I’ve learned over the years to expect the unexpected when fishing with childhood friends. Several weeks ago I was contacted by a longtime friend who ensured me that the sturgeon bite was wide open where he lived. Excited, we both agreed on a date and began preparing for the trip. Being that I was unfamiliar with the place that we were going to be fishing, I agreed ahead of time to have him navigate the boat instead of me. The place that we were fishing was a mud flat that had a very narrow deep water channel. To add more difficulty to the situation, it was a foggy morning. He ensured me that he knew where he was going so I just bit my lip and trusted where he was taking us. Long story short, he ended up driving us right up onto a mud flat in less than a foot of water. We were stuck! So, the first five hours of our Sturgeon fishing trip was spent waiting for the tide to come back in. In those five hours of being stuck in the mud, the four of us solved most of the world’s problems, taught each other how to tie our favorite knots, debated over who we thought would be the next president, and of course gave the driver a hard time. Eventually the tide came back in and we were able to get a few hours of fishing in but didn’t get any bites. With all that said, I had a great time. I guess there’s a reason why we’ve been friends for almost 30 years. I’m already looking forward to doing the trip over but this time I’m going to drive.
The bite right now is hit or miss 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. 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:
Fishing for trout is starting to pick up recently on the lake. Anglers are having luck while fishing from the bank and from their boats. Power Bait fished around the Highway 49 bridge seems to be the hot spot for anglers fishing off the bank. Anglers trolling are having luck while trolling from the surface down to ten feet deep. Spotted bass fishing is getting better by the day as there are a lot of fish being caught on a variety of baits. The lake continues to rise but not yet enough for the paved launch ramp to be underwater. Vehicles equipped with 4x4 are still highly recommended.
Lake Don Pedro:
Bass fishing is picking up for a lot of anglers fishing with either large swim baits or Alabama Rigs. Trout fishing continues to be very tough on the lake right now as there are very few catches being reported. One of the local guides went out recently and even he struggled to get a bite. Fleming Meadows is the only available launch ramp that is currently underwater.
Finally, an opening date has been set. The lake is scheduled to open Friday March 11th.
Trout are still being planted weekly keeping those fishing from boats and from the bank busy. Anglers fishing from the bank are fishing with Power Bait and night crawlers beneath a bobber while those fishing from their boats are trolling a variety of different trout lures.
Trout fishing is great right now both in the main lake and in the ponds. The lake was planted over the weekend and anglers weren’t disappointed. Most anglers are fishing with Power Bait for limits of planter sized trout. Anglers trolling for trout are doing well while trolling spoons. The magic depth has been right around 15 feet deep. Bass fishing is picking up as the water temperature rises. Anglers are doing well with crankbaits and small plastics down to 20 feet deep.
Tip of the Week:
Almost everything can be done online nowadays, including renewing your fishing license. I was recently able to fill out my annual sturgeon report card online. It’s truly amazing how convenient it has become for us anglers.