Another Christmas has passed, this year I got my annual fishing license as a gift from my wife. I was reminded of when I was 12 years old, I didn’t have to worry about a fishing license. The only thing I worried about back then, was getting a ride to my favorite fishing spot. Fast forward to my 16th birthday, I was excited about having my first fishing license, and gladly paid the thirteen-plus dollars. The price for an annual license has increased every year since then. Curious at just how much the rates have increased over the years, I did a web search and found that on California Department of Fish and Game’s website, they have listed the annual fees throughout the years. What I found was back in 1982, the cost for a license was $6.25, in 1985, the cost was $13.75, in 1990 the cost was $20.50, in 2000 the cost was 26.75, and this year the cost is $51.02. There has been a push to change the current license to a true 12-month license from the date of purchase, but I’m not sure what the holdup is. It doesn’t make sense to have to purchase your license on January 1st every year in order to get in order to get a full year license. I’m also not sure how much longer the occasional angler will be able to afford renewing his or her fishing license.
Fishing for bass has been tough for a lot of anglers as very few limits are being caught. Those targeting bass are fishing mainly with jigs and crawdad imitating baits. Fishing for stripers is tough right now as very little schooling activity is being reported. Schools of striper are being found by anglers fishing Sycamore and Hog Slough. Bluegill fishing continues to be good for anglers fishing around docks and marinas with wax worms.
Lake New Melones:
Trout fishing continues to be tough for a lot of anglers. Those catching them are finding them while trolling between 40 and 60 feet deep with Speedy Shiners. Bass fishing remains consistent as the bass have moved deeper. The bigger bass are 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:
Fishing for trout right now has been tough. The lake has yet to turn over causing the trout to be holding deeper. Once the lake turns over the trout should head close to the surface. Bass fishing has slowed right now as anglers are struggling to find a consistent bite anywhere on the lake. There have been a few anglers that have been able to catch fish on spoons while searching for schooling fish.
Fishing for trout is very good right now both in the lake and in the pond. Anglers fishing for trout are doing well will fishing with Power Bait or casting various trout imitating lures along the bank. Bass fishing has been steady for anglers fishing offshore structure. Locating schools of bass following schools of shad seems to be the key to catching them right now. Once the schools are found anglers are fishing with either spoons or a drop shotted Robo Worm in a shad color.
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.
Tip of the Week:
With the current state of our economy unfortunately there has been an increase in thefts to anglers and their equipment. Personally I’ve yet to have anything stolen from my boat but have had various items stolen from my truck and trailer while I was out enjoying a day of fishing. All spare tires should be locked and if you have any valuables stored inside the cab of your truck make sure that it is out of sight. Lastly, don’t assume your vehicle is safe while parked inside a gated launching facility. When it comes to preventing theft it is better to be over protected than under protected.