Lake Sabrina Fishing Report

Lake Sabrina - Bishop, CA (Inyo County)

by Rick, Patti, Juanita and Jerrod

Water Conditions: New Melones Lake is currently holding 267,603 acre-feet of water. The lake level dropped less than one foot this past week. It is currently at 798 ft. above sea level and 287 ft. from full. The water clarity is stained in many areas and will occasionally clear up. The water temperature is starting to cool, with the average being 70-74 degrees. The dam area has been buoyed off due to current that is created when releasing water. Glory Hole Point boat launch is a one lane dirt and gravel road leading off of the end of the point. There is not a courtesy dock and it is best to launch with a 4-wheel drive vehicle.

Trout: Slow. The lake has had very little boating traffic and fishing pressure. With that being the case, it is hard to say if the trout bite is good or bad. We can only base our fishing reports on patterns from the past. For the past few years the end of summer has been an undesirable time to target trout. However, some years the trout will feed heavily on shad and it is a good time to catch some of the biggest fish in the lake. The next couple months we can expect the trout bite to become good again, and we hope to see some nice fish caught. The weather is a major factor and will trigger certain fishing patterns. Cool nights will drop the water temperature and push bait into the major creek arms. If and when it rains, the fresh water will wash nutrients into the lake and help oxygenate the water. We do encourage catch and release for the brown trout as The Department of Fish and Game will no longer be planting them. Carefully measure, weigh and photograph trophy fish and send us pictures and information.

Kokanee: Done. We have not had any kokanee reports for awhile now. Typically this is when they start to move up river to spawn. We hope to see some of the kokanee up near the Parrots Ferry Bridge.

Bass: Fair. The lake is starting to transition from summer conditions to fall conditions. The fish seem to be spread out from deep to shallow water. The shad are schooling up and there are bass that target these balls of bait. Use your electronics and find bait in deeper water. To catch them try using a vertical jigging spoon or with a drop shot rig fished directly under the boat. Another way to catch suspended fish is with a rip-bait. A good choice would be a Lucky Craft Staycee 90 or a Pointer. It is good to match the hatch, but with the stained water is also good to incorporate some brighter colors as well. Some fish will not suspend and can be caught dragging baits on the bottom. These fish are usually targeting crawdads. Try using baits that resemble a natural crawdad. Football head jigs are a good choice. California Reservoir Lures offers a variety of jig colors that are tied specifically for fishing the Motherlode Lakes. Another good way to cover water and fish the bottom is with a Carolina Rig. Try using soft plastics that will move water. Zoom Brush Hogs, Lizards and Ol' Monsters are all good choices. PLEASE PRACTICE CATCH AND RELEASE. The bigger fish are the future of our lake. Take photos and carefully release the fish back into to the lake to maintain a healthy fish population for generations to come.

Catfish: Good. There are still a few anglers each week that are targeting catfish. Most bank anglers have been finding their best luck to be off of Glory Hole Point on down by the 49-bridge. One nice thing about the cooler weather is the catfish will be more active during the middle of the day. Try to fish flat areas that have deep water nearby. The catfish will use these areas as a dinner table and will check them throughout the day. The fall is a time of year when the shad will school up together. All other species of predator fish will gang up on them and eat as many as possible. The catfish will feed on large schools of shad and then come back and clean up afterwards. With this in mind, using frozen shad would be a good choice of bait. The catfish are programmed to eat them off the bottom and will not hesitate. Another presentation that can be used to target catfish that often gets overlooked is a crawler/mallow rig. Most anglers think of it as a trout rig, but each year many catfish are caught using it. Catfish have very poor eyesight. A presentation that floats up off the bottom and out of the brush and rocks will get notice. Also, the bright color of the mallow can be seen from a distance and in stained water. Plus, the mallow has scent that will help the catfish locate the bait and it will work well holding any additional scent. Try fishing a few spots on each outing. Moving down the bank and casting in different locations will increase your hook-up ratio. Let your bait soak for a while, then pick up and move again.

Crappie: Okay. We have had a few reports of anglers catching some nice crappie. They have not been catching a bunch, but the ones that are biting are nice and weigh up to 2-pounds. Crappie mini jigs and minnow-like soft plastic will often out fish live minnows when fished properly. Try using light line on an ultra light spinning setup.

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