By Dr. John Baldwin
Greetings to everyone as spring arrives, and even here at 4,000 feet the daffodils, tulips and poppies are starting to poke up. The skiing has been the best in history. We went with Twain Harte Elementary School to Dodge Ridge on Friday, February 25th and found more snow than ever, blue skies in the morning and powder coming down after lunch. Mr. Tom Dunlap and Mr. Jim Micheletti, great teachers both, ran a slalom race for boarders and skiers in the 6th and 7th grades, which was really fun. Most of our kids are really good and turned in tremendous times. From the snow pack depth, I would hope that we can expect another five weeks of great days up there.
The local fishing scene remains slow, but will be breaking open soon as warmer weather, longer sunny days and the internal clock that runs the fish brain starts ticking..”eat, eat, eat”. (Just the opposite of people, whose internal clock says “eat” as the days get shorter and darker in the fall.) Don´t ask me why, but we all know it´s true. For three years, I have written about fishing local waters, for Kokanee salmon, rainbow and Brown trout in Melones, New Hogan and Don Pedro Lakes. We have covered King salmon and striped bass on the Sacramento and how to rig, troll and land them.
Yesterday, I spent time with Mr. Bill Shier, a former CHP officer, who is head of traffic and parking security at Dodge Ridge. He casually asked me some questions about when Kokanee season starts and how to get the scoop on techniques. I got out some paper and drew him some diagrams, listed the lures, trolling speeds, depths for the downriggers and where to go on New Melones for the “pods” or schools which will be in action come April. When I got home, I received a long email from Melanie Lewis at Glory Hole Sports, over in Angel´s Camp, announcing their annual seminar, and promptly sent it on to Bill.
I will take the rest of this column to give the details on this exceptional opportunity to get hands-on experience and see it for your self, even do it, of what I have been putting in this column for these past years. Having been there several times myself, I can assure you that the time is well-spent, particularly the “on the water” teaching by the professional guides on Sunday. So here it is: The 7th Annual Glory Hole Sports free fishing seminar will be hosted Saturday April 9th and Sunday April 10th. This event is FREE, and is great fun.
On Saturday, beginning at 7 am, there will be a free continental breakfast and professional anglers will speak about techniques for targeting the various species found in Melones and other Mother Lode Lakes. There will be drawings for lots of great prizes such as tackle, fishing accessories, and guided fishing trips. In addition to breakfast, a BBQ lunch will be provided free of charge. There will be product booths and manufacturers´ reps with great deals on rods, reels, tackle and accessories such as downriggers, AND Glory Hole will be putting new mono line on your reels for a penny yard (up to 20# test), so bring your reels for this impressive deal. Fishing guides and tackle manufacturers will be available to offer advice and answer any questions you many have. North River Boats will be showing off the best models for fishing Mother Lode Lakes. There will be activities for KIDS, including a Bassmaster Casting Kids competition with prizes for all (equipment provided) and a hands-on learning booth hosted by the Rangers of New Melones Lake. NO reservations are required for this Saturday session .just show up for a fun and fact-filled day.
On Sunday, April 10th, “On the Water” downrigger lessons and bass- fishing lessons will be provided. Small groups of anglers will go out on New Melones Lake with professional guides and tournament anglers to learn the secrets of successful fishing. For $20.00, you will spend two hours on the lake. Boat owners who have or are considering purchasing downriggers can sign up for lessons given by professional guides on how to use downriggers to target trout and Kokanee. You can also sign up for a lesson given by tournament bass anglers on how to find and catch bass. While you will be fishing from a bass boat, much of what you learn can also be applied to catch bass (or trout) from shore. The fast boats are a real kick, too! Since space for the Sunday show is limited, reservations are required and phone 209 736 4333, or check in directly at Glory Hole Sports. More details are available on their website Glory Hole Sports These events are held across Highway 49 from Glory Hole Sports in the Frog Jump Fairgrounds. Personally, I wouldn´t miss this for anything. My advice would be to get there early, sign up for the lessons ASAP and bring a notebook and pen to write it all down. See you there! And enjoy these pre-spring days in the High Sierra!
Reprinted with permission The Sierra Mountain Times