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Free Kids Fishing Day recap

Gary Heffley author photo,

By Gary Heffley
03/16/16 -- To recap the Free Kids Fishing Day held this last Saturday at the Bass Pond in the BLM Sacramento River Bend Area two words about cover it, Windy and Rainy! In a scene not unlike Caddyshack's green side meeting of the Priest and Carl the Groundskeeper where the immortal word's.”I don't think the hard stuff has started yet” were uttered a little over 2 dozen youngsters braved the elements in hopes of landing a few trout.

A generous plant of 2,000 pounds of trout were made with some also dropped into the nearby Coyote Pond. A hardy contingent of volunteers were on hand geared up in a variety of rain gear to assist as needed and the Tehama County Search and Rescue volunteers held a hamburger and hot dog fundraiser on site. The only hitch in the well laid plans was that Mother Nature had plans of her own. Forty-mile-an-hour gusts and driving rain can and did put a damper on a party.

But those who came out caught fish!

Now, the flip side of this story is that there is now some great opportunities to enjoy catching a relatively easy limit of trout in these ponds as there are plenty to be harvested. The trout were placed in these ponds as a put and take angling opportunity. The ponds' water temperatures will not sustain a year round population of trout. In fact the window of opportunity may last a little more than a month or so. So, if you are in the area, drop in and enjoy some great pond fishing. These ponds are great for a family outing.

A fun filled day on Kid's Free Fishing Day. Photos courtesy of Eric Coulter of BLM, and Monty Currier, CDFW.
A fun filled day on Kid's Free Fishing Day. Photos courtesy of Eric Coulter of BLM, and Monty Currier, CDFW.

I visited Coyote Pond today and despite the need to harvest these trout, I caught and released 10 in about 3 hours slow rolling spinners and slow retrieving my old reliable red and white Daredevle. Many of the strikes were occurring very close to shore sometimes less than 10 feet from the bank. A few trout also were taken by other anglers using Powerbait floated above an egg sinker and night crawlers under a bobber.

A fun filled day on Kid's Free Fishing Day. Photos courtesy of Eric Coulter of BLM, and Monty Currier, CDFW.
Memories and plenty of fish at Bass Pond

For those dropping by the Bass Pond which received the majority of the plant (1,500 pounds) I strongly suggest worms or night crawlers on a short leader just 18 inches to 24 inches under the bobber. The Bass Pond has quite a bit of weed growth just under the surface making the use of longer leaders problematic.

Both Ponds offer great access off Bend Ferry Road, are well signed, with ample parking and restrooms at each. Bend Ferry Road is reached off Jelly's Ferry Road north of Red Bluff by turning east off the Jelly Ferry's Highway 5 exit.

Another Free Kid's Fishing Day event is planned for April 16 at Anderson River Park in Anderson, just south of Redding. Hopefully, Mother Nature will be more cooperative. Full details on this event will be available soon.

Gary Heffley has been a valued contributor to MyOutdoorBuddy for over seven years serving as manager, sales representative and reporter for much of Northern California. He is an avid outdoorsman and loves to fish and write about his adventures. He has long history in the Sporting Goods field and is presently managing the Gift Bar and Camping Department at Sportsman’s Warehouse in Redding.

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