Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?

Fished Bethany Reservoir (California Delta) yesterday, with my wife and kids.

We started off at Clifton Court Forebay in the early afternoon, but it was really windy and we were getting no action except slimy weeds. Not much fun for me, and even less so for the little ones. We'd never been out to the Delta to fish before, and were considering heading over to Los Vaqueros when the guy catfishing next to us suggested nearby Bethany reservoir and said a good bluegill bite was going on there, and gave us directions to get there.

So, after a while we packed up the baby and her sisters and headed down the road. With his directions and our GPS we soon found the place, and pulled into a wonderfully deserted parking lot and backed into a space beneath a pine tree right by were we wanted to fish.

It wasn't a spectacular day, but we ended up with a mixed bag of 11 BG and redear. Best was only 7 inches, but it's one of the thickest bluegill that size I've ever seen. They're obviously well fed in Bethany. A couple guys in a boat did really well. When they pulled up to the dock, they had over a dozen bluegill in their bucket, the smallest of which was bigger than our biggest. That guy's advice to fish Bethany was spot-on.

One downside to Bethany, should you go, is the one bathroom there is a pit toilet, and it's horrible, the worst I've ever seen. You don't want to go in there. Trust me. If you go to Bethany, bring something to pee in.

Other lake info: single-lane boat launch ramp, looks to be in good condition. Don't know if float tubing is allowed, but it's a self-serve lake (pay by iron ranger), and it doesn't look like anyone goes out there often, so it's unlikely anyone would check. I saw some local kids swimming, but didn't ask them if it's officially allowed or not. No signs regarding swimming, float tubes, etc., were seen.

Water was fairly clear, but locals say it gets cloudier when a lot of water is being pumped (Bethany is a California Aquaduct lake). Lots of near-shore weed growth. Looks like hydrilla, but I'm not sure. Species in the lake are Largemouth bass, crappie, striped bass, catfish, bluegill, and redear. May also have green sunfish, not sure. I didn't catch any, but nearby Los Vaqueros reportedly has them, so Bethany also might.

I expect we'll visit Bethany again, and may also try Los Vaqueros. If any of you live around the SF Bay area, maybe we could even meet up there sometime.

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Comment by JBplusThuy on September 14, 2009 at 11:42am
P.S. I forgot to mention that there's also no running water at the lake, so you'll want to bring your drinking water and some hand sanitizer.

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