Once again, the trees are blossoming which means that the big fish are going to start biting. As always, it comes down to the right water temperature and the correct moon phase. This next full moon which is going to occur on March 5 combined with rising water temperatures, is surely going to move a large wave of fish up shallow to spawn. The only thing that could interrupt those fish from moving up shallow would be a drastic drop in water temperature as a result of a series of cold days. With our current weather conditions, I don’t see that coming. So, start getting all your gear ready because if you’re waiting for the perfect time to catch or see a giant fish up shallow, it’s most likely going to be in the first couple of weeks of March. The past full moon has already brought a lot of fish out of their winter haunts. In most places right now they can be seen cruising around waiting for the right time to lay their eggs. If they’re already cruising around than it’s just a matter of time.
Right now the bass fishing is really starting to show signs of picking up. The spinner bait is deadly this time of year for big females that are usually found around sparse tulle points. The outgoing tide is the best tide right now, once the tide bottoms out the fishing slows way down and the bigger fish became harder to find. The water clarity in a lot of places is still not the greatest but the temperatures have risen and our next full moon should create an awesome bite. The striper bite has slowed down for a lot of anglers and no shad was seen working the surface on my last trip.
New Melones Lake:
Trout fishing remains good, a lot of anglers have made their way to the lake recently to try their luck. Anglers fishing from shore should target main points such as Glory Hole Point, Osprey Point, under the Highway 49 Stevenot Bridge, and Tuttletown. Night crawlers floated with marshmallows or inflated with a worm inflator have produced the most rainbows from shore. Berkley Select Power Bait or Power Eggs have caught plenty of fish, and throwing a silver/blue Kastmaster or spinner such as a Rooster Tail is also effective from shore. Trollers should head to the main lake between the spillway and dam and troll from the surface down to 30 feet deep. Glory Hole Point still has the only paved launch ramp available for boaters.
Lake Don Pedro:
The bite on rainbow trout remains good; rainbows are being caught in the Tuolumne river arm, Woods Creek and Upper Bay near the flume. For rainbows try fishing from the surface down to 20 feet deep. Bass fishing is starting to pick up as plenty of fish are being caught on small plastics right now down to 40 feet deep. There also continues to be a good bite for those fishing with live jumbo minnows. Fleming Meadows still has the only paved launch ramp available for launching.
The lake is now open for camping and fishing. Bass fishing right now on the lake has always been tough around opening day. The trout on the other hand have been plentiful as the lake has been stocked just about weekly through the winter months.
Plenty of trout are still being stocked weekly providing anglers with limits. Anglers are having luck while fishing with power bait off the bank or while trolling shad imitating lures just below the surface. Bass fishing is still slow, once the water temperatures increase the bass will surely start making their way towards their spawning areas.
Trout are being stocked at the North and South shore launch ramps as well as the South Shore Fishing Pond. Anglers trolling have been finding rainbows while trolling white grubs or Rapalas in the main body of the lake, around Big Hat Island, and up in the Narrows. Bank fishermen are scoring with night crawlers or Power Bait with most rainbows averaging around a half-pound. Bass fishing is picking up as anglers are doing well while dragging small jigs and worms from the surface down to 30 feet deep.
I once fished a week on Lake Oroville and it rained every day. Nothing I wore was able withstand day after day of rain except for my fleece. What I learned is that fleece although wet, still kept me warm, and dried up a lot faster than any of the other fabrics I was wearing.