Labor Day weekend marks end of summer recreation

By: George deVilbiss
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The first of September marks the start of the final summer holiday of the season, the Labor Day weekend, a highly popular time for camping before all the gear is stashed, stowed and stored away for the rest of the year. It used to be the first day of school would begin directly following the holiday but that’s not true today. By the time the Labor Day holiday weekend rolls around, a number of schools are already in session. If nothing else, that means families have less camping time. Despite that, as with the Memorial Day weekend and the Fourth of July, campgrounds are still generally full, at least the more popular, nearby areas. That certainly doesn’t mean you should be deterred from trying to go. At French Meadows Reservoir, you should be able to drive right to the lake and just about have your choice of a campsite. It’s busy earlier in the year and for some reason, the popularity decreases as the summer progresses. Or, you can go online and find a campground where there are sites available. It would be recommended that you do it soon. The first of September also marks the opening day of the state’s dove hunting season. While you should stay tuned, as more will be written about this subject as the season gets closer, all you need for this hunt is a hunting license with an Upland Game bird stamp, a shotgun and a couple boxes of shells. CURRENT FISHING Lake Camanche: New rules and regulations at this lake: no more live bait, which includes minnows, crawdads, frogs, etc. The only exception is the use of night crawlers. The stores on both shores will no longer carry or sell minnows. There is currently not much in the way of trout fishing, either from the shore slingers or trollers. The weather is just too warm for most. There is a lot of catfishing, though, and the rod-bending action is good all around the lake. Lake Amador: Trout fishing is definitely over with until the weather cools, and that will be a while. They won’t plant again until we’ve had a good, solid rainstorm. Bass usually take up the slack this time of year, but nothing big is being checked in. Worms and jigs are accounting for those being caught, up to four pounders. Take the kids. Bluegill action is good with redworms under a bobber. Ocean Fishery: The only real fishery open is the rock cod fishery and all the boats going out are doing great, with limits the rule. Besides, whether it’s a simple day trip or a multiple day camping trip with fishing included, it’s a dynamite way to beat the valley heat. The Bay Area fleet is hitting the Farallone Islands for sackloads. The Bodega Bay boats are going north and south for limits, and a couple of boats out of Fort Bragg come back into port with limits for everybody aboard. Union Valley Reservoir: While the kokanee have seemingly disappeared from Bullard’s Bar, they’ve just recently come to life at Union Valley. Trollers have been limiting on these small salmon up to 16 inches. There is a catch, however: you need to be on the water with your lines in the water at the first crack of dawn. By 7:30 a.m., the action is just about over for the day. Trout fishing for trollers have been slow. Sit on the bank down by the dam and you can get a stringerload, though. Folsom Lake: With the snows all but gone, river flows have seriously decreased and the lake is again beginning to drop. Only a couple of die hards can be found actually trolling the old river channel hoping for a trout or salmon. The action is real slow – but still possible. Early, early mornings, you might find bass in the shallows hoping to find a food source swimming there. Otherwise and for the most part, look for the majority of bass to be lolling around rocky points and submerged rock piles, which Folsom has a lot of. Just watch your scope. Carson River: In an attempt to entice anglers – and it generally works – Alpine County plants their own fish along with the occasional DFG plants. Alpine County not only plants catchable-sized trout in both the East and West Forks, they also plant some of trophy proportions. This week a big load of trout, nothing less than two-pounders and some up to 10 pounds, are being planted. Besides these, there are a large number of brown trout up to three pounds to be had as well. Salmon eggs and ‘crawlers work well but fly fishing a black wooly bugger has also been producing. Enticed? Could very well be worth your while to check it out. Any questions, comments or concerns, contact George at GeorgesColumn@AOL.COM.