Every so often a tournament is cancelled due to weather. Of all the tournaments that I’ve fished in that were cancelled, wind has been the culprit. Other than that, you must be prepared for pretty much anything. I prefer it to rain over it being icy cold like it can get in January. One thing is for sure, when heading out to tournaments, I’m bringing all my cold weather gear, a couple sets of gloves, and my rain boots. The feet and hands are the hardest to keep warm. If I’ve learned anything about fishing in inclement weather, it’s that what keeps me warm doesn’t necessarily keep the next person warm. Over the years, I’ve learned what works best for me and have stuck to that. The initial cost of the right gear was expensive, but over the years, all the cold weather gear that I’ve purchased hasn’t had to be replaced. Early on when I first started fishing tournaments, I purchased cheap rain gear. Frustrated with having to replace it all the time, I finally purchased quality gear and it’s been well worth it. So much so, that I look forward to fishing in the rain!
Fishing has been tough recently on the delta. A recent bass tournament on the delta was won with a five fish limit of less than ten pounds. Anglers catching bass are targeting deep holes that are void of current with jigs and other small plastics. I usually try and avoid areas with a lot of current this time of year. Mainly sticking to dead end sloughs or current breaks. Striper fishing continues to be tough. The water temperatures should start to climb as we get closer to spring. Once the temperature gets back into the 50’s the bite should start picking up.
Lake New Melones:
Trout fishing has slowed down a bit, but anglers are still bringing in limits. Currently the hot bait has been Power Bait. Trollers are catching fish up shallow but they have been a lot smaller than the ones caught off the bank. Because of this, a lot of boaters have chosen to drift live minnows under a bobber in the backs of coves in order to target the bigger trout. Angels Cove and Glory Hole Cove have been the hot areas recently for trout. Bass fishing remains consistent as the bass have moved deeper. The bigger bass are still being caught by swimbaits as they are following the trout up shallow. For numbers, try targeting points and backs of creeks with soft plastics and jigs. The bite for numbers of smaller bass is great right now for anglers targeting submerged wood and drop offs.
Lake Don Pedro:
The trout bite is good right now for anglers fishing from the surface down to 25 feet. Anglers are targeting the bigger fish that are combing the bank while using side planers and trolling a variety of shad imitating lures. Anglers fishing off the bank for trout are doing well while using Power Bait. 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.
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.
Fishing is good right now for trout as anglers are catching trout both out of the pond and in the lake. For those fishing the lake, north and south shore day use areas are producing limits. Bass fishing remains tough as most anglers are going after trout. For those searching for bass I recommend either a drop shot or football head jig. Favorite areas for me this time of year are island tops and main lake points.
The lake is currently closed and is scheduled to re-open in February.
Tip of the Week:
As fluorocarbon lines have become the norm amongst anglers, monofilament should not be forgotten. Monofilament is more forgiving than fluorocarbon which makes it better in some circumstances. Rocks for instance are tougher on fluorocarbon lines than most people think. When using fluorocarbon, I always check my line after every fish catch and every snag or hang up, especially when fishing around structure.