Bullards Bar Lake and Reports

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Tuesday, Jul 16
Hi: 92 ° F
Lo: 64 ° F
Today
Mostly Sunny
Precip: 0%
Tonight
Clear
Precip: 0%

Sunday, May 19th, 2019

  • Water Temp: 61

    Water Clarity: Clear (4+ foot visibility)

    Report: Fished Bullards yesterday, and caught a fair number of fish but no big ones.

    Biggest went just shy of 2 lbs. Nearly all of them came right up against the bank.

    The lake is the fullest I've ever seen it. Launched at the dam and the water is probably 10 feet below the top of the dam.

    Tips: Ned rigs and keitechs were working for us right against the bank.

Wednesday, April 17th, 2019

  • Water Temp: 58-61

    Water Clarity: Stained (2-4 foot visibility)

    Report: I took Clara Ricabal yesterday (Tues) to Bullards Bar. She had never been there before and was anxious to see the famous lake. Well, I guess she had a great guide - or something!! Clara doesn't mess around. She mastered the lake in just 3 hours - hooking and landing a 7 lb 2 oz spotted bass. Yea, Clara, this lake is EASY!!! What a pig - NO, not Clara!! A giant pre-spawn, gorgeous bass!!! One doesn't often get to see a fish like that! Clara also caught a 4 lb spot later in the afternoon. I chimed in with a 5 lb 1 oz spot later in the afternoon also. Three for 16+ pounds. We were 3 for 4 as I lost another big spot. Couldn't stop her and she came off in about 10 seconds. Bummer!!


    I always like the afternoons in the spring, especially higher elevation lakes like Bullards, Clear Lake, Scotts Flat, Englebright, etc.

    Bullards seems to be about 7 or 8 feet from full with a few creeks still flowing. Warmest temp I found was 60-61.

    Tips: Try to find areas that have a lot of afternoon sun and protected from the wind.

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019

  • Water Temp: 49-51

    Water Clarity: Stained (2-4 foot visibility)

    Report: I really enjoyed my 2 days at the Sacramento ISE show, working with long time fishing buddy and owner of Blade Runner Tackle, Rick Tietz - and others in the booth. You look at his big booth and realize he has created ALL those baits and colors you will see nowhere else. Meeting and talking to new and old friends at the show is always much fun. Fishing stories can get a little out of hand as they grow better each time you tell them - LOL!!! I was able to meet my first record holder - that is - WORLD RECORD holder (Spotted Bass), Nick Dulleck. He caught the giant spotted bass at Bullards Bar a year or so ago, at 11 lbs 4 oz. Talk about a trophy fish! We chatted for awhile and soon were planning a trip to BB. We went yesterday, in spite of the sudden cold front. Talk about having the lake to yourself - saw only 2 or 3 other bass boats. The bite was awful - he caught a few small ones and I missed a few bites. But that's January at BB. We did cover a lot of the lake, checking out different spots. He showed me the spot where the spot was caught. Info can be purchased. BAD JOKE!! NOT A CHANCE !!! THE SPOT is safe in my small brain!!

    Tips: We had a great time sharing experiences and ideas. It is exciting to see the younger generation so dialed in and excited about our sport that just keeps growing. We talked about lots of bass subjects, old and new, tournaments, etc. We did a lot of running around, covering much of the lake, showing each other many good structure patterns. It sure is a different lake than when I started fishing it - floating logs everywhere, very few big fish, no spotted bass, and so on. My first-ever guide trip was at Bullards Bar - a special lake for me!

    The bite should pick up in about 2 weeks, depending on weather. Not only is the lake at 2000 feet (colder nights), but it has a lot of extensive shadows with the surrounding mountains. Some areas only get a few hours of winter sun.

Friday, December 14th, 2018

  • Water Temp: 52-55

    Water Clarity: Clear (4+ foot visibility)

    Report: It is no big secret that New Bullards Bar holds some of the biggest spotted bass in the world, but it can be one of the most difficult places to catch a bass at times. The tendencies of these bass to hold on deep stumps or rock piles make them hard to locate even with the all mighty Lowrance HDS 12. Subsequently, these incredibly intelligent and lock jawed giants will at times suspend at depths of 30-80 feet over 150 feet! When targeting them this is the best time of year to break that personal best or seek a world record.

    Why is this? Well yesterday, I finally discovered why! The Salmon... We all talk about bait and how it dictates the bass and their behavior, but at Bullards there is no shad. So, this can throw a newcomer for a spin and I am here to attempt to assist you in at least catching one of them. At this time of year, the Land locked salmon have been spawning which means they find a nice area at the backs of creeks or bluffs to lay their eggs. As I discovered yesterday the bass follow and eat their eggs and the dark red and black dying post spawners. To my surprise, I slung out a bright pink ned rig and roboworm around all the streaks of Salmon in the shallows of the "creeks" and left and right I opened pandoras box. Cast after cast my co angler and I boated spotted bass in the range of 1-3 Pounds. I guess the bigger ones would be eating the salmon but were already full. In conclusion my live well is full of salmon eggs and I have the need to inform all of you on my success in hopes to aid the community.

    Sincerely,
    Nathan Gardner

    Tips: Also if it is not to much to ask if you would follow me on Instagram at nate_g_fishing, I would love it!
    https://www.instagram.com/nate_g_fishing/?hl=sr

Thursday, December 13th, 2018

  • Water Temp: 53-55

    Water Clarity: Clear (4+ foot visibility)

    Report: I did a 6 hr day trip with buddy Mike to check out conditions at Bullards Bar. Conditions were not so good. Dark Day ramp is out of the water - no launch possible. The ramp at the dam is at the curve - it is ok, but awkward. Good to have a buddy help with the launch. The bite was very slow - did not hook any quality spots, 7 or 8 with only 2 keepers. Only saw two other boats on the lake. Very cold mornings - temps around freezing or below. Water is clear.

    Tips: I tried several different styles of winter fishing. Drop-shotting and small types of beaver baits worked the best. Did seem some bait on the meter, but not much. No creeks running. Weekend rain may help some if storms hold together.

Saturday, October 6th, 2018

  • Water Temp: 67-69

    Water Clarity: Clear (4+ foot visibility)

    Report: Hit Ballard's Bar for my first time this weekend. Talk about a gorgeous lake!! Caught a ton of small spots on ned rigs, drop shots, shakey heads, and a few on jerk baits and topwater. Wasn't able to hook up on anything larger than 1.25lbs but had a blast. Fished creek inlets, secondary, and main lake points and found the small guys everywhere. Marked a lot of schools in the 20-35ft range.

    Tips: Find the schools in the 20-40ft range and change up presentations to catch numbers. Main colors were white/shad like patterns.

Thursday, September 13th, 2018

  • Water Temp: 74-76

    Water Clarity: Stained (2-4 foot visibility)

    Report: I took two gentlemen from Arkansas - here with their families, visiting Lake Tahoe and later Yosemite. They know about Bullards and wanted to fish it. We had a very nice trip, warm beautiful day! One of the guys started off with two nice summer spots, around 1 1/2 and the other near 2 lbs. I think they caught 4 or 5 keeper spots, and then lots of dinks. Typical summer daytime bite. Waiting for water to cool down!

    Tips: We just drop-shotted most of the time with 6" Robo worms - morning dawn and MM111. Water wasn't real clear, probably because of weekend boat traffic. We fished points and shaded walls with stumps. The sun is lower on the horizon now, so more shadows available mid-day.

Monday, September 10th, 2018

  • Report: by Csuhchris » Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:58 pm

    Took the family to Bullards Sat AM. Fished the points from 7-9:30 in 50-90 feet of water. Lost many shakeyheads so decided to Drop Shot Robo Worms. Ended up hooking one that decided to pull drag. Ended up landing a 7.89 LBR after a brief scare from the wifey’s netting skills! Hahaha
    Another large fish was landed the weekend before! This lake is absolutely beautiful and will surely pump out a World Record Bass of 12 LBS this winter! Why not get started now learning this amazing fishery? Hope to see ya guys up there, as Clear Lake’s topwater has ended!

Saturday, May 5th, 2018

  • By

    Water Temp: 64-67

    Water Clarity: Clear (4+ foot visibility)

    Report: Not to many days where the breeze never picks up, but this was one of them. Overcast most of day. Excellent bite till about 1:30. Then it slowed down considerably. Most fish came out of around 15 feet. 4 pounder off a big boulder in about 5 feet. 44 fish in the 12-15 inch range. At least that many smaller than 12. Wife put around 20 in the boat. A nice 3 pounder was her reward for sight fishing a huge hollowed out stump that had a bed in it.

Saturday, April 28th, 2018

  • Water Temp: 57-62

    Water Clarity: Stained (2-4 foot visibility)

    Report: I had a nice guide trip yesterday (Fri) with a very good lady bass angler who I have guide before. She is a talented bass fisherwoman!! She comes self-contained and ready for bear - er, bass!! Fishing had really changed in the last week with a move to the shallows. We caught them as shallow as 2 feet!! Average depth was around 10 to 15 feet in the morning and down to 25 feet in the afternoon. I can't seem to time Bullards well this year. Lots of cold wind yesterday - again! When I left Yuba City in the morning, howling wind. When we left the ramp at Bullards, sunny and calm - until about 11 am. The wind found us - imagine that! This time is was a Clear Lake pattern - wind switching directions all the time. Didn't seem to slow the bite however, except may for the bigger bass. We did catch lots of keepers up to near 2 lbs, but didn't get any toad bites. Still a lot of shadows in spite of the higher sun now. We did find some of the bigger bass in the shadows. She came prepared with some of her favorite baits and they worked well. That will be her secret! Drop-shotting MM111 Robos worked well for me. Maybe because of the winds, big bass seemed hard to find.

    Tips: Hard to give any tips because the smaller bass bite was wide open. Flats with a drop-off produced well yesterday. The bigger bass were always a little deeper, 20-25 feet. Senko bite in the trees was pretty good.

Wednesday, March 21st, 2018

  • Water Temp: 50-51.2

    Water Clarity: Clear (4+ foot visibility)

    Report: Mike Sperbeck and I made a short trip to Bullards to check on the bite. What bite? No more snow, ramps are good. I wasn't feeling real great, so I let Mike catch 'em all - all 3 of them. At least there was a minor bite. Weather and water are very cold!! I guess the word is out - only saw one other bass boat. We really need some sun, badly! Bullards is not an open water lake like Berryessa and Clear Lake and it really needs some sunny days to start warming the water. Not happened yet. Mikes biggest was about 2 1/2 lbs

    Tips: His fish were at least 40 feet deep and caught on walls.

Wednesday, February 28th, 2018

  • Report: Postby Larry Hemphill » Wed Feb 28, 2018 7:22 pm

    This is just some late weather info - Wed, 7 pm. Big storm coming as most of you know. This is a cold one and there is 6 to 18 inches of snow forecast for the 2000 ft elevation. Will this happen? Who knows. Not sure I would take the chance. Ramps at Bullards are steep as are the approaching roads. Just thought I would let you know. Everything these past 2 weeks has come almost directly from Alaska. Skiers are rejoicing - maybe 4 to 6 feet of snow at higher elevations - finally!

Friday, February 2nd, 2018

  • Water Temp: 50-53.8

    Water Clarity: Clear (4+ foot visibility)

    Report: I have fished and guided on Bullards Bar for many, many years. Yesterday (Thurs) was a first! When I launched at the dam about 1 pm, there were 3 or 4 truck/trailers parked and there was barely room for me. I found enough room and was off to fish. As I was approaching the main body. 3 boats were coming back to the dock. I think only one might have been a bass boat as there was only one bass trailer. The others were small boats. I wound up fishing my private lake (Bullards) until near dark. There might have been a boat out of Dark Day ramp. but I never heard or saw another boat the whole afternoon. it was my private lake for the afternoon - me and the floating spider webs. They were everywhere! Thank goodness this wasn't really a fishing trip for me since what fishing I did was not very productive. I caught one 14-15 in spot and missed 3 more bites. I went up the river arm for the first time all the way to the 5 mph sign. I always fish the main body, but it was fun to explore on a beautiful day! All my bites came on 6" Robo worms which I bit down to 5" worms.

    Tips: As for the lake, the water temp was roughly 50 to 53 1/2 degree. The lake level is steady, rising just slightly. Lake water is clear everywhere with very little debris. More up the river arm, but not bad. Lake level is 79% capacity

Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

  • Water Temp: 54?

    Water Clarity: Clear (4+ foot visibility)

    Report: I visited Bullards twice in the past few days - once for a short 3 hr trip by myself and a guide trip yesterday. There were several rigs in the parking lot at Dark Day on my first trip and many bass boats on the water. I had a few bites and landed a smaller bass. Yesterday (Tues) my client and I arrived at the ramp at 9:30 am and, behold!, not a single bass rig there. We only saw 4 or 5 bass boats all day which had launched at the dam. It was a "teach the lake" trip and we drop-shotted several good areas. We did find two good schools of bass from 50 to 75 feet, but they really wouldn't eat. He is a good stik and had lots of subtle bites, but the bass wouldn't inhale. He did catch a small spot and shortly before we quit, he landed a nice 2+ pounder. I think he was using the MM111 Robo worm - not sure about the color. That seemed to get the most bites yesterday.

    Tips: The lake is at a pretty steady level with not much incoming water. The current weather pattern is bringing drop-dead gorgeous afternoons, but remember, the sun doesn't warm the water in late December! You may be warm in the December afternoon, but the bass aren't!! It seems to me that the fishing is better as one goes further up the river.

Saturday, May 20th, 2017

  • Water Temp: 66-68

    Water Clarity: Clear (4+ foot visibility)

    Report: I had the pleasure of taking a husband/wife team from Florida to our beautiful Bullards Bar! Florida with its 3 to 5 foot water they fish - Bullards was probably a shock to them when my Lowrance would often read over 300 feet!!! A new world in California! The fishing was fair since the lake continues to rise - now about 97% full. All the cover (trees and brush) are now under water, so most fishing is on visible structure - points, walls, etc. She fished for awhile and then most enjoyed the beautiful scenery. Bullards is a beautiful lake when full!!! He fished hard and caught a bunch of spots up to 2 lbs but never hooked a big one. Very few boats on the water. The dinks are showing up now but the bite is still slow.

    Tips: I think the bite will gradually slide into the summer pattern - lots of dinks with an occasional large spot. The June post-spawn bite can be pretty good on crankbaits and swimbaits, but will probably be tougher because of the high water that will be with us for awhile. Dropping Senkos around the flooded brush and trees should work pretty well this summer!!

Saturday, April 22nd, 2017

  • By

    Water Temp: 57-62

    Water Clarity: Stained (2-4 foot visibility)

    Report: On water with wife @ 9am. Off @ 7pm. Intermittent breeze and overcast. 22 fish in the boat for me with biggest at 7.25 lbs. Wife only managed 5 in the boat with biggest at 2.5 lbs. She probably lost at least 10-15 as the bite was so lite and she barely had them hooked. Most fish came on Lizards, small tubes, and worms. Big fish on personalized Yo Mama baits.

Saturday, April 15th, 2017

  • By

    Water Temp: 54-57

    Water Clarity: Stained (2-4 foot visibility)

    Report: Wife and I today. Not a breath of wind all day. Lake pretty full of debris. Very slow day with all the action occurring around noon. 10 fish total. All at 13" except for the pig my wife caught @ 7.75 lbs. Caught on a 4" Lizard, 1/16 oz. bullet, 6 lb. test.

Monday, January 16th, 2017

  • Report: FROM YUBA COUNTY WATER AGENCY
    January 16, 2016
    New Bullards Bar Reservoir reopened
    The Yuba County Water Agency has reopened New Bullards Bar Reservoir to watercraft
    following a break in the security boom near the dam.
    The security boom stretches across the reservoir near the dam to block logs and deter
    boaters from maneuvering too close to the dam and spillway.
    As a result of the recent heavy storms, the log boom broke, leaving sections of it on either
    side of the reservoir, which created safety concerns because of the high water releases
    through the spill gates on the dam.
    The repair required waiting until the spill was reduced, due to the close proximity of the spill
    gates. After the gates had been closed, YCWA was able to secure the log boom back in its
    rightful place and the reservoir is now open for boating.
    For more information about New Bullards Bar, please call 530-741-5000.

Thursday, January 12th, 2017

  • Report: Larry Hemphill » Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:03 pm

    Bullards Bar is closed to all boating until further notice. I think this went into effect yesterday. The log boom that is in front of the spillway was destroyed by the high water outflow. Our local paper said it would remain closed until the overflow at the spillway is over. I think you saw the video that was posted here yesterday. By the way, those videos were amazing - thank you!! I will keep you posted if I hear anything new, or when the lake reopens. It could be awhile. The spotted bass are excited about all their new shallow water homes and condos!!

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016

  • Water Temp: 66-69

    Water Clarity: Clear (4+ foot visibility)

    Report: I was up at Bullards Bar last week with a friend for a few hours and found fishing quite slow with small bass only. We did fish during a hot afternoon. Yesterday I had a guide trip with a father/son team from Colorado - and found the fishing much better. We started about 7:30 am, and dad got started right away with a few better spotted bass - the biggest at 2 1/4 lbs. The bite was pretty good most of the trip as we landed around 50 spots. Even though the lake was flat calm with bright sun (typical late summer tough conditions), a hint of fall was in the size. Maybe 20 of the bass were in the 12 to 14 inch size - a sign that fall might be around the corner. In fact - winter may be here this Friday!! We fished out of Dark Day ramp and stayed mostly in that part of the lake. Only saw one other bass boat and two other pleasure boats - with one GREAT wake boarder - Wow!!

    Tips: My two guys brought the "kitchen sink" - 8 rods and lots of baits. Some of their baits worked!! Drop-shotting was the main attention-getter with Robo worms of several colors working. Shad colors were great. Points were the best structure, along with shadowed walls in the afternoon. With the sun lower on the horizon now, one can fish lots of shade water. That will be a good plan until the lake gets some color - or clouds. The first clouds in several days rolled into Yuba City tonight! You probably know that all the trees are far above the waterline now.