Hunting clinics this Saturday

By: George deVilbiss
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Wild Turkey: A free one-day clinic will be offered in Manteca for any person wanting to learn many of the nuances to hunting this wild, wily bird. The clinic will be held from 1-5 p.m. Sat., Feb. 13 at the Bass Pro Shop store in Manteca. The clinic will cover a lot of information to help you be successful in the field, including hunting regulations, responsibilities, ethics and safety, proper firearms and ammo, proper clothing and habitats, huntable lands, along with care of the game after you’ve got the bird down to even cooking that bird. Online registration is available at Registered participants will be provided with a workshop agenda, a map to the facility, and a list of items to bring. Bear: The bear-hunting clinic will be a full day affair in Diamond Springs, just out of Placerville, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will be held at the Diamond Springs Memorial Hall. Bear hunting is becoming more popular in the state and there are some major changes possibly coming. Be sure to watch this column next week for that information. For hunters wanting to pursue and bag one of California’s black bears, this clinic will include information about bear biology, habits and habitat, styles of hunting bear, gear and garb, dog breeds that are used to hunt bear, pre-season scouting, bear signs, shooter positions and even how to field dress a bear. You’ll need to scramble as you must registered in advance at By registering, you’ll receive an email with a map to the facility, a list of items to bring and a workshop agenda. CURRENT FISHING Lake Pardee: Despite weather better for duck hunting than for sitting on the bank of a lake, the annual opener was well attended. Thousands of pounds of trout were planted prior to the opener and additional plants were made during the opening weekend. There are places all around the Rec Area Cove where good rod bending action is found. Some can be just a few steps from your vehicle while others may require a little hike. Just dunk Power Bait, eggs or a crawler off a sliding sinker and you should get bit. Cast-retrieve a lure with your second rod with most shiny little lures will create interest. Keep changing lures, however, until you do get bit. Lake Amador: The trout action continues to be good. They’ve got their own hatchery, raising what’s known as the Donaldson Trout, a cross between a cutthroat and a rainbow, simply known as a cutt-bow. They put in thousands of pounds of trout weekly, some big catchables and some very big lunkers. Limits might be hard to come by but you could put three on the stringer by soaking Power Bait, Power Eggs, or a crawler. Power Worms have also been working great. Bassing is tough with the colder weather. Lake Camanche: More than 12,000 pounds of trout were planted in January alone. Not all of those trout were caught and the plantings continue for February. Weather has kept many anglers off the water, but those who have showed up have been rewarded with both trout and bass. Trollers are finding good concentrations of trout at the lower end of the lake, around Hat Island, the dam region and the big coves on either side of the dam. Or, go up the lake into the Narrows. I’ve also done well in the North Shore region just outside the buoy line from the ramp. The pond on the south side is also well attended and shows great catching success. Trout can be finicky. The lure that was red-hot yesterday may not get bit at all today. Keep changing until you regularly get bit. A threaded night crawler is also always good. There are spots, largemouth and smallmouth in this lake, and right now you can nail spots in the four-pound class. Jigs, worked really slow, in brown or purple, should get you bit and drop-shotting Robo worms have worked well. The bass are ranging in depths from 10 to nearly 60 feet down. American River: You’re going to be mostly bored, doing a lot of casting, drifting, reeling in and doing it over and over before you get bit. The action is really slow. But, there are steelhead in the river. You’ve just got to have exactly what they want at that minute and to literally bounce it off their nose. Bait is going to be the top getter with salmon roe being No. 1 and a crawler No. 2. Any of the deeper pools from Goethe Park all the way up river to the dam should and can produce a steelhead. Sacramento River: A couple of months ago, anglers were chasing salmon in the short, allowable season in the Knights Landing region. That season closed Dec. 31, and with the recent rains and river rising, it’s sturgeon. And a few are biting on pile worms and a slab of anchovy. Bodega Bay: The huge, Humboldt squid in massive schools remain in the area and they’re hauling them in hand over fist. It’s totally a wide-open bite. They’ll take some cleaning, but if it’s calamari steaks you want, now is the time to get on the water. Average squid is 30-35 pounds and there’s the occasional lunker over 60. Collins Lake: They haven’t started their private plants yet, but DFG put a bunch of trout in the lake. Lake is rising rapidly and will definitely be full by the time all the snows melt. Trolling and bank slinging are both showing their share of successes with some trout near the three-pound mark. Try the upper end of the lake for some of the lake’s big catfish. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, contact George directly at GeorgesColumn@AOL.COM.