Amador...

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Freefall
Posts: 305
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2016 5:19 am

Amador...

Postby Freefall » Fri Mar 01, 2019 4:58 pm

I grew up fishing it and had good success there years ago. I hadn't been there in 10 years so I gave it a shot today... what a disappointment... maybe it was the lack of visibility but I threw the kitchen sink at them and blanked... its been a long time since that's happened.

Talking to a few guys at the ramp and store it sounds like the bass fishing has really taken a dive there over the years yet nobody knows why. It's unfortunate.

Water temp. is 52 degrees and 1-2' viz. Not ideal but definitely tough fishing.
Fear does not prevent death, it prevents life.

You've never lived until you've almost died and for those who have fought for it, life has a whole new flavor that the protected will never know....

tbass858
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Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 11:59 am

Re: Amador...

Postby tbass858 » Fri Mar 01, 2019 7:28 pm

Too many bass being kept

Robb R
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 9:34 pm

Re: Amador...

Postby Robb R » Fri Mar 01, 2019 7:55 pm

I also grew up fishing Amador . It can be a tough lake . Amador was one the original Lakes to be stocked with Florida strain bass . Cold fronts seem to really shut down Florida strain more than Northern strains . You have to time the weather perfect and/or fish the summer . make no mistake there are giants in Amador . The lake record is 17lbs and I
am certain with all the food available to those Florida strains , there are still bass that size . The other problem is the smaller ones tend to suspend off the deep banks and vertical fishing isn't everyone's preferred methods.

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JoeLanghans
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Re: Amador...

Postby JoeLanghans » Sat Mar 02, 2019 6:07 am

I too grew up fishing Amador. Don’t let Amador trick you though, it’s not the people keeping the bass, plenty of bass in the lake. Remember, it’s a smaller lake and in the winter, the water level will fluctuate by feet on a given day. The cold temps really affect the fish in Amador. Fish deep in the winter, dead stick a drop shot or drag a jig in 40-60 feet on rock. Tens of thousands of hormone and steroid filled trout planted in the lake every year combined with the giants and mini giants that linger, I think the next record largemouth is in Amador.

monte300
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Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:18 pm

Re: Amador...

Postby monte300 » Sat Mar 02, 2019 6:22 am

I fished Amador a few times 25-30 years ago and always found it to be a difficult place to catch bass. Even back in those days it was an extremely expensive place to fish. Not only were the launch and camping fees steep, they charged to fish the lake. I always felt gouged when I went there. Has any of this changed?

Freefall
Posts: 305
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2016 5:19 am

Re: Amador...

Postby Freefall » Sat Mar 02, 2019 7:30 am

No doubt that there are/were big fish in the lake. I stuck my first 10 there at 13 years old. It could have been just a rough day on the water. I'll try it again in April and we'll see then.
Fear does not prevent death, it prevents life.

You've never lived until you've almost died and for those who have fought for it, life has a whole new flavor that the protected will never know....

Biggvic
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Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:37 pm

Re: Amador...

Postby Biggvic » Sat Mar 02, 2019 10:38 am

They stock larger than average trout in there than other lakes. 2-4 pound trout is not a food source for bass. Plus all those bigger trout eat a lot baby bass. It is still a good lake, but not as good as it was in the past for bass.

Freefall
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Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2016 5:19 am

Re: Amador...

Postby Freefall » Sat Mar 02, 2019 11:29 am

Biggvic wrote:They stock larger than average trout in there than other lakes. 2-4 pound trout is not a food source for bass. Plus all those bigger trout eat a lot baby bass. It is still a good lake, but not as good as it was in the past for bass.


That's what I was thinking too. The stockers there now are typically larger than most bass are able to eat.

Not to mention those trout are stupid aggressive in comparison. I caught one yesterday, my only fish, on a crank that damn near took my arm off. It hit like a stripper.

I'm sure there are still good fish there and it was a tough day but its certainly a shell of itself.
Fear does not prevent death, it prevents life.

You've never lived until you've almost died and for those who have fought for it, life has a whole new flavor that the protected will never know....

biteme
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Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2007 12:01 am

Re: Amador...

Postby biteme » Sat Mar 02, 2019 2:02 pm

We use to smoke em on big baits out there. Then they said something about Trout eating frogs so they stopped stocking the smaller Trout. The suck kicked in after that.

Freefall
Posts: 305
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2016 5:19 am

Re: Amador...

Postby Freefall » Sat Mar 02, 2019 2:52 pm

biteme wrote:We use to smoke em on big baits out there. Then they said something about Trout eating frogs so they stopped stocking the smaller Trout. The suck kicked in after that.


That sounds about right.
Fear does not prevent death, it prevents life.

You've never lived until you've almost died and for those who have fought for it, life has a whole new flavor that the protected will never know....

Robb R
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Re: Amador...

Postby Robb R » Sat Mar 02, 2019 7:07 pm

Here's some additional Amador history . Old man Lockhart wanted to stock the lake originally with bass . He started building those cement tanks for that purpose . Problem is , the small bass wouldn't eat pellet food . He decided to switch the use of those tanks to trout . That switch occurred around 30+ years ago .
The bass is tough there for three reasons . Florida strain bass are just plain harder to catch , more finicky , affected more by weather . Amador has tons of food for bass ( crawdads , threadfin shad , bluegills , crappie , silver fish , trout, catfish and lots of all of them ) . It also has very steep banks trough most of the lake --- that tends to make bass suspend more than other , flatter type lakes .
In the spring , Amador bass move up very quickly , extremely close to the bank in 1-3 feet , and don't stay long . Summer time the weeds can be awesome , hydrilla down to 30 feet and the bass are always in and around them .
There are giant bass in that lake , probably gonna get the next teener by someone soaking bait .
It can be a great lake , but you have to time it right .

Larry Hemphill
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Re: Amador...

Postby Larry Hemphill » Sat Mar 02, 2019 8:41 pm

Lots of good info, Robb! Amador was the first trophy bass lake in Nor Cal back in the 70's. Bass anglers would tow their rigs up on weekends from Southern Cal because the bass were so big and the bite so good. That was before all the big bass started to be caught in the San Diego lakes etc. The delta and Clear Lake hadn't become the big bass fisheries until the late 70's into the 80's. Amador was amazing in the 80's with many monsters landed. My 14-2 and 13-2 were caught in '86 and '89. A female client and her husband did a night trip with me in "87 and she landed an 11-10, making the cover of the Fish Sniffer as she probably caught the biggest lady angler bass in Nor Cal at that time. In '89, I caught a 12-10 on a white crankbait (Poe Plug) at midnight, along with an 8 on the same crankbait an hour later. The lake record of 17.1 lbs was caught by a regular visitor around those great years also. I took 2 of my high school students to Amador (night trip) in 1994. I started off with a 10-6, then one of the boys got 2 over 7 1/2 lbs, the other a 6 something. Our limit was 33+ lbs


This is just a sample of Amador in it's heyday. Now that they have a year round fishery with the trout, the resort doesn't close in December and January as they did 20+ years ago. The winter bass bite is pretty slow and that was the reason for them closing for 2 months. Now, of course, Amador is a year-round fishery! One thing about Amador is that someone can't say "I should have fished the south end' or some excuse like that. You can fish the "whole" lake in one trip!!

Biggvic
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Re: Amador...

Postby Biggvic » Sat Mar 02, 2019 8:47 pm

There is a True Bass episode on here under "videos" that might be helpful to you. It's filmed in the summer.

hydro
Posts: 329
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2005 7:35 am

Re: Amador...

Postby hydro » Sun Mar 03, 2019 3:49 am

Freefall wrote:I grew up fishing it and had good success there years ago. I hadn't been there in 10 years so I gave it a shot today... what a disappointment... maybe it was the lack of visibility but I threw the kitchen sink at them and blanked... its been a long time since that's happened.

Talking to a few guys at the ramp and store it sounds like the bass fishing has really taken a dive there over the years yet nobody knows why. It's unfortunate.

Water temp. is 52 degrees and 1-2' viz. Not ideal but definitely tough fishing.


A) rapidly rising water tends to scatter the fish as they adjust to their new surroundings .

B) Influx of cold water slows the bass' metabolism

C) Muddy water vastically reduces the strike zone

Putting all of these together usually make for really tough fishing . I remember fishing Amador after it finally refilled from the drought in the late seventies . It was early March , high muddy cold water , and wood debris floating everywhere . Had fished all day over the entire lake and could not get bit on anything . Late in the afternoon I decided to try out a new techique called flippin with the new Fenwich rod I had bought designed for that purpose . I had fished a wind sheltered bank earlier in the day that had floating mats of bark, sawdust, and small tree branches all backed up against a mixed rock/mud bank but had only fished the outside edge of this debris .

Making one pass down this bank flipping a worm thru the floating debris I was able to catch a small limit of bass in shallow water that saved my day .

hydro
Posts: 329
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Re: Amador...

Postby hydro » Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:50 am

Biggvic wrote:They stock larger than average trout in there than other lakes. 2-4 pound trout is not a food source for bass. Plus all those bigger trout eat a lot baby bass. It is still a good lake, but not as good as it was in the past for bass.


I have my suspicions that a lot if not all of these trout can't survive the summer at Amador due to the poor water quality there . Most of our lakes are fed by major rivers so they have a continuos flow of clean cool water coming in that suits the trout that go deep when the water warms up .

In contrast Amador is a rain filled lake supplied by Jackson creek . Amador used to be every bit as clear as Pardee in the 70's and all of the standing trees were not cut down as is typical with most lakes and this benefitted the bass survival rate . No shad were in the lake yet and I don't remember any trout either . The was also not the major weed growth at Amador in those days.

I believe it was in the late 80's or early 90's Jackson Valley irrigation district who owns Lake Amador enterred into an agreement with the City of Jackson Water dept. to accept gray water (basically partially treated sewage) from the sewage treatment plant in Jackson .

The gray water is pumped into Jackson creek mixing with the natural water flows and then makes it's way downstream into Lake Amador . This gray water contains nitrates (fertilizer) that promotes plant and algae growth and this led to the formally clear waters of Amador turning green and having vastly reduced visability . Shad were introduced at this time as the water was now fertile enough to support them . I suspect this is also when the weed growth really took off as well . The bass fishing got hot again at this time with many large bass being caught.

Robb R
Posts: 257
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 9:34 pm

Re: Amador...

Postby Robb R » Sun Mar 03, 2019 8:52 am

Amador was an Army Corps of Engineers lake . They were supposed to cut down every tree that had a diameter of 13inches or larger , everything else was left standing . The Mountain Spring arm of the lake has clear deep spring water that feeds that area ----in the summertime , it really attracks Trout and baitfish , it tends to be a little clearer water .
I remember the lake having threadfin shad as early as 1977 , I fished it in July that year , at the peak of the drought . The water super low and was so dirty , you couldn't see a worm in 6 inches of water . One evening , in a rental boat ( i was literally the only one on the lake ) and bass were chasing shad on top and for about 45 glorious minutes , I was in Heaven throwing a Hula popper . The lake supposedly had Kentucky spotted bass and small mouth . I never got a spot , but I did get some smallmouth in the late 70's and early 80's .
As the lake got older , the Lockhart family had issues managing the lake properly . They were good people , just didn't know how to run it once the old man died . They have had an ongoing battle with the water district forever .

Larry Hemphill
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Yes, a spotted bass at Amador!

Postby Larry Hemphill » Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:38 pm

I never caught a smallmouth at Amador, but did catch a 2 lb spotted bass around 10 or so years ago. I was fishing alone at night. I got this real aggressive strike and great fight on a spunky "largemouth!" I netted it and then noticed something different which turned out to be several differences!! Couldn't get my thumb in the mouth as easily as normal and then noticed this major black line down the side and rows of spots down to the belly. I couldn't believe my eyes - a true spotted bass, just like out of Oroville!! I did not return it to the lake. I assumed it came down the overflow from Pardee.


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