Hello and 4/6 Calero Report

My name is Craig Hanson. I moved to San Jose from Minnesota last year where I spent my time chasing walleyes, pike, muskies, smallies, salmon, steelhead, and lake trout. Before leaving MN, I had just started to get into walleye tournament fishing. I have been lurking these message boards for long enough and am now able to be on the water instead of only from shore. I look forward to learning more about the Bay area's catch/release trophy fishing opportunities. I will be targeting Bass, Stripers, Sturgeon, Salmon, Steelhead, and Trout. I am looking for a hardcore fishing buddy and would welcome any opportunities.

I made it out to Calero to break in my new portable boat (10.5' Achilles Inflatable and 8hp Honda) and see if it can catch fish. After looking at the lake maps, I started in the small cove south of the damn. I didn't find any crappies or bass in shallow. My plan was to keep working deeper until I found something on the Vexilar and then go explore Cherry Cove. At the main lake point south of the damn, I finally was marking fish both suspended and on bottom in 25 to 40 feet of water. I first targeted the suspended fish thinking they may be crappies with small jig and tails. That didn't produce so I switched to a larger PK Flutterfish spoon to target the fish on bottom. I caught 2 18" and one additional nice one came unhooked on the way up. This was my first time catching bass that deep and that neutral spoon presentation really got some good strikes out of them (fishing with 12lb fireline and flouro leader so I could feel all). I also got to use my ice fishing flasher for open water jigging.

Hey Craig ,

Welcome to Cali , liked your post and the looks of your fishing set-up. My names Peter I live in mountain view and fish as much as I can which is not enough because I have 2 small children. I target bass mostly but do fish for trout as well. I'm headed to Livermore this coming Saturday to fish and camp at lake Del Valle. I like this lake because there is a speed limit so you you don't have to deal with the water skiers and jet ski traffic! I have an 18ft pontoon boat and a kayak I might bring both depending on which of my fellow fishing buddies can make it so far only 1 just to fish on Saturday. I thought this lake might interest you because it has smallmouth stripes rand largemouth as well as trout , crappie and catfish. If interested in coming out this weekend let me know , there will most likely be plenty of room to camp also if interested.
I. Have read a lot of post on this site but this is my first time posting. I have fished the south bay lakes Calero , Anderson and coyote quite a bit. I'm always interested meeting fellow fishermen and learning new techniques to catch fish. A friend just texted and said Anderson has water in it again maybe it will open to boating soon. My email is peterjboe@yahoo.com
Welcome!, both of you.
Nice report. I gotta' say, coming from the "Land of 10,000 Lakes", you may find things a bit crowded here...
I visited MN once when I was young and thought it was pretty cool. I would love to revisit and do some pike and musky fishing (not to mention the smallies!). The boundary waters look amazing too!
Welcome to the Bay Area and the forums! Nice report, hope you find a lot of success in our local waters! I like how you're adopting your methods out here, I don't think I've ever seen anyone post where they caught bass using a spoon like that!
Thanks for the welcomes.

I do recommend people to visit MN. I grew up about 50 miles south of Ely and the Boundary Waters. We considered that a weekend trip that I definitely took for granted looking back. What I am missing here is not the big name places, but the quantity of national forest campgrounds/public land on lakes everywhere (and out on the lakes where you boat to campsites). It was nothing to load up the boat Friday afternoon and get somewhere where you could have your boat in the water pulled up on shore and throw up a tent within 50 feet of there. That is what I miss so far.

As far as my lure choice on Sunday, I saw plenty of guys casting jigs and senkos with slow action from the couple guys I talked to on the water. Based on that, I chose to upsize and keep my lure in their face once I found fish on the electronics. Since it was sunny and clear, I went flashy. Vertically jigging spoons is a standard MN ice fishing technique for neutral fish that doesn't get used enough in summer. When I say neutral fish, I was able to see one of the first fish I caught come in near my lure on the flasher but it didn't smoke it. It followed it up a little as I worked the lure and then swam off. I then went to banging it on the bottom to stir the bottom up and try to invoke a bite. That worked and the fish came back and finally committed. It is hard to stay perfectly over fish and your lure in a boat like that so I being that worked once, I started drifting the area working the bottom which allowed me to cover ground and keep my bait in that strike zone.

If that hadn't worked, I would have started trolling one of those spoons and one of either Live Target/PK/Rapala diving minnow bait just to cover ground and hunt for interesting spots or fish.
Hey Craig - thanks for posting your report. I have not ventured to Calero this year but I see from your pics that the water level is not as bad as the other reservoirs. I would not have thought of jigging in 20-40' of water, good call!
Hi Craig and welcome to SJ! You're gonna love the fishing in the bay area, weve got some good Large mouth, and striped bass fisheries, as well as the Delta a bit north. Good to see you caught em at Calero and I'm liking the inflatable. Pretty cool.