The heat getting you down? I’m okay as long as the mercury stays in the double-digit range, but I lose it when the temperature breaks the century mark. Anything over 100 degrees and all I want to do is hang out in a bath tub full of ice, drink about 10 gallons of Gatorade and eat Peppermint Patties all day long with the air cranked down to minus 30. When it’s hot enough to melt your hair to the top of your head, it’s hard to think about fishing. However, there’s a place you can go to beat the heat, enjoy some amazing scenery and have some excellent fishing this time of year: Lake Tahoe.
I get a lot of calls from people who are looking for places to go fishing. Some ask for suggestions on day trips, while others want to get away for a week or more. So, over the next few weeks I’m going to take some in-depth looks at places where you can have a little summer fun in the north state. Today, we’re going to stick close to home — Bullards Bar Reservoir — which is only an hour or so from Sacramento and makes for a great day trip.
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If it were up to me, I’d like to go back in time and keep the DFG from ever planting largemouth and spotted bass in California.
Say what? Am I anti-bass? No way!
I just think smallmouth are the most interesting variety of bass and they, unfortunately, have been overrun by these other types of bass in most of our local waters. Of course, we could debate this until the Chicago Cubs win a World Series, but in my estimation, smallmouth are better fighters (I once mistook a smallie for a steelhead on the Russian River because it was so strong) than their big mouthed and spotted cousins and are pretty cool-looking as well.
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Question: What’s the best eating fish we have here in Northern California? King salmon? Nope. Cold water trout? Not even close! Mahi Mahi from Bullards Bar Reservoir? (old joke) Nah! Sixty-pound baby heron-eating brown trout from Mentiroso Lake? No! How about lingcod? Wrong again! Of course, this is very subjective, but I feel that you just can’t beat fresh halibut. Ohhh yeeaa!
We’re talking California halibut here, not Pacific halibut (the kind you get up in Alaska). California halibut range from Baja up to southern Oregon. They’re much smaller than the barn door-sized Pacifics that can weigh up to 400 pounds, but who the heck needs a truck load of fillets the size of a pool table, anyway? Use a heavy bass rod or a steelhead stick here and our flatties will give you all the fight you want. California ‘butts typically average about 10 pounds, but they can get into the high 30’s and, sometimes, the low 40’s.