When I think about fishing in October, I think about great weather, great fishing, and the opening of duck hunting season. Primarily on the Delta, the duck hunters are currently racing around the Delta setting up all their blinds for the opening of the season. For the most part, they usually stick to the many flooded islands and less populated areas. There are a few though, that seem to have permanent residence near or around a few of my favorite fishing areas. I’m surprised that we aren’t on a first name basis. Years ago when I was tournament fishing, I was unaware of the opening of duck hunting season and fished right towards a hunters blind. As soon as I got within shouting distance from the blind I was yelled at by the hunter who told me to leave. Another time while I was fishing within sight of a duck blind, out of nowhere, a boat came racing towards me with a gun yielding hunter telling me that I needed to leave the area. I’ve since become familiar with most of the sites of hunters and avoid certain areas after the second week of October.
There are a lot of schools of baitfish making their way through the Delta right now. A lot of anglers are reporting catching bass while fishing the outside weed edges. Crankbaits and jigs are working well for those fishing the six to eight foot range. Stripers are being caught by anglers fishing around Mildred Island but not in the large number like most would expect for this time of year. Anglers catching them are swimming Fish Trap lures. As the water temperatures drop a little more the bite should pick up considerably.
New Melones Lake:
Trout fishing remains tough right now. In the fall the shad will move to the backs of the coves, and the fish will follow. Bass fishing continues to be good for numbers of fish caught on shad imitating lures and plastics. Anglers are also catching fish while spooning through schools of shad. Catfish continue to bite for anglers fishing with cut bait while fishing from the bank or their boats. Glory Hole Point is currently the only ramp on the lake that’s open. The main ramp is out of the water. All launching is off of a dirt ramp.
Lake Pardee is currently scheduled to close on November 6th so if you’re looking to get out one more time on Lake Pardee you have ‘til sunset on the 6th before it closes until February. Recently trout fishing has been slow, those catching fish are catching them while trolling down to 50 feet in the early morning hours. Bass fishing is good for anglers fishing with small plastics throughout the day for smaller fish.
Lake Don Pedro:
There are very few reports of anything being caught on the lake other than bass. Anglers fishing the lake early in the day are being rewarded while fishing with topwater lures. As the temperatures continue to drop the trout should begin to move up shallower. There have been a few break-ins of vehicles and boats on the lake recently. If you’re going to be leaving either unattended it’s a good idea to secure all valuables.
Trout are scheduled to be stocked at the end of the month. Until then, anglers are catching bass and catfish. Anglers fishing for bass are doing well while fishing with crankbaits and creature baits from the surface down to 30 feet deep.
There are still some striped bass pushing schools of bait to the surface. Anglers doing well are using white Zoom Flukes. The fish are a little harder to find in past weeks. Many anglers are choosing to wait them out instead of chasing them around. Bass fishing for both largemouth and smallmouth is fair for anglers tossing reaction baits from the shore to 20 feet deep.
Bass Pro Shops Halloween Event:
Bass Pro Shops in Manteca will offer Halloween activities for kids Monday through Friday, October 24-28 from 6 to 8pm. Saturday and Sunday, October 29-30 from noon to 5pm. Halloween Night, October 31 from 4 to 8pm. Among the activities are a free 4x6 photo with life-sized cutouts of Peanuts characters Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Sally and Lucy.