Wind is one of my least favorite conditions to fish in; it’s the one environmental factor that often eliminates over half of my tackle box before I even get on the water. Casting and boat positioning seem to be the two greatest challenges when trying to fish in the wind. With the wind to my back I can cast just fine. Casting into the wind, especially with lighter baits can be problematic. Adding a little weight to your bait or selecting more streamline baits can help. Personally, I would rather seek out areas protected from the wind, instead of fighting the wind, unless of course the fish are biting. When there’s getting out of the wind, I prefer to fish with reaction baits that are easy to cast such as rattle traps, heavy crank baits, or swim baits. Boat positioning can be tricky as well. I try to fish with the nose of my boat facing into the wind, while trying to avoid getting too close to the bank. A nice wave combined with a gust of wind can do quite a bit of damage to a fiberglass hull. Fishing in the wind can be both physically and mentally challenging. Most importantly, if you’re on a large body of water I’d think twice before going out during windy conditions. Lakes like Clear Lake, San Luis Reservoir, and certain parts of the Delta are extremely dangerous to cross once the wind has picked up. If you do decide on going out while it’s windy, I recommend staying close to your launch site, and avoid crossing the wider sections of the body of water you’re fishing.
The bite right now is very tough for largemouth bass. Historically this is the calm before the storm as a string of warm days, combined with a full moon can turn the bite wide open. Right now, it’s important to slow way down while using black and blue jigs down to twelve feet deep. Current water temperatures around the Stockton area are in the high forties to low fifties. A favorite bait of mine this time of year is a red spinner baits or chatter baits. I usually don’t get a lot of bites but the ones that I get are larger in size.
New Melones Lake:
Trout are being caught by those fishing shallow. There are a lot of trout being found in the backs of creeks where there is run off present. Whenever it rains the creeks and drainage ditches will wash nutrients, crawlers, and other terrestrial insects into the water. Anglers fishing from the shore have been using Power bait, marshmallows, and night crawlers. Bass fishing is pretty good right now for those fishing with Alabama Rigs or smaller individual swim baits. As the weather picks up look for the bass fishing to pick up.
Lake Don Pedro:
Bass fishing is picking up for a lot of anglers fishing with either large swim baits or Alabama Rigs. Limits of king salmon are not uncommon right now as anglers are finding a few while trolling rolled shad on shad patterned spoons. The preferred area right now has been around the Moccasin Recreational Area, from the no ski buoys to the power lines. Anglers trolling are trolling from the surface down to 25 feet deep for trout and down to 50 feet deep for salmon.
One of my favorite lakes is now open again for fishing. Aside from the excellent trout fishing this lake has to offer, there is a largemouth and smallmouth bass population that is often overlooked by a lot of anglers. Crankbaits and jigs are usually good producers this time of year on the lake. For trout, anglers usually find them closer to the surface in the morning hours and between 15 and 20 feet deep during the day.
There are still plenty of trout being planted in the lake. Recently 1000 pounds of trout were released into the lake. White lures seem to be working best as the water has muddied up a bit as the lake is only a few feet from being completely full.
Tip of The Week:
If you’re a boater like me who isn’t equipped with $4,000 or more fish finders on your boat, there is an app that you can download to your phone that can help level the playing field. The Navionics app has been invaluable to me recently while trying to dissect Lake Don Pedro. It shows all the contours, depths, and even allows you to mark your spots or destinations. They have a free trial version, after that I believe it costs around $20.