Wintertime fishing can be one of the most peaceful times to be on the water. The waterways are usually a lot less crowded and it’s common to find an area or stretch of bank where there isn’t another boat in sight. With that said, it’s cold! Everything is moving a little slower, including us. Unlike us, fish are cold blooded species whose body temperature rise and fall with their environment. Certain species of fish thrive in lower water temperatures, while others thrive in higher water temperatures. Those species that prefer the colder temperatures are the ones that are being caught this time of year, while those that are more active during the warmer months become very lethargic and almost go into a state of hibernation. It’s important to know this as an angler. Fish can be caught all year round but to be successful, you may have to change your tactics. Something as simple as line diameter or the speed at which you’re retrieving your bait can be the difference between being successful or not.
Stripers continue to bite well for anglers fishing reaction baits as well as live bait in and around schools. Stripers rarely hold up in one spot for long, they may like to frequent certain areas but they are prone to be moving constantly. Waiting them out sometimes is the best method this time of year. Largemouth bass fishing is slow right now as most fish are being caught on jigs and rip baits. Anglers are targeting areas out of current right now. Crappie are said to be biting well around the docks at Union Point. Small crappie jigs and minnows seem to be doing the trick.
New Melones Lake:
Trout fishing is picking up for a lot of anglers, anglers fishing off the bank are doing well while fishing with Power Bait and anglers trolling are doing well trolling from the surface down to 20 feet. Trollers have been having most of their luck while trolling shad imitation lures such as Apex U.V., Needlefish, Excel Lures, and most other small spoons. Trolling frozen shad has also proven a good technique for catching bigger rainbows, and possibly brown trout. Bass fishing has been tough lately for a lot of anglers, those that have been catching them are catching them between 20 and 40 feet deep with drop shotted worms and jigs.
Lake Don Pedro:
Trout fishing is great right now for anglers trolling from the surface down to 15 feet deep. The hot areas right now are near the Dam or around Rogers Creek. Bass fishing has slowed considerably. Anglers are catching smaller fish while spooning through schools of bass down to 40 feet deep.
Weekly trout plants continue to take place, many trout are being caught while fishing as shallow as three feet deep. Anglers fishing off the bank are doing well while fishing off the bottom with trout bait as well as under a bobber.
Trout fishing has been good lately; many anglers are catching limits of trout. The North Shore area has been good lately for anglers fishing off the bank with Power Bait. Anglers trolling for trout are trolling Rapala (J-7) Brook Trout patterned lures from the surface down to 10 feet deep. Most trollers are staying around South Shore area. The South Shore Pond has recently been planted with trout making it a destination for a lot of anglers. Bass fishing is great for anglers fishing with shaky head worms from 15 to 30 feet deep. During a recent bass tournament held on the lake there was a 26-pound limit weighed in by anglers fishing with shaky head worms and tossing Alabama Rigs.
Tip of the Week:
I learned a log time ago that there is no wrong way to fish and that fish don’t care about brand names or how much money was spent on tackle. Lately, I’ve been reading up on a technique where it requires an angler to rig his worm weight upside down. It’s a technique that was performed accidentally, but has since been proven effective. An upside down rigged weight creates more disturbance than a traditionally rigged weight and is easier to keep in one place.