New Hogan Lake – Skunked.

Hogan Lake trip #3 2009

…maybe my last visit.

August 12, 2009

I believe these guys were waiting on the famous “boils” on New Hogan when stripers chase shad to the surface during a feeding frenzy. It would be a long wait for these fellas, I think. Up until a year or two ago, huge boils would erupt on the lake and some guys would just wait around for them, then speed over to the edge and toss lures into the frothing mess of feeding stripers.

It is my not-so-humble opinion that Hogan just isn’t what it used to be. A hot August day was just perfect for a lot of striper action, but this week’s trip in 100° weather was yet another skunk for ol’ FishWisher. Granted, I fished for just six hours, but that much trolling without a bump is very discouraging. My intent was to fish two day there, and bait fish under a light at night time. But after all that trolling in the heat, I was too disgusted to spend any more time trying for those finicky fish.

The water was 80°. For about an hour I anchored and just took in the glorious and secluded surroundings I found in one of the coves along the lakes edge. I enjoyed that hour of simply sitting in the boat and diving in a couple of times as much as any day this summer – and I should do that more often. I also cruised the lake at speed, checking out the conditions upriver. It was shallow up there, and not somewhere I’d likely find stripers.

The lake was the lowest I’ve seen it in the nine years I’ve fished it. This photo shows the old dam is high out of the water – and should be deep under water. Note the new dam in the background. I am hoping and praying for a wet rainy season this year – we sure need it!

Up close at the old dam. I’ve never seen so much of this old dam! Scroll down to compare this photo to the next one which was taken on June 24.More info on Old Hogan Dam here:

So… I think fishing Hogan is over for me this year. Perhaps things will improve there for next year. I sure hope so!

New Hogan Lake – 2009 Trip #2
Another ZERO 

June 24, 2009

It’s only June and the old dam is already rising high out of the low water.

I’m beginning to think Hogan Lake (in the low foothills east of Stockton, CA) will not turn on like it has in times past. I haven’t had a really good day of fishing there in years, and sometimes wonder why I keep trying. But I tried for over four hours rolling ‘chovies at 15′ to 35’ for no action at all. I spoke with two other boaters who were fishing and neither had a fish. Usually hot weather means good fishing there, and it was over 90° yesterday and the water was about 76° on the surface.

Next week I’m heading for Pardee unless it’s not windy on the delta (fat chance!). At least there I won’t be putting up with the lake lice!

I can’t complain too much – at least the weather was perfect and the earlier trolling time was calm and quiet.

Next week, maybe I’ll actually catch a fish at Pardee!

New Hogan Lake – 2009 Trip #1

May 7, 2009

The rods bent and ready… and not a pop all day!

I am addicted to the striper fishing on New Hogan Reservoir near Valley Springs, Ca. The lake is a US Army Corps of Engineers facility. Years ago this was a trout lake, and for some reason it was decided to stock striped bass one year, thinking they’d not reproduce – but they sure have! The stripers ate all the trout and Hogan is now one of three lakes in California where the limit is ten per day, not the usual three. And the usual size minimum of 18″ is removed so that any striper is a keeper. Even so, I’ve never caught a striper less than 18″ on this lake, nor have I caught any above 26″ or so. They are very uniform and – some say – stunted. But on rare occasion a 30+ pounder is caught.

FishWisher the boat sits at the end of a long ramp – the lake is very low this year and will likely get much lower.

FishWisher launched with downriggers mounted, ready for a day’s troll!

I trolled the lake for over five hours for nary a bump. My usual troll is one line at 20′ and another at 30′. That used to  be the hot set-up, and I marked several fish around 20′ to 25′ this day – but none were taking my rotating frozen anchovies.
Hogan was cool and cloudy in the morning…

…and sunny and breezy by afternoon. I have often sworn off Hogan after days like I just had, but I always manage to go back for another go at those very finicky stripers because…

…there’s always the chance for a great day on Hogan such this day back in 2004 when I caught the limit of ten and couldn’t even get them all on the stinger! Days like that keep me coming back to Hogan!

About FishWisher

Over the years I have posted many exciting fishing and boating stories here, but now in my seventies, it was time to sell the boat and find less demanding pastimes. All the fishing stories are still here! I will now post my travels aboard the motorhome and other activities. I hope y'all will still enjoy the fishing and boating adventures and perhaps peek in on my post-boating activities on occasion. Thanks for dropping in and I hope you enjoy your visit.
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