Earlier this month I fished the Wild West Bass Trail’s team tournament on the Delta. Weather wise, it was one of the strangest days in June that I can remember. The winds were gusting most of the day and it was also cloudy and cool all the way past noon. Our morning run from the blast off site was through one of the roughest parts of the Delta. Two boats actually ended up turning back. One due to engine problems and the other due to an angler getting concussed while spearing a wave over the bow of his boat which left him disoriented. We were fortunate to not have any of those issues but did get wet from the waves hitting the boat as we navigated through them. Once at our spot, the fishing was excellent. There hasn’t been a better topwater day for me on the Delta in a long time. We quickly had a 20 lb. limit of fish in the boat and spent the rest of the day trying to find a few giants. I had two bites that I believe were big fish that I could never get a hook in. One hit right at the side of the boat pulling the hook right out of its mouth, and the other hit and ran straight towards the boat leaving me with a lot of slack line when attempting to set the hook. We ended up catching a lot of fish that day but if you’re going to finish in the money on the Delta, you’re going to need at least one big fish. Knowing that, our hopes weren’t up too high. When it was all said and done, we finished less than a half of an ounce out of the money, which was a first for me. It’s been a great season fishing the Wild West Bass Team Trail, I was able to fish a lot of places that I haven’t fished in a long time and I look forward to the championships in October.
There is a great topwater bite going on right now on the Delta, especially in the morning and evening hours. Anglers tossing topwater frogs and Spooks are catching them pretty good. We’ve experienced our first real heat wave of the summer causing the bass to seek shady more oxygenated places. It’s a good time to search out grassy areas closest to deep water for bigger bass. Striped bass fishing has slowed down for a lot of anglers. There are large schools of bluegill and carp in the shallows spawning making them easy targets for anglers just looking to get bit.
Anglers are doing well while trolling for trout between 30 and 50 feet deep around Jenkins Hill. Kokanee fishing continues to be tough for anglers. Most are preferring to stick with fishing for trout and are being rewarded by the occasional kokanee. Bass fishing continues to be good for anglers fishing topwater baits in the mornings and a variety of baits during the day. Some of the better fish being caught are by anglers fishing Kei-Tech swimbaits slow rolled between 15 and 25 feet deep.
New Melones Lake:
The kokanee haven’t showed up for anglers yet. Trout fishing continues to be good for anglers that arrive early. The bite hasn’t been as wide open as in the past few weeks but there are still some really nice trout being caught by anglers trolling anywhere from 20 to 40 feet deep with their favorite trout lures. While trolling there are a variety of species of fish biting. On both of my trips to Melones we caught crappie, trout, and bass while trolling between 20 and 35 feet deep with Triple Teasers. Anglers fishing for bass are catching a lot of fish on topwater baits during the morning and bottom baits during the day while fishing from the shoreline down to 30 feet deep.
All the trout plants have stopped until the weather cools back down. Currently there are catfish being plated into the lake. Anglers fishing for catfish are doing well while fishing around the launch ramp cove and the dam with traditional catfish baits.
With the temperatures increasing and more people heading out to the lakes looking to cool down, fishing Lake Pardee is on my short list. Unfortunately the kokanee bite so far this year has been really tough. There are a lot of small fish being caught which has been frustrating even the seasoned kokanee fisherman. Bass fishing continues to be good for numbers of smaller fish and this is the time to catch a lot of smallmouth bass on crickets. Fishing with crickets for smallmouth bass in the summer is one of my childhood favorite techniques on Lake Pardee.
I recently purchased some sun gloves to go with the rest of my sun protection apparel and have really been impressed with both the comfort and functionality of the gloves. The gloves that I purchased were Simms brand which cost me around $25 through Tackle Warehouse. Similar gloves can also be purchased through Amazon for less than $20.