That’s usually a term used by deep-sea fisherman when they get a big bite, but also best describes the fishing frenzy going on now in the Eastern Sierras.
The 2013 season trout opener on April 27 saw hundreds of San Diegans travel up Highway 395 to the unseasonably ice- and snow-free waters of the numerous alpine lakes and streams between Lone Pine and Bridgeport. Opening weekend temperatures got up to almost 80 degrees.
On the shores of the four lakes in the June Lake Loop – June, Gull, Silver and Grant - fisherman lined up hours before the season’s official start time of 5:03 a.m. (California regulations state 1/2 hour before sunrise.) The fish were temperamental after a few early morning hits. However, lots of folks in boats pulled up several 2–4 pounders.
Don Jones from San Diego got the award for the heaviest stringer at the annual Monster Trout contest in June Lake, catching his five trout limit totaling 14 lb., 14 oz.
We fished all weekend at “our spot,” which we had to share with 45 other anglers: “The Point” at Silver Lake. My 12-year-old son Trevor caught his limit easily, a 6 lb. 9 oz. stringer, older brother Johnny caught three, and I ended up without one bite – more common than not with many anglers on opening day.
Most lakes received a triple fish plant the week before the opener due to the open waters. With an improving economy, even the Department of Fish & Game has added more fish from their usually budget-constrictive hatcheries. And most of those fish will still be around for the summer fishermen.
In May, the fish bite has already slowed down for lures and deeper water fishermen due to the quickly changing weather. Late spring rainstorms, winds and dropping temperatures can ruin several days of fishing. But once summer fully engulfs the east-side Sierras at the western edge of the U.S.'s Great Basin, the fish will be biting regularly again with daytime highs in the 70s and 80s through September.
For the most up-to-date fishing tips, Power Bait colors and hot spots, contact the local experts, Andrew Jones at the Silver Lake Resort, (760) 648-7525, or Jeremy Ross at June Lake’s Ernie’s Tackle & Ski, (760) 648-7756.