Local lakes heating up for fishing | SierraSun.com

Local lakes heating up for fishing

Denis PeirceFishing columnist

After this past weekends dramatic warm-up, most Sierra lakes are now ice-free, or close to it.At Davis Lake near Portola, about 30 percent of the surface had melted by Sunday afternoon. There is water at the shoreline around the whole lake.Sara Benzinger from the Grizzly Store predicted that all the ice will be gone this week. She drove to the Mallard Cove launch ramp and it was free of ice. There is still a lot of snow in shady places around the lake, but the fishing should commence this week. I did hear rumors of good fishing at Frenchman Reservoir. A group from the Gold Country Fly Fishers is headed there this week.The warm weekend stirred things up at Donner Lake as well. At the end of last week the surface was at 38 degrees. Monday morning the temp was 40 and peaked at 45 in the afternoon. Keith Kerrigan of the Sierra Guide Service has been on the water daily pursuing mackinaw. Both the kokanee and the mackinaw, which had been tightly schooled up at the 100-foot level, are now scattering both vertically and horizontally. He said the fish are now everywhere on the lake. This is a classic spring turnover of a mountain lake.Kerrigan took his first kokanee of the year Monday afternoon at 50 feet. The kokanee are currently 9 to 12 inches.I could get no current confirmation about conditions at Fuller Lake. A week ago it had ice and the road was covered in snow at the dam. But while the warm stretch surely changed the conditions, I can make no promises until I get an eyewitness report.Englebright Lake has been good for trollers heading up above the No Ski buoys. Most of the fish are in the 12-inch range. Closer to the dam, the surface has broken through the 60-degree mark in the cove with the house boats.On Thursday, the Lake Wildwood Fishing Club held a trout derby at Collins Lake. Eight boats were entered with results ranging from one to nine keepers per boat. Numerous small fish were released. The largest was 2.3 pounds. The most productive depth was the top 10 feet of water with Rapalas and Kastmasters being the most successful lures.Lake Oroville warmed up this past weekend also. From Friday to Monday the surface rose from 54 to 57 degrees.Farther south on the east side of the Sierra, Crowley Lake thawed out a week ago and the June Lake ice at 7,800 feet in elevation was breaking up with Mondays wind.Denis Peirce writes a weekly fishing column for The Union, the Suns sister paper in Grass Valley. He may be reached at denisp@theunion.com.