Like a lot of anglers, I’ve always tinkered around with my tackle and often look for ways to save a few dollars. Since getting back into tournament fishing, I’ve taken on a bigger interest in making my own baits. Thanks to YouTube and websites like tackleunderground.com, my so-called investment in tackle building supplies hasn’t exactly paid off yet! In order to produce professional quality baits, you need the right equipment, which can be expensive. For example, a high-quality stick bait mold can cost $150 or more. The injector needed to make laminate baits, like you see in stores, costs around $300. Then of course you’re going to need plastisol, salt, colorings, glitter, a microwave, Pyrex cups, and a bunch of other miscellaneous supplies in order to make a $6 bag of baits. There are a few positives to making your own baits. You can make colors that aren’t sold in the stores, recycle used plastics, design your own baits, and make an endless supply of baits. Most importantly, there’s nothing like catching a big fish on a bait that you made yourself or winning a tournament on a bait that you know nobody else has. If you’re interested in making your own baits, there’s plenty of information out there. Just be sure to wear the proper safety equipment. Last year I badly burned my hand while my gloves were off for just a second.
From now to the end of May is the best time to be out on the Delta fishing for bass. The fish aren’t exactly jumping in the boat but if you’re looking to catch a big fish now is the time. Some anglers prefer to catch them while fishing with reaction baits while others prefer to fish with jigs and creature baits. Both work, you just have to keep the bait in the water. This time of year I’m looking for sparse tulle patches that extend out on the points of islands. For some reason the big fish love sparse tulle points this time of year.
New Melones Lake:
Anglers fishing for trout are trolling from the surface down to 25 feet deep. Bass fishing is starting to pick up. This past weekend I was able to get out there and we managed to catch bass at all depths. We primarily stayed deep between 30 and 50 feet. The fish were biting on jigs, senko’s, shakey heads, pretty much every bottom bait that we fished with. The bigger fish were caught primarily by anglers fishing shallow with A-Rigs and swimbaits.
Lake Don Pedro:
Trout fishing has remained fair regardless of the unstable weather. Most anglers catching trout have been catching their fish while trolling the top 20 feet of water. Bass fishing has been improving slightly as the spawn is right around the corner. Anglers are catching fish while working both shallow and deep with various soft plastics and shad imitating reaction baits.
Trout fishing has been fair to good for many anglers. Most anglers are migrating towards the south shore launch area with several nice trout being caught in the recent weeks. Hat Island is another hot spot for anglers fishing with shad imitating Rapala lures. Bass fishing is beginning to pick up as anglers are catching an occasional fish up shallow. The more successful anglers are staying deep with drop shotted worms or jigs worked along the bottom.
Trout fishing is excellent on the lake right now. Power Bait is hard to beat this time of the year on the lake. For those trolling try fishing a small shad imitating lure such as a Yozuri Pin’s Minnow no deeper than five feet. Bass fishing continues to be slow for a lot of anglers but should be picking up soon.
Lake Pardee is open and full of water. One of the only lakes around that stays pretty much full all year long. Trout fishing is good right now for anglers fishing from the surface down to 25 feet deep with spinners. Bass fishing is picking up as the lake doesn’t warm as fast as its neighboring lakes.
Tip of the Week:
When fishing during the spawn it’s important to go back through a good area more than once as the fish are waiting to move up shallow. Bass are very territorial, once a fish has been taken out of a good area, usually another fish moves up to take the place of the fish that just left.