My recent tournament on Lake Shasta was amazing. My teammate and I didn’t win the event, but we finished in the money. There were a total of 195 boats fishing that day. We arrived the night before the event which allowed us to get a little extra sleep and not be rushed. Having that extra time made a big difference, compared to having to leave Manteca at 1 a.m. The fishing didn’t disappoint, I caught a decent sized fish on my very first cast and continued to catch fish throughout the day. In total, we caught close to a hundred fish. The weather couldn’t have been better. As our fishing window began to close we started having doubts that we would finish anywhere near the top. We had a limit of above average fish but no real big ones. It was at the weigh-in that we realized that we had a chance since we overheard that 17 pounds was leading it. We had just shy of 14 pounds. Fortunately for us our weight held. We ended up finishing 19th out of 195 while taking home $1000. Next up is Clear Lake, a place that I’ve never won on before. I heard it has been fishing tough. Tough or not, I’m pretty sure that it’s going to take more than 14 pounds to finish in the money.
Bass fishing is good right now as the weather has been perfect lately. For reaction baits, any crawdad imitating bait is working well. For those flipping or pitching, wacky rigged Senko’s or black and blue jigs seem to be key baits right now. With this current weather and the time of year it’s really a toss up right now. You can possibly have one of the best days of fishing one day and one of the worst days of fishing the next.
Lake New Melones:
Trout fishing has been on and off for anglers fishing from the shore and from their boats. Anglers fishing from the shore are fishing with Power Bait or live minnows while those fishing from their boats are trolling around the 30-foot range. Anglers are not exactly catching limits but they’re catching an occasional trophy sized trout which has kept a lot of anglers interested. Bass fishing is improving for numbers of fish. There are a lot of smaller limits being caught on small jigs and worms fished as deep as 40 feet and bigger fish being caught by anglers fishing swim baits. Crappie fishing is starting to pick up for anglers fishing with minnows and crappie jigs in the backs of coves.
Lake Don Pedro:
The trout and king salmon bite has been improving. The best area right now is between the 49 Bridge to the Jacksonville Bridge. Anglers are trolling either shad patterned spoons or rolled shad while letting their lead core lines out five to seven colors. Bass fishing is good, there is a good swim bait bite right now. Anglers catching bass are either tossing large Huddleston swim baits or Alabama Rigs for the bigger fish.
The lake recently opened for fishing and didn’t disappoint anglers eager to fish the lake. The recreation area is holding plenty of trout that seem to be unwilling to leave the area and venture out into the main lake. The Launch Ramp, Rainbow Point, Tom Sawyer Island, and the point directly across from the East end of the Marina are also good areas right now. Sliding sinker set ups are the most successful and silver/blue Kastmasters seems to be the favorite bait of lure fishermen. Not much to report about the bass fishing on the lake right now as it’s been very quiet. As the water temperature warms a little look for the bass to start making their way towards the obvious spawning areas.
Through the years I have tested a variety of different scales and buoy systems for tournament fishing. Most had worked for a little while but never seemed to completely fulfill my expectations. While searching for a scale system I believe that I have found the ultimate buoy system. It consists of colored ropes attached to large safety pin-like clips. The name of the product is EZ Cull RZ made by Basswidow Products which can be ordered through www.basswidowproducts.com. Unlike other systems that I’ve tried, these buoys don’t break and the ropes even float making it easy to grab a fish out of the live well while attached to a clip. There is nothing I hated more than having to wrestle a fish out of the live well that has escaped previous buoy systems.