After last week’s weather many anglers have put away their equipment and will be staying close to the fireplace for the next few months. It definitely takes a dedicated person to be willing to be out there during the winter months. If you’re planning on going fishing for the day there are a couple of items that you definitely don’t want to go without. On top of that list would be a fishing partner, being out alone on the water this time of year isn’t recommended. If you were to fall into the water, there is a chance your body could immediately go into shock. Because of the excess clothing most of us wear during the winter, you may never be able to get back into the boat while being weighted down with water. Next, would be extra clothing. Hypothermia doesn’t take long to set in once your core body temperature has dropped. An extra set of clothing or a blanket should always be brought just in case of an emergency. Lastly, some form of communication. We have the technology now, use it. There are very few people out on the water this time of year; a cell phone can be a lifesaver. If you’re fishing in a boat leave it in a dry compartment or in a zip lock bag. Don’t keep it in your pocket. If you were to fall in it would become inoperable. Fishing during the winter months is great, but one must never throw caution to the wind. With the decrease of temperature, there needs to be an increase of awareness.
Striped bass fishing continues to pick up for anglers fishing a variety of techniques. The three techniques that are working right now are drifting live bait, trolling broken back rebels, and spooning jigs where schools of fish are present. Many of the large bridges are holding areas for Striped Bass, try spooning around the pilings or drifting live bait past them. Largemouth Bass fishing has been hit or miss lately; anglers are struggling to find a consistent pattern as the weather has yet to stabilize.
New Melones Lake:
Trout fishing is good right now for anglers who are trolling or fishing off the bank. Those trolling are finding them from the surface down to 20 feet deep. The Department of Fish and Game has begun their weekly trout plants, which have provided some action for anglers fishing off the bank. Most anglers are having some success while fishing power bait off the bottom in the backs of coves. Others are doing well while fan casting Kastmasters. Bass fishing is good for numbers of smaller fish. Anglers are catching them while fishing around schools of baitfish once found. Many are choosing to use spoons or drop shotted worms. Catfishing is still good for anglers fishing cut bait. Just last week a 16 lb. catfish was weighed in.
Lake Don Pedro:
Anglers fishing for bass are having success while tossing large swimbaits for bass up to eight pounds. Anglers just fishing for a limit are having success while fishing jigs and worms off the bottom around main lake points. Trout fishing continues to be slow, the surface temperature rapidly dropped into the mid 50s. Once the weather stabilizes the trout should be making their way up closer to the surface.
Weekly trout plants have kept anglers busy; trout are being caught right now by trolling and fishing off the bank. Bank fishermen are having luck while using Power Bait along the North Shore day use area. Anglers trolling are targeting the top 20 feet of water and using an Uncle Larry’s spinner tipped with a nightcrawler along the dam. Bass fishermen continue to have luck while fishing shad imitating lures along island tops or main lake points. Anglers searching for a trophy bass may want to give a swimbait a try.
Tip of the Week:
An old trick is to boil your clams before heading out for a catfishing trip. The clams firm up really nice boiled and also open up, making it a whole lot easier to bait your hook. They also stay on a lot better, which helps when the fish are just nibbling on your bait.