When I think about the month of April, I’m reminded about the first time I ever caught a bass over 10 pounds. It was all the way back in 2002 at New Hogan Lake during a club tournament. I had seen the fish swimming under my boat the day before but never expected that I would have a chance to catch it the next day. When the fish was finally weighed, it weighed 11.3 lbs. Up to that point, I had caught numerous fish that weighed nine lbs. but had been unable to catch one over 10 lbs. In bass fishing catching a 10 lb. bass is a rare feat even for those of us that are fortunate to live around so many great fishing areas. Since that day, I’ve caught two fish that were slightly over 10 pounds but none that topped 11.3 lbs. My goal now is to catch one in the teens. They are definitely out there but the window in which they are most likely to be caught is closing the closer we get to summer.
Typical spring like conditions of off and on activity has been making it tough for anglers. When the wind is blowing try reaction baits such as spinnerbaits and swimbaits across points where there are sparse tulles. When calm try tossing green pumpkin Senko’s towards visible holes within the grass beds or fishing the outermost weed lines. Jigs fished between six and eight feet deep is also a good technique this time of year for targeting fish that are in transition.
New Melones Lake:
Trout fishing has slowed down for a lot of anglers fishing off the bank. Trollers are finding the biggest fish upriver, with planters and an occasional kokanee in the main lake at 20-50 feet with nightcrawler/Wedding Ring combos, U.V. Apexes or a Cop Car Needlefish or other shad-patterned lures trolled at 1-1.5 mph. Bass fishing continues to be very good for anglers fishing from the bank down to 20 feet. Bass are spawning throughout the lake right now making them easy targets for site fishermen. One of the most overlooked patterns right now is the morning topwater bite. This time of year, is a good time to toss a Zara Spook type topwater bait first thing in the morning.
Lake Don Pedro:
Bass fishing has really turned on lately as many fish can be found spawning throughout the lake. Senko’s and small worms are working well once the sun comes up. In the morning anglers are targeting the backs of coves with top water lures. Fishing for trout and king salmon is picking up for anglers trolling between 25 and 30 feet deep.
Trout fishing at Lake Camanche continues to be very good for anglers. Both the lake and the pond are putting out nice limits of fish. Bass fishing continues to be good on the lake as many fish have moved shallow and be caught with a variety of different baits. Because of the spawn, try using baits that can be worked across obvious spawning flats or beds. In the morning try topwater baits and if the wind picks up try tossing swimbaits as the swimbait bite is always good when there are trout being caught on the lake.
Bass fishing is really starting to pick up as the water temperatures continue to rise. Look for the fish to be up shallow on beds. Because the lake is so clear the bass will be spawning a little deeper than most other lakes. A big mistake anglers make when searching for beds on clear lakes is that they look too shallow. Trout fishing remains good for anglers fishing with power bait around the launch area or trolling the main lake from the surface down to 25 feet deep.
Trout plants continue and anglers haven’t been disappointed while fishing for lightning trout. I’ve yet to catch one myself but they’re a hybridized rainbow trout that is bright gold and yellow making them something different to fish for. Supposedly they put up a great fight and are being caught just like every other trout in the lake. Power Bait or shallow trolling are the best techniques for anglers right now. Bass fishing is improving as there are reports of a lot of fish that have made their way shallow to spawn, throughout the lake.
Tip of the Week:
Most fishing rods nowadays are made with cork handles. After multiple times out combined with the handling of fish and bait they can become dirty. Over the years, I have tried several ways to clean the cork handles. One of the most effective ways that I have found was to use wet wipes. Surprisingly wet wipes do a great job and can also be used to wipe down all your rod’s components.