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James “Big Ed” Everhart

October 17, 2018

River2Sea Open/Clearlake

A tale of two lakes 

This past weekend October 13-14 2018 was the River2Sea Open on Clearlake, the weather and the time of year played some serious games with us one day we passed the test the next was a fail. One Lake that fished like two was the feeling we left with. 

Our pre-fish day started poorly with a hub blowout on the trailer a trip to the mechanics shop and a search for the tire. When we finally got on the lake at 11am it took us two hours to catch a fish then not another one till 6pm and that one came on a whopper Plopper, to say the least we had nothing going into day 1. 

We put together an idea to try and get a topwater bite early,  we headed to the area we caught the first keeper Windflower Point. I was throwing the Whopper Plopper 130 and my partner the Whopper Plopper 75, on the third cast of the day my partner landed our first fish and I the second a few moments later. We moved to the docks using drop-shots making sure to barely move them, I landed our third keeper then nothing for an hour. It was time to start searching again we moved to Konocti Bay/south end, with one cast our day changed for the better. My partner made a cast to a dock pilling in a foot of water, it came to life with the thrashing of a big fish then it went calm. The fish had come off but the next cast to same pilling gave us our fourth keeper, the next four casts to that spot gave us three more fish no keepers but it showed us the fish were shallow and willing to eat drop-shots. The weed line down the bank looked great, it was in two feet of water and our boat was in fourteen, as we worked down the shore flipping green pumpkin candy trick worms we were culling fish the whole way.  This pattern gave us a day one weight of 14.32 good enough for twentieth place. 

On day two I think we woke up walked down to the boat and transported ourselves to a different lake. The patterns we had found were gone, the wind had come up and the temperature had dropped apparently thats all it took to shut us down for the day. We ran all over the lake searching for a bite but none could be found. At 1:45 pm 35 minutes before our time was up my partner made a cast on to a flat near Konocti Vista, he hooked into a decent 3+ pound fish then it shook off. He cast again and landed a quality fish I landed the next one then it was time to go in. Two fish landed in twenty minutes here was the pattern we should have found earlier in the day. River2Sea USA Ruckus (I Know It color) thrown out and drag

 

ed along the bottom and hopped. Apparently this was a pattern that others had found earlier unfortunately for us we did not. Our day two total was 5.54 pounds and our total for the tourney was 19.86 enough for 37th place overall. 

Good Luck out there see you on the water.

James “Big Ed” Everhart

Fall Bass Fishing

James Everhart

September 30, 2018

Fall Transition

Catching Bass during the season of change

The slow drop in temperature, the shortening of the days and the removal of the masses from the waterways, this is a signal of change. Hunters can’t wait for this time of year, it rings a bell inside of them, it signals great times and memory making days to come. As fisherman it brings a change that can be fortunate yet difficult. Bigger bass are reemerging from their summer haunts and the smaller fish will soon be few and far between but this is fall and anything can happen. 

We all have our favorite time of year to fish, in my opinion fall is not normally first on most anglers list. I’ve had several top five finishes in fall tournaments and some of my biggest fish were caught this time of year, not saying I love it but I have an affinity with it. Some of the keys I’ve found to fishing the fall transition are cover, water temp, forage and water movement. 

Lets start with cover, as the daylight hour lessens bass start looking for easy ambush areas that also are close to deep water. Points are some of the first areas I like to explore but not every point is the same, look for short points with deep water access. I like large rock points for better fish, by large I mean car hood size and bigger. Big bass like to suspend this time of year, large rocks give them a place to hold at the water level they prefer as well as the cover and ease of movement to feed on the bait  moving through the area. Targeting this area with trout imitations, rip-baits and topwater lures can be great producers.

 Next is points with grass lines at different levels, grass on points can be really productive all day long this cover allows for fish to pick and choose the level they feel most comfortable as the sun angle changes during the day. Grass also allows you to target those fish with the same baits you may have caught them on earlier in the day, by simply adjusting which grass line you fish you can sustain the bite for a longer period of time. My choice for baits in this situation are grass jigs, spinnerbaits and crankbaits (lipless and billed). 

The last cover I look for is standing timber, this I focus on when the water temps really start to drop and the baitfish begin to school up in pockets. The timber will absorb heat and transfer it down the water column, bass can use this as ambush for food and to stay a bit warmer,  bait will congregate in this area for cover and also warmth. My baits of choice are jigs with bulky trailers to allow for a slow vertical fall, dropshot with six inch worm and a Senko.   

We all know how much water temp can effect bass to hot they won’t bite, to cold no bite, so  how do you adapt to the many changes that can happen in the fall months? Look for stability and predictable changes. Tournament anglers don’t get to pick the weather they fish in but the pleasure fisherman sure does, so put the odds in your favor and watch the weather reports for the lake you’re fishing. What you want to see is consistency over a few days, rain, sun, temp, wind or snow no water which as long as it’s consistent. The fish need time to adapt to change so if you see change coming get on the water before or wait till it’s not change anymore, its just normal. 

Forage this time of year is normally plentiful, crawdads, shad, bluegill, trout and any other type of bait are out and getting prepared for the winter weather ahead. It’s how the bass are reacting to each that dictates how and when you catch fish. Bass will school up and attack shad, smelt and herring as they school as well, this can be a great way to get a limit but not necessarily the largest fish. Schooling bass will usually have the smaller most aggressive fish near the top and the larger fish towards the middle or bottom waiting for the easy injured meal. Targeting the fish  on the bottom with Crawdad imitations and injured fish lures is a great way to get that bigger fish. 

Crawdads are not schooling animals but neither are really big largemouth bass, focusing on big fish cover such as lay down logs, boulders and grass pockets with jigs and other crawdad lures gives you that chance to get a really big bass.

 Trout are beginning to move up from the eighty foot depth back into the upper water columns, this is the time of year I like to talk to the trolling guys and see where they are catching trout. Fishing the short, big rock points with big swimbaits is a must for your chance at fall giants.  One key I’ve found is to remember that trout like to face upstream when swimming and feeding so position your self in a manor that brings your bait upstream against the current to give it a slower and more natural presentation. Also bass are ambush feeders so keep your bait as close to structure as possible this will allow the bass to pin the bait against cover making it an easier meal to target.

The last factor is current, fishing river systems you might already have a firm grasp on current and how bass use this daily but for lake and reservoir anglers this can be more tricky. Some Lakes and most reservoirs will start to draw down getting ready for the winter rains or to supply water for the salmon runs coming in the rivers below. This is where map reading and electronics work is very crucial, finding the river channels where the water will flow down deep yet be close to structure changes can really produce some quality fish. Check with your local dam to see if they have a schedule of releases or the date they begin releases.

 In-flow of water can also be very productive, dry creeks that start to flow with small rains, major rivers may begin to swell each bringing new microorganisms that will attract baitfish which in turn will bring bass. Positioning and fishing areas where current coming in hits a bank or a turn in the main river channel can be excellent fishing because it will concentrate the baitfish into a predictable area. Spinnerbaits, rip-baits and small swimbaits can really excel in this situation. 

These are some of the tactics I’ve used in the past to have success in the fall, I hope they can help you increase your catches this season. It can be tough or easy, if you use these tips I believe there will be more successful days than struggling ones. 

See you on the water, 

James “Big Ed” Everhart 

Collins Lake 5/9/18

Water Temp… 73

Air Temp… 78

Water visibility… 2-4 feet

Wind… 1-2 mph

Moon Phase… Waning Crescent

 

After my last trip to Collins Lake I wanted to get back out there and see if the giants were active in the spawn, what I found was very interesting.

My friends Colin Peirce and the person best known as “Colin’s dad” Denis and myself all decided to head down to Collins lake for some late afternoon bass fishing. We arrived at the lake at 3:45 pm decided to run up the river arm after a friend gave us a good report of a recent trip he took. I started with a spinnerbait, Colin a worm and Denis a fly rod in hand rigged with a popper. We started fishing brush and bushes on the east side of the river, just about 50 yards north of the power lines. Fished along here for 30 min or so with no success, we changed lures a few times but never got any bites. Picked up and moved to the first incoming creek on the east side before the bridge, I noticed some shad activity so I broke out my Wake JR hoping to entice a big fish to commit to eating an injured trout. No bites on it but there were two quality fish that followed it out giving away their position. We threw a couple baits back where they came from but they were to savvy for us. We started working back towards the mouth of river changing lures, depth and cover as we went. Finally about mid way back a couple large fish followed the Wake JR back to the boat, Denis picked up a Senko (white,4 in) pitched it behind the bush they swam out from and first fish on.

Big belly fish

4.5-5 Pound fish on the Whopper Plopper

Unfortunately the fish got into the brush and couldn’t get it out, during the fight we noticed that it had a very large belly and was about a 3 pound fish. The large belly was the most intriguing thing we noticed, being the water was 73 degrees the thought was that the bass would have spawned out by now.

Whopper Plopper makes its debut

Colin decided to tie on a Rebel Pop’R bait, was tossing it around the bushes and boom good size explosion but the fish missed it. Here is where this report gets its name, I decided to pull out the River2Sea Whopper Plopper.  First cast got two blow ups but no hook ups, started working our way back to the incoming river with again several blow ups but no connections. Then as we approached the river I noticed the water transition point made a long cast into the colder water (62 degree) brought the Whopper Plopper back through the transition and big fish on. Now we had the baits A Whopper Plopper and a Rebel Pop’r were not being put down the rest of the evening.

Plopper fish

Double On Whopper Plopper And Rebel Pop’R

As we worked our way back out of the river we noticed the bass that we were catching and the ones we would see cruising all had the same thing in common, fat bellies. Our deduction is that even with the warm water temps the spawn hasn’t happened yet. We fished until dark which was about 8:30 pm ending our evening on the west side of goose island, flat-out wrecking the schooling Spotted bass from 1-3 pounds all on Whopper Ploppers and Rebel Pop’R. For only being a 4 hour trip it sure was packed full of good fishing. If you are looking to head out to Collins Lake be sure to pack your topwater baits, I’m sure you will agree nothing beats a good topwater bite.

 

See you on the water

Big Ed

4/22/2018

Water Temp 58-60

Air Temp 65-71

Water Clarity 6-8 feet

Winds 2-5 mph

Skys Clear

Scotts Flat Spring 2018

The first trip to Scotts Flat for the season and it sure was fun.

Made it to the Scotts at about 9am and the first thing I found out was that the NorCal 90 Championship was being held there (This is were tears come in). I fished this tournament this year but didn’t make the cut, oh well on to the report.

Scotts is one of my favorite lakes to fish, there is quality smallmouth and really nice largemouth, Today we caught both + 4 nice trout. Its been a really tough year for me when it comes to reaction baits, today that changed, finally! My wife and I started right at the dock I looked over to my left and there sat a smallmouth on a bed two casts later he was posing for Facebook photos. Then we trolling motored around the cove and my wife got her first chance at a bed fish two casts later her smallmouth was landed.

Bed Fish Scotts Flat

Tina’s first Bed fish

 

We worked along the edge of the lake looking for quality bass on beds but in between the beds I was throwing a Bass Pro Shop Speed Shad The kick on this little bait is just amazing, all year long I have caught fish on it, mostly just dragging it, today it was a reaction bait and a good bed bait. The biggest key to getting the reaction bites was to keep the bait below the willow branches but as tight to the bush as possible. A couple of the bites came as the bait was just falling next to the bush.

Scotts Flat Smallie

 

The north side of the lake had more bed fish on it but there were beds consistently all over the lake, the better fish were deeper towards the 8 foot depth but with the wind rippling the surface you really had to know what you were looking for to find them. By no means is this the end of the spawn in my opinion its only going to get better from here. My wife was fishing two baits the tube and the drop shot,the bed fish were eating the tube and the fish suspended in the brush were eating the drop shot.  She was just dragging the tube in 8-15 feet of water, normally the closer we got to  a stump or a big rock that’s when she would get the bites. The drop shot was most effective just worked slowly next to the willow bushes, morning dawn worm shaken slowly then it would just get heavy (if it wasn’t a trout).

Scotts Flat Info

Scotts Flat lake is a clear lake at around 3000 ft elevation, it’s not very big but its fun to fish. There are some great camping sites around the lake that are very well maintained. It’s $16 dollars to launch a boat, $31 for a tent site, $36 for an RV site. Next time you’re in the area or have just always wanted to check it out, I suggest you pull the trigger and do it. Email me if you have questions.

ed@bigedfishing.com

 

See you on the water

Big Ed

4/20/2018

Water Temp 58-61

Air Temp 70-80

Water Clarity 2-3 feet

Wind 2-5 mph

Skys clear

Collins lake fishing early spring

Its been a long time since I fished Collins lake but since I was giving a fishing report live on the radio that night, I thought it would be a good idea to check out the lake.

Spotted Bass

Collins Lake 2.5 pound spot

I got a late start on the day hit the water at about 9:30 am. Made my first stop on the east side of the lake at some willows in 15 feet of water. With the water temp in the high 50’s I felt like a jig might work well, on my fifth cast my hunch was right an I landed a nice 3.5 pound spot with a few more casts I caught another nice spot at 4.8 pounds. Those were the two best fish of the day but 25 fish later I wasn’t complaining.

Jig Fish

Collins Lake Spot

Most of the fish I caught were holding tight to the willow bushes in deeper water (12-18 feet). I fished the east side most of the day hitting points that led to spawning flats. Other anglers were fishing in shallower water but they were only catching fish in the 1-1.5 pound range most of mine were 2-2.5 out in the 18-20 foot range. Tried reaction baits (spinnerbaits, Swimbaits, and Chatterbaits) no luck on any of them, drop-shots, jigs and Senkos in green pumpkin color were the baits that landed the fish for me.  I’ve got to tell you my new Phenix Maxim spinning rods were key to catching fish, the sensitivity was super important since the bite was nothing but pressure. I checked a ton of areas for bedding fish and found none, not saying there aren’t any but the spawn has definitely not kicked off yet. The lake is on the verge of going off and with the upcoming warm weather it should only take a few days to get the spawn started. They have been planting trout at an amazing rate and they are all over the lake so if you’re a big fan of throwing swimbaits you will probably want to keep one tied on.

See you on the water

Big Ed

Oroville in December 2017

It’s December and tournament season is about to kick off.

This would actually be the third pre-fish day for my partner and I but the first we had together. Oroville is currently at 699.77 feet a 3 foot drop from the last day I fished, the water temp is currently  49.9 a 4 degree drop in the same time. Previously we broke the lake into four parts Main Body, North, South and middle, he took two parts and I took two then compared notes and came together today to find what is hopefully the final pattern.

Oroville Spots

We started the day in the middle basin focusing on wood, hoping to stumble into some of Oroville’s scares largemouth population, worked for about an hour with no results except one broken off fish. Next we moved to the south fork switching our attention to spotted bass.  Found a few here and there but never found any great size fish just the same ones we have found over the past month. Slowly but surely we worked our way back to the main body spot to spot. The only thing we secured in our pattern is that the reaction bite is nonexistent for us, soft plastics in shad patterns seemed to rule the day a slight change from  the crawdad pattern we have been focusing on. One of the other big changes that has taken place is the number of fish we are catching is diminishing, two weeks earlier 30-40 fish a day was easy today was 15-20. The fish are moving slightly deeper with the cooling water, we had been catching fish in the 18-20 foot depth range now its  20-25 feet. Dropshots with 3-4 inches between weight and hook, Dartheads and shakey heads were the best producers. Colors in your favorite shad patterns will work, 4-6 inch seemed to have the best results. Rocky shores facing East produced more fish but if you pull up to a bank and don’t see fish on the graph move on. I can honestly say we will need to do more work to find the fish it will take to win but maybe this can help you have some fun and catch a few good fish next time you head out to Oroville.

 

See you on the water,

Big Ed

River2Sea Open Recap of the weekends events.

Delta Report

By James “Big Ed” Everhart

6/4/16

Water Temp… 75

Air temp…96

Weather… Cloudy no wind

Water Clarity… Stained

This Delta trip all started with an invite from my friend Anthony Souza, this would be my first major venture away from the house since my injury. Let me tell you I was extremely nervous and almost told him no, I decided to take a chance and see what happened. I made sure to hydrate take all my meds and get some sleep I figured this would give the best chance to fish for the day or 6 hours anyways. Lucky for me I was right and all the preparations led to a very fun and successful day on the Delta.

We launched at B&W Resort came out turned right and headed towards Frank’s Tract. On the way down I had Anthony stop at one of my favorite islands, I picked up the River2Seausa Whopper Plopper in the Blue Blood color. At the south end of this island is a big spawning flat that drops off into deep water, I  know this time of year the islands that have room to spawn on will hold those post spawners. With the fourth or fifth cast a nice size fish blew up on my bait this would happen five more times on this particular island with no successful hook ups. The original plan was to run south but we stopped at a tulie berm in Frank’s tract and while we didn’t catch anything my partner decided he wanted to see a little bit more of the middle delta. Here was a cool part; after that he let me drive his new Nitro Z-20, that was awesome. FYI, that is a badass ride. Ok, from Frank’s we headed to a a couple of my regular destinations, I was still wielding the Whopper Plopper making casts up on the shallow

Delta Fish

6 pound Whopper Plopper fish

areas of the islands and pulling out towards deeper water. When there was small pockets that the plopper wouldn’t work the river2sea bully-wa frog was used to look for fish. We had both started out with a white frog tied on but after only getting a few swirls it was time to switch to a darker color, I chose black and he picked dark green. I actually landed one 2+ pound bass on the black frog.  The bait that would do the trick for the rest of the day was the Plopper.

Now we just needed to find the pattern and we did that as well. What we found was that islands that had pronounced spawning areas had what I feel are resident fish. They don’t migrate away from the islands because its just to far to swim. One of the nicest parts of the trip was to see how much the high water of the winter cleaned out the hyacinth from a ton of the areas I fish. This was crucial to my bite, for the past couple years some of my best water has been taken away due to the hyacinth finally its open again should make for a good year. One of the other keys was lay down wood when we worked the flats that had wood the bites came in bunches. The first fish that I landed on the Plopper was just about 6 pounds and it came right off a lay down log in about three feet of water at high tide. Up till then which was about 8am I had about six or seven good fish hit and get off, it was becoming frustrating but I knew eventually they would eat it. A few casts later I landed my second fish  then a third, fourth, fifth, etc, to say the least they started to chew. I was still getting fish on and losing them and getting fish that were short striking but it was still fun. I’m going to experiment with my hooks after this, try some Trokar EWG’s I think. Unfortunately for my partner he caught nothing had a couple on that came unbuttoned but no landed fish, he never picked up the plopper just kept fishing the Chatterbait, Frog and Grassburner to no avail. This just goes to say that it was not an easy day out there, the fishing was tough. I can honestly say this was the best day I have ever had with the plopper and now that I have a better grasp on its potential it will be a staple in my Delta arsenal. At twelve it was time to start heading back so we ran all the way back to Perry’s and tried to fish the weed line I had two more blow ups both appeared to be in the two to three pound class. Time for pictures then head

Delta sack

Delta sack

home. Hope this helps you on your next trip.

See you on the water,

 

Big Ed

 

Scott’s Flat Report

May 30, 2016

By James “Big Ed” Everhart

Air Temp….82

Water Temp….68 to 72

Wind…..5 to 7

Clarity…..Clear

Another great day on one of my favorite lakes. My son Cole and I decided Sunday to fish Scotts so we headed out Monday morning at 8am to hit the Smallmouth honey hole we love so much.

Standing on the dock getting ready to pick up my son he looks down and says there is a two pounder right at the dock, it turned out to be a good omen. We started fishing right in the marina

4+ beauties

4+ beauties

area on the highway 20 side of the lake, about twenty minutes in I looked down and saw a three-pound fish sitting on a bed in about eight feet of water. Picking up a couple of bed baits and playing with her for about ten minutes showed me that she was right in the middle of spawning and nothing was effecting her. I had been fishing an IMA topwater bait just to see if I could get a reaction bite that late in the day, didn’t happen. After seeing the fish spawning a subsurface bait seemed the right choice, tying on an LBS Tackle swim-bait head and Bass Pro Shops Speed Shad in the Site Fish color was my first choice and it was a good one. Five casts in and a four plus pound smallmouth inhales my bait, confidence started to build. We kept fishing on the north side of the lake for another few minutes then we had to make a quick run back to the dock. While I was handling some business Cole picked up a River2SeaUSA Bling made three casts next to a bush and picked up a nice two-pound smallmouth. Jumped back in the boat and off we went to the south side of the lake working every bush in the water. Armed with a Blade and swim-bait we covered water picking up a fish here and there mostly in random areas but the bushes were the main producers. After an hour we made a move towards the quarry, working the same pattern again picking up a few fish here

Mixed bag

Mixed bag

and there. Cole switched to a Drop-shot and immediately picked up two bass and a trout on a RoboWorm Morning Dawn, those were the only three fish caught on this bait.

At this point I was feeling poor so I sat down and let Cole take the front. He was able to pick up a couple more fish on the blade but the bite was slowing down and more people were showing up to take advantage of the beautiful holiday weather. We headed in got our photo’s and headed for home. Hope this helps on your next trip.

See you on the water,

Big Ed

 

 

 

Upper Salmon Lake Report

By James “Big Ed” Everhart

May 26-27, 2016

Water Temp 41-43

Air Temp 42-61

Cloudy on Thursday

Clear on Friday and breezy

This Past Thursday and Friday I took my dad to a new lake for the both of us. I’ve fished in lakes all around this one in my 30 years of fishing the area but for some reason this one never made the list. This wasn’t going to be a trolling trip it was just a break out the chair and sit on the shore day. Thursday we arrived at the lake around 10 am the report on the DFG site said they were going to plant the lake the week of the 22nd so the first thought I had was Powerbait but just for sure measures we stopped  and picked up some nightcrawlers. Upper Salmon Lake is a 41 acre lake sitting at 6500′ elevation in Sierra county above Sierra City, it is also like most of the lakes in the area absolutely breathtakingly beautiful. There is a small dock that is owned by the lodge on the far side of the lake they do allow you to fish from it. The boat ramp is immediately adjacent to the dock, this is where the fish plants take place.

On Thursday I started out with Rainbow Garlic Powerbait on one rod and a nightcrawler on the other. My setup for both was a Carolina rig style with a quarter ounce weight, for the Powerbait

Native Brook trout

Native Brook trout

I was using a number 16 treble hook and for the worm a number 8 bait hook. The lake has a shallow rim then a drop off I was casting approximately 30 yards out it appeared to be close to twenty feet deep. It only took about twenty minutes to get my first bite but I did not get the hook set, it was on the nightcrawler rig. The trout caught on Thursday were all Brook Trout and all were caught on the nightcrawler rig, ended up catching two fish and had four bites all day. We had to leave the lake at 1pm for some appointments but decided that it was not enough so we would return on Friday.

DFG planting truck

750 lbs of meat.

Friday we arrived at the lake around the same time as Thursday but this time I was more focused on the nightcrawler rig, unfortunately the fish just weren’t  biting as well as they were on the previous day. We fished for about two hours without a bite, the weather had changed with the clouds of yesterday being replaced with clear skies and a bit of a breeze. At 1 pm the fishing would get a lot easier as the DFG planting truck would pull up and drop 750 pounds of fish in the lake. A real fishing report is probably not needed at this point since planted trout are not the hardest fish to catch but there are a couple of tricks I can give you that seemed to help me get fish when others were not. I started by switching back to powerbait but I used an additive to my bait that seemed to get more bites its called Lip Ripperz hatchery dust . I’m not sponsored by them or anything just find that it gets more bites when I’m dealing with planted trout. The other tip I had was that a gold bladed spinners with either yellow or black bodies were getting bit 6 to 1 over a Kastmaster, I was using a Mepps spinner. As the fish get more established in the lake they will of course become more difficult to catch so hopefully this report will help you narrow down your options and get you some fish. 

Upper Salmon trout

Dad And I with limits on Friday.

See you on the water,

Big Ed

 

 

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