If you’re waiting for the weather to cool down a little bit before getting out fishing you’re likely to miss out on some of the best fishing of the year. What a lot of anglers don’t understand is that the temperature outside is not as important as the temperature of the water. Our day time temperatures may not seem like much of a seasonal change but our days have been getting shorter and our nights longer resulting in less sunlight on the water combined with cooler night time temperatures. Our lake and river temperatures continue to drop. So, for the fish that we’re after, they are fully aware of the season change that we are going through regardless of what the outside temperatures are telling us. Like most animals preparing for the winter they are feeding heavily on chasing schools of bait making them easy targets for those anglers that understand their movements. I’ve learned the hard way that when it comes to fishing I’m better off focusing on the right conditions for the fish, than for me.
Fishing continues to be tough right now on the delta, striped bass catches are increasing as the cooler temperatures are bringing more fish through the system. For striped bass try sticking to the main channels or right outside the flooded islands. The largemouth bass bite has been off and on as I believe the unstable weather conditions have halted a lot of fall type activity. Most anglers are targeting outside weed lines with jigs and crankbaits.
New Melones Lake:
Catfishing is best right now on the lake as anglers are doing well while fishing off the bank with cut bait. Bass fishing is good for anglers who are finding schools of bass feeding on shad. Most anglers are targeting main lake points or partially submerged islands. Trout fishing is supposedly good for the few who are venturing out while trolling the shallows for roaming trout who are actively feeding on shad. The lake has dropped another two feet keeping all the paved boat ramps out of water. It is highly recommended that if you’re planning on launching a boat that your tow vehicle has four-wheel drive.
Lake Don Pedro:
Bass fishing is good right now on the lake as anglers are finding bass feeding on schools of shad. Anglers that are finding the schools are fishing with top water baits and drop shotted worms around the schools of fish for easy limits. There are still very few reports of trout being caught as many anglers are avoiding the lake due to its low water condition. The only serviceable launch ramp continues to be in Fleming Meadows.
New Hogan Lake:
Recently the bite has been really good for large numbers of bass. Spider grubs in watermelon red is working well if thrown up to the bank and worked down to at least 20 feet. Reaction baits such as Lucky Craft Staysees are also working but not as well as the jig. Six inch shaky head worms such as Robo Worms margarita mutilator II is another go-to bait right now. For the deep water angler the larger fish are coming from anglers fishing the schools of bass down to 60 feet while using a drop shot or a jig.
There are reports from both sides of the lake stating that the trout are beginning to make their way shallower to about 15 to 20 feet deep. Bank fishing is picking up especially at North Shore near the Day Use point. Limits are being caught using all kinds of colored power bait. The most popular being chartreuse and rainbow but worms are still producing as well. Bass fishing is fair for anglers fishing between 20 and 30 feet deep with jigs and small worms.
The Tackle Box Café reported trout plants of 200 pounds per day and trout fishing has been solid with Woolley Buggers, Kastmasters, night crawlers, white grubs, or Power Bait from the banks. Anglers trolling for trout are having luck while trolling early in the day from the surface down to 10 feet deep.
Oak Grove Trout Bout:
Saturday, November 15, Oak Grove Regional Park located in Stockton off of Eight-Mile Road will be holding its annual Trout Bout. Gates open at 6:15 a.m., register by 10 a.m., last weigh-in at 12:30 p.m. Over 1,500 pounds of trout! Kids fish Free. Youth and Adult competitions. Prizes, food for purchase and more! $5 Fishing Permit Fee (16 and over, CA Fishing License required) $5 Vehicle Entry Fee. Five trout limit. Call 331-2050 for more information.