This past week I was out of the state giving the fish a break. I have in-laws that live in Arizona that I was visiting. Last year, I brought my boat. This trip, I didn’t have much time to prepare for, so I decided to leave my boat home. It made the trip a lot easier but made it tough finding something to do. Like at home, many of the places that we all like to visit were still closed. Surprisingly, the people here seemed to be more concerned about social distancing and wearing a mask. I was able to visit a local tackle shop and may have more tackle in my garage. At first, I didn’t understand why the shop would be so empty, until a friend told me that many tackle shops that were closed aren’t adding new inventory until they make up for all the days that they were closed. So, I purchased a hat and a shirt. The owner of the shop was very appreciative and invited me to visit a weekend tournament weigh in. I’d much rather be fishing the event, but it was good having something to do and seeing how good the fishing is here locally.
Summertime is a great, but sometimes a tough time to fish the Delta. Right now, the best time to catch bass is early in the day and late in the evening. The tides are also very important. I prefer a high tide in the morning or event over a high tide during the midday. An early high tide allows for fishing a variety of topwater baits which are often best fished in the morning. If you’re not fishing a Whopper Plopper during the morning hours you’re truly missing out. Since the bait was released in stores it’s become my go to top water lure. During the heat of the day finding those cooler shadier spots to fish is key. A lot of anglers right now are preferring to punch through vegetation to catch those fish that are in the shade.
New Melones Lake:
Fishing for kokanee and trout has been very tough for anglers lately. Most trout and kokanee anglers have abandoned the lake. The lake is dropping and is currently at 75 percent. Many believe that the dropping lake levels are responsible for the non-existent trout and kokanee bite. The bass bite remains good for anglers throwing reaction baits Pop-R’s and Zara Spooks are providing nice bites during the low light hours of the day. Anglers fishing during the day are focusing on deep drops or Island tops while fishing a Carolina rig with either a baby brush hog or Senko fished weightless.
Like New Melones, the trout and kokanee have not shown up. There is a good king salmon bite that anglers trolling spoons are taking advantage of. Local guides have been a little tight lipped about sharing depths and techniques. My best guess is that they’re trolling around schools of bait found in the deeper, cooler water. Bass fishing is typical for this time of year. There is a good top water bite in the morning and evening. Once the day warms up anglers are finding them while looking for schools of fish feeding around the various main lake points.
Trout fishing is starting to slow down as the water temperatures have risen. Those that are catching trout right now are fishing as deep as 45 feet deep to catch them. Bass fishing has also started to get tougher for anglers as bass have moved deeper. Those having success are focusing on suspended fish over off shore rock piles.
Fishing on the lake is hit or miss right now as anglers fishing for kokanee are having to adjust daily in order to find them. Those catching kokanee are trolling between 20 and 30 feet deep. Anglers fishing off the bank are targeting catfish during the evening hours, while bass fisherman are doing well while fishing around shade with small plastics and weightless Senko’s. The lake is very high right now. For bass I’d focus on fishing in and around the many trees and branches that are under water.
Tip of the Week:
In the Army when it got really hot outside we were instructed to unroll our sleeves in order to prevent overheating. Initially, I thought it was just another way of torturing us but I’ve since learned that you’re better off covering your skin than leaving it exposed to the sun’s rays. Take notice of those who work in the sun all day, they’re likely to be wearing long sleeved shirts and sun hats.