This past week while camping in Yosemite I was reminded of just how dangerous a good time outdoors can be. My campsite backs up to the Tuolumne River. One evening a father and son decided that they were going to float their kayaks down the river. As I was sitting by the river, I watched the father pass by, as soon as he passed by, I heard screaming up the river. Apparently, the boy’s kayak had flipped, and he was being tossed around by the current. Fortunately, there was a college group of students camped right where the boy flipped his kayak. They immediately came to his rescue. It was a scary couple of minutes for that boy. So scary that he told his dad that he was never going to get in a kayak again. It reminded me of how something so beautiful and soothing like a mountain river, can also be deadly. There are many people who’ve lost their lives while enjoying the outdoors. Something as simple as falling off a boat without a life preserver continues to take lives every year.
Bass fishing has started to get tougher for a lot of fishermen as the water temperatures are now in the seventies and post spawn patterns are making for smaller limits of fish. Anglers doing well are focusing on grass lines or throwing top water lures. A majority of the fish I caught recently while out were full of crawdads. Senko’s and Sweet Beavers are working well right now. Buzz Baits and Zara Spooks are a good choice for the morning and the evening. During the heat of the day top water frogs are starting to entice some of the bigger post spawn bass into biting. The striper bite has slowed down for a lot of people due to the increase of water temperature. The panfish bite has really picked up as the warmer water has brought a lot of fish shallow.
New Melones Lake:
The trout fishing has remained slow. Kokanee have been keeping anglers busy lately with lots of limits being caught. Angles are having luck while trolling between 20 and 40 feet deep near the spillway, dam, or off Glory Hole Point. Red, pink or Kevorkian Apex and pink or chartreuse R & K, Vance’s or Glitter bugs hootchies are catching lots of fish. Killer B’s and Uncle Larry’s Spinners are also catching limits. Lures should be trolled behind a dodger nickel prism and nickel green are attracting a lot of fish lately. Bass fishing continues to be good for anglers as there are a lot of fish being caught right now up shallow while using Senko’s and Carolina rigged Baby Brush Hogs. The top water bite continues to be good for those using shad imitators.
Lake Don Pedro:
Don Pedro is excellent for kokanee currently. Anglers are targeting areas of Graveyard Bay, Jenkins Hill, and Big Oak Island at depths between 40 and 50 feet deep. Pink seems to be the favored color - Uncle Larry’s Pinky, pink hootchies, pink Kokanee Killers, scented with pink Pautzke’s Fire Corn and trolled behind a Vance’s green or watermelon dodger at 1.2 mph for Kokanee to 16 inches. Bass fishing is good as many of the fish are in post spawn and seeking an easy meal. Top water in the morning and dragging small plastics during the day seems to be the formula for most anglers.
The kokanee bite has turned on lately. Anglers fishing for kokanee are catching limits while fishing right as the lake opens to around noon. Kokanee are being found by anglers trolling between 20 and 50 feet deep with pink hootchies tipped with shoe peg corn. Bass fishing like most of the lakes is good, especially in the morning hours there is a good top water bite for both largemouth and smallmouth bass. During the day anglers are doing well while fishing with small jigs or shaky head worms.
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