Time to get the boat ready for spring use

Fishing report: Trout biting at Folsom, Collins lakes
By: George deVilbiss/Special to Gold Country News Service
-A +A

Most boats have done nothing but sit on the trailer all winter — some in garages or driveways, some covered and others open to nature’s elements.

Some users religiously clean their crafts. Most of us, however, simply put the boat back on the trailer, haul it home and park it in its resting spot until the next trip.

Because of the various incursions of materials in the waters, your boat will attract them like a magnet. When boats are trailered, it’s nothing unusual to see the lower portion become stained from dirt and other stuff on the waterways.

With spring quickly approaching, you should be getting your boat ready for the season. You should take care of the motor and the visual affect as well.

You have a bunch of money tied up in that boat. To protect that investment, take care of it each time you use it. Try some of the following tips:

  • Keep a can of WD-40 handy. It has many uses and belongs in your boat-cleaning kit. It can remove fish scents from carpet, but follow any application with soap and water. WD-40 also will remove road tar from your vehicle, boat and trailer with no adverse affect to the finish.
  • Wax your boat to protect it from oxidation and minimize staining from the elements. However, don’t wax your boat with the same wax you use on your vehicle. Some brands meant for your vehicle will deteriorate the gel coating on your fiberglass boat. Some people wax their aluminum boats to minimize oxidation. Any car wax will work on aluminum with no adverse effects.
  • Live wells have sat all winter with the lids closed. That means with any moisture remaining, the well probably will have remnants of fish, mildewing and mold. Flush the wells by mixing baking soda with hot water. Do the same thing if you have a built-in ice chest. After you’ve cleaned it, wipe it down with a couple drops of vanilla on a paper towel to make it smell fresh and sweet. Leave the towel in the ice chest until you’re ready to use it.
  • Get rid of unsightly water spots with a 50/50 mix of water and white vinegar.
  • Those who boat in salt water know to wash their boats immediately after trailering, but you should do the same even if you don’t boat in salt water. Rinse it with fresh water and wipe it down with a chamois cloth.
  • Lastly, stay away from power washes, unless you want to replace your carpeting. Power washes will separate the carpet from the floor.


Current fishing


Lake Pardee: The lake currently is 15-18 feet below spill. It could be a bigger problem this summer, as there isn’t a massive amount of snow above the lake to make a long-term effect. For now, bank fishing has been the best way to go. Trollers are working hard to get bit, mostly near the face of the dam, the Rock Wall and upriver as far as Columbia Gulch. No word on kokanee yet, and brown trout are staying quiet. Those doing the shore-casting thing behind the boathouse, Rainbow Point and Blue Heron Point are scoring. Power Bait with glitter and garlic works well. Cast-retrieving a flashy lure with your second rod while you wait for the bait to get bit almost assures you of a limit.

Folsom Lake: All this great weather has been a turn-on for trout. The trout-salmon bite has been in its prime. Thread the tail third to half of a crawler on a hook and run it behind a dodger. In early mornings, run it shallow for trout and down as much as 45 feet for salmon. Some lures, such as an Apex, also will attract a bite. The water is warming, and bass have become more active. Jigs, a variety of plastics and even lip-hooking a live minnow will attract a bite. Most are in the 15- to 20-foot range. Around the rocks at Beals Point and around Dyke 8 would be good bets.

Collins Lake: A big planting was made recently totaling 1,800 pounds of trout. Of those, 900 pounds were rainbows ranging from 1-1½ pounds, and the other 900 pounds were dedicated to trophy ’bows from 3-10 pounds. These fish will be hungry and will enjoy checking out their new digs in the lake. From shore, get Power Bait, eggs or a crawler on a sliding sinker out and you’re going to get bit. Troll with a crawler or any flashy little lure and you’re going to get bit. The lake is in its prime right now.

Clear Lake: Bass busted out with a wide-open bite. What we’ve experienced in good weather has only been better in that region, and the water has warmed tremendously. This lake is known for big bass, and they’re biting just about anything thrown their way. For those not wanting to continually cast and crank artificials, minnows under a bobber also are getting bit.

Camp Far West: There are some nice bass in this lake, and clearing water has been the ticket for getting into the bite. As with most lakes, the water is warming and bass are becoming much more active. The rocks around the dam-spillway, Rock Creek arm or the many coves in the Bear River section are always good for bass. A team fishing in a tournament checked in a limit of five bass that totaled just under 13 pounds. Their biggest fish was a hair over 4½ pounds. No word on crappie. It’s a tad early for the slabs to be schooling and biting.

Lake Oroville: The lake is 80 percent and should fill to capacity with the snowmelt, though it certainly won’t stay that way long. Remember, the Department of Fish and Wildlife removed the slot limit at this lake. Oroville now is equal to bass fishing most other lakes in the state — a 12-inch minimum. Jigs, swim baits, Senkos, just about anything you throw at them, if it’s presented correctly, should get you bit. When the storm moves out, the sky clears and the temperature warms, bass fishing should explode. They were just beginning to move into the shallows and were being found from 5-20 feet down in the coves, deeper if you fish off the points.

Boca Reservoir: Despite all the warm temperature, there’s enough ice on the lake to safely ice fish. The lake is less than 40 percent, which might not bode well for this summer. Those boring a hole through the ice around the dam are scoring on rainbows. Eggs, Power Bait and even Bay Shrimp are getting bit the best.

Contact George deVilbiss at