Like some of you I’m sure, my favorite TV shows are Mountain Men, The Last Alaskans, Moonshiners, Deadliest Catch, Swamp People, and most recently Lost. In the show Lost, the contestants are dropped off in a remote wilderness location, away from other competitors, with only five items. The person who lasts the longest wins $500,000. One of the biggest reasons for a person to quit is usually starvation. Many cannot catch enough fish or small game to keep them from starving. One day they’re there, and the next day they’re gone. Often after starving for five days or more, they’ll even lose a fish and have to walk back to their camp with nothing to eat that entire day. It’s really made me think about fishing for survival, without anything but a hook and a spool of line. As much as I take pride in my ability to fish, I don’t think I want to ever have to be in that situation. I’m pretty sure I can catch a few but there are days when I still struggle to catch a fish, even with all the latest technology. I’m pretty sure like a lot of the contestants, I too would have a difficult time catching them day in and day out.
Water temperatures have been in the high seventies to low eighties. The reaction bite for largemouth bass has been good lately especially when the wind breaks up the surface. There are also a lot of small schools of striped bass found working throughout the sloughs right now. Make sure to have your favorite topwater bait ready incase you encounter an active school of fish. Catfishing remains good during the evening hours and bluegill can still be found in bunches along the shallows.
New Melones Lake:
Kokanee fishing continues to be fair. Anglers fishing for kokanee are trolling as deep as 80 feet during the day. At night, the rainbows are being caught by those fishing around submersible lights with live minnows and power bait. Bluegill are being found right now in the backs of coves and caught by those using worms for bait. Catfish are being caught all over the lake right now but mostly from the shore during the night on anchovies and clams. Bass fishing continues to be good for numbers as many bass can be found in schools off points and main lake structure.
Bass are being caught in the top 10 feet of water on jigs during the day and on top water baits early in the morning as well as in the evening. Kokanee are being caught between 45 and 60 feet deep during the day by anglers trolling apex lures behind a sling blade. The bite is surprisingly great right now as there are a lot of limits being caught throughout the lake currently. Bluegills continue to provide steady action for those fishing small worms under a bobber around shoreline cover.
Fishing for bass has been fair to good as there are still a lot of fish to be caught up shallow on shaky head worms. There is also a lot of schooling activity to be found on the lake right now as a drop shotted Robo worm through visible schools of fish has been producing numbers. Fishing for kokanee and trout has been fair recently for anglers trolling between 45 and 70 feet deep with a pink hootchie behind a sling blade.
Fishing continues to be slow during the day for anglers fishing for bass and trout. Bluegills have been biting during the day on small worms in the backs of coves and around the dam area. Bass have been pushing the shad into the backs of coves and can be found feeding close to the bank. Bass are being caught at night on spinnerbaits, buzz baits, jigs, and brush hogs. At night some trout are being caught near the dam while fishing under a submersible light.
Tip of the Week:
A lot of anglers seem to think that fishing line doesn’t get weaker as it ages. I’ve found that to be untrue. Especially monofilament, like a noodle, it expands when in the water and contracts when outside of the water. The process weakens line over time making it brittle. I don’t recommend changing your line every time out but definitely wouldn’t rely on line that’s been sitting more than one fishing season. It’s also a good idea to test the strength of your line before every outing.