Fishing AT LOS VAQUEROS
Fernando Gonzalez of San Lorenzo caught his record-setting 16.42 pound trout with a gold Kastmaster in South Cove on Jan. 24, 2015. It's the last record set at the reservoir, and beat the previous mark by .27 pounds.
February 14, 2017
Trout are doing very well at Los Vaqueros. Stripers are slowing, and catfish are hit or miss.
A 14.7 pound catfish was caught using chicken liver this past week in South Cove along with 12.0 and 8.3 pound cats using anchovies.
Our boat rental discount is now 30 percent off on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. A three to five hour 16-foot rental is $35 and a full day rental is $50. The patio boats are $80.50 for up to five hours and $115.50 for a full day.
You can also purchase your 2017 California State Fishing License at the Marina. Bring your I.D. or an old fishing license. There are no increases in prices this year.
Through the end of February, we are open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Boats are due in at 3 p.m. We will be open regular hours on Presidents’ Day.
The reservoir is currently storing 137,200 acre-feet of water, 86 percent of capacity. This is the most water ever stored in the reservoir, and pumping is expected to continue through the month. The water temperature remains 57 to 58 degrees. Water clarity varies with the rain, but is murky now.
Fishing for trout continues to be good. They are being caught in South Cove and Oak Point as well as Peninsula Cove. The baits of choice for shore anglers are garlic-scented PowerBaits, nightcrawlers or Kastmaster lures. Trout average a pound and a half but range to over 5 lbs. There was a 1000 pound Lassen plant on February 8th. There will be a plant next week. Light tackle is important for catching trout with 4-6 pound test being plenty. Trout fishing is fair, mostly in the morning, with fish being caught from around the reservoir.
With boats, we are getting reports of fish being caught in Howden and Peninsula coves. There is no need for line heavier than 6 lb test.
Most anglers were focused on stripers or trout. Keep in mind that largemouth need to be 12 inches to be kept. Please release any big largemouth bass you might catch. They are the future of largemouth bass fishing in the reservoir. If you catch any undersized fish please release them gently and allow them to grow up.
Striper fishing has slowed due to the murkier waters from the rain. Shakers are the main action with striped bass. We are still seeing many undersized fish being caught for every keeper. From shore, cut anchovies or shad is the bait of choice. Just a reminder, stripers need to be 18 inches or more to be legal. Please release the small fish as quickly and carefully as possible. They are the future of our striped bass fishery.
Catfish are hit or miss with fish being reported out of Cowboy and South Coves. As the water warms we look to see more fish being caught. For those wishing to target catfish, nightcrawlers and chicken liver are the best choices of bait. A 14.7 pound catfish was caught using chicken liver in South Cove along with a 12.0 and 8.3 pound cats using anchovies. We encourage and appreciate the release of any monster catfish (15 lbs plus).
Frozen Bait Available At North Entrance Gate on Weekends
We have frozen bait available for purchase at the North Entrance gate (near Brentwood) on the weekends. We have anchovies, chicken liver and shad. You can only buy the frozen bait at the gate, not the watershed office.
Los Vaqueros, A Popular, Beautiful, Fishing Destination
Los Vaqueros is not only the largest reservoir in the Bay Area, but has also become a popular fishing destination.
Trout, stripers and catfish are commonly targeted. With the expansion of the reservoir in 2012, habitat for largemouth bass have been added and that fishery is expected to soon begin to produce exciting opportunities for largemouth anglers.
The beautiful Los Vaqueros Marina on the reservoir's south side near Livermore offers fishing licenses, bait, snacks and electric boat rentals.
On the north side of the reservoir near Brentwood, there are no services available, but anglers can park at the John Muir Interpretive Center and take a steep hike about a half-mile to fishing areas near the dam and in Peninsula Cove.
Here is a map of the watershed.
There are three fishing piers along the shore of the reservoir. The pier near the Marina is ADA-accessible.
The Marina and the south entrance to the watershed is accessible from Vasco Road at the Alameda-Contra Costa County line near Livermore. Here are Directions. The lake has been stocked with game fish including rainbow trout, salmon, catfish and largemouth black bass. The reservoir is available for day use only.
A California State Fishing License and a CCWD Daily Fishing Access Pass Permit ($5) are required for fishing. There is a $6 parking fee to enter Los Vaqueros.
Please call the Marina at 925-371-2628 for more information.