Several years ago in an angler’s online forum, I wrote about our artificial baits becoming better than the fisherman. I had recently lost several tournaments to less skilled and experienced anglers who beat me with a bait that wasn’t released yet to the public. Lately there’s been a new bait that’s really making a lot of noise. It’s called the Alabama Rig or Umbrella Rig; originally used in salt water fishing to mimic a small school of bait, it’s been scaled down to be used in fresh water, and has been the winning bait in several major tournaments recently. In the past I would resist the temptation to give the bait a try. Not anymore, I’ve lost too much time and money trying to compete against a better bait. If you don’t have an Alabama Rig, the least you can do is check it out. They can be purchased online at a variety of online tackle shops; www.fishermanswarehouse.com currently sells two different types of Umbrella Rigs for under $20 apiece.
Fishing has been tough recently on the delta. Although the water temperatures are on the rise the reaction bite is still very hard to come by. Anglers catching bass are fishing with black or brown jigs. Striper fishing is okay; currently there is a rattle trap bite in and around the Big Break area.
Lake New Melones:
Melanie Lewis from Glory Hole Sports reports “still seeing a lot of nice holdover and planted trout. The bite picked up this last week, with most anglers catching their limits. We finally got a little winter weather. Whenever it rains the creeks and drainage ditches wash nutrients, crawlers, and other terrestrial insects into the water. These are great places to target fish. Bank anglers have been using Power bait, marshmallows, and night crawlers to catch them. It is very important that your bait floats. Use small hooks, plenty of Power bait, and a worm blower to float a crawler.” Bass fishing remains consistent as the bass have moved deeper. The bigger bass are still being caught by swimbaits as they are definitely following the trout up shallow. For numbers try targeting points and backs of creeks with soft plastics and jigs.
Lake Don Pedro:
There are a lot of trout being found up shallow chasing bait. Anglers are having luck while trolling from the surface down to 15’ deep. The king salmon bite has started to pick up as anglers are doing well while trolling up river at depths between 40’ and 45’ deep with rolled shad or anchovies. Bass fishing is tough right now as anglers are struggling to get limits. Most anglers having any luck are fishing finesse jigs or drop shotted worms as deep as 40.’
Heavy loads of trout are being planted into the lake right now on what seems like a daily basis. Anglers fishing off the bank are doing well while using Power Bait either fished off the bottom or beneath a bobber.
The Lake is scheduled to open the February 17th for fishing and February 16th for camping. Pardee currently hold the state record for smallmouth bass and is known to many trout fisherman as a trophy trout lake.
Trout fishing is good right now for anglers fishing off the shore. There are a lot of limits being caught right now on Power Bait and nightcrawler combos. The South Trout Pond is also putting out limits of trout to anglers using the same bait.
Tip of the Week:
With all the different colors available out there, often anglers get confused when trying to decide what color bait to choose? If you were to ask any seasoned angler he or she would most likely say to stick with the more natural colors. Colors like green, brown, and black are some really basic colors that have proven to be successful.
If you’re looking to imitate a crawdad you may want a little orange or red depending what time of year it is and if you’re trying to imitate a shad you may want more chrome or silver. If you’re still not sure what color you should get you can always look through your local tackle shop and see what colors seem to be selling the most by how many are left on the pegs.