With the summer like conditions we’ve been having lately the inexperienced angler tends to believe that the fishing conditions are the same as the summer. After all, the days are just as hot, and the waterways are as busy as any other summer day. What most anglers fail to notice is the evenings we’ve been having. Our days are getting shorter and our nights are getting cooler. This change has a huge effect on the fish as the extended hours of darkness combined with the cooler nighttime temperatures has significantly dropped the water temperatures. Most fish species by now already believe it’s fall. So, if you’re doing the same thing you did throughout the summer to catch fish and it isn’t working, it may be time to try a more fall-like approach to catching them. When I think of fall, I think of reaction. Most species of fish are actively feeding; I prefer moving baits that mimic a baitfish. Rattle Traps are one of my favorite reaction baits. They’re easy to fish and catch a lot of numbers of fish. Fall is a great time of year to fish; unfortunately most anglers miss the best fishing while thinking it’s still summer.
With water temperatures dropping and as the days become shorter the fishing should be getting better. Currently bass are being caught on just about anything. Reaction baits such as rattle traps and spinnerbaits are producing lots of numbers right now. Stripers are starting to make their way into some of the flooded islands such as Franks Tract, Big Break, and Mildred Island. Anglers are using cut bait and trolling for Stripers. The bite isn’t wide open yet but is improving steadily.
New Melones Lake:
Fishing for bass and crappie is your best bet right now. There are very few reports of anyone catching kokanee or trout right now. For bass anglers are fishing from the surface down to 30 feet deep while using their favorite plastic baits. For crappie, anglers are fishing around the many submerged trees with live minnows or crappie jigs. Catfishing continues to be good for anglers fishing off the bank at night while soaking anchovies or chicken livers.
Lake Don Pedro:
Trout and king salmon fishing continue to be slow on the lake right now. Bass fishing has also slowed down a lot. There are a lot of smaller fish being caught but very few of any size. Anglers are currently catching bass while drop shotting and spooning anywhere between 25 and 35 feet deep.
Kokanee fishing is just about done for the season as there are very few fish being caught right now. Bass fishing is slow right now; those catching fish are targeting schools of fish found as deep as 30 feet while using small plastic worms. Catfishing is good right now on the lake for those who are using either chicken livers or sardines. Most of the catfish are being found in the backs of coves.
Trout fishing is very slow right now. Bass fishing continues to be good for those fishing traditional summer patterns. Topwater baits are working well early in the morning and late in the day. During the day anglers are catching limits of fish while tossing crankbaits or small plastic worms. Catfishing is also good right now on the lake for those fishing off the bank with night crawlers or anchovies.
Tip of the Week:
Electric trolling motors have come a long way in the past ten years. When purchasing a trolling motor I recommend that you purchase one that will provide you with more than enough thrust. In the Delta, tide movement combined with wind can make it impossible to stay in one place unless you have ample thrust. I currently have a 101 lb. thrust trolling motor for my 20 ft. boat, for a mid-size bass boat I recommend a 74 lb. thrust engine, and for anything smaller forty to fifty pounds of thrust should be fine.