Last week while at a stop light I saw something that I haven’t seen in quite some time. Three young boys between the ages of 9 and 11, one was pushing a lawnmower, the other was carrying a leaf blower, and the third was carrying a gas can. What they were doing was exactly how I used to make money to buy all of my fishing equipment and video games when I was their age. I can still remember that old lawnmower. It didn’t have a safety shut off, or even a bag to catch all the grass. It smoked like crazy, but started every time. Back then, just about every store sold fishing equipment. Even our Longs Drug Store had a fishing aisle. I charged $3 per lawn, and for $20 I could buy a decent bait casting reel. I tell my soon to be 16-year-old son this story all the time but he doesn’t seem impressed. As a kid, I wanted to make my own money. Sure, if someone were to give me money I would take it, but I enjoyed working, and was always thinking of ways that I could make a few dollars. My lawn mowing business lasted until I started a paper route, which is also not a job for kids anymore. There’s also fewer and fewer stores that carry fishing equipment.
Most anglers fishing for bass are having luck while tossing top water frogs throughout the day, Senko’s, Spinner baits, and Sweet Beavers are all catching bass right now. With the weather we have had lately look for shady spots along the bank, or spots closest to deeper water. Fish will either be looking for shade or proximity to deep moving water. If you can find shade next to a deep drop your chance of catching a big fish will be increased. Striped bass fishing is fair for anglers willing to wait it out while fishing with live bait. Anglers catching them are fishing around Rio Vista or Whisky Slough with live mudsuckers or bluegills.
New Melones Lake:
Kokanee are finally starting to bite as trout fishing has slowed down for the summer. Anglers catching kokanee are fishing the dam area and can be found between 40-50 feet deep. Trout have been biting for those trolling between 30 and 50 feet with rolled shad. Night fishermen are catching trout while soaking Power Bait below a submersible light along the main lake channels. Bass fishing is still good for anglers fishing with jigs and worms during the day. Most bass are of the smaller version with a bigger fish mixed in occasionally. Morning and evening top water fish are being caught right now on poppers and spook type lures.
Night fishing for bass is a favorite summertime escape for me. Lake Amador in particular is a small safe lake which with any cast can produce a personal best. An hour before the sun starts to go down bass habitually will bring schools of shad to the surface which can create some explosive top water action. The key to catching feeding fish on the surface is patience. With a top water lure in hand, wait for the fish to start exploding on the surface and then make your cast right into the middle of the attacking fish. This technique will surely produce some of the most explosive top water action. Once the sun goes down I either toss a half-ounce black spinner bait or drag 10 inch Berkeley Power worms. Then, if fishing through the night as the morning sun starts to break once again fish will be feeding on the surface, get that top water lure out and repeat the previous pattern.
Lake Don Pedro:
There haven’t been any reports of trout or kokanee being caught lately on the lake. Typically there is a decent king salmon and kokanee bite this time of year. Bass fishing seems to have taken over the lake recently as there is an abundance of fish to be caught by anglers fishing with a variety of different baits from the shoreline to 30 feet deep. Anglers targeting big fish are still tossing swim baits while anglers just wanting to get bit are fishing with Senko’s and small worms and jigs.
As the pleasure boaters have taken over some of our local lakes, Lake Pardee is a great place to get away. It’s pretty much a fishing only lake making it one of my favorite summertime places. There have been a few limit of trout being brought into the Marina but anglers have been tight lipped about where and what they caught them on. There have been a few kokanee being caught by anglers trolling with kokanee gear but they have been very small. Bass fishing is good right now for anglers fishing with topwater baits in the morning and while fishing around submerged wood during the day.
On July 15th the annual Conroy Oakley and Andy Cuccia Pro Teen Classic tournament will be held out of Russo’s Marina on Bethel Island. The purpose of the event is to introduce teens 13 to 19 years old to fishing through a professional style tournament where they will be paired up with a boater for six hours. Registration for anglers and boaters for the event is now open. Boaters fish for free, for more information visit www.westernbass.com.