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Lake Oroville: Low on water but high on fish count

Early February rains brought welcome moisture to this reservoir
Early February rains brought welcome moisture to this reservoir
Wikimedia Commons: Bob n Renee

Northern California got some much needed precipitation (as in rain, hallelujah!) within the last week. For anglers who love to fish in its reservoirs, this moisture couldn't come any sooner. Weather-casters are predicting we will need about five more such storms to push up levels past the crisis point.

Think they are over-reacting? Consider the reports - the numbers are still pretty grim. For example, Lake Folsom registers at 26% of capacity, Lake Shasta at 37% and Lake Oroville at 38%.

Still when fishing guide Ron Gandolfi emailed us late last week (right in the midst of our rain storms) with an upbeat report, we took notice. Here are some notable excerpts from his report:

Lake Oroville is now at 199 feet from the top and is filling very slightly at the moment. As I have heard, they want to hold the lake level a tad higher if we don’t get much more precep.

The good news is Lake Oroville is fishing really good. We are getting many 2 lb. bass with 3 lb bass showing up regularly and also some 4 lb bass as well. This last weekend my partner and I finished 2nd in the Nor Cal 90 Tournament with an 11.90 lb. bag with a 3.24 lb. 2nd. place big fish as well. We missed big fish by .04 lb. and 1 st. place by .30 lb. It was a great tournament.

Water temps are still in the mid 40’s on average so the reaction bit is a bit off and on. Some of the bites on crank baits and swim baits are moving pretty slow. Most of the bites are coming on dart head worms, senko’s tubes, and drop shot, Paradise Tackle jigs and finesse jigs as well. Some of the suspended bass are being taken on the float n fly. It is a great pattern but sometimes can be non productive like the A- rig at times."

Gandolfi says he still has some openings left in February and is now taking bookings for March and April.

Ron Gandolfi
Gandolfi Bass Guide Services
(530) 872-0907 or (530) 520-0281
gandolfiservices@aol.com

Read our Gandolfi guided trip summer 2013 posting