“Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.” (Henry David Thoreau) The longer that I’ve been fishing the more this quote has meant to me. Fishing has and will always be something that I seem to value more as time passes. I was reminded of this by my son last year. He asked to go fishing with me only. Our previous trips were with a friend or two. Admittedly, he’s not as obsessed with fishing as I was at his age but he was obviously interested in spending some one on one time with me. For him, like many of us while growing up, fishing gave him an opportunity to get away and spend some quality time with his father. I’m not sure if fishing will be something that he will continue to do as an adult. I do believe though that he’s learned the importance of spending time with his future children, just as I did from my parents. Whatever it is that he chooses to do with his family I’m thankful that this valuable lesson in parenting has been one of many lessons that I’ve learned through fishing.
Plenty of post spawn fish are being caught on reaction baits right now. Franks Tract continues to be a hot spot for bass. Vegetation throughout the Delta is starting to take over a lot of dead end sloughs and grass lines are forming. Most of the bass I caught were holding on the deeper grass lines visible at low tide and attacked the swim bait right before or after passing over one. There are still plenty of bass to be found on beds but I’d much rather blind cast for them.
New Melones Lake:
The trout bite has all but died for many, but the kokanee bite has really started to pick up for a lot of anglers. Kokanee are being caught for those trolling anywhere from 25 to 45 feet deep. Red, chartreuse, pink or silver Apex have been the top producing lure, with Uncle Larry’s Spinners, Hootchies, Killer B’s, and Glitter Bugs in the same colors all catching fish, too. Bass fishing has also been good lately, the last full moon brought up a lot of nicer sized fish. For those not bed fishing a variety of different baits are doing well right now. Crankbaits, Rip Baits, Rattle Traps, and plastic worms are just a few of the baits that are catching bass right now. 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 night crawlers are always a deadly combination when fishing for catfish. The crappie and bluegill bite is also starting to turn on, some anglers are even reporting catching limits of crappie when fishing tight to structure while using live minnows.
Lake Don Pedro:
Fishing for trout, kokanee, or king salmon has yet to turn on. There are catches being reported but very few. Some blame the weather system that has just passed while others are remaining optimistic that the bite is going to turn wide open anytime now. Bass fishing is great for numbers of fish. There are plenty of fish being caught up shallow right now for anglers fishing from the surface down to 30 feet deep with their favorite bass lures.
Recent reports from the lake have been pretty good for anglers that are interesting in trolling for kokanee. Anglers trolling are catching near limits or limits of kokanee while trolling between 40 and 60 feet deep. Apex lures and hootchies are the go to lures right now for those trolling for kokanee. Bass fishing continues to be good as there are still a lot of fish up shallow willing to bite. Just make sure to keep your distance as they can be spooked easily.
Tip of the Week:
A lot of boaters have a throw cushion on their boat that is required by the Coast Guard. Very few boaters have it readily available. I’m as guilty as anyone of having my throw cushion stored somewhere in my boat that I can easily get to, but isn’t exactly readily available. This year I’ve made it a habit of mine to make sure that it’s readily available, not in a compartment but right out in the open.