. I am sure I caught close to 50 in that short time. Can't wait for dinner tonight (but it won't be perch. GOTCHA!)
As we took our tubes out, inside the bridge, we observed that the water is only about 4 feet from spilling. Hope it stays up a while. We also observed groups of dark colored spawning male rainbows cruising around in the shallow water inside the basin.
Got to Painted Rocks a little before 11 AM. The standard afternoon breeze was already tuning up. By the time we had fought it for an hour, with nothing to show for it, we decided to go home early so the old man (me) could try to get some sleep and finally get rid of the headache.
I think I'll try a tourniquet around the neck.
I also think that Yuba has seen the last of me until DWR quits being silly and lets us keep some perch. Too far to drive for nonexistent walleye, occasional pike and skinny and diseased rainbows. Plenty of better options.
Attachments: DRIPPING MALE.jpg (163 KB) Attachments: HALF N HALF BOW.jpg (378 KB) Attachments: SKINNY PERCH.jpg (189 KB) Attachments: MORNING CALM.jpg (207 KB) Attachments: CHUBBY PERCH.jpg (260 KB) Attachments: PORKY 12.jpg (292 KB) Attachments: SEVERAL DOUBLES.jpg (382 KB) Attachments: TUBEBABE'S DINNER.jpg (496 KB) Attachments: NOON ZEPHYR.jpg (317 KB)