Now that I’m back in a bass boat and spent an entire year preparing my equipment, I’m more ready this year to catch a big bass than any other year. With my next tournament being on the Delta and already catching an 8lb bass last week, I can’t help to not be excited about the prospects of catching my biggest fish ever. While speaking with some local pros this past weekend, they seem to believe that big fish catches in the Delta have been declining. They had some valid points but I’m not letting it discourage me. The biggest bass ever caught on the Delta is 17lbs. This year’s goal is to catch one over 12lbs. Ten pounds or more is considered a trophy bass. There was a survey done last year and it concluded that an angler who fishes at least 20 days a year in California has a 30 percent chance of catching a bass over 10lbs in his or her lifetime. I’m not sure what the percentage is for those who catch a bass over 12lbs but I’m guessing it’s in the single digits?
Largemouth bass fishing is improving daily, finding clearer water and banks protected from the wind and current is what a lot of anglers are focusing on. During a recent trip out of Paradise Point I got more bites than previous trips indicating to me that the male bass have made their way into the shallows. The bigger females are more prone to explore the shallows during the high tide. Now is a good time to get out and toss a Senko around visible clearings in the tulles or submerged vegetation.
New Melones Lake:
The trout bite has been reported as being on and off lately. Bass fishing has started to pick up with the average fish exceeding the two-pound mark. There are plenty of bass up shallow, the bigger females can be found cruising, but few have begun to spawn. As the water warms more look for a lot more fish to move shallow. The crappie bite is starting to improve as anglers fishing submerged trees or bushes in 10 to 15 feet of water are catching them on beetle spins or small minnows. The catfish bite is also starting to turn on as anglers soaking cut bait are starting to catch them.
Lake Don Pedro:
Bass fishing is fair right now. Anglers are catching smaller fish all over the lake on small plastics as well as crank baits. A lot of fish can be found right now up shallow in the backs of coves. Swim bait fish are still being caught but with all the fish getting ready to make their way onto the beds many anglers are choosing to work the banks with smaller baits.
Bass fishing has been hit or miss for some as many anglers are abandoning traditional patterns and focusing on catching a big swim bait fish. Lipless rattle baits as well as other shad imitating baits casted far ahead are producing well. Anglers fishing reaction baits such as flukes are also having some luck. For kokanee and trout, anglers are having to work hard while trolling from the surface down to 15 feet deep. Most anglers are opting for spinners as the trout have been biting more than the kokanee.
Weekly trout plants continue to fill the lake with hungry trout. Right now, there are plenty of trout to be caught up shallow for anglers using power bait. Bass fishing is starting to pick up as anglers are beginning to catch them shallow as well. The lake is currently full making it a great place to fish right now.
April is the month when I caught my biggest bass to date while fishing New Hogan. The bass fishing should be good, depending on the water clarity there should be fish moving shallow to spawn. Small plastics and jigs should work well right now fished from the shore out to 30 feet deep.
Tip of the Week:
If you’re like me who tries to fix things on your own, YouTube can be your best friend. Several times I’ve taken things apart causing more damage, to later find out that there was an easier fix available online. Before buying expensive parts or doing more damage, I highly suggest checking YouTube first. Most likely someone else has had the same problem.