With all the information available to anglers through social media and online content, an angler can really drive themselves crazy trying to stay up with all the latest fishing trends. Not only can it become expensive, it can also make deciding what tackle to bring fishing a major issue at times. Especially this time of year, it always seems like someone catches fish doing something out of the ordinary. Some of the best anglers that I know, always preach “keep it simple.” I’m like a lot of anglers; I always catch myself trying to find something different. Often, it results in me missing out on a great bite while others are catching fish while using a bait or technique that’s been around forever. During my last outing, I was struggling to get a bite until I switched over to a simple green pumpkin Senko. I immediately started to catch fish. Tonight, when I get home, I plan on going through my boat and removing all my excess tackle. I guess you can say, I’m going to be doing some spring cleaning of my boat’s tackle storage. Surely someone is going to report on catching fish on something that I removed from my boat. I’m not going to worry about that since I plan on keeping it simple. My plan going into this next tournament is to fish what I have confidence in and to not worry about what others are doing. Most importantly, I’m going to keep my baits in the water and eliminate all the noise and second guessing.
Right now the bass fishing is really starting to show signs of picking up. The spinner bait is deadly this time of year for big females that are usually found around sparse tulle points. The outgoing tide is the best tide right now, once the tide bottoms out the fishing slows way down and the bigger fish become harder to find. The water clarity in a lot of places is still very clear. The striper bite has slowed down for a lot of anglers and no shad was seen working the surface on my last trip.
New Melones Lake:
Trout fishing remains slow for a lot of anglers. Water temperatures are in the mid 50’s in a lot of areas of the lake. The water levels are dropping though, causing the fish to suspend. Fishing for bass has been hit or miss for a lot of anglers. During a recent trip I was able to get bites here and there. I had to search around a lot before I found the bites. Most of the bites were while fishing between 30 and 50 feet deep with down baits such as drop shots, jigs, nails, and Ned rigged plastics.
Lake Don Pedro:
The bite on rainbow trout remains tough. Like New Melones there are very few reports of trout being caught. Bass fishing is starting to pick up as plenty of fish are being caught on small plastics right now down to 40 feet deep. There also continues to be a good bite for those fishing with live jumbo minnows.
The lake is now open for camping and fishing. Bass fishing on the lake has always been tough on opening day. The trout on the other hand have been plentiful as the lake has been stocked just about weekly through the winter months and was stocked even more for opening day.
Plenty of trout are still being stocked weekly providing anglers with limits. Anglers are having luck while fishing with power bait off the bank or while trolling shad imitating lures just below the surface. Bass fishing is still slow, once the water temperatures increase the bass will surely start making their way towards their spawning areas.
Trout are being stocked at the North and South shore launch ramps as well as the South Shore Fishing Pond. Anglers trolling have been finding rainbows while trolling white grubs or Rapalas in the main body of the lake, around Big Hat Island, and up in the Narrows. Bank fishermen are scoring with night crawlers or Power Bait with most rainbows averaging around a pound. Bass fishing is picking up as anglers are doing well while dragging small jigs and worms from the surface down to 30 feet deep.
I learned the hard way last week that line expands when in the water. I had respooled several of my reels the night before thinking that I had left enough room for my line to expand. After a couple casts into the lake it was evident that I didn’t. The line had expanded causing me to have to cut off my bait, remove some line, and retie. Some lines expand more than others. Also, if you tightly spool your line, once you cast it out, it’s not going to tightly spool itself back on.