I’m sure all of you are excited about the rain we’ve been getting this winter season. I’ve been keeping an eye on lake levels of our local lakes and they’ve all been rising. A majority of our smaller lakes are near full, while our bigger lakes like New Melones and Don Pedro are still below being fully operational. Fortunately we still have plenty of time for more rain and snowmelt runoff. Whenever water levels increase rapidly, it’s important to be careful while boating. Everything that’s been washed up onto shore is now floating in the water. “Widowmakers,” is a term that boaters use when describing large floating logs. Hitting one of these while travelling at a high rate of speed can be catastrophic. There have been numerous incidents of boaters running into logs as well as other floating debris right after a big storm. I’ve personally seen tires that were suspended right below the surface, logs, bottles, and huge sections of peat moss floating. Fortunately I’ve never hit one of them, but I’ve seen and heard of others that haven’t been so fortunate. So, be careful out there if you’re venturing out, and as always, make sure to wear a lifejacket.
The water temperature is starting to rise ever so slightly causing anglers to get excited about fishing for bass on the Delta. The last report that I read, the water temperatures were nearing 50 degrees in the West Delta. Anglers fishing for bass are doing well while flipping and pitching black and blue jigs around tulle points and islands. Most areas on the Delta are muddied up right now making it difficult for anglers who are fishing for striped bass. Currently there are very few reports of anglers having any luck while fishing for stripers.
Lake New Melones:
Trout fishing continues to be very tough for anglers despite being planted with truckloads of trout almost weekly. 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. The lake continues to rise, but hasn’t yet risen enough for more than one boat ramp to be open. Glory Hole Point continues to be the only boat ramp open. Having a vehicle equipped with 4x4 is highly recommended as the ramp consists of loosely packed gravel.
Lake Don Pedro:
The trout bite still remains a mystery on the lake as very few anglers have been doing any good. Most of the anglers on the lake right now are targeting spotted bass and even they’ve become finicky. The rising water levels seem to be keeping the fish on the move making them harder than normal to target. Areas on the lake where there is some sort of run off is usually a good bet this time of year. Fleming Meadows remains as the only launch ramp remaining open right now.
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 are also doing well while tossing trout lures like Kastmasters towards the shallows.
Lake Pardee has yet to announce is opening date as anglers are waiting in anticipation. Right now it seems like the lake isn’t going to reopen until sometime in February. Apparently the weather has put a lot of delays on the construction of the lake’s new RV Park.
Bass fishing is fair right now as many anglers are having luck while fishing with jigs from the bank down to 25 feet deep. Those fishing with small plastic baits are also having luck while fishing around main lake points. Trout fishing is good right now for both anglers fishing the main lake and the ponds. Both are being planted almost weekly. For bigger trout and numbers many anglers are focusing on fishing the ponds.
Tip of the Week:
As ugly as the conditions may seem right now outside, you shouldn’t be discouraged to get out fishing. Especially for bass, this is the time of year when the biggest fish are eager to start their spawning ritual, making them susceptible to being caught. Make sure to keep a close eye on water temperature. The closer it gets to 55 degrees the better the bite will become.