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Event Article: Pros and Press on Pardee Lake

Rain or Shine the Smallies come out for the Pros on Pardee Lake


Date: 1/27/08
Location: Lake Pardee, California
Event Dates: Jan 27th, 2008
Reviewer: Zander

Introduction: Winter fishing can be tough at times, but when the water is still cold it can be a great time to change your focus from largemouth to smallies. Lucky for us in Northern California there are some lakes that don't require anglers to make the tough choice between one or the other. Lake Pardee is one such lake and is home to both trophy smallmouth and largemouth. We spend a day fishing with the Pros to see just how they tackle the combo in the adverse conditions of winter.


Cal with Irvin "Bo" Marks the Tribal Vice-Chairman at Jackson Rancheria, a Casino/Hotel located nearby Pardee Lake


The Event: Ultimate Bass radio host and professional angler Kent Brown decided it was high time to kick this season into gear and put together the Pardee Pros and Press day in which press from across the nation would gather together to fish the lake one week before it would open to the public. The pros that attended the event included Corey Fenske, Russ Graves, Mark Blanton, Ryan White, Dean McDaniel, Greg Guiterrez, Bub Tosh, John Maes, Randy McAbee Jr, and RJ Bennett.


Out the back entrance and its a short walk over to the area where trucks and bass boats can park. Bo has made sure that Jackson Rancheria is "angler friendly"

On the press side there were representatives from all over the nation on both the print and online side. We came together today for a day of pre-fishing a week before Pardee officially opens. With our gear loaded up we watched the weather report all week, and as each day passed the predictions went from bad to worse. The region had just been pounded by two storms in a row, and we were set to fish in the beginning of a third. Still, the elements were not enough to keep the pros and press from a chance to test out some techniques and tackle on Pardee. To make it even more exciting Kent had four winners from his radio show contest come out and spend a day on the water as well.


The back of the Jackson Rancheria hotel and convention center

About Lake Pardee: Lake Pardee is one of the mother lode lakes which includes Lake Amador, Camanche, Salt Springs, New Melones, McClure, Don Pedro, and Tulloch. Pardee Lake is most famous for it’s unbelievable smallmouth fishery, in fact the current state record smallmouth came out of Pardee. The current recorded record is held by Harold Hardin and is 9.83 pounds. This beat the previous record set on Trinity Lake in 1971 which was 9.1lbs. 

The pros parked their boats in the back lot which is watched by security

The facilities at the lake are excellent and owned and maintained by Richard and Kerry Cooper. They run a first class operation complete with a café and recreation store, plenty of bathrooms, and a tournament capable launch ramp.

Zander and Bo talk in the lobby


A good place to stay overnight when coming out to Pardee, Amador, or Comanche is the ever expanding Jackson Rancheria casino and hotel. The hotel offers great rooms at reasonable rates, and is a great home base for multiple days of fishing on the local lakes. The parking area in the back of the hotel is designed to accommodate even the largest bass rigs.


To kick off the event the hotel prepared dinner for the pros and the press


Rather than making the trek at 3:00 in the morning Cal and I decided to head to Jackson Rancheria the night before, get a good rest, and see if we could give the pros a run for their money. We found the facilities at Jackson excellent, from the good food to the comfortable rooms, but what really won us over was the free wireless internet which allowed us to keep on writing and posting on the forum.


The next morning everyone heads to the lake early hoping to get fishing time in before the storm looming on the horizon makes it over the lake


Next Section: Time to fish for some smallies!









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