I used to have an elderly neighbor who laughed at us when he saw us pulling the weeds in front of our house. “You’re wasting your time,” he said. Sure enough a couple storms came through and back grew the weeds. I’ll never quite figure out spring weather, it seems like every time I think it’s officially spring, a major weather change occurs and we’re back into winter. Then, once that series of storms pass, we’re into summer. If I’ve learned anything over the years about fishing from January to May, it’s that you pretty much have to be ready for anything. Forget about trying to plan around the weather and consider yourself lucky if you can get out while the weather is good. Some of the best days to fish during the spring are those days that start out the worst.
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 outer most weed lines. Jigs fished deep from 6 to 8 feet is also a good technique for 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 twenty 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 really well once the sun comes up. In the morning target the backs of coves with top water lures as there are many schools of fish that have migrated to the backs of coves. Coves where there are underwater brush piles or trees are holding schools of fish right now.
Trout fishing at Lake Camanche continues to be very good for a lot of 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 can 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.
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 rods components.