Often the subject of pre-fishing comes up amongst tournament anglers. Pre-fishing is practicing days or weeks before an event. Sounds silly I know! The idea is to identify productive areas and baits, so that during the actual event there won’t be any time wasted trying to figure out where to go, or what works best. For a lot of anglers, unless your work schedule allows you to be off during the week, it’s difficult to get any pre-fishing in. To make things fair, some tournament organizations don’t allow pre-fishing by setting off limit periods. Usually, the week prior to an event is the off-limits period. This rule has both helped and hurt my fishing. The recent tournament that I fished, fished entirely different from years past, causing my partner and I to struggle. Not having the time to pre-fish really made it challenging. Those teams that were able to pre-fish before the lake went off limits had an advantage on us. I’m all for an off-limits period but would like it if the day before an event that period was lifted for at least half the day. It would give anglers who travel long distances a little time to put something together and at the same time not enough time to over fish the body of water.
Bass fishing is fair for those fishing with jigs and creature baits along the edges of the grass. It’s important to pay close attention to the water temperature. Once the water temperature begins to rise, the fishing will improve. Fishing for striped bass remains good around the Rio Vista areas with anglers doing well while fishing with live and cut bait.
New Melones Lake:
Trout fishing is still tough as there are very few reports of anglers catching any. There are some trout being seen feeding on the surface, but they have been very difficult to get to bite. Anglers trolling are trolling as deep as 45 feet deep. Bass fishing is decent with the majority of fish taken off of main lake structure at depths from 25 to 65 feet deep. The fish are fat, healthy, and gorging themselves on threadfin shad. As a result, shad-patterned plastics on the drop shot are working with reports of a good jig bite as well.
Lake Don Pedro:
Like New Melones, trout fishing is very slow right now. Most anglers have been content with waiting for the spring to turn the bite back on. Fishing for bass has been fair. Anglers are catching them while fishing bottom baits and darter head baits between 40 and 55 feet deep. There are even reports of anglers catching them as deep as 80 feet deep in some areas of the lake.
Anglers fishing the North Shore are doing well while fishing with Power Bait early in the morning. There are also trout being caught along the South Shore area on Power Bait as both the main lake and ponds are being planted weekly. Bass fishing is slow; anglers are searching out schools of bass holding around main lake points or islands. Once finding them anglers are fishing slowly through them with either a drop shotted worm or small jig.
There have been some giant trout brought to the cleaning station recently. Several of those trout have been close to 10 pounds. The lake is being planted weekly, making it fairly easy for anglers that are fishing with Power Bait under a bobber. Green seems to be the hot color on the lake right now. Anglers trolling for trout are also starting to catch fish as the lake remains relatively clear considering the recent rains.
Tip of the Week:
One of the best ways that I’ve found to keep my hands warm while fishing in the cold has been to wear latex gloves underneath my fishing gloves. Your hands will stay dry and warm and will even be protected when handling fish. I prefer the heavy-duty latex gloves since they’re more tear resistant.