It’s hard to believe that this time last year, many of us were hoping that we would have enough rain to finally end the drought. Fast forward to today, I’m wondering if this rain is ever going to stop. Weather is so unpredictable. Even today, with all the latest technology, I don’t recall anyone last year predicting that we would have this amount of rain. Many experts in the field predicted the opposite. La Nina was supposed to proceed last year’s El Nino, resulting in another drought. Like fishing, trying to make a prediction eventually humbles all of us. Often, I hear professional anglers discuss what the fish are thinking or doing and I can’t help to not laugh. I once joked with a Bassmaster Elite Pro about this very topic and I got a good laugh out of him. I told him that instead of trying to describe what the fish were thinking and doing why don’t guys just tell the truth. They don’t know what the fish are doing or thinking, they just know they’re over there and they’re biting.
January is the month to keep a close eye on the water temperature, especially in the Delta. Unlike previous years, this year many have chosen to stay away from the Delta until the weather stabilizes. With all the debris floating around, navigating the delta can be risky. Personally, I plan to avoid the delta for a while. Those that are fishing continue to have luck while fishing for striped bass around many of the flooded islands. Sherman Island seems to be the favorite of anglers right now while fishing with live bait and River2Sea S Wavers.
New Melones Lake:
Anglers fishing from the bank have been catching fish on Power Bait, marshmallows, and nightcrawlers. It is very important that your bait floats. Use small hooks, plenty of Power bait, and a worm blower to achieve this desired presentation. Anglers trolling have been having most of their luck with a “less is more” approach. Try trolling small flashers and dodgers with a nightcrawler three to five feet behind. Sep’s sidekick, and micro mini’s have been working well lately. Bass fishing is decent with most fish being caught around main lake structure at depths from 25 to 65 feet. Shad patterned plastics on the drop shot has been the bait of choice.
Lake Don Pedro:
Trout fishing remains good as limits of fish seem to be the norm lately. Most fish being caught have been in the 12 to 14 inch range, but the action is fast and furious. Bass fishing is slow for a lot of anglers as the water temperatures are still very cold. Anglers are working deeper water with small worms and jigs for their bites.
Anglers fishing the North Shore are doing well while fishing with Power Bait early in the morning. There are also trout being caught along the South Shore area and in the ponds on Power Bait. Bass fishing is slow; anglers are searching out schools of bass holding around main lake points or islands. Once finding them anglers are fishing slowly through them with either a drop shotted worm or small jig.
The lake continues to be planted and the trout have been staying close to the surface, providing those trolling or fishing off the bank with steady action. Anglers fishing off the bank are doing well while fishing with Power Bait, Mice Tails, or tossing a Kastmaster. Anglers trolling are having success while trolling Rapalas or spinners from the surface down to 10 feet deep.
Tip of the Week:
When faced with tough conditions such as cold muddy water it’s important that there be some changes made in lure selection and presentation. Most people look down into the water thinking how can a fish possibly see my lure? A lot of times the muddy water that we see from standing above the surface only extends a few feet below the surface. The only true way to know this is to stick a camera down there or swim down and look for yourself. Personally, I try to fish a little deeper than normal and keep close to grassy or weedy areas. The grass and weeds help filter the floating particles and can actually help create a clearing beneath the surface. I also prefer to fish with baits that have some chartreuse in them or are dark such as the black and blues, glowing baits can also be excellent when fishing dirty or stained water. Glowing baits not only glow in the dark but also glow in muddy or stained water.