It’s been a few years since I’ve fished team tournaments. This year I’ll be fishing a circuit that starts this month and ends in October. In preparing for the upcoming season, I’ve had to update some of my cold weather clothing. The one thing I don’t want to be is cold. Our first two tournaments are at Lake Oroville and Lake Shasta. Learning from my past mistakes, I cut no corners in purchasing cold weather fishing clothing. What I’ve learned from being out in the cold is that I’d rather spend more money on quality gear than to be stuck out on a boat freezing. Also, if taken proper care of it could possibly be a one time purchase.
The striped bass really seem to be scattered right now. Anglers are having a tough time pinning them down with one specific pattern. Those having the most luck are moving from spot to spot while covering a lot of area. The techniques being used are both live and artificial baits. It’s really just a matter of finding the fish. Bass fishing is tough right now as anglers are advised to use lighter lines and smaller baits as the water has gotten real clear in a lot of areas. Most anglers are choosing to use a drop shot rigged worm along deep weed edges.
Lake New Melones:
Trout continue to bite for a lot of anglers who are fishing off the bank. Anglers are fishing around Glory Hole Cove and catching trout up to two pounds. Currently the hot bait has been Power Bait. Anglers trolling are catching fish up shallow but of the smaller size giving bank anglers the advantage. Anglers are doing well while top-lining and using side planers. A single night crawler threaded onto a Wedding Ring behind a Sling Blade is hard to beat. Bass fishing remains consistent as the bass have moved deeper. The bigger bass are being caught by swimbaits as they are definitely following the trout up shallow. For numbers try targeting points and backs of creeks with soft plastics and jigs.
Lake Don Pedro:
Fishing for trout is hit or miss on the lake right now. Anglers having any luck are varying depths while trolling their favorite trout lures. Like the trout the schools of shad are moving up and down through the water column making it difficult to pattern them. The salmon bite is expected to improve as we get closer to February. Bass fishing has slowed right now as anglers are struggling to find a consistent bite anywhere on the lake. There have been a few anglers that have been able to catch fish on spoons while searching for schooling fish.
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 getting their money’s worth in most cases. Power bait has been the ticket either fished off the bottom or beneath a bobber.
Lake Pardee is scheduled to re-open February 15th.
The South Shore Pond seems to be the hot area right now; anglers are doing well while fishing with Power Bait. North shore bank fishing is still producing limits this week, mostly in the early morning hours when the water is coldest. South shore has a couple of good reports as well. Bass fishing remains fair, anglers are catching fish while working small plastic baits along the bottom.
Tip of the Week:
Fishing during the winter is one of the most dangerous times of the year. Especially while alone, a fall into the water can be deadly. If you’re going to be fishing alone, I highly recommend you keep your life jacket on. A fall into the water with winter clothing on, combined with the shock that occurs to our body when falling into ice cold water, makes wearing a life jacket more important than ever.