The weather we’ve been having lately reminds me of just how difficult it is to compete as a tournament angler. Anglers competing this past weekend most likely spent several days pre fishing in warm calm water. Now that the tournament is finally here, the weather that they were practicing in has completely changed. Changing conditions make it extremely tough and can really get into an angler’s head. Last week for example, I purchased several items for fishing typical May weather. I’m not likely going to be able to use my new tackle until the weather changes back to warm sunny days. It happens all the time, eliminating a lot of the advantages of pre fishing. Some will say that pre fishing is not so much of a time to pattern fish as it is to find fishable areas. Admittedly, I struggle with that. Like a lot of anglers, I want to catch fish, pre fishing or not. If I was catching them on a certain bait or technique the day before, it’s going to be hard for me to do something different the next day. Some of the best anglers excel at changing with the conditions, making them tough for the stubborn angler to compete against.
Bass fishing continues to be great. The wind has been a problem for some during the day but early in the mornings when the water is calm it’s hard to beat a top water bait right now for bass. Once the sun gets high Senko’s and Sweet Beavers are the ticket towards catching decent numbers of fish. Bluegills have begun to make their way onto spawning flats, many post spawn bass can be found around the spawning flats looking for an easy meal. Striped bass fishing is beginning to slow down as all the reports lately have been about the shad fishing being wide open between Freeport and Clarksburg. Personally, I’ve never fished for shad.
New Melones Lake:
Trout fishing continues to be good right now for anglers trolling between 40 and 50 feet deep. Fishing for kokanee has really started to pick up also as anglers are catching nice fish while trolling between 40 and 60 feet deep with their favorite dodger and hootchie combo’s. Bass fishing has been great lately, Senko’s and Zoom Trick worms have been fooling a lot of post spawn fish. In the early morning hours Zara Spooks have been hard to beat. Night fishing for catfish is also starting to pick up, any major cove or creek arm is a good place to try. Anchovies, Sardines, or a ball of Nightcrawlers are always a deadly combination when fishing for catfish.
Lake Don Pedro:
The kokanee bite is good on the lake right now. Anglers are doing well while trolling a variety of different kokanee baits between 25 and 60 feet deep. With the water levels rising, the kokanee have been scattered which has caused anglers to vary depths throughout the day. Bass fishing continues to be good as there are plenty of fish to be caught up shallow and deep. The bass are currently in all three stages of the spawn. The biggest group of fish can be found between 20 and 35 feet deep.
Lake New Hogan:
Rolling shad or Anchovies in the main lake area has been very productive, for stripers 5 to 6lbs. Most fish have been holding between 15 and 25 feet deep. Bass fishing remains good as many fish can still be found shallow. The topwater bite has really started to take off during the morning hours. Some bed fish are still being found in the backs of coves.
Fishing for kokanee is great right now as anglers are doing well while trolling the river arm between 30 and 45 feet deep with micro hootchies. Bass fishing is also good as there are still a lot of fish up shallow on beds. Typically there’s a great top water bite early and late in the day during this time of year.
Tip of the Week:
One of the best things you can do for a bleeding fish that you plan on releasing, is to put it back into the water. Unlike us, a fish has blood that coagulates/clots when in the water. Often, the best thing to do for a bleeding fish is to leave the hook in and place it in the water until it stops bleeding.