Earlier this month I was reminded by a friend that it was the opening day of duck hunting season. I’m not a hunter but I do know that duck season opens sometime in October. From the amount of duck hunters at the dock and on the water that Saturday, it was obvious that I’ve never been out fishing on opening day. From the moment we started fishing we could hear gunfire all around us. If I didn’t know any better, I would have thought that I was at a gun range or watching a fireworks show. Fortunately, we didn’t have any run-ins with duck hunters the whole day. I tried my best to avoid fishing where I’ve seen blinds in previous years. This year I counted more blinds than I’ve ever seen on the delta. There were also a few new blinds in areas that I don’t usually see blinds. Overall, it was good day. Once the morning fog lifted, many of the hunters headed back home so everything worked out just fine.
The bite on the delta continues to be tough for a lot of anglers. Floating hyacinth mats along with grass that’s floating just below the surface is making it hard on anglers trolling or even bait fishing. In most places the water temperature is still in the high 60’s. As the water temperature drops even lower the bite for striped bass should improve. Largemouth bass are still being caught by those fishing with reaction baits or fishing heavy vegetation with creature baits. Duck hunting season is open so be on the lookout for duck blinds.
New Melones Lake:
Catfishing continues to get most of the attention as there are a lot of nice fish being caught recently by anglers fishing off the bank and from their boats with cut bait. There are currently very few reports of trout being caught but typically as we get closer to true fall like conditions the trout fishing picks up. Bass fishing has been consistent for anglers that are finding schools of baitfish. Jigs, spoons, drop shotted worms, and nail head worms are the baits of choice right now.
Lake Don Pedro:
Not too many anglers are fishing the lake right now. Traditionally this time of year is a good time to target king salmon and trout as the water temperature is beginning to drop and the shad are starting to school up. Most of the anglers fishing the lake are fishing for bass. Like New Melones the bass have schooled up and can be found following the schools of baitfish. Most anglers are finding those schools around main lake points.
They’re still waiting for the temperatures to drop at Lake Amador before they resume stocking the lake with trout. Rumor is that the lake will be planted this week if lake temperatures stay below 70 degrees. Last week a test plant of 80 pounds of steelhead, lightning trout, and Donaldson trout were successfully planted in the lake. Bluegill and catfishing continue to be targeted by anglers fishing off the banks. Bass fishing is slow as the bass are awaiting the change in water temperature.
Your best bet right now on the lake is fishing for catfish. Anglers fishing for catfish are fishing with chicken livers and anchovies. Bluegills can still be caught up shallow by anglers fishing with worms. Bass fishing continues to be tough for a lot of anglers. There was a recent tournament held on the lake where a majority of those competing failed to weigh in a single fish.
The lake is scheduled to close on November 4th. Currently the bite up river for trout and bass has been fair. For bass, anglers are fishing tube baits and jigs down to 30 feet deep. For trout, anglers are trolling speedy shiners between 30 and 45 feet deep.
Tip of the Week:
Fewer and fewer anglers are using monofilament anymore. A lot of anglers have switched or are using fluorocarbon line without even knowing it. For topwater baits it’s important to use a line that doesn’t sink. Fluorocarbon lines sink making them less than ideal for fishing a topwater bait. On the other hand, fluorocarbon is great for fishing bottom baits, crankbaits, and spinnerbaits.