I seemed to have forgotten how much of a challenge it is to own a boat that has been owned before by multiple owners. In trying to fix all the little things that need to be fixed on my recent purchase, I’ve been discovering more and more repairs to the boat that were done incorrectly. I completely understand that sometimes a boat owner just wants a quick fix so that they can get out on the water. But, to not go back and fix it the right way has been causing me a lot of money and headaches. It’s common knowledge that when buying a used boat that it’s an “As Is Sale.” From my experience, you might as well flip a coin to determine whether you’re really getting a good deal or a major project. I think I got a little bit of both. It’s nothing that I can’t handle though, and it feels good to own a boat outright. I’m not sure how long I’ll keep my current boat; I do know that when I’m done with it that it will have all those little repairs done right.
Striped bass fishing is really starting to pick up for a lot of local anglers. Most of them are targeting the inlets of the many flooded islands found throughout the delta. Franks Tract and Sherman Islands are two of the most popular hangouts for stripers feeding on shad. Bass fishing is good right now for anglers just looking to catch something. There are a lot of smaller fish feeding on the shad. Shad imitating crank baits and rattle traps are working well right now for both largemouth bass and stripers. There is also a good bluegill bite around just about any set of boat docks. Red worms and wax worms are producing well right now.
New Melones Lake:
Fishing for trout has gotten tougher. Anglers trolling are picking up a few limits in the main lake and mouths of major creeks at depths from 30’ to 90’ deep with shad-patterned Needlefish, ExCels, Vance’s Slim Fins, and Speedy Shiners. Bank fishing continues to be slow, but it should improve as the water temperatures continue to cool. Catfishing continues to be good for anglers fishing with chicken livers through the night. Bass fishing continues to be good for large numbers for those fishing small plastics and tossing shad imitating lures. Like most of the local lakes the shad are schooled up and the trout and bass usually aren’t far away. The trick is getting them to bite. With so much bait in the water anglers are having to employ just about every tactic to get them to bite.
Lake Don Pedro:
The hot bite for trout has slowed down considerably. Anglers trolling are using a variety of lures at depths from 40 to 65 feet deep in the early morning near the dam. There is anticipation of even better action as the water cools in the coming months. Bass fishing remains good for anglers who are locating schools of bass feeding on schools of shad. Fishing around main lake points and flooded island tops seems to be the pattern right now. In the early morning hours anglers are having some luck while fishing with top water baits.
Anglers trolling for trout continue to have a tough time. No reports of any kokanee caught at all. The trout have become elusive and are not congregating in any one location. Try along the narrows, barrel line, and in front of the spillway at 40 to 60 feet. The lake is scheduled to close for the season at the end of the month. Bass fishing continues to be good up stream in the river arm and around the coves near the river inlet.
My recent trip to Camanche provided some tough conditions for fishing for bass. The bass are schooled up all over the lake but are tough to get to bite. The only bait that I found to work was drop shotted MMII Roboworm. There were several boats out trout fishing but very few were catching anything. Most of them were focusing on areas around the dam.
Tip of the Week:
One of the strategies I employed when purchasing my current boat was to try and get it for less than I budgeted for. I was able to buy the boat for several thousand dollars less than I budgeted for which has enabled me to make repairs and equip the boat the way that I wanted it to be equipped.