I don’t know what it is about me and Sea Lions, but they always seem to make my day a little more interesting this time of year on the Delta. This past Sunday, while driving my boat down the main channel, out of nowhere a sea lion decides to pop his head up right in front of my bow. I was travelling around 40 mph, so I turned my wheel to the right while the sea lion dove under my boat. I must have barely missed him as nothing felt out of the ordinary. Several years ago, I had the same thing happen, that time the sea lion hit the side of my boat. Over the years, the sea lion population in the Delta seems to be increasing. Last spring, for the first time I saw a sea lion with its pups in the middle of the slough that I was fishing. Often people ask me if the sea lions ruin the fishing. From my experience, when there’s a sea lion around, I usually stop getting bites. So, I’ve made it a habit to just move to another location. Sea Lions are massive, and they sometimes come out of nowhere. I’ve seen enough videos of how strong they are and have heard a lot of stories of anglers encountering sea lions. I don’t know how true they were, but sea lions don’t seem to have any problem jumping on docks. The last thing I want to experience is one boarding my boat.
Until the water temperatures rises a bit, fishing will continue to be spotty on the Delta right now. Bass have been hit and miss for a lot of anglers, myself included. Some days they’re hitting crank baits and jigs well, and other days just getting a bite can be challenging. I’ve been doing well recently while fishing deeper banks fishing slow moving baits down to ten feet. Striper fishing is a lot like the largemouth bass fishing, it’s been hit or miss for a lot of anglers.
New Melones Lake:
Fishing for trout has remained tough for a lot of anglers. With the forecasted weather the fishing should improve. Anglers catching trout have reported that their best results have come when they have trolled their baits further behind the boat than normal. Bass fishing is fair for a lot of anglers. Slow presentations seem to be producing the best results for those who are successful. Jig fishing has been the bait of choice along with the drop shot, Senko, ned rig, and a Frenzy Nail. Some are tossing swim baits with mixed results.
Lake Don Pedro:
Fishing for trout remains tough. Like New Melones, there are very few trout being caught or fished for. Bass fishing has been improving but there are no reports of fish making their way shallow. A lot of the fish being caught are being found deeper between 25 and 35 feet deep. Anglers are catching bass while fishing secondary points with jigs, rip baits, and drop shotted Robo Worms.
The trout bite has been excellent lately for anglers taking advantage of the early bite. Trout are being caught while trolling flasher rigs trailed by a nightcrawler. Anglers are also having success while fishing off the bank using chartreuse Power Bait. Bass fishing has started to pick up as smallmouth bass are accustomed to spawning at a cooler temperature than the largemouth. Crankbaits and jigs have been working well for those working the sparse wood along the shores of the lake.
Weekly trout plants continue to provide bank anglers with action. Power bait fished off the bottom seems to be the choice of many anglers. Bass fishing continues to be slow right now. Anglers catching bass are fishing brown jigs off main lake points down to thirty feet deep.
One of the many questions I get asked by anglers is what fishing line I prefer. I have tried them all from time to time and the best all-around line that I have ever used is Berkley’s Trilene Big Game. For the Delta I use 15 lb. test for cranking and for the lakes I use 10 lb. test for almost all applications. It’s an all-around good line which I have been able to depend on. For the price, Big Game is my favorite choice of lines. I prefer the clear line over the green tinted line as I can see it better above water.