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.
Los Vaqueros Fishing Report
February 20, 2018
Fishing is good with trout and striped bass being the main fish caught. We are still seeing catfish turning up here and there. A 6.13 pound trout was caught in Cowboy Cove with a Rapala. A 10.1 pounder came out of South Cove using PowerBait.
2018 Fishing Licenses are now available. Don’t forget to pick one up at the Marina. Bring a driver’s license or an old fishing license with you.
2018 Annual Parking Passes are also available at the Marina, the North Gate and the Watershed Office.
As of February 1st the Fishing Access Pass is $6.
The reservoir is currently storing 149,000 acre-feet. Water levels will slowly drop due to evaporation and absorption. The water temperature is between 54 and 56 degrees.
Our water clarity remains between good and fair.
If you are looking to rent a boat, it is a good idea to call ahead to check current wind conditions at (925) 371-2628 or check online here for weather conditions updated hourly. We continue to see occasional high winds, which stop boat rentals, so please check ahead if you are planning to rent a boat.
Our hours through the end of February are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. with boats due in by 3 p.m.
Starting in March, hours will be 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. with boats due in by 4 p.m.
The Interpretive Center is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
Trout are being caught in South Cove and Oak Point as well as past the Rock Wall. The baits of choice for shore anglers is garlic scented powerbaits, nightcrawlers or Kastmasters. Trolling with Rapalas has been reported as good to great in some of the coves. You want to be trolling at a depth of 5-9 feet. Trout average a pound and a half but range to over 5 lbs. There was a 1000 pound plant on February 19th. There will be a plant next week. Light tackle is important for catching trout with 4-6 pound test being plenty. Quite a few fish are being caught from Cowboy Cove to South Cove and from Peninsula Cove. A 6.13 pound trout was caught in Cowboy Cove with a Rapala. A 10.1 pounder came out of South Cove using PowerBait. Limits have been seen from shore in South Cove and from past the Rock Wall as well as around the lake from boats.
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. Several anglers have reported catching largemouth while trolling for trout and have been seen going after bait fish in the backs of Howden and Peninsula Coves.
Striper fishing is mixed with both shakers and legal sized fish being caught from around the reservoir. Cut anchovies or shad is the bait of choice, either from shore or a boat. 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 still being caught here and there even with the cooling water and mixed weather. For those wishing to target catfish, chicken liver and anchovies are the best choices of bait.
Whopper Mug rules are: Trout must be 8 pounds to receive a mug, Striped Bass need to be at least 10 pounds and Catfish is at 12 pounds or more. Largemouth Bass remains at 5 pound and must be released. ONLY a photo with a scale or a measuring tape showing the fish being at least 18” will count.
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 ($6) 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.
Ron Tobeck of Woodbridge shows a fine rainbow he caught from the north side of the reservoir on Nov. 28, 2017. He used Rainbow PowerBait to reel in this keeper.
Jarred Bitcon caught this impressive limit of trout in Howden Cove on lures on Nov. 12, 2017.
Safi Sherazi of Brentwood holds the largest of the five trout he caught from the north end of the reservoir on Nov. 1, 2017. He limited at a total of 14 pounds.
Yaken El Nakar with his 6.1 pound trout caught in the South Cove on Aug. 29, 2017.