I’ve learned over the years that a person could drive themselves crazy worrying about every little detail when it came to fishing. Bass Fishing Hall of Fame member Dee Thomas once said “keep things simple.” Taking his advice, I routinely go through my tackle and remove items that haven’t been used in a while. I’m often surprised at how much tackle is purchased but never used. Of course, after each passing year, there are new baits that make it into my boat. The usual suspects always seem to remain the same though. There are so many baits out there designed to be fished under a variety of different conditions I try to keep at least a couple baits that can be fished all year long. The lipless crankbait for example has always remained in my tackle box because of its versatility. When building your tackle box remember to keep things simple and every once in a while, try making it a habit to clear out all those unproductive baits. It will make bait selection a whole lot easier and surely help reduce clutter.
Striped bass fishing continues to be good; a lot of anglers using live bait are using live bluegill caught around the many delta docks. I prefer using a number 2 bait hook when drifting bluegill and hook them through the bottom lip and out through the nose area. Make sure that once bit to let the striper run a bit as they have to swallow bluegill head first. Largemouth bass fishing has slowed lately with very few big fish being caught right now. Anglers using jigs right now are having the most consistent bites while flipping and pitching.
New Melones Lake:
Trout fishing is really good right now. The Department of Fish and Game has been planting trout weekly. Anglers fishing off the bank are catching a lot of planter sized trout with a few holdover fish mixed in. Anglers trolling are doing well while trolling from the surface down to 15 feet deep. Bass fishing has slowed some for a lot of anglers as the water temperatures continue to drop. Schools of bass can be found right now as deep as forty feet. During select times of the day bass can be caught off main lake points while using rip baits.
Lake Don Pedro:
Trout fishing is picking up, trout are not biting as well as at New Melones but they are still there to be found. Anglers fishing for trout are finding them closer to the banks than usual. Supposedly, they’re feeding around the run off that’s washing into the lake. Bass anglers are finding bass holding deep. Many are dragging drop shotted worms and other small plastics through groups of fish that they’re finding with their depth finders. For larger bass, anglers are tossing trout imitating swimbaits for mixed results. There is a trout plant scheduled for this week, which should help ignite the bite for both trout and bass.
Trout fishing has taken over lately on the lake. Weekly plants continue to keep the lake stocked with nice sized cut bows. The bait of choice right now seems to be power bait, make sure when fishing with Power Bait that enough is put on enabling the bait to float off the bottom.
The Department of Fish and Game has started their weekly trout plants and many anglers are reportedly doing well right now while trolling and using power bait off the bank. Anglers trolling are trolling the top twenty feet with shad imitators and anglers fishing off the bank are fishing the North Shore area. Bass fishing has slowed down but anglers are still able to catch them while working jigs down to 40 feet.
Tip of the Week:
Water temperature should be taken into consideration when selecting baits. As the water temperature drops fish become less and less active. Unlike us, the colder the temperature the less fish must eat in order to stay alive. Artificial baits must be worked slowly as the cooler the water the slower the baitfish actually moves. Next time you hook a fish in the middle of winter, take note of how much less that fish fights compared to a fish the same size caught during the warmer months of the year.