For many of our local children, school is now out for the summer. I wonder how many of those students are going to get out and enjoy the outdoors during their time off? I recently received a press release from Marko Mlikotin from The California Sports Fishing League (savefishing.com) that highlighted some pretty disturbing statistics. The one that jumped out the most to me was that “sales of the state’s annual fishing licenses have declined over 55 percent since 1980, during which time California’s population increased over 60 percent. When compared to other states, California’s annual license is 76 percent more expensive. Another contributing factor to declining sales is that the state’s annual license is not valid a full 12-months from the date of purchase, like the state’s annual park pass. Annual fishing licenses expire December 31st of every year, providing little value to anglers who purchase their license later in the year. Today, 11 states and Mexico offer a 12-month fishing license. There is hope though! Currently there are bills waiting to be passed that can make obtaining a fishing license more desirable for those anglers who are on the fence. SB 187 (Berryhill,) AB 468 (Waldron) and AB 986 (Gallagher) if they pass, some of the benefits like having true 12-month license, free fishing up to the age of 18 years old, and larger discounts for our veterans, can possibly help towards getting people outside enjoying the outdoors again.
Right now on the delta the bite remains good for a variety of species. Bass have been hitting top water lures as well as a variety of different reaction baits. You can’t go wrong with buzz baits early and late in the day. Once the sun gets nice and high snag proof frogs are catching some of the bigger bass while those cranking are catching nice limits. Franks Tract continues to produce nice numbers as well as Whites and Disappointment Slough. Striper fishing has been good for those trolling rebels near Cache Slough and Miner Slough. Anglers are also doing well while fishing for stripers off the bank along the San Joaquin River near Mossdale and around Whiskey Slough.
New Melones Lake:
Fishing for kokanee is fair for anglers who are trolling from 40 to 50 feet deep with hootchies. The kokanee are schooling up around the dam area and Rose Island. Anglers trolling for kokanee are also catching an occasional trout as they have been found around the same depths. Catfishing is really good for anglers fishing cut bait through the night for them. Bass fishing continues to be the hot bite right now, there are plenty of post spawn bass willing to bite. The top water bite has really opened up as anglers are doing well while using Zara Spooks and Poppers.
Lake Don Pedro:
The bite is fair right now on the lake for trout, and kokanee. Most anglers are fishing for kokanee between 60 and100 feet deep. Mexican Gulch, Fleming Bay, and in Middle Bay are all good areas right now for all three species. Anglers fishing for trout are finding them mixed in with the kokanee as they are taking kokanee gear as well as Excel spinners. Bass fishing is good right now for anglers fishing top water baits in the morning as well as in the evening. During the day anglers are drop shotting small worms or tossing reaction baits around main lake points. Fleming Meadows has the only paved launch ramp available on the lake.
Anglers trolling are concentrating in the South end of the Lake adjacent to the intake tower and the River Arm up to Columbia Gulch. Boaters continue to land some nice trout in this area. Kokanee have been showing up but not in great numbers. The fish are hanging a bit deeper with the warming surface temperatures, most have dropped down between 40 and 60 feet deep. The winning combos have been Uncle Larry’s and Apex lures with night crawlers or scented corn behind medium flashers or medium size dodgers in red, blue, and chrome. Bass fishing is good this time of year as anglers are targeting any downed timber or rock walls with jigs and Senko’s.
For those smart phone users, there are so many great fishing apps available today for free. Some of my favorites include fishing logs, navigation apps, and moon phase apps. There are many more, including fishing games and hunting apps as well. I encourage you all to search fishing in your phones applications feature.