I fear lately that I’ve become that “old guy.” The guy that was reluctant to try something new and who has an endless supply of his favorite baits. In the past few years, I’ve broken away from primarily fishing for bass. In that time, I’ve sort of fell out of touch with the latest and greatest techniques in bass fishing. In the fishing world, new products and techniques are surfacing all of the time. It can be very expensive trying to keep up with the latest trends in fishing. One can buy imitations of new products but in the end, they usually end up buying the real thing. Unless a product or technique is undeniably going to increase the amount of fish I’m going to catch, I usually don’t pay much attention to it. Gone are the days when I had to have the newest bait to hit the market. Instead, I’ve chosen to embrace my position as the “old guy” who has preferred to stick to his tried and true methods.
With water temperatures dropping and as the days become shorter the fishing should be getting better. Currently bass are being caught on just about anything. Reaction baits such as rattle traps and spinnerbaits are producing lots of numbers right now. Stripers are starting to make their way into some of the flooded islands such as Franks Tract, Big Break, and Mildred Island. Anglers are using cut bait and trolling for stripers; the bite isn’t wide open yet but is improving steadily.
New Melones Lake:
Kokanee fishing is all but done for the season. Trout fishing isn’t the best right now either. Die hard anglers looking to catch a trout are finding them at depths down to 100 feet deep and catching very few if any lately. Bass fishing has slowed down recently; smaller fish are being caught on small plastics during the day. Catfishing is still really good for anglers fishing off the bank at night while soaking anchovies or chicken livers. The lake continues to drop, the paved boat launch is still open but boaters will soon be launching off of gravel.
Lake Don Pedro:
Fishing for kokanee is over for the most part right now. Anglers targeting trout and king salmon are trolling up the river arm where the water is colder. Bass fishing is slow right now; there are a lot of smaller fish being caught but very few of any size. Anglers are currently catching bass while drop shotting and spooning anywhere between 25 and 35 feet deep.
Currently there is very little fishing pressure during the week for anglers fishing for trout. The fishing is slow right now especially during the mid day hours. Your best bet is getting there first thing in the morning. Bass fishing is slow right now; those catching fish are targeting schools of fish found as deep as 30 feet while using small plastic worms. Catfishing is good right now on the lake for those who are using either chicken livers or sardines. Most of the catfish are being found in the backs of coves.
Trout fishing is surprisingly great right now for anglers trolling around the dam at depths between 30 and 40 feet deep. Bass fishing continues to be good for those fishing traditional summer patterns. Topwater baits are working well early in the morning and late in the day. During the day anglers are catching limits of fish while tossing crankbaits or small plastic worms. Catfishing is also good right now on the lake for those fishing off the bank with night crawlers or anchovies.
Striped bass are being caught by anglers chasing schools of fish that are feeding on the surface. The best action seems to be early in the morning and late in the evening. Some anglers are choosing to use top water baits while others are having luck while tossing flukes through visible schools of fish. There is no size limit for striped bass caught in the lake but there is a bag limit of 10 fish per angler, per day.
Tip of the Week:
Late summer is an interesting time of the year. As far as bait selection, don’t be afraid to try something new or something a little out of the ordinary. I’ve had some great times out fishing during the month of September while using untraditional baits. While everyone seems to be tossing the same thing, try something different, you may be surprised at what you catch.