Friday, June 20, 2014

The Wonders of Ellis Lake

Ellis Lake is a strange fishery. It is a small man made pond in which water enters, but never exits.  This might explain why the water has a permanent visibility of only a few inches. The water is so opaque that it has hidden a few dead bodies in its past. 

It is no mystery now that Ellis has become a breeding ground for many exotic pets that have outgrown their tanks, which gives fisherman the opportunity to catch the occasional South American Pacu or arapaima (guy in FB group posted pictures)  in Northern, California. The water that comes into this lake never exits which keeps the exotic species from entering and possibly destroying other ecosystems. The interesting part is that this ecosystem houses these strange fish and they seem to coexist with the catfish, bass, crappie and bluegill that call this lake home. You know what that means… bring on the Peacock bass!

Russell and I hit the lake at around 2:00 armed with some crayfish, nightcrawlers and bone crusher (my 8 Wt. RLS+).  I was also armed with positive thoughts which I am convinced makes the difference between a bad day fishing and a great day fishing.

We had lines in the water with live craws within minutes. I also rigged up a second rod with a worm and bobber. I started by picking off some of the green sunfish from the cracks on the side of the lake rock. I was able to get into two of them. A bit later I tossed my bobber in deeper in hopes for one of the mammoth carp that roam these waters. There are big boys up to 20 lbs in there and I was aiming for one. at one point my bobber started moving to the side only it wasn’t a fish…

That was the first time I ever caught a turtle, which is definitely a milestone. The turtle was safely released and good thing it was because we later saw it hanging out with a couple of baby turtles.

We sat and waited for our catfish to come but they didn’t. A bit later I broke out bone crusher in hopes of a bass or piranha or something.  I took a black wooley bugger and went around the pond. I ended up catching a green sunfish in a shaded area and got a bass to chase my WB in the shallow, but no strikes. A bit later I changed it up to a Sarge’s Crappie fly and cast out to the deeper ends. An older gentleman came up and was watching me cast then asked if I had caught any. I told him a couple of green sunfish along the edge. He asked if it was hard and I told him, “No it’s easy, you just drag it close to the sides like this…” and when I said that I caught my last green sunfish of the day. He was pretty impressed. 

The old guy was fishing and ended up giving me some hot dogs he had which are the “go to” bait for Ellis lake. Unfortunately it didn’t do much for us. That was pretty much it for the day. The catfish weren’t having anything to do with our baits so we wrapped it up. 

** and I just realized that as I write this, we are officially in the last day of spring! That means a spring wrap- up is coming. Summer will be filled with Largemouth, catfish, striper, and hopefully some high country trout fishing.  Oh and come mid July I will continue my quest for my first King Salmon.

Total Fish: 3 green sunfish… oh and  + 1 turtle!


  1. Juan
    Quite a combination of creatures landed

  2. Turtles don't count. Oh, Ellis Lake, that's the pond in the middle of Marysville. Watch out for the Geese.

  3. Hey Juan, have you ever caught a goose. They count twice! My buddy Justin caught a very large angry turtle last year while we were carp fishing. Neither were very happy.

  4. I will shoot for a goose next time! haha