Striper And Trout Fishing At Los Vaquerous In Livermore California 3/26/13 & 4/2/13

We going almost weekly to our favorite lake on a rented boat. Today when we go to the lake about 8 am, boats could not go out because of high winds. We hiked about a mile with all our gear to a spot that looked good. Wind subsided about 10 am and boats were allowed to out. Not wanting to make the hike, we decided to stay on shore since we had fish already. I caught my two trout just as boats were allowed out.

I was fishing with Berkley Power Eggs with Garlic. I was using very light micro lite outfits with 6 lbs line with a small eggs sinker. I was using a #4 circle hook with 4 Power Eggs on the hook. Circle fishing hooks are being used by more catch and release fishermen because they are safer for the fish. After a fish takes your bait, they usually turn away to kill their meal. The circle fishing hook slides back through the fish’s mouth to the jaw corner and then hooks the fish in the mouth. Circle fishing hooks reduce the chance of a deeply hooked fish. Catching the fish by the jaw makes it easier to unhook and release. Hook set is not needed when using circle hooks.

I was waiting for a bite. All of a suddenly a large trout started jumping out of the water about 4 - 5 times. My pole did not move, no indication of a fishing on. From experience, I knew the trout had taken my line, even if my pole showed no movement. This happens at times when using a egg sinker (also known as a sliding sinker). Egg sinkers have a hole in the middle which your line goes through. When a fish takes your bait, the sinker stays on the bottom, but the fish takes up the slack in your line and your poles at times show no movement. When the fish feels the hook, they take to the air.

This rainbow put up a very good fight. The circle hook was deeply in-bedded, and has not been hooking trout in the jaw corner as I wanted. This rainbow weight in at 5.15 lbs and was 21 1/2″.


My second rainbow was caught on the same outfit. This time my rod looked like it was snagged. The rod was bowed, but not moving. I start to reel in trying to free the snag. Then I notice the fishing was on. The fish in the middle was my second fish. It weight in at 2.17 lb.


Denis caught his trout on a spoon.


Calvin caught is trout on Berkley Power Egg with Garlic.


After the morning winds, the lake was flat like glass. This area can be very windy. Look at the windmills in the background.


Fishing at Los Vaquerous is like fishing in a private lake. It was completed in 1999, and I have been fishing here since 2003. There is never any fishing pressure. Lake was expanded from 100,000 acre to 160,000 acre feet. Water level is at 120,000 at present time.


Power Eggs work good for trout, but once in a while, you can catch them on plastic worms. Here is a rainbow I caught last December on a Senko plastic worm. It was 9 1/4 lbs.

lv b1.JPG

The following week on Tuesday 4/2/13 we were able to take a boat out. Water was flat with no wind. It rained the day before, and another weather front was coming in Thurdays. Fishing was slow all morning with no bites and no fish. We moved around trying to locate the fish, trolling from spot to spot. We got caught up with our sleep.


Finally we found fish at one of our favorite spots. Denis caught a stripers using a hook full of nightcrawlers. Couple of mnutes later he landed a trout using nightcrawlers. An hour later I caught the trout on the right using my Power Eggs with garlic.


With the expansion of the lake completed, the lake will now hold 160,000 acre feet of water. The old level capacity was 100,000 acre feet. Current water level is 120,000 acre feet and raising. All our old fishing holes with structure like tree and rocks are now deep underwater. Fishing this lake now is almost like fishing a new lake. With the water raising, trees are being flooded creating new structure. Here are some of the trees that will create new structure. They were completely out of the water a few weeks ago. Water will be 20 feet higer than the present levels. We are trying to mark the future fishing holes for later.





So... what do you think? Please leave me a comment.


  • RuscatRods: Awesome trout Ron sure looks like a fun time. I doubt I’ll be catching any that big Saturday but who knows. Thanks for sharing your pics.
  • timmy: Looks like you had a great day ron. Thanks for sharing your catch with us. Sure hope the weather changes here soon, i would like to get out and soak a line, but am waiting for snow to melt away
  • Ron: I always think of back East while fishing here winter time. Lucky to fish year round in California .
  • brian scott: when is the best time of year to cath trout at the lake?
  • Ron:

    Now is good. Next month will be better. Los Vaquerous is havithereof grand opening April 20 with a trout plant of 7,000 lbs of trout (not one 7,000 lbs trout). Plant will take place 1 or 2 days before the 20th. On April 20th will be a trout derby. Parking will be free, but daily permit is required for $4.50. Fishing will be great after the fish plant.   

  • Sigi: looks so beautiful there... thanks for sharing!
  • Ron:

    Slow fishing 4/2/13, but still fun.  

  • Chris: 5-27-17. I’m new to this website. Would like to express my gratitude for the detailed accounts of fishing experiences posted. Thorough. Lake conditions. Bait. Etc. one thing that’s consistent from my 50 years experience fishing on both coasts and numerous trips outside our USA....... most lures catch the fishermen, but not the fish :-). It’s crucial to check with the local fishermen / women. For what it’s worth, I’ve rescued many of my trips by leaving the trusted or gimmicky products in my tackle box and going with baits that are terrestrials at the location . Simple hooks (Kahles are my favorite) light sinkers and areas of stream influx to lakes or in the streams themselves. Where legal of course. Best wishes. Keep it simple.
  • Chris J.: I have enough tackle to prove that most lures catch the fisherman and not the fish......and the simplest spinners, spoons, top-water poppers, etc. and designs my grandfather used still work the best in evaluating fishing conditions and/ or their interests in feeding. When that fails. I switch to the smallest hooks, weights and lines with bait that will entice strikes. Let the tackle do the work. Example, I landed a 10+lb largemouth bass in Cappell Cove- Lake Hennessy CA on 6lb Ande Line, a tiny Shakespeare reel and 4.5 ft fiberglass rod baited with a 3" minnow on a #6 Kahles hook while trout fishing. Took awhile. Made for great photos at release. Ironic..... spent decades catching them in Southeast US. And never came close to this size.
  • Chris J.: Correction !! That was Lake Berryessa. However, Lake Hennessy in Napa County off the Silverado Trail is one of the best kept secrets around. Hmmmmm. Or it was ;-)
  • Ron: Welcome Chris. Lake Berryessa is great lake to fish. We have caught smallmouth and largemouth there.
    Your right about lures catching fishermen. How many of us pack 1 or 2 dozen lures, but use only 1 or 2 of what we bring?
    Tell us about Lake Hennessy.
  • Chris J: Thanx Ron...... I’ve done best on Hennessy during cooler months. Late fall thru spring to early summer. Powerbaits work well from shore for trout and Panther Martins ( black body with brass blade and yellow body with black blade ) I rig similar to a Carolina. A few small split-shot 18-24" from lure. The lake is temperature sensitive. Heat destroys the action. Fish calm coves and points opposite wind direction. Early am and late evening are best for bass. I’ve been successful with medium size (2-3") top water and spinners 6-8 ft. I follow the "dark day-dark lure. Bright day-bright lure " philosophy. Also, via a California F&G Warden.... the lake has strong oxygen depleted zones in warm weather.
  • Chris J: Also........ I regularly caught trout and bass with live minnows. Live worms, not so much. I’d advise taking your camera. I have some outstanding photos of this lake. Sunrises and sunsets. The east end where the hwy will take you to Berryessa.... a wide shallow stream follows the road to the lake. You’ll see every type of bird under the sun. Egrets. Ducks. Predatory. Etc. the place is quiet and uncrouded. Great place to take my grands.
  • Ron: Thanks for the tips. Do they have boat rentals at Hennessy?

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