Recently while fishing New Melones Lake all intentions were to go after the kokanee that were supposed to be biting. What ended up happening was that we came across a school of crappie that seemed to bite every time we trolled past them. The decision I had to make was to either abandon the area in pursuit of kokanee or stay there and change tactics to target crappie. I decided the latter for a variety of reasons but none more than the opportunity to catch crappie. I’ve caught them before but never in the numbers and sizes of the ones that we were finding. Crappie have always been a mysterious fish for me, they’re rarely targeted by anglers and are often very misunderstood. I’ve fished a lot in the past 10 years and can only remember catching one crappie while bass fishing years ago in a tournament. So, it was really a no brainer to stay with what was working while attempting to fill our limit of crappie. It ended up being a welcomed change and I had a great day on the water.
Summer time is a great but sometimes tough time to fish the Delta. Like always right now the best time to catch bass is early in the day and late in the evening. If you’re not fishing a Whopper Plopper during the morning hours you’re truly missing out. Since the bait was released in stores it’s become my go to top water lure. During the heat of the day finding those cooler shadier spots to fish is key. A lot of anglers right now are preferring to punch through vegetation to catch those fish that are in the shade.
New Melones Lake:
Kokanee are being caught by a lot of anglers right now fishing near Rose Island, the dam, and near Glory Hole Point. Anglers trolling for kokanee are finding them between 40 and 50 feet deep. Crappie are biting all over the lake during the morning hours for anglers trolling small shad imitating baits from the surface down to 15 feet deep. The bass bite remains good for anglers throwing reaction baits Pop-R’s and Zara Spooks are providing nice bites during the low light hours of the day. Anglers fishing during the day are focusing on deep drops or Island tops while fishing a Carolina rig with either a baby brush hog or Senko fished weightless.
Kokanee fishing is great right now as anglers are finding limits while trolling between 50 and 80 feet deep. Anglers trolling for kokanee are also finding trout between those depths as well. Bass fishing is typical for this time of year. There is a good top water bite in the morning and evening. Once the day warms up anglers are finding them while looking for schools of fish feeding around the various main lake points.
Trout fishing is starting to slow down as the water temperatures have risen.
Those that are catching trout right now are fishing as deep as 45 feet deep to catch them. Bass fishing has also started to get tougher for anglers as bass have moved deeper. Those having success are focusing on suspending fish over off shore rock piles.
Fishing on the lake is hit or miss right now as anglers fishing for kokanee are having to adjust daily in order to find them. Those catching kokanee are trolling between 20 and 30 feet deep. Anglers fishing off the bank are targeting catfish during the evening hours, while bass fisherman are doing well while fishing around shade with small plastics and weightless Senko’s. The lake is very high right now. For bass I’d focus on fishing in and around the many trees and branches that are under water.
Tip of the Week:
In the Army when it got really hot outside we were instructed to unroll our sleeves in order to prevent overheating. Initially, I thought it was just another way of torturing us but I’ve since learned that you’re better off covering your skin than leaving it exposed to the sun’s rays. Take notice of those who work in the sun all day, they’re likely to be wearing long sleeved shirts and sun hats.