Thanks to TV and Bassmaster Magazine I knew from the first time I watched or read about a bass tournament that I wanted to compete in one. I visualized what it would be like, kept records of my daily catches, and compared my catches to the catches of others. Once I was old enough, I entered my first tournament. I didn’t do nearly as well as I believed I would but I was hooked and couldn’t wait for the next tournament. After several years with several wins and a lot more losses, I began to realize that fishing was no longer as fun as it used to be. I missed the days when I could fish wherever and whenever I wanted. Because of that, it’s been several years since I fished a tournament. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of things that I miss about tournament fishing. I just believe that it’s important to take a step back from time to time. A lot of us dream of turning our hobbies into our jobs, sometimes that doesn’t work out so well.
The largemouth bass bite is wide open right now with numbers and size being caught. Senko’s and jigs are the top baits right now. Large groups of fish are making their way into the shallows in anticipation of the next full moon. Once the tide bottoms out try fishing the outside weed line as bass will often move to the edge once the tide drops and return shallow once the tide rises.
New Melones Lake:
There have been several nice brown trout caught recently by both trollers and bank anglers. Brown trout are believed to be making their migration towards the shallows to spawn. The rainbow bite continues to be good for anglers both trolling and fishing off the bank. Inflated night crawlers and marshmallows have been working the best lately for anglers fishing off the bank. Bass fishing remains tough for a lot of anglers; look for groups of fish to be making their way shallow as the water warms up.
Lake Don Pedro:
Trout fishing has remained fair regardless of the unstable weather. Most anglers catching trout have been catching their fish while trolling the top twenty feet of water. Bass fishing has been improving slightly as the spawn is right around the corner. Anglers are catching fish while working both shallow and deep with various soft plastics and shad imitating reaction baits. Recently there was a 19 lb. bass caught on a trout imitating swim bait during a tournament.
Trout fishing has been fair to good for many anglers. Most anglers are migrating towards the south shore launch area as several nice trout have been caught in the recent weeks. Hat Island is another hot spot for anglers fishing with shad imitating Rapala lures. Bass fishing is beginning to pick up as anglers are catching an occasional fish up shallow. The more successful anglers are staying deep with drop shotted worms or jigs worked along the bottom.
Not much attention has been given to this lake, it’s one my personal favorite springtime destinations. How can anyone argue paying a four dollar launch fee to fish gin clear water during spawning season. Tuesday, I spent my day fishing the lake and caught several nice fish. Schools of bass were found making their way into the backs of coves and easily enticed with a shaky head worm, green pumpkin. If you’re looking to get away from the crowds, this is the place to be right now during the week.
Trout fishing is excellent on the lake right now; power bait is hard to beat this time of the year right now on the lake. For those trolling try fishing a small shad imitating lure such as a Yozuri Pin’s Minnow no deeper than five feet. Bass fishing continues to be slow for a lot of anglers but should be picking up soon. The lake is on the rise right now; hopefully it will be close to full by this summer.
Tip of the Week:
Electric trolling motors have come a long way in the past ten years. When purchasing a trolling motor I recommend that you purchase one that will provide you with more than enough thrust. In the Delta, tide movement, combined with wind can make it impossible to stay in one place unless you have ample thrust. I currently have a 101 lb. thrust trolling motor for my 20 ft. boat, for a mid-size bass boat I recommend a 74 lb. thrust engine, and for anything smaller forty and fifty pounds of thrust should be fine.