My first impression of the Delta was that as long as I stayed within sight of where I launched my boat, that I would be able to find my way back. I was also frustrated with all the vegetation making it nearly impossible to fish my favorite baits. My navigation problem was solved with experience and the help of a GPS and after a while I learned to read the vegetation and I actually look for vegetation now. Some of my biggest fish caught on the Delta have come from some of the thickest vegetation. Several years ago California Department of Boating and Waterways decided to spray the Delta in order to kill off the overgrowth of vegetation; water hyacinth was their main target. As a result all the hyacinth was killed off and some of my best fishing areas were now less appealing to the fish and me. As a result I was forced to abandon my favorite areas and fish areas that hadn’t been sprayed yet. Fortunately for me, the spraying went away for a few years. Unfortunately for us who love fishing water hyacinth, the spraying program is back. Spraying has begun this week; they plan on starting in the East Delta, with the intentions to be spraying the north by June 1st. So, if you see or hear an air boat in or around one of your favorite fishing areas, it may be time to move north!
The bite is very good right now; a lot of quality sized bass have been moving shallow to feed and spawn. The key to catching the bigger fish has been finding not only the right area but being there when the tide is just starting to go out. This time of year it’s also very important to make several passes over a bank where you just caught a fish. Senko’s are working really well right now as well as spinnerbaits and jigs. Once the tide bottoms out try fishing the outside weed lines or targeting noticeable clearings within the weed beds.
New Melones Lake:
Trout fishing has improved on the lake as they can be found scattered throughout the main body of the lake right now. Anglers are catching trout both off the bank as well as trolling for them. For those fishing off the bank they are using Power Bait and for those trolling for them they are trolling from the surface down to 20’ deep. There are also kokanee starting to bite at depths from 20’ to 40’ deep. Bass fishing continues to increase as more and more fish have made their move shallow for the spawn. Senko’s and baitfish imitating reaction baits are working well from the surface down to 35 feet.
Lake Don Pedro:
The Bass bite has been great lately; a lot of reports of anglers catching over 20 fish a day while using rip baits, jigs, and spinnerbaits. For sheer numbers the drop shot or shaky head with a 4 to 6 inch Robo Worm worked from the bank down to 30 feet should bring in a lot of fish. Try searching the bank as well as there is sure to be some fish that have moved shallow for the spawn.
Bass fishing is hit or miss for some anglers. With the lake quickly becoming a favorite of many swim bait fishermen there has been plenty of boat traffic over the past few weekends. If all possible try getting out on the lake during the week. Trout fishing is good right now for anglers trolling from the surface down to 15’ to 25’ deep around Columbia Gulch.
New Hogan Lake:
Bass are on beds right now or in ditches adjacent to bedding areas. Shaky head trick worms in green pumpkin is working well right now. No sign of Stripers but there are large schools of Bluegill that can be found around bedding areas which can be caught on worms.
Tip of the Week:
With the price of fuel steadily increasing by lowering your rpm’s and launching closer to your fishing destination a lot of money can be saved. I truly believe that the increase in fuel prices has made me a better fisherman as I’ve become more reluctant to run around now than I was before. In turn, I make the most out of the water in front of me.