The other day while I was reading through some online fishing forums, I came across a picture of a new bass boat that was rigged with a 400 horsepower outboard motor. That’s easily a 90 plus mph boat! Most bass boats rigged with an engine over 200 horsepower can run in the 70’s. I can’t imagine what a boat with 400 horsepower can run. If you’ve ever seen a bass boat running at top speed, there’s very little of the boat actually in the water. The good news is that most tournament organizations put limitations on how big of an engine a competitor can have, making the purchase of a boat equipped with a 400 horsepower unappealing to anyone who fishes tournaments. I’ve always advocated purchasing the biggest engine that a boat is rated for, not anymore. Not only would a 400 horsepower engine be overdoing it, I can’t imagine what anyone would want to do other than go faster than everybody else. That’s definitely not something I’m interested in as there are far too many unknowns floating around in our waters for me to want to drive at breakneck speeds anymore.
Fishing for bass has been tough for a lot of anglers as very few limits are being caught. Those targeting bass are fishing mainly with jigs and crawdad imitating baits. Fishing for stripers has also started to toughen up as very little schooling activity is being reported. One of the greatest challenges right now for anglers is the water being muddied up from our recent storms. Schools of striper are being found by anglers fishing Sycamore and Hog Slough. Bluegill fishing continues to be good for anglers fishing around docks and marinas with wax worms.
Lake New Melones:
Trout fishing is still very slow on the lake right now. The lake level has risen some due to recent rains but the Trout have yet to start biting. Bass fishing remains consistent as the bass have moved deeper. The bigger bass are being caught by swimbaits by those anglers who know where and how to fish swimbaits on the lake. For numbers try targeting points and backs of creeks with soft plastics and jigs. Launching conditions have improved since the lake has risen but a vehicle equipped with 4x4 is still highly recommended. Glory Hole Point continues to be the only open launch ramp on the lake.
Lake Don Pedro:
The Trout bite continues to be non-existent on the lake lately as there are very few reports of anglers catching any trout at the moment. Most anglers are preferring to fish the other local lakes that are being planted with trout. Bass fishing has slowed right now as anglers are struggling to find a consistent bite anywhere on the lake. There have been a few anglers that have been able to catch fish on spoons while searching for schooling fish. The only available launch ramp continues to be Fleming Meadows. A 4x4 isn’t necessary.
Fishing for trout is very good right now both in the lake and in the pond. Anglers fishing for trout are doing well while fishing with Power Bait or casting various trout imitating lures along the bank. Bass fishing has been steady for anglers fishing offshore structure. Locating schools of bass following schools of shad seems to be the key to catching them right now. Once the schools are found anglers are fishing with either spoons or a drop shotted Robo Worm in a shad color.
Heavy loads of trout are being planted into the lake on what seems like a daily basis. Anglers fishing off the bank are doing well while using Power Bait either fished off the bottom or beneath a bobber. There are also a lot of anglers that are preferring to toss Kastmasters along the bank for limits as well. The hot areas right now are around the Dam and boat rental areas.
Tip of the Week:
With the New Year upon us, now is a good time to make all necessary repairs, inventory fishing equipment, and make sure that all safety equipment is ready for the upcoming fishing season. One of the most useful and often overlooked items is our lifejackets. Automatic or not, they should be inspected for tears and checked for any other signs of wear. Especially auto inflate life jackets, it’s highly recommended that a new arming kit is installed at the beginning of each year and that it be stored in a dry space.