IONE – Lake Amador is well-known in Northern California trout circles for pumping out their own special brand of trout — the cutthroat/rainbow mix known as a ‘cutbow,’ but over the past few months, two lake-record rainbow trout have been landed. The Lockhart family operates the concession on the lake, and they have been raising the cutbows, rainbows and ‘Amagolds’ (aka ‘lightning trout’) in their own hatchery on site for decades. 1,000 pounds of trout were released last week with several in the double-digits, including ten fish in the 14- to 20-pound range. The cutbows are known for their hard-fighting quality, often coming out of the water several times before coming to the net.
It didn’t take long for one of these big fish to find its way to terminal tackle, breaking the lake-record for rainbow trout set only a few months ago in November 2020 by Jeremy Silvas of Sacramento at 19.12 pounds on a red/gold Kastmaster from the bank. In December 2020, Juan Garcia of
El Dorado landed the current lake-record cutbow trout at 20.12 pounds on chartreuse trout dough bait by the dam on 4-pound test. In contrast to these two big fish, the current lake record came on the troll, and it now stands at 19.96 pounds landed by Richard Bartoni of San Ramon. Bartoni was trolling on the surface with a bronze/gold Rapala on 4-pound test near the mouth of Jackson Creek in the back of the small reservoir. The new record came in at 32.4 inches long with a 22-inch girth and a height to 9.5 inches. Bartoni was on the lake early in the morning, and this is the key to success at Amador as the trout are generally near the surface and near the shorelines. Once boat traffic gets heavy on the small lake by mid-morning, the surface troll bite generally dies and will not start again until the late afternoon when most of the boats are off
Robbie Dunham of Koke Machine Guide Service also found success for a trophy by putting Robert Horton of San Jose onto a 16.6- pound cutbow running a Speedy Shiner at 11 feet, and their 10-fish limit weighed in at over 40 pounds.
The Lake Amador Resort has been planting approximately 1,000 pounds of cutbows, rainbows, and Amagolds per week, and the plants will continue through mid-May depending upon the water temperate. In the early season starting in October, bank anglers have the upper hand, but trolling improves considerably in the spring months as long as you get on the lake early.
The annual Lake Amador Trout Derby ends on March 28th, and 300 tagged trout were released for the derby.