Like every New Year, for the past 16 years, I was in Arizona visiting the in-laws. Unlike the past 16 years it was colder than it has ever been over there. Thinking that I’d be smart and bring only one sweater, I definitely should have checked the weather report before leaving. The fishing out there is so much more different than on the Delta. Because of the intense heat, most of their fishing is done through the night. Locals primarily fish the Colorado River which is like our Delta in many ways. Unlike the Delta, the Colorado River doesn’t seem to produce the numbers of big fish that the Delta does. There are big fish caught out of it every year but just not as many. I used to make an effort to go fishing while I was in Arizona; not anymore. As my family grew it became too much of a hassle for me to bring my gear and quite honestly I’ve been spoiled. We’re very fortunate to have such great fishing around us. I’m reminded of just that, the farther I travel from home.
The Striped Bass really seem to be scattered right now. Anglers are having a tough time pinning them down with one specific pattern. Those having the most luck are moving from spot to spot while covering a lot of area. The techniques being used are both live and artificial baits. It’s really just a matter of finding the fish. Bass fishing is tough right now as anglers are advised to use lighter lines and smaller baits as the water has gotten real clear in a lot of areas. Most anglers are choosing to use a drop shot rigged worm along deep weed edges.
Lake New Melones:
Trout fishing continues to be tough right now. The Department of Fish and Game has even planted some trout but even that hasn’t ignited much of a bite. Bass fishing remains consistent as the bass have moved deeper. The bigger bass are being caught by swimbaits as they are definitely following the trout up shallow. For numbers try targeting points and backs of creeks with soft plastics and jigs. The recent rains have caused the lake to rise a bit. The only available launch ramp continues to be off of Glory Hole Point. The launch is loosely packed gravel making a tow vehicle equipped with 4x4 essential.
Lake Don Pedro:
Trout fishing continues to be non-existent as many anglers have decided to look elsewhere. The Department of Fish and Game has resumed their planting of trout into the lake but even those fish are not cooperating with anglers. Many of the locals are looking towards February as being the month when both the trout and King Salmon bite turns on. Bass fishing has slowed right now as anglers are struggling to find a consistent bite anywhere on the lake. There have been a few anglers that have been able to catch fish on spoons while searching for schooling fish. The only open launch ramp on the lake is located at Fleming Meadows, the launch is paved.
Heavy loads of trout are being planted into the lake right now on what seems like a daily basis. Anglers fishing off the bank are getting their money’s worth in most cases. Power bait has been the ticket either fished off the bottom or beneath a bobber.
Lake Pardee is scheduled to reopen in February. They’ve yet to give a specific date which isn’t good news for those of us who’ve been looking forward to fishing the lake since its last closing.
The south shore pond seems to be the hot area right now. Anglers are doing well while fishing with power bait. North shore bank fishing is still producing limits this week, mostly in the early morning hours when the water is coldest. South shore has a couple of good reports as well. Bass fishing remains fair, anglers catching fish while working small plastic baits along the bottom.
Tip of the Week:
If you’re planning on not using your boat for a while it’s always better to top off the gas tanks before storing, than to let it sit empty. An empty tank allows for a lot of condensation to build up resulting in water mixing with your fuel. This can be a very costly mistake if not treated properly.