Recently, while checking out of a hotel we were staying in, I spotted a boy that was no older than 12, sitting there with a Bass Pro Shops hat on. To some, that may not matter much. To me, it mattered a lot. I spent an entire day in Disneyland the day before and saw mostly Disneyland hats being worn. I immediately thought to myself, of all places to see a Bass Pro Shops hat! This kid must have the “fishing bug,” as the old timers used to say. I couldn’t help to not be reminded of myself when I was his age. There’s no way a Disneyland hat, or any hat for that matter was going to replace my Shimano Fishing hat! I was kind of in a hurry so I told him “that’s a great hat,” he responded “thank you sir.” I wish now that I had a little more time to talk fishing with him but I didn’t. I spent the next four hours driving to Arizona, thinking about all the times I was made fun of by other kids my age for wearing my favorite fishing hat. I’m not sure if it’s the same today as it was back then but it wasn’t cool to be wearing a fishing hat, especially at Disneyland. For someone that’s spent nearly a lifetime fishing it was great to see that the “fishing bug” is still out there.
Dealing with the fog has been the biggest problem for anglers lately. The striped bass bite is decent right now for those drifting live bait or trolling broken backed rebels. Also anglers are doing well while fishing with pencil poppers and fish traps in shad colors. Bass fishing is good for those anglers who know how to effectively fish a jig. Black and blue is a good color right now. Look for areas where the water is a little deeper but close to shallow water. Some anglers are choosing to fish the backs of sloughs while targeting wood.
Lake New Melones:
Trout fishing is very good right now for anglers fishing both from the bank and from their boats. Anglers trolling are having luck while trolling from the surface down to 20 feet deep. Bank anglers are doing well using Power Bait or night crawlers to catch their limits. For those fishing from the shore it’s best to move up and down the shoreline until you locate a school of fish. Trollers are scoring with blade/crawler combinations, Needlefish, Excels, or Vance’s spoons in shad patterns such as: natural shad, chrome, or Cop Car. Brown trout have been taken on plugs such as Rapala J9’s, Sebile Magic Swimmer’s, or a River2Sea S-waver trolled fast over structure. Bass fishing has gotten tough, as almost all of the fish being caught are being found deep. Anglers are using drop shotted worms and spoons to catch bass once they’re located.
Lake Don Pedro:
Bank fishing is good right now for anglers fishing for trout. Anglers fishing for trout are doing well while using live minnows under a bobber. There currently is very little fishing pressure on the lake, most anglers are preferring to fish New Melones. Bass fishing has gotten tougher as the water has gotten colder. This time of year it’s important to work your baits slowly as the fish have become very lethargic.
Anglers fishing off the bank are enjoying the action as the trout are biting. Most of the anglers catching them are using power bait fished off the bottom in 25 feet of water. Bass fishing is tough right now as it’s been really hard to find them. Anglers having any success are reading the bottom with their depth finders and locating small schools. Once finding those schools they are dragging small jigs or drop shotted worms through and around the school for limited bites.
Heavy loads of trout are being planted into the lake right now on what seems like a daily basis. Anglers fishing off the bank are doing well while using Power Bait either fished off the bottom or beneath a bobber. Anglers trolling for trout are having luck from first light up until 1 p.m.
Tip of the Week:
Many people are unaware of the money saving possibilities that are available to them when it comes to purchasing their annual fishing license. I highly recommend going to the Department of Fish and Game’s website and researching the available discounts before going out and paying full price.