A lot of people that I’ve been talking to are concerned about the lack of rain we’ve had so far this season. Through writing this column, I’ve learned that there’s a definite pattern in the weather from year to year. It seems like every fourth year we have a similar dry spell and then all of sudden, we are hit by a series of big storms that just about make up for all the lack of rain. Four years ago the delta along with other surrounding waterways had to be shut down as they were unsafe due the sudden rise in water levels immediately following a dry winter. I’m definitely not an expert in the field but based on my records, I can’t help to remain pretty optimistic, soon we’ll be wondering what we’re going to do with all the rain.
The water temperatures have already begun to increase, making for fantastic fishing conditions. Those fishing for bass are doing fair while fishing with jigs and creature baits along the edges of the grass. Some are predicting an early spawn but as mentioned above, I’m holding my breath until the storm season passes. Fishing for striped bass remains good around the Rio Vista areas with anglers doing well while fishing with live and cut bait.
New Melones Lake:
Melanie Lewis from Glory Hole Sports reported that “most anglers are catching fish but having a little trouble getting a limit. Bank anglers have been catching fish on Power bait, marshmallows, and nightcrawlers. It is very important that your bait floats. Use small hooks, plenty of Power bait, and a worm blower to achieve this desired presentation. Also, to catch bigger fish try using minnow-like lures. These larger fish feed on other fish. A Rapala CD7 or CD9 is a great bait to use for large predator fish. This is a great time to take your kids fishing - the hot action will keep them from getting bored! Trolling anglers have been having most of their luck with a less is more approach. Try trolling small flashers and dodgers with a nightcrawler 3-5 feet behind. Sep’s sidekick, and micro mini’s work well and don’t spook the fish. Bass fishing is decent with the majority of fish taken off of main lake structure at depths from 25 to 65 feet. The fish are fat, healthy, and gorging themselves on threadfin shad. As a result, shad-patterned plastics on the drop shot are working with reports of a good jig bite as well.”
Lake Don Pedro:
Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing said, “Trout fishing remains pretty darn good with clients catching and releasing 21 trout in addition to their two limits on a mid-week trip. The majority of trout are planters in the 12- to 14-inch range, but the action is fast and furious.” Smith advised looking for active birds or bait schools on the meter, and the trout are in the same area. Bass fishing is slow for a lot of anglers as the water temperatures are still very cold. Anglers are working deeper water with small worms and jigs for their bites.
Anglers fishing the North Shore are doing well while fishing with Power Bait early in the morning. There are also trout being caught along the South Shore area on Power Bait as both the main lake and ponds are being planted weekly by the Department of Fish and Game. Bass fishing is slow; anglers are searching out schools of bass holding around main lake points or Islands. Once finding them anglers are fishing slowly through them with either a drop shotted worm or small jig.
Tip of the Week:
When faced with tough conditions such as cold muddy water it’s important that there be some changes made in lure selection and presentation. Most people look down into the water thinking how can a fish possibly see my lure? A lot of times the muddy water that we see from standing above the surface only extends a few feet below the surface. The only true way to know this is to stick a camera down there or swim down and take a look for yourself. Personally, I try to fish a little deeper than normal and keep close to grassy or weedy areas. The grass and weeds help filter the floating particles and can actually help create a clearing beneath the surface. I also prefer to fish with baits that have some chartreuse in them or are dark such as the black and blues, glowing baits can also be excellent when fishing dirty or stained water. Glowing baits not only glow in the dark but also glow in muddy or stained water.