Last week I wrote about the slightest environmental changes and the effects these changes can have on fish. This week I’d like to write about the slightest changes in baits and tackle and how those changes can be the difference between catching a fish or not. When it comes to artificial lures, I’ve learned over the years that no two baits are the same. They may look the same and be of the same make and model but there’s always going to be differences. Experienced tournament anglers believe that there are differences between baits so much, that some keep baits stowed away just for tournament days. This explains why sometimes if you look closely enough, you will see some of the top pro’s tossing lures that look way overdue for replacement. When it comes to terminal tackle, something as simple as a bigger or smaller sized weight can make the exact sound of a crawfish crawling along the bottom or disturb the water, just enough to make a bass think a crawfish is exiting its burrow. When the fishing is the toughest, anglers who make the right adjustments are usually the ones catching the fish. Next time you’re struggling to catch a fish, don’t forget that the smallest change can make all the difference.
Fishing for striped bass is starting to pick up on the outgoing tide. Anglers fishing for stripers are jigging 1oz. Hopkins jigs, trolling broken back rebels, or drifting live bait. Remember the limit is two striped bass per person per day and they must be over 18 inches long. Largemouth bass are still being caught on reaction baits, but the bigger fish continue to elude anglers. Fishing the outside edges of deep weed lines are good areas to try right now. Bluegills continue to bite while fishing baby night crawlers off the bottom. A lot of nice size bluegill are being caught right now while fishing around the docks at Paradise Point.
New Melones Lake:
Fishing for trout continues to be slow but should get better shortly as the lake continues to cool. Power Bait under a bobber or inflated nightcrawlers fished on the bottom has been the trick lately. Anglers trolling are fishing between 45 and 65 feet deep while dragging shad imitating lures such as Speedy Shiners. Bass fishing has been slow for a lot of anglers who are struggling to catch many fish right now. For numbers anglers are targeting schools of fish found at a variety of different depths or tossing large swimbaits in hope of imitating one of the many trout in the lake right now.
Lake Don Pedro:
Fishing for bass is tough right now as very few anglers are catching limits. Those catching fish are fishing drop shotted worms around main lake points or jigging spoons around balls of bait. Trout fishing is also tough for anglers trolling for trout. Typically, the fishing picks up once the lake has turned over. The lake should be turning over as soon as the water temperatures drop some more.
Lake management has resumed their trout planting program. The big rush of anglers hasn’t started yet. For those that have been visiting the lake, they’ve been reporting some pretty impressive catches while using Power Bait or fishing with Kastmasters. They usually like to plant on towards the end of the week, so if you can get out there before the weekend your chances might be better.
Anglers fishing for trout are trolling near Hat Island and Little Hat Island between 30 and 40 feet deep with shad imitating lures. The bite isn’t wide open yet but is improving as the water temperatures drop. Like a lot of the local lakes right now, bass fishing is tough. The bass seem to be in between a fall and winter pattern. The bites have been inconsistent at best, making it tough to pattern. Usually if you find the bait, the bass won’t be far away. The problem is that even some of the most experienced anglers are having difficulty finding the bait.
Tip of the Week:
Many of us spend hours preparing our tackle boxes or trays to our liking. I recommend spending just as much time and attention to your box or bag full of emergency items. Items like fire extinguishers lose their charge over time and something as simple as having a few basic tools on board can help prevent you from having to cut your trip short.