For several years now there’s been a mandatory inspection for boats entering our local lakes for Quagga-Zebra Mussels. Most of us I’m sure think of the inspection as a hassle but it’s necessary to help prevent these species from taking over our lakes. Quagga-Zebra Mussels are filter feeders that reproduce at alarming rates once they are introduced to a body of water. If they were allowed to take over a lake they would filter out all the suspended particulate, zooplankton, and phytoplankton in a body of water leaving smaller baitfish without a food source in turn leaving larger predatory fish without a food source. Consequently, as the water clarity increases, sunlight is allowed to penetrate the water deeper, triggering increased vegetation growth that can affect oxygen levels resulting in fish die offs. They’re also notorious for clogging up underwater pipelines and screens reducing pumping capabilities for power and water treatment facilities. I know many of us don’t ever pull our drain plugs after a day of fishing but it’s time we do. Quagga-Zebra Mussels can live as long as 30 days out of water and we must do everything we can to protect our waters.
Wind has made it hard on some anglers seeking out a top water bite combined with the cooler mornings we have had lately. Those doing well for bass are using spinnerbaits and buzz baits. With all the boat traffic recently on the delta most anglers have chosen to stay home. Fishing off the bank is good right now for catfish and panfish. Bluegill and Crappie can be found near either brush piles or docks, try using small worms or minnows under a bobber. For catfish right now any of the traditional catfish baits are working well while fished off the bottom.
New Melones Lake:
Kokanee catches continue to keep anglers busy as Trout fishing has slowed down for the summer. Anglers catching Kokanee are fishing the dam area and can be found between 40-50 feet deep. Bass fishing is still good for anglers tossing rattle traps and spinnerbaits. Catfishing has really started to pick up for a lot of anglers fishing the night just about anywhere on the lake. The Bluegill bite has been wide open these past few weeks for those fishing the backs of brushy coves.
Bass fishing remains good for anglers fishing with live jumbo minnows. For those that prefer to catch them with artificial baits they are having their best luck during the morning and evening hours as the fish seem to vacate the shallows during daylight hours. Kokanee fishing is fair with anglers catching them as deep as 100 feet. Anglers trolling for Trout are finding them while trolling between 50-70 feet deep. The lake is currently 50 percent full.
Summertime is a great time to fish Lake Pardee, fishing for smallmouth bass can be great this time of year. A favorite technique of mine is the use of crickets for smallmouth bass. Fished either on the bottom or drug in and round underwater rock piles almost always provide action. If choosing to use artificials the early morning top water bite often is very good and the midday jig bite around submersed islands is also another great choice.
The bite is really good right now for those fishing for bluegill and bass. Bass are being caught right now just about anywhere on the lake, with rocky points being the best spots. Lures that are being used are spinnerbaits and crankbaits, while the bigger fish are being caught by those dragging plastics along the bottom. Bluegills are being caught shallow by those fishing with red worms in the backs of bays.
Most of the fishing is taking place during the night. Very few anglers are fishing the lake during the daytime. Anglers are currently catching bass, catfish, crappie, bluegill, and a few trout all while fishing through the night.
On July 20th the 17th annual Conroy Oakley Pro Teen tournament will be held out of Russo’s Marina on Bethel Island. The purpose of the event is to introduce teens 13- to 19-years-old to fishing through a professional style tournament where they will be paired up with a boater for six hours. Currently they are in need of more boaters for the event, boaters fish for free, for more information call (925) 684-9775.